AVO Unexpected Cigar Review: Moment Vs. Celebration & More
| 2017-05-08T23:21:41+00:00 Last updated: January 9th, 2022|
AVO Unexpected Cigar Review: Moment Vs. Celebration & MorePaul Anthony2022-01-09T14:22:40-05:00
Released in 2019, the Unexpected Series is a selection from Avo Cigars that celebrates some of its core lines with rich and vibrant colours. Having acquired a box of both the Moment and Celebration, we decided to give them a full review.
In this article, you will discover the Avo Unexpected Series focusing on the Moment and Celebration blends via the following:
As you can see from the very little information that has been released, the blends do look quite similar on the surface. However, there are some interesting differences between the four that are worth noting.
Firstly, the Unexpected Passion features an aged 25-year old leaf in the filler. Likewise, the Unexpected Tradition offers a “rare” native tobacco from Peru. Meanwhile, we will be reviewing the Celebration and the Moment, which don’t offer quite as much of a tease in their descriptions.
In all four cases, the cigars were rolled then left to age for a period of six years before being shipped out of the Dominican Republic. This approach is not dissimilar to Cuba’s Añejados ranges and had shown to be successful.
Interestingly, it recently came to light that there had been a misunderstanding regarding what the Unexpected Series represents. Initially, it was presumed that the Unexpected series was a new limited edition release. As these are often very successful, they were bought in large quantities by passionate collectors.
However, it turned out that the intention was to showcase some of Avo’s core lines and put them in some well-deserved limelight. Instead, each blend is actually a core line cigar is a limited edition packaging:
Celebration: Avo XO Legato
Moment: Avo Domaine 70
Passion: Avo Classic No. 2
Tradition: Avo Heritage Toro
Unfortunately, this wasn’t particular clear upon their release. Consequently, the confusion has resulted in some criticism towards Davidoff. While we can understand both arguments, our objective is to provide an impartial and trustworthy review!
Both the Moment and Celebration have equal levels of shine in the wrappers. However, the Moment does have a few more visible veins. Conversely, the Celebration is smooth and offers a richer aroma on the foot than the Moment.
The rolling quality on both cigars appears to be consistent with a nice, firm spring. Otherwise, the Moment is a fair bit darker with a slightly rustic oak hue. Meanwhile, the Celebration is lighter, indicating an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper as opposed to a Habano on the Moment.
I found that the aromas on the Moment’s foot was a little feint but was able to detect wood, nutmeg, and vanilla. As for the Celebration, it was much more potent with hints of citrus (bergamot to be specific), cinnamon, and a labdanum musk.
Avo Unexpected Series Review
I shared the two boxes with Charles-Philippe, which we tasted separately to compare notes afterwards. So far, I’ve enjoyed about a dozen between the two blends while CP has had about two of each.
Overall, the draw was ideal with both blends, providing a sufficient level of resistance to the draw. I have heard some people say that they can be loose but we have yet to experience this ourselves.
As for the dry draw, the Celebration provided the most amount of flavour. With a particularly citrus profile, it offered notes of orange blossom, a metallic copper aroma, and sticky honey.
Conversely, the Moment had a greater accent on caramelised notes with accompanying flavours of fresh hay. However, it also featured the same metallic copper taste as experienced in the Celebration.
1st Third Smoking Experience
Although the Celebration featured citrus notes earlier, I was surprised to discover that it was the Moment that featured it in the first third. This grapefruit aroma was accompanied by a musky labdanum (also like the Celebration) as well as creamy milk chocolate.
Meanwhile, the Celebration had taken some salted caramel notes, which is interesting given that the Moment had caramel in the dry draw. Accompanying this was some crisp star anise as well as a woody cedar note.
Overall, both blends open exceedingly well with a balanced palate stimulation and a rich flavour profile.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
Once into the second third, the Moment begins to also reveal a citrus note. This expresses itself as grapefruit and produces a wonderfully caramelised experience with honey and a gourmand finish of cappuccino.
As for the Celebration, it continues to gives hints of citrus with notes of bergamot but also provides some spices, which are reminiscent of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Final Third Smoking Experience
Now into the final third, the Moment begins to produce more gourmand and earthy notes. This consists of some buttery cedar, dried terracotta as well as musky labdanum.
Similarly, the Celebration retains its citrus profile with orange blossom but also has a distinctive labdanum muskiness. Additionally, a touch of dark chocolate in the retrohale reveals a chewy and satisfying finish.
Ash Backbone: Stable
Burn Angle: Mostly Even
Draw: Some Resistance
Final Smoking Time: 75 – 85 Minutes
Generally, both blends are well constructed and neither CP nor I experienced any significant draw or burn issues. Indeed, the burn angle was mostly straight and only required a couple of touch-ups.
Meanwhile, the ash generally held well and produced some decent length. Similarly, both cigars had a cool smoke and the draw was never more than ever-so-slightly loose.
Finally, the smoking time for both cigars was generally around 80 minutes. In some instances it was a little faster with the Moment occasionally being slower.
Ideal Pairings With An Avo Unexpected
Although both cigars are quite different, they both have a somewhat similar profile that is quite consistent with what Avo tends to offer.
With that being the case, they both pair well with similar beverages. Generally, I would recommend a dark rum with an overall floral character. If you prefer Scotch, you might want to consider a playful Highland whisky.
For coffee lovers, CP found that these blends were best accompanied by cappuccino rather than his usual choice of espresso.
As for snacks, peanuts would be your best savoury option. Otherwise, milk chocolate and toffee would extend their creamy, caramelised profiles quite well.
At Bespoke Unit, we do love Avo’s creative approach to marketing. Their use of colours and artisanal designs are very refreshing and add a charming touch to their products. The Unexpected is no different and the bright use of colours and rich brush strokes on the boxes are very attractive indeed.
It’s also quite nice to see some bare cedar wood for a change, which is the case on the reverse of the box’s lids. Meanwhile, the cigars are decorated with two brands. The first is a variation of the classic Avo logo while the second band indicates the range and blend name.
In terms of cost, these do fit Avo’s usual pricing. On Davidoff’s official website, you’ll see that a box of 20 retails for between $195 to $254. In the case of the Celebration and Moment, they’re priced at $254 and $234 respectively. This comes to between $11.70 $12.70 per stick.
When Should You Smoke An Avo Unexpected Cigar?
In case you’re not aware, Davidoff, Camacho, and Avo are all owned by Oettinger Davidoff AG. What’s interesting about Avo is that their cigars fit nicely between the other two in more than just budget.
Avo’s branding and presentation creates the imagery of an exciting yet elegant cigar. Yet, since they’re more affordable than more luxury blends, they’re still quite accessible.
Therefore, they’re quite versatile cigars in that they can be enjoyed casually like Camacho, or even formally like a Davidoff. Consequently, they’re a great cigar to enjoy with friends or to display at a black tie event.
Given that these are the Unexpected Series are core lines in limited edition packaging, they are a representation of Avo’s purest form.
Therefore, the Unexpected range is exactly what you’d hope to expect from this celebration brand! Like Davidoff, Avo are generally quite mild but flavoursome cigars.
Indeed, this is the case here and these creatively playful cigars are certainly worth sampling. We found that the Celebration performed best when tested with the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula.
If you’ve missed out on the limited edition versions, you can refer to our introduction above to test the core blends in their original style.
Avo Unexpected Series Review
Reviewed by Paul Anthony, on
"Very enjoyable cigar blends with a citrus twist. If you're fond of Avo, you'll find the Unexpected Series a wonderfully familiar experience."
Rating: 4.0 ★★★★
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Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.