Avo Heritage Toro Monday, Jan 31 2011 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Toro 6.0 x 50 ring

The Heritage is a full-bodied offering from AVO.  That probably surprises a lot of folks as AVO cigars are generally known to all be mild to medium bodied smokes.  This cigar shares the same wrapper leaf as my all time favorite AVO the Compañero, also known as the LE09.  Since it sports the same wrapper, not surprisingly it shares some similarities with that smoke. It has that same exotic spice at the start and it comes on strong.  The flavors are full and rich with earthy notes of must and cocoa, balanced with creamy flavors of nuts and oak/wood.  The flavors are definitely AVO, but it comes in a non-typical robust delivery with a bit of strength behind it as well. By the time I finished this smoke, I found myself wanting to go and light up another.  This is a stellar cigar.

Avo Compañero (LE09) Thursday, Apr 29 2010 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Cuban Seed Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Three types of Dominican Ligero and a Peruvian Seco leaf
Size: Toro 6.0″ x 54 ring

The Compañero is Mr. U’s 83rd Birthday Cigar.  Most everyone who is into cigars knows that every year Avo releases a Limited Edition cigar to celebrate Mr. Avo Uvezian’s birthday.   Last year in April of 2009 I had th honor of attending one of his many birthday parties.  Even at 83 Mr.U is still touring the country celebrating his birthday with his fans.  At this celebration I picked up a box of the LE09’s [l-ee-oh-nines] as they are also known as. 320x240Mr U was gracious enough to sign the box for me.  The party was a lot of fun and many great cigars were smoked, the greatest of which was the Compañero.  I decided that night that the LE09 would become my son’s birthday cigar…  that is, it would be the cigar I smoked to celebrate my son’s birthday in April each year until my box was gone (there are 10 cigars in a box).  As it turned out, I was sick this year for my son’s birthday so I decided to hold off and smoke the cigar to celebrate both his and my birthday, which happens to be today.  So Happy Birthday to me.

It is a handsome cigar with a dark wrapper and a good draw.  It starts off with a blast of pepper followed up by earth, leather, and spice.  Easily the most robust Avo I have ever smoked, it does mellow a little as you near the second third of the cigar and develops notes of coffee and cream and a bit of  wood/cedar.  There is also a subtle sweetness now that may have been hidden by that initial onslaught of rich and peppery flavors.  In the last third it really picks up again with lots of leather and earth and it finally starts to exhibit that tell-tale Kelner mustiness that is often associated with Avo cigars. It has a bit of pepper on the finish at this point as well.

The Compañero is a great smoke and easily my favorite Avo of them all.  I look forward to next April when I smoke my next one.

Avo Domaine No.30 Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

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Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: Churchill 6.75″ x 48 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Avo cigars are the first premium cigars I ever smoked.  The classic Avo no. 2 may be the cigar responsible for setting me down the path of premium cigar smoking and collecting as a hobby.  It got me hooked on hand made premium cigars.  Way back then, the Avo no.2 was my expensive special occasion smoke, because in the beginning I had always thought that $7 for a cigar was extremely extravagant.  My how things have changed… lol.  Over the years I have moved away from the AVO brand as part of my regular rotation of smokes but it has still always held a special place in my heart because of its role in myearly days of cigar appreciation.  Today I have an Avo Domaine no.30 courtesy of my friends at CigarsDirect.com.

Avo Uvezian, the man behind the Avo brand, is a gentleman that exemplifies class and sophistication.  He is a respected cigar connoisseur and a accomplished musician.  The Avo brand of cigars mirrors its creators sense of style and class.  The cigars are know for being refined, smooth, and balanced.  The Domaine utilizes a beautiful Ecuadorian grown wrapper that is fermented a second time after being sent to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic.  Some of the finest Dominican tobaccos are used for the filler and binder to lend a robust yet  balanced flavor when paired with the aromatic Ecuadorian wrapper.

This Churchill is a handsome cigar with a smooth silky wrapper.  Construction is almost never an Issue with Avo cigars.  The Domaine is a medium bodied smoke with an earthy, must core.  I also picked up strong grassy/vegetal notes and little hits of sourness as I made my way through the smoke.  It smoothed out a lot in the second half losing that vegetal quality that I have to say I was not enjoying.  It was predominately earth with notes of hay the rest of the way.  Smooth and enjoyable.  Overall this cigar is not my cup of tea, but it is well made and if they don’t always start out the way this one did, I’d consider it a nice mid afternoon smoke.  If they are always that grassy at the start, then I think I would just pass on this cigar.  If I were judging solely on the second half of this smoke I’d score it a solid B, maybe even a B+, but taking it as a whole I can only give it a C.

Rating – C

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