In 2015, the AVO Cigars brand in the Davidoff portfolio underwent a refresh. While it wasn’t as dramatic as what Davidoff had done with Camacho or Winston Churchill, it still consolidated the existing portfolio and introduced new packaging. Later in 2015, the AVO brand would introduce a new segment of its portfolio known as AVO Syncro. Under former CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejgaard, a theme of innovation had been introduced to the brands, and AVO Syncro would incorporate the theme into the AVO brand. The first release of the AVO Syncro was the AVO Syncro Nicaragua. This was a cigar that would introduce the first regular box-pressed offering to AVO as well as the first AVO to use Nicaraguan tobaccos in the blend. In 2016, the AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata was released – introducing another AVO with Nicaraguan tobaccos, but this time highlighted from other regions. Earlier this year, the third release of the AVO Syncro line was released with the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo. This introduced the AVO brand’s second regular production box-pressed line and as the name indicates, the focus is around tobaccos from South America.
The release of the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo comes at a critical juncture in the history of the AVO brand. It was the first AVO cigar to be released since the passing of longtime brand ambassador Avo Uvezian. Avo’s legacy was tied to his love of music and cigars, and the Ritmo keeps to that theme. Ritmo is Spanish for rhythm. While rhythm is a musical term, it is also appropriate for this blend. It brings together tobaccos from seven different countries (with three of the seven from South America). Establishing a “rhythm” among seven diverse tobaccos was a goal with the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo release.
Without further ado, let’s break down the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Torpedo Largo and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned above, the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo features seven tobaccos. The three from South America are from Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil with the Ecuadorian tobacco used on the wrapper. There are also three Central American tobaccos, from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico. Finally keeping true to the roots of AVO, there is some Dominican tobacco in the filler.
Fillers: Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil, Honduras, Dominican Republic
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The AVO Syncro South America Ritmo is available in four box-pressed sizes. Each of the four sizes is available in 20-count boxes. It is worth noting that three of the four sizes have a 54 ring gauge or higher.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 54
Gordo: 6 x 60
Torpedo Largo: 7 x 54
The Avo Syncro South America Ritmo Torpedo Largo’s Ecuadorian wrapper had a medium to dark brown color with a slight Colorado hue mixed in. There was a light coat of oil on the surface. While there were some visible wrapper seams and visible veins, this was still a cigar with a smooth surface. The torpedo tip has a short and gentle taper. This was also a box-press that was firm with no soft spots.
There are two bands on the Avo Syncro South America Ritmo. The primary band of the Ritmo is similar in design to the original Syncro bands, but with a different color scheme. Prominently on the center of the band is a white, gray, and silver AVO logo. Encompassing the AVO logo on the upper 2/3 of the band is both orange and blue coloring. To the left of the logo is the text “AVO UVEZIAN” in small silver font. To the right of the logo is the text “SYNCRO” in small silver font. The lower third of the band is a teal colored background with white trim on the lower portion. On the background is the text “South America” in silver font.
The secondary band rests below the primary band. It is teal in color with silver font. On the center of the band is the text “RITMO”. To the left and right of that text is a small triangular-like design.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do for torpedo and belicoso vitolas, I used my Credo Special T cutter with the 36 ring gauge hole to get an ideal cut on the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Torpedo Largo. Once the tip was successfully removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of wood, natural tobacco, and bakers’ spice. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Ritmo Torpedo Largo and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Torpedo Largo started out with notes of wood, natural tobacco, and black pepper. Early on, the wood and natural tobacco became primary notes. The natural tobacco imparted a sweetness into the flavor profile. While the black pepper settled in the background, I also detected it on the retro-hale.
Later in the first third, the natural tobacco took sole possession as the primary flavor. Meanwhile, the wood notes settled into the background and transformed to a classic cedar note. The black pepper remained in the background, but now I also picked up a metallic note that wasn’t unpleasant in the background.
During the second third of the Ritmo Torpedo Largo, there was an increase of both the cedar and black pepper notes. I found this to be a gradual increase, but the natural tobacco remained in the forefront. Meanwhile, the black pepper also increased on the retro-hale.
There wasn’t much change on the final third. By this point, the primary flavors were the natural tobacco combined with the pepper and cedar notes. The metallic notes remained in the background as well. This is the way the cigar experience of the AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Torpedo Largo finished up. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it came to the burn, I found the Ritmo Torpedo Largo performed well. The cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path each time I smoked. For the most part, the burn line was relatively straight as well. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper complexion. This wasn’t the firmest ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash either.
The burn temperature remained ideal. I did find this cigar burned faster than I would expect from a 7 x 54 vitola. The total smoke time averaged about 75 minutes and I considered that to be at a higher rate than I would normally expect. Because the faster rate didn’t lead to any adverse effects other than a shorter smoke time, there was no loss of points here from a burn standpoint.
Most likely the faster burn rate of the Ritmo Torpedo Largo was tied to an open a draw than I prefer. While on a box press I normally don’t like as much resistance as a parejo, I still would have preferred a little more resistance on this draw.
Strength and Body
When it came to strength and body, I found the Ritmo Torpedo Largo started out on the lower end of medium. During the first half, both attributes increased in intensity in a linear fashion. Toward the midway point, I found they both crossed into medium to full territory. The second half of the Ritmo Torpedo Largo saw the increase in strength and body level off.
The strength and body maintained a nice balance from start to finish with neither attribute having an edge over the other.
There are a lot of different tobaccos in the blend of the AVO Synco South America Ritmo. I wouldn’t equate the number of tobaccos to be directly proportional to the complexity level. While this wasn’t a super complex cigar, there still was enough complexity to satisfy me. The Ritmo Torpedo Largo cigars used for this assessment have been aging in the Cigar Coop humidor for about 90 days. I can say, the Ritmo Torpedo Largo has settled nicely during this period and its a better cigar now than 90 days ago. My gut tells me this cigar will continue to respond well to longer-term aging. Finally, I liked the box-pressed Torpedo Largo format for this blend.
This is a cigar I would recommend for an experienced cigar enthusiast. This is also a nice cigar for the novice to “graduate” to something in the medium to medium plus range. As for myself, it’s a cigar I would smoke again, and its certainly worthy of having multiple cigars in the humidor.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Wood, Black Pepper, Metallic Notes
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver
News: AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Launching This Month
Brand Reference: AVO
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted