I've had this one sitting around for a good long while, now. More than once, I've felt like going ahead and reviewing it, but for some reason, this one seems to be 'cursed;' every time I go to light up, someone calls and I wind up going out. So, let's hopefully get this one done early enough in the day that I can break that pattern!
Cigar: Avo XO
Vitola: Intermezzo (Robusto) 5” x 50
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Rating (out of 10): 9.5
This stick has a soft, elegant look. The classic black, gold, and orange of the Avo Uvezian brand, with its stylized “AVO” overlaid lettering, lends the light Connecticut wrapper a slight orange tint. The wrapper is lightly veined, with a faint sheen of oil,and a perfectly-applied cap.
Construction is perfect, with no tears, cracks, or soft spots. I went and goofed, and gave it a punch cut with my wide gauge punch, and got it just off center; but this didn't cause any damage, just a bit of loose filler.
The barrel of the cigar smells sweet and woody, like creamy cedar. The aroma at the foot is a bit fruitier.
The cold draw is a bit firm, and offers a soft, cedary taste. After lighting, the flavor adds notes of cream, dried fruit, and a subtle hint of black pepper. Definitely a nice start to the day.
A little past an inch in, the burn is pretty even, if a bit wavy, and the ash is firm and grey. The flavor is primarily cedar and black pepper, with a slight creaminess on the finish and the aftertaste.
Then my clumsy fingers go and drop the damned thing, and off goes the ash.
In the second third, a fruitier taste that I can't quite put my finger on... something vaguely like pineapple. The burn remains even, and the ash is still nice and solid.
Moving into the final third, the pineapple fades somewhat, lingering on the aftertaste as the cedar and black pepper come back to the forefront. By the end, the black pepper does mellow out a bit, letting the cigar end on a solid cedar note.
Normally, I prefer a bolder cigar, at least a medium body, but generally pushing more toward the full end of the spectrum. And yet, the XO by Avo has that fascinating pineapple-like taste toward the middle that almost makes me want another. The burn was perfect from start to finish, and the aroma was mild and pleasing.
Ultimately, I'd place this near the top of my list as far as mild, “breakfast” smokes go. It's quite tasty, and doesn't hit too hard at the start of the day.