AVO Syncro Caribe | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.80 ($9.85 online)


My good buddy, Aaron H, has been bugging me to review this cigar for months and months and months, I am officially giving in.
Every reviewer, and his brother, has reviewed this cigar. You have probably smoked one and made your decision. So, I take redundancy to a new level.
The cigar has nearly 6 months of naked humi time.

BACKGROUND:
Released August 2021
Regular Production
Halfwheel.com reports (10-18-2021):
“In 2015, Davidoff of Geneva USA kicked off a rebranding of the entire AVO portfolio that involved discontinuing a number of existing lines as well as introducing new products. One of those new products was the AVO Syncro Nicaragua, a regular production release that featured an aggressive box-pressed cigar packaged in much more colorful and modern boxes than the brand was known for.

“New extensions of the AVO Syncro line followed in 2016 and 2017—with the AVO Syncro Nicaragua Fogata and AVO Syncro South America Ritmo respectively—though there wasn’t a new AVO Syncro for nearly four years.

“That changed in August when Davidoff started shipping the fourth line in the AVO Syncro series. The AVO Syncro Caribe—which translates to Caribbean from Spanish—is made up of a Dominican wrapper covering an Ecuadorian binder as well as filler tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. In addition, the cigars are made using “natural distribution,” which the company says the “ratios of tobaccos from each priming are matched in the blend in all vitolas.”

“The AVO Syncro series is centered around the concept of tobacco synchronization,” said Lana Fraser, director of marketing and retail at Davidoff of Geneva USA, in a press release. “This is an incorporation of the diversity, complexity and compatibility of selected tobaccos from varying regions. With the newest addition of the AVO Syncro Caribe, we strive to deliver new frontiers in cigar experiences.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5 x 50 $10.80
Gordo 6 x 60 $12.90
Toro 6 x 52 $11.90

APPEARANCE:
This is an ordinary looking stick. Gobs of veins to nowhere. Seams are sloppy in places. From my vantage point, it merely has a double cap instead of the expected triple cap for premium cigars. There are parts of the cigar that look like a Mars landscape. The tawny brown wrapper has some oiliness, but nothing makes me go, “Oh wow!” The cigar feels to be filled adequately…but is a bit hard when I press on it. The best-looking thing about this blend is the cigar band.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
The main aroma I pick up is barnyard. After that, there are very mild notes of chocolate, espresso, black pepper, some creaminess, generic nuttiness, cedar, and mint leaves.
There is a plug in the stick, so I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and have at it…the plug started at the cigar band but kept going and going. But My harpoon fixed everything, and I will try again…
The cold draw presents flavors of mint, black pepper, creaminess, nuts, espresso, cedar, and barnyard.

FIRST THIRD:
I am walloped initially by a big dose of black pepper that singes my nose hairs. A very smokey cigar with plumes of white surrounding me like a KKK meeting…and they know what I am.

There is some initial complexity. A nice balance my palate can appreciate. There is also a distracting mustiness. Flavors are nearly muted.

I check Halfwheel’s review to see if I’m missing anything, but I feel like I am. That review notes peanut shells and Bam. Absolutely. It might even be the faux mustiness I taste.

Generally, written reviews settled on a score in the ‘90’ region. Not spectacular, but a decent blend.

I get some lemon zest and almonds now.

I also noted that the reviews I took a gander at had a similar experience as I am having now…not a laundry list of flavors but just a solid cigar.
So…I’m not mentally impaired.

The char line is crisp. And the burn is slow.

At this early stage, this is not an impressive blend. I feel that way about most AVO blends. You know how there are some brands that just don’t push your buttons? For me, it’s AVO. And based upon an approved amount of naked humi time, I expect an $11 cigar to taste a lot better than this. For one thing, I should be swimming in complexity. I am drowning in a sea of swarming simbas.

It is just an OK cigar. I can just tell most of the time. If a cigar blend is going to knock my socks off, I know it in the first ¾”. The complexity is weak. Nothing stands up and waves at me for its attention.

And then, of course, it gets better.
Creaminess and lemon custard grab the spotlight. But it took an entire inch of a 5” smoke to begin to impress. I can name a slew of bitch’n cigars that cold cock me in the first few puffs. The blend should be doing this, but it takes its sweet time to make its move.

The cigar is not on the slow roll I described at the start. It is picking up speed.

The peanut shells stand out. And, honestly, I’m not crazy about the taste of peanut shells. Remember, long ago and far away, you and your friends tried eating the entire peanut…shell and nut? It was funky. And the strings from the shell got caught in your teeth. Not exactly a stellar flavor to brag about.

