Well what's to be said about the Balmoral Anejo XO line of cigars. They are sensational smokes with a touch of class. From the time you find them on the humidor shelf with the gray and gold band and the exquisite golden "B" you get the feeling this cigar was designed with Bentley Motors in mind. It also dawns the the complimentary gray and gold foot band and the Colorado roasado wrapper with minimal veins. The feel of the Balmoral is spongy with a nice bounce back, also slightly toothy which shows tremendous aging potential.
This cigar is rolled in the Dominican Republic and uses an 18 year aged Brazilian Arapiraca maduro wrapper grown in the Aripiraca municipality also known as "tobacco capital of Brazil". *This wrapper is also used in other comparable cigars such as La Aurora Preferido Maduros, Alec Bradley’s Trilogy Maduros, and Charlie Toraño’s 1959 Exodus 50 Years. The Balmoral is also blended with a Dominican Olor binder, and a filler composed of Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero and Brazilian Bahia.
This torpedo is a 6.25 x 52 ring guage with an MSRP of $12.75. The Balmoral line is produced by Agio Cigars; a Dutch family owned company based in Holland that dates back to 1904, and is the 4th largest cigar manufacturing company in the world. The Balmoral Anejo is one of the company's highest premium cigars they produce, and based on the quality of the tobacco I can understand why. Not many people know about Balmoral because it's a limited production release. They only produce 500 boxes of 20 each year so if you find one in your local B&M, grab them while you can.
I cut the triple cap on this torpedo, and before you even light the predraw gives you chocolate, leather, earth, and citrus notes. It closely reminds me of the Davidoff Escurio Robusto I had last year. The draw is near perfect and the burn is consistent with no relight issues. Cigars of this caliber are a friendly reminder of what happens when you take the time to work with a blend and not rush through it.
The second third of this medium-bodied smoke transitions to something a little more complex then the typical citrus and earth notes. The Balmoral brings to the front of your palette a Vodka Martini with two olives and notes of ginger, clover, and spices working perfect harmony. The smoke is creamy and mouth watering which debunks the age old theory that only the best tobacco comes from Cuba. Clearly Brazil has a counter argument for bringing premium tobacco to the forefront of cigars. The Balmoral has a medium to long finish and it continues to burn at a steady pace where your draws are almost not required. The spices and Martini notes exchange places throughout the second third and it's a treat to experience each one.
As we settle into the last third you come to realize that you have enjoyed something magical and special. It finishes it's ensemble with flavors of tobacco, brown sugar and caramel. I could go on and on on the quality of this smoke, however my opinion is not the only one that counts. If you have smoked a Balmoral Anejo cigar and had a different experience share it on our website, twitter, or Facebook account.