Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 4 7/8 x 50
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Nicaragua & Honduras
Binder : Peruvian
Price : $9 each
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As spring is upon us we are all looking forward to cutting the grass again… yeah right. The good news is with more daylight and warmer temperatures the cigars smoking will increase along with barbecues and good outdoor fellowship.
This week I wanted to review a semi new cigar. Being released in May of 2011 the Zino “Z” Class line is defined as a stronger / powerful / more full-bodied line without a hefty price tag. The “Z” Class cigars come packaged in sleek streamlined metal tin boxes of 20. These cigars are currently available in the following sizes:
- 654T (Toro) 5 7/8 x 54
- 550R (Robusto) 4 7/8 x 50
- 546P (Pyramid) 5 ¼ x 46
- and 643C 5 5/8 x 43
This line will typically run you from $8 – $12 which is much less expensive than your regular Zino/Davidoff makeshift brands. Let’s see how the 550R fared.
On to the review…
The pre-light ritual for the Zino 550R showed a splotchy brown wrapper, nice round cap, and a foot that was easily under filled. Lots of thick veins ran up and down the wrapper and the seam lines were not applied smoothly. Band had a nice sophisticated industrial steel look and the smell showed a distinct sweet tobacco and tealeaves. Upon clipping for the cold draw I was surprised at what an extremely loose draw the cigar carried. The cold palate tastes supported a spicy hay texture.
Pre-light score: 8 pts.
Upon lighting I am very upset at the draw being much too loose and am blasted with loads of smoke. The velvety smoke overloads my palate with heavy pepper and a hot unbalanced experience. The burn was very fast on the first third which when combined with the loose draw leads me to believe the cigar was under filled. The aroma however was pleasant showing a creamy subtleness, which was by far the best attribute of the first third. Before moving into the second third the cigar’s burn had to be touched up.
The second third of my Zino “Z” Class 550R was more of the same. The burn was terrible throughout, the draw an absolute wind tunnel leading to an overpowering smoke that muted out any tastes the cigar was trying to show. Was however able to pick up some flinty lead tastes and certainly was not entertained with the fact I had one more third of this to go.
The final third the smoke was still an overload however I was able to enjoy some dark fruit flavors on the finish. The cigar did end better than it started however was not enjoyable… at all.
Smoking score: 3 pts.
Well let’s make this short and sweet. The Zino 550R had a terrible draw (too loose), unbalanced flavors (due to draw), quick uneven burn that had to be touched up multiple times, a decent opening aroma, and a bland unstable finish. Yep, you probably guessed it… PASS ON THIS ONE! I think I’d rather mow grass than smoke another one of these.
Overall Experience score: 4 pts.
Zino “Z” Class 550R Rating
Pre-Light: 8 pts.
Smoking: 3 pts.
Overall Experience: 4 pts.