A New Cigar: Ezra Zion Inception and Hoyo de Monterrey Contest No. 4

This week I was presented with a unique opportunity, to try a new cigar from the guys at Cigar Federation, the Ezra Zion.  Kudos to them for dreaming of producing a cigar line and doing it, it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds!  There isn’t a lot of information on their site, and the promotional info they sent doesn’t say anything about the blend either, but these are apparently made at the Raices Cubanas factory in Honduras TABSA factory in Esteli Nicaragua (note: I jumped to the conclusion that they were made in the Raices Cubana factory because I was told it was made in the factory that made Illusione, Viaje, Casa Magna and I ASSumed that these were made in Honduras.Mea Culpa) .   The cigar was a  6.125″ x 50(?) box pressed toro. It could have been 52 ring gauge, but the box press prevented me from checking, and I was too lazy to get a string out and measure it that way.  I honestly don’t believe it really matters!  The band was large, black and silver, with some angels flanking an “EZ” in the center.  It’s nice looking and, most importantly, comes off cleanly and easily.  The foot band, simply says “Inception” and “Primera Edicion” and was also easily removed, a good thing because foot bands make a cigar taste funny when you first light it up (that’s a joke there, I usually take them off before lighting).  The bands and the box press looked good.  The wrapper was a dark Colorado with maybe a tinge of a reddish hue, slightly veiny, almost rustic in appearance.  So it looks good, looks like a cigar I’d like.


My usual routine is to grab a cigar, light it and smoke it.  When someone offers me the chance to try their baby before just about anyone else, I take a little more care in my routine.  I smelled this cigar pre-light.  It smelled of rich, properly processed tobacco.  I lit it up, careful to get it properly lit.  The draw was perfect, loads of smoke on the easy draw.  So far I enjoy the flavor, I get a little Honduran vibe along with the richness of Nicaraguan tobacco.  There’s a bite that could be attributed to it’s relative youth.  I’m not saying that it isn’t ready to go, just that a few months or a year in a humidor might smooth this part out a little.  I’ll have to try to get my hands on a few more at some point and test this theory.  The sacrifices I make for science…sheesh.  Anyway, the cigar burned perfectly and continued to smoke well.  Strength-wise I put it on the fuller end of medium.  As I got down to the last inch, I began to feel some of the effects of the nicotine, and decided it was time to let it go, at least an hour and a half after lighting it up.   The flavor was savory and rich and it was a satisfying smoke, things I look for in a cigar.  It certainly compares favorably with many of my favorites, a Cain F or an Emilio AF2, for example.  Not that it tastes like them, particularly, but the experience was equally satisfying.  When I can smoke a cigar and think “hey, I look forward to smoking another one of those”  it works for me.  So many cigars underwhelm me, but this one certainly did not.  It was tasty, relaxing and trouble free!

So, bottom line, unless this is a $10+ cigar, and it certainly could be, I’ll try to get my hands on more of these. Keep an eye on Chris, Kyle and the Don from Cigar Federation, I look forward to what else they come up with.  With any luck I’ll run into them at the IPCPR show, I’d love to meet these guys.


On a related note, I smoked another Emilio AF Suave corona this week.  I found that one of the ones I had picked up last weekend has a crack at the head, probably from me sticking the bag in my pocket and being careless.  I can’t abide cracked sticks in my humidor, they aren’t going to heal or anything, so they must be smoked ASAP.  Stellar smoke.  Helpful factoid: wrapper cracks only effect the draw if the binder is cracked too.  They my cause some burn problems, but this one didn’t, it just looked crappy.  Of course, looks are important too, so I tried to stay out of the public eye while I smoked this one!  Also, I had picked up a few of the Tatuaje La Casita Criolla Short Churchills a couple weeks ago and smoked one of those. Another terrific smoke, loaded with Broadleaf goodness!


Also, a card fell out of my CI catalog advertising a 5 pack of Alec Bradley Tempus for $20 with proceeds going to Cigar Rights of America.  This is another good way to put some nice smokes in your humidor and throw a couple bucks toward preserving out ability to smoke premium cigars!  Just a public service announcement from me.



It’s time for the fourth installment of the Hoyo de Monterrey Reposado en Cedros giveaway. Hoyo de Monterrey is giving away a box every day on their site, and, once again, I have a pair of three-packs which will be awarded to a randomly selected reader who leaves a comment on this post.  Wednesday I asked what you wanted to know from the IPCPR show, so feel free to continue to give suggestions. I’ll select a winner again on Wednesday.  Once again, my thanks to the folks at General Cigar for providing the prizes in this series of contests!


That’s about it for now, until Wednesday,








Filed under Contest, Review

28 Responses to A New Cigar: Ezra Zion Inception and Hoyo de Monterrey Contest No. 4

  1. Batmang

    I appreciate your reviews Craig, thank you for them. I have a tendency to stick with my old standbys but after reading your reviews I have been trying some new cigars during my forays to my local B&M. Did I mention that HdM is one of my standbys? 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Joseph Pan

    These Hoyo’s are great I have smoked them before and would smoke them again. The articles are fantastic keep up the good work.

    Thanks Joe

  3. Steve C

    Thanks for the reviews! Thank you and General Cigar for the contests!

  4. The Commish

    Always appreciate the comments and recommendations.

  5. Agent 86

    Sounds great.

    I just really want to know what’s new at the convention. Oh and to find out if Sam Leccia’s new project is coming out or not.

  6. Allen R.

    Nice review Craig. Will be interested in seeing what’s new at teh convention and also what’s been around a while that keeps drawing you back.

  7. smoke770


  8. Smokin Aces

    Love the site Craig…..one of my regular reads every week. Nice, to the point feedback on the cigars……I like it.

  9. jjo

    Thanks Craig, I’ll have to keep the EZ in mind when it comes out. I also need to pick up an AF Suave to try out.

  10. Duane Holmes

    Sounds like a smoke to look out for. Thanks Craig!

  11. Jerry

    Thanks Craig

  12. Lloyd L.

    Have fun at the trade show! Maybe you can pull off a newsbreaking exclusive!

  13. Freakboy791

    Hey Craig. Thanks for yet another chance to try what looks like a very interesting cigar. As for the IPCPR show, I have one word. TATUAJE! I guess I’ve been on a Tat kick lately and we know Pete J is not predictable. Take care.

  14. Rachel M

    Thanks for another great post 🙂

  15. FF184

    Trying to win again, keep up the great work. I really enjoy your site.

  16. Joel

    Craig, just be our eyes and ears and bring the show to life.

  17. Wil Sawers

    Thanks again for the contests, and for updating the site regularly.

  18. Storm Boen

    Another great review brother. Yes I strongly recommend taking off the bands on the foot before lighting lol. Thanks for another great Contest. Salute

  19. Marty

    Thanks for all the great info and reviews. Great contest!!!

  20. TriMarkC

    I really like these HdM Cedros, so would love to win!

    Another question for the IPCPR – or maybe a result. It would be interesting to see if there’s a difference of favorite cigar between all the manufacturers vs all their reps. Just another twist on the age-old question. Thanks!

  21. Zigarboy

    Please enter me for the contest…..and thanks for the great reviews.

  22. Another great review, I check out your reviews often as they are easy to read and funny – yes the band does add some interesting inky notes to the cigar flavor… Looks like a fun stick to try out!

  23. Very good review bro! Keep em up! Looking forward to trying one out!

  24. Dave with a Y

    Fantastic review! Makes me want to run out and try one.

  25. jimbobber

    I am wondering whether there are any inexpensive cigars made in the (what I call) “severe” box-pressed style, or are they generally expected to bring a bit higher price just because they look kind of classy?

    • There are inexpensive box pressed cigars out there, Maria Mancini comes immediately to mind. There was a brand called La Rosa Especiale, also sold by JR Cigars, which I enjoyed about 10 or so years ago that was square pressed. They are out there!

  26. Kyle

    Am I late to the contest? Pick me random number generator thingy! Please!