|Avo LE08 Tesoro|
One thing I will be looking to do is balance some of the new reviews with some reviews of existing cigars (a.k.a. what I will refer to as “Classic Cigars”). Last year, when the Avo Limited Edition 2010 was released, it gave me a whole new appreciate for the Avo line as I named this my 2010 Cigar of the Year. This appreciation was reaffirmed when the Avo 85th Anniversary Limited Edition 2011 was released. Therefore, I decided it would be appropriate to try to revisit some of the previous blends of the Avo Limited Edition series. Today, I will explore the 2008 edition – the Avo Limited Edition 2008 (LE 08) Tesoro.
The name “Tesoro” is Spanish for the word “Treasure”. The Limited Edition series started ten years ago in 2001 on Avo’s 75th birthday. Since then, a limited edition cigar has been released to coincide with Avo’s birthday – March 22nd. The LE 08 Tesoro is the eighth release in this series. This series deviates from many of the other Avo Limited Editions in that it uses a footer band.
Now it’s time to see how this cigar stacks up with the unbelievable releases of 2010 and 2011.
Nothng exotic here such as the Peruvian binder in the Avo Limited Edition 2011, but the LE 08 Tesoro has a classic Davidoff blend:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun-Grown
Binder: Dominican San Vincente
Filler; Dominican (Piloto, San Vincente, Olor)
The Avo LE 08 Tesoro is available in a single vitola. In this case it is a 5 3/4 x 50 vitola. The Avo web-site calls this a “Robusto”, but to me this is a tad shorter than being an official Toro.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Normally with a footer band, instead of taking it completely off, I end up putting it back on the cigar over the cap. This is nothing than a force of habit by myself, but it also helps me in my mind to acknowledge the cigar’s identity. With the LE 08 Tesoro, it was a little difficult to get the footer band over the cap, so I passed on this.
After placing a straight cut through the cap, I started the pre-light ritual. I admit, I was pretty disappointed with the dry draw notes I detected. These notes were very plain and simple – just some generic wood notes. It was then on to toast the foot and hope that things would change.
Unfortunately the plain notes continued on the initial draws from the LE 08 Tesoro. The good news is that didn’t last long. I soon detected some nut notes in the background that made the early part of this cigar experience smooth.
About 10 percent into the cigar experience, I started to detect some sweetness. I definitely categorize this in the caramel/butterscotch realm. The sweetness was more subtle, but it made for some good flavors. The disappointment of the early start was now gone and this smooth smoke was fully in gear.
Around 20 percent, the wood notes that had initially started the cigar experience morphed into more of a cedar spice. The complexity of this cigar was now increasing. The cedar spice moved front and center. By the midway point, the caramel/butterscotch notes that were still present were now joined by a touch of honey sweetness. The sweetness remains subtle throughout the whole experience. The Avo LE 08 Tesoro would hold these flavors to the nub. The nub finished on the cool side, but was a little soft. There was no harshness on the finish – it was smooth right until the end.
Burn and Draw
The burn was sharp throughout the whole experience with the Avo LE 08 Tesoro. It really required no significant touch-ups. The burn temperature was perfect as well. The only negative was the burn-rate. For something that was nearly a Toro-sized vitola, this cigar burned way too fast. I believe from initial light to final nub was about a 35 to 40 minute smoke. I would have expected things to be at least 10 to 15 minutes more or longer.
There were no issues with the draw – this was outstanding throughout the smoke.
Strength and Body
Avo cigars are not known to be nicotine bombs and the LE 08 Tesoro is no exception. This was definitely a medium strength smoke. I used the word smooth during the description of the flavor profile. This also translates to the body of the flavor notes as many of the notes were subtle. I would definitely categorize this as a medium bodied smoke.
While the initial disappointment quickly faded, I did not feel this cigar brought some of the special qualities that the Avo LE 10 and Avo 85th Anniversary LE 11 brought to the table. However this was still a very nice smoke. I probably would not give this to someone who is a full strength/full body cigar enthusiast. For someone who likes a smooth smoke that is not overpowering – I think they will love this one. Overall, a solid “Nice to Have” smoke.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Disclaimer: The cigar for this experience described in this assessment was purchased at W.Curtis Draper in Bethesda, MD.