Avo Syncro Nicaragua | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaraguan (Ometepe), Peruvian, Dominican (Piloto, San Vicente Mejorado and Hybrid Olor/Piloto)
Size: 5 X 50 “Robusto – Box Pressed”
Body: Medium
Price: $8.90 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the Avo Syncro Nicaragua.
Thanks to Tom Collins for the cigar.
This is a regular production cigar.
And it is the first AVO to contain Nicaraguan tobacco.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Short Robusto: 4 x 52 $7.90 MSRP
Robusto: 5 x 50 $8.90 MSRP
Toro: 6 x 54 $9.90 MSRP
Special Toro: 6 x 60 $10.90 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sugar cookies, spice, coffee, cedar, and cream.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell cloves, spice, chocolate, coffee, cookies, cedar, red cherries, and cream.
The cold draw presents flavors of allspice, cherries, coffee, spice, and cedar.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is terrific. Just the way I like it.
Big pepper bomb. But an unusual flavor combination: sweetness, creaminess, red cherries, coffee, honey roasted peanuts, nougat, chocolate, and grass.
The complexity kicks in immediately. Balance is great. Nice long finish.
Strength is medium body.

I like it. The odd combo of flavors makes for a real treat.
The spiciness, red pepper, calms down a bit but is still strong. Makes me happy.
The char line is a real gentleman. Behaving perfectly.

4

This is a big change for Avo Cigars. Usually an Old School blender, this cigar is typically New Breed style. Flavors explode from the beginning after a short period of humidor time.

That strong allspice and clove components begins to waver and fall into the background. The honey roasted peanuts is strong. So is the coffee and creaminess.
The Avo Syncro Nicaragua is so unique, I can’t help myself and look at other reviews. Not one is similar to another. Everyone’s palate is affected differently. Like a lot different.

No one tastes what I taste and I don’t taste what the others taste. A magical mystery tour.
The Avo Syncro Nicaragua needs its first minor touch up.

I notice that the Big Guys all review the cigar prior to its release and its debut at the 2015 IPCPR trade show. I wonder how long the humidor time was?
In fact, I have no idea how long this cigar spent time in a humidor.
With 1-1/4” burned, the excitement of those wondrous flavors flattens out a bit.

It was a roller coaster ride that just stopped on the track. Instead of flavors being bold, they are so nuanced and subtle that I am disappointed.

I am curious and check the big guy reviews to see if they experienced what I just did…a lessening of the flavor profile. And while they don’t bite the hand that feeds them, they do describe minimal flavors that start around the halfway point. In fact, it seems they smoked the cigar too soon as they were probably given pre-release sticks. And wanted to beat the other big guy out and publish a review.
One well respected reviewer says the cigar has a short finish near the end. Actually, I’m not sure when the short finish begins. But the flavors described are minimal.

This is a real shame. The Avo Syncro Nicaragua starts out like fireworks on the 4th of July. And then slowly slinks away.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 30 minutes.
Here are the remaining flavors: Creaminess, coffee, honey, nuts, cedar, and grass.
Charlotte leaves for work and the music goes on. The first song is “Imagine.” What a great song.

5third

I ran into McCartney accidentally back in ’75 when I was in Curved Air living in London. There was only one big guitar shop: The Fender Shop. It was on Tottenham Court Road. A main thoroughfare.
Miles Copeland’s company had a deal with them. We could go in and take home anything we wanted and if we liked it, the company bought it for us.

So, naturally, I was in there a lot trying out basses.
This one day, I was exiting the shop and as I grabbed the handle of the glass door, McCartney was on the outside trying to come in.
I froze.
He shook the handle a bit and I came to. I let go of the handle and he came in. He said to me, “Thanks, mate.” And winked at me.
I wanted to die. I tried to say something to him but all I could do was make gurgling noises. I left the store totally embarrassed.
That’s as close as I came to ever meeting The Beatles during my years in London playing music.

6

With 3” to go, flavors begin to re-form. The strength moves to medium/full. The spiciness is much stronger now. And the chocolate, creaminess, coffee, nuts, and sweetness are back on my plate.
That was weird.

And then the favorite part of a cigar’s flavor profile occurs: The Malts.
I’ve never read another reviewer who talks about malt flavors. Either I’m nuts (Probably) or they don’t taste it. It is the malt that comes from maturity of the blend. Eat some malted milk balls while you smoke a cigar and tell me I’m wrong.

“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. My favorite song from him.

The halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Coffee and malts move to the front of the line. Here are the malts: Chocolate Rye Malt, Coffee Malt, and Honey Malt. (See Malt Chart).

Strength recedes back to medium body.

7half

Flavors have returned but just not those big and bold flavors. It is more on cruise control.
I don’t know why there was such a lull in the flavor profile for about 10 minutes.
But it seems to be building back to where it started.
Graham cracker. Generic sweetness. Baking spices.

It’s been three weeks to the day that we lost our dog. It really seems harder now than when it happened. We have a noisy cat and I will hear him marching around the place and think it is Ebba. Our neighbors have a dog and since we have a common wall, I sometimes hear her when I’m in the cave and think it is Ebba.

Or when I go out, I think what are we going to do with Ebba. We can’t leave her alone. Or Charlotte goes to be early and asks me to make sure the dog goes out to do her business before I bring her up. Strange mind tricks.

Reviewing the Avo Syncro Nicaragua is almost unfair because of yesterday’s review of the El Galan Reserva Especial Habano. That was damn near a perfect cigar.

The Avo Syncro Nicaragua is pretty good but not even in the same league as the El Galan.

My last day is coming up quickly now. I was given this crazy cigar called El Septimo Diamond Serie Short Dream Topaz by Johnny Piette. You cannot buy them in the States.
It’s a 4 x 60 that costs $126.00.

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The web site is mostly in French and is located in Switzerland. I have only one but I thought it would be a great cigar to go out on. We shall see if I step on my dick or not.
The Avo Syncro Nicaragua is missing the all-important transitions.

It mostly picks a flavor profile position and stays there throughout the cigar experience.
It has lost most of its complexity. The balance is only so so. And the finish is short as my esteemed colleague said it was.

I believe that Avo tried to make a New Breed type of blend and just couldn’t get there.
I’m not much of an Avo fan. Too many of their cigars are mild/medium. And they are ridiculously overpriced. They remind me of the Graycliff line. Behind the times. Too much PR and not enough meat.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour.
The flavor profile finally kicks in to match the start of the cigar. Big pepper bomb. Big flavors with the malts leading the pack and coffee following. A natural sweetness that could be honey. The allspice returns.
The strength hits medium/full again.

9third

Now I get a bizarre flavor combination. S’mores. Graham crackers with toasted marshmallow and chocolate between them. Lovely.

Transitions finally begin. The balance is better. The finish is a bit longer.
So the last third is the sweet spot.

I never went for the Nub philosophy that the whole cigar was the sweet spot. I think the premise fooled people into thinking it was so, but I never found it to be true. Plus a stubby cigar is a pain in the ass to smoke.

The only Nub I found to be tasty was the Nub S.E. Box Pressed Maduro. That’s a pretty good blend. And the only Nub I found worthy of a review.

The Avo Syncro Nicaragua has required too many touch ups.

The Police playing “Roxanne” on the Classic Rock channel on my TV.
Got a good Curved Air story featuring Stew Copeland at the end of the review. Drugs involved, of course.

I hadn’t published this story in over 18 months and with all the new readers…why not?

The Avo Syncro Nicaragua finishes without much flare. It was basically a tasty cigar blend but a bit Schizo. Very good here and so so there. The creaminess and coffee are the prominent flavors at the end.
At $9.00 a stick…well, I think you have better choices. Like the under $7.00 El Galan Reserva Especial Habano.
One last note. I dissed the Eiroa First 20 Years pretty hard a couple reviews ago. I’ve smoked a couple since and while it was better than the review cigar, I don’t think it’s worth $12.00.

RATING: 88

10

And now for something completely different:
Into the Way Back Machine…1974

When you are young, you think you are made of Teflon. You do all the drugs of the specific era you happen to grow up in.
For me, it was weed, hashish, LSD, mushrooms, and peyote. Hallucinogens were our drugs of choice. At least among my friends.

Coke was rarely seen til the 80’s. And none of us were stupid enough to even try heroin.
No matter what band I played in, we rehearsed stoned. We played out stoned. We got stoned after the gig before we headed out to feed ourselves in self-congratulatory adrenaline.

I never played in a band before I was 50 that wasn’t always stoned. It was around that time that employers began doing random drug screenings. And being a big shot in construction was not a good place to be and caught being stoned.

Give you an example. Smoke a J and then do a simple problem using the Pythagorean Theorem. See?

When Curved Air went on tour, we had a standing ritual. Stew, the drummer, and I would always run off stage when the violinist did his 15 minutes of tortuous psychedelic meanderings that really jazzed up the audience.

Waiting for us, was our trusted roadies: Beric Wickens and Moray Smith. One held the hash pipe and the other, the lighter.

Stew and I would puff our brains out for a good 10 minutes. And none of this wussy European method of mixing cigarette tobacco with the hash. We were AMERICANS! We smoked our hash straight up.

