Sunday, October 5, 2008

Avalon Numbers Series #48 (Cameroon Oscuro)

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The Numbers Series by Avalon are made in Miami, FL and is composed of three different wrappers, a dark African Cameroon for numbers 48/52/54, a light African Cameroon for numbers 38/50, and a Brazilian Maduro for numbers 44/46. The numbers refer to the ring gauges of the various sizes offered. The filler and binder is the same for all three groups. The binder is Ecuadorian, while the filler is from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

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I was fortunate enough to obtain a sample pack of six cigars from Avalon Cigars. Three are from the Numbers Series and the other three are from the Juke Series. This review of the #48 is the first of six reviews I plan to do on Avalon Cigars.

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The #48 is a robusto which is 5.75 inches long. The other sizes in the Cameroon Oscuro group is a churchill (52x7) and a torpedo (54x6). I am not certain of the prices of these cigars as they don't seem to be widely distributed. You can go to their website for current retail locations and contact information.

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I'm sorry to say that the cigar that I received to review was really in bad shape. The wrapper looked really fragile and a good chunk of it was broken off near the foot of the cigar.


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As far as the rest of the cigar, it really had me crying the blues. The wrapper was dry and really veiny. It did however, looked like a Cameroon wrapper with a toothy appearance and slight coarseness. The cigar smelled earthy and had a pre-light flavor of prunes. The draw was perfect with just a touch of resistance.

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The initial flavors were harsh and lacked balance. Strong woody flavors dominate along with heavy doses of spice. The tone was acidic and salty and lacked a counter punch of creaminess and sweetness. It was as if the sugars in the cigar were cooked to the point of bitterness. This coupled with the persistent spicy heat (which I usually enjoy in a cigar) made for a throat irritating experience.

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The cigar never really "settled down". It did develop a nice nutty taste but it continued to be overwhelmed with a harsh woody flavor that comes off as bitter and acidic. I almost quit smoking the cigar because I knew that these flavors would only deepen the longer I smoked the cigar. Sure enough, the last third turned to heavy bitter leather and pepper.

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I really wanted to like this cigar too. I love the way Avalon markets their cigars. They have a nice Southern, Bluesy, laid back theme in their advertisements. I just with they could put as much energy into improving the blending and flavor of this particular cigar. Granted one cigar and one review doesn't accurately summarize their whole operation. But, it does leave a bad impression on me as a reviewer and consumer. I could be nice and say this cigar just needs time in the humidor. But really, why should anyone waste humidor space on a cigar that starts off unpleasant in hopes that it will mellow with age. There are just too many outstanding cigars available on the market now than to have to settle for that.

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Unfortunately, I'm kickin this #48 to the curb and moving on, at least to the next cigar in my Avalon sampler pack. I'll keep you up to date.


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