According to the Balmoral Cigars website, “Balmoral is the creation of Royal Agio’s 4th generation CEO, Boris Wintermans, who embodies the philosophy that relentless, passionate curiosity is essential to discovering and enjoying the best experiences in life. This non-hindering philosophy has driven him to freely explore the globe in search of the highest-quality, select, exclusive tobaccos that will ultimately combine to deliver a cigar experience unlike any other. The resulting portfolio of Balmoral cigar blends, hand-crafted in their boutique factory in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, are a testament to the discovery of these distinct blend combinations of only the best premium tobaccos that deliver the optimal balance of sophisticated complexity and smoothness.”
It was part of our Contender’s Pack for Cigar of the Year and while it did not win the prestigious award it should not be overlooked.
Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade (USA)
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Olor, Pennsylvania 41 and Exclusive, Stalk-Cut Brazilian Mata Norte
Ring Gauge: 55
Size: Rothschild Massivo
The Look: Packaged in 20 count boxes, one thing stands out when you flip open the box. Inside the lid everything you need to know about the cigar is listed. It’s all laid out like a review. The wrapper, binder, filler, length, ring gauge and size. The label goes one step further as it tells you who the buncher was as well as the roller and supervisor. It’s an amazing little detail that I am surprised more companies don’t use. The cigar itself features a blonde USA Connecticut wrapper with some ultra-thin veins present. There is a dual band, with the primary band utilizeing colors of blue, gold and white. There is a B logo in a shield, the name Balmoral and the words exceptionally old on the side. The secondary foot band denotes Anejo XO and the size which in this case is “Rothschild Massivo”. In the hand the cigar is hefty and firm wit a well packed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Massivo has a very distinct taste to it, that is very much Balmoral. There is a subtle ginger note with touches of wheat and oak with the aroma off the foot has a subtle caramel and pepper to it. After we carefully toast the foot paying extra attention to keep the lighter at the proper distance so as not to ignite too much of the wrapper there is a subtle vanilla component to start things off.
As we move on to the first third of the cigar there are subtle notes of wheat and earth with a bit of vanilla and a touch of almonds. The retrohale of the cigar offers up a note that reminds me of saltines before being overcome by a lingering pepper that tingles the nostrils.
In the second third a toasted caramel note begins to emerge that takes control as the primary focal point by the time the cigar reaches its half way point. In the background there are notes of wood (pine), cinnamon and almonds. There is no doubting the complexity of this cigar which is medium in perceived strength. The retrohale offers up some more pepper notes than the first third along with a subtle vanilla note that is almost lost in the spice.
The final third sees notes of earth and leather take over and become dominant as some hints of caramel, almonds and vanilla hold on in the background. The retrohale of the cigar has a subtle sweetness with a lot of pepper that lingers ever so slightly on the finish.
The Finish: I don’t want to preach so forgive me if it comes off as doing such. I know a lot of people who were like me until maybe 6-9 months ago. People who look at a Connecticut and keep walking looking for something dark. But lately, I’ve stopped at those Connecticut’s. To sound like a broken record, today’s Connecticut cigars are not your Grandfather’s Connecticut cigars. Most of them have some strength to them while being extremely balanced and loaded with flavors. That is the case with the Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut. These are another great representation of the wrapper and are box worthy.
Price: $10.39 / $183.99