Monday, April 28, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: Avo XO Intermezzo

By Gary Korb

You may remember that back in January I wrote about an incident where I was at a bar/restaurant/nightclub that permitted smoking cigarettes, yet prevented me from smoking a cigar. The cigar in question was an Avo XO Intermezzo. Well, it just so happens that this past weekend's cigar was one of the same, so now I'll actually get to complete my review.

Ever since I discovered Avo cigars they've been one of my humidor staples. I seem to be drawn mostly to the medium-bodied XO's for their unique melding of creaminess with delicately spicy flavors, and the 5½" x 50 Intermezzo in particular. Plus, the U.S. Connecticut wrapper on this cigar is one of the best, not only in quality, but the way it sublimates the flavors inherent in each of the six different Dominican leaves used for the filler and binder.

I smoked the Intermezzo out on the deck after a home-cooked dinner which included mixed greens salad, scallops pan seared in garlic, and a vegetable soufflé. I paired the cigar with a glass of Dow's Boardroom Tawny Reserve. The night was clear, the temperature comfortable, and with my wife attending an impromptu wine-tasting party, and my sons inside watching the WWE Friday Night SmackDown, I had no distractions.

As usual, the cap clipped off in a perfect little disc exposing just the right amount of tobacco at the head. I lit the foot as delicately as possible and those first few puffs were as creamy as slow-churned ice cream. The draw was flawless and the smoke was dominated by sweet cedar flavors laced with hints of nutmeg, and the slightest trace of coffee bean. I let the cigar smoke itself, puffing at longer intervals, which kept all those creamy flavors coming down to the last inch. It smoked for well over an hour, and was so well-balanced, even at that point it resisted turning bitter, but I'd had my fill and let it go. Besides, the boys were calling me to join them for the Undertaker vs. Batista match.

I've smoked the Avo XO Intermezzo at various times of the day and under all sorts of circumstances, but I as an after dinner retreat, it doesn't get much better than this.

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