This past weekend I was in full freeloader mode. I had gotten a email coupon for a free cigar at a local B&M earlier this month, and I planned to cash in. I knew if I didn’t get over there that weekend, I’d miss out. I know, it’s a rough life when you have to go out of your way to mooch.
Of course, I planned to pick up a few addition sticks while I was there. I was hoping to score some of the Illusiones the shop had teased for at least a month, but they still didn’t have them in stock. (Check out my review of the Illusione ~68~ Bombone.) Well, I couldn’t walk out with just the freebie without feeling like a weasel so I took a look around. Nothing looked interesting until I noticed the AVO 787s. It’s about time I gave those a try.
Before we get into the review, a little background is in order. The 787 was put together by Davidoff blender Hendrik Kelner for legendary jazz musician and cigar great Avo Uvezian. The goal of the 787 blend was create the more sophisticated and complicated smoke the industry was calling for. Now let’s see if it’s what I wanted.
Size: 6 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 hours
This time it’s clear!
The 787 toro is a nice looking, substantial cigar. The band is classy with its earth tones and gold outlining without being overly ornate. The wrapper is visually pretty smooth looking, without very large veins, but a little bumpy to the touch.
Upon close inspection, I didn’t notice any flaws in the wrapper, so I moved right along to sampling the aroma. The wrapper had a nice sweet barnyard scent that was more chocolaty and earthy at the foot. After getting a surprisingly good cut with my flamboyantly-red, but increasingly dull Xikar, I found the cold taste to be a strong earthy chocolate flavor.
I was a little surprised by the quality of the burn. While it was never horrible, it was pretty consistently uneven. Most of the time the burn line straightened itself out given a little time, but I did have to resort to touching it up a couple of times when it got especially unruly.
I also noticed that the ash tended to flake and flower a bit, and was just a little delicate. The good news is that in spite of apparent weakness of the ash, it held on for a reasonable inch and was nicely light in color.
I’m not flaky, it’s just my cigar
The cigar opened up with a flourish of nuts and coffee and quickly took on a toasty flavor. The first third struck me as being very complex, with flavors of grain, toast, coffee, dusty cocoa and earthiness. It seemed that every puff was noticeably different than the one preceding it.
The second third didn’t see to be as complex, setting into a coffee flavor with the occasional bits of dusty earthiness. Just as the cigar burned into the final third, there was a distinct, sweet earthy flavor and the coffee disappeared. The rest of the cigar remained earthy with just a bit of leather. As entered the final inch of the cigar, it took on a harsh flavor, and I had to give up my ambitions for a proper finger-burning nub.
I wasn’t able to track down the exact MSRP for the 787, but it looks like you can expect to pick it up for around $14. At that price, the cigar is definitely out of my comfort zone for an impulse buy smoke. (Which is ironic, because this was an impulse buy.) So unless I really enjoyed the cigar (and we’ll find out in a second), I’m not likely to buy more.
What I’ve carefully left out of this review is some details about the first of the two cigars I smoked. It became quickly clear to me that it was just a dud. Beginning with the unusual musty scent to the wrapper and lasting through fire-proof final third, it was just wasn’t worth smoking. I only bring this up now, because I’m currently running 50-50 with the AVOs I’ve smoked. (Don’t ask me about my birthday 80th!) So while I know this cigar was a one-off, it’s a little discouraging with my track record.
Now getting back to the good cigar, I thought it was pretty good. But to be honest, I was underwhelmed. It could be that all the hype surrounding this cigar over-inflated my expectations. The first third was pretty enjoyable, but the cigar just didn’t keep my interest. Again, not bad, but not 14 bucks good.
Liked It: Mostly
Buy It Again: Probably not
Recommend It: Depends
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.