|Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta|
For the past twelve years when the month of March has come around, the cigar world has looked forward to an annual limited production cigar from Avo Cigars. The series began back in 2001 and March has been selected for the annual release to coincide with Avo Uvezian’s birthday. In 2010, I felt the series reached its apex with the release of the Avo Limited Edition 2010 (Avo LE10). The Avo LE10 was a radical departure from much of the Avo line as it was one of the strongest, full-bodied smokes produced in the brand. It was worthy of to garner my selection for 2010 Cigar of the Year. Last year, the Avo Limited Edition 2011 continued to keep the bar high as it was my selection for #5 Cigar of the 2011. As 2012 came upon me, I was a little skeptical about the 2012 edition as usually a “follow up to a follow up” ends up being disappointing. This would not be the case with the Avo Limited Edition 2012 “La Trompeta” as it proved to keep the solid tradition that this series has established. Once again, an Avo cigar will be a factor in the Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year countdown.
The Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta pays homage to Uvezian’s roots in the music name. La Trompeta translates (from Spanish) to trumpet. The Avo Limited Edition 2012 was designed with a trumpet in mind. The vitola is shaped like a torpedo, and there are three small circular cigar leaf cut-outs are placed on the wrapper leaf to resemble trumpet keys.
The Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta also is being called the Avo 86th Anniversary – coinciding with Avo’s 86th birthday. This is something that started last year with the Avo Limited Edition 2011 as it was also known as the Avo 85th Anniversary.
|Last four Avo Limited Editions. From left to right: Avo LE09, Avo LE10, Avo LE11, Avo LE 12|
Let’s take a look at the Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta and see what it brings to the table:
Like its predecessors, the Avo Limited Edition 2012 was done under the watchful eye of Davidoff blender Hendrik Kelner. As with each cigar in the Avo Limited Edition series, the blend is a completely different blend from prior years.
We published the initial blend profile when we previewed this cigar. We list it again for completeness. Two noteworthy things are: 1) The special Ecuadorian 702 wrapper; 2) The use of Peruvian tobacco in the filler (the use of Peruvian tobacco has become common in the Avo Limited Edition series).
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Special Sun Grown “Seleccion 702” (Ecuadorian Sumatra)
Binder: Dominican Piloto
Filler: Dominican Criollo Ligero, Piloto, Cubano Viso, San Vicente Ligero, Domincan Olor Ligero, Peruvian Seco
For the Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta, the vitola is 6 1/2 x 54 torpedo. As consistent with the series, one vitola will be released. The cigars will be packaged in boxes of 10. No specific numbers have been announced, but the word is that approximately 5,000 boxes will be produced for the United States, and 10,000 boxes worldwide.
The wrapper is listed as “Colorado Maduro” in color. From my standpoint, the wrapper looked more caramel in appearance. The wrapper was slightly toothy, it had some visible veins, and some wrapper seams. As mentioned above, there are three circular cigar leaf cutouts resembling the valves of a trumpet. The cutouts appear to be Ecuadorian Connecticut shade in nature. The cigar itself seemed to have a harder pack to it.
There are two bands on the cigar. The first band is similar to the brown, gold, black, and white band that has been seen the past few years on the Avo Limited Edition series. The Avo logo is front and center on that bend. To the left of the logo is the text “Avo Uvezian” in gold font. To the right of the logo is the text “LE12” also in gold font. There is a secondary band below the Avo logo band that is primarily gold in color. There is a silhouette of Uvezian playing a trumpet on the gold background Over the silhouette in white scripted font is the text “La Trompeta”.
|Another view of the Avo banding – distinguised by LE12 on the top band.|
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I usually do with torpedos, I defaulted to a straight cut (which is typical for most vitolas I smoke anyway). The pre-light draw yielded notes of wood and pepper. The pepper was a little sharp on the dry draw. I didn’t find the pre-light draw overly exciting with the Avo Limited Edition 2012. I do not factor the pre-light experience into the final assessment, so there is no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to fire up by Avo Limited Edition 2012 and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
The start of the Avo Limited Edition 2012 was vintage Henke Kelner. The flavor profile was a mix of hay, grass, and pepper. Things started to get interesting around the five percent mark when some natural tobacco sweetness surfaced. The complexity soon increased as coffee notes joined the mix around the ten percent mark. The coffee and natural sweetness moved into the forefront, while the pepper, hay, and grass flavors that started the smoke moved to the background.
Around 15 percent, the spice seemed to switch between two forms. At times it maintained the classic black pepper spice that started with this cigar. At other times, it seemed to have more of a cedar spice. This pattern continued for a good part of the smoke. The spice blended with the natural sweetness and created a very interesting sweet spice fusion.
Toward the end of the first third, the sweetness moved front and center. The natural sweetness transitioned to more of a butterscotch flavor. By the second third, the butterscotch sweetness was in the forefront, the spice was secondary, while the hay and grass were tertiary. The coffee notes had pretty much dissipated.
The body of the sweetness and spice went down a slight notch in the last third. The grass and hay were still very much present. Toward the close of the smoke of the Avo Limited Edition 2012, the butterscotch, spice, grass, and hay were pretty much are all at the same level. While most of the cigar was a smooth smoke, it got slightly choppy at the very end. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft when touched.
While the flavors were good, and most of the smoke was smooth, this Avo Limited Edition 2012 still seemed like it could benefit from some more age. I’m very curious to see how this still smokes in 90 days.
Burn and Draw
As mentioned, I thought the Avo Limited Edition 2012 could have used a little more age. I did have some minor burn issues with this cigar. I cannot put my finger on whether these were age or construction issues. The Avo Limited Edition 2012 did burn straight, but it required way too many touch-ups to keep it straight (high maintenance). The ash produced was white in color, and extremely firm. It almost seemed too firm an ash. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Avo Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta|
If you have ready many of my assessments, you know I am not a fan of torpedo vitolas. Much of this feeling stems from the draw as usually I don’t get a very good one. The Avo Limited Edition 2012 is a prime example of this. I know from an marketing angle, the torpedo makes this look more like a trumpet. From a cigar standpoint, this cigar would have been outstanding as a classic parejo. For the Avo Limited Edition 2012, I found the draw to be very tight on the start. Around 10 percent the draw opened up, and was much better – but still close to being excellent.
Strength and Body
The Avo Limited Edition 2010 was unique in that it was a full strength, full-bodied Avo cigar. The Avo Limited Edition 2011 went back to being a medium strength cigar, and the Avo Limited Edition 2012 continues this trend. This cigar is not going to overpower you with nicotine. As for the flavors, I also assessed them to be on the high end of medium, but just short of medium to full in body. The Avo Limited Edition 2012 is well-balanced in that the strength and body do not overpower one another.
Overall, this is another winner in the Avo Limited Edition series and will factor into the 2012 Cigar of the Year countdown. As I mentioned, I still feel with some more age, the Avo Limited Edition 2012 could even be better. I mentioned earlier that I would have much preferred this blend to be in a parejo as opposed to a torpedo – as I think this would have also made the cigar experience even better. Still, this was a very good cigar – and one that I enjoyed. While I don’t factor price into the final assessment, this does carry a $15.50 SRP – so this is something that is important to know. I’d recommend this to novice or experienced cigar enthusiasts looking for a very good medium strength, medium bodied cigar. I definitely think this is worth a purchase of a box.
Source: The cigar used for this assessment was gifted to me.