Avo Limited Edition 2010 Super Robusto

2010 has been around just about long enough now for me to get used to writing “10” instead of “09.” And a new year (I know, I’m really stretching the meaning of “new” at this point) means a new Avo limited edition. The Avo Limited Edition 2010, or “LE 10” as it is commonly called, was released to roughly coincide with Avo Uvezian’s 84th birthday on March 22nd. As a part of the celebration, Avo himself is touring the country, attending special events, charming the ladies, signing boxes and, as rumor has it, tickling the ivories for the attendees. It’s an event I don’t plan to miss when he comes to Atlanta in a few short days. (Atlanta event details, tour schedule)

A grand total of 10,000 LE 10’s have been made, and are available in “modern, matt black lacquered wooden boxes of 10,” to quote the Avo website. The cigar itself comes in what is described as a “Super Robusto format,” following a trend of smokes that are beefier that what has traditionally been known as a robusto, but aren’t quite toros either. But what really makes this cigar stand out from previous annual releases is that its filler tobacco. It’s all ligero. That’s right, ligero and nothing else. And it’s time to unleash it will a little fire.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 55
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sun Grown
Binder: Mexico Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic Ligero
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $15.50

The Pre-Smoke
It’s funny what catches your eye first see a cigar. It wasn’t the very dark wrapper leaf with the occasional black splotches, or the flashy Avo insignia on the main band. It was the little silhouette of Avo sandwiched between the words “Limited” and “Edition”, with his straw hat and a cigar raised in a cheerful gesture that kept grabbing my eyes. It’s as though what’s meant is that Avo is the real the limited edition. There’s no doubt he’s one of a kind.

On closer inspection, I did notice a few small imperfections in the wrapper of the sticks I smoked for this review. One cigar had a number of small holes, and a what appeared to be a water spot, while another had a more substantial hole trying to hide between the bands. Testing the firmness of the cigars, they did have a little give but not too much, and I found at least one soft spot in each stick in either the middle or final thirds.

The wrapper aroma was a very deep, rich compost with just a touch of sweetness, and I tasted cocoa and more sweetness in the cold draw.

The Burn
You may want to keep your lighter handy for this one. While the draw was very good, and I had no trouble keeping the cigar lit, the LE 10 did have the tendency to stray quite a bit while burning. A couple of times with each stick it became necessary to assist part of the burn line catch up with the rest. A small tunnel appeared briefly in the second third of one cigar as well. The cigar’s light gray ash had a tendency to be a tad on the flaky side too.

I must make note that in my eagerness to beat Jerry to this review, I didn’t give the LE 10 the benefit of same acclimation period I afford most of the cigars I review. I smoked the first one of these literally the same day they arrived at the cigar shop. So some allowances for burn irregularities should be made.

The Flavor
The LE 10 announces it’s presence with a spicy mixture of musty cocoa, coffee, pepper and slightly sweet grass. As the cigar burned through the initial third, the grassy flavor took center stage, at times it was very sweet, other times, more spicy, and often accompanied by a drier wood note.

Just before the beginning of the second third, slightly musty earth and espresso flavors appeared. For a short time the grassiness that had been so dominant either disappeared or was a hint in the finish. Before long, it and the wood were back. Again there were some very sweet points, but in this third, it was consistent spicy throughout. Later on, the slightly musty earth returned.

As the cigar neared it’s conclusion in the final third, the flavor continued to be earthy with some coffee notes. Initially the grass element wasn’t apparent, but became very noticeable in the long finish. And even then there was a slight sweetness to it.

The Price
Like it or not, a cigar with a $15 price tag is not a smoke that’s easy to buy regularly for most people. Myself included. However, the price won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been a fan of Avo’s previous annual releases. It’s actually a little less expensive than some of them, and the 10 count box will make it easier for people who prefer to buy their cigars by the box.

The Verdict
If somebody handed me an unbanded Avo LE 10, I’d like to think I’d be able to guess it was an Avo. Those trademark musty and grassiness notes I’ve tasted in other Avo cigars is present. But there’s a good chance that the fullness and spiciness of the stick would have fooled me. I can just imagine the scenario. When the brand was revealed, I can see myself saying, “wow, this is an Avo?” in impressed disbelief. I think it would have made for a pleasant surprise.

The Avo Limited Edition 2010 is easily the best Avo cigar I’ve ever smoked. And though I’m generally not much of a fan of grassy flavors in cigars, I found myself enjoying this smoking experience. Part of that enjoyment was due to the occasional similarities it had with the Zino Embassy Selection I like so much. The $15 price tag will likely prevent me from lighting these up regularly, but I will be smoking more of them from time to time. And I recommend this Avo ligero experience to anyone who enjoys a full bodied cigar with a ligero kick.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.