My palate is in flux! The other day I reminisced about the Avo No. 2, a fine if exceedingly mild cigar. I’m still shying away from the usual 2-pound Nicaraguan dirt clods though I don’t know why.

Anywho … tonight I settled in for an Avo of a darker variety – a Domaine maduro.


Perrin Lovett.

Yes, dark like the rainy, mild but humid winter evening I found out of doors. I paired mine with a Sweetwater Festive Ale, a delightful ass kicker of a winter seasonal. Fitting, my first dark Avo in a year or more with what may be my last dark “holiday” ale until October. The match was nearly perfect. As an extra odd aside, David Lee Roth’s 1987-1988 Just Like Paradise was playing in my head. Hmmm…

Whereas the old No. 2 is smooth as glass and as inoffensive as Mr. Rogers, the Domaine is just as smooth but with a subdued earthiness and with more discernable independent notes.

The Domaine burns and draws as evenly, effortlessly and consistently as its milder cousin. I did notice that the ash tends to Pac-Man open at first. This generally indicates humidity issues or leaf control problems with a given stick. I consider this a minor issue especially, as here, when the event tapers after the first flicking. After that the Domaine burned “well” compared to the No. 2’s “flawless.” It was more than good enough for me.

I say it burned evenly and I mean it. It did. However, I did note a somewhat discombobulated, puffy ash. This could relate to the tobacco or my smoking conditions – I cannot fault my tobacconist, who keeps a damn near perfect 70/70 all around.

For me the most important aspect of any stick is its taste. This dark, well formed beauty tasted great! I believe she is of mainly Dominican ancestry with a Ecuadorian wrapper. I nearly had my fill of that dirty, earthy, wood smoke I crave in mass quantities. As I said, this flavor is understated, like an unusually powerful but silky Cuban.

I’ve read that some detect a “buttery” as opposed to “creamy” note in the Domaine. I still do not know what that means – no dairy science here – but I will go along. There is an underlying difference, beyond the earthiness, a heavier silk note without any pepper. In a word the taste is “fantastic.”

As a general rule I still will lean towards the soil of the continent and it’s unique, near-rotten aroma. Still, this islander has a place in my humidor and my heart. Another Avo classic if by taste but not name.


Perrin Lovett.

Happy smoking from the darker side of mild.