“There, I guess King George will be able to read that without his spectacles!”
— John Hancock
Hancock’s remark, of course, was made after being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. The late Avo Uvezian made his own mark on the cigar industry and perhaps has the most recognizable signature in the premium cigar industry. So, it seems apropos to create a line within the AVO brand called Signature.
Almost never referred to by his last name, Uvezian became known simply as Avo—and so it was that the singular name became the signature for one of the cigar industry’s greatest ambassadors.
“There are so many stories, so much rich content from his life, the brand has and will continue to carry his powerful legacy,” AVO Director of Marketing, Scott Kolesaire, said in a recent interview.
Back in 2015, when the brand went under a reconstruction, the Signature was removed from the AVO portfolio. However, with 2018 being the milestone 30th anniversary of the AVO brand, the Signature was brought back in limited quantities.
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AVO LE 30 Years Signature Double Corona Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican
- Factory: Oettinger Kelner Cigars (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited
- Vitola: 7″ × 50 (Double Corona)
- Price: $16.20 (MSRP)
The AVO LE Signature is constructed of some classic tobaccos indicative of the AVO brand and even its parent company, Oettinger Davidoff. The binder and filler hail from the company’s homeland of the Dominican Republic and the wrapper is a vintage Ecuadorian sun-grown varietal. The Signature’s blend is based on another celebrated, limited cigar in the AVO portfolio: AVO 75.
This long cigar is adorned with the trademark AVO logo and colored with black, ivory, and orange accents. As a fitting touch, Avo’s actual full signature is included in gold leaf on the side of the band. The cigar features a secondary band that has been used across all AVO cigars commemorating the brand’s milestone anniversary. The ivory band features “30” in gold-leaf script and is accented with an orange pinstripe.
The cigar’s wrapper has little texture and is velvety to the touch. There’s some sheen and pronounced oils, but nothing over the top. I cut the cap with my guillotine cutter and prepare to light it with my S.T. Dupont miniJet lighter. Before I do, the dry draw produces a flavor of cashew, earth, and cedar. As I light the cigar the aroma from the smoke produces fragrances of pepper, wood, and dandelion.
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One thing I love about AVO cigars is the draw. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never had a poorly constructed AVO (or one that I simply did not enjoy, for that matter), but one of the constants is the draw. It’s without restraint, but not loose—just quintessential AVO, and the cigars smoked for this review were no different. The smoke, like the wrapper to the touch, has a velvety atmosphere to it. The cigar produces hearty flavors that are not reminiscent of the typical AVO subtleties. There is a strong beef consommé flavor that is complemented by the carryover cashew and earthy notes. Rounding out the flavor is a distinct hint of lemon zest.
As the cigar progresses, a creeping sweetness of prune and grassy notes begin to appear that throw the balance of the cigar off just a bit. There’s something to say about complexity, but there is also something to be said about redundancy. The prune sweetness fights with the savory-ness of the consommé flavors. Except for the retrohale, there is little pepper or spice to fully balance the flavors. However, the retrohale does truly help to create a more complete experience overall.
The final third is very pleasant and less combative, as the cigar almost settles down into its finale. The consistency of the consommé is unique, but not understated. The lemon zest returns to carve out some terrific balance and, much to my delight, introduces a missing ingredient: pepper. Ah, yes, that wonderful spice that does so much for a cigar. It brings sharp flavors and compliments everything from earthy to sweet to savory. Yes, the finish is bright and balanced and quite enjoyable.
Would I smoke this Cigar again?
Yes, I would like to see if additional samples smoke similar, particularly in the middle of the cigar, where the complexity was very intriguing.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Beef consommé
- Lemon zest
- Smoke Time: 2 hours
- Pairing Recommendation: Amber beer | Irish whiskey | Blonde-roast coffee (specifically, Honduran (trust me)) | Steak tartare | Roasted cashews | Manchego cheese
- Purchase Recommendation: If you can find them, grab a hand full
- Stellar finish
- Virtually perfect draw
- Regal Appearance
- Offsetting middle
- Higher price point
- Muddled body