Last year, Davidoff’s Zino Platinum released two different cigars, each in collaboration with a different urban artist, who supplied the art for the boxes and bands. Both the Zino Platinum Make of New York and Zino Platinum Make of Las Angeles included four different packaging options designed with the former done by UR New York and the latter by Burton Machen. Each blend was limited to 30,000 cigars, divided into 750 boxes of each design.
This year, Davidoff has expanded the urban art-themed Collector’s Edition series with the Zino Platinum Make of Texas, a 5 1/2 x 56 that was first shown off at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. The blend incorporates a Ecuadorian wrapper along with binder and filler tobacco from the Dominican Republic and is rolled at O.K. Cigars. Like the former two releases in the series, there are four different boxes and bands offered, each limited to 750 boxes of 10 and priced at $160 per box. This year’s artist was Houston’s Gonzo247 of Aerosol Warfare.
There have now been three different releases in the Collector’s Edition series.
- Zino Platinum LE 2013 “The Make of New York” (6 1/8 x 53) — May 2013 — 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Zino Platinum LE 2013 “The Make of Los Angeles” (6 x 54) — October 2013 — 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Zino Platinum LE 2014 “The Make of Texas” (5 1/2 x 56) — October 2014 — 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Zino Platinum LE 2014 “The Make of Texas”
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: O.K. Cigars
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 10, $160.00)
- Date Released: Sept. 25, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
Covered in a golden brown wrapper that is smooth paper smooth to the touch, The Make of Texas also has a significant number of veins present running up and down the length. There is no oil present, and the cigar is a bit harder than average when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper includes strong creamy peanuts, nutmeg, cedar and sweet chocolate, while the cold draw brings notes of dry wood, manure and sweet spices, along with a touch of pepper.
The Zino Platinum LE 2014 starts off with a very creamy base profile, along with flavors of cedar, earth, almonds, hay and a little saltiness on the lips. There is a noticeable amount of white pepper on the retrohale for pretty much the entire first third, and an interesting—albeit light—marzipan sweetness that I am only picking up through the nose. Smoke production is well above average, dense and billowy, while the strength hovers at a point halfway between mild and medium, although it does seem to be increasing. Construction-wise, the burn and draw are quite good so far, although the burn wavered a bit in the first inch or so.
While the profile is still quite creamy, other flavors have started to make themselves known in the second third. A musky mushroom flavor comes and goes, although thankfully it is not very strong, as well as notes of chocolate, nuts, hay and cedar. I pick up a peppermint flavor on the retrohale a few times after the halfway point and there is less pepper than was present in the first third. The marzipan sweetness is still around, but much reduced in strength. The burn has evened up nicely, and the draw continues to excel, while the strength hits a solid medium by the end of the second third, although it does not seem to be going anywhere fast.
I begin to taste more of the musky mushroom flavor in the profile during the final third of the Zino Platinum Make Of Texas, although it is thankfully still not near strong enough to negatively impact the profile, which remains extremely creamy overall. Other flavors of almonds, earth, hay, mocha coffee, leather and bread flit in and out, and the sweetness has increased as well, reminding me strongly of vanilla beans. The peppermint note from the second third is long gone, but the black pepper on the retrohale continues, and the strength manages to hit a point just above the medium mark by the end of the cigar. Both the burn and draw remain excellent until I put the nub down with about an inch left.
- Kudos to Davidoff for keeping the size of the vitola down and not falling into the trap of thinking “Everything is Bigger in Texas” I’m looking at you Alec Bradley.
- While there is a skyline of sorts represented on each of the four boxes, I find it interesting that arguably the most recognizable building in the state — Reunion Tower in Dallas — is noticeably missing.
- The Make of Texas is a combination of both the shortest length and largest ring gauge out of all three of the Collector’s Edition releases so far.
- As with the other three releases in the series, the Make of Texas cigars are not a state exclusive, and are available nationwide.
- I find the dichotomy between the classic Zino Platinum band and the secondary band featuring urban art fascinating, and not necessarily in a good way. The two are visually at odds with each other, and I can assure you that Zino Platinum is not the first — or even the tenth — cigar brand I think of when taking about urban art.
- UR New York also supplied the art for the boxes of Zino Platinum 10th Anniversary release back in 2012 named “The Make.”
- While the construction was excellent overall for each of the three samples I smoked, the ash was consistently so flaky that I had to constantly keep the cigar over an ashtray or risk burying myself in little chunks of ash.
- Zino Platinum is part of Oettinger Davidoff AG. Davidoff advertises on halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
I enjoyed the Zino Platinum Make Of Texas release quite a bit, not just because it was missing that musky mushroom flavor that sometimes overwhelms Davidoff's blends but also because it included a nice and complex profile. Throw in some evolving sweetness, excellent construction and slightly higher than medium strength, and is actually my favorite of the three in the series that have been released to date behind the Make of Los Angeles. An excellent release that is easy to recommend for those looking for a full flavored, medium strength cigar.