AVO Classic Belicoso 2021
I am attempted to squeeze this review in before these crazy winds hit El Paso. Bracing for them I am joined out back by an AVO Classic Belicoso and a bottle of The Bruery’s Apfelsap.
The Good Stuff:
Earlier this year AVO announced they’d adding a new format to their well-known Classic line. The belicoso was added for the first time since 2005. The belicoso features the the same iconic blend starting with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Sun Grown wrapper over a binder from Dominican Republic and fillers from the Dominican Republic. The 6 x 48 torpedo-style cigar joins eight other sizes in the Classic line: the No.2 (6 x 50), No.3 (7 1/2 x 50), No.5 (6 3/4 x 46), No.6 (6 x 60), No.9 (4 3/8 x 48), Piramides (7 x 54), Puritos (4 x 30), and the Robusto (5 x 50). They come in boxes of 25 running $12 per cigar. I purchased mine over from our good friends at Cigars International.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: 6 x 48
- Body: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $12
- Pairing: Bruery Apfelsap (Wheatwine 16.9% ABV)
The AVO Classic Belicoso starts out with a milk-chocolate brown wrapper that consistent in color in most areas, but quite a bit lighter around some of the larger veins found running their course through the cigar’s body. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself carry a slightly toothy and very oily texture. The cigar is topped off with a round, tapered belicoso cap and the standard manilla AVO band we find on the rest of the Classic portfolio.
The wrapper on the AVO Classic Belicoso is very modest smelling only giving off some light earthy aromas while the foot of the cigar releases a good amount of musk and earthiness. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces lots of earthiness, moss, leather, and musky flavors.
The AVO Classic Belicoso starts out with a very modest splash of black pepper that quickly transcends into a bold mixture of earthiness, moss, and musk over lighter notes of leather, light coffee and pecan. The draw is slightly tight, but manageable as the cigar releases a good amount of thick, white smoke after a few puffs. The cigar releases very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is dead evening razor sharp leaving behind a trail of medium to light gray, tightly compacted ash which held on for a inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the AVO Classic Belicoso and the pecan flavor is now leading the charged backed by a nice spice that has creeped into the experience over subtle notes of moss, earthiness, musk and leather. The retrohale helps really bring that spice to the forefront and I find myself doing it quite often. The draw has now completely opened up while the cigar is still burning flawlessly. I close out the second third with nothing in terms of nicotine.
Into the final third of the AVO Classic Belicoso and this is where the cigar really shines. The flavor profile leads with a ton of cedar, pecan, and moss over some great earthiness, leather, light coffee, and spice. It took me and hour and a half to smoke this bad boy down to the nub and I didn’t want it to end. I experienced no harshness, nor extended heat and outside of the tight draw through the first inch the cigar performed perfectly. I close out with absolutely no nicotine kick. The beer actually hit me harder than the cigar did but I am quite impressed how the milder cigar held its own against such a bold pairing.
Every time I smoke and AVO cigar I ask myself, “Why aren’t you smoking these more?”. That Classic line is a reminder of just how solid their portfolio is. A staple in just about every seasoned cigar smokers rotation the Classic line blends traditional flavors, with an exceptional experience beautifully. With a great medium body and strength profile over exceptional construction and a unique take, the Classic belicoso is a great extension to an already extensive line.
Bruery’s Apfelsap is a 16.9% ABV Wheatwine fermented with Mcintosh apples before being aged in Copper & Kings apple brandy barrels. This was far and away my favorite beer that the Bruery has released in the past few years. The Apfelsap leads with the most outright, natural apple taste I have ever tasted in a beer. Under the apple is some great brown sugar sweetness, caramel, and soft spice with a very light mouthfeel before finishing with even more natural apple, caramel, light vanilla and an awesome Brandy bite. This made for an absolutely perfect pairing with the AVO Classic Belicoso as it didn’t overpower the cigar but added a whole new level of complexity and sweetness to an already enjoyable experience.