Wrapper: Corojo ’99
Filler: Nicaraguan Medio Tiempo, Esteli Ligero, Jalapa Ligero
Brand: Ezra Zion
Price Range: $8-$10
Availability: Store Exclusive (EzraZionStore.com) 840 Cigars Sold Out
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Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles – First Thoughts
When I first read the description of the Brass Knuckles, I couldn’t help but think that this cigar is Textbook Dave! Seriously – everything about it suggested that it was yet another cigar from Ezra Zion blended just for me.
For some reason, I waited to pull the trigger. When I came back in less than an hour, it was sold out. Luckily /u/zombiehooligan on Reddit hooked me up with a trade for a couple so that I could at least review it.
The aroma from both the wrapper and foot are of differing intensities of cedar. The foot smells almost like fresh cut cedar while the wrapper is a softer, gentler cedar. A cold draw yields interesting floral notes like spring in Hawaii.
Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles – First Third
Honey Suckles, Caramel, Graham Cracker, Spice, Cedar, Leather, Honey Grahams, Barnyard, Dark Chocolate, Herbal
Some of those floral notes from the cold draw translate into the first few puffs as honey suckles. A mild spice presents itself on the finish, as well as one of the most beautifully articulated caramel notes that I’ve experienced from a cigar. Rather than being reminiscent of caramel, or similar to caramel, this is like rich, creamy, homemade caramel in your mouth. Graham cracker notes round out the profile.
I remember honey and caramel being in the description when I fatefully (and regretfully) made the decision to postpone buying them for a few minutes. It’s rare that a manufacturer describes their own cigar with pinpoint accuracy, but they nailed it.
That wasabi-esque sinus burn begins developing around the half inch mark as the spice increases. Other hints of indistinct floral notes build in the background as more woodsy, leathery components take the lead. Just like the pre-light, different variants of cedar jump out from time to time. Now it’s fresh cut, now it’s veneer, now it’s sharp and sweeter on the tongue.
Graham Cracker yields to Honey Grahams with a touch of barnyard on the finish. This cigar tastes like excellence so far. I’ll be kicking myself for a very, very long time for missing out on this one.
How bout those mechanics Dave? Well, it’s a smoke bomb! Draw is just right. The burn is ugly, but otherwise behaving itself. This is by far my favorite of their limited releases that I’ve been able to try. It’s the complete package: flavor, balance, mechanics.
Towards the end of the first third, spice picks up a bit as those barnyard components become more prominent. Dark chocolate also emerges late in the first third along with an herbal element that I can’t quite place. Reminds me of a Japanese Tea store in Honolulu.
Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles – Second Third
Cream, Dark Chocolate, Barnyard, Milk Chocolate, Roasted Almonds
Dropping the ash, I find the first real negative in this cigar. Looks like the filler is burning faster than the wrapper and might cause some problems later on. For now though? Gravy!
The second third begins with cream, dark chocolate, and barnyard flavors. Much like the first third, but less rowdy if that makes any sense. The experience is a little smoother than before.
Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles is another one of those cigars that doesn’t tax the palate. Every time I step up to the plate and take a puff, I’m feeling like I’m feeling ready to go. I’ve also only had a couple sips of water so far – it’s that damn refreshing.
At the midway point, those barnyard flavors take the driver’s seat. Chocolate notes, while not in the foreground, lose their dark chocolate edge and transition into milk chocolate. Roasted almonds come into play just before the end of the second third.
The first third was absolute heaven and seemed to overshadow the second third. Let’s see what the last third has in store for us.
Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles – Last Third
Cedar, Cream, Spice, Paprika, Cherries, BBQ Sauce, Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Cashew Butter, Walnut, Dried Fruit, Dark Chocolate, Molasses
My first impressions of the last third are of cedar, cream, mild spice, paprika, and slight bitterness on the tongue. Subtle, intermittent hints of cherries and barbecue sauce work their way into the profile after a few minutes.
Chocolate covered peanuts appear fairly early into the last third as well. Cedar compliments this profile nicely and remains very pleasant.
Rather than becoming bitter, a soft cashew note develops after the relight. Like cashew butter. Ezra Zion Brass Knuckles might just be better after the relight. A retro hale yields walnut, dried fruit notes, dark chocolate, and molasses.
As much as I liked the first third, the last third is sealing the deal for me. This is a fantastic cigar and I’ll be forever pissed that I missed out on acquiring 15-20 of these.
Cream, generic woodsy notes, subdued barnyard flavors, subtle hints of nuts, and dried fruit take us home.
Sublime First 1/2 Inch
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