Cigar Reviews

AVO Companero LE09

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This will be our last post before the holidays officially kick off so we wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays. We’ll probably post up a couple reviews for your morning hangover read, depends how much we end up drinking and eating with all the family gatherings! So to wrap up the pre-holiday season I reached for an interesting Limited Edition cigar I’ve been waiting to review, the AVO Compañero LE09.

Avo Uvezian is the mastermind behind the AVO brand is also a very talented Jazz pianist. He was born into a family of musicians but he paved a different road for his family’s future when he began making cigars. It’s no secret that he has blended some very tasty sticks and for the last few years he has been blending a limited edition cigar to be released on his birthday.

Not long ago I reviewed the AVO 80th Anniversary which was released in 2006 to commemorate Avo’s 80th birthday. Tony also reviewed the AVO Limited Edition 2010 not long ago. Today’s cigar is called the Compañero and was released in 2009 to mark Avo’s 83rd birthday. On the cigar, you will find the classic and classy AVO logo with the name “Avo Uvezian” on one side and “LE09” written on the the other. Below this band is another dark burgundy band with the “Compañero” name written on it.

The blend in the AVO Limited Editions change a bit each year and the Compañero is no different. This year the cigar comes wrapped with an Ecuadorian leaf and bound with Dominican leaf. The interesting part of the blend is the filler which is made up of a couple types of Ligero and some Peruvian Seco tobacco.

I’m interested to see how this blend will play out. On paper it seems a bit strong but with at least 2 years of age on it I’m hoping it smoothed out. Let’s get onto the review and find out.

Cigar: AVO Compañero Limited Edition 2009
Drink: The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Vitola: Toro (6 x 54)
Wrapper: Cuban Seed Ecuadorian
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Criollo Ligero, Piloto Ligero, San Vicente Ligero, Peruvian Seco
Price: About $15
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

Construction:
• The AVO Companero is an oil and dark looking cigar that sports a slightly toothy wrapper with a goldish-brown glow
• There are some veins running down the side of the cigar but most are fairly small and don’t really pose any issues
• The top of the cigar is cleanly finished with an expertly applied single cap while the foot shows signs of a well packed long-filler cigar
• For the most part, the cigar is very firm to the touch with only a very minor give when squeezed
• I made the cut super shallow and just basically trimmed off the cap without cutting into the filler, left me with an easy and perfect draw
• I “may” have accidentally “dropped” the cigar right before lighting it up… I’ll take that into account for any burn issues 🙁

Burn:
• Toasting was easy and even, it left me with a nicely glowing foot
• Despite some cracks on the wrapper near the foot due to my dropping it, the cigar is burning beautifully through the first couple of inches
• The cigar burned through the cracked wrapper like it wasn’t even there and I’m still going strong with a razor sharp burn!
• Ran into a few more wrapper issues caused by my drop, they still didn’t affect the burn much but I really regret dropping it! 🙁
• My super fail of a drop had more consequences than I had hoped for, the wrapper pretty much came off at the end but it’s totally my fault, do NOT take this as the regular burn for this cigar. Other Companero’s I’ve had burned without any issues.

Smoke & Ash:
• The AVO Companero is producing a heft amount of smoke from each draw, it’s thick and billowy to boot
• At a resting position, the cigar is producing a comfortable amount of smoke, nothing overpowering and it has a nice burning cedar aroma
• The ash is starting off a bit flaky but that’s probably my fault…
• The color of the ash is a very nice and consistent light grey
• Even with a bit of flaking, the ash lasted just past an inch before I gently tapped it off
• Now that I’m passed the cracked wrapper the ash is staying clean and tight
• The next ash fell off after about an inch jsut before I was going to take a picture… bad luck for me tonight! lol