I feel that the tobaccos chosen weren’t the cat’s pajamas from the beginning. I’m also not a big fan of Dominican leaves. They water down the flavors. Bland.

Of course, I must remind you for the millionth time that this is all subjective on my part. The cigar is in regular production so smokers like this baby. I’m just not an AVO fan.

When I worked in a cigar lounge in 2020, guys with dough would snag them on a regular basis. I got to talk to a lot of customers, and most didn’t know complexity if it hit them in the face.

A sweetness moves to the forefront. It helps.

I must snag a quote from Halfwheel that I love: “…journey of flavor comprised of Caribbean tobaccos” includes tobacco from only one Caribbean country—out of three countries total—specifically, the Dominican Republic.”
My thoughts exactly. Nothing exotic about this blend whatsoever. A total P.R. job.

SECOND THIRD:
The first third took less than 20 minutes. Seems a little fast.

Chocolate shows up accented by espresso making it a mocha java component. The lemon zest comes and goes as it pleases. There is another sweetness factor. It’s malted milk balls. Not chocolate covered. As a kid, we actually ate those things…if we couldn’t afford the chocolate covered versions.

There is no striking forward momentum. It is not a bad cigar, but it also does not sway me to think I must buy a box immediately. In the real world, this would be a $7 catalog stick. But with the AVO cigar band, we become sophisticated and uppity.

A bland experience. At $11 for the Robusto, it should be kicking me in the arse at some point…hopefully, it would have begun at the start of the light up.

My music on Pandora isn’t making a dent. A sign.

I smoked one with a month of humidor time. It was junk. Either there are no seriously aged tobaccos at play…or the tobaccos chosen were subpar. Just good enough to stick AVO’s customer base with an ‘inexpensive’ price tag for the proletariat.

This is a fancy yard ‘gar.

The peanut shells or mustiness is annoying.

Black pepper kicks it up a couple notches wiping out any subtleties the blend might have had ready to jump in.

At the halfway point, my feeling is that this cigar has given all its got to give.

Basically, an OK blend with the sales allure of calling it a Caribe. Makes it sound sexy. If it blows me, then it’s sexy.

Strength began at medium. It makes the jump to medium/full at this point.
Nicotine kicks in. Lovely. My favorite part of a cigar.

Something is missing. There is no depth of character. Transitions are nil. The finish is now just spiciness. And sardines.

The first third burned quickly but now slows the fuck down. I’ve already made my mind up but there is no going back now. With all the months of humi aging, the cigar had its chance to impress. It is a sea creature living on the floor of the ocean.

Very much a linear experience. Nothing jumps out at me causing positive surprises. It reached its zenith in the first third. And that is the treatment for this rom/com.

The spiciness causes an unbalance. It covers subtle flavors that might really help the cigar’s rep.

There is no growth. Just plugging along on Highway 66 with its thumb out looking for a ride.

Now and again, I get tantalizing peeks into what this blend could have been…but failed at its task. Mundane and repetitive.

A sour element enters that puts me off. Like one of those sour lemon candies. I can no longer taste chocolate, espresso, creaminess, or cedar.

You should read Halfwheel’s review. Much more informative than my review.

There are no changes to doo wop about. If the blend hadn’t jumped the shark by now, it ain’t going to.

LAST THIRD:
More of the same.
The cigar could have been a contender but gets knocked out in the second round.

The blend does not know how to grow. It has picked a course to follow…but maybe the blenders should have spent more time on getting it right.

Construction has been good. The char line is razor sharp. So, it has that going for it.

As a one trick pony, the blend just mopes along with no high hopes of redemption.
The flavor points are just lazy.

“Badge” by Cream is playing. Great bass riff. It was in the 60’s that Jack Bruce taught me how to woodshed. It served me well.

The strength maxes out at medium/full. With a load of nicotine.
I’m bored. I could be cleaning the toilets right now, but no…

With nearly an inch and a half to go, I want to walk away from the cigar.
At $11-$13 price tag, depending on the size you choose, this should be a much better stick.
This is me walking away…

RATING: 85



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

4 replies

  1. This is easily my favorite Avo so far. But I agree with your review so – that’s not exactly high praise for the brand.

  2. Hey Abe,
    It’s a shame. Lots of smokers thoroughly enjoy AVO blends.
    I’m just not one of them.
    Phil

  3. Fellow cigar smokers are usually shocked when I tell them I’m not too crazy about Avo, Drew Estate or Placensia – although I kinda get why some people love the latter two. It’s just something about their blends that bore my palate. My very first cigar was Padron 1964 so maybe I’m spoiled.

  4. I’m a fan of the Classic Maduro #2 … and nothing else in the line

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