Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo
Brand: Ezra Zion
Factory: Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa
Price Range: $8-$10
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If you’ve listened to the latest Sultans of Smoke Podcast, then you know this cigar is in my head right now. I wake up thinking about it, smoke other cigars thinking about it, and call it’s name in my sleep. Having just broke the seal on my last box, I’ll have to figure out to break up with this cigar soon since only 300 boxes were made of each size. It’s not the cigar, it’s me. And I think that’s where the name comes from: Ezra Zion All My Ex’s is the one that got away! It’s the cigar you try everything in your power to keep, yet time will come a’calling and she’ll leave you high and dry in the end.
In fact, this is the only sticker I’ve ever wanted to put anywhere:
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Julio at Aroma de Jalapa in Esteli, Nicaragua. I thought this factory was an absolute treasure, and smoked several cigars that I’d love to find in my area – they’re fantastic. Well, @governorscigars noticed an All My Ex’s on the table and my interest was piqued! Turns out, this cigar was made at that same factory: Aroma de Jalapa. Julio Castillo was kind enough to let us visit his factory and watch his teams roll cigars.
Their Master Blender also brought out some different leaves for us to touch and smell. One ligero smelled like chili powder, one smelled very much like All My Exes (sweet goodness) and a viso smelled like fresh, wet dirt. While I remember them saying Esteli ligero was the All My Exes smell-alike, a lot of terms were passed around and I can’t say that with confidence.
Ezra Zion All My Ex’s Robusto – First Third
Honey Grahams, Cream, Cedar, Sweet Baking Spices, Subtle Citrus, Nougat, Generic Wood
Toasted the foot, lit ‘er up, waited patiently, took a good looooong pull and washed it around for a second. There’s almost zero harshness in this cigar, just a rich sweetness to it that I’ve come to love. I’m using a V cut and the draw is absolutely perfect, would recommend that cut with this cigar for sure – a straight cut might be a little too open for some.
Honey grahams comes to mind with this cigar every time, with a touch of cream to tone it down a notch. Just like cream in your coffee evens it out and absorbs some of the sharper notes. A faint pepper exists on the finish of several draws – haven’t really noticed it much until putting it under the microscope.
Cedar, sweet baking spices, and citrus notes begin to join the party after a few minutes. The pepper fades at half an inch in, and this cigar is firing on all cylinders. I dare say even a nougat flavor is rounding out the experience.
The only thing I’d knock on this cigar is the mouth feel. The smoke feels a little thin and I think a fuller bodied (not depth of flavor, depth of presence) experience would be pure excellence.
Around an inch in, the cedar becomes more of a generalized wood note and begins to take the driver’s seat.
The toro size is just a tad sweeter to my tastes, and requires more touch ups than the robusto. I prefer the robusto size generally, but I think I may get some more All My Exes Toro’s in just for that extra goodness.
Ezra Zion All My Ex’s Robusto – Second Third
Wood, Leather, Cream, Stroop Waffle, Cinnamon
Dropping the ash, I’m met with more woody notes and a stronger body than the first third. There’s a leathery presence also, something that was probable in the first third but muted underneath the sweeter nuances. A little harshness appears in the beginning of the second third whereas completely absent previously.
Within 1/4 inch of ash, a creaminess comes forward again and the harshness exits stage left. Damn I love this cigar!
I’ve smoked a ton of these lately after @lccj2008 got me hooked on them, and this is the first time I’ve sat down to do a review. A funny thing happens when you review a cigar that you really enjoy – when placed under the microscope it doesn’t hold up. So far this cigar is everything that I remember and love even while being critical. That’s a winner!
So far my favorite pairings have been Zaya Rum, Root Beer, Ginger Beer, and Brown Ales. This Coffee Pecan Pie Porter is great, but not the best with this cigar so I’m sipping it sparingly. @smokey nailed it with Zaya.
At the halfway point, another layer of sweetness is added to the mix. If you’ve ever had a Stroop Waffle, that’s exactly what this tastes like! Honey, butter, caramel, wafer/waffle. Google it – it’s a thing! A little cinnamon comes through on the finish around this point.
Ezra Zion All My Ex’s Robusto – Last Third
Much of the same, Nuttiness, Cocoa Butter
There aren’t many cigars that hold my attention without several transitions these days, yet All My Ex’s is one of them. The last third doesn’t begin with a lot of fanfare, it’s riding a lot of the same flavors as previously noted. And in this case, I’m in there like swimwear.
An indiscriminate nuttiness does appear as I get ready to remove the band. Also, a flavor that reminds me of smelling the Domestic Engineer’s cocoa butter steps up to bat. Less bright than cocoa powder, not as sweet as chocolate.
And that’s how this cigar finishes in the end. Still keeping ya guessing without turning bitter or burning hot or any of that. Just a great all-around-cigar.
Q&A with Chris and Kyle:
What can we expect from Ezra Zion next?
“We should have several B&M releases this year as well as some limited edition stuff. We don’t like to go into specifics about timing because tobacco drives the process. Cigars don’t get released until they’re ready! Also, with we use multiple factories and each has their own idiosyncrasies. With tobacco, manufacturing, boxes, bands, customs, shipping, etc. a lot can go wrong and delay a cigar.
That being said, in our opinion we have some of the best cigars we’ve ever done just resting and waiting.”
Any chance of re-releasing some of the sold out micro-releases such as the Bees Knees, Fried Chicken, Burnt Ends, etc?
“No. We like limited edition stuff primarily because it allows us to use small amounts of really great tobacco that wouldn’t be enough for a regular production cigar release. We don’t want to “get close” to the original blend and then pawn it off as the genuine thing. Just not our thing.
We may do some line extensions of these releases because, really, who doesn’t like Fried Chicken?”
Which region is your favorite tobacco coming out of right now? As we saw the shift to San Andres a little while ago, do you foresee another shift in the near future?
“Our favorite tobacco is Nicaraguan from all regions. Every region has it’s own character and personality. As far as shifts go, I will predict that there will be a shift toward Cuban tobacco. We recently got a chance to work with some really great Cuban stuff. In the past, Cuban really wasn’t that great in our opinion. We are on record as say as much. But, I’ve got to give honor where it’s due…this Cuban stuff was amazing. Who knows…it may pop up in a limited edition EZ someday??”
Is there anything you’d like our readers or members to know about your brand? Ezra Zion gets a lot of love in the Cigar Noise app, I’m sure any knowledge from you guys would be much appreciated.
“Main thing we want to let people know about is our Ezra Zion App. It’s available for iPhone and Android. We developed it because it was the best way to stay connected to folks smoking our cigars. We have EzraTV on there, which are some great videos and behind the scenes stuff. We also have Ezra Zion Boutique Coffee and Ezra Zion Beard & Stache. Again, this is doing the things that we enjoy and sharing them with our fellow BOTL and SOTL.
Also, the push notifications from the App is the first way we alert our fans about new cigar releases. So they are the first to know!!”
Excellent flavor profile
Very well balanced
THE cigar in my head lately
Lacks transition Complexity
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