Unicorn Alert! 2012 Zino Platinum 10 Years | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan
  • Binder: Dominican
  • Filler: Peruvian, Dominican
  • Size: 5.5 x 60 Toro X
  • Strength: Medium/Full
  • Price: $18.00 in 2012

Today we take a look at a 2012 Zino Platinum 10 Years.


According to Cigar Aficionado (9-27-2012):

“The Zino Platinum Ten Years, an anniversary line commemorating ten years of Davidoff’s upscale Zino Platinum brand.

“The cigar comes in two sizes. The Zino Platinum 10 Years Toro X is an ultra-fat corona gorda, measuring 5 1/2 inches long by 60 ring gauge. The Zino Platinum Ten Years Salomones is 7 1/4 inches long by 57 ring, with the supple curves and elaborate shaping known to lovers of Salomones. Each is a limited edition, packed in elaborate boxes unique to the brand.

“Davidoff says the smokes are medium to full in body, made with Nicaraguan wrappers, Dominican binder and a blend of Peruvian and Dominican filler tobaccos. The Toro X has a suggested retail price of $18, while the big Salomon sells for $29.50. Both cigars are made at OK Cigars in the Dominican Republic, under the watchful eye of Hendrik “Henke” Kelner.

“There will be only 3,600 boxes of Toro X cigars sold worldwide, each containing 10 cigars. The boxes are adorned in graffiti prints stylized to represent New York City’s street art.”


In room light, the wrapper is nothing special…merely a slightly oily coppery brown, in better light, the wrapper boasts big notes of being dipped in olive oil. The colors are nearly sunset grade. There is a golden aura, Dora…as well as hints of orange, bronze, and copper.

The construction is not what you would expect of a cigar that has been deemed a milestone for Davidoff. Seams are tight…but the amount of veinage is like a Thomas Guide map. As I twirl the cigar in my hand, some seams actually protrude from the surface of the moon. Feels like a branch from a tree. And the triple cap? What is up with that? Besides the interruption of the twigs in the wrapper, it feels fairly smooth devoid of toothiness. It doesn’t look too bad in my photos but when I turn the cigar 360 degrees, the cap is lumpy and nothing close to symmetrical. It is a heavy cigar so this may take a while…feel free to do your coffee enema or smoke a J during this 14,000-word review.


I find it amazing that the waves of aroma coming of the wrapper are potent and inviting…big floral notes, a batch of dark chocolate, malt, cedar, molasses, gingerbread, black pepper, barnyard, and strong notes of caramel and creaminess.

The cold draw presents flavors of cheese popcorn, cedar, charred oak, malt, chocolate, black coffee, black pepper, and pretty devoid of any sweetness.


The airway is crystal clear. The perfect airway for my tastes. I put away my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.

Cigar Aficionado had the biggest spread about the release of the cigar. It also mentioned it would be reviewed shortly and to Click Here. I clicked. No review. Uh-oh. And I found only a single written review off the cigar. Uh-oh. Two options are at hand…the first is the Zino Platinum was an extremely limited production and by the time the cigar was ready to be smoked, they were sold out; so why bother? Or…the cigar is shit and no one touched it except for that single reviewer…who said it was ‘good.’ No rating.

The cigar certainly smells delicious…and its had around 9 years to grow up, so fingers crossed.

Apparently, my mouth is not big enough to hold a 60-ring gauge cigar. I’d thought that handing out BJ’s for $2 in South Milwaukee (2020) to make some extra dough, I’d have stretched my mouth a little bit. But no. I need a cigar to hang from my lips while I type. So, you can see how it is a problem for me dropping the cigar in my lap incessantly.

Not much going on flavor-wise…some black pepper, cedar, and malt. That’s All Folks!

The cigar is very mild. But the scratch of black pepper in the back of my throat provides the illusion of a stronger blend. You’d think after all these years, the spiciness would be calm and relaxed. I can’t imagine how powerful the pepper may have been only 6 months of humidor time in 2012.

