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Nicaraguan cigars can sometimes be out to show off their machismo.  That’s not the case with this well constructed smoke, which is divided into distinct thirds, and is (rather cleverly) mild on the ends and full-bodied in the middle.

The Habano 2000 wrapper is handsome, and appealingly oily:  it looks like it’s going to be a good one.  Once lit the stick starts off relatively mild for a Nicaraguan.  There’s flavor here, but it’s almost as though the cigar is trying to put you in the mood.  The best feature is thick billows of creamy smoke that surround you and on which you do sort of float away to a place where your worldly cares cease to exist.  As a testament to its construction, it also built up a most impressive ash.  (See photo.  Amador has to use a 1960s Instamatic to take pictures, so they don’t always turn out.  We assure you that what appears below is truly a photo of a cigar ash.)

Then comes the surprise:  the billows of smoke recede, and the cigar gets down to business.  There’s a noticeable jump in intensity, yes, of flavor, but, even more noticeably, of nicotine content.  Your journey floating over the clouds of thick smoke turns out to be a trip to Nicaragua, and the cigar here assumes a distinctly “Nicaraguan” profile.  As the shift was unexpected, I found it rather fun…but I feel a little bad that I’m ruining the surprise for my readers in America.  There’s something of a wake-up factor, but what it wakes you up to is a full-bodied, but not at all harsh, cigar.

The stick relaxes after that burst of C10H14N2, and enters its least interesting phase, alas.  The body lightens up, but the creamy thick smoke doesn’t return.  The word that kept coming to my mind was “perfumy”.  No, not Chanel No. 5, and I don’t want to make it sound girly, but there were pronounced unusual notes at the higher end of the spectrum.  I won’t use those terms borrowed from wine tasting to describe cigars, since I think they’re all a study in the power of suggestion.  Nevertheless, the suggestion I got was of a distinctly floral nature.  It’s pleasant…but it’s a lot less fun than the first two-thirds of the cigar.

On Don Amador’s scale of Spanish adjectives, the Avo Syncro Nicaragua Fogata rates a solid muy bien.

(Speaking of Spanish, for those of you who are curioius, fogata is the term for a wood fire.  Don Amador took off his straw hat and scratched his head when he went back to look at the name after smoking the cigar.)