Cigar Details: Balmoral Serie Signaturas Dueto Gran Toro
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua and Brazil
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
- Blender: Ernesto Perez Carrillo
- Price: $10.50
- Release Date: September 2018
- Source: Royal Agio
The wrapper is medium brown and looks a bit rustic as there are some darker splotches. There are a few slightly raised veins present and the seams are visible in some places due to the vein placement. The head is finished off with a very well applied triple cap and the cigar has a bit of an oval press to it. There are two bands, the first being white, gold, red and black and carrying the company and line name on it. The foot band is of the same design and is about an inch and a half tall and carries the same color combination. The band denotes the blender as well as the vitola. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and stone fruit sweetness while the foot brings more stone fruit sweetness along with some hay. The pre-light draw consists of wood and black tea.
The Balmoral Serie Signaturas Dueto Gran Toro is well rolled and finished with a lovely triple cap. The wrapper is a nice Colorado color and has noticeable veins, small to medium in size. The texture is silky with a little bit of grit and it is showing no oils. It is fairly firm throughout, slight give here and there, and it is giving off an aroma of soft, musty wood and leather on the wrapper. The aroma on the foot is slightly similar with some soft spices and rich earth as well.
The cigar begins with a pretty full mixture of wood, cream and black pepper. At a quarter inch in, the black pepper eases up a bit creating a slightly smoother profile with the creamy wood. At an inch in, the black pepper has faded quite a bit into the background as the wood has become more defined as oak and the cream is at an equal level with it. The retrohale is very similar but shows a little more black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the profile remains with a very full creamy oak and the black pepper in the background also has a creaminess to it. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.
The first third opens up by showing a nice sweet spice and rich earth combo. I am picking up some soft peppery notes and it has some cinnamon with that. There are touches of dried wood and it has a nice dark, rich earth flavor profile following that. There is a soft floral quality on the finish and it is quite enjoyable. I would classify the strength and body as medium-full and it is complex and full flavored.
As the second third begins, the cream takes a slight lead over the oak while a slight sour note is present in the background. The sour note isn’t off-putting but rather a complimentary note. At a half inch in, the cream has reduced a bit letting the oak come to the front again. Some earthiness has joined the profile while the sour note has gone away. There is still a slight creamy black pepper in the background and on the finish. The retrohale is full of oak with a slight cream in the background. As the third comes to a close, the oak, earthiness and cream are all at equal levels and the profile is slightly drying. The strength in this third remained at slightly below medium.
When I get into the second third, I find the flavor profile to be fairly similar to that of the first. It has lost some of that rich earth sweetness, but it is still delivering a sweet spice profile with a focus on pepper and cinnamon. There are some leather notes still present, dry wood as well, and it has a nutty and creamy finish. It is still smoking at that medium-full level for strength and body, and the flavors are right there as well.
As the final third begins, the dryness of the profile is becoming more apparent. The oak and earth are overpowering the cream for dominance. At three quarters of an inch in, the profile has remained the same with the oak and earth up front and the cream in the background. The retrohale is very much the same. The profile remains consistent until the cigar comes to an end. The strength in this third remained at slightly below medium.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is showing some more transitioning. I am getting some coffee bean notes that are paired with a warm spice, leather and some wood qualities. It has some nutty flavors as well and it is a pleasant finish. I would say the cigar has come down to a solid medium level in strength and body, and the flavors are just great.
The burn was straight the entire way and the ash held on in inch and a half increments.
The construction was great on the cigar. The burn line was never razor sharp nor perfectly even, but it smoked consistently from start to finish while producing a lovely charcoal colored ash on the end. It started off a little uneven, but as the cigar progressed it just got better.
The draw was slightly looser than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
The flavor profile was centered around oak, cream and black pepper through the first half and then the black pepper was replaced by earthiness in the second half. The profile did become a bit dry once the earth entered. Strength was slightly below medium the entire way and the construction was great. This is a nice collaboration for Balmoral and a cigar that I think would speak to many smokers. With the strength level, it would also be a good introduction for newer smokers to the brand. I would have no problem smoking more of these. For those that think Royal Agio is all about machine mades and haven’t tried any of their premium offerings yet, give this a try and see if it changes your mind.
The draw was fantastic throughout the cigar. Just perfect from start to finish. No problems whatsoever in my eyes.
I really enjoyed the Balmoral Serie Signaturas Dueto Gran Toro and it was great to see Royal Agio team up with E.P. Carrillo. It delivered qualities that you get with Ernie’s cigars, but also showed that Brazilian tobacco profile that you get with Royal Agio which I love. It is quite different from their other releases, but very enjoyable. It is a cigar that is complex from start to finish and it is showing transitioning in each third as well. It improves as the cigar progresses and that is what you want in a cigar. While this may not come across as a “special” or “rare” cigar, it is something different and fun, and is a cigar I would smoke quite frequently if possible. Definitely worth smoking.
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