AVO Regional West Edition

The 2019 IPCPR Trade Show was one that was quite busy for AVO Cigars. The brand in the Davidoff portfolio would have six different offerings – all limited production. Four of the cigars were the “limited” AVO Unexpected Series, which most cigar enthusiasts know by now were basically repackaged and rebanded versions of AVO core line. There was a lot of controversy around the repackaging and rebanding of the AVO Unexpected Series. This controversy overshadowed the other two limited edition cigars, which were in the new AVO Regional Series. With the AVO Regional Series, the concept was simple – one limited edition cigar to the Eastern U.S. and one limited edition cigar for the Western U.S. Today, we take a closer look at the western offering – the AVO Regional West Edition.

AVO Regional East Edition (Top); AVO Regional West Edition (Bottom)

With the East and West versions of the AVO Regional Series, I’m not sure how much Davidoff enforced the distribution. Living in the Southeast, I was able to find AVO West Regional Edition cigars in several stores. Recently, Davidoff has announced a second pair of AVO Regional Edition cigars with the AVO Regional North Edition and AVO Regional South Edition. These new additions are planned.

Each installment of the AVO Regional Series features a different blend and a different size. Without further ado, let’s zoom in on the AVO Regional West Edition and see what this cigar brings to the table.

SPECIFICATIONS

Blend, Origin, and Vitolas Offered

Other than the country of origin, the specifics around the tobaccos in the AVO Regional West Edition have not been disclosed. For completeness, we include both the AVO Regional West Edition and AVO Regional East Edition. Both cigars are packaged in ten-count boxes with a total of 2,500 boxes (25,000 cigars).

AVO Regional West Edition

Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic and Honduras
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: O.K. Cigars
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 56

AVO Regional East Edition

Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: O.K. Cigars
Perfecto: 6 x 53

Packaging of the AVO Regional West Edition

Appearance

The Ecuadorian wrapper of the AVO Regional West Edition had a medium-brown color to it. There was a slight amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper had some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. The belicoso tip of the cigar had a long taper to it.

There are two bands on the AVO Regional West Edition. The primary band uses a style similar to what has been seen on previous AVO releases following the 2015 revamping of the band. This band features an antique white background. In the center of the band is a silver, black, and blue AVO logo. To the right is the text “AVO UVEZIAN” in silver font, while to the left is the logo is the text “WEST” in gold font – both sitting on a thick blue stripe with a silver stripe flanking the top and bottom.

The secondary band is blue with silver trim. There is a silver compass on the center of the band. The blue background also has a silhouette-like design representing the West Coast.

PERFORMANCE

Pre-Light Draw

A straight cut was used to remove the tip of the AVO Regional West Edition. A little less than half of the tip was removed to still allow for the tapering effect of the Belicoso to be enjoyed. From that point, it was on the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco and wood notes. Overall it was not the most exciting pre-light draw, however since the pre-light draw is not scored there was no loss of points. At this point, it was time to light up the AVO Regional West Edition and see what the smoking experience would have in store.

Tasting Notes

The AVO Regional West Edition started out with notes of natural tobacco, mixed fruit sweetness, classic wood, and hay. During the early portions of the first third, the natural tobacco and fruit notes became primary with the wood and hay notes settling in the background. As the AVO Regional West Edition approached the start of the second third, the fruit sweetness receded into the background. Meanwhile, the retro-hale started out with a subtle layer of black pepper, but that built up in intensity during the first third.

At the start of the second third, the wood notes started to increase in intensity and joined the natural tobacco notes in the forefront before the midway point. The fruit sweetness and hay notes remained in the background. Some black pepper emerged in the background on the tongue during the second third. The pepper increased in intensity and by the end of the second third, it had closed in on the wood and natural tobacco notes.

There were no changes in the flavor profile during the final third of the AVO Regional West Edition. The natural tobacco and wood notes remained primary with the pepper a close secondary note. The hay and fruit notes were more in the distant background. This is the way the AVO Regional West Edition came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn

On each smoke of the AVO Regional West Edition, the burn was on the ugly side. For the most part, it was jagged and required frequent touch-ups. The cigar did a relatively good job at maintaining a straight burn path, but this was thanks to the touchups. The color of the resulting ash had some black mixed in with a silver gray. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t loose nor flakey. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Burn of the AVO Regional West Edition

Draw

The draw to the AVO Regional West Edition performed quite well. There was a touch of resistance – which is something I like on a draw. This also was a low maintenance cigar  The tapered top of the cigar held up extremely well while puffing on it.

Strength and Body

The AVO Regional West Edition started out with medium strength and medium body. Both attributes increased in intensity, with the body increasing at a slightly more rapid rate. By the second half, the AVO Regional West Edition was in medium to full-bodied territory where it remained for the duration of the smoke. The strength did not get out of the medium range of the spectrum. In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained a slight edge.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

Final Thoughts

For the most part, AVO’s Limited Edition releases have been from the annual AVO Limited Edition or AVO Improvisational Series. The 2019 Regional releases were one of the more significant limited releases done outside the annual series. Assessing the AVO Regional West Edition, I found it to be an average cigar flavorwise, that I would have expected better from in the burn department. It simply doesn’t score high enough compared to many of AVO’s past limited releases. At $11.00 a cigar, it’s still not an inexpensive proposition. In the end, this is a cigar I would advise one to see if they can try first before seeking these out – but as I said, even in the Southeast, this “West” regional is still something that is quite accessible.

Summary

Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Hay, Classic Wood Black Pepper
Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium (1st Haf), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Finish: Good

Rating

Value: Try One
Score: 88

References

News: AVO East and West Regional Limited Editions Launched at 2019 IPCPR
Price: $11.00
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: AVO

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop