Balmoral Royal Maduro Panatela (Quick Smoke Series)

Balmoral Royal Maduro Panatela

Balmoral CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Panatela
Size : 139mm (5 1/2 inches) x 37 (14.68mm)
Wrapper : Brazilian Arapiraca
Filler : Brazilian & Dominican
Binder : Dominican Olor
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6.5 EUR / 7.5 USD

Today we are publishing a guest quick smoke review from our long-time reader, Beneluxor! Enjoy.

Dutch company Balmoral dates back to the 1890s, and is distinctive in Europe for having both very popular ranges of short-filler machine-made slightly upscale cigars - like their 'Sumatra' line using Indonesian Java - Sumatra, Brazilian & Havana Remedios tobaccos - but also 5 lines of hand-rolled premium cigars, including this Royal Selection Maduro, which has quite won me over as a great favourite, one of the most satisfying maduro cigars out there.

A long-filler cigar hand-rolled in the Dominican Republic (Balmoral is part of Agio now), the wrapper is sweet dark Arapiraca from Brazil, the binder Dominican Olor, and the filler from both Brazil & the Dominican Republic.

The Balmoral Royal Maduro Panatela here is a unique elegant vitola, 37 ring rauge (14.68mm), and 139mm (5 1/2 inches) long. A great virtue of slender cigars is that the flavour impact of the wrapper can be heightened dramatically, as happens in smoking these lovely sticks.

It's an exciting cigar, rewarding with wonderful explosions of flavours suggesting dark chocolate & espresso, rich but not over-strong, and tends to be very tasty well into the final third. It draws easily and makes nice ash. The amount of flavour burst can vary during the smoke and cigar-to-cigar, but generally stays in the upper end of flavour richness for maduros. The Balmoral Royal is for me, the top maduro value.

A singularly stylish & good-looking cigar too with the wrapper, the well-balanced sizing & the striking green cigar band, it's not too pricey (around € 6,50 in my neighbourhood). With tobacco from their former Indonesian realms, the Dutch became great masters of the cigar business, and with this stick it's clear that they still organise the making of great cigars today.

Thumbs Up!

Alec Bradley Sanctum Robusto

Alec Bradley Sanctum Robusto

Origin : HondurasAlec Bradley
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 52
Wrapper : Honduran Corojo
Filler : Columbian, Nicaraguan and Honduran
Binder : Costa Rican
Hand-Made
Price : ~$7 each
More info about purchasing Alec Bradley Sanctum cigars...

The Alec Bradley Sanctum uses tobacco from four different countries to deliver an experience which is fairly unique in the Alec Bradley catalogue. Whereas most cigars in the brand’s catalogue have an earthy flavor profile, this one is distinctly different. It was developed under the direct supervision of executive vice president Ralph Montero. The name “Sanctum” is meant to indicate that this is a cigar which is best enjoyed in solitude. An experience with Sanctum is a way of “getting away from it all.” Does it live up to its name? Let’s find out.

Read the full review of Alec Bradley Sanctum Robusto...

Whisky Review: Elements of Islay Peat

Elements of Islay Peat

If you are familiar with Elements of Islay, you can recognize their distinctive bottles and labels from a mile away. Elements is a series of single malt releases, each one produced by a different distillery in Islay. The bottles are made to look like those you might find in a chemistry lab. Each one has a symbol on the label which is presented like a chemical element, but it is actually a code for a specific distillery, for example “Lp” for Laphroaig.

This makes “Peat” an unusual entry into the series, since “Peat” is obviously not a specific distillery. Let’s see how this blended malt whisky measures up.

In the bottle, “Peat’ is very pale gold in color, one of the lightest whiskies I have tried. The label is the classic Elements of Islay design, with “Peat” written in the same clear font as the “chemical symbols” denoting the distilleries of the other whiskies in the line. It’s a very eye-catching design, and one I really love.

Opening the bottle, I smell exactly what I expect: peat, and lots of it. There is also a clean citrus note, very bright. I pick up something flowery and sweet and a hint of hay and smoke or ash. The sweet smell on closer examination seems like it is probably vanilla. All in all, more complexity than I expected from something simply named “Peat.”

The flavor is again is exactly what you would expect given the name and the scents. You get a strong wave of peat, coupled with some hay and pepper notes (the pepper caught me a bit off guard; I picked it up on the nose, but it was hotter than I thought it would be). The pepper is woven into a medley of cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. The clean, bright citrus note is distinctively present, and the finish is very peaty. Only now do I pick up the vanilla along with that ash or smoke flavor. The peat is definitely in the “medicinal” flavor area.

You can pick up a bottle of Elements of Islay “Peat” for around 35 GBP. That is a reasonable price for a solid whisky. Peat is something which draws up strong reactions from whisky-drinkers; some love it, others detest it, and others still like some peat flavors but cannot stand others. If you like “medicinal” tasting peat, you will probably really like Elements of Islay “Peat.” While it is not the most complex whisky you will ever try, the citrus notes and spices save it from being overly simplistic.

Elements of Islay Peat : Review Summary

Color: Very pale gold, more like the color of straw.

Nose: Peat, peat, peat, citrus, flowers, vanilla, smoke, hay, ash.

Palate: Lots and lots of peat (medicinal), hay, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, citrus, vanilla, smoke, ash.

Amazon Contest Winner

Amazon

The winner of the $40 Amazon gift certificate is Chris Brose. Congrats! Please get in touch to claim your prize.

Long ashes everyone - and stay tuned for more contests in future!

PS If you would like to support CigarInspector.com, feel free to make your Amazon purchases through this link. Thank you!

Montecristo New York Edition

Montecristo No. 2 New York Edition

Origin : Dominican RepublicMontecristo
Format : Square-pressed Torpedo
Size : 6.1 x 54
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Dominican
Binder : Dominican Olor and Nicaraguan Corojo
Hand-Made
Price : $110 for a box of 10
More info about purchasing Monte by Montecristo cigars...

Just to keep up with what is out there, I have been known to stumble across a diamond in the rough. Such is the case with the Montecristo NY Connoiseur Edition. This stick is available in the US market at quite reasonable prices. If you want to see what all the commotion is about regarding fine Cuban cigars, this smoke is just about as close as you can come to the “real thing” without going through the risk and expense of ordering from overseas and paying through the nose to do so. Were the bands removed from this smoke, I would have been hard pressed to distinguish it from its Cuban cousins. That sealed the deal for me in regards to this issue.

Read the full review of Montecristo New York Edition...

Amazon $40 Gift Card Giveaway

Amazon

As I stated in my best cigar books post, proceeds from sale of books would be given back to one lucky reader in the form of a gift certificate. Here is another one. It is a gift card for $40 that can be redeemed on Amazon.com (doesn't work on .co.uk or .fr).

Just leave a comment on this post to be entered in the draw. The winner will be announced in one week, next Thursday.

PS Want to support CigarInspector.com? Just do your Amazon purchases through this link.

Partagas Serie C No. 3 (2012 Limited Edition)

Partagas Serie C No. 3 (2012 Limited Edition)

Origin : CubaPartagas
Format : Grand Corona
Size : 140 x 20 mm (5.5 x 48)
Released in : 2012
Hand-Made
Price : ~$20+ each
More info about purchasing Partagas cigars...

Partagas is amongst the oldest and most renowned cigar brands in Cuba, dating clear back to 1845. They are known for producing bold cigars, and the Partagas Serie C No. 3, the limited edition for 2012, is no exception to the rule. The tobacco used in the filler, binder and wrapper was aged for two years. This is a very strong cigar; unfortunately I did not find it very flavorful.

Read the full review of Partagas Serie C No. 3 (2012 Limited Edition)...

Daniel Marshall 24KT Golden Torpedo

Daniel Marshall 24KT Gold Torpedo

Photo credit: danielmarshall.com

Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6.25 x 54
Wrapper : Nicaraguan
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Hand-Made
Price : $250 each

Nikki Glenn is a violinist and vocalist specializing in private event entertainment for yacht companies, owners, luxury brands, and upscale occasions. You can find out more information at www.nikkiglenn.com.

Today I'm reviewing a very unique cigar, the Daniel Marshall 24KT Golden Torpedo. I found out about the cigar quite by chance, when I received an email via CigarReserve.com that they had some of these cigars in stock. I'd never heard of Daniel Marshall prior to this but I was very intrigued at the idea of a gold cigar. From his website, I learned that Mr. Marshall is a well-known maker of luxurious humidors and that the Golden Torpedo was originally created by Mr. Marshall as a counterpart to the humidor he designed for Universal Studios to commemorate the movie “Scarface”:

When I was designing for Universal Studios the SCARFACE Humidor I was asked by Universal to design a ultra bling luxury version of the humidor...I thought that a “over the top” humidor deserves a “over the top” DM Cigar and the 24kt Gold DM cigar was conceived.

Well, I love luxurious things that may be considered over the top, so this seemed like a perfect fit for me! Everything about this cigar is designed to impress and reinforce that this is a very exclusive cigar. According to the Golden Cigar's site, it takes sorting through 50 cigars to get 5 that might be viable to transform into gold cigars. The cigar is sanded to smooth the surface of the wrapper, and 50+ sheets of 24KT edible gold leaf (from one of the oldest suppliers in Florence, Italy, natch) are applied with a sugar glaze to the wrapper. The cigar itself consists of a Nicaraguan puro blend with a Nicaraguan Cuban seed 5 year old wrapper, Esteli binder, and Jalapa filler. The cigar retails for around $250 per stick.

Read the full review of Daniel Marshall 24KT Golden Torpedo...

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