And the cigar goes out.

When I light it, a huge flame develops, and the bloody thing is on fire! Quick…Dial 999. I blow the flame out and have a nicely scorched foot. The cigar’s, not mine.

I’m praying to the baby Jesus that in a while, the Zino shows some flavors and some balls. It is declared a medium/full blend.

Tiny bits of unidentifiable sweet things hover underneath the black pepper assault. Odd though…I definitely taste the cigar tobacco. A lesser blend would just taste musty by now. No mustiness here. A comfortable and pleasant taste of aged tobacco done right. Am I wrong? Probably.

You ever have a venereal wart removed from your schmekel with a laser…while the doc frantically looks for his eyeglasses that are sitting up on his forehead?

Me neither.

The burn is funky, brothers. Get down, get up. HUH!

But then 9 years of sitting around on its ass can make all sorts of changes to a cigar.

Spiciness calms down at a little over an inch burned. Flavors begin to filter in…sweetness comes from faux Vanilla Wafers, molasses, and candied tarantulas.

The ash is beginning to look like a mushroom cloud explosion. I hope that the Russkies didn’t plant a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent in the blend. I want to run against Putin, and this would fuck up my plans.

Oh yeah…Joe Cocker…”Feeling Alright.” Damn. I kick myself for never getting the opportunity to see him back in the day. I saw everyone else. What’s wrong with me? If you know the answer, keep it to yourself.

I don’t believe Hendrik Kelner meant for this cigar blend to last for the ages. No complexity. Zip transitions. The finish is just potent spiciness. Maybe if I had reviewed the cigar at its 10th year anniversary in my humidor, that would have been money. The extra two years may have strangled it with set of women’s panties and a licorice twist.

It’s not bad. Just plain.

And as always is the case, I find I probably have to eat my words. The blend comes to life…like someday Walt Disney’s head will. What if he wakes up and tries to scratch his balls? Nicht gut.

OK. Sip of water time. There is some movement and proof of life here…spiciness of course, peanut butter, cedar, a touch of creaminess, malt, and a hint of chocolate. It’s a start.

So, I was taking a bath with Charlotte in the kitchen sink when she says “Move your foot.” I tell her, “It isn’t my foot.”

It was my foot.


The first third was a dud.

Yet, the climb towards insanely good is moving like a snail on a hot day. Or me being asked to vacuum the living room. I always respond to Charlotte with, “I’m masturbating!! I will do it later.” Actually, since I tore the tendon in my right arm, I find swinging the log very difficult. And I’m useless with my left hand unless I’m playing bass…and my schlong has no frets on it.

Strength is barely medium. That’s great. Extensive aging of a Davidoff cigar steals the kick in the arse; but at least leaves an underwhelming diminutive flavor profile.

I can see my neighbors out my back window chowing down on a man’s arm. They look up at me and sneer. They were one of the first to get the Covid vaccine. Of course, they could just be your usual Wisconsinite cannibals that roam the streets every time there is a bratwurst shortage. God help us if they ever run out of cheese curds. I hate those slimy things that squeak when you eat them. Reminds me when I was young and ate small mice.

And the cigar goes out.

Ooh…I light up and get a blast of decent flavors. Strength slams home medium/full. I taste chocolate malt, peppermint, lemon drops, fresh mouse, and Honey Nut Cheerios.

Complexity finally shows itself. Transitions are shuffled off to sit in the corner, facing the wall. Still, the review I saw mostly described the earth, wood, leather components so familiar to all of us.

Mustiness. Now we’re talking.

I really wish I had two of these sticks so I could have test driven the first one and then decided whether to ramble on or not.

On the first night of my freedom at 21, my divorce was finalized that day…my good friends rounded up a girl for me for that night. I knew her. She hung in the same crowd I did of musicians. She climbed into bed and I immediately saw she had webbed feet. My balls shrunk and my wiener took cover inside my prostate. After we smoked a few bowls, I didn’t care. You ever get your pud rolled around in duck’s feet?

