Zino Embassy Selection Limited Edition Piramides 2012 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: 702 Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Size: 5.5 x 52 “Torpedo”
Body: Medium
Price: $11.00 MSRP
zino box



Atlantic Cigars is having a closeout special on these cigars for $70 so I nabbed a box of 10.

Davidoff created these cigars as a tribute to Zino Davidoff, founder of the company.

Only 3,000 boxes were produced and of that, only 800 boxes were distributed to the United States.
This is the third edition in the Embassy line, started in 2010.

The nice thing about having a box of anything is you get to compare sticks to each other. Looking for consistency is important. It tells you a lot about a manufacturer.

The cigars come in boxes of 10 and go for $110 MSRP and that’s what everyone is selling them for. Some online stores are selling them for as high as $150. Bastardos.

Back to the construction. Yes. They are indeed consistent. With some being a little better than others. So I will pick an average one to review.

The wrapper is beautiful. It is not only a dark coffee bean color but has a deep oily look that makes it look like a Hershey bar with caramel overtones. The wrapper is very smooth. Seams are more visible that I would have guessed. There are few veins. And the pointy triple cap is flawless on all of them.

The double cigar bands look cheap and unimaginative. You plan a tribute to a man and then you adhere a 1 cent double band to that cigar. I’d be insulted.

The main band is black with gold lettering. No artwork wasted on this baby. The secondary band merely states the name of the blend. It reminds me of the Onyx brand cigar.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, nuts, dark chocolate, orange zest, earthiness and black licorice.
Time to light up.

Very sweet with a citrus tang. It’s a chocolate bar. With light chocolate nougat like a Three Musketeers bar. The draw is great. I can’t understate the influence that the cocoa is having on the flavor profile.

And then the spiciness arrives. Black pepper. The black licorice becomes a flavor.

I don’t like the placement of the main band. This cigar has a very long pointy cap. Like the 5 Vegas classic torpedo.
Although, the Zino is not nearly as ridiculous. But once you remove enough cap to wrap your big ol lips on, the cap is included. It should have been placed much lower. I cannot believe they didn’t think of this.

If I wasn’t reviewing it, I’d remove the band immediately. Next time, I will.

The strength is dead nuts classic medium body. The spice is very strong. The char line is near perfect but a small waviness occurs and I fix it.

Max at Bourbonandleaf.com contacted me and asked if I would like to provide a review now and then. It is a very nice site. One problem that I don’t know if I can overcome. The reviews are on average 500-600 words. My typical review is pushing 1600 words.

The age group focused on is 22-30 and they aren’t interested in wisdom and long windedness. They go straight to the bottom of the review for the summary.

I wouldn’t have a clue how to be brief. But I am going to try it once. I’ve had a lot of offers to write for others but ended up turning them down. They all wanted me to write a certain way with an outline of how it’s done. At this point in my life, I find it difficult following directions.

I’m not a copywriter. I gotta be me. I used to drink with Sinatra. And based on the very large amount of hits I get each day, I have to brag that I get some very smart readers. Most probably way out of the readership parameters of Max’s site.

I am nearing the end of the first third and here are the wonderful flavors: Cocoa, sweetness, creaminess, orange zest, orange jelly chocolate covered candies, cedar, black licorice, and spiciness which moved to the back of the pack. There is a touch of leather.

A salty pretzel flavor shows itself. It is mild and pleasant. This is an excellent cigar and for only $7 a stick instead of $11, it’s a real deal. At the moment, Atlantic has plenty of them as they are notated as “In Stock.”

I’m guessing the ridiculous price point is why it has gone into closeout syndrome. It’s worth $7, not $11. As usual, Davidoff overprices their cigars to grab the attention to the guys who are bucks up and belong to a private men’s club downtown. I’ve tried all of the Davidoff blends and while most are pretty good, their price point is absolutely ridiculous. But it is a prestige cigar. Go figure.

The second third begins and this is a very nice cigar. The strength remains at medium body. Flavors are interesting. The spice is coming close to disappearing.

A lovely floral note shows up. It ramps up the other flavors. The char line has needed no additional touch ups since the early one.

The sun has come out and now my photos show much more closely the actual color of the cigar compared to the earlier photos.
I just checked CI for their daily deal. They are selling Gurkha Overruns for $40. Is that an oxymoron? Is it not bad enough that Gurkha spreads the planet with their mediocre sticks that they have to sell overruns too? LMAO! Hurry before they run out.

I know. I’m rambling and you are asking yourself when is this asshole going to talk about the cigar.

The halfway mark is met and the stick just oozes flavors. There is not complexity yet. But that flavor profile is great.
Perfectly balanced and with a long finish. The stick is jam packed and therefore, a slow burner. That’s the problem with smoking and writing at the same time…I kill time by writing nonsensical bullshit.

There are no great changes in the course of the smoke. It may be that this is it. It may also be that this is a very old school blend that needs months of humidor time. I’m guessing the first…not the latter. This explains why the cigar is in closeout.

Lots of flavor without complexity. And a real boner of a price tag. In a blind taste test, I’d have to say I would have guessed this to be a $6 cigar. Nice flavors but nothing special.

