2015 has marked some big changes for AVO Cigars. Beginning with a revamped look/feel to kick the year off, AVO then followed up with two limited edition releases under a new collection titled AVO Improvisation Series, as well as a new regular production line that was showcased at the 2015 IPCPR show—AVO Syncro Nicaragua. Syncro distinguishes AVO’s revamped presence by exploring new territory for the brand, marking their first regular production box-pressed cigar, as well as the first regular production cigar to include Nicaraguan tobacco.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an AVO release without a musical theme, as the brand is based around ambassador Avo Uvezian and his esteemed career in the music industry. For this release, “Syncro” implies the musical characteristic of timing, having a synchronization between the broad, multinational blend, with an emphasis on the edginess of Nicaraguan tobaccos seen in many of today’s most popular cigar blends.
AVO has implied this will be an ongoing collection, with Nicaragua being the first release in this, the Syncro Series.
AVO Syncro Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Nicaraguan (Ometepe) | Dominican (Piloto Cubano, San Vicente, & hybrid Olor/Piloto) | Peruvian (Olancho)
- Factory: Oettinger Kelner Cigars (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular release
- Vitola: 5″ x 50 robusto
- Price: $8.90
AVO has always showcased a nice balance in the Davidoff umbrella, being made at Davidoff’s OK Cigars factory in the Dominican Republic; the cigars often feature more delicate and refined profiles, while retaining a moderately affordable price range. It appears the Syncro follows suit, coming in surprisingly well below the $10 mark (for the robusto sizes). The intriguing aspect of this cigar, though, is the Nicaraguan tobaccos—giving the impression the cigar will feature bigger, bolder flavors than AVO’s usual endeavors.
Syncro Nicaragua is a nice looking cigar, it’s sophisticated with a luxurious, clean-cut band and the soft box-press feels sturdy in the hand. There are also a good set of vitolas used, ranging from a short robusto (4×52), up to a hefty gordo size (6×60). As with all AVO cigars (currently), the wrapper is Ecuadorian, this time being of Connecticut seed, having a medium brown, Colorado Claro hue. I was very impressed with the construction, having invisible seams, very tight veins, and a dense, solid roll. Also of interest was the near-flat cap, similar to what you’ll find on many Cuban cigars.
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AVO Syncro has the look of luxury, and a closer examination shows pleasant aromas of dry wood, sourdough, and a petting zoo-like leather. With a cut, the pre-draw is medium resistance, with subtle notes of mineral and cedar. After lighting, the first notes are very Dominican, with a tangy, funky quality, soon followed by caramel and smooth coffee. The texture is very pleasant, having a smooth and delicate feel, making for an enjoyably effortless exhale.
At this point, the flavors are fun, but certainly nothing new or noteworthy. “Why is this called Nicaragua?” I found myself asking—which seemed to make itself known mere moments later! A restrained spice enters the mix around the half-inch mark. Of course, it’s not overpowering or in-your-face, just a nice kick of spice, coupled with a little saltiness on the palate. The profile is refined, with a nice creaminess of salted butter and sweet cream to go along with the newly formed punctuations of Nicaraguan zest.
Moving into the two-thirds mark, the cigar seems to settle into a comfortable base of coffee and cream. And while the flavors are less dynamic, the body is still developing—now feeling more full and complex. This lasted a good chunk of the cigar, but eventually additional flavors again emerged—showing notes of toffee, black licorice, peppermint, and root beer candy. The black licorice later moves into a cold anise and nicotine strength in the retro, which is something I don’t usually find on a Dominican cigar (hello Nicaragua!).
Would I smoke this cigar again?
No doubt about it! I have to admit, I hadn’t paid much attention to the AVO brand until some of the more recent updates this year. But if Syncro is a sign of what’s to come, I think I’ll be coming back, not only for this cigar, but to revisit the entire line. The new AVO line reflects a similar reduction we saw with Camacho, bringing the core lineup down to a solid 4 cigars (5 including the new Syncro). I feel this makes the whole brand more approachable, with Syncro Nicaragua leading the way.
- Delicate, yet interesting flavors
- Successful delivery of concept
- Great price point/value
- Slow start
- Smoke output is on the lighter side