Cigar Review: Avo LE 2005 (2018 Release)

  • AVO_LE05straightVitola: Robusto Extra
  • 5.375” x 50 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $15
  • Purchased at Burns Tobacconist

Background

For the 30th anniversary of the Avo Cigars brand, Davidoff planned quite the release schedule, starting with the LE18, an Improvisation take on the Avo Classic. The year saw the release of two older blends that had been discontinued—Maduro and Signature—as well as the recreation of two classic LE, the 22 (from 2002) and the LE05. The LE05 has the distinction of being one of the most sought-after Avo Limited Editions of all time and one of only two that were not included in the 2014 Greatest Hits package. The LE05 shipped in a single size, as do all Avo LE releases, in boxes of 20, which are packaged in cabinets of 5 boxes (or 100 cigars).

Not much is known about the blend of the LE05 except that it uses an Ecuadorian wrapper along with Dominican filler and binder (one source says Nicaraguan leaf is used in the filler, as well). I got some of the background info from Cigar-Coop. This review is based on my second smoking of this release; I bought both at Burns Tobacconist.

Prelight

There was no band on the original LE05. For this one, it looks like they pretty much just took the colors of the secondary “30” band (used on all the rereleases this year) and made a new band out of it. It’s a good look on top of the dark chocolate brown of the wrapper leaf. The wrapper was smooth and oily with an aroma that mixed hay and barnyard notes. The foot of the cigar had a little earthiness, but more notes of hay along with bread and bell pepper.

Photo courtesy Davidoff of Geneva

After putting a very shallow straight cut on the Avo LE05, I had a fantastic draw that had flavors of bread, hay and Davidoff funk, with a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Flavor

The Avo LE05 started off medium in body with a very familiar flavor profile. It was funky and grassy up like many Avo (and, indeed, many Davidoffs), with a slight pepper heat and sweetness coming in right behind that and an earthy finish. The retrohale had cinnamon and other baking spice notes, roasted nuts and just a hint of red pepper at the end. So far it offered much of what I would expect in an Avo, with a marked increase in the complexity and layering of flavors, for an overall effect that is closer to what I would expect from the “big brother” brand in the white label. The first third increased in body to a medium-plus range by the end, while the profile grew more earthy and spicy along the way. There was still a good amount of “funk” but the grassy notes faded quite a bit.

In the second third, I started getting notable chocolate flavor as the sweet notes resolved themselves. There was a good amount of earth and funk just behind that and an ever-present pepper note on the palate and nose. Really, the flavor profile just kept getting better and better as the cigar burned along.

AVO_LE05band2During the last third, the Avo LE05 produced a thick, medium-to-full-bodied smoke that was rich with chocolate and earth up front as pepper increased just behind. I got increasing Dominican bread notes in the mix, as well, and the funk never went away.

Construction

I needed to make a couple minor touch-ups to the burn line, but other than that, I had a solid ash and excellent draw.

Value

The price is right in line with other Avo LEs…or more specifically, Avo LEs from 4 or 5 years ago. For a cigar that delivers this kind of experience, the elevated price tag is worth it.

AVO_LE05bandConclusions

Now I can see why this is “the most sought-after LE in the Avo catalog.” The LE05 is rich and complex, with tons of flavors playing hide-and-seek while the larger flavor profile builds and builds throughout the cigar. While I can’t compare it to the original release, this 30th anniversary version of the LE05 is truly a great cigar that you should get your hands on while they last.

You can get the Avo LE05 from Leaf Enthusiast sponsors Small Batch Cigar and Cigar and Pipes.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4.5/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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