The Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 is a limited edition cigar that has two themes to it. The first is that it is a cigar that commemorates the 90th birthday of brand ambassador Avo Uvezian. Secondly, it is the third installment of a series in the limited edition line known as the Avo Improvisation Series. Last year, the Avo brand underwent a makeover featuring new banding, packaging, and a streamlining of the portfolio. As a part of the makeover, the annual Avo Limited Edition Series also underwent a change. From 2001 through 2014, Avo Cigar enthusiasts could always look forward to an Avo Cigar on brand ambassador Avo Uvezian’s March 22nd birthday, but in 2015 that would change. The first edition of the Improvisation Series, Avo Classic Covers Volume 1 would replace the birthday cigar. With this year being a milestone birthday (Uvezian’s 90th), the birthday cigar is incorporated as the third installment of the series, the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3. Overall, this is another solid addition to this limited edition series.
The concept of the Avo Improvisation Series is to draw inspirations from previous Avo releases to create a whole new cigar. With the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3, the blend for the Avo XO was used as a foundation to create a whole new blend that incorporated a different wrapper and binder. For the Avo Classic Covers Volume 1, the Avo Classic blend was used as a foundation. For the Avo Classic Covers Volume 2 (released last summer), the Avo Heritage blend was used as a foundation.
Using a theme similar to the Classic Covers Volume 2 release, some creative packaging was incorporated into the Volume 3 release. The cigars are packaged in a box that looks like a phonograph player – complete with a record-disc shaped cover. Once the cigars are removed from the box, the tray that houses the cigars can be re-used as an ashtray.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to the all Dominican filler, the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 features a Habano 2000 wrapper from Ecuador and a Mexican San Andres binder.
Wrapper: Habano 2000 (Ecuador)
Binder: Mexican Negro San Andres
Filler: All Dominican – San Vicente Mejorado Visus, San Vicente Mejorado Visus, Piloto Seco, Hybrid Corojo/Olor Visus – Aged 10 years; Criollo Seco – Aged 11 years.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 is available in one size – a 6 x 54 Toro. The cigars are packaged 18 to a box. The 6 x 54 vitola was also used on Volume 2.
The Habano Ecuador wrapper of the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 has a medium brown color. Upon closer examination, there is a slight amount of darker marbling that be seen. The surface of the wrapper has a light coating of oil. I also found the surface of the wrapper to be slightly bumpy. There also were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3. The primary band has an antique white background. On the center of the band is a copper, black, and antique white colored Avo logo on a brown background. To the right is the text “AVO UVEZIAN” in copper font on a cream colored background. To the left the logo for the Avo Improvisation Series. This logo feats “IMPROVISATION” in copper font with an orange Avo Uvezian Silhoutte being used in place of the letter “A”. Below that is the text “SERIES” in small copper font. There is a copper pinstripe near the top and the bottom on each side of the band.
The secondary band is copper colored. It features an antique white stripe across the top and bottom. The center of the band features a black “90” arranged in an slanted pattern. To the left of the “90” is the text “CLASSIC” in white font. To the right of the “90” is the text “COVERS” in white font. There is a black stripe on the bottom of the band with the text “VOLUME 3” in antique white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of nut, citrus, and cedar. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up my Avo 90 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 started out notes of nut and cedar. In the background there were a mix of black pepper, citrus, and herbal-grassy notes. I found the combination of the pepper and herbal notes to be amplified on the retro-hale.
Moving through the first third, I found the herbal notes made their way into the forefront joining the cedar. Meanwhile, the nut flavors floated between the forefront and background. The citrus notes remained a more distant background note.
As the Avo 90th moved into the second third, the herbal / cedar combination remained in the forefront while the nut and citrus remained in the background. It was during the second third where the black pepper became a little more prominent. First the pepper became more prominent on the after-draw. Throughout the second third, the black pepper became more of a factor in the background. By the end of the second third, the pepper was quite close to the forefront.
By the last third, the primary notes were a combination of the black pepper, cedar, and herbal flavors. The nut flavors were in the background and by this point the citrus had dissipated. This is the way the cigar experience of the Avo 90th came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, I found there were times the burn line of the Avo 90th was a little irregular, however the cigar still took a straight burn path and the cigar was never in danger of tunneling or canoeing. This was also a cigar that did not require an excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. The ash itself was firm and came off the cigar in clean chunks. I also found the combustion to the Avo 90th to be excellent as the cigar had an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the Avo 90th performed quite well. I found the draw wasn’t too tight, nor too loose. Overall I found the Avo 90th to be an easy cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Avo 90th Classic Covers to be medium. I found the strength level pretty much stayed constant throughout the smoking experience. As for the flavors, I also found they started out medium-bodied. I did find there was a gradual increase in body along the way and by the last third, the flavors of the Avo 90th had crossed into medium to full-bodied territory. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge.
Overall the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 delivers a very good cigar experience. Chances are if you like the classic herbal notes that have put their signature on many of the Avo releases, this will be a cigar that will interest you. In my case, this is a little different. On some of the milder Avo cigars, I like the herbal profile, but when these notes get into a medium-bodied range, the herbal notes do less for me.
While I still would reach for Volume 1 and Volume 2 first, the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 is still aa cigar I’d recommend. It’s a cigar I could recommend to either the experience or novice cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar I consider worthy of a five pack.
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver