I realized that I might well work my way down the humidor at W.Curtis Draper (Bethesda). Last episode of Week in Smoke featured mostly Davidoff cigars which is the first thing you see when you walk into the humidor. Right next to it is AVO Cigars. Not much love is given in the blogosphere when it comes to AVO Cigars these days. The one exception is Avo’s yearly LE (limited edition) release honoring Avo Uvezian. Then you tend to see a rush on publishing the press release shortly followed by an assault of reviews of that LE and shortly thereafter, its back to business as usual. Anyway, I went through the AVO non-LE lineup with the exception of the AVO Signature. For some reason, it escaped my vision until after the fact. Semi slow Week in Smoke as I spent most of the earlier week editing video and preparing for my last video review of the La Aurora Cien Años Edición Especial.
AVO Classic Robusto – In 1988 when Avo first released the AVO Classic I was 11 years old. I’m sure the type of cigar that cigar smokers were wanting back then are nothing like the cigars that are being introduced today. It was interesting to smoke to get a glimpse of what profile was hot in the 80’s. While not my cup of tea a lot has to be said for this cigar to constantly appear on humidor shelves for 25 years. The AVO Classic wasn’t a bad cigar, nice smokey creamy notes, but this ultra mild cigar didn’t really do much for me.
AVO XO Intermezzo – A step-up from the mild body of the AVO Classic is the solid medium bodied AVO XO representing the 1990’s for Avo Cigars. Creamy and woodsy notes populate the surface of your palate. Definitely a solid contender to enjoy with that afternoon espresso to help get you through a typical workday. Smooth and balanced with impeccable construction. Loved the bouquet of floral notes that are distinguishable even in a smoke filled lounge.
AVO Heritage Robusto – The AVO Heritage represents the 2000’s for Avo Cigars and for my generation (the under 35 crowd), probably the first regular production Avo Cigar that comes to our mind. In that medium-full range where that signature Davidoff musky hay taste and aroma really shine. Had two of them for this week and loved every minute of it. The AVO Heritage is a cigar that can go toe-to-toe with a lot of the latest and greatest and come out ahead. A winner of a cigar!
AVO Domaine #20 – Right up there with the AVO Heritage is the AVO Domaine which was released back in 1998. Solid medium-full in body which was blended to be a stronger version of the original AVO Classic. Smooth and creamy with a really nice woodsy pepperiness on the finish. Sprinkle in some nuttiness and the occasional bright citrus notes and you have one diverse/complex cigar that pairs well with a Johnny Walker Double Black and Ginger Beer cocktail.
Tatuaje Regios Reserva – During Pete’s recent weekend long events at W.Curtis Draper establishments, I went rogue at first smoking a Davidoff Special R. But eventually I had to turn my attention to the Tatuaje Regios Reserva. I shared one with my buddy over at Humidor Notes. It had been awhile since I smoked a Regios Reserva so upon first puff I had to pause, put it down and go grab a drink and a small bite to eat. The Regios Reserva had more kick to it than I remembered! The rest of the evening was a whirlwind. I tried smoking something after it but the Regios Reserva kicked my ass and I was smoked out. Went home, crawled into bed and rocked myself to sleep.
Tatuaje Monster Series Jason (Pre-Release) – The second day of Pete’s visit had me mostly setting up and manning the video camera and shotgun microphone for 118 Minutes with Pete Johnson, but I still found time to smoke a treat from Pete. He didn’t immediately tell me what it was but as I smoked it, I thought I was out of my league. I felt challenged, similar to how I felt smoking a Davidoff Anniversario, basically it was out of my palate’s league. Lots of dark sweet woodsy syrupy notes with a bright citrus component to it. My palate didn’t pick up half of what was going on. The Monster Series had fallen off my radar the past couple years as I haven’t been overly impressed but I’m really looking forward to this year’s Monster release if this sample truly is the final blend.
Red Witch Double Fuerte by East India Trading Company – East India Trading Company was launched as a subsidiary of Gurkha Cigars. The Red Witch Double Fuerte is a slightly modified blend of their popular Red Witch blend. The slightly modified Double Fuerte contains more ligero. Sweet natural tobacco flavors adorn the Red Witch Double Fuerte and the added ligero really added a new layer of strength and boldness that you don’t get with the regular Red Witch. The differences between the Red Witch and the Double Fuerte aren’t striking at first puff. The differences are subtle but significant with the Red Witch being a solid medium bodied cigar and the Double Fuerte progressing to medium-full. Can’t go wrong with either is my take.