Friday, April 27, 2007

AVO 80th Belicoso

6" X 52

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Piloto, San Vicente
Strength: Medium to Full Flavor, on the Full Side of Medium Strength

Appearance: What a pretty looking cigar! With a nice, rich, oily, milk chocolate colored wrapper with nary a vein or a blemish to be seen. This cigar had a beautiful sheen to it, and was just begging to be smoked.

Pre-Light: I took a little more time than usual with this one, and it really paid off. The first thing that struck me about this cigar was how fragrant it was. Giving it a slight whiff before clipping yielded a great earthiness. This cigar smelled like an open grassy field after a spring rain. I know this sounds ridiculously ornate, but it really did! Wet earth and damp grass, and for lack of a better term, "warmth" exuded from this cigar. Quite the little experience, I almost considered putting it back in the humidor so it imbue the whole box with this lovely aroma. But this stick was meant to burn! Clip was easy and smooth, ideal. The prelight draws were more of that great earthiness, and woodiness, and notes of leather and tobacco. I came away from this part expecting a superlative experience.

Burn/Draw: The draw on this cigar was free and easy, languid and producing lots of fragrant and beautiful smoke. Was as good as one could expect. Lighting was a breeze and a total non-issue. The burn was slow and straight and never deviating. The hallmark of a well made cigar, which this one obviously was. Another thing of note, this cigar burned SLOWLY! I smoked this cigar for well over an hour and a half, and probably could have gone on longer, if I wasn't a bit of the power smoking type.

Flavors: This cigar was just incredible. After an initial burst of spicy black pepper upon lighting, this cigar settled in fabulously. The dominant notes during the first third of this cigar were that amazing earthy notes that I detected pre light, along with a nice tangy/sweet undertone keeping the cigar for being too harsh. At the halfway mark or so, it took on some more traditional "cigar" notes: Old Leather, a tangy tobacco note, and some cedary woodiness. The earthiness was still there though, lurking not too far beneath. Over the last third the sweetness kind of faded away and the cigar became spicy and stronger, with notes of pepper, clove, and sage. Overall this was a command performance of a cigar, and even though I was smoking it for almost two hours, I was disappointed to have to put it down. If you get a chance to try one of these cigars, do so, you will not be let down.


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