Blind Review: AVO Classic Maduro (2020)

Notable first for his legendary skill as a jazz pianist and composer, Avo Uvezian was also known for AVO Cigars, his personal cigar brand. It was 1987 when he crossed paths with Davidoff’s Hendrik Kelner and started the conversation that would culminate in the creation of AVO Cigars. One of the first blends, AVO Classic, utilized an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. In 2000, Avo produced a Maduro version of the same blend using Connecticut broadleaf, but the blend was discontinued in 2015.

Fast forward to 2020: AVO and Davidoff rereleased the classic Maduro. 

Blend Specifics

  • Cigar Reviewed: AVO Classic Maduro (2020 Release)
  • Wrapper: American – Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Size: Toro (6″ x 50)

Appearance & Construction

Off the bat, the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper feels super smooth. Two minor veins run down the side, which doesn’t take away from the smoking experience. The cigar is packed proportionally and feels sturdy from head to foot. 

Flavor and Smoke Characteristics

There is a captivating vanilla scent coming off the wrapper. As my nose travel down to the foot, there is a pleasant fragrance of sweet and sour plum and white pepper. To my surprise, the cold draw is very similar to the scent from the foot; sour plum and cranberries with a hint of white pepper on the tip of my tongue. At this point, I want to chew on the cigar.

As I toast the foot, the smell of a fruitful incense emerges from the smoke and instantly transports me back to the time where I was visiting a Buddhist temple in China.

Unfortunately, the smoking experience isn’t as delightful. 

While drawing on the first puff, the aftertaste of the smoke is distinctly sour, like someone is squirting a bottle of lime juice into my mouth. After fighting through some of the acidity, I’m able to identify dark cocoa and leather. On retrohale, white pepper spice and leather dominate my nostrils, accompanied by more citrus.

Just when I am about to give up on this cigar, the sourness transforms into a fruity sweetness. I can’t help but compare the cigar to Sour Patch Kids. The construction is impeccable and the ash holds sturdy while the ember approaches the second third. The flavors shift to sweet dark cocoa and black pepper spice. The tart and fruity notes are almost non-existent at this point. 

The one experience I take away from the AVO Classic Maduro is to never get too comfortable. During the final third, the sourness from the first third reemerges, though not as intense as before. Thankfully, these flavors are embraced by the taste of sweet cocoa, dark leather, and a hint of spice. I take my last puff and bid farewell to what I will later discover is the AVO Classic Maduro.


Receiving the Avo Classic Maduro 2020 release on a blind review throws out any preconceived expectations, which is important. Overall, this was a good smoke. However, the intense sourness from the first third threw off my palate, which negatively affected the rest of my smoking experience. 

Final Rating: 84