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Last month, I was reading online and saw this blog post detailing a prerelease of a new blend in the Zino line of cigars, dubbed the Zino Château.

The press release says it better then I ever could, so here is a portion of it for your perusal:

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The new blend features an Ecuadorian-grown, Connecticut-seed wrapper and has a Dominican Olor binder and Dominican-grown filler tobaccos, including Criollo, Piloto Cubano and San Vicente.

Thus far, only one size – a Robusto of five inches and 50 ring gauge – is available, in boxes of 10 for $85.00, plus the applicable taxes, while they last. Herklots was not sure when (or even if) the Zino Château would be released nationally, but noted that he wanted his store customers “to be the first to experience this cigar.”

The Château joins the familiar Zino Classic (2006), Zino Platinum Crown (2003) and Zino Platinum Scepter (2003) in the Dominican-made Zino line-up.

Zino Château 1.png

  • Cigar Reviewed: Zino Château
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: O.K. Cigars
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
  • Binder: Dominican Olor
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo, Piloto Cubano & San Vincente)
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 10, $85)
  • Release Date: October 2010
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

TheZino Château is a nice looking cigar with a light brown wrapper and a slight box-press. The wrapper smells great, with a combination of manure, pepper and dark chocolate. It is well packed and gives a bit when squeezed. It has a nice cap on the end, but does seem a bit light for its size and vitola. The cold draw is sweet cedar and espresso.

It starts out with a surprising amount of spice and slightly noticeable notes of cedar, leather and earth. Unfortunately, it also has an almost overwhelming bitterness that turns all of the aforementioned flavors rancid.

This continues until the last third where the bitterness lets up a little and I can taste just a bit of sweetness that is totally wasted after the first two thirds turned my palate to ashes. Trust me, if I was not reviewing the cigars, I would have pitched them long before that.

Zino Château 2.png

The draw is extremely loose on two out of the three samples I smoked and the finish on all of them is quite dry. Despite the sweetness at the end, all three, end quite harshly.

48 Overall Score

While I have loved a few and have been disappointed by a few Dominican Davidoffs in the past, to say this is a bad cigar would be slandering the word "bad." While I could taste some flavors while smoking all three samples, albeit fairly boring flavors, anything that it could have been positive was totally annihilated by the bitterness and harshness. Honestly, I can't believe that this was even released as a blend, it is so bad. I have a few more, and will be stashing them to see if they get any better, but I certainly won't be holding my breath.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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