|Zino Platinum – The Make of New York
(From the “Thread of New York” packaging)
The Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 – The Make of New York is a limited edition cigar produced by the Zino brand of Davidoff Cigars. The Make of New York marks the second consecutive year that Zino has launched a limited edition cigar. Last year the brand launched the Zino Platinum Ten series to commemorate the brand’s tenth anniversary. While the Make of New York has only been made in a single blend and single vitola, it comes in four unique packaging options featuring art work by a team called UR New York. Recently I’ve had a chance to smoke the “Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 – Make of New York”. Overall, I have found this to be a very good release by the Zino brand.
Zino Platinum line was established nearly ten years ago to go after the new, younger market that had resulted from the cigar boom of the 1990s. The packaging of the Zino Platinum line is a big part of this marketing play. When the Zino Platinum Ten was released last year, the UR New York team did some very contemporary graffiti style art work.
For the Make of New York Cigar, UR New York has designed four collectible boxes – each with a theme to reflect the contemporary urban culture of New York city. While the same cigar is packaged in each of these boxes, the secondary band reflects the theme of the packaging. The four packaging themes are listed below:
Fashion – The Thread of the City
Music – The Pulse of the City
Food – The Flavor of the City
Mixology – The Spirit of the City
For this assessment, I smoked cigars from the Fashion themed “The Thread of the City” packaging. Without further adieu, let’s break down the Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 – Make of New York cigar and see what it brings to the table.
|Packaging art work from the Zino Platinum Collector’s
Edition 2013 Make of New York series –
The Thread of the City represents Fashion
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Rojiza wrapper of the Make of New York is very unique. It is definitely a high quality wrapper with an interesting butterscotch look to it. Not much is known about what exactly the Rojiza variant is, but it does seem to impact how this cigar smokes significantly.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Rojiza
Binder: Dominican Olor/Piloto
Filler: Dominican (San Vincente Viso, Piloto Viso, Criollo Viso and San Vincente Mejorado Viso)
At this time, the Make of New York is available in a single vitola – a 6 1/8 x 53 perfecto. As mentioned this size is common to all four packaging options of the Make of New York.
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Rojiza wrapper really makes this cigar. It is a medium brown color, but as I mentioned it almost has a buttescotch look to it. The wrapper has a slightly oily complexion to it. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins. Overall the perfecto is well packed with no soft spots.
The primary band is common to all four packaging options of the Make of New York series. The primary band features a black, crystal, and yellow color scheme. There is a crystal Zino Platinum “Z” prominently in the center of a black shield. The shield has a crystal trim around it. The shield sits on a gold background with black design trim around it. Going clockwise (from the top) around the front of the band in a circular fashion is the text (in crystal font): “Zino Platinum”, “MADE” “COLLECTORS EDITION” “HAND”. To the right of the gold field is a crystal-colored “2013”.
Food – Fork and Knife with the text “THE FLAVOR OF NEW YORK”
Mixology – A Cocktail Shaker with the text “THE SPIRIT OF NEW YORK”
Fashion – A Thread with the text “THE THREAD OF NEW YORK”
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Given the Make of New York is a perfecto, I opted for a straight cut to remove the tip. After the tip was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw notes provided a mix of pepper and citrus. While it wasn’t the most complex pre-light draw, it still was a satisfactory one. At this point, it was time to light up my Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 – Make of New York cigar. In my book, sometimes getting a poor start to lighting a perfecto can result in an inferior burn for the remainder of the cigar experience. In this case, I opted to light as much of the tip as possible without scorching the body of the wrapper in order to get the burn started right.
While the Make of New York might have Ecuadorian Connecticut in its roots, the Rojiza variety of this wrapper gives the cigar a very different flavor profile than normally found.
The start to the Make of New York treated me to a start of pepper to start with. I also continued to get citrus notes, but the citrus notes now had more of a honey-citrus combination to it. This was soon joined by some natural tobacco flavors. While the retro-hale reflected the pepper and citrus on the tongue, I found that it added a different dimension to the smoking experience.
Throughout the first half the natural tobacco flavors were a constant in the forefront. Meanwhile the pepper and honey-citrus flavors moved between the forefront and background. In the second half, the pepper and honey-citrus moved into the forefront to stay and the natural tobacco flavors receded into the background. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. There was no harshness at the end of the cigar. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
One complaint I’ve had about both perfectos and torpedoes is that often fall short when it comes to burn and draw. The Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 – Make of New York actually scored pretty well here. From a burn perspective, I can attribute this to lighting as much of the tip as possible. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash is a salt and pepper color. There was some occasional flaking along the way, but nothing that proved to be a major problem. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Zino Platinum Collector’s Edition 2013 –
The Make of New York
As for the draw, it was outstanding. I would say it wasn’t tight and it wasn’t loose. It made this perfecto a very low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Like the flavor profile, the strength and body are going to be atypical for an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigar. Again, I’ll infer the Rojiza variant may be working some magic here. Both attributes are going to be fuller than one might expect when they see a cigar with the wrapper “Ecuadorian Connecticut”.
The start to the Make of New York starts out in the medium range. The strength slowly builds up in this cigar and by the last third, it moves into the medium to full range. The strength continues to build, but does fall a little short of becoming full strength. Meanwhile, the flavors start out in the medium to full range and also increase. By the time the cigar reaches the second half, the flavors are full-bodied and remain full for the remainder of the smoke.
Overall, when looking at strength versus body, I gave an edge to the body throughout the smoking experience.
While the Make of New York series has some very interesting packaging and art work, from my point of view it still comes down to the cigar itself. Luckily, the Make of New York did not disappoint me. Overall I found this to be a well-constructed cigar that delivered some great flavors. The honey-citrus notes really gave this flavor profile a contemporary feel – something that the Zino brand strives to do. While the perfecto shape really didn’t provide any negatives to me, I still would have loved to have smoken this blend in a classic parejo shape. To me, a lot comes down to the Rojiza wrapper on this cigar. It is not only a beautiful color, but it provides a unique flavor experience for anything associated with “Ecuadorian Connecticut”.
A final note is that the Make of New York carries an SRP of $16.00. While we do not factor price into our assessment ratings and scores, we mention this for information purposes to the end consumer. Overall, I found this to be a cigar that I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. I would also recommend this to a novice enthusiast, but would caution that this cigar can sneak up on them in terms of strength building during the cigar experience. As for myself this is a cigar I would not hesitate to purchase and smoke again.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Body Medium to Full (1st half), Full (2nd half)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida.