In February of this year, Cigar Dojo hosted Dylan Austin and Scott Kolesaire (Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Davidoff and Senior Brand Manager for AVO, respectively) on Smoke Night Live, where the two teased a slew rare releases forthcoming from AVO Cigars in 2018. But of all the cigars announced, there was one in particular that caught the attention of die-hard enthusiasts—AVO LE05.

Beginning in 2001, AVO has released a new cigar under its “Limited Edition” series each year. As with most limited edition projects in the cigar world, some of these releases garnered much more attention than others, with the AVO 22 (first released in 2002) and the AVO LE05 (first released in 2005) eventually rising to “legendary status” among devotees. But while the AVO 22 (along with many other AVO Limited Edition cigars) has since been re-released—such as with the AVO Greatest Hits Sampler in 2014—the AVO LE05 blend had never resurfaced… until 2018.

This year is especially significant for the company, marking the AVO brand’s monumental 30th anniversary—coming only one year after the death of Mr. Avo Uvezian in 2017. To mark the occasion, master blenders Hendrik “Henke” Kelner and Eladio Díaz sought to revive the legendary LE05 blend—a feat that had not been possible in past attempts (due to shortages of the unique leaves used in the blend). But this time around, the duo struck the winning recipe just right, allowing the cigar to resurface; dubbed AVO LE05 30th Anniversary to distinguish the cigars from the original release. This blend was rolled in a singular, 5⅜″ × 50 Robusto Extra size (which is two points slimmer than the original release) and packaged in an overall similar layout to the 2005 release.

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As far as the smoking experience is concerned, AVO LE05 30th Anniversary is medium-light to medium in body, showing a very atypical profile. This profile is somewhat jarring, having such an unusual beginning that it almost requires multiple smoking sessions to fully appreciate. It’s almost comparable to—giving a musical analogy—an album that is initially overlooked, not fully sinking in until it’s given multiple listens—front to back. Then, one day, you’re suddenly struck with the realization that the album is an all-time favorite. This is because the best albums don’t simply jump out at you, instantly clicking with a poppy rhythm; it’s a deeper substance that eventually wins out in the end… this was our experience with the AVO LE05 30th Anniversary. The cigar begins with wild herbs and gin-like botanicals, eventually expanding to showcase coffee beans, a balanced bitterness, sourdough bread, salted steak drippings, and buttery bone marrow.

AVO LE05 30th Anniversary Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuador
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Oettinger Kelner Cigars (Dominican Republic)
  • Production: Limited Edition (1,500 boxes of 20 cigars)
  • Vitola: 5⅜″ × 50 (Robusto Extra)
  • Price: $15.00 (MSRP)

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