Even if I am an Avo Uvezian fan I must admit that I am not a big Nicaraguan tobacco fan. I had low expectations and unfortunately at at first glance even those where not met. I am really not a fan of this pressed form factor and the relatively small size of this Short Robusto when compared of the Short Robusto of the Heritage series by AVO makes this a disappointing first impression.
The initial experience of the Syncro Nicaragua is a very well designed, modern yet elegant cigar box design. As with all other previous AVO products I expected a very good build but it seems that the «pressed» finish of AVO is not quite the one by Arturo Fuente «Opus X» that are square and not rectangular like the Syncro Nicaragua.
I am not overly impressed with the fabrication/build of the piece but the main purpose of this cigar is the blend or synchronisation of Nicaraguan, Dominican, and Peruvian Olancho tobacco. So, having been an AVO smoker for years I will give the Syncro a vote of confidence.
Lighting the cigar was easy and the burn was constant and even, as with most non-Cuban cigars the initial draws are light, almost on the dry «paper» side. Dominicans need at least a couple of centimetres before they start to deliver taste notes. Some Dominicans are stunning in the last inch and can be at times superior to even top Cubans. The advantage of light or medium bodied cigars is that they will not numb your palate and the taste notes accumulate and are released in the end. The draw was tight, tighter than what western smokers are accustomed to but much less that what Cuban traditional smokers like.
The «Syncro Short Robusto» is a very interesting mix although a bit too light for my taste. The taste notes of cedar are there but not much else. I admit that I can’t find six or seven notes in a thing that from the start numbs your taste sounds frankly preposterous to me. The few notes I can distinguish in a cigar are maybe coffee, dung/manure, cedar and nuts. The last «nut» taste is the most sought after taste note (to me at least…) and very few cigars have this distinct signature. Only the Epicure nº2 (yet not consistently) and the Cohiba Sublime have I found this very distinct and very appreciated «nut» flavour. So when I hear things like caramel, pepper, strawberries, cream notes in mixtures other than pipe tobacco… forgive me, but I can’t help myself sincerely doubting that.
At the end
The «Syncro Short Robusto» is a 20 minute cigar that starts as many non-Cubans on a blend dry note. Unfortunately when the taste is about to hit its climax… the smoke is over. This cigar is too small to really enjoy the blend to the fullest. Its cousin the «Heritage Short Robusto» is a 40 minute cigar and there is ample time to enjoy the last inch. With the Syncro the party ends much too soon. the only way to bring some more taste to this cigar is to make a «cold-jump-start». That means leaving it go off, waiting one minute and relighting. This will push more flavour out of most cigars. (By the way, nothing wrong if the cigar turns off and you relight).
Not all «Short Robusto»s are the same
Very disappointing was the form factor. I generally do not like «pressed» cigars (square shaped) because I am not used to them and they are difficult to cut cleanly even with a good cigar cutter. In this case I was most disappointed since when comparing with the Avo Heritage of the same Short Robusto size you will notice a substantially smaller cigar. Side by side the Syncro becomes small and with little presence, skimpy and almost two levels bellow the Heritage series.
PRESENTATION: 7 out of 10
TASTE (mouth): 4 out of 10
AROMA (smoke): 5 out of 10
FABRICATION: 7 out of 10
Box: all impecable
EXPERIENCE: 4 out of 10
TIME: 20-25 min.
The main flaw of this cigar is the relative short smoke time for the featured tobacco mix to really come out. Because of relatively short smoke time the Syncro falls more into the «cigarillo» rather than in the «cigar» league. However, as a «cigarillo» the Syncro is actually a very good «fast smoke» choice. This cigar should be considerably larger to really make it a robusto inside a respectable humidor.
That said I am VERY interested in tasting the «Special Toro» with a cepo of 60. If the time and physical constraint is fixed maybe the Special Toro could be a very notable cigar.