The Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 is the fourth installment in the Avo Improvisation Series. It is also one of two cigars to commemorate the 90th birthday of brand ambassador Avo Uvezian. In 2015, 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, the series was for the most part an annual release with a different size and different blend. Beginning in 2015, the Avo Improvisation Series would take over as the Avo brand’s limited edition line. These cigars would take existing Avo regular production releases and draw inspiration from those blends to create a series of all new blends. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4. Overall, this was an excellent release that keeps true to the Avo brand’s roots, yet brings its own story to the table.
As mentioned, the concept of the Avo Improvisation Series to take an existing Avo blend and use it as a basis to create a new blend. This usually means one or more of the tobaccos of these existing blends were incorporated into the “improvised” limited edition blend. The following are the four installments and what the blend was based of.
- Avo Classic Covers Volume 1 (Inspired from the Avo Classic)
- Avo Classic Covers Volume 2 (Inspired from the the Avo Heritage)
- Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 3 (Inspired from the the Avo XO)
- Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 (Inspired from the the Avo Domiane)
Smilar to the Classic Covers Volume 3 release, Volume 4 features packaging in a unit 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. The Volume 4 unit features a gold and black color scheme.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Avo Classic Covers Volume 4 features an Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Marron wrapper, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and an all Dominican filler feautring 12 year tobaccos hand selected by Uvezian. The specific tobaccos “covered” by Volume 4 are not specified.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Marron
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican: San Vicente Mejorado Volado, Yamasa Visus, Pilito Visus, San Vicente Visus
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 comes in a single size – a 6 x 50/54 perfecto.
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 has a chocolate brown color. There is some oil on the surface. The wrapper itself was slightly bumpy. There were some visible veins, but the darker color of this Habano wrapper did a good job at hiding the seams. The head of the cigar is rounded with a gentle taper. The footer tapers to almost a pencil point-like tip.
There are two bands on the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4. These bands mirror the bands on 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 4″ in antique white font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4. Once the cap was removed I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of chocolate and earth notes with a touch of citrus. I didn’t get much in the way of spice on this pre-light draw. Overall I considered this pre-light draw to be satisfactory. At this point I lit up the Classic Covers Volume 4 and awaited what the smoking phase
The surprising thing was how fast the flavors emerged on the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 as i burned through the narrow tip. There was a combination of generic wood, chocolate, and cedar spice to start. The chocolate notes were not the “deep and rich” ones that often are a flavor from cigars. It didn’t take long for these chocolate notes to the forefront. The remaining cedar and citrus notes moved into the background and were soon joined by some straw notes. The retro-hale produced a combination of wood and mixed pepper on the retro-hale.
Once the cigar burned past the tapered section, I still found the chocolate notes to be primary. At times the cedar, wood and straw notes popped into the forefront. The citrus notes still remained in the background.
As the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 moved into the second third, the chocolate remained a constant. I found the wood and cedar notes still popped into the forefront from time to time. Meanwhile, the straw notes were replaced by earthy notes. These earthy notes also popped into the forefront. The citrus notes remained subtle in the background.
By the last third, the earth, wood, and cedar notes displaced the chocolate notes in the forefront. The chocolate notes moved into a secondary role. There also still was some citrus in the background. I also detected a touch of black pepper on the tongue during these later phases. As the cigar came to a close, there resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 performed quite well. This burn had little trouble navigating through the tapering of this cigar. It maintained a relatively straight burn path as well as a relatively straight burn line. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper complexion. While this wasn’t the firmest ash, it was not loose or flakey either. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw performed very well on the Classic Covers Volume 4. It was not a tight, nor a loose draw either. The resistance level was ideal enough to make this a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body standpoint, Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 is not a cigar that is going to push the boundaries of what Avo is known for. Most of the Avo portfolio ranges from mild to the upper end medium in terms of intensity. Classic Covers Volume 4 falls dead center into the medium range for both strength and body. Both attributes pretty much maintain a constant level from start to finish. The strength and body also balance each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
In terms of how this cigar “covers” the Avo Domaine blend, Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 is going to be a completely different cigar. The end result is an excellent offering and a blend that stands on its own. Some of the chocolate notes that were present throughout the smoking experience gave this cigar a different feel than most Avos, yet at the time there were some intangible qualities that still reminded me that this was very much a Avo cigar. While I wouldn’t say this cigar eclipses Volume 1 (which is my favorite of the Classic Covers), its still a very good cigar. It’s a cigar I’d recommend to any cigar enthusiast to smoke. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely smoke again – and it’s worthy of a box split.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Cedar, Earth, Straw, Citrus
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Avo 90th Classic Covers Volume 4 Introduced at 2016 IPCPR Trade Show
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Brand Reference: AVO