I may have to come back in a few months and place an addendum to what it tastes like after some serious rest.

The last third begins and no changes. The flavor profile is cruising. No way is this cigar going to become a flavor bomb. Just another overpriced cigar with nice flavor.

Go to my “The Katman’s List of 60 Excellent Cigars in the $5.00-$6.00 Range” or “The Katman’s Best 63 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $7-$9 Range.”

The last couple inches see the cigar exude flavor. The spiciness returns. Now it’s a flavor bomb. Too little, too late.

My advice is that if you pop for a box; let them rest for 6 months. For $70, you got nothing to lose. It might turn out to be an excellent cigar. It is a shame that Davidoff is still practicing old school techniques. C’mon guys. Get with the program.

ADDENDUM 5-3-2014:
Finally. After three months of humidor time, the cigar shows some real promise. So, this stick doesn’t get any more old school than this.

And now for something completely different:

Warning: This is a hard core story about drugs
During the Eddie Munster project in 1983-1984, I had a friend who was an ex-con. A really big linebacker looking fella. His name is Rick. He did some serious time for stealing cars. And dealing drugs.

But Rick was a gentle giant. The perfect friend who had a code of honor. If you were loyal, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you. If you cheated him, God help you.

Because of the corruption in the music biz and especially what went on at radio stations, I always had to have some coke ready to distribute to DJ’s and program directors as we toured the country. Rick was my connection.

Now I did hardly any of the stuff as it was a distraction and I didn’t like the way it made me feel. Nervous and paranoid. Like pot.

And he dealt coke in what I considered large quantities. I would go over to his place in Manhattan Beach and just chill. I might do a line, I might not. And Rick loved me for that. While he was surrounded by fake friends with their noses sticking out, I would more often than not, decline his generosity. He got the biggest kick that I turned him down and strangely, that was what our friendship was built on. I was his only friend that wasn’t a coke whore.

Rick didn’t drink and he loved to make his own lemonade. So I’d go over when the project and running the recording studio was running me into the ground.

We would sit and drink lemonade and talk about life.

One day, he took me up to his walk in closet that had a huge lock on it. Inside, he had a 4 drawer chest that he rested his coke scale on along with his other paraphernalia.

Rick was smart. He would take ordinary coke and process it so it had that opalescent look to it. All shiny and light reflective.

He also sold the purest coke I had ever done.

So this one particular day, he wanted to show off how he processed his coke. I was interested and thought why not?

I sat next to him as he showed me the steps required. He had this huge mirror with about 3 ounces of cocaine on it. Right in the middle of a sentence, he elbowed the mirror and it all went into the air. Some of the drawers were open and it fell into them and all over the carpet.

I started to hyperventilate.

Rick never lost a beat as he continued to explain his process. I finally choked out the words, “Rick. You’re coke is everywhere.”

He told me not to worry. He had a special hand vacuum that would pick up 95% of it.
Three ounces of coke is a lot of coke. It covered my jeans and my shoes.
Didn’t bother Rick a bit.

Rick tried to talk me into dealing for him but I told him I had too much at stake to do that.

I got a call from my press agent and he told me to bring $2000 with me. He had the program director from KROQ in his office and would put our Eddie Munster record in regular rotation.

I grabbed Rick and told him to bring some money.

We got there and did the transaction. Weeks passed and not once did we hear the song on KROQ.

Rick was furious.

He told me we had to go talk to my press agent so I made the call and went there the next day. I knew what was going to transpire.

Rick told him we wanted our money back. The press agent made a bunch of lousy excuses.

Rick got up from his chair. He pulled open his jacket and showed the guy a huge stainless steel .357 Magnum pistol in his waist band.

Rick then pulled the pistol out and cold cocked the press agent so hard that he fell backwards in his chair.
Rick then went around the desk and hit him once more with his fist this time.
“Get our money!!”

He got it right away.

Rick left his with these words: “You ever try to cheat us again and I’m going to bury you in Yucca Valley in the middle of the desert.”

Obviously, we never had a problem again with this guy.

I lost touch with Rick over the years. He called me about 10 years later and asked if he could borrow $500. I told him I would. We met and had a great time reminiscing.

I have no idea where he is now. I hope not prison.



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4 replies

  1. Once again the Katman saves us from spending our hard earned shekels on . another slightly overpriced Ltd Ed. $2 or $20 you call them honestly. Thanks to you I am now an official Curiivari ho. (Except when I am smoking a Paul Stulac, or an Eddie Ortega or….so little time and so many great cigars that are affordable).

    • It’s OK Andy. I’m a Curivari whore too.

    • I just realized I had only one Curivari Buenaventura left. I went to Atlantic Cigars and they were ALL out!
      So I bought samplings of my favorites: Curivari El Gran Rey, Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe, Curivari Seleccion Privada Maduro, Curivari Gloria Leon..and the only one that was out of stock back when I was hunting them down: Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe Noir. I look forward to smoking and reviewing this one. It always seems to be out of stock but they have a few of the toros still left after I bought mine. Four of the 6 x 56 left. They have plenty of the 60 ring gauge but not my cup of tea. Even so, the 56 ring gauge will take some patience on my part.