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Cigar Review – Zino Platinum Z-Class 550R Robusto

I love it when representatives from cigar manufacturers visit us, not only because they’re generally friendly people, but also because they tend to bring a hefty selection of samples. Our representative from Davidoff came by last week and was nice enough to give us a few samples of the new Zino Platinum Z-Class, and as such, I was lucky enough to smoke the 550R for review.

The Z-Class is purported to be the strongest offering from Zino so far. Though I haven’t had any other Zino cigars, I’ve had a few others from Davidoff—the Griffins Short Robusto, Avo Classic No. 2, Avo Domaine No. 20, and the Avo Heritage Robusto—and the Z-Class was definitely the strongest of the bunch. The Dominican wrapper leaf was toothy and marbled with a little bit of oily sheen, and the filler was evenly firm throughout. Pre-light draw revealed some toasty, peppery flavors with a little bit of earthiness, presumably from the Nicaraguan filler leaves. After choking on a few dust-sized bits of tobacco from my sloppy guillotine cut, it was time to light up.

Despite my poor cut, this cigar lit with ease and began burning beautifully. Initial flavors were very meaty with red pepper, toast, and some syrupy sweetness that took the edge off the spice. The wrapper curled in at the edges of the burn, which made the grey, pinstriped ash look nice and lean.

The next third mellowed out a little bit—the pepper gave out a little, and out came some creaminess and a hint of sweet cedar. The burn remained straight, and the ash held on for about an inch and a half at a time and stayed relatively solid after crashing to the ground.

As the stogie burned down to the nub, the spice came back in a big way. I made the mistake of trying to retrohale at this point and tears came to my eyes. After recovering from the brutal nose burning, I took a few farewell puffs and was met with a good bit of caramel sweetness with a little bit of tart, funky molasses flavor. This combined with the toasty note and made me think of freshly baked oatmeal cookies. The pepper was getting a little out of hand at this point, so I figured it was a good time to put it down.

Like I said earlier, I don’t have any other Zino smokes to compare the Z-Class to, but this one was definitely a bit of a powerhouse compared to the other Davidoffs I’ve had. Compared to some of the other smokes I’ve reviewed on here, though, this was medium-bodied at most. That said, it was rich, tasty, and balanced, and I’d smoke another in a heartbeat.