Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican Sun Grown
Binder: Peruvian Pelo de Oro
Filler: Dominican San Vicente Viso, Dominican San Vicente Ligero, Dominican Piloto Ligero, Dominican Piloto Seco
Size: 6.625 x 50 “Diadema”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $17.50 MSRP ($14.00 @ Corona Cigar)
Humidor time: 3 months
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 1





Today we take a look at the Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary.
Thanks to a reader for the couple of sticks.
I read several reviews….all liked it a lot. But everyone mentioned a grassy element. I don’t like smoking grass….well, not anymore.

Originally released in 2011
Re-released in 2015…Could not find info as to whether it is the exact same blend…or it was tweaked a bit.
The Avo LE began in 2001. This is the 10th release.
The Avo Limited Edition 2011 celebrates the 85th birthday of Avo Uvezian.

From the Avo Cigars press release:
“Cigar luminary Avo Uvezian is celebrating his 85th birthday with the release of his Limited Edition Anniversary Cigar, the “85th”. The “85th” marks the tenth annual limited edition release from AVO Cigars, a tradition the legendary cigar composer started to commemorate since his 75th birthday.

“The “85th Anniversary” presents itself in a majestic and charming cigar format – a noble ”Diademas” – and is limited to 100,000 cigars worldwide with 60,000 cigars for the US market.

“The sophisticated black, silky-matte-lacquered box with the impressive golden print of the “Avo 85th Anniversary” logo underlines the gracefulness and the non-interchangeable note and denomination of this cigar.

“The well-balanced combination of the San Vicente and Piloto tobaccos enfolded by a Peruvian binder and perfected with a special Sun grown Dominican wrapper as well as the gorgeous Diademas format make it an outstanding cigar. The “Avo 85th Anniversary” is of medium strength, offers complex aromas and is an extraordinary smoking experience. A cigar no aficionado should miss!!”


This is a beautifully crafted cigar. There are rustic elements like visible seams, big veins here and there, with a bit of bumps and lumps.
The artfully applied triple cap is actually quite flat.
The wrapper is an oily, chocolate brown/coffee bean color. Very toothy.

From the shaft, I smell chocolate and coconut like a Mounds bar, sweet caramel, cream, cedar, dried fruit, slight touch of pepper, and floral notes.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell citrus notes, chocolate, spice, cream, caramel, cedar, espresso from the foot, and floral notes.

The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, malt, red pepper, espresso, dried fruit, cedar, and caramel.

The cigar is packed a little too tightly. The draw is an effort. But I’m rewarded with a bounty of flavors: Strong red pepper, chocolate, malt, creaminess, dried fruit, and caramel…and of course, earthwoodleather.

So far, no flavor of grass. In my opinion, the taste of grass means the cigar is green (No pun intended). That it was reviewed too early. Your cigar should not taste like weeds or grass if it is properly stored in your humidor for a few months. But there is always a rush to be the first on the block with the first review of a new blend; regardless of the consequences of your outcome that affects whether a reader might try the cigar.

Some reviewers even brag that “Hey! I’m the first one to review the new Gurkha One Millionth blend: Shaggy Beast Regent Master Select Legend Beauty Crest Private Reserve.”
“And it tastes great full of earthwoodleather and chocolate and spice.”

There is a plug halfway down the stick. Out comes the cigar awl and I carefully puncture the plug making a nice airway a truck can drive through.
The flavor profile opens up as a result of penetrating the stick…Black pepper co-ops the red pepper, veggie notes open slowly that includes dill and fennel, a nice meatiness appears, and buttered rye toast.
If the Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary continues on this path, it will be…by far…the best Avo I’ve smoked.


I find I always have issues with the burn on diademas, perfectos, figurados and box pressed sticks. The burn begins to waver on the Avo so I correct it quickly.

I reviewed Jay Z’s Cohiba Comador yesterday. What an awful piece of $20 junk that was. The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary is exactly how an expensive cigar blend should start: Promise and potential. No fucking around smoking through a blah first third hoping the blend catches up.

Man, this is delicious, decadent, and delectable. The three D’s. Also Dong, Douchebag, and Dipshit. The latter is for the Comador, not the Avo.

This is going to be a long review. The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary is a slow roll taking its time imparting wonderful flavors headlined by the spiciness and creaminess and chocolate.
I can see why the other reviewers went gaga over this blend. It is a mind fucker.

What a shame it came out in 2015 because it has all of the “It” factor to be in my top 25 list of 2016. Maybe I can slip it in and no one will notice.

The blend becomes intensely complex at this point. Transitions are marching along. Nice long finish.
Strength has been medium/full from the get go.

I know it’s funny when I trash the shit out of a cigar. Yet, when a bona fide great blend comes across my desk, it gets the full Monty. All the respect it deserves. So…not as funny. As to whether which style is more important? I don’t know. On one hand I’m warning you not to plop down a $20 bill for a shit cigar…but on the other hand, I am giving you good advice on a $17 stick that just may be worth the ridiculous price point. We shall see. Still a lot to go.

Smoke time is 35 minutes.

My lord…what a flavor bomb (I know everyone hates that term). But the Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary gets my wholehearted blessing. Flavors are shooting out of my arse like a lightning bolt. (I keep a tube of Preparation H anal cream for these situations.)

In case you were wondering, Forbes Magazine ranked the Star War movies:
1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. Revenge of the Sith
3. A New Hope
4. The Force Awakens
5. Attack of the Clones
6. Return of the Jedi
7. The Phantom Menace
Now you know that.

I get a touch of bitterness that was unexpected. Anyone ever give you a cigar that wasn’t humidified correctly? Maybe the person used tap water in his humidifier. That’s usually the culprit. I learned that the hard way many decades ago. I took my dad’s humidor when I was 22. Held 100 cigars and had a plastic bubble on top for the water and a little thingie hanging down into the box to humidify. Wish I still had it.
I tried to find a picture of it online but no luck.

OK. The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary. I allowed the cigar to rest and then go out. I’ve relit the cigar and the bitterness is gone.


The complexity is so hot and heavy that individual flavors are difficult to discern; except for the obvious ones of course. My lips burn from the spiciness. My sinuses are clear.

It’s a balmy 32° this morning. But disaster awaits as Arctic weather approaches by tomorrow. Won’t get above 25° but with the 15mph winds, it will be around 5°-10° during the day. Below zero at night. Brrrr…Ever have your nuts disappear inside your body from cold? This is the place.

I’m in a very good mood because of the Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary.

Corona Cigar is selling singles for $14.00. Didn’t find anyone else.

The flavor lineup changes a bit: Creaminess, spice, chocolate, malt, rye, espresso, dried fruit, cedar, mint, fennel, nutty, meaty, a touch of peat, caramel, and flowery. Nice aroma too.
And those are only the flavors my palate could pick up. Others are so subtle, I just can’t identify them. Highly complex blend.

Strength hits full. And along comes mary…er…nicotine.

Back in 1966, I went to Melodyland Theater in Anaheim. Across the street from Disneyland. Theater; in the round. My friend, Skip, and I saw dozens of acts there. We always bought front row center seats for $3.50 a pop. My favorite concert was the Mamas & Papas supported by Simon & Garfunkel. My second fave concert was seeing Buffalo Springfield just after their first hit single. The first really loud band I had seen or heard. I think Melodyland is now a Best Buy.

I may have a new sponsor: WikiePipes. Because of the cannabis reviews, they want to advertise with a more sophisticated audience of cigar smokers. They are sending their invention of a mobile pipe that folds up. They are sending it to my reviewer, Calvin Kush for his thoughts and I will publish the review. Here are some photos:



This is such a fucking decadent cigar. By far, the best Avo on the market I’ve smoked. Next time an Avo LE hits the market, I’m in. I will borrow the money from Bryan Kinnaman. He’s got a lot of dough. He sent me a couple Cubans for review. I am running out of cigars to smoke so I lit up the Cohiba. Second half was good. When Bryan asked how I liked it, I told him it was sort of blah. He responded with they take years to age properly. So what? I’m supposed to review the Cohiba in 2019? I’ll be dead by then. Lol (Take it easy Bryan. I’m just fucking with you. This man has always taken care of me with care packages of review cigars now and then. A good friend.)

The nutty, chocolate maltiness is picking up the pace. An ounce of black licorice appears. The creaminess washes over the other flavors like a blankey.

This is the pitfall of reviewing live while I write. A big slow cigar makes me a motor mouth.

Oh shit. A big run while I was running my mouth off. I torch half an inch of innocent wrapper to get it even. I hate that.

The halfway point. Smoke time is over an hour.

The nicotine has maintained an even keel. Not seeing double yet. But I still have over 3” to go. (I told my wife that on our honeymoon. She didn’t laugh).

Because I was so ill this winter, I wasn’t able to keep up with my daily reviews so I’m a bit short on my top 25 list. I may throw this stick in and say the hell with it. Or…maybe not. It is only the 6th of December. Who knows what may be coming my way?

The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary is really spicy now. It is one of the spiciest cigars as of late. Reminds me of Pepin Garcia blends, aged perfectly, with that big spice bomb at the start.

I’m freezing my nuts off next to this open window. I hope you appreciate this. I need to go to Amazon and buy some ball warmers.


Suckling from the teats of the gods. No better endorsement.
I smoked my first Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary a month after receipt. Really bad idea on my part. I tasted grass!
Now, two months later, this blend is magnificent. No grass! So read the other reviews and think to yourself…why are they describing grass as a flavor? Impatience, my lovelies.

Sweet spot 2.0.
Jesus Cristo!

Smoke time is one hour 35 minutes.

I just noticed that Hendrik “Henke” Kelner is rarely mentioned in descriptions of any Avo cigar blend. The man is around 70 years old and I just wonder how hard the man works, or is able to work, coming up with the arduous work of blending. Spit ballin’ here but I think he maintains a supervisory position now more than being in the trenches. But not once does a description, omitting his name as blender, actually say who really blended the cigar. Just a random thought…carry on.

If you look hard enough, there are near perfect cigars out there. Finding them is another issue. They come to you via an anomaly like an unreported UFO. In other words, you just never know.

Some bitterness returns. Where is this coming from? I use only pure icy water from the Alps flown in monthly. Shouldn’t be the culprit.
The bitterness is going to take some points off my rating.
Bitterness can also come from tar. Tar can accumulate from puffing too hard and too often. I don’t do that.

The price. Almost $18 when it came out. I did find one online store gouging its customers by charging $25. I will not name the bastardo. He doesn’t deserve your business.

$14 from Corona is much better but still an expensive cigar. Yeah, I know it is a limited edition but so what? The ridiculous price points on new cigars are driving me out of the reviewing business. We are senior citizens living on a fixed income. I may have to stop writing before the dementia is the cause.

The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary is a very special blend. Lots of leaf stats. Impressive. But this kind of price point is something that only a small percentage of cigar smokers can afford.

I’m sick of the arrogance of some brands who keep cranking out $15-$20 cigars. While the cost of manufacturing is low…yeah, bales of tobacco have gone up…but the overhead from the ballyhoo of PR, marketing, and accessories is the cost inflator. I don’t understand why manufacturers do this. Word of mouth is the cheapest manner to sell cigars. Events are a waste of money. Who needs a ball cap with the brand name on it? And do I really need a $30 Gurkha ashtray?
I cannot stop progress. It is what it is.


The Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary is a true aficionado’s cigar experience. Most cigars while away the time. This one hits you in the gut and rips them out. Kerplop.

Great cigar. If you have the dough, wonderful. But if you’re like me using Cbid, a 5 pack of Avo Limited Edition 2011 85th Anniversary can reach $100.00. That’s just fucking insane.

Your only chance is Corona Cigar. You can get a couple of singles and decide for yourself.
Final smoke time is two hours 10 minutes.


And now for something completely different:

Got an early Chanukkah gift this year: “Joe Bonamassa – Live at the Greek Theater” on Blu-ray.
It is called the Three Kings Tour. All songs by artists: B.B. King, Albert King, and Freddie King.
Charlotte and I have been wearing out our DVR one hour concert special that was on MTV Live. With commercials…maybe 40-45 minutes of music.
The Blu-ray has 23 tunes and extras on it and NO commercials. 2 hours 20 minutes.

Charlotte was out with a friend so I sat down and cranked it til the walls and the ceiling shook.

The last 20 years I played bass I did so in blues bands. Ten of those years playing just my electric Dobro upright. My 1980 Schecter fretless was backup. The second 10 years…only the Schecter. Sounded like thunder.

JB’s 10 piece band was, of course, killer.

Also watched the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival…you know; Eric Clapton’s foundation. The ’04 version is much better than the ’07 version. For some reason it is the only two they show.

In all those years, Clapton has never invited JB. Could it be that as good as Clapton is, he never allows a better guitarist on the same stage with him?

The answer is no. The 2007 version had Jeff Beck and his trio. Clapton could be seen in the wings just staring in wonderment. Even had some nice things to say about Beck. But! They didn’t jam on stage together. He also had the master John McLaughlin from Mahavishnu on. He didn’t jam with him either.

