Wednesday, June 5, 2024

AVO Unexpected Celebration and Courage & Conviction Double Cask Reserve

I don't try to age cigars for long periods in general. The oldest cigars in my humidor are around five years old. Most are two years old or less. "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" I say. There was one AVO Unexpected Celebration in there from my purchase in August 2019.

When the AVO Unexpected line was released it was touted as a new line of specially crafted cigars. In reality the cigars appear to be rebranded prior releases. The Celebration is the same as the AVO XO. Probably not the best PR that AVO could do, but that marketing technique is probably not unique to them.

The Celebration is rolled with an Ecuadoran wrapper, and binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic. The cigars were aged for six years before being released. So I'll see what 10 years of aging bring.

This cigar was about the same as I remember. Mild, with sweet chocolate and cedar. Probably the last time I smoked the AVO Celebration was the fall of 2020. I recall it was a smooth, mild cigar, that went well with my morning coffee. This time I decided to pair an American Single Malt Whisky that I had never tasted. I had an airplane bottle Courage & Conviction Double Cask Reserve from Virginia Distilling on hand. I had grabbed the bottle to try out the whiskey before investing in a larger bottle. 

The Double Cask Reserve consists of a blend of 50% Bourbon cask aged, 25% Sherry cask, and 25% Cuvée cask aged whisky. (Whisky is the distiller's preferred spelling.) The flavor made me think of a scotch or irish whisky. It had a mild flavor, with hints of hay, oak, with a hint of pepper and fruit sweetness. The 96 proof was easy on the palate. 

I enjoyed the Courage & Conviction Double Cask Reserve quite a bit. It was well-matched with the cigar's profile. I lamented not having a bit more than the little 50 ml bottle. Coincidently about the same time I was preparing to enjoying this pour, a friend messaged me about the Px Sherry finish Courage & Conviction he was enjoying. It would appear I need look for some more offerings in this lineup.


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