Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 50 “Inspired”
Price: $9.00 ($6.95 at Cigar Federation)
Today we take a look at the Ezra Zion FHK.
Ezra Zion is owned by Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. I got some nice emails from Kyle about my EZ reviews.
The FHK was the first cigar released by Ezra Zion in 2014. The story goes that they released them shortly after midnight New Year’s Day.
The FHK letters denote: Fathers of Hoover and Kelly. An homage to Kyle’s and Chris’s dads. Nice.
They have an “Honor Series” and this is the second release. The first was called “Reagan.” Then changed to just Honor Series.
The Ezra Zion FHK comes in 4 sizes:
Inspired 5.5 x 50 – $9.00
Character 6 x 52 – $10.00
Stature 7 x 54 – $10.00
Truth 7 x 44 – $9.00
Most of the EZ cigars have a similarity in look no matter the blend. A deep, dark coffee bean brown wrapper covered in oil. The damn new cat knocked over one of my new lighting poles. The crucial one of course for close ups. And so I am slightly handicapped. And there is no sunlight; just falling snow. So I will do my best to portray the oiliness as it is in life.
Seams are nearly invisible. Lots of small veins. The cigar is jam packed. But has the perfect amount of give when squeezed. The striations on the triple cap are near flawless. And as always, the EZ cigar band is a classy work of art. Plus there is a footer denoting the blend. The wrapper feels slightly toothy.
I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, leather, coffee, cocoa, wood, and barnyard.
Time to light up.
First, a very woody element. Then followed by black pepper, cream, strong leather, chocolate, and coffee. Not bad.
I’ll try to reserve my flavor bomb comments. LOL.
The char line needs an immediate touch up.
There is an unusual flavor I can’t name yet. It is some exotic spice. And while my palate is mulling that over, an explosion of spice gives me a roundhouse punch. Wow! Tears begin to fall down my cheeks. You can drive an 18 wheeler through my sinuses. That was a total blind side.
In fact, I am getting both black and red pepper components. The coffee is very dark and a slight bit bitter like espresso. I really like that. I have a Krups coffee maker/espresso maker. We’ve had it for years. Nothing more fun than making espresso, add some foam, then sit back with a cigar and enjoy. (And then start to dance around the room from the ultra-dose of caffeine.)
Creamy moves to the front of the line followed by espresso and then chocolate.
The char line is now razor sharp.
I’ve only smoked a couple blends from EZ. In the music business, a manager is always looking for a band with its own “sound.” Ezra Zion has its own sound. While the blends may be totally independent of each other there is a string of familiarity that runs between them.
The first is lame because I don’t have the words. It is pure, unequivocal quality. It has the “it” factor. A combination of smokiness, wood, cream, coffee, cocoa, earthiness, minerals, and ha-cha-cha spice make it a very unique, consistent brand.
I’m at that dangerous point where the ash is 1” long. Do I go for it or knock it off? Only my ego and vanity knows that question. The moment I stop typing, the ash falls into my lap and sets my balls on fire. The dog runs and gets the fire extinguisher….but it’s too late. I’ve self-immolated my naughty bits.
The second third begins.
I only have one stick and it was a gift from about two months ago.
The construction is solid. Not a single issue. That is another consistent factor to the EZ line. These guys know how to build a cigar.
The Ezra Zion FHK reaches for the…..Watch out! Here it comes…Flavor bomb status 1.0.
Lovely flavors. The espresso is a knee knocker. And I love this; the red pepper is still with us.
Some toastiness arrives. As well as a peanut flavor. Now we need some jam.
Snow is just pouring down. We were smart for a change and I went to the market yesterday and stocked up for a few days. No need to go out.
Ooh. The chocolate component; which has been somewhat dormant rises like a great beast from the ocean. And coats the other flavors in chocolate goodness.
From the start, the strength has been a classic medium body. Still right on the money.
In between writing, as an attempt to keep the word count down, I read a couple reviews. Oh my lord. Some of the wild flavors that are reported. I don’t know if these guys have super sensitive palates or no palate. Not only do I not recognize the flavors described; I would never have thought of them. Sometimes, I think I go overboard with my descriptions. (What? Do I sense heads nodding in agreement?)
An epiphany. In this photo below, I notice the glue marks below the cap. I had this happen in an earlier review. I thought it was sloppiness of the roller. It’s not. It’s me for chrissakes. My chomping is pulling the caps off exposing the glue underneath. What a dumb ass.
The flavor profile is sailing on Lake Michigan. Wind in its hair and a beautiful bikini clad girl at its side.
I am fortunate enough to now be connected to the hip of the Ezra Zion folks. Only I don’t need to falsify the reviews. This is one fine product line and along with the Paul Stulac line, my desert island cigars. So it is a real pleasure to do business with Kyle and Chris.
