A little over a week ago I received a package from Drew Estate, the distributors of Balmoral in the USA. Included in the package were samples of Panther and Mehari cigarillos and a USB drive of images. While there website isn’t exactly good for information if does have a pretty awesome feel of the old PC game, 7th guest.
Balmoral was founded in 1895, and led by a renowned Dutch cigar manufacturer, the brand developed into one of the best-known cigar brands. With both the shortfillers and the handmade longfillers in the Dominican Republic, Balmoral brings an extensive range of high quality cigars onto the market. For a broad audience of connoisseurs and fans.
Cigar: Balmoral Anejo 18
Size: 5 x 55 (Rothschild Massivo)
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Dominican (Olor)
Filler: Dominican (Olar/Ligero), Nicaragua (Ligero), Brazil (Bahia)
The Look: The wrapper is lighter in color around a few of the larger veins of the Balmoral Anejo 18. It has a dark chocolate like appearance for the most part with a flat cap . The band of the cigar reminds me of a Bentley, perhaps because it features a B inside a shield. The stick has a dual band with the name brand on the primary, and the foot band denote the line and size. The foot of the cigar is slightly spongy, and there are a few soft spots around the shaft (did I really just type that?).
The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar reveals a lot going on. There are notes of figs, and raisins with the slightest hint of molasses. The foot of the cigar gives off some light pepper notes and an abundance of molasses.
Upon first light notes of cedar quickly jump to the front of the cigar with some caramel like sweetness that forms pretty quickly. As we work into the heart of the first third the cigar there is there is that distinct Anejo taste that takes charge and in the background there are notes of leather, nuts and caramel.
The start of the second third of the cigar with the ash still intact, the notes associated with Anejo begin to move to the background and the cedar notes become dominant, and a taste that reminds me of the aroma of a Christmas tree, kind of like evergreen. It;s a very distinct flavor I have not experienced in a cigar before. On the finish there is a hint of caramel like sweetness as well. At the half way point when the ash dropped, he focal point became the Anejo like notes.
The last third of the Balmoral Anejo 18, as the ash grows the distinct Anejo taste begins to fade into the background once again and the notes of wintergreen, caramel and nuttiness bring the cigar to a close.
The Burn: The Balmoral Anejo 18 featured a razor-sharp burn line with an exceptionally strong ash that held for half the cigar. Medium to dark gray in color it had no flake and when on the cigar it definitely heightened the notes of the smoke. The draw offered just enough resistance to keep it burning slow.
The Finish: When you say Anejo, I think we all think of a certain cigar on the market. The Balmoral Anejo 18 puts a modern spin on things, with a very distinct flavor profile and an exquisite burn. The finish was a little longer then I would like, as the cigar stood with me for sometime, and I would love to pair this cigar with a fine Tequila the next time I smoke it.