The Balmoral Brand is yet another one that is new to the Hot Ticket team, as well as a brand that is relatively new to the industry. The Añejo XO Oscuro hit the market in the summer of 2018 and we were excited to give it a go.
Known for machine made short filler style cigarillos, Balmoral parent company Royal Agio did it right with this cigar. The cigar is beautifully constructed, and oh so wonderfully symmetrical, so if you are like us, it will please your OCD. We did find it odd that this cigar is designated an Oscuro as presents a few shades lighter than expected. The only issue noticed was one small wrapper tear on one of the samples smoked, which we are happy to report didn’t affect the smoking experience at all.
Speaking of smoking experience… Both had challenges with some uneven burning but it’s always nice to have a sense of redemption as they both corrected themselves. One sample smoked was a bit tight off the get go but sucking that golf ball through a garden hose quickly turned into the ease of milk through a sippy cup.
We loved all of the different types of Tobaccos used in this cigar, we just aren’t sold on the way the individual flavors married together. There is a harsh bitterness from the get go which certainly took the place of what we usually get in terms of spice. Typically this change up would be pleasing for us, however it was too sharp and overly pronounced. The cigar did mellow out quickly and gave us a constant volley of bitter and sweet, bitter and sweet all the way to the end, which we enjoyable but a bit monotonous after a while.
$10.50 will be the average price paid, which we feel is tethering the line of out of bounds, but it’s so beautifully made that if you do get a great burn, and you appreciate the flavors that we perhaps thought were a bit disconnected, it will certainly be worth the price paid.
Hot Ticket Score
You can get your hands on this cigar for just around $8.00 which makes it a pretty damn good deal. There isn’t anything challenging about this cigar, so in terms of recommendation, but really feel there are some out there that may find this cigar to not be in their wheelhouse. If you do grab one, do yourself a favor… Drink it in the morning with a good cup of coffee. You won't regret it.
Royal Agio Cigars is a leading global manufacturer of premium cigars offering internationally renowned brands such as Balmoral, San Pedro de Macorís, Panter and Mehari ́s. Established by Jacques Wintermans in 1904 and currently headed by Boris Wintermans (4th generation), Royal Agio Cigars continues to be an independent family company of craft cigar makers with headquarters located in Duizel, Holland. During the company’s 100-year anniversary, Agio Cigars was awarded the Royal warrant of appointment by Her Majesty, Queen of the Netherlands, formally changing the company name to Royal Agio Cigars. Today, Royal Agio cigars are distributed to more than 100 countries globally, with production facilities located in the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sri Lanka.