|Avo Limited Edition 2003 – Avo 77 (Part of Avo’s Greatest Hits Sampler)|
The Avo Limited Edition 2003 (Avo LE03), better known as the Avo 77 was the third release in the annual Avo Limited Edition series. The cigar was meant to commemorate brand ambassador Avo Uvezian’s 77th birthday. From 2001 through 2014, the release of the annual limited edition was timed around the time of Uvezian’s March 22nd birthday (Recently the Avo Limited Edition 2015 was released and in a change of direction, the series is moving away from a “birthday” cigar). Today we take a look at the Avo 77 that was included in the recently released Avo’s Greatest Hits Sampler. This is a cigar that has not been released for 12 years, and might have gotten lost with all of the subsequent Avo Limited Edition cigars out there. Simply put, the cigar included in the sampler is a home run.
As mentioned, the Avo Limited Edition series was launched in 2001 and has followed each year with a different limited production release is done in a different size and a different blend. The commemorative Avo Greatest Hits sampler was announced just before the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show. This sampler contains 14 of the limited edition cigars between 2001 and 2014.
|Avo Greatest Hits – Packaging|
|Avo Greatest Hits – Closed Box|
In terms of the cigars included in the Avo’s Greatest Hits, some are cigars that have been aging in the warehouse and some have had their blends reconstructed using the same tobaccos (The LE05 was not included because this the reconstruction of the blend could not be done to Master Blender Henke Kelner’s satisfaction). It has not been disclosed whether or not the Avo 77 is from 2003, or if it has been reconstructed.
|Avo Greatest Hits – Contents|
|Avo Greatest Hits – Close Up|
Over the past several weeks, we have been assessing the cigars included in Avo’s Greatest Hits. Most of the cigars in this series “Assessment Update” (aka Agile Cigar Review) formats. Since the Avo 77 has not been assessed yet, we used th full assessment format here.
The Avo 77 features an Ecuadorian wrapper over Dominican binder and filler.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Avo 77 was produced in a single size – a 6 1/2 x 50 Toro. When it was originally released back in 2003, the cigar was packaged in 14 count boxes.
The Ecuadorian wrapper is what I would consider a shade or two darker than a classic Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper. There is a light coating of oil on the wrapper. There are some thin visible wrapper seams and most of the wrapper seams are well hidden. On the surface are some green “frog eyes”. “Frog eyes” are green blemishes often common to ligher wrappers and are not a sign of any damage. In fact, I think this adds a little charm to the cigar.
There are two bands on the Avo 77. The first band is a brown, beige, black, and silver version of the classic Avo band. The background to the band is brown. The beige, black, and silver Avo logo is front and center on that bend. To the left of the logo is the text “AVO UVEZIAN” in beige font. To the right of the logo is the text “Avo Uvezian”- in cursive beige font. The band also has beige and silver trim going around it.
The secondary band is also brown with beige and silver trim. Prominently on the center of the band is a “77” in beige and silver. To the left of the “77” is the text “Seventy” while to the right is the text “Seven” – both in beige cursive font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting my Avo 77, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap of the cigar was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw delivered a combination of wood, sweet natural tobacco, and a slight pepper note that lingered on the tongue. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point I was ready to light up the Avo 77 and see what the overall smoking experience would have in store.
After I lit up the Avo 77, one thing I really noticed was a toasty aroma – it was as good as an aroma as I got on any cigar. I also detected toast notes on the tongue. These toast notes showed up in the forefront and combined with some sweet natural tobacco notes. In the background, I detected some notes of pepper and grass. Meanwhile the toasted quality was also present on the retro-hale as I got what I term a “toasted spice”.
Later in the first third, a cream note surfaced in the background. By the second third, the cream and toast notes increased and joined the natural tobacco sweetness in the forefront. These three notes alternated in intensity. In the background I still picked up the pepper and grass notes.
The last third saw the cream and toasted notes joined by the pepper notes. The natural tobacco notes receded into the background. By this point, any grassy notes had dissipated. The last few puffs of this cigar did have somewhat of a spicy kick. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
There was a slight jag here and there, but overall this was a stellar burn. It followed a straight burn path and had a mostly sharp burn line. The ash was tight and firm with a charcoal gray color. Both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal. Based on how the burn performed, this cigar was worthy of garnering the Cigar Coop “exceptional” (burn) rating.
|Burn of the Avo Limited Edition 2003 – Avo 77|
The draw performed quite well. It was not too tight, nor was it too loose. It made for an enjoyable smoking experience from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Avo 77 to fall right in the middle of the spectrum. I assessed the Avo 77 as a medium strength cigar from start to finish. As for the body, I found this held in the medium range for the majority of the smoking experience. Toward the end, I did find the Avo 77 progressed to medium to full-bodied.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
There are two things I have really enjoyed about the Avo’s Greatest Hits Sampler. The first is going back and smoking some of the limited editions I have truly enjoyed. The second is getting the opportunity to smoke a limited edition I have not smoked before. With the Avo 77, this falls into the latter category. This was a blend released in 2003. While I don’t think his cigar has been aging for 12 years, I can say is that this is one heck of a cigar. If you like classic Avo or classic Davidoff profile, this is going to be a cigar you will enjoy. Finally don’t under-estimate the role of aroma on a cigar. This cigar has one of the best aromas I had in a long time. This is a cigar I would recommend to the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is easily a box worthy cigar.
Body: Medium, Medium to Full (Toward End)
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: Avo’s Greatest Hits Sampler Features Limited Editions
Price: $224.00 (Sampler Price)
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