The AVO Syncro Nicaragua marks a stark change in AVO’s blending strategy. Up until now, AVO cigars tended to include exclusively Dominican tobaccos–this cigar includes a variety of origins: Ecuadorian, Dominican, Peruvian, and most importantly, Nicaraguan.
Now, I’m a fan-boy of anything to come out of Nicaragua, and with AVO’s reputation for beautiful construction and delicate blends, well, I’m a bit skeptical of what the end result will be. If I pick up an AVO, it’s because I want a cigar that I can smoke and not have to think about or not have to worry about the ensuing nicotine sickness and acid reflux (looking at you, LFD).
However, I’m excited at the prospect of the AVO Syncro Nicaragua featuring the spice and complexity of a Nicaraguan blend with the construction of a standard Dominican AVO.
Will AVO deliver the spicy goodness that I’ve come to know and love from Nicaraguan blends?
Let’s find out!
AVO Syncro Nicaragua Cigar Review
As previously mentioned, this blend is a diversion from AVO’s standard offerings. To be completely honest, I’m not sure what to expect here. The Connecticut wrapper is not something I’m normally fond of, but if the Nicaraguan filler plays as substantial a role as the AVO Syncro Nicaraguan name would imply, then I could end up enjoying some kitchen spice, pepper, leather, and bold strength characteristic of the wonderful tobacco of Nicaragua.
What worries me is that the Nicaraguan filler is only present as a marketing ploy, an afterthought to branch into the market of consumers who don’t like the grassy pleasantries of most Dominican blends (I’m very picky with my Dominican cigars–Fuente tends to be my go-to).
Appearance: Smooth, not oily in the least bit. No sheen–quite a matte finish. Not a vein in sight–sorry, nurses, you won’t be able to take a blood sample from the AVO Syncro Nicaragua.
Pairing, Cutting, and Lighting
Drink Pairing: Water
Lighter: Xikar single-flame butane
Cutter: Xikar guillotine
Cutting and Cold Draw
Had to take two snippings of the cap because the filler was a bit resistant to the blade–not necessarily due to the blade being dull, but due to how densely packed the fillers are. Not a bad thing. The cold draw is looser than I expected with almost no flavor at all.
The First Third
The first puff is hard to place–not a good sign. But I do not judge books by covers or cigars by first puffs. Smoking on, I’m dabbling between notes of skim milk and heavily creamed coffee. All I need is some pumpkin spice, yoga pants, and Uggs, and I’ll be one step closer to getting a bid from the most popular sorority on campus! I hope they like my quirky personality–I’m like, so random.
The AVO Syncro Nicaragua’s draw is easy, the burn is even–both hallmarks of an AVO cigar. No surprise here.
So far, the Nicaraguan filler is not making its presence known. No pepper, no spice, only things generously described as “nice.” I don’t want a “nice” cigar; I want a cigar that Mike Tysons my face. You know, pummels it and/or makes it sting like a fresh tattoo.
The Second Third
Making its way to the forefront of my palate is some grass. Not freshly cut grass, mind you. Much subtler with a hint of bitterness. I’m picking up a strange mixture of notes, almost as if the cigar is unsure of what it wants to be.
Holy hell, this cigar is a tween. “But mom! It’s not a phase! I’m Nicaraguan now! I WISH I WASN’T A PART OF YOUR STUPID DOMINICAN FAMILY! GAHHH! At least Morrissey understands!” Do the kids still listen to Morrissey? Probably not. I guess there is actually a light that goes out, and that light is Morrissey. Don’t read his new book. I haven’t, but I’ve heard that he should’ve stuck to never ever doing anything post The Smiths.
At any rate, I’m tasting some mild cinnamon with a bit of pep in its step. Hard to pin down exactly what kind of pep because the smoke is so ungodly smooth. The AVO Syncro Nicaragua can be categorically defined by the trite go-to line of a retail clerk who knows nothing about cigars but is trying to convince you to buy cigars: “Nah, man. You want a cigar that is fresh and smooth. That’s why we keep them at 80% RH and 95 degrees F in this humidor with a bucket of tap water. The water keeps them fresh because it evaporates into the air and humidifies everything. The fuzzy stuff is plume–tastes great when it’s burning.”
There we go: residual pepper. Finally. My tongue is tingling and the Nicaraguan tobacco has made itself blatantly apparent. Random, but I’ll hand it to AVO: they make a damn fine band.
The Final Third
BOOM. I read a few reviews of the AVO Syncro Nicaragua while I was smoking and many people made mention of a cherry note, something that up until now I did not experience. But going into the final third, I’m enjoying a distinct dried fruit note–not necessarily what I would call cherry, but maybe raisin? The band came off easier than my pants when someone suggests streaking. Or just my pants in general.
The bitterness is starting to ramp up–pretty sure it isn’t a tar build-up, but rather the tobacco itself. Mild pepper with hints of black coffee interspersed with what is becoming an untenable ammonic flavor.
The Last Inch
I can’t bring myself to muscle through the last inch. The acridness is too much. Nubbed.
Final Impressions and Rating
For being labeled Nicaraguan, the AVO Syncro Nicaragua is not exactly what I would call a Nicaraguan blend. If anything, the cigar lives up to its Syncro name in that it is a combination of any number of standard blends–the problem is that the combinations don’t quite work.
I’m not saying this cigar is bad or unsmokeable, but that it’s too haphazard for my liking. As mentioned above, the AVO Syncro Nicaragua couldn’t quite figure out what it wanted to be, and as such the smoking experience was mediocre.
Rating (Seek out and buy again, Smoke if I happen to find one, Avoid at all costs): Smoke if I happen to find one
I bought five of the AVO Syncro Nicaraguas–I’m going to let the remaining four rest for a few months and give them another shot. Maybe age and rest will do these cigars a favor.