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,