Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#nowsmoking: Balmoral Paso Doble Gran Toro

#nowsmoking: Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble Gran Toro (6 1/4″ x 54)

#nowsmoking: Balmoral Paso Doble Cigar Review – Gran Toro

Factory: Tabacalera La Flor S.A.
Size: 6¼” x 54
Strength: Medium-Plus
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder & Filler: Vintage Dominican tobaccos from Royal Agio’s private stocks and Litto Gomez’s La Canela estate farm.

Where It’s At

Last summer, Royal Agio Cigars USA announced the introduction of their Paso Doble cigars selection at the PCA trade show. It was the company’s second collaboration cigar marketed under the Balmoral “Serie Signaturas” line. The first collaboration cigar, Dueto, was blended with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. For Paso Doble, Royal Agio CEO, Boris Wintermans, worked with La Flor Dominicana Cigars founder, Litto Gomez. According to the press release, the idea was to create a “one-of-a-kind cigar blend that intertwines each cigar makers’ most coveted tobaccos and blending signatures.”

#nowsmoking balmoral paso doble cigar review gran toro single cigar
#nowsmoking @famoussmokeshop: The Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble Gran Toro offers a medium-plus smoke with notes of cream, leather, cedar, and sweet spice throughout.

Made at Gomez’s Tabacalera La Flor S.A. factory in the Dominican Republic, the blend consists of vintage tobaccos from both Royal Agio’s inventory and Gomez’s La Canela estate farm. For the capa they used a flawless Habano wrapper grown in Ecuador.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Litto’s work,” said Wintermans. “Like me, he is obsessively passionate about pushing the boundaries of what can be discovered in premium cigar blending.”

“This is not something we normally do,” Gomez added. “In fact, we never do it, But for Boris I made an exception because we share the same simple philosophy – to be the best and do things the right way. The process behind Paso Doble has been an absolute pleasure, from concept, to design, to blending, Boris and his team have been phenomenal throughout and the result is a very special cigar that smokes just as beautifully as it looks!”

Made in regular, but limited production, and presented in boxes of 10, Balmoral Paso Doble is offered in three sizes:

Built like it could win a beauty pageant. The oily Habano wrapper is a real standout. Even in color throughout and blessed with a triple cap, the cigar also dons an elegantly designed band at the neck, and a band featuring the cigar’s name at the foot. At 6¼’ x 54, the cigar is well-packed and offers some nice weight in the hand. Once clipped, the draw was just right, revealing notes of leather and cedar for me, while Jenny picked-up leather and a slight note of cocoa in her sample.

Smooth as silk, revealing a very mellow and creamy opening. Well-defined flavors of leather, cedar, and a hint of sweetness came through in the first act. The chocolate in the pre-light didn’t show up for Jenny, but we agreed that the smoke was impressively smooth, uber-creamy, and mellow to medium in body. There was also little change to the body and strength by the midsection. Even the last act provided a mostly medium-plus smoke. The finish was medium length leaving flavors of leather and cedar on the palate and a light trace of sweet spice.

The burn was outstanding; even throughout, with a high volume of dense smoke, exposing very firm grey ashes. I was thinking, What a great cigar for a long ash contest. Retrohales were also very creamy with barely any pepper.

Light cream, leather, cedar, ground coffee, sweet spice.

Not especially. Although the Paso Doble Gran Toro revealed a small cadre of pleasant flavors, there were no dramatic changes in terms of an exchange of flavors, or new flavors being added to the mix. All said, this cigar hit the ground running and never swerved out of its lane.

Looks like Japanese Scotch whisky is catching on. Jenny, who normally enjoys tea with her cigars during the day, says Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the way to go. I agreed, but this cigar should also pair well with a fine Bourbon like Woodford Reserve over ice.

(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.)

Just about every cigar smoker. New cigar smokers for its creaminess, medium-ish strength, and well-defined flavors. Seasoned vets for its copious smoke, rich taste, and refinement. That said, if you’re expecting something closer to a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero, you’ll be disappointed.

Yes, for the Wintermans-Gomez blend alone. There’s something to be said for a cigar made with top-grade vintage tobaccos, and the wrapper is superb. A Gran Toro single sells for around $12 (at press time), but you’re getting a lot of cigar, too. If you’re looking for a relaxing premium cigar that you just simply want to savor, the Balmoral Serie Signaturas Paso Doble Gran Toro will get you there. I liken it to a long, comfortable ride in the back of a Rolls.


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