Size: Gran Toro Blend: Brazilian, Dominican
Balmoral Cigars is said to be the last independent cigar company in the Netherlands. I wasn’t aware of this before reviewing this cigar, but historically the Netherlands were once a popular country for premium cigar distribution. When I think of Dutch Masters, however, I don’t usually associate them with fine tobacco products. Netherland exports have not been extraordinary of late. It turns out there is at least one exception to that rule, and that comes in the form of the Anejo XO.
Just this cigar’s smell alone is so rich and unique, it reminds me of fall potpourri. I can smell hints of sweet spice and cedar. When taking the first puff, I taste leather in addition to everything in the initial fragrance. The first half introduces all kinds of interesting notes to the palate. I detect plum, pepper, molasses and jasmine, to name a few.
The second half of this smoke gets both stronger and smoother, simultaneously. Towards the end of the cigar I even notice caramel and nutmeg flavors. The Anejo XO certainly has many flavor notes that are not very common in most cigars. That being said, this is definitely on my list of top ten favorite smokes. After sampling so many different cigars, I find that it’s the unique and the complex ones that really grab my attention.
This cigar is priced in the mid level range at $13 to $16 a stick. If you are looking to smoke something different, I highly recommend this Dutch masterpiece.