Cigar Review: AVO Limited Edition 2010 (Pre-release)


Size: 5.5×55, Super Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown

Binder: Mexican grown, Sumatra seed

Filler: Dominican Ligero

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 10, $155

Grade: 9.1

AVOLE10_1Avo Uvezian was introduced to the cigar industry when he met Hendrik Kelner in 1982, though he began his career as a musician and later became a composer. The first AVO cigar went on sale in New York in 1988. The first year produced 100,000 cigars, which grew to over 3 million cigars per year within ten years. AVO cigars produce the XO Trio, XO Quartetto, Domaine, Signature, Puritos, 787, Classic, Maduro, and the Limited Edition line of cigars. Additionally, AVO produces a Lounge Edition cigar, which is sold exclusively in AVO Lounges across the world.

Edward Simon, brand manager of AVO, was kind enough to send us a care package last week that included two unbanded AVO Limited Edition 2010 cigars. The AVO LE10 will be released on March 22nd to select merchants with a retail price of $15.50. The stout Super Robusto, according to the press release (here), is made entirely of Dominican Ligero filler with a Mexican Sumatra binder and an Ecuadorian sungrown wrapper; it was produced in celebration of Avo Uvezian’s 84th birthday. Sold in boxes of 10 with a sliding lid, the outside shows a silver silhouette print of Avo and the AVO logo.

A dinner tour begins on March 17th in Salem, NH, at Two Guys Smoke Shop, to celebrate the release, where early samples of the AVO LE10 will be available; visitors will also enjoy the jazz piano playing of Avo and an intimate dinner party. Make sure to follow AVO on Twitter and visit them online to learn more about the upcoming release. AVO cigars have been distributed by Davidoff of Geneva since 1995, when Davidoff reportedly purchased the distribution rights for 10 million dollars.

So, let’s get right to it and toast this pre-release AVO LE10!

Pre-light, 1.9
The medium to dark brown wrapper was smooth to the touch with minimal veins. It had a good weight with nicely packed tobacco – the AVO was very appealing to the touch. The triple cap was constructed flawlessly and only added to the anticipation of toasting this cigar. The pre-light aroma was intriguing – meaty tobacco with an attic note at the foot and some fruit at the very end. The cold draw was of spice and fruit and the finish really lingered on the lips with some more spice.

Burn, 1.7:
Though I don’t usually break the burn down in thirds, this smoke really moved throughout the smoke time.  The entire cigar had a good draw but the first third found me really pulling to get a mouthful of smoke.  Inspection of the foot saw the wrapper and binder burning well but the ligero filler was mighty slow. The ash flowered as well in the first third which was surprising.  In the second third, the AVO opened up, the ash layered up well, and the smoke produced an excellent mouthful of smoke with minimal effort. The last third reverted back to the first, with some effort required to get the amount of smoke I like. Lastly, the aroma of the smoke was intoxicating; this cigar filled my smoking room up with a pleasant aroma.

Flavor, 2.8
The AVO produced woody notes of ligero tobacco with a heavy finish. I would also like to make mention of some fruity notes here and there and the finish was very heavy with some spice. The second third seemed to smooth out a bit with less spice and more straight tobacco. The final third reverted back to the first, similar to the burn, with more spice and a longer finish. This cigar was more complex than I anticipated, but not quite as heavy as I imagined, being the filler is all Dominican ligero.

Overall, 2.7:
The AVO was pleasing from start to finish. I attributed the burn issues to the ligero and they were expected, so that was not detrimental to the enjoyment for me. At $15.50 a stick, however, I cannot put this in the regular rotation, but I do recommend it highly for an every now and then smoke to keep in the humidor, which keeps with the AVO 2010 Limited Edition theme.

(Total: 9.1)

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