Balmoral Añejo XO Gordo. In 2014, Royal Agio launched the Balmoral Añejo XO series. It was the follow up for the every successful Balmoral Añejo 18 release. The latter had an 18-year-old Brazilian wrapper. But when Royal Agio ran out of that wrapper, they created the Balmoral Añejo XO, still with aged tobacco but in larger supply. And the line was a success from the start. Worldwide, and it put the Balmoral brand on the map in the United States.
Today, there are 4 different Balmoral Añejo lines. The Añejo XO, the Añejo XO Connecticut, Oscuro, and Nicaragua. But the Balmoral Añejo XO Gordo was used as an event-only cigar in several countries. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Royal Agio decided to release the cigar to all retailers last month. With so many people working from home, and more time on their hands, they could enjoy this Gordo without having to go to events. Events that are prohibited in most countries anyway during the pandemic.
The cigar is impressive. Big, thick, and aggressively looking. Brazilian Arapiraca tobacco isn’t the smoothest looking tobacco in the world. It’s rough and tough-looking with veins. It’s the Danny Trejo under the tobaccos. The ring makes up for it though. contemporary design. Gray, off white and gold. Stylish. The foot ring is in the same style. The cigar feels well constructed, evenly spongy all over. The aroma is peppery with dark chocolate.
The cold draw is very easy. The cigar has a dry tobacco flavor. After lighting there’s an immediate flavor explosion. Coffee, pepper, and sweetness. Slowly a mild spice shows up, herbal almost, with some leather. The herbal flavor starts to dominate and is supported by charred wood and earthiness. Some salt shows up as well, and the mouthfeel is mild creamy. After a third, there’s pepper, wood, grass, and some spices. The sweetness then reappears with more spices, wood, leather, and pepper. The wood flavor is a bit charred, like barbecue.
The draw is open, light, easy. Too open. There is a lot of smoke, white but it’s a little thin though. The burn has to be corrected several times as well. The cigar is smooth and mellow. Due to the wrapper filler ratio, the cigar lacks a bit of character. It is milder than the smaller sizes of the same blend. The cigar is medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is three hours and thirty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? The blend yes, the size no!