Team Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro

No comments

Cigar Details: Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Binder: Brazil
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Brazil
  • Factory: Royal Agio
  • Blender: Francisco Batista
  • Price: $10.50
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Source: Balmoral

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro is a marbled medium brown and has a couple of decently raised veins running the length of the cigar. The seams are smooth and fairly hard to detect while the head is finished with a triple cap where the top cap is slightly lifting in a couple of spots. The cigar has the customary double bands for the line with a burgundy and gold color combination for this iteration. The metallic burgundy rings go really nice with the hue of the wrapper. The aroma from the wrapper is a hay forward barnyard while the foot brings wood and mellow gingerbread. The pre-light draw is a unique combination of sourdough and baking spice with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro is finished with a gorgeous Nicaraguan Habano wrapper and sports small veins that are present throughout. It has a lovely milk chocolate coloring and there is some slight tooth present as well. It has a soft gritty texture on the wrapper and is firm throughout. The aromas on the cigar are of hay, earth, raisins, manure and grass, and it is a lovely pre-light experience.

Pre-light Experience

The Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro is double banded. The primary band has a metallic ruby and gold appearance. The secondary band is a foot band indicating ‘Anejo XO Gran Toro’. The UPC is designed on the cellophane to remain intact once the cello has been opened. Measuring the cigar with calipers shows 51.5 RG on the band and 51 RG by the foot. Nosing the wrapper, I picked up aromas of sweet bread and cedar. In the foot, there is mild, sweet raisin.

First Third

The cigar begins with heavily charred wood and light baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the char begins to mellow slightly. At a half inch in, the char mellows some more as the wood becomes more defined as oak. Some dry earthiness joins in and the baking spice is quite faint now. The retrohale is slightly charred oak and light mustiness. At an inch and a half, the slightly charred oak and dry earth are quite intertwined. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third begins with a cornucopia of flavors and I am picking up some soft sweet spices, aged tobacco, cedar, leather, nuts and some herbal and citrus qualities on the finish. It has a strength level around medium, body between medium and medium-full and a flavor profile between medium and medium-full as well.

First Third

The first third begins with flavors of cedar and delayed spices. Those flavors are significantly intensified through the retrohale with lingering pepper hitting the back of my throat. As the cigar settles in, cedar and spices take over the middle of the profile at medium plus. As the cigar progresses, citrus and bread come through on the retrohale as cedar recedes. The baking spices have settled into light strength by this point, with some caramel coming through on the retrohale. Mild chocolate joins the retrohale shortly after. In the bottom half of the first third, some astringency joins the post draw.

Second Third

The second third continues on with the combination of slightly charred oak and dry earth. At a quarter inch in, the slightly charred oak gains a light toasted note. At a half inch in, the dry earth is slightly behind the charred and toasted oak. The retrohale is toasted oak and dry earth. As the third comes to a close, the char dramatically increases and brings a slight bitterness with it. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and finding some nice transitioning from the first third. I am picking up some coffee and cream notes, and with is some soft peppery spice. There are the citrus, herbal and wood qualities as well, and the finish is a soft cocoa quality. The cigar has come down a little bit in this third as well and I am finding it to be at a solid medium level for strength, body and flavors.

Second Third

Sweetness comes through on the retrohale, and moments later fresh cedar and hints of citrus. Tannic cedar takes up the middle of the flavor profile as it settles in. Some toasted earth joins in the bottom half of the cigar, dominating the middle.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the char has eased back a bit and the bitterness has left as the toasted and charred oak is slightly ahead of the dry earth. At three quarters of an inch in, the toasted note is no longer present. The retrohale is slightly charred oak and mustiness. At an inch in, the dry earth is replaced by mustiness which is slightly behind the charred oak. At an inch and a quarter, the char picks up again. The cigar finishes up with the charred oak and mustiness. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

The final third shows some additional transitioning from the second third and I am getting notes of sweet spice, cream, coffee and nuts. The finish has that soft citrus quality and it is almost lemony with some cream aspects. Very tasty. Like the second third, the cigar is medium in strength, body and flavors.

Final Third

Cedar carries into the last third through the retrohale, with tannic lingering cedar on the post draw. Those post draw tannins step up quickly to medium strength. Bitterness defines the center of the profile. As the cigar settles in, an acrid nature joins and grows to medium strength.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy throughout but never needed any attention. The ash held on through each third.

Burn

The burn on the cigar was very good from start to finish. No complaints on my end.

Burn

The burn is slightly off through the first third. That offside burn continues into the second third eventually requiring a touch-up. The burn requires another touch-up before the second third is complete. No issues through the last third.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with heavily charred wood and baking spice. The char quickly mellowed as the wood became more defined as oak. Some dry earth joined in as the baking spice faded away. The charred wood gained a toasted note as that profile and the dry earth maintained itself through most of the cigar until the final third when mustiness replaced the dry earth. Construction was great and strength was above medium the whole way. The flavor profile of the Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro was pretty linear and became a bit boring as it progressed. I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the Anejo XO line and this offering kept up that result. The cigar doesn’t do anything wrong and I could see lots of people enjoying it, but I’m looking for a bit more and don’t see myself returning to this all that frequently with what else is available on the market.

Draw

Like the burn, the draw was very good as well and while it was looser than I prefer, it presented no problems whatsoever.

Overall

Overall, this is a great release and an exciting one for the Balmoral Anejo XO brand and Royal Agio overall. The Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro is a complex blend that showed transitioning from start to finish and more importantly, balanced. Royal Agio is up there with La Aurora and Drew Estate in being a company that knows how to make great multi-national blends. The use of Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican tobacco was fantastic and they all played off of one another wonderfully. The construction was terrific and the strength and body on the cigar made it appealing to all levels of smokers. Would highly recommend this cigar to any smoker out there. A lovely blend that can be enjoyed any time of day.

Draw

The draw has some resistance to it, roughly 2 to 2-1/2 notches. Smoke production is still good through the smoking experience.

Overall

The Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro has a promising start with flavors of cedar, spices, pepper, citrus, bread, caramel and some chocolate. That complexity is absent from the second third, and the cigar becomes unbalanced in the last third with some tannins, bitterness and an acrid component. Overall, I found the smoking experience to be average. Total smoking time is 2 hours and 2 minutes.

Aaron
Seth
John
Very GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdGoodSecond ThirdAverage
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Subpar
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnGood
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawGood
AverageOverallVery GoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$1.91

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

7.63

Cost/Point

$1.38

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.25

Cost/Point

$2.00

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Balmoral Anejo XO Nicaragua Gran Toro

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *