The Avo line underwent a transformation earlier this year with a redesign of the box and label. The blends are said to have remain the same, but having not smoked them in a while they come off as new and worthy of a review. According to the Avo website where they write about the XO, “Avo’s legacy captured in every format, with tobacco aged for at least six years, artistically woven into each cigar. A masterpiece meant for special occasions. A remarkably smooth, yet richly complex medium-bodied composition balanced with notes of wood, spice, dry and sweet fruit.”
Cigar: Avo XO
Size: 5 x 50 (Intermezzo)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look: The paper bag colored wrapper appears to be devoid of oils and there is one vein of note that stands out on the cigar. The band which has been slight redesigned features elements of gold foil, gray, off-white and orange, the latter color matches the box. In the hand the cigar is firm and the foot is soft while under the fingers the wrapper feels like velvet.
The Notes: The nose of the foot has that classic Henke Kelner signature of barnyard with dry hay and earth components. Once the Avo XO Intermezzo is cut, the cold draw serves up a floral note with some continued hay, grass and earth thrown into the mix.
Once the cigar is cut there are notes of blueberry and floral notes which remind me of a spring day. As we progress into the cigar the blueberry note fades and notes of hay and cedar take control of this cigar which also sees the floral aspects wither away.
In the second third of the Avo XO right after the ash drops some spice develops that take the cigar just outside of mild in terms of strength. The wood notes take on a distinct maple and the song The Trees by Rush creeps into my mind. As the second third comes to a close the floral notes slowly return with a grassy/hay like finish.
The Avo XO concludes with a base notes of earth and hay with some wood and spices on the finish making this an enjoyably mild cigar.
The Burn: The Avo XO burns to perfection with a thin burn line that reveals a firm white ash that holds on for more that a third at a time. The draw is a little free and easy for my liking, however it is well within the realm of acceptability and probably the preference for the majority of smokers. The cigar produced an ample amount of smoke and remain lit from first light to last puff.
Overall: The Avo XO is exactly how I remembered it, which was different then when I smoked the Avo Classic which to me seemed to have changed for the better. This does not make it a bad cigar, on the contrary as it is definitively Avo with its classic Davidoff style blend. This cigar would be ideal as a morning smoke or for those who like to light up occasionally.