Team Cigar Review: AVO Improvisation LE 2020

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Cigar Details: AVO Improvisation LE 2020

  • Vitola: Toto Extra
  • Length: 6.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Semillia 151 Seco
  • Filler: Dominican San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Ligero, San Vicente Seco and Peruvian Piloto Visus
  • Factory: TABADOM
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $16.00
  • Release Date: March 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates via Havana Phil’s

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the AVO Improvisation LE 2020 is dark tan and has some darker lines on the veins and where the veins from the binder press through. The seams are smooth but visible in areas as the edge has a slightly darker color and the head is finished off with a well applied set of caps. The cigar feels a bit light for its size. There are two bands, both carrying a white, copper and dark gray color combination. The primary has the brand logo and denotes the series while the secondary band denotes the year. The aroma from the wrapper is a hay forward barnyard funk while the foot brings musty wood. The pre-light draw brings a light and airy cedar.

Pre-light Experience

Quite lovely in appearance, the AVO Improvisation LE 2020 sports a light Colorado wrapper that is silky to the touch. There are small veins present throughout and it is finished with a lovely cap. The cigar is somewhat firm in hand and sports an aroma of cedar, hay and wood on the wrapper. The foot shows some earthy qualities, and with that is some raisins, spice and cream.

Pre-light Experience

The AVO Improvisation LE 2020 has a UPC with a tear tab design so the UPC stays intact when the cellophane is opened. The cigar is double banded, with the AVO primary band, and a Twenty Twenty and 20/20 secondary band. The wrapper on the cigar is a tan color that is quite light. Aromas from the cigar included sweet bread, salt, light cedar and a faint barnyard. From the foot, sweet chocolate, hay and barnyard.

Pre-light Experience

The AVO Improvisation LE 2020 has a light caramel Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head with a multi-layered cap. Aromas from the wrapper tell strong hay and brown sugar. Aromas from the foot tell some faint red pepper spice. Cold draw gives some hay and light cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with toasted wood and light mustiness. At a half inch in, a mild black pepper joins the profile. The retrohale is an even mix of toasted wood and black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the profile remains toasted wood along with light mustiness and mild black pepper. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third opens up with some soft, sweet spices and it has this creaminess present as well. I am picking up some earth notes that are showing a touch of sweetness as well as mushrooms, and it finishes with some coffee, cedar and raisin qualities. It is medium in body and strength, I would say the flavors are right there as well.

First Third

The first third opens with a salty hay and light, dry cedar to finish. The retrohale has a bread component, with salty cedar to finish. The dry cedar moves up to medium strength on the post draw, to linger on the center of my tongue. As the first third settles, some chocolate comes through on the retrohale. By the bottom half, some tannins join with the cedar on the post draw. The main profile adds a light burning cellulose flavor.

First Third

The first third’s flavors are heavily influenced by hay and cedar. Furthermore, there is some residual sugars from roasted nuts. Retrohaling opens up the profile with greater sweet nuttiness, spicy cedar and creamy bread. The finish is taxed with a long and lingering wood bitterness. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness and black pepper both pick up a bit. At a half inch in, the toasted wood note is teetering on a burning paper note. The retrohale is toasted wood with black pepper right behind. At an inch and a half in, the toasted wood gains some char. At an inch and three quarters, the toasted and charred wood is independent of the burning paper note as they are now simultaneously present. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness and black pepper both pick up a bit. At a half inch in, the toasted wood note is teetering on a burning paper note. The retrohale is toasted wood with black pepper right behind. At an inch and a half in, the toasted wood gains some char. At an inch and three quarters, the toasted and charred wood is independent of the burning paper note as they are now simultaneously present. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

Cocoa, bread and tannic cedar combine on the retrohale as the second third kicks off. Light tannic cedar settles on the palate between draws. By the halfway point, some cocoa joins the cedar in the middle of the profile.

Second Third

The second third makes me realize there’s an overall burning paper type of vibe to the cigar. I’m still tasting all the notes I did from the first third though (hay, spicy cedar, bread, nuts, wood bitterness). The wood bitterness is reduced on the finish however. It’s replaced by spicy cedar and a hint of wood bitterness. Strength and body continues to be medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the toasted and charred wood continues along with the burning paper note and light mustiness and black pepper. At a half inch in, the char has a long lingering finish. At an inch in, the char has really picked up. The retrohale is toasted wood and light mustiness. As the cigar comes to a close, the charred wood is dominant with a light toast and mustiness and all of the other components are drowned out. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third has some transitioning taking place and it is delivering some pepper and wood notes. There are some dry earth qualities, and touch of coffee, but for the most part the finish is woody and peppery. The strength and body have picked up a little in this third as well, and I am finding the finish to be between medium and medium-full.

Final Third

Sweet cedar takes the profile into the last third. Tannic cedar joins into the post draw. A mild cocoa joins the retrohale as it settles in.

Final Third

No changes to the final third. Still medium body and strength with the same burning paper vibe. Still getting the same hay, spicy cedar, bread, nuts and wood bitterness but again, overcast by that burning paper.

Burn

The burn was perfect as it was straight the whole way. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments. The cigar did burn pretty fast.

Burn

The cigar burned well from beginning to end. It produced a lovely ash that was light gray in coloring, held on fairly well and it had a nice even burn line as well. A well made cigar.

Burn

The burn was fairly flawless with the ash holding on up to two inches at time. Unfortunately, taking off the secondary band tore the wrapper somewhat. It appeared the band had adhered to the cigar from the glue.

Burn

Perfect burn performance. Even burn, solid ashes and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was a bit looser than I prefer and likely was part of the reason it burned so fast.

Overall

The cigar began with toasted wood and light mustiness. A light black pepper joined fairly quickly. The second third saw a burning paper note join in as well as some char. The final third saw the char increase and drown out the burning paper and black pepper notes. Construction was great aside from a slightly loose draw. Strength built from slightly below medium to slightly above. In my opinion, I don’t think the experience I had with the AVO Improvisation LE 2020 is what was intended. The cigar was under filled, with a loose draw that caused it to burn faster than expected. I think all of these things led to the subpar flavor experience. I hope that the others had a different experience than what I had. If the others can describe a more enjoyable experience, then I might return to this to see what it should smoke like, but from what I experienced, it’s not something I’d return to.

Draw

The draw was very good, like the burn. This was a well made cigar.

Overall

The AVO Improvisation LE 2020 has a really nice start, delivering some lovely cream, earth, coffee and raisin notes, but the changes that take place in the second and final thirds really take away from the beginning. The body and strength are approachable throughout, but I wish the flavors were superior to make this a terrific blend throughout. I was interested in the blend, as it has Semilla 151 tobacco as the binder, and that was used in the Wagner, but whatever impact it had on the blend I did not get. These are ready to smoke now, and I don’t think they will show drastic improvement with age. The only thing age will do to this cigar is make it become even more welcoming to the smokers who prefer the strength and body at the medium level and below. Not a bad release, but far from the best AVO and not limited edition quality in my opinion.

Draw

The draw is perfect, right in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

The AVO Improvisation LE 2020 was overall a fairly average and forgettable experience. Flavors included salt, hay, cedar, bread, chocolate, tannic cedar, cellulose and cocoa. The flavor profile never seemed to grab my interest, and the components that were there didn’t seem to ever harmonize. I don’t think I would smoke this cigar again, given the number of high quality Connecticut Shade blends released in the past few years. Construction was excellent, which Davidoff typically tends to deliver. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Draw

The draw was also perfect, giving the ideal air flow.

Overall

No bad or great things to say about the AVO Improvisation LE 2020. Pretty much right dab in the middle average. There’s familiarity of what I typically find in AVO cigars (hay and cedar). But past that, there just isn’t much to rave about. I didn’t care much for the interplay of wood bitterness and burning paper sensation. I don’t think this is worthy of an LE tagging because you can find similar profiles within AVO’s regular non-LE lines. I’ll have to pass on this one.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
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Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
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Average
SubparSecond
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AverageSecond
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AverageSecond
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Average
SubparFinal
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AmazingBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
SubparOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.53

Cost/Point

$3.53

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.74

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.78

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.78

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: AVO Improvisation LE 2020
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: AVO Improvisation LE 2020

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6 comments

Join the conversation
  • Antonio Velasquez - July 27, 2020 reply

    How does this compare to the AVO XO? Seems like a similar blend.

  • Tim McCabe - July 27, 2020 reply

    I’ve had the opportunity to try one and I would definitely buy more. Good luck everyone.

  • Brian H - July 27, 2020 reply

    Have liked most AVO’s I’ve tried would be keen to try these.

    Nathan Wilkerson - July 27, 2020 reply

    Great review as always, the point/score is a great help when deciding what to buy!

  • Texican8 - July 27, 2020 reply

    Enjoyed the review.

  • Bob Langmaid - July 28, 2020 reply

    Slick review, thanks for the contest!!

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