AVO Cigars received an update in early 2015—not quite as extreme as sister brand Camacho (both brands being owned by Davidoff of Geneva), but more of a subtle evolution—bringing the twenty-eight-year-old brand up to pace with a brighter, sharper look for the modern era. In addition, the brand slimmed down their portfolio, trimming the fat down to a solid lineup of four, core-line cigars. Most notably, however, was the introduction of a new series, beginning with AVO Syncro Nicaragua—a cigar that showcased the brand’s musical background by providing “synchronization” between a diverse, worldly blend and Nicaragua’s notoriously intense properties. The “Nicaragua” in the title was the operative word, a sign that Syncro may be accompanied by other countries down the road.
And while 2016 did, in fact, provide the expected followup, the blend was focused on Nicaragua once more. AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata instead accentuated different regions within Nicaragua. Where the original centered around the spicy/sweet notes from Nicaragua’s Ometepe island, Fogata highlighted the fiery tendencies of Nicaragua’s Estelí and Condega regions.
But 2017 finally provided the confirmation of the Syncro Series’ exploratory intentions, shifting focus from Nicaragua to South America with AVO Syncro South America Ritmo.
AVO Syncro South America Ritmo Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Mexico
- Filler: Nicaragua | Peru | Brazil | Honduras | Dominican Republic
- Factory: OK Cigar Corp, Inc. (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 7″ × 54 “Torpedo Largo”
- Price: $13.90
AVO Syncro South America Ritmo not only migrates further south, but introduces the most diverse blend in the series to date—showcasing a whopping seven-country blend (compared to four for Fogata and five for the original Syncro cigars).
Ritmo, Spanish for rhythm, offers a completely new AVO experience rich with mystery and possibility. A medley of complex notes, AVO Syncro South America Ritmo is a rare composition of tobaccos from Peru, Brazil and Ecuador – elegantly arranged with Central American tobaccos from Nicaragua and Mexico. Raw in nature and polished in experience, AVO Syncro South America Ritmo is a blend a thousand years in the making.
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Each cigar in the series has held a slightly different color scheme, but Ritmo showcases a more drastic departure from the warm tones of the Nicaragua cigars. Instead, aqua hues of various blues/greens set the tone, which are balanced by subtle highlights of yellow, orange, and various shades of black/gray/white (if you’re a hockey fan, like me, just think San Jose Sharks and you’ll have the overall feel).
The original Syncro Nicaragua cigar marked AVO’s first regular-production box-pressed cigar, and Ritmo returns to this style, offering the cigars in four, box-pressed vitolas—Robusto: 5″ × 50, Toro: 6″ × 54, Special Toro: 6″ × 60, and Torpedo Largo: 7″ × 54. Typically, each Syncro cigar features one atypical vitola in the bunch; for Ritmo, this is the piramide/box-pressed/double-corona mashup that has been dubbed “Torpedo Largo.”
The Torpedo Largo is large and impressive in appearance, as a box-pressed figurado isn’t the most common shape, especially in a size this large. The box-press is sharp and flat on the bottom, but slightly more round on the other three sides. The wrapper is medium-light brown with a subtle orange hue, showcasing well-placed seams, faint veins, and a nick or two on the wrapper’s surface. Squeezing the cigar, it is consistent from head to toe, offering a decent amount of give that indicates a light bunching of tobaccos (surprising, considering the five-country filler recipe).
Ritmo’s aroma is of barnyard hay and leather, with chocolate, hay, and a little spice on the cigar’s foot. The pre-light draw is on the loose side, showing light notes of nuts, hay, and cedar wood.
AVO Syncro South America Ritmo ignites with delicate spices, which are more complex than stinging in the nostrils. There is barnyard hay, black peppercorns, and a citrus/fruity note that begins building in the background. On the draw, the resistance is better than the pre-light experience let on—offering a medium resistance that is nearly perfect (perhaps a tad on the loose side). With each puff, Ritmo emits medium-plus volumes of smoke.
Nearing two inches in, the profile advances in complexity, showing creamy notes of cinnamon-stirred milk, Hawaiian chocolate with macadamia nuts, and a satisfying, sweet custard on the finish. Meanwhile, the cigar’s ash is medium gray with lots of dark splotches throughout. It is lightly flakey and seems to cling to the cigar for close to two inches.
Ritmo offers a very retrohalable experience, showcasing a bright, yet dry-textured profile that unfolds most of its complexities through the nostrils. The exotic background of Ritmo begins to materialize in the second-third, showing deep, fruity notes, bright citrus, banana, and greenery (on the finish)—combining for a fruit salad-like experience at times. The overall profile can be summed up as medium strength, medium-plus flavor, medium body at this point.
As the Ritmo Torpedo Largo is quite a long cigar, there is plenty of room for flavor developments, and the experience does not disappoint. The cigar’s bright profile is joined by subtleties of oak, freshly grilled belle pepper, and a lingering spice on the finish. Nearing the band, the experience amps up to a medium-plus body, showing a darker profile that begins to cater towards the oaky notes previously mentioned. Occasionally there are flashes of sweet custard or raw juiciness, but the overall profile heads toward the more generic, dark and charred flavors typically found in a cigar’s final puffs.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Ab-so-lutely! I’ve smoked AVO Syncro South America Ritmo in every size except the 6″ x 60 Special Toro thus far and have been amazed with the consistency between vitolas. Each size offers roughly the same experience, with the smoking time from the various lengths being the biggest differentiator (probably due to the similar ring gauges between most of the vitolas).
Ritmo is fun and exotic in its profile, offering a nice change of pace for the flavor-seeking enthusiast. The cigars are around medium-bodied and shine best through bright complexities in the retrohale. While the body is right for the newcomer, many of the nuanced flavors are more geared for the intermediate to experienced enthusiast.
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: mojito, Brazilian light-roast coffee, red wine blend (The Prisoner would be an excellent choice), cream soda
- Purchase Recommendation: box purchase
- Atypical, bright & juicy flavors
- Great draw
- Steady progression of flavor/complexity throughout
- 2 - 3 touchups
- High price point
- Flavors darken to become a little too charred near the finale