The Avo brand was started in 1986 by the jazz songwriter, Avo Uvezian. With every single vitola in the brand handmade in the Dominican Republic in the same Tabadom factory that produces Davidoff cigars, its no wonder Avo cigars have quickly become much sought after among smokers of premium cigars. Connecticut shade grown wrapper and Dominican filler and binder makes up the composition of each Avo cigar – what makes the Avo cigar truly unique is the aging process of 6-8 months each cigar undertakes upon completion before being shipped to retailers. In this age and time of rushed cigar production (even Cuban cigar brands are occasionally guilty of rushing an under-aged cigar to market in order to realize profits quickly), the patience taken to product an Avo cigar makes it stand out from its competitors.

The Avo Domaine Puritos i bought from the Davidoff shop in KLCC for RM69 is an excellent representation of the Avo line of cigars. Neatly packaged in cellophane, 10 small cigars were neatly packaged and protected in a brilliant looking tin case. Was i about to be amazed by these wonders from a master jazz song writer?

It normally requires great skill to make cigarillos by hand – by virtue of being so small, this makes it difficult to shape the cigar with its various fillers and maintain any sort of consistency. Its a tribute to the quality control and skill of the Avo torcedors that each of the 10 cigars in the tin i bought were perfect and consistent in shape and appearance.

The scent test was satisfactory – a tangy, sharp tobacco smell from an individual cigar was evident. It was quite refreshing, and surprising to detect such a pronounced scent from such a small cigar. Scent wise, i was holding a pocket dynamo, i’m sure.

Lighting it up was no problem – it caught quickly and few short draws brought it to life. I observed the slim dark burn ring and was satisfied to see it was sufficient dark and slim to suggest the tobacco was well aged. True to the Avo brand, no effort was spared with these puritos.

From its very first draw, i could tell that this was not a cigar to be taken lightly – its size is deceptive; you will be mistaken to expect a mild, uninspired cigar. It packs a punch with a strong woody tobacco assault on the tastesbuds. Quite spicy even from the beginning, it gets even more so past the half-way point. But Avo has gotten the blend just right as eventhough the taste of this cigar is strong, and gets progressively stronger, it never gets unmanageable, or unpalatable. Certainly, a cigar for the daring; by the last half inch or so, i could most definitely feel a buzz about me: evidence of relatively high levels of nicotine. For a small cigar, surprising.

Verdict: Excellent value for money. RM69 for 10 cigars, each with a story to tell, each well built, each providing a consistent taste proving that Cubans no longer hold a monopoly on the market for strong, punchy cigars. If you prefer small Avo cigars of a milder variety, i suggest you try the Avo Classicos Puritos. This cigar makes it way onto my “Must Have (Again)” list – a well-balanced, cost effective daily smoke that does wonders to relax the self after a long day at work.

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