One of the latest offerings from Davidoff is the Zino Z Class. In looking at the robusto which is the 550R, I wonder who named this cigar and if they had worked for the auto industry at one time in the career. Lets face it the Z-Class 550R sounds more like the latest car from Mercedes then a cigar. Even the brochure for the Z Class reminds me of something from an auto dealership.
According to the press release:
Zino Platinum introduces the new Z-Class Series, the first new line in 8 years. It will consist of four formats: Toro, Robusto, Piramides and Corona, packaged in custom gunmetal tins of 20 cigars. The new blend features a Dominican wrapper accented by a Peruvian binder and Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers. These carefully selected, aged tobaccos create a spicy medium-to-full bodied cigar.
Cigar: Zino Platinum Z Class
Size: 4 7/8 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Dominican Repubic (Yamasa Rojiza)
Binder: Peru (Pelo do Oro)
Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa Especial Ligero, Esteli Ligero) & Honduras (San Vincente Ligero)
Appearance and Construction: The first thing to catch my eye is the wrapper of the the Zino Platinum. Dark in comparison to the wrappers used by Zino in the past, but nowhere near as dark as the current trend of cigar making. The roll of the cigar is nearly perfect and there is a rather simple cap on the cigar which is normal for Dominican produced smokes. The black and silver band adorns the cigar which is customary for the Zino Platinum. In the hand the cigar has a nice weight, is well-balanced and is a bit coarse under the fingers.
Flavor & Notes: Once I use my Xikar scissors to cut the cigar the cold draw is typical Henke Kelner with notes of hay and grass. The foot of the cigar serves up the same under the nose. Once the cigar is lit the there is some slight spices especially through the nose but none of them really overpower. The Peruvian tobacco is sheer pleasure to my taste buds as it is my favorite tobacco hands down. As I sit back and enjoy the cigar I notice it would pair well with a really hearty wine and I make a note to pair it in the future. As the first third rounds out there notes has a sweetness to it that are almost wine like. In the second third of the cigar the hearty wine like profile remains but earth-like notes of hay and grass increase with every pull. Spice remains on the retro-hale and while it is more spicy now then in the first third it still does not overpower. There is almost a peppermint like note on the finish which I find intriguing to say the least. As we enter the final third of the cigar the profile remains the same, but this does not make the cigar one-dimensional. There is a nice complexity throughout and it keeps my interest from first light to last exhale.
Smoking Characteristics: The aroma of this cigar is just as important as the notes of the cigar and this is how it should be in a smoke. It is just as complex as the smoke itself and it really amazed me. The volume of the smoke is wonderful and the light side of medium colored ash held on well. I didn’t lose the ash til I reach for my camera to take the picture before the transition into the last third. The burn is pretty much dead and the draw was perfect.
Conclusion: I’m not sure how the Zino Platinum Z Class will be received despite liking it. The cigar is stronger than a typical Zino, but not strong enough to please those looking for something stronger. The result is it might lose the core audience while failing to capture a new audience. For me it is now my favorite cigar in the line, and I hope it sticks around for a long time. The Yamasa region is really changing the face of Davidoff. First the Puro d’Oro and now for Zino with the Z Class.