Cigar Review: AVO Syncro Caribe Toro Delivers a Taste of the Caribbean

The AVO brand was created by musician and composer Avo Uvezian in the late 1980’s. Uvezian travelled to the Dominican Republic and struck a deal with Hendrik Kelner to blend and eventually distribute the AVO brand. While the brand took off and has done well over the years, it hasn’t been one that I typically reach for. However, the AVO Syncro Caribe was put on my radar as a “must try” cigar. 

The AVO Syncro Caribe sports a Dominican Republic wrapper over an Ecuadorian binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. According to AVO it is a blend that, “represents a naturally harmonious experience that takes you to the land where the palms sway back and forth to the breeze of the sea.”  Does it live up to the marketing?

This is the last review that I had done before I was hit with COVID-19. I only mention this because as of the time of this writing, my sense of taste and smell still seem to be affected from my bout with COVID-19. However, these AVO Syncro Caribes were smoked at least two weeks before I became ill.

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Toro
SIZE:   6″ x 52

ORIGIN:   Dominican Republic
FACTORY:   O.K. Cigars Factory

WRAPPER:   Dominican Republic
BINDER:   Ecuadorian
FILLER:   Dominican Republic and Nicaragua

STRENGTH:   Medium – Medium-full

SOURCE:   
AVO Cigars

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
My deck

WHEN:   
October 11, 2021

DRINKS:   
Ice Mountain bottled water

WEATHER:   
65° and 44% humidity

WHAT’S ON:   
The sounds of early Fall

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Regular Production

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  August 2021

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 20
Production Totals:  Unknown

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Toro (6″ x 52)
Robusto (5″ x 50)
o  Special Toro (6″ x 60)

BAND DESIGN

The band is a two-tone green and blue with orange and green with white and silver accents. It certainly brings to mind images of island life. The band sports Avo Uzevian’s name on the side as a nice homage to the man who started the brand.

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION
The Dominican wrapper is a beautiful medium brown, if a bit mottled. There are not a lot of oils present on the wrapper, and the texture is smooth to the touch. One seam winds its way around the Caribe, intersecting the few veins on the cigar as it does.

AROMA
Barnyard leaps from the foot. It’s unmistakable and intoxicating. There’s a little bit of fruit that sneaks in, but it’s drown out. The wrapper has a nice mix of hay, tobacco, and cedar that are easily recognizable.

COLD DRAW
The cold draw reveals a subtle note of fruit, but not a deep or rich note. There’s a brightness to it, that’s accompanied by a rich earthiness.

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut:  Xikar Xi3
Fire:  ST Dupont Oxford Cigar Company branded Hooked Lighter
The light takes longer than I thought it would. The Caribe starts to light faster on one side than the other. I hope this is not the start of a trend.

SMOKE
The smoke is plentiful and rich. There is a creaminess about it that leads to a wonderful mouthfeel.

FIRST THIRD
>> Citrus, Baking Spices, Earth

There is wonderful spiciness that comes through in the retrohale. The fruit note that was subtle on the cold draw is now a loud and clear citrus note that makes me swear I just ate an orange during my first few puffs.. There is a dry earth that lingers on my palate for just a moment, before the citrus breaks through and overwhelms it. The burn line is fairly straight now as the Caribe, which did not want to light on one side, is now burning evenly. The ash is grey with black streaks and is fairly compact. I accidently knock the ash off, but it holds together as it lands in the ashtray. The citrus note is still dominant on my palate. Slightly salted nuts show up to the party. I’m reminded of a spicy trail mix. Baking spices rule the retrohale. The first third has been exceptionally balanced.

SECOND THIRD
>> Citrus, Nuts, Coffee

Coffee suddenly appears on my palate. There is a lingering note of raisin on the back of my palate, while the citrus is sharp and biting. The raisin note fades into the coffee; though, it has an almost chocolate element to it. The citrus is absolutely amazing. The Caribe has gone from a trail mix to a beautiful breakfast. It is definitely medium in flavor and well balanced. The richer notes have, so far, been balanced out by sweeter and brighter notes. The Caribe is good. Real good. The burn has some waviness to it, but should pose no issue. The ash has a few flakes but is still rather compact. There is still notes of nuts and earth that compliment the citrus and coffee. A subtle note of baking spice is on the retrohale with maybe pinch of white pepper. The saltiness from the first third returns and starts to ramp up. The chocolate note come to the front while the citrus note fades. I can begin to taste cedar notes and baking spices.

FINAL THIRD
>> Citrus, Black Pepper, Cedar

The burn begins to go very wonky, and the ash has begun to produce larger flakes. These are, thus far, my only complaints. Pepper begins to dance ’round the citrus and chocolate notes. The citrus is still there and is still amazing. It adds a brightness to the overall flavor profile. This final third sees the Caribe ramp up to a medium-full profile. Baking spices, nuts, and a touch of cedar come through on the retrohale. The burn has, thankfully, self-corrected. Black pepper makes an appearance along with a rich espresso note. There is still a subtle citrus that comes and goes. I am savoring the Caribe, possibly too much, as the burn begins to go wonky again. The ash has become increasingly flakey. Pepper begins to rake the back of my throat and the baking spices become more prevalent. Wood becomes the dominant note as the citrus that has hung in there for two-thirds of the Caribe, finally begins to fade.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION
The best description of the flavor progression of the AVO Syncro Caribe would be “well-balanced.” It is sweet and savory, complex and nuanced, full-flavor without being overly strong. It is, in short, one of the best medium bodied cigars that I have smoked in a very long time. The citrus is the backbone of the Caribe and carries the cigar through to the end. 

BURN EXPERIENCE
It’s always disappointing when a cigar that I am thoroughly enjoying, has burn issues. While there were no touch-ups or relights required for the two Caribes that I smoked, both suffered from uneven burns and flakey ash. It might seem like nit-picking, especially when the flavor progression is absolutely amazing, but the burn experience is integral to the overall experience of the cigar.

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.78 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.50 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.40 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.00 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.48 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

THE AVO SYNCRO CARIBE IS A CITRUSY SENSATION.

Do NOT let this score fool you. The AVO Syncro Caribe Toro is one of the best cigars that I’ve smoked in 2021, hands down. While the cigars that I smoked for this review suffered from some burn issues and may have been a bit flakey, the flavor is where it’s at. The Caribe is a well-balanced and full-flavor cigar that sits right in my medium to medium-full cigar sweet spot. The AVO Syncro Caribe is a box purchase for me. The Caribe can be enjoyed any time of day and will provide a flavor progression that I absolutely love.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.16 / 10.0

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