The burn is really terrible.

Thankfully, the blend accepts its lack of resolve and goes back to the status of the first third. Yeah baby.

It’s OK. If it wasn’t this review, I’d be in the kitchen sink.

Naturally, Davidoff couldn’t make a Corona Gorda of this blend. No. It is a tree trunk. And burns slowly. It is like Clockwork Orange.

The only thing keeping me going is the tobacco itself. It has a nice, if not distinctive, flavor.

I got dentures for my cat. Now he can take them out. The boy just doesn’t know how to keep his sharp teeth out of the way. I hate using Neosporin on my bodine.

Sip of water. All right. Nothing.

I’ve reviewed many cigars with 10-20 years on them and they were great. Thanks for the memory.

I met Bob Hope in the 90’s. He stood next to me and my dad at the golf range. He kept making jokes and my father couldn’t concentrate. Hope had an assistant who placed the ball on the ground for him. After I rake in the dough from my sponsors, I plan on getting an assistant who can place my balls on the ground for me. Great for parties.


Speaking of Hope…is there any left for this Zino? We don’t seem to be going in that direction. I stop and ask for directions…just kidding…I never ask for directions.

“What’s Going On?” Marvin Gaye. Charlotte usually plays Gaye, Sam Cooke, and Tupac when she does her house cleaning.

When I clean, I put on “Number 9.” Makes me clean faster.

Is this an exercise in futility? If nothing else, if you are able to go back in time 9 years, at least you will have the knowledge to skip this cigar.

Complexity is so low it makes me think of the Limbo Rock. If you saw a girl on the beach who could get under a bar only two feet from the ground, everyone wanted to date her.

Sip of water. At least I’m getting hydrated.

“A Simple Song” by Chris Stapleton. Nice.

I have Charlotte place hot burning charcoals on my back to see if it wakes up my palate.

And the cigar goes out.

The only time this cigar overperforms is when I put torch to foot. I suppose I could just keep the torch lit at the foot while I smoke. Might help. Maybe not.

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Bob Dylan. One of my all-time favorite songs. Did the film, “Billy the Kid” make you cry too? Poor Slim Pickens.

Strength is now full tilt. Atta’ boy. And its hot. Sure, why not burn to a crisp my palate at the start of the day?

I hesitantly joined a public cigar forum this week. Shock and awe. No one is an asshole. All very nice people. First time ever. So far, no one that’s been a member since 1914 acts like he owns the place.

Speaking of the Titanic…I feel like the guy that jumped for a lifeboat and missed.

Nicotine is raging. Everything that isn’t already limp, does so.

As Charlotte and I look for things to do while we are in seclusion due to the pandemic, we found that cage fighting gets all the bitterness out of us.

My throat feels like 10 miles of Death Valley floor.

Will I be proud of myself for finishing this cigar? You know I have no pride. If I did, would I write cigar reviews?

The music playing is the only saving grace for me. “Mercy Mercy Me.” Marvin Gaye again. Love his music.

I need to come up with a good rock n roll story for after the review.

I could keep smoking the Zino. I could cut myself with a dull butter knife. I could choose not to change my Depends. I could clean the litter box.

Ever feel like you are Elmer Fudd on acid?

Get into your Way Back Machine and save Lincoln’s life and then go to 2012 and warn everyone about this cigar. I can’t believe it was $18 in 2012. Man, I bet there were some pissed off smokers.


And now for something completely different:
More on Butch “Eddie Munster” Patrick….
Our press agent had finagled us into attending an anniversary party for Alan Hale Jr’s Restaurant Row seafood restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. The Skipper (Gilligan’s Island) had a very successful place called The Lobster Barrel. (The restaurant was sold after Hale’s death and the name changed to The Shark Bar)

Did you know that The Skipper’s real name was Jonas Gumby?
Butch and I arrived at the packed house and it was crawling with strange celebs.

Rudy Vallee was there. The silent screen/1930’s actor…the actor/singer who used a paper cone megaphone to sing through….Max Baer Jr. (Jethro) from The Beverly Hillbillies was there doing his best Elvis impression. No kidding. He had an expensive suit with a cape, shirt unbuttoned to his navel, a load of yellow gold necklaces, too many gold bracelets, and his hair was dyed jet black with Elvis sideburns. He also had three good looking chicks hanging all over him.

We hung out and ate and drank on the Skipper. We also met some up-and-coming bands, who I can’t remember. Lots of photos were taken by newspaper and magazine reporters. Butch was in all of them. I lost them over the years.

Now here is where it went south on me….not Butch…me.

We meandered towards the exit of the restaurant saying our goodbyes to everyone.
Hale stood at the exit saying good-bye to everyone and thanking them for coming. Now I thought this was his birthday party and as I shook his hand, I said, “Happy Birthday, Mr. Hale.”

Hale didn’t even flinch or blink when I said that. He thanked me profusely for coming and we were back on La Cienega. Then Butch turned to me and said, “You schmuck. It isn’t his birthday; it’s the anniversary of the restaurant.”

What a nice man Mr. Hale was not to correct me and embarrass me. I met a lot of celebrities while doing the Eddie Munster project back in the early 1980’s. And no one was as down to earth as The Skipper.

One more….

I was on an errand to bring some PR material to Entertainment Tonight on the ABC lot in Hollywood. They were planning to do a segment on my Eddie Munster project. We had a single called, “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” We used the theme from the show, and I wrote some lyrics about Eddie. Naturally, Butch Patrick was the star.

As I made my way through the maze of buildings, the local morning show was doing an outside segment on the grass. They were going to interview Howard Cosell.

I had to stop dead in my tracks because I couldn’t get into the building without walking through the shot. A PA told me I could make my move during a commercial.

And there was the man, leaning against a steel rail…watching and waiting. So, I tip toed up to Cosell and started a conversation. I showed him my PR stuff and he got a big chuckle out of it.

We talked quietly for about 5 minutes…about life. No sports. No entertainment. Just life. It surprised me what a down to earth man he really was. No pretentions or uppity behavior because I was a nobody. I can’t remember what we spoke of, but we laughed.

Then it was his time in the chair. He told me to stay and watch. Hell, I was in no hurry, so hell yeah. Work back at the studio would still be there.

They talked to him about Monday Night Football where he was a star. And he was funny. I couldn’t help it and laughed out loud causing the two on air to laugh on the air as well.

Then Cosell told them about me standing just a few feet away and that I should join them because of this really cool project I had. The two on-air idiots freaked.

He got out of his director style chair, walked off camera, and dragged me over. I just stood there like a schmuck. Cosell made me tell them about my project and show the record and PR photos of the band which I called “Eddie and the Monsters.” All of them in ghoulish makeup. And all very good-looking young men. Perfect for tween girls to swoon over. That was our target audience.

The hosts got bullied by Cosell and then you could see in their eyes that in their ear piece, the director was telling them “Go with it.”

No one had heard from Butch in some time at that point. Now he is everywhere doing those child star actor conventions signing autographs for $10.

So, they asked me about the project and I had all that shit for the camera to zoom in on. And it was a great, free commercial for my project showcased on ET the following week.
Because of my intrusion, I ended up bumping the next personality scheduled…David Copperfield.

He stood there waiting…I slyly looked off camera saw that he was so angry that he was as red as a beet. He was pissed off big time. The on-air people made their apologies to Copperfield and said they would have him on another time.
Copperfield stormed off.

When we were done, Cosell invited me to breakfast at Canter’s Deli in the Jewish section of West L.A. Very famous place. Around since the early 20th century.

We got there and all heads turned. We spent almost two hours talking and laughing while he told me inside stuff about Monday Night Football. Holy cow. The stuff he told me. I should write about it because everyone he spoke about is now dead.