New flavors: Green tea, smoky meat, and malt. This is only the second time I’ve tasted malt in such a prevalent position ever. It did happen to a cigar review a few days ago. I can’t remember which one. Maybe those kids were right about me and the drugged out Hippie syndrome. Of course, these kids don’t realize that it ain’t the era, it is age. And this will happen to them whether they like it or not.
I’ve now invested a good 45 minutes in smoke time.
I’m at the halfway point.
Now is a good time to thank the people who have helped me out since I pleaded for your money a couple days ago. First there is Stephan Boshkov, Joseph Talotta, Mike Simmons, and Charles Amster.
Come on folks. I have maybe 4 cigars left I can review. And then it’s curtains for your Uncle Katman. Just $10 to Paypal using my email firstname.lastname@example.org. I desperately need your help and $10 isn’t much. But it is in quantity. Help me out please. All I need is 21 more donors and I’m good for January and the first of February. Thank you. If I don’t get that dough, I’m sunk and the reviews stop. I wouldn’t ask but we are in very serious trouble financially. I’ve never, in 6 years, asked for this kind of help. (This is like a PBS drive). You will miss me if I’m gone. (That’s Jewish/Catholic guilt I’m laying you.)
The flavor profile has changed a bit: Chocolate, creaminess, wood, malt, nuts, peanuts, toasty, smoky meat, espresso, and leather.
The bitterness of the espresso element is not offset by some sweet elements.
I was just offline for about 40 minutes. The new kitten went bat shit. We have this giant entertainment center in the living room. And a gazillion wires and cables behind it. The cat found a way to get behind it and cause havoc. This morning she unplugged the main power cord that powers everything. Took me 30 minutes to find what was wrong. Trying to see behind the elephant sized entertainment center is almost impossible but I finally found the unplugged plug.
Put it back in. Re-booted. Had to gear up the Wi-Fi. And now I have internet again.
Last night the cat knocked over both my light umbrellas breaking an expensive bulb and breaking two of my favorite ashtrays I use in my photos.
Once more back to the Ezra Zion FHK.
The last third begins.
The price point. All of the EZ line runs in the $9.00-$11.00 range. Only a handful of other brands/blends are in this category in my puny mind. But here’s the rub. If you go to Cigar Federation Store, you can snag this blend for $6.95 a cigar for a single or box price.
Don’t forget to enter the Paul Stulac Contest. Ends on January 15 and you can enter 3 times.
The main difference amongst the Collective and the Jamais Vu and the FHK is that there ain’t a lick of sweetness in the FHK. This emphasizes the woody, nutty profile.
Lemon citrus joins the group here. A nice generic sweetness would complement the citrus nicely. Instead, we have the bitterness of the espresso and smokiness. The FHK needs some BBQ sauce.
Of the three EZ cigars I’ve reviewed, this is probably my least favorite. But that means nothing as the Ezra Zion FHK is an excellent cigar.
Creaminess is the anchor now. It helps make you forget there is nothing sweet in this cigar blend. Same with the chocolate…which now tastes more like dark chocolate instead of the original milk chocolate we started with. More notes of bitterness.
In case you’re wondering…the ashtray I am using is 60 years old. That’s how long I’ve had it. I didn’t buy it.
In 1955, my father got a gig in Long Beach, CA. He went out first. A couple months later, my mother and I followed, leaving Cleveland, taking the train. The legendary Santa Fe Super Chief. We had a state room. And the ashtray is from their upscale lounge; the Turquoise Room. How I’ve managed to hold on to it in one piece this long is beyond me.
With 1-1/2” to go, the strength moves up to medium/full.
If you read me daily, you know I’ve had wrapper issues. I’ve gotten several emails with suggestions about my humidor. But it turns out that it is not my humidor. It is the manufacturing of the cigar.
The Ezra Zion FHK has sat in the same, now very lonely humidor (See cry for money above). I’ve not had a single wrapper issue. Nothing. To me, it says that quality control of cigars is not what it should be. Manufacturers are lazy. I can’t be the only one to have these problems.
Not to mention, I’ve been smoking cigars from that same humidor for my pleasure during the day.
It ain’t me babe.
I expected to be impressed with the Ezra Zion FHK. My hopes were confirmed.
Oh looky here. The red pepper has returned. Nice.
Except for that one burn issue at the start, the char line has behaved admirably.
I highly recommend this cigar despite the price. And to be honest, after seeing the prices of the cigars coming out of the 2014 IPCPR trade show, $9.00 ain’t nothing.
Cigar Federation has a nice FHK sampler of 4 cigars for $35.00. That’s a great deal. All four sizes.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS