Cigar Review: Zino, Premium Selection Classic



Size: Torpedo, 5X54

Wrapper: Ecuadorian

Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduran

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: Box of 20, $140

Grade: 6.9 (CE); 6.6 (JJ)

Henke Kelner recently re-blended the Zino Classic and utilized Dominican tobaccos, while still maintaining the original Honduran characteristics. You can learn more about Zino here. This was a gifted smoke from the nice people at Davidoff. Today we offer a joint review of this cigar.

Take 1:
Pre-light, 1.8:
The first thing that jumped out about this stick was the label and packaging—very elegant and classy.  The medium brown wrapper was relatively smooth with some tooth. The triple cap was constructed very nicely and the cigar was firm to the touch with one small soft spot towards the head of the smoke. The cigar cut well and the cap came off very cleanly. The pre-light aroma and draw were filled with a clean tobacco taste and aroma with no other notes showing prominence. So far so good on this smoke.

Burn, 1.8:
The draw on this smoke seemed a little tight at first puff and this continued throughout the cigar as it never really loosened up. The Zino produced a very adequate amount of smoke with a very pleasing medium gray ash, which held for well over and inch before I let it go.

Flavor, 1.5:
The first puff of this smoke was very smooth with no real flavors jumping out at me. As I moved into the 1/3 this continued—no real flavor notes to speak of and a kind of unpleasant or harsh citrus on the finish.  Unfortunately, this never changed and the smoke never gained any traction in the flavor department. It was a very bland smoke and due to the fact it was deceptively full by the middle of 2/3, I was ready to put it down.  I worked my way to the beginning of the 3/3 in hopes that it might redeem itself, but no such luck and I did put it down for good. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. Any general interest in continuing the smoke and future purchasing were wiped out and that, coupled with the lack of a flavor profile, really dropped the score in the category.

Overall, 1.5:
The appearance of this smoke was top notch but unfortunately this did not translate into a great tasting cigar at all. The Zino was really a letdown and, at $7.00 a stick, I need something from Flavortown for me to want to pay another visit.  I enjoyed the experience to start with but by the 2/3 it was work and that is never a good thing when smoking a cigar.

(Total: 6.6)


Take 2:
Pre-light, 1.7:

The classic had an excellent roll to form the perfectly capped Torpedo; the wrapper was also of good quality though it had several large veins running alongside the roll. The pre-light draw was great. No major complaints in this department.

Burn, 1.2:
The draw during the smoke matched that of the pre-light, very nice; however, the construction of the ash proved why the draw was good—a very loose roll. The ash held decently for the first inch but a very large split developed through the middle of the ash, causing it to nearly form two directional ashes. This is one of the worst ash-splits I’ve seen. I also had to re-light about half way through.

Flavor, 2.0:
The flavor profile was not at all what I expected from a mid-priced, full-bodied smoke. There was a light bit of pepper in the after taste in the first 1/3, but this mellowed out for the remained of the smoke. The Zino had no complexity whatsoever, nor was it consistent—this was the biggest deduction in scoring for this department.

Overall, 2.0:
Overall, not worth the money. At around $7, there are lots and lots of sticks I’d pick up first, most for half the price and twice the enjoyment. Don’t spend your money or your time on this stick.

(Total: 6.9)