This is a companion piece to Winston's Tasting Notes – AVO Syncro Fogata.
Sam and Sammy have both had their shot with the Fogata. Now it's my turn. I elected to smoke the toro, a 6x54, which I punched and paired with ice water. This cigar was smoked indoors at Winston's lounge.
The wrapper itself is lightly spicy on the tongue with the barest hint of salt. Cold drawing suggests dried fruit but only faintly. The pre-light experience of the Fogata does the work of preparing your palette for the smoke. The salt and spice of the wrapper opens up your taste buds. The subtle flavor of the cold draw draws you into focus. You are now ready to get everything you can out of the Fogata.
First lighting is entirely savory. Leather and wood are most prominent with leather also present in the aroma. The quality of the smoke itself is more dry than creamy. Smoking further into the Fogata a background of black pepper spice establishes. Spice steps into the foreground intermittently as no one flavor dominates the profile. It settles into a pattern of leather, wood, and spice which can be broken up by retro-haling. The Retro-hale enhances spiciness but also teases out some of the dried fruit flavors from the cold draw. This is the only way I was able to pull any sweetness from the Fogata.
While this cigar is very flavorful there is nothing harsh about it. No overbearing spice or acrid bitterness. None of those things that are taxing on the palette. The result is an extremely pleasant cigar. It's just enjoyable. There is enough familiarity to not be alienating but enough new is going on to not be boring. Simultaneous comfort and intrigue are at work here. I don't know if that was the intent of this cigar but it is effective. You can relax into this smoke, it would be versatile for pairings, and, with all the flavors going on, it lends itself to a deep dive.
The quality of this cigar is very high. The level of balance going on here is very impressive. It is a medium bodied stick that punches above its weight. Most of the time a blend will go big on flavor by beating you over the head with spice or bitterness. But not here. AVO has done something more clever. They seasoned the Fogata. A dash of cedar, a pinch of black pepper, a strip of leather, shavings of dried figs all come together to create something bigger than the sum of its parts.
It is fairly obvious that I like this cigar a lot. However, it isn't a new favorite for me and it probably won't be going into any regular rotation either (not that I have any semblance of a rotation). That's only because it isn't in my wheelhouse. I would feel comfortable recommending the Fogata to a broad range of smokers. There is just so much going on here, and being done well, that almost anyone can find something to like. If you like cigars there is a good chance you will like the Fogata.