HBTC Review: AVO Regional North Edition

In the fall of 2020, AVO Cigars shipped the North and South Editions to select retailers. The North and South Regional Editions are the follow-up to the East and West editions released in 2019. Each blend was and is made available only to retail partners in the respective region. Each cigar was designed and blended to be a unique experience for the region, and production numbers are limited. Here is Matt’s evaluation of the North Edition.

The AVO Regional North Edition is currently only made in this single vitola.

AVO Regional North Edition
MSRP: $14.00
Size: 6.625 x 50 (Perfecto)
Origin: Oettinger Kellner (Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Peru, Honduras

The bright colors and artwork on the North Edition are very eye catching. It color really pops next to the wrapper leaf that almost reminds me of the color you see on paper grocery bags. There is a nice light film of oil on the wrapper, and the cigar is cleanly rolled except for a slightly messy application of the cap. It has a little aroma of leather and cedar from the wrapper, with the foot just adding some pepper to that. The cold draw isn’t much, but has a little musty hay and cedar.

Act I
After the initial blast of pepper subsides, I get flavors and aromas like cedar and some mild cocoa. A little bit of almonds on the finish are also complimented by sour citrus and a gentle mineral-earthiness. The retrohale has a touch of black pepper, with a little coffee note.

Act II
There is no major shift in flavor profile, but everything simply intensifies. The notes of citrus are now reminding me of the toasted oils of orange peel expressed over an old fashioned cocktail. The subtle black pepper is a bit on the spicier end, augmented by deep earth. The mineral note from earlier makes it into the retrohale and is joined by baking spice.

There is a rich texture that comes in at the end, with a feel that reminds me of creamy coffee. All this, while the pepper spice and baking spice stay present in the blend. There is still a slight note of cedar, although now it has a charred quality to it. That combines with a metallic earthiness and bitter notes like the skin of raw almonds. The retrohale is now mostly pepper and cedar.

In total, this is an enjoyable blend but seems incomplete in some way. My palate seemed to always want some sweetness that would round out the profile, but sweetness was rare. The burn performance, smoke output, and overall construction was very good. While I always evaluate cigars based on how they smoke now, this is one cigar that makes me really wonder how the experience may differ after a year in the humidor. Considering the limited production, that may prove difficult.

AVO Regional North Edition – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A 5er?
Overall Score: 88
PAD: -0.5 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Mineral, Earth, Citrus, Cedar, Coffee
Strength Assessment: Medium-Minus
Source: Cigars for this review were provided by Oettinger Davidoff

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