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

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