Davidoff, Villa Gonzalez, Dominican Republic

Avo XO Intermezzo

Avo has been making cigar for decades in cooperation with Davidoff and the cigars are made at the O.K. Factory on the Dominican Republic. I’ve never been a big fan of the Ave cigars and always thought they were a little overpriced due to his ties with Davidoff. The XO line is one of the lines that got revamped by Davidoff in the early 2010’s and is supposed to be one of the milder ones with an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper and a binder and filler from the Dominican with a minimum of six years of age to it. Two days ago I posted another Avo review, to celebrate his birthday, today I publish a review to remember him on the day of his death, a year ago.

Coming back to the price, I just checked and for €10 this is quite expensive for a mild robusto. The Intermezzo measures 5 1/2×50. I do like the name of the size as it refers to the musical history of Avo, who passed away earlier this year age 91. I don’t know where I got this cigar, there are no price stickers on the cellophane so I can’t tell if it was bought in the USA, Germany or The Netherlands and no idea if it was a gift of that I bought it. I guess it was a gift because I can’t imagine buying a Connecticut Shade Avo.

The wrapper is dull, it has a few sparkles from minerals but looks a bit like chicken skin. The construction feels good and the head of the cigar is flawless with a pretty cap, great work especially when you know that the O.K. factory doesn’t house the best rollers of Davidoff, the best rollers move on to the Davidoff factory. The ring is pretty, a pale yellow orange with a gold line and a white edge, a silver & black ago logo and black letters Avo and XO on the side. Simple yet elegant. The aroma is quite strong, it reminds me of a barnyard with a lot of hay.

I punched the cigar, the cold draw, which taste a bit like hay and raisin, is a bit on the tight side, still decent but a bit tighter than I like. The first puffs after lighting the cigar are a little lemon and coffee. After a third I taste a little harsh wood with spices and lime. The harshness is making the cigar unpleasant. The flavors don’t change anymore, this is a very one dimensional cigar.

The smoke is on the thin side of medium and medium in volume. The ash is light, dense and firm though. The draw is good and the burn is straight enough not to be corrected but not straight enough to be called great. This cigar is medium bodied and flavored. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t even accept a gifted one.

Score: 79



Categories: 79, Avo, Nicaraguan cigars, Occidental | Tags: , ,

Playboy robusto

I had seen these cigars in the past and always left them for what they are, as I was afraid it would be a bad cigar due to the Playboy logo. I expected this to be a ‘status symbol’ cigar, made for posers instead of true cigar lovers. The appearance of this 5 x 52 cigar is pretty with a flawless dark wrapper. The oily Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper has hardly any veins although it has some spots on it. The cigar band is simple, black with a silver edge and a silver Playboy logo printed on it. The construction seems to be good, I didn’t feel any hard of soft spots on inspecting this cigar with its Dominican, Nicaraguan and Peruvian filler with the Connecticut broadleaf binder. I did notice that the wrapper has a very smooth feel to it. The aroma is quite nice with a barnyard feel to it. Cutting it with my Palio was easy. The predraw is pretty light and leaves me with a sweet but peppery flavor on the lips.
Upon lighting the cigar with my torch could taste coffee, full flavored with a hint of nutty toast. After a few puffs, the nutty flavor grows in strength. The coffee flavor slowly disappears while the nutty flavor grows. The toasty aftertaste remains. After about a third the coffee flavor is gone completely and its all nuts and toast.

At the halfway point the toasty aftertaste is replaced by a chocolate flavor and later on even some pepper. At 2/3rd the cigar gains power and becomes hot, it leaves a bit of a burning sensation on the tip of my tongue but the flavors are still very nice. I slow my smoking down to let the cigar cool a little and the burning sensation disappears so I can enjoy the last few puffs and part from this surprisingly good cigar.
The cigar produces a nice amount of smoke. The burn is flawless until midway, the burn starts to get crooked there and its getting hard to keep the cigar lit. After I corrected it, the burn was fine again. The draw started as a bit too easy but the resistance increased along the way without becoming too hard. The silver gray ash is a perfect combination with the silver & black band with Playboy logo.

The cigar starts out as a medium bodied cigar, but it grown in strength to a full to medium bodied cigar with quite some nicotine build up, it made me a little light headed. Flavor wise I can only say that this is a full flavored smoke.
Would I buy this cigar again? If the price is right, yeah!

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Dominican cigars, Occidental, Playboy | Tags: ,

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