Cigar of the Week

Cigar of the Week: Zino Platinum Scepter Grand Master

(Note: This review originally appeared on CigarJack.)

Zino Platinum Scepter photo

Brand: Zino Platinum
Line: Scepter Series
Vitola: Grand Master (Robusto) 5 1/2 x 52
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Connecticut
Filler: Dominican/Peruvian
Body: Mild-to-medium
Strength: Mild-to-medium
Box Price: $140 (Box of 12)

There are very few cigar brands that are able to cash in on their name alone. CAO comes to mind. Montecristo is another. But very few brands rival Davidoff in reputation.

With this in mind, I set out to try Davidoff’s Zino Platinum line. For this review, I’ll tackle the ZP Scepter Series, blended by Davidoff guru H. Kellner. (Thanks to Richard Krutick from Davidoff for sending this one out to me.)

You can’t miss the Zino Platinum Scepters in your store’s humidor; they come in tins of 12 cigars. The distinctive Zino band, with its silver and black shield, is flat-out regal. This theme is continued in the Zino’s art, paintings of funny-looking dogs in Louis XVI-type getups. By all measures, it seems to be a serious brand, but the paintings show me that it can take itself lightly.

Pre-light, the Zino Platinum has a pleasant aroma of cocoa and butter. Once you light it, and as you progress through it, the cocoa scent will intensify into a strong mocha flavor, as it’s joined by hints of coffee, almond, cedar and a touch of spice. For a mild-bodied cigar, you’ll find its complexity — helped by its year-aged binder and the one year-aged wrapper — almost refreshing. It’s anything but overpowering, and it has a smooth aftertaste.

The Scepter is a well-made cigar that burns evenly, has a good draw and will produce a thick plume of bluish smoke. This one will require very little, if any, maintenance, and will take you about an hour to get through.

Verdict: At $15 a pop, it will set you back a bit. But make no bones about it: the Zino Platinum Scepter is an exceptional smoke. Kellner made a good one here. Pair it with a nice Pinot noir for a great post-Valentine’s day treat.

Similar cigars: Even though this one has a Connecticut Ecuadorian wrapper, and is a touch sweeter, I’d compare it to the Graycliff Professionale.