We kept being interrupted by autograph seekers. Cosell was magnanimous and generous with each and every person.
He finally told me he had to go. I offered to pay but he would have none of it. He asked if I had a place to go for Yom Kippur. I told him I would be with my family in Long Beach. He told me that if it fell through, I was welcome to his house.
I came this close to calling my father and telling him I had gonorrhea.


6 replies

  1. I have yet to smoke a Zino that I have enjoyed.

  2. Hey Rufus,
    I just checked. Out of thousands of reviews I’ve written, I have reviewed a Zino twice.
    The first one occurred in March, 2014: Zino Embassy Selection Limited Edition Piramides 2012. It was pretty good based upon what I wrote.
    And the second one was the one you just read.
    So, clearly, I too am not a fan of the brand.
    Kelner is inconsistent. Some Davidoff cigars are unbelievable. Other Davidoff blends are drek.
    Yet, Jeremy Casdagli has worked with Kelner on Casdagli/Bespoke cigars forever and I am a serious fanboy of Casdagli blends.
    So, why is he inconsistent? Fuck if I know.
    I had hoped that a blend 9 years old would have aged beautifully.
    It did not. It expired years ago.
    And at least they are expensive…there’s that.
    Thanks for commenting,

  3. There are just so many great cigars in the $7-$12 range that I very rarely find myself willing to spend $18 or more on a cigar. Sometimes I wonder if my palate is even sophisticated enough to know the difference. I can say when I can find them for a reasonable price I enjoy Zino Scepter Grand Master from time to time. Another great review Katman. Honest and entertaining as always.

  4. I agree. Only Casdagli cigars have ever showed me what an $18+ cigar should taste like.
    Funny that you should mention the price point. I have seen on several cigar forums how smokers make fun of me because I am basically repelled by spending $90-$100 for a fiver. It’s great if you’re flush and your discretionary cash knows no limits.
    Most of us need to watch what we spend to get the most bang for our buck.
    Which is why it inflames me to see a bunch of bullshit PR on some $20 stick that tastes like shit.
    But it’s OK if they mock me over price. No such thing as bad publicity. Every time I get slammed in the media, I end up with new readers. It’s only bad if they never talk about you.

  5. Katman
    Great story…as a working drummer during the 70’s and 80’s you bring me back in time to a really wonderful place. Still playing (all electronic set now)…never would have thought. Moved more into the contemporary jazz side as they say (Smooth Jazz). All kidding aside I do enjoy it. Well being an avid gar smoker for 20-25 yrs there is no one I would rather read.
    Thank you for calling up many great memories. Originally from Brooklyn NY now in sunny Tampa, FL.

    Still playing (a little older, a little slower but much more seasoned)

    All the best…

  6. Hi Louis,
    It was a grand time, was it not?
    A friend on FB asked everyone to list bands they saw back in the day…this might be a twinkle:
    There were a lot of perks growing up in L.A. Mid/late 60’s, I saw The Mamas & The Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Guess Who, The Music Machine, Spirit, The Seeds, The Grass Roots, Stone Poneys, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Three Dog Night, The Box Tops, The Turtles, We Five, The Rascals, Albert Collins, Al Kooper, The Allman Bros, Beach Boys, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Charles Mingus, and others. Now for the 70’s….

    Unfortunately, my bass playing days are over. After 56 years on the instrument, the instrument neutered me. Torn tendon in right arm. No real cure. And the yanking away at bass strings for that much time did a number on me. It hurts to play. Big bummer. But what a ride. Nothing I can do about it. So nothing to worry about. I miss it. But Milwaukee has to be the absolute worst place for music. Only country and metal. And cover bands. No blues. Almost no jazz. And this is now our elephant burial ground because our daughter lives here along with our two grandsons. If I told Charlotte I wanted to move, she’d say, “Go ahead. See ya later.” She ain’t leaving the grandkids.

    Brooklyn? You a wise guy? Your last name ends in a vowel.

    Thanks again for the kind words…
    All the best,

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