Tonight I’m smoking an AVO LE10 and I have more to report on than just the cigar itself — I can speak a bit to the man behind the cigar. No, this isn’t an AVO meet and greet event like where Ray got to meet Rocky Patel. It’s just the result of Avo and me hanging out at our favorite neighborhood cigar bar, Corona Cigar, in Orlando.
While Avo Uvezian may look the part of a tobacco plantation owner, he’s anything but that — he’s of Armenian descent, born in Lebanon, and he got into the cigar business in 1982 after grousing about the high cost of Cuban sticks in Europe. He decided to do something about — no small feat for someone who earned a living as a jazz pianist and composer. He decided to setup operations in the Dominican Republic and after a lot of hard work, his company is selling well over a million cigars per year and can not keep up with the demand.
While I had heard of the brand, I knew nothing about the cigars or the man until a dear friend of mine related to me how he personally met Avo. He was having dinner at a local Orlando restaurant and was smoking a Cuban cigar (the benefit of Cuba being next door) after eating when Avo, at a nearby table with his granddaughter and daughter, asked him to join them. My friend, not wanting to intrude, politely declined but Avo insisted saying, “A man should not smoke alone.” When the Cuban stick was gone, Avo reached into his humidor and offered up one of his own cigars — clearly the actions of a true gentleman and fellow Brother of the Leaf.
Last night, Avo graciously autographed my box of AVO LE10s and posed for a photograph. I was immediately struck by his humility and Perry, my favorite tobacconist at Corona, said that is no act. From what I’ve read and heard about him, Avo is dedicated to enjoying cigars and life to the fullest and spreading that joy and nothing more.
I’ve yet to try any of the other AVO cigars. Perry, knowing what I like, steered me right into Avo’s strongest offering. I’m smoking one as I type this and it’s a real finger burner. The filler is 100% is Dominican Ligero — strong yet smooth, a perfect cigar with Scotch or a Sandeman 20 year port. The Ecuadorian wrapper is a dark, rich color with a triple cap and superb workmanship.
There is a tingly spice on the lips during the 1st third then it smoothes out nicely. Throughout this stick, there is a delicious combination of leather and cedar flavors plus perfect draw, burn and smoke output — delightful!
Leafmeister Duncan */:-)