Tonight’s Tasting: Zino Classic No. 8 and He’Brew Genesis Ale

Had a great motorcycle ride today, and had planned to have a beer at the ending point, Irvine Lake. Unfortunately the 500 other riders had the same idea, and the line for beer stretched most of the way to Arizona. I don’t do lines, so I contented myself with a brew at home.

He’Brew Genesis Ale – The Chosen Beer

It’s hard to take this beer seriously because the entire presentation is a spoof. The bottle proclaims “chutzpah never tasted so good” and the beer is brewed by The Shmaltz Brewing Company. But apparently the brewmeister took the matter more seriously, because this is a tasty ale.

The bottle describes the beer as a “light brown ale,” but the color is very amber and the taste is not that of a typical brown. The beer pours with very little head, and what little it does manage dissipates immediately.

The nose consists of the expected sweet malt and something akin to bread (unleavened, no doubt). The taste was not very complex, and reminded me of a George Killians Irish Red. By the same token, the mouthfeel was lighter than a true brown. The finish was slightly sweet. The drinkability was good, and I’d certainly have another. A 7.9 rating.

Zino Classic No. 8 (7.5″ x 52)

I’m walking off a dinner with friends on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore in Long Beach, California. We walk by a cigar store so I of course step in. The store was nice enough, but I really don’t know how cigar stores survive. The prices in cigar stores are always so much higher than what I pay online. I guess there are still enough customers that prefer the experience of going into a brick and mortar store (or with money to burn) and are willing to pay two or three times the online price. The store is empty despite the throngs of people walking by, so I feel like I should buy something so the owner will at least have one sale for the night. I settle on a cigar I’ve never tried that is “only” $12.50, which is a real bargain compared to most of the sticks.

The Zino Classic No. 8 comes in black, wood-lined tubos. It consists of a blend of Honduran Jamastran tobaccos, and a small portion of Dominican tobaccos. The construction was good, with the right yield to the touch. My first taste of the cigar evoked an audible “oh boy,” which was the brief version of, “oh boy, I paid $12.50 for this and it tastes like those White Owls I once had to buy because I was visiting distant relations in ‘This Town Isn’t Even On the Map’ New Mexico and those were the only cigars they sold at the gas station.”

Surprisingly, though, this cigar really turned around. After a few more draws, the cigar took on a very mellow spice taste.  I soon found myself smoking a pleasantly aromatic cigar, with little of the bitterness that had initially greeted me. The Zino was not a terrible cigar (he said, damning with faint praise), and I’d accept one offered during a round of golf if I was out of cigars, but I wouldn’t buy another one, no matter how sorry I felt for the proprietor.  A 7.3 on The Morris Scale.

Leave a Reply