Today we take a look at the AVO Movement TAA Limited Release cigar. The last of the 5 packs that my best buddy, Skip H. bought me a month or two ago. He is an AVO fan. Me? Only so so. To me, most AVO’s are fancy Macanudos. But this was his choice and I am forever grateful for his generosity.
This cigar was released in November of 2013. TAA stands for Tobacconist’s Association of America made up of 71 retailers.
Only 2500 boxes of 20 cigars were released. And I know Skip got his from Small Batch Cigar. I didn’t do my research to see who else still has them since it’s been close to a year since they were released.
This is the TAA mission statement:
“The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.”
This is the first box press produced by AVO. It is not a sharp box press, but rather, it has rounded corners and is, truthfully, difficult to tell that it is box pressed. It is also called a soft box press.
Construction is beautiful. Close to perfect with invisible seams, very little veins, an invisible triple cap, and a gorgeous caramel wrapper that is slightly mottled. Unfortunately, it is another dreary, sunless day in Milwaukee so you won’t get to see the true beauty of this cigar. The only thing to separate this cigar from other AVO cigars is the LE13 on the side of the cigar band. The wrapper has more of a matte finish with very little oiliness. And is smooth as silk.
I have kept all 5 in my humidor due to its size and AVO is generally an old school blender this whole time. Meaning, approximately two months. I hope it was enough.
As I look at all 5 together, they are dead nuts consistent with each other. No fluctuations in construction, wrapper color, or size and shape.
I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, caramel, cedar, spice, citrus, earthiness, and cocoa. And a touch of buttery graham cracker crust.
Time to light up.
The first puffs send waves of smoke into the room. The draw is perfect. And a sweet graham cracker flavor is first on the chalk board. There is a slightly musky flavor. And here comes the black pepper. Sprinting the 40 in 4.2.
Other flavors included a nice salty nuttiness, very rich earthiness, leather, a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, cappuccino, and that sweetness that includes something besides the graham cracker.
The cigar is heavy in the hand and nicely packed. This will be a slow go.
There is a bit of waviness to the burn line but nothing that needs correction at this time.
Caramel shows up early in the stick. I have smoked only ¾”. There is that Greek pastry flavor of the layers of Baklava. Without the honey. But with the walnuts.
Citrus joins up. It is candied lemon peel. The caramel becomes much stronger; as does the pepper as it becomes red pepper instead of black pepper.
The strength started out as mild/medium. At the 1” mark, it is classic medium bodied.
A giant tsunami of creaminess paints a large swath of color across my palate. It brings the flavors together and creates a very nice cohesiveness.
I have only smoked 1-1/2” and it is clear that the cigar is showing off. I am very sure that my patience with the humidor time has pulled off this little bit of heaven.
The price point. I know, I know. It ain’t cheap. $11 just about any place you can find it. And a lot more in the B & M’s. My buddy, Andrew at Small Batch Cigar gives it to you for $9 after the discount and even less after free shipping is worked in. $9 is a good price for the AVO Movement TAA Limited Release. Only 2500 boxes produced and released a year ago making this stick pretty much a collector’s item at this point. (SBC only has two fivers left and one box of 20)
With 4” to go, the cigar is now an official flavor bomb.
I haven’t had a real flavor bomb in a few reviews as of late.
Man oh man, this cigar is screaming laughter.
Here are the flavors: Creaminess, citrus, spice, sweetness, graham cracker, caramel, nuts, cinnamon, cappuccino, leather, and the newly added dried apricot.
The strength is hanging tough at medium bodied. While I enjoy the hell out of medium/full bodied cigars, it is a nice change to smoke a medium body that is full flavored. It is a nice smooth, even keeled ride.
I’ve reviewed several AVO cigars and the AVO Movement TAA Limited Release is, by far, the best one yet.
Jesus H. Christ…(the H is for Hubert)…this flavor profile is a man eater.
The best part is that I still have four left. Quite unusual for me. With that dreaded cigar budget.
This cigar is definitely a high premium and worth every dime. I read a couple reviews from some of the big guys and they were not impressed. One who gives out ratings gave it an 85. An 85? WTF!
Clearly, he jumped the gun and smoked it too soon. You have to be careful with the old school brands like CAO, Gurkha, Patel, etc. I got the CAO Heatwave over two months ago and they still are not even close to being ready to smoke. One of my fave cigars is the CAO Brazilia and that stick takes forever.
I feel better today so I think I can stand sitting in this chair long enough to bore you with another rock n roll story. Just gotta think of one…
The stick is so complex that it is a mind blower. Perfect balance with a very long finish.
The only thing that has changed since the earlier list of flavors is the spice has ratcheted down a bit.
Honey works itself into the blend. Now we have baklava.
Strange that I thought cocoa would be a big presence but it is not. I can no longer detect any chocolate. But then cocoa is more of a Nic puro flavor.