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper of the cigars is hardly aromatic at all, it’s only a little bit woodsy and that’s it
• The foot on the other hand shows clear indications of spices, earthiness and a fresh cedar aroma
• The pre-light draw is very earthy and woodsy, with more of the fresh cedar from the foot
• Initial draws are filled with more earthy notes and little bit of the fresh peat flavor I’ve come to appreciate from most AVO cigars
• Some of the spice I picked up earlier is making a subtle appearance within the first inch, it’s just on the tip of my tongue making for an interesting touch to the profile
• The body of the AVO Companero is a smooth medium so far, well balanced and with a nice little bite on the retrohale
• The finish is also very tasting, coating my nasal passages with a fresh cedar touch
• I have to emphasize the “fresh” part of the cedar flavor, it’s not like a seasoned humidor smells but more like the aroma of a fresh, brand new humidor or freshly cut cedar plank, very pleasant!
• The woodsy and earthy notes are mixing so nicely and taking turns being prominent
• Along with those, the peat and freshness of the cedar add a very interesting and enjoyable flavor that I can’t get enough of
• Just past the halfway mark, the spices are coming in a little stronger and mixing perfectly with the fresh cedar and peat flavors, this cigar keeps getting better!
• The body has stayed more or less in the medium range and it’s still maintaining a very smooth retrohale
• Despite the wrapper pretty much falling off the cigar, I still managed to enjoy the last bit of spice, cedar and peat right to the end

Final Thoughts:
Right from the start, the AVO Companero was bringing me a bright and flavorful profile that instantly caught my attention. Each of the tastes were very full flavored and easily discernible making for a very enjoyable smoke. Even with my fat-fingered fall to the floor and some wrapper cracks, this cigar burned perfectly. I’m also very surprised to say the wrapper falling off didn’t change the cigars flavor too much and I was still able to enjoy it. That’s a sign of a well balanced cigar in my eyes, the flavor was not “all in the wrapper” as some people might think. This showed me that the cigar had a very good balance of wrapper, binder and filler. I’d actually even say this experience made me appreciate the blending that went into this cigar even more than I normally would have!

Pairings:
I’ve only ever come across the peat flavors in the AVO cigars so I knew heading into this review that I had to pair it with a nice Scotch. So I looked into what I had and decided to finish off this bottle of The Singleton 12 year Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Well, I was right! The smokey and peat flavors of the Scotch paired perfectly with the fresh cedar and matching peat flavors on the cigar. I would definitely recommend having a nice scotch with this cigar, so give it a try next time you pick up this cigar or pretty much anything in the AVO lineup.




Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

20 Comments

  1. kekoa kai

    December 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

    nice review Daniel and good pics as usual.

  2. Paul Tyler

    December 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

    It has been great connecting with you guys this year…have really enjoyed all your reviews and insights…looking forward to more great reviews in 2012. Thanks guys! All the best to both of you this holiday season!

    • Daniel T.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Same to you Paul, all the best for the Holidays.
      One day we definitely need to meet up and share a cigar!

      • Paul Tyler

        December 21, 2011 at 3:32 pm

        Maybe an outing to Chez Tabac…I told a buddy of mine who lives near his shop to pop in and introduce himself to Marty…I haven’t been there yet but suggested he check it out on your recommendation. He says Marty was great…sitting playing his big piano in the middle of the shop. Can’t wait to check it out myself. Maybe over the holidays?

  3. jjo

    December 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Once again, a nice review and great camera work. This one’s out of my comfort zone price-wise, but it sounds tempting. I’m suprised it only has a single cap for such an expensive stick.

    Great way to head into the holidays. Merry Christmas to you and Tony, and everyone else out there!

    • Dalamscius

      December 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Jjo, if you see one, grab at least one to try. A very interesting smoke. In fact all of the LE’s for Avo’s bday have been tasty so far.
      Merry Christmas to you too and thanks for the continued support!

  4. Swede214

    December 21, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Great photo’s as always, I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews this year, the best to you and Tony in 2012,and have a very Merry Christmas.

    • Dalamscius

      December 21, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment Swede! And best to you as well in 2012! Merry Christmas and hope to see you commenting more in the new year 😉

  5. abraxas828282

    December 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Another great review! I have not tried this AVO yet but have put it on my list. II have not had the Singleton either. Label states aged in Sherry & Bourbon casks. Could you taste the Sherry & Bourbon at all? Have a merry Christmas!

