Team Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo

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Cigar Details: Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 55
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Olor
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Brazil
  • Factory: Royal Agio
  • Blender: Francisco Batista
  • Price: $9.75
  • Release Date: August 2018
  • Source: Royal Agio

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a light golden brown with a network of small, slightly raised veins present. The seams are extremely hard to detect and the head is finished off with a triple cap that has a slightly wrinkled top cap. There are two bands with the primary being the standard design for the line but in a blue, white and gold color combination. It also denotes Connecticut below the company logo. The foot band has the same color combination and denotes the line name and vitola. The aroma from the wrapper is a light hay while the foot brings a graham cracker note. The pre-light draw is a very light mixture of leather and hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Connecticut wrapper is not visually appealing. Has this faded color to it, and it is between Claro and Natural in coloring. There is some tooth present, but it is not overly toothy. There is an aroma of raisins, bran, spices,cedar and hay on the foot, and the wrapper is giving off this hay, tobacco, cedar and leather quality.

Pre-light Experience

The Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo has a primary band, along with a foot band. The primary band has gold and white lettering, with gold accents against blue and white. The foot band is gold lettering on blue with a white accent strip. The wrapper is quite clearly a Connecticut wrapper, and is very smooth and silky. Nosing the wrapper brings aromas of mild barnyard and aged wood with light leather buried underneath. In the foot, there is a light sweet hay and tobacco.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of light wood, sweet hay and black pepper. At a quarter inch in, a fair amount of mustiness joins in as the black pepper increases and really creates a full bodied profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the draws start with wood and hay, then a wave of mustiness and black pepper take over and the pepper has a long, lingering finish. The retrohale is black pepper forward with some wood and mustiness behind it. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper and mustiness ease up a bit, but are still the dominant flavors in the profile over the wood and hay. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third has a solid beginning and it is delivering a creamy and strong cedar profile. There are some soft pepper notes present as well, and it has a faint mocha quality on the finish. Overall, the first third is smoking at a medium level in terms of body and strength and has great construction.

First Third

The first third begins with sweet cream, and faint woody notes. On the retrohale, immediate medium to medium plus strength pepper. That pepper carries into the post draw and lingers, bringing dry cedar with it. Once the first third has settled in, that pepper recedes to light plus and some faint espresso begins to rise about the creamy sweetness. Moments later, some mild post draw chocolate develops.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood gains some char as the hay and mustiness are right behind it. The black pepper has now moved to the background. At a half inch in, the char has dropped from the wood and the wood and hay are at equal levels with the mustiness now faint in the background. There is also a slight nuttiness present. At an inch in, the profile is now wood and hay with some mustiness in the background. The retrohale carries the same profile. As the third comes to a close, the mustiness has taken the lead with the wood and hay right behind it. The strength in this third dropped down to slightly below medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third of the cigar, I start picking up some soft earth and almond qualities. With that are some cedar, cream and soft pepper notes, and it is an enjoyable second third. I would say the cigar is still smoking at a medium level for strength and body and the construction is still right there as well.

Second Third

There are no major flavor changes transitioning from the first to second thirds. The pepper continues to recede, fading down to a background note several minutes into the second third. The sweet creaminess drops in intensity as well, falling to light levels. The mild chocolate on the post draw largely defines the post draw for the entire second third.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the wood, hay and mustiness are all at equal levels. At three quarters of an inch in, the cigar warms up a bit bringing a bit of toast to the wood. The retrohale is providing the same profile of toasted wood, hay and mustiness. The cigar finished out with the same profile. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Final Third

The final third has a nice finish and it is showing that creamy and cedar flavor profile. There are some black pepper notes present and they are pairing with the grass, hay and almond qualities. It is remaining at that medium level for body and strength, and the finish is smooth and cool. Construction remains dead on as well.

Final Third

The last third has some bitterness during the transition. That bitterness fades, and gives way to grass and hay. That classic Connecticut flavor profile continues for the remainder of the third.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy at times but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

From start to finish the cigar produced a solid burn line and with that an ash that held on firmly. It has a nice light charcoal gray coloring, and there was a nice contrast between the ash and cigar.

Burn

The cigar burned very straight for the entire smoking experience, with no touch-ups required. The ash held on up to 2 inches and did not want to knock off.

Draw

The draw was fairly loose and I had to temper my draws early on to try not to heat up the cigar. The pack of the filler seemed a bit light.

Overall

The cigar began with wood, mustiness and black pepper. As it progressed, the profile settled in with wood, hay and mustiness the rest of the way. Other than a loose draw, construction was pretty good. The strength started on the higher side of medium and then settled in below medium. The first third was a bit out of balance in regards to the flavors and strength was higher than anticipated. From the second third on, it moved to a traditional Connecticut shade flavor profile and strength. Not sure if the first third will mellow out with time, but even if it did, this is just an average traditional Connecticut shade cigar and I’m not sure it is something that I would return to.

Draw

The draw was very good on the cigar and it had a perfect level of resistance. It wasn’t too snug, but added a nice bit of restriction which helped in the flavor profile popping and the cigar smoking slower.

Overall

I have been a fan of a lot of the Royal Agio and Balmoral offerings, but this was a disappointing release when looking at recent new releases. I felt this would be a superior Connecticut offering to the San Pedro de Macoris Ecuador, but that is not the case. I felt the cigar lacked complexity and depth, and while there was some transitioning, the cigar did not deliver what I hoped it would. The appearance as well was sub-par, which was shocking. Of the Balmoral offerings, I would steer to the other choices and if you are looking for an Ecuadorian Connecticut offering from the company, go with the San Pedro de Macoris Ecuador.

Draw

Using my standard v-cut, the draw was in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

The Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo was an enjoyable smoking experience. The profile is not what I would define as a ‘classic Connecticut’ smoking experience. Notes of pepper, chocolate and espresso elevate the wood, hay and grass. The cigar does fall into the familiar Connecticut profile in the last third, which I rated to be average. I found the draw and construction to be impeccable. At a $9.75 price point this might be a tough sell for people who typically smoke garden variety Connecticut Shade cigars.

Aaron
Seth
John
GoodPre
Light
SubparPre
Light
Very Good
SubparFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdAverageSecond ThirdGood
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnGoodBurnAmazing
GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.00

Cost/Point

$1.95

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$1.70

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$1.43

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Connecticut Rothschild Masivo

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