Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero
Size: 6 x 50 “Toro”
Body: Medium
Price: $6.00 in 10 Packs/$7.00 in 5 Packs

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Blessed_Leaf_1611

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Today we take a look at the new Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars.

BACKGROUND:
From the Blessed Leaf web site:
“The 1611 is the second Blessed Leaf cigar release and the follow up to the 93 Rated KAIROS.

“Draped in a San Andrea (sic) maduro wrapper, the Blessed Leaf 1611 is sweet, creamy, and decadent. Medium in strength, the 1611 delights the palate with candied fig, cashew, cocoa, and oak. Notes of white pepper, coffee bean, and vanilla compliment the core flavors throughout.

“A smooth and balanced blend created from extra fermentation of the tobaccos.
“Total Production: 1000 Cigars.”

The name “1611” refers to the date that the King James Bible was first published.
The cigar comes in one size: 6 x 50 Toro.
You can purchase the cigars directly from the Ezra Zion web site or Cigar Federation.
Ten-packs are $59.95 and 5-packs are $34.95.

The cigars were produced at the Noel Rojas’ Aroma de Esteli Factory in Nicaragua. Rojas developed Guayacan, Project 7 for Cigar Federation, Tarazona Revolution 305, and All my Ex’s for Ezra Zion.
Blessed Leaf refers to a Christian ministry founded by Ezra Zion owners Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. Help is given to tobacco producing countries.

DESCRIPTION:
This is a gorgeous cigar. Solid and covered in an oily, mottled, coffee bean brown wrapper. Seams are tight. Few veins. A flawless triple cap. And only a black ribbon used as a cigar band.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The shaft smells of black walnuts, chocolate, spice, cedar, oak, rich cappuccino, and earthy tobacco.
The clipped cap and foot smell of barnyard, spice, cocoa, and wood.
The cold draw presents flavors of cinnamon, baking spice, nuts, chocolate, clove, and earthy tobacco.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a tad bit tight. The cigar is packed solid so I do the ol’ Katman massage and that helps loosen things up.
Right away, flavors emerge. And they are as exotic as the All My Ex’s.

Here we go: Spice, coffee, chocolate, white chocolate, oak, creamy, strong vanilla, roasted nuts, cinnamon, and dried fruit with a hint of leather.

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The flavor profile is extremely intense. This is going to be a helluva’ roller coaster ride.

Kyle and Chris must have had both All My Ex’s and 1611 in their brains at the same time during their blending sessions. Except for the wrapper, the binder and filler are similar. Similar in terms of what they allow us to know.

The clove and baking spices surge. They aren’t advertised but they are as strong as can be. Their interaction with the other flavors makes for a complex blend.
The Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars is a slow roll. The draw is spot on now.

There are elements and components whose only comparison is that of a complex wrist watch innards. Lots of moving parts and lots of stationary parts. All integral to make the thing work.
That is exactly how complex the Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars is.

Strength has been medium body from the start.

And then it happens. The light switch is flicked on and we have a major development in flavors and complexity.
I don’t know if it is possible, but the Blessed Leaf 1611 may be even more complex than the All My Ex’s.

Here we go feeble mind: Spice, molasses, chocolate candy with the raspberry jelly inside, baking spice, coffee, creaminess, malt (Special B Malt, Peated Malt, Pale 2- Row Malt, Honey Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, and Aromatic Malt [See Malt Chart]), strong oak elements, vanilla bean, clove, and earthy, earthy tobacco.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Normally, I ignore the flavors that a manufacturer suggests the consumer can taste. Why? Because they need to make the cigar accessible to everyone. If they get too complex in their description, they will get laughed out of Esteli. But you have to hand it to the folks at EZ for going all in.

4third

I can taste candied fig. Of course, the art of the subconscious plays an important part.

Truth be told, I taste something candied and it might be fig, but I can’t pick it up that definitively. I taste dried fruit. And I taste a caramelized topping. The cappuccino is spot on. But what they didn’t add in their description is the baking spice galore…Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise seed, sesame seed, and allspice. This is the one of the first times I’ve gotten this kind of spread.

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The char line is dead nuts.
The spiciness is on the wane.

The chocolate, malt, and coffee work together beautifully. There is something else on the tip of my palate I’m having difficulty with.

It’s HERBS! Celery flakes and partial Herbs de Provence (chervil, dill, fennel, lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme). Now mind you, these are very faint elements. My daughter has a friend who has a very large company that makes herbs and supplies them to restaurants all over the world. She gave me a bag of the herbs a couple days ago and I’ve used them. This explains a lot of what I was missing in my review.