    • Dalamscius

      December 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Thanks abraxas. The Singleton is a great value for your money. Average price for a 12yr here is about $60+, this one sells for $45 and is better than some other 12 years. I didn’t get much of a sherry taste though. I expect that would have some berry/grape type of sweetness but I didn’t get that. Lots of oak and smokiness though!

      • jjo

        December 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm

        Actually, I would expect the sherry casks to impart more of a nut and oak flavor. Maybe even a touch of saltiness and caramel. Sherries don’t typically have much berry flavor, since only white grapes are allowed.

  6. czerbe

    December 22, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I hate when I drop a stick and it cracks the wrapper. Hope you have a great Holiday and enjoy some fine smokes. Love the scotch paring. Great review and great pictures. Merry Christmas

    • Dalamscius

      December 22, 2011 at 11:44 am

      I hate it too, but at least I learned something interesting this time.
      Merry Christmas to you and family as well!

  7. Snes

    December 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Mm, are you using a fixed lens? The larger aperture with fixed lenses really does make for some nice shots since it helps to blur the background for nice focus’d shots on what you want.

    Anywho, I think the closest cigar I’ve had to this would be the avo 85th LE 2011, was quite good, though the price made me cringe when I hit the add to cart button. Oddly enough I had a Yamazaki 12 yr single malt with my Avo.

    • Dalamscius

      December 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      Snes, these were actually taken with my kit lens, the Canon 18-55. I do have a prime (fixed) lens on order right now though that will give me a lot more blue, it”s my Christmas Present to myself! haha. Very Excited!

      I do find the AVO LE’s to have a lot of common elements and the peaty flavor seems to be one of them. I haven’t tried the 85th though, but I believe Tony has. Did you get any peat flavors?

      • Snes

        December 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

        Looking at my journal it would seem it may have had peat, my notes say a sweet woodsy slighty spicy beginning, developing into a caramel woody sweet type flavor, moving on to raisins coffee with a cream backbone, then back to a “carmelized sweet creamy coffee bean flavor, outstanding.” Well damn, now I want another, shame they’re so expensive, though worth it.

        The kit 18-55 is definitely a keeper, my sister recently upgraded to a 5d since she is doing more and more portrait shoots for families and she was devastated her 18-55 doesn’t fit on the 5d. I was absolutely spoiled by her prime (as in best of the line) fixed 85 and 50 lenses. You’ll be surprised just how much more light you can get at F1.8, and if you got the 1.4 or even 1.2 you’ll be in hog heaven, it also lets you lower the ISO and have a quicker shutter speed with a fixed lens. Pictures are noticeably sharper since it’ll let you shoot at more of a 200 ISO as opposed to the 400-800 (with no flash that is) I have to use with my 18-55 or the 800-1600 I have to use for my 70-300. I’ll refrain from writing an essay here though heh, I love jawing about photography and cigars…

        • Dalamscius

          December 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

          Damn snes, you’re making me want to go track down one of those sticks now too! haha

          I spoiled myself for Christmas and grabbed the 50mm and 55-250mm… Ordered online so now I’m excited to get them in! Should see some more nice blurs after I get those in 😉

          Thanks for the photo rambling, I too enjoy both photography and cigars, lol!

  8. Tadd

    December 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Great review, why is it always the good stuff I drop…. I never drop my regs… just the limiteds or rares etc…. I dropped my Tatuaje Boris before I smoked it and the wrapper split about three inches up the side… It didn’t affect too much, but it still pissed me off… I now have a rule, I must be sitting when I dig in the box…. Happy Boxing Day! Look forward to more of these reviews in 2012… Especially Tony’s reviews… Ha!

    • Tony Casas

      December 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

      I like Tadd.

      • Dalamscius

        December 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

        Why don’t you two go get a room!

        And yes Tadd, I seem to do the same damn thing! And all the dog rockets seem to never hit the floor at all

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