Being that the 2016 IPCPR is right around the corner, I wanted to take the opportunity to review a stick that came out of the 2015 trade show in New Orleans. I’ve smoked the AVO Syncro Nicaragua several times before, but it’s been a while, so when I was passed a pair of them for a review, I jumped at the opportunity. This pair are in the Toro vitola and are a little longer than the Robusto, or even the Short Robusto, I tend to smoke.
AVO Syncro Nicaragua Background info:
Besides being released at last year’s trade show, the AVO Syncro Nicaragua is the first regular production new release out of AVO since a major rebranding effort. Davidoff dropped several lines of AVO cigars and made design changes to the bands and logos on the the sticks that remained. The blend contains tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and, as the name suggests, the Ometepe region of Nicaragua.
It’s wrapped in an Ecuadoran Connecticut leaf. Despite its premium branding, the AVO Syncro Nicaragua is a budget minded stick and you can probably find one in the $10-12 range, possibly even less expensive if you catch them on sale or buy by the box instead of a single.
It really is a visually pleasing cigar. The AVO Syncro Nicaragua is box pressed with a slightly dark Connecticut wrapper. The samples I received had a couple prominent veins, no perceptible oil and all the new AVO branding. The band has the AVO logo, bears both the Syncro and Avo Uvezian names and has monochrome deep red colors with grey and cream accents. True to form, it’s a classy looking cigar.
I gave the AVO Syncro Nicaragua a pretty thorough examination. I wasn’t able to detect any soft spots. It was firm, but not especially dense and the box pressing still retained subtle edges.
After cutting the cigar with my Palío cutter, I detected a sweet earthiness on the nose. Being that this cigar has been out for a while and I’ve smoked them before and read other reviews on them, other reviewers have specifically mentioned both nutmeg and chocolate being present pre light. I didn’t get any of that, perhaps due to some additional aging that’s taken place over the last year or so. There was, however, a strong dried fruit, perhaps raisin or cherry, present on the pre light draw.
It’s no surprise to me that this cigar burns well. With all the AVOs I’ve smoked over the last decade or so, I don’t remember any stand out burn issues from any of them. The first one did go out on me, but that’s because I got caught up in a conversation and that blame rests squarely on me. The box pressed Syncro is no slouch. The burn was even and produced a pleasing white ash that held on for an inch and a half or so before falling off on its own. It produced plenty of smoke all around.
Given the raisin in the cold draw, it was no surprise that the first flavors were a sweet earthiness with cinnamon and raisin. Surprisingly, for a cigar called Nicaraguan, it begins with no upfront spice and starts on the mild side of medium bodied. I won’t go as far as to compare it to an oatmeal cookie, but if nutmeg, cinnamon and raisin make you crave an oatmeal cookie, I wouldn’t say that would be an unreasonable thing to think. The raisin sticks around into the second quarter and introduces cedar, along with subtle notes of coffee and chocolate, common to most cigars that bear the word Nicaraguan in their name.
The raisin mostly fades by about the halfway point, giving way to a nutty cedar, more coffee and chocolate and a slight presence of leather on the retrohale. The cigar peaks at a very pleasant medium body and begins to wind down somewhere between the half way point and entering the last third of the smoke. If you smoke it all the way to the nub, the intensity picks up a little toward the end, probably due to it beginning to burn a little hot, but it never quite surpasses that medium bodied peak in the second third.
The AVO Syncro Nicaragua Toro scores within TheCigarCafe.com rating system as a Very Good cigar. The muted Nicaraguan profile makes it approachable for new cigar smokers and cigar smokers who tend to avoid the peppery, full flavored smokes from the region. And it provides plenty of complexity for seasoned cigar smokers who do appreciate fuller bodied sticks, but are looking for a change of pace or a first cigar of the day.
Cigar Cafe Rating System
P – Poor
G – Good (most cigars fall in this category)
VG- Very Good
E – Excellent ( only the best of the best)