Cigar company Bombay Tobak, known for its MBombay cigar lines, has launched Gaaja, its first box-pressed cigar. The cigar started shipping to retailers last week and will be showcased at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show this month in Las Vegas.
"Gaaja is its own brand, separate from our MBombay lines," brand owner Mel Shah told Cigar Aficionado.
Available in a single size called Toro at 6 inches by 54 ring gauge ($15.50), Gaaja is draped in an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper said to be from a 2004 harvest and an Ecuadoran binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay.
"I started working on Gaaja in 2012," said Shah, who originally sold his cigars as house blends in his California-based retail shop. "We were experimenting with different tobaccos and playing around with the idea of a box-pressed cigar. With Gaaja, the idea was to create a cigar with lots of flavor, but without being overwhelmingly powerful."
Shah says he named the cigar Gaaja in reference to the elephant, a reoccurring symbol in Hindu mythology.
"Gaaja is named after Gaja, which means elephant," Shah said. "In Hindu mythology, elephants teach us patience. Patience is the biggest virtue of an elephant. And in my terms, in my life—I waited four years to release Gaaja. I had to be patient to get the cigar right."
Gaaja is rolled at the Tabacos de Costa Rica factory in Costa Rica. The cigar ships in 24-count boxes and is on store shelves now.
Bombay Tobak's flagship line, MBombay Classic, recently saw its first vertical brand tasting in the pages of Cigar Insider. Three cigars in the line scored 90 points or higher, with the Perfecto vitola scoring the highest, with 92 points.