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Cigar Review: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

Latest installment in the MBombay Vintage Reserve Series announced at 2016 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas and is shipping now: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

It has been almost a year since I reviewed the MBombay MoRa Torpedo No. 2.  I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed the MoRa, and gave it a 90 rating. So I am looking forward to smoking the MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973.

Bombay Tobak owner Mel Shah has produced a number of different lines under the MBombay name.

  • The light bodied five country blend Classic line in five sizes,
  • a full bodied three country blend Corojo Oscuro in five sizes,
  • Habano three country blend in five sizes,
  • KeSara three country blend in eight sizes,
  • the MoRa four country blend in eight sizes,
  • and Vintage Reserve that is aged three years more than the KeSara and MoRa in two sizes with the third being the new Lancero 1973.

Mel Shah, Bombay Tobak founder, says the tobaccos used are mostly pre-1970’s. That is some major vintage tobacco. The 1973 is a reference to his birth year. Limited production of only 560 boxes of 25 cigars. Let’s see how it smokes.

APPEARANCE

The MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 is packaged with a cedar sleeve, has a pigtail closed head and an open (wrapper-less) foot. The Ecuadoran wrapper is light brown and very delicate with a complete matte finish.
MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero Closed Head

MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 foot

The freshness of the pre-light draw is surprising for tobacco aged this long. Some raisin is also coming through, but it is that almost spring air freshness that is unique.

FIRST LIGHT

Mellow. Smooth. And I have not gotten to the wrapper burn yet since the foot is open. There is still some raisin as anticipated from the pre-light draw along with oak, hay and (this is a first for me) thyme.
MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 first light

CRUISE CONTROL BURN

I am now into the wrapper burn, and things are ramping up. Some black pepper is coming through, mostly on the finish,  but is nicely balanced with a hint of coriander that is contributing to the slight sweet note. Over an inch in, and the coriander is migrating to a flavor close to cardamom without the sweetness of that spice’s aroma.
MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 cruise

Just a couple of inches into the 8 1/2 inch lancero, the MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 just keeps escalating in flavors. The mellowness and smoothness are still there, but the black pepper has transitioned to red pepper and is now more evident at just the right balance with some charred cedar and milk chocolate. Marjoram is really coming through to the forefront now, which is contributing to the subtle, natural sweetness.

Burn line is sharp and the smoke is a pale grey with plenty of depth as the ash hangs on for literally inches. Even shaking the cigar, the ash just hangs on and finally fell of on its own at about three inches.

Closing out the two-thirds point, the red pepper is more prominent and hits the side of the tongue along with the milk chocolate creaminess on the finish. Retro-hale is a pleasant level of pepper with some citrus.

FINAL THIRD

The MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 stays true to the previous two-thirds with no harshness build-up, although the red pepper is more prominent. An amazing lingering finish of marjoram, red pepper, some citrus, and milk chocolate. This is still delivering a smooth blend of flavors with no end-of-cigar harshness. Wow!
MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 final

CONSTRUCTION/STRENGTH

Nice construction with the details of a pigtail head and open foot. Both cigars smoked had an excellent draw with just the right amount of resistance. Fair warning on the wrapper because it is fragile. Peel the cedar sleeve off gently or you will damage the wrapper.

The MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 starts out as a mid-range mild strength and quickly builds to a medium-strength, full-flavored cigar.

NOTABLE FLAVORS

  • Thyme
  • Coriander
  • Marjoram
  • Black Pepper to Red Pepper
  • Initial Oak to Charred Cedar
  • Milk Chocolate

CONCLUSION

The MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 is great from the pre-light draw right to the finish. Full of surprises, the open foot gave me the opportunity to experience just the filler and binder which was so mellow with oak, hay, and just smooth freshness. The wrapper immediately kicks in with a bang of additional flavor and intensity introducing black pepper, coriander, marjoram, milk chocolate and charred cedar.

The aged—really aged—tobaccos in the MBomay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 are nothing less than surprising. Being natural leaf that breaks down over time, I expected a big loss of flavors. Instead, the result is a mellow and smooth cigar with incredible flavors and development as the cigar is smoked. Why all the spices? I have never smoked a cigar before that threw my spice cabinet in my face. After the first lancero, I raided my spice cabinet to figure out what was going in with this cigar.

On the second smoke, the spice (thyme) started in, transitioned to another spice (coriander/cardamom), and culminated at the end of the first third with marjoram that held on throughout the smoke. This “spice bomb” is not about pepper but truly all about a blend of spices to create a unique cigar experience. Did the aging create this? The terroir from the regions where the tobaccos were grown? The incredible selection of leaf and blending? Probably all of these.

I looked at our rating system descriptions and realized that this cigar fit into the “Stellar” range, but I had to take a point off for the wrapper that was easily cracked and torn. Maybe more humidor time will take care of this. Hey, nothing wrong with the top end of “Great”.

Excellent job Mel.

And just a note on lanceros. If you have not tried a lancero because you like bigger ring gauges, you are really missing out on the additional wrapper to filler/binder ratio flavor distinctions. Test it out on a cigar line that you like that offers a lancero and your preferred ring gauge. I guarantee you are going to be pleasantly surprised.

Cigars Smoked for review: 2

Cigar Smoke Rateing:  95

Size:           8 1/2 x 38 Lancero

Strength:    Medium

Wrapper:    Ecuadorian DesFlorado Connecticut
Binder:       Dominican
Filler:         Dominican & Peru
Country of Origin:   Costa Rica

MSRP:         $13.50, box of 25 for $337.50

Recommendation:  Buy a Box!

One Response to “Cigar Review: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973”

  • Bob Langmaid:

    Sounds like another hit for MBombay!! I haven’t had this one yet, but I haven’t smoked an MBombay I wasn’t thrilled with so…

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