Cigar Reviews

AVO 80th Anniversary Limited Edition

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There always seems to be a few brands that evade me, mostly because I live way up here in the Great White North and the selection on non-Cuban cigars is lacking. Through various trades and gifts I always try to track down as many different sticks as I can to try new ones… but there’s always those few I seem to miss out on. AVO is one of those brands, and today I’m bringing you a review of one.

So today I bring you the AVO 80th Anniversary cigar. The AVO brand was started by a Musician and Composer by the name of Avo Uvezian and was founded in 1988. The brand was met with open arms and soon after in 1995 the AVO brand was bought by Davidoff. Avo Uvezian remained very much a part of the company and still is. The cigars are made in the Dominican Republic in the same factory as Davidoff.

Many years ago, Avo Uvezian began releasing some special limited edition blends to celebrate his birthday. Most recently, the AVO 85th Anniversary was released. Today’s cigar marked Avo’s 80th birthday back in 2006 so it has roughly 5 years of age on it. Each of these limited editions is only released in one size, and the 80th Anniversary size was selected to be a Belicoso. Also make sure to check out Tony’s review of the AVO LE2010.

The cigar is made with a unique blend of 4 leaves in the filler. They are all from the Dominican Republic and consist of select Ligero and Seco grades of Piloto & San Vicente tobaccos. The cigar is finished with a beautiful Ecuadorian Sun-grown wrapper with a very nice shine and feel to it. What I like about this Limited Edition line by Avo is they always seem to produce a good number of cigars. So even though they are limited it’s fairly easy for the average person to grab a few and they aren’t reserved for the hardcore cigar hunters out there.

Cigar: AVO 80th Anniversary
Drink: Duchy Originals Organic Old Ruby Ale
Vitola: Belicoso (6 x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun-Grown
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: About $15
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

• The cigar is wrapper with a smooth and oily cinnamon brown tobacco leaf
• As with most tapered heads, the cap is composed of one smooth leaf that wraps around the cigar about 4 times
• The cigar is fairly even in diameter throughout with only a few smaller veins that are visible
• The firmness when squeezed offers very little give, a pretty firm cigar from end to end
• Foot appears very well packed which goes in line with the firmness I feel
• The cap clipped very clean and left me with a good draw
• The bands had a fair bit of glue on them and ended up taking a chuck of the wrapper with them

• Toasting was nice and even and seemed to start the cigar off right
• First couple of inches are burning beautifully
• I like the fact that the cigar is staying lit without the need for me to constantly draw on it
• Going into the last third, I’m still super happy with the burn, no problems at all
• The cigar finished up with no issues at all in the burn department

Smoke & Ash:
• The first draw set the pace here with a big mouthful of smoke
• Even the resting smoke is fairly abundant
• The ash is showing to be strong and clean with a mostly white color to it
• Despite it’s strong and clean look, the ash fell off after about an inch
• Second ash had a sky diving accident and decided to take a plunge to the floor, but still held on for about an inch before falling to it’s doom
• All in all, the ash continued to stay nice and clean, just a bit weak

Tasting Notes:
• The aroma on the wrapper is mostly of sweet tobacco and cedar
• The foot offers the same tobacco sweetness aroma but adds to it some strong raw nutmeg
• The pre-light draw has a strong musty wood flavor to it with some more of the raw nutmeg spice
• Initial draws are not too exciting so far, I’m getting more of that mustiness with an interesting bit of bready flavors
• The musty flavors have sort of turned into a peat type of flavor, similar to a peaty scotch, very interesting
• The body of this cigar is in the mild-medium range so far and has a fairly dry finish
• I get more of the musty/peaty notes in the retrohale with a woodsy smooth finish
• The cigar is well balanced and smooth with a woodsy smooth finish
• There is an interesting mixture of spice making an appearance now and then, definitely some pepper and the original nutmeg
• Pushing into the last third, I’m getting some nice roasted nutty flavors mixed in the peaty and woodsy notes
• The body is also slowly creeping up on this cigar, getting to the higher end of the medium range
• The last third of the cigar is still progressing in body
• The flavors here have also intensified here with the peaty and nutty flavors being dominant and balanced nicely with the spice
• I’m also getting an odd cooling feeling after each draw, almost like a menthol but somewhat enjoyable and without the nasty taste, lol
• Smoked this down until my fingers were burning with no harshness at all

Final Thoughts:
This was an interesting cigar to say the least and I’m glad I had the chance to enjoy a few of them. It’s another cigar that I have to say had a very unique flavor profile to me. The strong peaty and musty notes is something I haven’t really had with this intensity before. Simply put, this cigar kept me interested the whole way through. The burn and ash were also superb on this cigar which gave me the chance to just sit back and enjoy the flavors(minus the one sky diving incident). The AVO 80th Anniversary is definitely something worth trying. The price is a bit high so I’m not sure I could justify a box of these, but having a few to try is worth it. It may be a profile you will love and opt for the box anyway. Although these were limited production cigar were released a few years ago I was still able to track some websites and B&M’s carrying them. So grab one and enjoy!

Today’s pairing is a new one I stumbled across the the liquor store the other day. It comes from Oxfordshire in the UK and is made by “Duchy Originals from Waitrose”. The company prides itself on providing various foods grown in sustainable conditions. In line with that belief, this is an Organic Old Ruby Ale. The “Old” in it’s title comes from the fact that it is made using an English barley that was first used in 1905, called “Plumage Archer”. The brew has some nice bright flavors to it, including a fair about of berries, malt and a noticeable hoppy bitterness. It’s a tasty brew and goes very well as a summer drink. It unfortunately was not the best pairing here though as I felt it was a bit light for the AVO 80th Anniversary and was overpowered by the cigar. With the peaty notes I was picking up from this cigar I’d have to say that a peaty scotch would have been an absolute perfect pairing. If not that, then something that can stand up to the bold flavors of this cigar such as a strong coffee or port.

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


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