Cigar Details: AVO 22
- Vitola: Perfecto
- Length: 5.87″
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Factory: OK Cigars
- Blender: Eladio Diaz
- Price: $15.00
- Release Date: June 2018
- Source: AVO
The wrapper is a light golden brown and has a few slightly raised veins present. The seams are visible in some areas and hard to detect in others on this unique perfecto vitola. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. There are two bands with the first being the traditional newer style company band in white with silver and some orange bordering. The secondary band has the same color combination with the addition of some gold denoting the 30 year anniversary of the brand. The aroma from the wrapper has a very full hay note with a bit of barnyard. It’s hard to detect a different aroma from the foot as it’s a small opening due to the vitola. The pre-light draw is also participating in the hay party with a very mild pepper note on my tongue.
The AVO 22 has a caramel Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Construction looks and feels good as the bunch and roll is even with no hard spots nor soft spots, tight seams, well pressed veins and a deep triple cap. Aromas from the wrapper give chestnuts, barnyard and cream. Nosing the foot gives the presence of white pepper and nuts. Cold draw tells chestnuts and cedar shavings.
The cigar begins with a mix of light wood and some black pepper. At a half inch in, a slight cream joins the profile. The retrohale carries the same profile, just slightly heavier on the wood. At an inch in, the wood increases in fullness as the cream and black pepper remain at pretty mellow levels. As the third comes to a close, the cream increases to become even with the wood while the pepper is still very faint in the background. The strength in this third was mild-medium.
The initial half inch has dominant notes of bitter dry wood and hay. Past the tapered mark, the profile becomes less bitter as I’m assuming the binder and filler leaves play bigger flavor roles. The profile opens up with black pepper, showing up doing a decent job of coating the tongue, dried nuts and a cardboard like component. Retrohaling brings bigger black pepper spice and nuts. The finish is fairly long with hay, tapered black pepper spice and dry wood. Strength and body is medium.
As the second third begins, the creamy wood is what dominates the profile. While the cream is present, the profile is still a bit drying to me. At an inch in, a toasted bread note joins the creamy wood as the pepper still remains very faint in the background. The retrohale is now just wood. At an inch and a quarter, the toasted bread drops out as the wood gains some char and the cream and pepper are in the background. The strength in this third remained at mild-medium.
The second third picks up a nice graphite minerality to the profile. In addition to the minerals, the profile continues to be bitter dry wood, hay and tapered black pepper spice driven. Strength and body is unchanged at medium.
As the final third begins, the char increases as the wood becomes a bit bright. The cream has gone away but the faint black pepper remains in the background. At a half inch in, the char has continued to increase as the pepper drops out of the profile. As the cigar comes to a close, the char has continued to increase and is ahead of the wood. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly below medium.
The last third by about the middle of it loses steam. The profile loses out on some complexities such that it is now mainly nuts and black pepper focused. The black pepper also gets stronger and is inching towards the rear of my palate. Strength and body finishes medium.
The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
The flavor profile was centered around wood, cream and mild black pepper. There wasn’t much in the way of flavor transitions for the duration of the cigar other than the building of char in the final third. Construction was perfect and allowed me to just focus on the flavors. This is a nice mellow strength cigar with simple flavors. It would be easily approachable to a brand new smoker or an experienced smoker. While the flavors were good, they were a bit too simple for my liking. While I’d gladly smoke more, it probably isn’t something I’d go out of my way to smoke again which is a bit of an odd conclusion based on how the cigar scored for me. For those that enjoy a primarily woody profile with a lower strength level, this cigar might really hit the bulls eye for them, so I could see it doing well. As an anniversary cigar for the brand, I think it is a good representation of the core lines and what the brand was built on.
The perfect resistance and air flow.
Two thoughts on the AVO 22. One is, past the initial inch of the tapered portion of the cigar, the profile is pretty good with a focus on hay, dry wood, nuts and a bit of assertive black pepper typically not found within AVO’s lines. The second thought is, although it is a good cigar, given the special release nature of the cigar, there really isn’t anything special about it that breaks away from the overall AVO brand lines. I would expect more complexities and nuances for something like this. But all in all, given the opportunity, I would smoke the cigar again.
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