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

• 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

• 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.

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


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