Cigar Reviews

Zino Platinum Z Class

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It seems to be getting a lot harder to sneak outside for a cigar lately, Father Winter has definitely swept in with full force and is not letting up. But does that stop me? Heck no! Give me my down filled jacket and a nice propane heater and I’m good to go! So what did I pick out of my humidor today? It’s the Zino Platinum Z Class!

I have to admit I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to the Zino Platinum cigars, the Z Class is the only cigar in their line-up that I’ve had. Now I have had myself a few Davidoff cigars and they are the creators of the Zino Platinum lineup. Davidoff is well known for producing high quality cigars so does the Zino Platinum Z Class live up to that name?

The Z Class is one of the newer lines in the Zino Platinum inventory and are claimed to be a smooth and spicy medium-full bodied cigar. One thing about the Z Class I really love is their packaging. The box is actually a sleek Gun Metal colored tin packed with 20 cigars each. It also rounds out the line-up with the fuller bodied profile and comes in 4 standard sizes, Toro, Robusto, Pyramide and Corona.

The name and the sleek box remind me of a Mercedes-esque imagery for this line-up of cigars. The whole package is fairly attractive and now it’s time to see if it lives up to the reputation of it’s parent company and the look and feel of the brand as a whole.

Cigar: Zino Platinum Z Class 643C
Drink: Southern Tier Brewing Company Imperial Choklat Stout
Vitola: Corona 643C (6 x 43)
Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Peruvian Pelo de Oro
Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran Ligeros
Price: MSRP $8.00
Burn Time: 1.5 hours

Construction:
• The Z Class presents with a dark cinnamon brown wrapper that is rugged and rough
• There are a fair bit of visible veins but none seem to be too large or concerning
• The weight of this cigar is fairly heavy compared to others in the same vitola
• The top of this cigar is finished with a clean double cap while the foot looks to be moderately packed, there are a couple of small visible caps
• From cap to foot, the whole cigar is fairly firm when squeezed
• The cap was very tough and took quite a bit of effort to clip off with my double bladed guillotine cutter
• Initial draw seems pretty tight as well, lets hope that opens up

Burn:
• Toasting took a good amount of time and left me with a fairly evenly glowing foot, just a couple dark spots that refused to catch until my first draw
• We’re off to a bit of a wavy start here, hope that doesn’t keep up for too long…
• The slight wave at the start never did correct itself so I needed to give it a small little touch up around the 1/3rd mark
• After that touch-up the Z Class is smoking much better with a fairly clean burn, there is a slight wave but nothing out of control as I pass the half-way point
• I also have to note that this cigar is burning very slowly, definitely giving you time to enjoy without having to draw too often

Smoke & Ash:
• Despite a pretty tight draw, I’m still getting a ton of smoke from this cigar
• Even while resting, the Z Class is pumping out a fair bit of smoke and giving off a burnt wood type of aroma
• The ash comes off with a nice light grey tone but it is flaking quite a bit
• Due to it’s visible weakness, I’m ashing this cigar at about a half-inch right now
• Ash seems to get pretty weak consistently around the half inch mark, so I’ve been ashing it to avoid any disasters

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper on the Zino Platinum Z Class is fairly woodsy and musty, a pretty bold aroma
• The foot adds more of the mustiness and with that comes a touch of spice and sweetness
• First thing I noticed on the pre-light draw was a spicy tingle on my lips and tongue, beyond that I was met with a very pleasant sweet cedar flavor
• Initial draws are filled with the musty woodsiness I was picking up on the aroma, so far the spice and sweet cedar are no where to be found
• Within a few draws, the mustiness seems to have disappeared and I’m left with the woodsy flavors and a variety of spices, mostly like a mild or white pepper
• The spice has started to settle down as I reach the end of the first third, now I’m balancing out nicely with some woodsy and earthy flavors
• So far the body has been in the low end of medium and the small bite on the retrohale is combined with a somewhat dry spice finish
• The sweet cedar seems to be trying to make an appearance but the earthy and woodsy flavors are drowning it out, hopefully they will balance out a bit more although I am enjoying it as is so far
• The sweet cedar is putting up a good fight and starting to be more dominant, I’m really enjoying the balance here now
• The bite on the retrohale remains fairly tame but the dry finish has changed to a more smooth creamy finish, adding the the enjoyment factor on this cigar
• The last third is turning out to be a creamy and enjoyable finish, the balance is just right with the cedar, sweetness, earthy and spicy flavors
• The nub of the cigar was easy smoking with lots of flavor and no harshness, a good finish to a tasty cigar

Final Thoughts:
This was my first venture into Zino Platinum territory so I went in with an open mind and no biases for or against the brand. I didn’t really know much about the brand at all before I did research for this review. Turns out that the Z Class is a pretty tasty cigar. It had an interesting flavor profile and burned fairly well. There was nothing that really stood out too much but the whole experience was enjoyable and I don’t really have any complaints. The price was a tad bit higher than I would have liked for a corona sized cigar but the flavors were very enjoyable so I’m a bit torn here. Drop these to $6 for the corona and I’d be more interested. But having said that, if I saw them at a B&M I’d be curious to try some of the larger vitolas as there definitely is some potential here, I may enjoy those a lot more. I think some people would really enjoy these so I’d have to suggest giving a 5-pack a try, there is definitely a market for this profile. I think this cigar has definitely sparked in interest in trying more Zinos, they are very tough to find for me but maybe my next trip south or the border, these will be on my radar.

Pairings:
I believe this is the final brew I have remaining from the haul I brought back from Florida earlier in the summer. It is the Imperial Choklat Stout from Southern Tier Brewing Company. This brew pours super black but with surprisingly little foam in the glass. The flavors are pretty unique here and I wouldn’t compare this to a typical stout. It’s definitely got a lot of hoppy bitterness but it doesn’t have much of the creaminess I tend to find in a lot of stouts. It’s almost closer to a porter in my humble opinion, but I am no beer guru. But despite that, the beer has some very good flavors going on here. There is a ton of dark chocolate flavors in this brew and they pair amazingly well with the hoppy bitterness I mentioned. There’s also a hefty serving of malt making this taste almost like a non-creamy alcoholic milkshake? lol. I’m surprised to see it also clocks in at 11% Alc./vol., I can’t even tell it’s that strong since it’s so smooth. So did it pair well with the cigar? Indeed it did! The smooth and bold flavors on the Choklat Stout mixed nicely with the flavors of the Zino Platinum. Similar stouts and porters would do well here, and of course a nice Port would have been even better! haha

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

11 Comments

  1. czerbe

    January 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Wow nice stick buddy looks like your stepping up your game. Zinos I hear are great sticks. Plus I gotta to commend you on your beer selections they always rock

    • Dalamscius

      January 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Corey, looks like it’s a brand I’ll need to look into a bit more. I gotta live up to Tony’s expectations with the Beer pairings, he finds some crazy stuff down in Texas!

  2. jjo

    January 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I’ve read good things about this cigar. And I wish everyone would drop their prices to $6. 😉

    What’s the big idea leaving us hanging on your pairing, lol?

    • Dalamscius

      January 21, 2012 at 1:19 am

      LOL Good catch Jeff, I totally missed that! Added the last couple of lines, must have gotten cut off when I was dong a copy and paste. At least now I know you read the whole post and don’t just look at the pretty pictures 😛 hahaha

  3. Lou Bozzelli

    January 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Never had a Zino, really just because they were too pricey. $8 for a corona is a bit pricey for me too Daniel, but for a Zino it feels inexpensive??? I not sure if I would run out and get one just yet, but if I came across one in my travels then yes.

    I’m dying try the Southern Tier beers. Daniel, are they available here or what? LCBO,
    or the beer store?

    I was reading some info on 3 of the S T beers. Mokah, Oat and Choklat. In regards to the choclat flav, they mentioned not to chill it too cold because you’ll lose a lot of the choclat flav. Something to think about, that’s all.

    Great review Daniel, as per usual.

    • Dalamscius

      January 21, 2012 at 1:16 am

      I’m with you here Lou, just a touch out of the right price range. But a sI understand it they are aiming for a different demographic so that might explain the reason as well. Just like Davidoff cigars.

      As for the beer, I picked it up in Florida and brought it back with me this past summer. So far I’ve had no luck finding them locally 🙁
      I did enjoy the brew outside so it was going to get chilled regardless, it was a few degrees below freezing. I need to get myself a fancy heated garage with couches like you have! lol

  4. Cigar Inspector

    January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    This is a good cigar; I’m not too distraught about the extra $2.00. Now and again, it’s all right, even though I wish this was a larger format.

    • Dalamscius

      January 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      I hear you on the price but the vitola is a factor. A toro at $8 would be a lot easier to swallow but those are at $10+ i think… Still worth trying though. Thanks for dropping in! 😉

  5. TADD

    January 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Never had it… Might need to look into it. $8…. meh… If I find nothing else to buy maybe…..

    • Dalamscius

      January 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      lol, it’s like you typed that while reading the review. I can see your thought process in the comment, haha
      Just try one and live a little old man! 😛

  6. TADD

    January 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    My problem is I like what I like…. I don’t feel the need to constantly go outside th box and try new things… Especially at $8……I guess I am a crumdgeon….. I am often disapointed when I leave my box….. I feel so let down when I pay 7- bucks a stick and it isn’t enjoyable… I pitched an Opus Fuente Fuent (2011) the other day about an inch and a half in…it wasn’t doing it for me. They need to rest a few years…..

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