The AVO Syncro Caribe was announced last summer, marking the fourth blend under the brand’s contemporary Syncro series. AVO first launched this series in 2015 with the AVO Syncro Nicaragua, followed in successive years with the AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata (2016) and AVO Syncro South America Ritmo (2017).
One could argue that the collection followed the path first mapped out by sister brand Davidoff Cigars and their Black Band Collection (aka Discovery Series), where new and adventurous smoking experiences—often highlighting tobaccos of regions not formerly seen in the portfolio—could be explored. Interestingly, with the addition of the Caribe, both collections now include two Nicaraguan-focused blends, a South American-focused blend, and a Dominican-focused blend.
As you may have guessed, Caribe represents the Caribbean and the associated island vibes, described as, “A blend that represents a naturally harmonious experience that takes you to the land where the palms sway back and forth to the breeze of the sea.”
AVO Syncro Caribe Toro Breakdown
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican Republic | Nicaragua
- Factory: OK Cigar Corp, Inc. (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 52 (Toro)
- Price: $11.90 (MSRP)
The AVO Syncro Caribe pulls back on the specificity of former releases, instead only noting the tobaccos’ various origins, including two portions from the DR, one from Ecuador, and one from Nicaragua. The cigars come out of the second-tier Oettinger Kelner Cigars factory (like all AVO cigars) under the TabaDom compound in the DR, with the company noting a blending process dubbed natural distribution:
This dynamic cigar was blended to showcase a process we are calling ‘Natural Distribution’ in which the proportions of the tobaccos on any given plant is perfectly matched in the blending process. Specifically, the ratios of tobaccos from each priming are matched in the blend in all vitolas.
At the time of release, the cigars are rolled in three formats, with prices ranging from $10.90–$12.90 MSRP:
- Robusto: 5″ x 50 | $10.90
- Toro: 6″ x 52 | $11.90
- Special Toro: 6″ x 60 | $12.90
This is a fairly dark wrapper, being about as dark as one could consider a natural-wrapped cigar to be. The leaf is more toothy than expected, having somewhat of a rough feel. There are decent-sized veins and bumps from the binder beneath, and the seams are tight yet somewhat tattered. With a gentle squeeze, the bunch crackles a bit, seeming to have a medium density.
There’s not much aroma to the wrapper—it’s clean, with perhaps a bay leaf note somewhere in the mix. The foot adds in hay, cabinet spices, and, more specifically, clove. On the pre-light draw, the Caribe continues its path of subtlety, with a medium draw showing light flavors of florals, cedar, and lemon grass.
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The cigar kicks off with a clean spice that has a surprising amount of sting through the retrohale, having upfront notes of cedar and white pepper. This comes by way of a medium draw resistance that is a touch too easy, but only by the pickiest of standards. It’s overwhelmingly clean and refreshing in character, having aromatic spices, a cool smoke temperature, and a subtle, raw sugar-like sweetness to the finish. Occasionally, this is juxtaposed with a sharp pinch through the nostrils in the way you’d expect from horseradish—intense but worth the battle. But the overriding profile is more aromatic—comparable to the mamajuana spiced rum of the DR.
The Caribe Toro is mild to medium in strength, medium-plus in flavor, and medium-light in body. The cigar burns nicely, being wavy but correcting itself as needed. And while it started with a booming smoke output, it mellows down to the medium range by the one-inch mark. Notably, it’s not as floral as many AVO blends; sure, there’s glimpses of these characteristics, but they’re more on the fruity side (as opposed to bitter botanicals or perfume). Caribe’s refreshing quality seems to come from a few key components: (a) a subtle yet long-lasting raw sugar sweetness through the finish, (b) an especially cool smoking temperature, and (c) a mouthwatering sensation, with the smoke seeming to hit the back sides of the palate.
As the cigar progresses, the raw sugar darkens to more of a brown sugar or oat bar flavor. Additionally, the aforementioned fruit component becomes more noticeable, joining with the sugar for something similar to Smarties candy (and later opening up to include fruit-forward tea and Juicy Fruit gum). The cigar increases slightly in intensity leading into the halfway mark, being mild/medium in strength, medium-plus in flavor, and medium in body. There’s something more to the refreshing aspect, as the smoke texture can feel effervescent through the nostrils, making for a Sprite soda character.
The overall vibe is largely similar into the later portions of the toro, with flavors shifting more so than evolving. I had been feeling as though I was missing something within the spice/sweet character when it hit me in the final third: ginger. The cool mouthfeel combined with spice, florals, citrus, and sweetness that most are familiar with as the palate cleanser between bites of sushi (not the flavor of the sushi itself, mind you)—this seems to tie the previous notes together flawlessly. The cigar then darkens, toning down flavor in place of strength and body. This brings out notes of leather, fruity coffee bean, and a hotter, chili-like spice in the back of the throat. The experience closes out at medium strength, medium flavor, and medium-plus in body.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Yes. The cool smoking temperature, the insanely mouthwatering texture, the refreshing overall feel… it’s hard not to enjoy this one. It’s a cigar that could just as easily be your morning or nightcap smoke.
- The AVO Syncro Caribe Toro was awarded Cigar Dojo’s No. 7 Cigar of the Year for 2021.
- Elaborating on the correlation between the Syncro series and Davidoff Black Band Collection:
- Davidoff Nicaragua / AVO Syncro Nicaragua
- Davidoff Escurio / AVO Syncro South America Ritmo
- Davidoff Nicaragua Box Pressed / AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata
- Davidoff Yamasá / AVO Syncro Caribe
- It’s not a perfect analogy, but I find it interesting.
- Despite previous ratings on Cigar Dojo, I’d currently rank the Syncro series as: Caribe > Fogata > Ritmo > Nicaragua.
- Flavor: Medium-Plus
- Strength: Medium-Light
- Body: Medium
- Aromatic spice
- Raw sugar
- Fruit tea
- Ginger sweetness
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Mai Tai cocktail | Topo Chico | Mojito cocktail | Barrel-aged rum
- Purchase Recommendation: Box
- Refreshing and mouthwatering
- Cool smoking temperature allows long-lasting sweetness to shine
- Equally suited for morning or nighttime sessions
- Darker profile in final third doesn't compliment the refreshing majority of the experience
- Loose draw on some samples