The Europeans whined like pussies that they got too high smoking it that way so Stew and I, the AMERICANS, would pittle puff in their face and call them wankers of the highest order. I believe the queen of England has a medal for that.

One night, Stewart got extremely stoned. He was stumbling all over the place waiting to go back on after Darryl’s solo.
His drum kit was on a huge riser. Probably a good 4-5 feet tall. And the stage we were on was another 5 feet tall.

The stupid song we played after the solo was the completion of our theme song, “Vivaldi” named after the composer. Darryl loved Vivaldi. And the song was based on his compositions in which he liked to use the circle of fifths…a lot.

For non-musicians, a circle of fifths means this:
Here are the notes in the scale: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Of course there are sharps and flats.
Say we start on the A chord. The next chord to be played is the E chord. The chord after that is the B chord. After that is the F chord and so on until you make your way back to A and takes a total of 8 chords. Then Darryl would take the whole thing up a half step starting with A#. And so on. Now if you got lost, you were royally fucked.

The song ended with this huge drum flourish and Stew, who liked to go nuts (unlike his days in The Police), would raise his arms at the end and Ba Dum!!!

Well, this time, he was so stoned, he lost his balance when he raised his arms and he fell backwards….over 8 feet to the stage’s concrete floor.

Luckily for him, that is exactly where the roadies stored his drum cases. So they broke his fall the last four feet.
It ripped all the skin from his forearms. Literally gone.

Darryl looked back to see where Stew was only to see him AWOL.

The roadies ran back to help Stew up. His eyes were like saucers. And he ran back on stage to thunderous applause of 10,000 people.

He finished and ran to the dressing room.

The chick singer insisted on calling an ambulance fearing worse damage than skinless forearms. That sounds a lot like skinless foreskin.

We heard the “Eee-Ooo, Eee-Ooo” of the ambulance approaching. I could never get used to that Nazi Germany type of siren. Years later, they converted to American sounding sirens.

We stayed up all night with Stew in the hospital..except for Darryl, of course.
We kept getting in trouble because we kept sticking the hash pipe in his mouth during the long night. But it turned out that missing skin was the only real damage. Some bruised ribs but we were young and overcame that crap.

The next night, Stew was really sore. He limped around like I do now.

His arms were totally covered in bandages. And for the first time ever, Stew played like Charlie Watts of the Stones. Nice and simple.

One of the things that caused friction in the band was Stewart’s ridiculous soloing. He approached every song as if it were a 6 minute drum solo. Drove the band leader nuts.

Especially, when the violinist and guitarist would go to the front of the stage and trade licks for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, Stew was soloing. No downbeat to be found anywhere.

So, I would play quarter notes so the two boys knew where “1” was. I would play 1-2-3-4. Boring, but essential. The fact that I even knew where 1 occurred was a miracle. But I was a good listener.
And after the concert, there would be screaming. Stewart got fired every week. Sonja would quit in solidarity since he was now her boyfriend, and later, husband.

Every damn week this went on.

So when I heard The Police songs and heard how concise and conservative Stew played, I was absolutely amazed. He finally grew up.
That’s me with the fro on the far right. And Stew in the background:
curvedair

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8 replies

  1. Hey Philip, this cigar was in my humidor since early December. I’m not big on Avo’s, but I enjoyed this one, especially the beginning. Love the follow up story!

  2. Hi, I dont think that El Septimo is that much expensive.

    http://www.doncigarro.ch/en/el-septimo-diamond-s-collection/cigars

    It is around 30 USD

  3. Hello Phil, could you explain the dichotomy when you contrast what you call “old school blending” and “new breed blending”. Just for clarity’s sake. Thanks in advance, and be well.

    • Old School means the blenders knowingly plan to make sure their cigars take months and months to reach sufficient maturity enough to smoke.
      Examples: Rocky Patel, CAO, Gurkha, Oliva, Alec Bradley, Perdomo, Graycliff, and RyJ, etc.
      New Breed are the young guys who pump out most of the new boutique blends. With them, a month of humidor time is usually enough.

      • None of the blenders you named with the exception of RyJ were making cigars in the early nineties when I started smoking cigars. I guess I’m Old Old School and I’m younger than you are. Unless a cigar is properly fermented in the first place it does’t matter how long you rest a cigar in the humidor. It will never achieve a smokable state of any real quality. In the “old days” a sharp spiciness wasn’t not considered desirable. Tastes have changed, and the number of new tobacco blending components have blossomed. Yes, it’s all different now. Nevertheless, when you pass on into the next life I hope you leave your tastebuds to science for further study; you have quite the exemplary palette.

        Still haven’t deciphered your mystery illness, but I’m working on it. Best to you.