Search results: "stogie reviews: avo limited edition"

Stogie Reviews: Avo Limited Edition 2011 Diademas

3 May

Over two decades ago, Avo Uvezian founded a cigar company. A Lebanese-born jazz pianist and a former jewelry designer, he was an unlikely addition to the world of cigars. But this Juilliard-trained talent, in partnership with Hendrik Kelner, would quickly make an impact on the industry, selling over 750,000 cigars in his company’s third year and inking a distribution deal with Davidoff.

More recently, Uvezian celebrated his 85th birthday with a new cigar. The release follows in the tradition he started ten years ago when he introduced a limited edition smoke to celebrate his 75th anniversary. This year, Uvezian has paired a sun-grown Dominican wrapper with a Peruvian binder and San Vicente and Piloto Cubano filler tobaccos.

The resulting Avo Limited Edition 2011 is available in only one size: Diademas (6.6 x 50). Its production is limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide, including 60,000 cigars for the U.S. market. Such exclusivity helps explain the hefty MSRP of $17.50.

Shipments of the Diademas started to hit tobacconists in late March. Those who were lucky enough to find and afford the cigar were rewarded with a stunning, double-banded perfecto that has minimal veins, a beautiful cap, and pre-light notes of hay and molasses—an aroma that’s very similar to the PG Symphony 20th, which is also crafted by Kelner.

The cold draw is surprisingly easy despite the cigar’s firm feel. Once lit, the rich, abundant tufts of smoke emit flavors of caramel, black coffee, roasted nuts, cream, and cedar spice. The aftertaste is characterized by a sharp bite on the middle of the tongue. I’d describe the profile as medium in body and moderate in strength.

Leather becomes a force into the midway point, adding bitter tones to the flavor and slightly increasing the Diademas’ overall intensity. To its credit, though, the cigar smokes more like an orchestral performance than a heavy metal rock show, displaying a fine balance from light to nub. And the combustion qualities of both of the samples I tested for this review were superb.

In the end, instead of being an example of an overpriced limited edition that’s more style than substance, the Avo Limited Edition 2011 emerges as a top performer. Sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case, that’s a good thing. So I have no qualms about echoing the chorus of praise this cigar has already received, and I’m awarding it a rare rating of five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five stogie-rated cigars can be found here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Reviews: Avo Limited Edition 2009 Compañero

22 Dec

Behind it’s larger corporate brother Davidoff, Avo can get lost in the mix. Purchased in 1995 by Davidoff for an estimated $10 million, Avo Uvezian’s Dominican smokes are often a way to get the quality of Davidoff at a (slightly) more approachable price.

Avo Uvezian, the charismatic piano-playing creator of Avo, created the Compañero to celebrate his 83rd birthday. The thick Toro (6 x 54) has a velvety Ecuadorian wrapper with Dominican binder and filler tobaccos.

The cigar is well constructed, which you’d expect given that it costs around $12 each, and is notably firm to the touch and from start to finish. The gray ash is  solid, the burn even, and the draw is flawless. The flavor profile includes a mix of cedar, pepper, cream, and honeycomb. Like many Avo/Davidoff creations, damp mushroom notes are also present.

The Compañero features impressive balance despite its medium- to full-bodied profile, even as it becomes bolder as it progresses. Towards the end, there are earthy notes and more cedar spice.

At the time it came out, the Compañero was quite a change of pace for the Avo line, which almost exclusively consisted of mild and medium blends. Had it not been such a success, today we might not have the full-bodied Avo LE 2010 and the Heritage line.

But even without leading Avo into a more full-bodied era, that Compañero stands well on its own as a full-flavored, complex, well-constructed smoke. It’s enough to earn the Avo Limited Edition 2009 Compañero a rating of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Stogie Reviews: Avo Limited Edition 2010 Super Robusto

26 May

The Avo Limited Edition 2010 was created to celebrate Avo Uvezian’s 84th birthday. Production is limited to 10,000 worldwide in boxes of 10.

AvoLE2010The Super Robusto (5.5 x 55) features a gorgeous Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper. The binder is Mexican Sumatra and the filler consists entirely of ligero.

Pre-light the cigar smells of sweet tobacco, earth, grass, and raisins. It is slightly spongy but feels well-packed from head to foot. As you would expect from an Avo the cap is applied perfectly. The wrapper is oily and has some large veins. A pre-light draw reveals earth, wood, and a slight mint taste.

It takes a little bit of effort to get the cigar lit, probably due to the ligero filler. Initially there is quite a bit of spice combined with and earth and wood. The amount of spice is very surprising  for an Avo.

After about the first half of an inch, the spice begins to fade and the musty flavor that is typical of so many Avo cigars begins to emerge. The draw is excellent and the burn is straight. The smoke is creamy and has great mouth feel.

At about the halfway point the flavors start to change from earth and wood to coffee and chocolate. The burn grows a little ragged and requires and occasional touch-up. The spice that’s so prevalent early comes and goes throughout the smoke, but never reaches the same intensity as at the start.

The Avo Limited Edition 2010 is definitely not your typical Avocigar. It is definitely full strength, full bodied, and on the full side of medium in flavor. At around $15 per cigar the Limited Edition is  also not an everyday smoke but its complexity, construction, and flavors earn it four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick M

photo credit: Stogie Guys