Clapton sat in with a lot of acts. But the coup de grace was when Carlos Santana played. They played the instrumental “Soul Sacrifice.” The song with the:
“Go ba ba, go ba ba, go ba ba, go ba
Go ba ba, go ba ba, go ba ba, go ba”

He even threw in some Michael Jackson influence at the end: “Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa”

Santana allowed Clapton to solo first. He played his usual blues guitar rip. Totally out of place in a song that is based in Afro-Latin roots. Carlos was beneficent and deferential to Clapton.

Then Carlos played. Holy fuck!
Even Clapton’s eyes got big.
Solo back to Clapton.

Eric turns it up to 11. And manages to redeem himself after being shamed into playing better.
One thing during that concert stood out to me that I found sad. Jimmie Vaughan.

He wasn’t great back in the day when I watched him in small L.A. dives, in the early 80’s, with The Fabulous Thunderbirds. He just wasn’t his brother.

A small percentage of celebrity rock artists age gracefully and become better artists. Clapton has stuck with the rootsy blues stuff and that is how he is going to go out. No more reunions with Cream now that Jack Bruce is gone.

I was embarrassed for Jimmie. His voice is gone. And his chops were strictly garage band. Some of the greatest musicians on stage with him and you could tell they were embarrassed.

It would be a great concert if some bright chap could get Clapton, Bonamassa, and Jeff Beck all together. The usual…each does 30-40 minutes with their own bands and then the last hour, the 3 guitarists play together as a band. Stanley Clarke on bass. Zack Starkey on the kit, and Dr. John on keys. Now that’s a throwback band.

JB is only 39. He has been around for ages. His band toured the first time when Bonamassa was 12…supporting B.B. King.

As I look back, 90% of my friends over the last 50 or so years were musicians. Every group I played with had players that understood the art.

My daughter, Katie, was a natural at the clarinet in 5th grade. She was so good that her teacher told us how impressed he was with her. She could mimic anything he did.
But she wouldn’t practice at home. She was lazy. It lasted a couple months and the teacher told us that there was no point taking our money any longer.

We tried piano next. Bought her a nice electronic set of keys.
A couple months and it ended the same way as the clarinet. (When we moved in April, I finally tossed it. Yeah. I held on to it for 20 years.)

I’m the only musician in my family. I had hoped she would get a strong dose of my musical DNA. Apparently, she did not. Just a taste. Enough to make me crazy.

I believe every adult wishes they had listened to their parents and played an instrument…even if the first one was an accordion. (That was so embarrassing).
The drive has to be ingrained. It won’t work if it isn’t.

For the first time in 50 years, I have no bass or amplification. I don’t know what’s worse…not having the gear…or have it and not be able to play it like I know I can.

Even if a miracle occurred, Milwaukee is the worst town on the planet for old guys finding gigs with good bands. Half the music here is metal. The rest is all types of musical genres but the ageism bigotry is amazing. Living in Chicago, before coming here, was a dream. No issues about age…only talent.

Last word. John Mayer is way overrated.

I miss playing so much, it hurts.

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5 replies

  1. Hey Uncle Katman,

    I was thinking of you last night; I saw Tower of Power in Minneapolis. Fantastic! These guys have been together since the 1960’s. The bass player, Rocco Prestia held the band tight. Excellent rhythm section and of course those horns! So glad you are back regularly.


  2. Thanks JD. ToP has been one of my favorite bands since the early 70’s. Saw them live several times. I wanted to burn my bass after watching the rhythm section.

  3. Cousin Phil, I started playing guitar when my wife bought me a Guild acoustic for a combination birthday/wedding anniversary present three years ago. I was 55 at the time. Best wife in the world! Keep jammin’ my brother.

  4. Revenge of the Sith is better then Return of the Jedi…Absolute horse shit.

    Great review and Happy holidays!

  5. Howzit cigar bro,

    Got lucky today and scored two at $10 each! Will let them sleep for at least two months. Maybe Chinese New Year?

    Can’t waste ’em as never before spent $10 on a cigar but there is a first time for everything!

    Have scored $5-$20 cigars you have reviewed, fawned and gushed over, in the last four years for $2-$8 shopping around which is my good luck. At 63 need to stay on my small Social Security Disability Income check and a budget of $100-$150 a month for cigars!

    Aloha, your friendly Hawaiian cigar sucker Duffy….keep rocking & smoke on!

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