REMEMBER: My palate is different than yours. I’ve had comments telling me they couldn’t taste 75% of what I taste. Make sure the reviewed cigar is your first of the day. And really focus. Make your eyes squint. Take sips of water after a puff. Learn to train your palate. I’ve said this a million times but I have been a serious cigar smoker for 47 years. So keep at it. Big smile.

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HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
The spiciness returns.

I cannot believe I am saying this but I do believe that the Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars is even more complex than the All My Ex’s. And that’s not to say I am diminishing the All My Ex’s. But this is the craziest, most complex cigar I’ve smoked. I never thought I would say that again after the All My Ex’s.

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Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly are really Wizards whose specialty is alchemy. They must also be Druids, Mystics, Shamans, and Thaumaturgists. Their adeptness at bringing about a cigar of this magnitude is unearthly. They could be aliens from the planet Sun Cured. Travel to the Cigar Galaxy and make a sharp left. (There really is a galaxy called Cigar Galaxy). Also known as Messier 82 or NGC 3034. You probably just call it, WTF?

There is a very perfumey aroma, and flavor, to the blend now. I can smell the lavender.

The main difference in this cigar is that there are no major transitions. It creeps up on you with a bit of this and a bit of that. All very subtle and nuance. Smooth does not begin to describe it. Velvety, tranquil, unruffled, waveless, fluid, and sophisticated.

I am not sure if I should mention this flavor as it really dominated the All My Ex’s. But I can taste a steak sauce element. In the background and mostly tasting of molasses, cumin, and Worcestshire.

I know what you are all thinking. I’m demented. Yes, that’s true. But the early morning is my most lucid group of hours. When I’m finished with the review, I fall back into not knowing what day or year it is. I wish I could continue reviewing but budgetary costs due to health care bills are putting a halt to it.

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Just prior to the start of the last third, the Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars becomes a bona fide flavor bomb. No longer subtle and nuanced. Now we have bold and audacious!
Here they are: Creamy, spice, nuts, dried fruit, vanilla, coffee, baking spice, steak sauce, oak, herbs, earthiness, and the lovely malt concoction.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
This was not a total surprise but still; I wasn’t ready for the boldness and intricacies of this blend.

I’ve reviewed some great cigars lately but nothing close to the Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars. Nothing. I wonder how many blends Hoover and Kelly went through before settling on this one?

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If you can’t snag some of these cigars, then I feel very bad. If you can afford them, get as many as you can. I just checked. Cigar Federation still has 5 packs. The Ezra Zion Blessed Leaf web site is sold out. I can’t find another online store that might carry them.
HURRY to CF!!!
Tell them the Katman sent you!

The Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars is so complex right now that I am completely blown away.
Thanks to Kyle and Chris, they sent me two samples. I shall guard the second one with my life.

The list of flavors is like a mile long conga line. The sweetness. The savory elements. The spiciness. The exotic nature of the blend. The herbal notes. Friggin’ unbelievable.
As you will read below, this will be my last review for some time. A great cigar to go out on.

Strength is a solid medium body. No nicotine. No harshness. No heat. No bitterness.
Final smoke time is a bit over one hour 30 minutes.

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Time to rate it. I give the Blessed Leaf 1611 by Ezra Zion Cigars a 97. Yeah, it’s that good. Head and shoulders above anything I can remember reviewing except for the All My Ex’s.

The true definition of a cigar experience. I’m tempted to light up the other stick. But as I won’t be reviewing tomorrow, I just might make it my first cigar of the day. The blend deserves your fresh palate.

PRICE POINT:
This is what a $20 cigar should taste like. But it’s not. It’s $6.00-$7.00 each.
Not an Opus X. Not a fancy shmancy Padron, etc. Not a single expensive cigar is anything like this.
This proves my constant rant and rave that the overblown pricing of every cigar coming out of the 2015 IPCPR trade show is a joke. I get all those online store emails and the cigars go for $75-$90 for a 5 pack. LMAO! How absurd. Thank goodness for Ezra Zion.
The only problem I see is that only 1000 cigars were released. They may be all gone by now. I don’t know. Check the Ezra Zion site and Cigar Federation. And your local B & M.

SUMMATION:
What a wonderful cigar. I cannot begin to do it justice with my limited vocabulary.
I wish they had made more. But kudos to Ezra Zion for making a limited edition cigar and not charging an arm and a leg. That’s class.
Flavors are some of the most unique combinations of any cigar I’ve smoked. The complexity nearly began at the start of the cigar and gained impact with every puff.
If you can, buy this cigar.

From Kyle Hoover of Ezra Zion Cigars:
Phil,
Wow! I don’t even have the words, my friend! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the 97 rating. It means so much for someone to appreciate the hard work that goes into making the best cigars we can.
You are in our thoughts and prayers about your health and treatment. Hope that things will work out and we will hear a good report soon!!!!
Thank you,
Kyle Hoover

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