I had heard of Ezra Zion
cigars in the past, but honestly it was often with mediocre or even negative connotations, so I hadn’t tried any, until I noticed them peppered throughout kohnhed.com’s “best of” lists. Having ‘investigated’ for myself now, I believe that the derogatory comments I had encountered in the past likely have more to do with the exclusivity of what they produce (they describe themselves as “small-batch, experimental, and ultra-boutique”) than the inherent quality of the cigars. I personally don’t mind the hunt, and the EZs I’ve tried have ranged from good to truly outstanding. My favorites (in order) so far are:
With a name like Live Free or Die
and a wrapper that makes this stick look
like a chocolate bar, I was expecting a chocolate pepper bomb; nothing could be further from the truth. This featured toasty graham cracker, hickory, and creamy butter, with the middle really taking off with alluring spice-box and cedar character, followed by even sweeter graham-cracker crust, infused with honey and caramel. This is a very smooth, beguiling, and sophisticated smoke, and it’s my favorite Ezra Zion yet.
My next favorite is their Old Ezra’s White Ale
a 7x46 stick they label as a “Lancero Gordo.” Lancero?! Whatever! This feels every bit of a Churchill in the hand. Maybe it’s a Texas thing.
This is even more subtle, but it’s deep with savory flavors, led by a spicy maltiness that seems to shift in aspect continually, with intermittent tanginess, as well as pepper, clove, and cinnamon notes. This actually paired wonderfully with a cheap Arte Latino Cava, as both tasted better, when combined.
I’ve quickly become a big fan of their House Blend
robusto, which relies on a creamy, semi-sweet nougat character, but it’s so deftly balanced that several sweet spices peak in and out. This has become my go-to “I need a companion for a long car drive” smoke. Not as detailed or complex as the two above, but I love it nonetheless.
My only try with the Brass Knuckles
was less inspiring, as it was dominated by intense coffee and licorice toastiness but without the complexity or progressions I expected. Still pleasant; just not as interesting. Their descriptions of their cigars are remarkably accurate, IMHO, but this is the one exception I’ve found. Maybe it just that particular stick; maybe it needs some humidor rest. I’m just calling it the way I perceive it for now.
I’ve also tried a few other Ezra Zions from other online stores, including the Jamais Vu
, Honor Series
, and Inception
, which I’d rank in that order, but my advice would be: skip their ‘regular production’ stuff you can find in stores and go straight to their exclusive cigars, which are available only at their website
. When they make a limited cigar, they really mean limited
! Live Free or Die totaled 645 – cigars, not boxes! And some cigars have sold out in less than 2 hours after being released. If you’re looking for the steady performer that can be easily found, this is not it. But if you’re wondering what’s at the deepest, darkest reaches of the boutique rabbit hole, this is the mother-load. Personally, I’m downright smitten!