AVO – LE12 La Trompeta
I have been itching to find a slot to pencil in this review. I seriously have a line of cigars that I would like to review and this cigar trumped all of them. Ladies and Gentleman, I bring you, the Avo LE12 La Trompeta.
The Good Stuff: First and foremost, I couldn’t find these locally so a huge thank you to Skip (a.k.a. ChiefHava) for hooking a brothah up. As most of you know the Avo Annual limited edition release was created to celebrate the famous jazz compose/aficionado Avo Uvezian birthday. The LE12 La Trompeta was created this year to celebrate the man’s 86th birthday. I can only hope to look as good as Avo when I get that age. Anyways, this edition in particular holds a special meaning to it as the cigar is designed to actually replicate a “trumpet” style smoking experience with an elongated, tapered cap and three small circular wrapper cutouts that represent keys on a trumpet. Interesting design to say the least. The blend starts with Dominican Ligero and Peruvian seco filler, bound by a Dominican Piloto binder, then wrapped in a very dark Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper. Much like the previous LE releases La Trompeta is only available in one size (6.5 x 54 pyramide). There were only 100,000 cigars released (10,000 boxes of 10) with a retail price of $15.50 a stick. Every year I look forward to these Limited Edition releases, especially since the LE10 which is still my favorite Avo blend to date.
Size: 6.5 x 54 – Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown – Binder: Dominican Piloto – Filler: Dominican Ligero/Peruvian Seco – Body: Full – Strength: Medium/Full
Prelight: The obvious story here is Avo’s interesting design on the Trompeta, attempting to make the cigar actually look and feel like a Trumpet. Even though I would call it more of a flute approach, I commend the company for doing something fun and out of the ordinary. As is the story with most Avo Cigars, the construction is top notch on the Trompeta. The cigar starts off with a beautiful dark chocolate looking wrapper that is just covered in thick oils. I actually had a hard time getting the texture of the leaf to show through as the oils on the cigar would just soak up all the light. Anyhow, Avo’s trompeta is a huge cigar. The meeting stick starts off with a very thick wrapper, and a very heavy, tobacco-filled body. There are a few mid-sized veins running the length of the body up to the crazy long, tapered, belicoso style cap. I swear almost a third of this cigar is cap. I guess that plays off the whole “Trumpet” style design on this stick.
The wrapper of the Trompeta gives off a very musky, dirty, earthy aroma. It almost smells like wet mud with some spice. The foot of the cigar is very earthy as well with the core of the aromas surround a wet, oaky, woodsy aroma. Avo’s in my opinion, always give off very unique aromas. The cap on the Trompeta cut very clean and easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. I clipped it about halfway through the taper. The cold draw matched my prelight aromas almost identical, pushing out some very wet, mossy, oaky, earth and tobacco flavors.
First Smoke: The Avo La Trompeta starts out with only a slight pepper to it. The pepper only lasted a few draws before it completely faded away and what I was left with was some very mossy, spicy, chocolate earthy tobacco flavors. When I mention spice, I talk about flavors like nutmeg, cinnamon, basil, and so fourth. Basically it’s a mixture of those that I can’t quite nail. Avo cigars are one of the very few cigars that I actually pick up the mossy style flavors in. The draw on this cigar is spectacular pumping out lots and lots of thick, white smoke with every little puff. The burnline was razor sharp but had a ton of smaller waves that I can only hope don’t turn into big, annoying ones. The ash left behind was a solid, dark great and seemed to flake off a lot more than most Avos.
Halfway There: The second third of this Avo La Trompeta is much of the same. The experience is still overtaken by lots of the mossy, earthy flavors but a bit of creamy sweetness has moved in. It’s almost like the difference between cream and sugar in coffee. It’s really starting to mellow the full-bodied cigar out a bit. The retro hale is very nice and surprisingly mild coating my nasal passage with nothing more than oaky tobacco. The burnline has completely corrected itself and is burning dead even and still razor sharp. I have to add, it’s a bit windy today and I’m glad to see even with that, this cigar is burning like a champ. I am feeling only a little bit in the nicotine department. I really like that Avo has taken a step to finally producing cigars with a bit of strength over the last few years.
Finish: There was a significant ramp up in both body, and strength coming into the final third of this Avo Trompeta. The mossy, earthy tobacco flavors are still very strong, taking center stage to some bittersweet chocolate, leather, and again this overall creamy composure. Despite having a bit of strength, the Trompeta is incredibly easy to smoke. The cigar burned perfectly after correcting it’s own waves in the first third and required absolutely no touch ups or relights for the entire two hours it took to smoke this beast. Although the cigar did have a bit of a punch, I didn’t at any time feel overwhelmed by the amount of nicotine in it.
Overview: We will start off with my thoughts on the cigar. Despite hearing that this cigar didn’t deliver, I thought it was a pretty good cigar. Actually, a damn good cigar. Each of the last handful of annual limited editions Avo has released haven’t disappointed. This cigar started with flawless construction, great flavors, and a terrific burn. Did it live up to the Avo LE10 that I hold so close to my heart? Not at all. In fact, I would rank this cigar right up there with the Heritage. That being said, the Heritage can be found for less that $10 a stick, and in some cases, much less. If this cigar is being compared to the Heritage then it’s safe to say that the value just wasn’t worth it. It’s an eye catching solid cigar, but at the price point I’d much rather grab a few Heritage or even a Padron. What I will say is that it’s very much worth trying yourself. It’s a talking piece to smoke around your friends because of the unique design, and it’s a traditional annual limited edition release. Pick one or two up, but I wouldn’t go spending the coin on a box.
Pairing: Again, I’m a sucker for Belgian beer. Anyone who reads this blog knows this. What you may not know is that I really enjoy Lambics, no matter how sweet or girly they are. Lindeman’s has to be one of the easier Belgian Lambic beers to find around these parts. That being said, I am usually limited to whatever is in season. To my surprise I recently stumbled across a brew by them that I hadn’t seen before, Lindeman’s Faro. Basically, Faro is similar to their Gueze in that the beer doesn’t sport any fruit flavors. Instead, it’s a lambic that boasts of it’s more natural ingredients. While the Gueze is wheat-based (any my personal favorite) the Faro is a barely based lambic. Brewed at the infamous Brouwerij Lindemans, this 4.2% ABV sweet beer really hit the spot. The Gueze plays off it’s tart, bitter flavors while the barley in the Faro open you up to a much sweeter, milder experience. With honey, brown sugar, malt, and just a touch of sourness the Faro really is a hell of an experience. This beer went absolutely wonderful with the bittersweet, earthy flavors of the Avo La Trompeta, and I am pleased to announce that it has also taken over the number one spot as my favorite brew that Lindemans produced. Seriously, pick one up if you can find them. This smaller bottle ran me $5.99 which is pretty reasonable considering it’s a Belgian Lambic.