The world is on such a Nicaraguan blend kick that we forget to sample the goods from the Dominican Republic.
After a day of dry boxing, I lit up one of my real Camacho Corojos. Even with one day on it, it was strong, flavorful and complex. But now I shall be patient and let them rest for months.
It’s only about 10 days until I get my Social Security and I am definitely going to blow my measly budget on the Camacho Coyolar and another box of Corojos from Holt’s. $60 and $65 respectively is a killer price.
I am at the halfway point. Everything is on target.
The AVO Movement TAA Limited Release is a totally impressive cigar and experience. Such subtlety and nuance. Loads of character. And very complex.
All flavors are accounted for but the real stars of the show are the caramel, graham cracker, sweetness, cinnamon, nuts, and cappuccino.
With 1-1/2” to go, the nicotine escalates. Things become blurry. My motor skills go to shit.
And now for something completely different:
I apologize to my loyal readers that have been with me a while but my focakte memory is fading so I am repeating an old story.
It was my 25th birthday and we weren’t on the road. The band put together a birthday party for me at the legendary Marquee Club off of Piccadilly Circus.
Even our sister band, Renaissance, was there. They too were under the thumb of our manager, Miles Copeland III.
Before the band started, Stew brought out some blotter acid and handed it to me assuring me it wasn’t that strong. What the hell. I downed it with an entire English pint of lager.
Sonja and I were in the band room. Everyone stands. And it hit me 20 minutes after taking it. Stew and Sonja had been frying continuously for 3 days on the stuff.
Sonja was hanging on me when I looked at her and said to her, “Get me out of here.”
We went into the lobby and sat on a padded bench. I had taken acid before but it was never like this. It was clean and perfect.
In what seemed like a blink of an eye, 3 hours had passed and people began leaving the band room. Sonja had stayed with me the whole time holding my hand.
The entourage included at least 20 people. My friends were there, Renaissance was there, and the roadies were there.
We decided to go back to Skip’s basement flat in West London but we couldn’t catch a cab.
I saw one on the other side of Piccadilly Circus and yelled. The cab heard me and came and got us.
Just before we left, Stew handed out acid to everyone.
There were 8 of us in that large Black English cab and they were all fucking with me because I was so high. I begged for them to stop which just encouraged them to fuck with me even more.
I told them: “Just wait. It will be your turn very soon.”
By the time we got back to the flat, everyone was frying.
The following events would have made a great documentary.
It was a big flat and people wandered.
I found myself in the living room all by myself. I stared at a psychedelic poster on the wall and watched as it melted. I laughed and laughed. This was fun.
Then this beotch came in. She was a roommate and we never clicked.
She had bragged that she had taken acid lots of times. She was lying. And was freaking out. She asked me if it was always like this? I told her no. usually, it isn’t this good. And with that, she went screaming out of the flat into the snowy cold of a February night in England.
She couldn’t get back in and freaked out even more. No one could hear her pounding on the door because music was loud.
So she went across the street to the park and stuck her head between to uprights of the tall metal fence.
An hour later, someone went looking for her and found her across the street crying. They brought her inside where she commenced to puke her guts out.
Skip and Sonja were hanging as a couple. Sonja found a lemon in the kitchen and decided the lemon needed a walk. Skip followed her as she walked her lemon.
Originally, the basement flat was part of the house above us and there was a boarded off door with a stair leading to it. Skip kept all of the glass milk bottles we got from the delivery milk man each morning. He filled them with colored water and completely covered each step on the stair.
Skip was an artist.
Stew yelled for us to watch him as he ran up the stair without touching, or breaking, a single bottle. Everyone applauded.
Skip and Sonja missed it so I yelled for Skip and Sonja to come over to the stair. I egged Stew to do it again for Skip and Sonja.
This time, because he was so high, he thought he was the Coyote. Instead of running up the stair, he leaped into the air….hung for a second, turned his head and looked at us with total fear in his eyes, and fell on to the milk bottles breaking all of them…probably 100 bottles. Yet, not a scratch.
Once more, everyone applauded.
The sun began to come out and people began to leave….still high as kites.
I had my own flat around the corner from Skip’s. I stayed.
We were down to around 8-9 people and we sat on the floor of the living room in a circle and discussed life. We solved all the mysteries of the universe that early morning.
That night, Curved Air had the start of their 6 week tour starting in London. We did the gig still frying. 5 encores.
Meanwhile, the boys in Renaissance were too high to play and they had to cancel their performance; which was the start of their tour in London.
They had a female front person like we did. Her name was Annie Haslam and had a severe negative outlook on drugs.
From that day forward, she never spoke to me again. She blamed me for the canceled concert. Even though I was not the culprit who handed out the acid to everyone.
Back in 2000, when Charlotte contracted breast cancer, Annie found out and called Charlotte every day to see how she was. Classy.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS