Cigar Review: Balmoral Royal Selection Añejo 18 Torpedo MK52

Cigar Review: Balmoral Royal Selection Añejo 18 Torpedo MK52

Royal Agio Cigar Company / Drew Estate Cigars
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazil (aged 18 years)
Binder: Dominican Republic (Oro)
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & Brazil
Size: 6 1/4″ x 52
Strength: medium bodied
Price: $13.50

Overall Rating: 8.8

With tomorrow’s Scottish independence vote (see my On a Side Note section) this seemed like the perfect time to review the Balmoral Royal Selection Añejo 18 (named for the royal family’s Scottish estate) The Balmoral Royal Selection Añejo 18 is a release from Dutch company Royal Agio Cigars (and distributed by Drew Estate in the U.S.). Although the company is not well known in the United States, Royal Ajio Cigars was founded in 1904 and claims to be the fourth largest cigar company in the world. The Royal Selection Añejo 18 has an eighteen year old Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper that gives it a nice aged sweetness.

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Pre-Light: The Balmore Royal Añejo 18 Torpedo is a has a beautiful dark Brazilian wrapper that makes the cream and blue band really stand out. A shield like shape and large letter ‘B’ gives the Balmore a slightly regal look to it. The band is on glued together pretty tight so it’s a little hard to pull it off in one piece.

An interesting mix of barnyard, campfire and leather scents come from the cigar’s wrapper. There is a chocolatey aroma from the unlit foot of the Balmoral Royal Selection. The cold draw is very easy and allows through a sweet natural tobacco and honey flavor.

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Burn: The draw on the Balmoral Añejo 18 is superb from start to finish. For the most part the burn on the Balmoral is even, but it’s a little jagged looking around the edges. The ash falls off the cigar fairly easily, so watch your clothing.

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Flavor: The Balmoral begins with a mixture of sweet wood and earth flavors. There is a hint of chocolate flavor to the cigar. Throughout the first third Balmoral is a surprisingly mild cigar. Entering the second third the chocolate really begins to develop. Hints of leather, earth, caramel, cedar and cinnamon. On the retrohale there is a good deal of cinnamon and powdered cocoa. There is a great sweetness to the Balmoral that was unexpected. In the final third there is a mix of sweet chocolate, earth, cedar, hazelnut and leather. In the final few inches of the Balmoral Añejo 18 some mild black pepper becomes noticeable.

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Overall: As a Scottish guy I just had to try the Balmoral as it is named for the Royal Family’s residence in Scotland. The Anjeo is a mild cigar with a pronounced sweetness from the 18 year old Brazilian wrapper. Flavors of chocolate, earth, cinnamon, hazelnut and caramel blend together in a very pleasing way. Personally, I found the Balmoral Royal Selection Añejo 18 a very good cigar that is certain to find a spot in my humidor. Because it’s mild-medium body this cigar is good stepping stone for the mild smoker looking to move up to slightly stronger more full flavored cigars.

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Pairing: The Balmoral pairs very well with a Brandy of Camus Cognac. For the scotch drinker the Balvenie 17 DoubleWood, Royal Lochnagar Distiller’s Edition, Glenfarclas 25 and Glenfarclas 105 will all pair nicely with the Balmoral. Personally, I enjoy a dram of Tobermory with the Balmoral Añejo 18. A cup of coffee or cappuccino will pair nicely with the Añejo 18.

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On a side note: This seemed like the perfect time to review the Balmoral as the Scottish Independence vote happens this week. After 300+ years as part of the United Kingdom, Scottish citizens will head to the polls tomorrow to vote on is they should remain part of the union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since this year is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, it seems that there is a lot of nationalistic pride right now in Scotland. There are a lot of unanswered questions about independence like what currency will be used, who will get the rights to oil of the Scottish coast, will the US navel base will be allowed to remain. After two years of following this debate I’m still not sure if it’s a good idea, but I’ll support my Scottish relatives in whatever they decide. Virtue Mine Honor!

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)