Ezra Zion, East India Trading Co. Classic Cigar and an Orchant Seleccion by Oliva

With all the talk of the lifting of Cuban Embargo, and all the speculation that goes along with it, it got me thinking about what happens when the embargo is actually lifted and Cuban cigars make their way to US retailers shelves. Of course, there will be a huge number of people who want to try what was the forbidden fruit, and the Cuban cigar industry will be struggling to meet the demand.  It seems to me that opening the US market will effectively double that demand. One point I never hear discussed is that Cuba struggles now to meet the global demand, and Cuban cigars, as they are now, need to rest for a good couple of years before they reach their potential.  I can see the initial deliveries of cigars being fresh, and potentially turning off the new smokers out to try that which hasn’t been available for the last 50 plus years, due to the cigars not being ready. This theory of mine also supposes that Cuban cigars will come in at the same quality that they are at now, not that they will be rushing poorly grown and processed leaf to the factories to crank out an additional several million cigars to meet the demand.  If the embargo is a few years from being lifted, the cigars will be another few years until they are really ready to be smoked!  Just a few thoughts that roll around my head as I’m listening to speculation being bandied about!


EzraZion_FHK_TruthSo Monday, after struggling mightily with a migraine on Sunday, I reached for an Ezra Zion FHK in the Truth size. This is a 7″ x 44 cigar, a long lonsdale, or fat lancero, I’m not sure which.  This cigar is in their Honor series, and the FHK stands for Fathers of Hoover and Kelly, a tribute to the forefathers of the founders of Ezra Zion cigars (who, incidentally, also founded The Cigar Federation website, Kyle and Chris, not their forefathers).  It’s a beautiful box pressed cigar with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Indonesian binder and fillers from Nicaragua and Brazil, made at the Placencia factory in Esteli.  This was a very enjoyable cigar, smooth with a nice espresso flavor, lacking the rough edges I generally associate with the Mexican leaf. I’m  sure the Brazilian leaf helps to temper that some, and while I’m not a fan of Indonesian tobacco, it’s pretty neutral and doesn’t detract from the blend. It’s a very nice smoke, like most of the cigars I’ve smoked from the Ezra Zion line.


EastIndia_The Classic Cigar - Havana BlendRobustoTuesday I found myself in one of my “I don’t know what I want to smoke” moods, so, after some rummaging around I decided to choose an East Indie Trading Company Classic Cigar Habano Blend Robusto from a box which was a recent gift from the folks at Gurkha (many thanks!). I’ve smoked a few of this cigar in the toro size, and it was a good smoke, but this one surprised me with a minty quality. It was quite refreshing and unusual. It’s another box pressed cigar, measuring 5½ x 52, and my main complaint was that it smoked a bit too fast for my liking. I suppose that was a good thing, since I wanted to watch the Flyers play the Penguins, which was a very entertaining game. So I had a full evening of entertainment, first with a cigar that was very refreshing, then with a great fight, where a hockey game broke out!  I’m very interested to see if that cool, refreshing mintyness is present in more of these. If you’ve smoked this vitola, please let me know in the comments if you got the same sensation.


MitchellOrchant_OrchantSeleccionOliva_ChubbyTonight I knew exactly what I wanted to smoke, it was just a matter of choosing a size.  Last week, Mitchell Orchant, of CGars Ltd. in the UK, released his Orchant Seleccion by Oliva in three sizes, Skinny (5 x 43), Short (5 x 50) and Chubby (4 x 60,).  in boxes of 10 and limited to 500 boxes per size. Mitchell is the UK distributor for Oliva Cigars, and this series will only be available in the UK. I chose Chubby, it being a very American thing to do, I think, as I don’t imagine the 60 ring as as popular in jolly ole England as it is here.  Word on the street is that this is based on the Serie V blend, although the wrapper is lighter in color and rather flawless in appearance. The wrapper is Ecuador Sumatra, like the Serie V Melanio, with Nicaraguan filler. It smoked very smooth and flavorful, really a delicious smoke that I feel bad about telling you about since it’s damn near impossible to get on this side of the pond. The construction was perfect, the draw was open as a non-plugged Havana cigar generally should be, and it was a very enjoyable smoke.  I look forward to Mitch releasing his Inka line of Peruvian puros here in the US, but in the mean time, I will certainly enjoy smoking this exclusive Orchant Seleccion Oliva cigar, as I’m certain it will be a hit in the UK, especially at the modest price points comparatively (the most expensive in the line being around $15 USD, in the land of very expensive cigars).  Thanks to Mitchell for sharing these fab smokes! Blimey, it was the dogs bollocks!


Please join me in welcoming Stogies World Class Cigars to the CigarCraig.com family!  For as long as it appears on their ad on the left sidebar, there’s a 10% off coupon code,  Craig10, you can use, and they also offer free shipping!  They love lanceros there and have several shop exclusives, and will soon have the Fratello lancero to add to their portfolio.


That’s it for today’s installment! Until the next time,





Filed under Editorial, Review

9 Responses to Ezra Zion, East India Trading Co. Classic Cigar and an Orchant Seleccion by Oliva

  1. jjo

    Re: the lifting of the Cuban embargo – I think one of the biggest problems will be a tremendous influx of counterfeits and the inability of most smokers to identify them, even more so than currently exists; as well as retailer profiteering, since there probably won’t be enough of the real thing to go around.

    I got one of those Havana Blends from Mike F. off of Stogie 411’s New Years show giveaway, and am looking forward to trying it. One of these has to turn around my view of Gurkha, lol. I would love to see you appear on that show sometime! Hell, I’ll even wake up early from my west coast slumber for it.

  2. Tommy D

    I agree with jjo…so many people already get duped by conterfeit cigars. I can definitely see more of that in the coming months due to the fact that some people believe the embargo has been lifted and what they are purchasing is a legimate Cuban cigar.

    Thanks for the discount code Stogies!

  3. Commish

    Had a chance to smoke some Cubans when I was in Peru a couple years ago and didn’t impress me a bit for the price I paid. Will definitely take anything I buy right now over a Cuban. Thanks for the review on the East Indie. Looking forward to trying that one.

  4. Lonnie Brooks

    I really liked the Ezra Zion FHK, so nice. I have ordered several from Cigar Federation.

  5. JScott

    I’ve had many opportunities to smoke Cuban cigars, and after doing so, greatly appreciate cigars from other countries. Maybe if they’re priced appropriately I’d go after some, but I love my Nics!

  6. Dan Colley

    I cannot help but agree with you when it comes to our ability to legally smoke Cuban cigars here in the US. We are a long way away from that. Do you remember when we discussed the matter of why the smaller vitolas were disappearing from the humidor shelves and you reminded me of the law of supply and demand? Well, I cannot help but think that the same laws of the economy will be at work here. They always do and we would be naïve to think that on the day the embargo ends, the shelves of all of the mail order houses will magically be flooded with boxes of Cohiba Behike and Montecristo #2 cigars. It just won’t happen. Besides, the Cuban economy is in such bad shape right now, it will take a LOT of time (and foreign investment) for the supplies of cigars to even come close to accommodating the demand here in the US. Interesting comments from your end. Always provocative. Thanks.

  7. mex dan

    Cubans are over priced. had some in Windsor,Canada about 10 years ago. I was giddy at getting them. brought 4 different sizes home and let them “rest” for about 6 weeks, and patio smoking time. only thing “special” was the price. too much.

  8. Steve

    Migraine’s….nothing worse. Must have been something going around as I got one on Wednesday.

    Great post! Love your selection for the week.

  9. Thanks for the kind assessment of the Ezra Zion FHK Craig

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