Friday, March 02, 2012

An Avo Tasting Event

Last Tuesday, the Tinder Box in Collierville hosted a 4-hour Avo event. For $10, you got 3 Avo cigars, paired with three wines, plus heavy appetizers. I couldn't stay the whole time, having to leave about half-way through the last cigar, but it was a good time, and I got the chance to converse with some interesting people.

Avo cigars are a collaboration between Avo Uvezian and Davidoff. Avo Uvezian is a composer, best known for penning Sinatra’s "Strangers in the Night." These are Dominican cigars, none of them very spicy or full-bodied.

Avo XO Presto
Size: 3.75 x 43
Tobacco: Dominican
Paired with California chardonnay

I wasn't a fan of the chardonnay, but the cigar was nice. It was very short, a size not sold for retail but reserved exclusively for tastings like this. Featured a light brown Connecticut wrapper, burned quickly but cleanly, with a loose draw and flavors of nuts. It went well with the sharp white cheeses offered on the snack tray.

Avo Heritage Short Robusto
Size: 4 x 56
Tobacco: Dominican
Paired with California cabernet

I was expecting a more pronounced leap from 'mild' to 'medium' with this next cigar. The sun-grown wrapper was darker, the cigar was chunkier. However, I would classify this as more mild-to-medium rather than honest-to-God-medium. No spice, but the taste did pick up some leather and wood notes. By far, this was the best pairing of cigar and wine of the day, and it was a great precursor to a juicy, hot Cuban sandwich.

Avo Signature Double Corona
Size: 7 x 50
Tobacco: Dominican
Paired with sweet port

Like the Heritage, this cigar featured a rich sun-grown wrapper. Finally, we hit on an honest medium body smoke, barely inching its way into full-bodied territory. This cigar had a rich, velvety nose that reminded me of Maria Mancini cigars. It burned at a decent clip, with no construction or draw issues. The port pairing was disappointing, as this cigar was not strong enough to go with an overly sweet drink. This would have paired better with a grenache or Spanish Rioja.

This cigar was very good. At $9.95/stick, though, it's a bit overpriced.

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