Size: 6.875 x 50 “Churchill – Box Pressed” (Just guessing on the ring gauge)
Today we take a look at the Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Liga 8.
I’ve smoked 8 of the blends and had no idea what I was smoking. The blends are a company secret. And they were 8 of the best cigars I’ve smoked.
These cigars are so phenomenal that I used the fee from one of my sponsors to buy a 20 pack.
I couldn’t have talked my wife into just buying cigars for review when our medical bills are way out of hand. I convinced her that I was in the midst of genius blending. She sees how excited I get and how I talk about Ezra Zion. She couldn’t deny me.
I don’t expect these cigars to be around that long. Although, I do hope they keep pumping them out.
The 20 pack I received has some gorgeous cigars. I can find no imperfections so they must all be experimental blends and maybe some blends that made it to home plate
And the best thing? Two days of dry boxing and they are ready to boogie. No extended humidor time required. Jackpot!
From the Ezra Zion web site:
“If you’ve ever wanted to know what we smoke in our off time, now you know. We smoke samples from the hundreds of blends we’ve created over the years. In fact, if you came over for a BBQ, these are what we’d smoke all day!
“We thought it would be the coolest thing ever to pull back the curtain–or in this case open the door to the Ezra Zion Humidor Vault–and share these cigars with you.
“These are blending session cigars not regular production cigars. They haven’t been in a cigar press as long. They are done on the fly to taste the tobacco combinations and flavors. A few may have a wavy burn or an open draw. Some might even have a rough cap or foot. It happens when you’re down and dirty in the throes of blending. Just smoke it. You’ll like it. It’s not about ascetics; it’s about the tobacco!
“We have Corojo, San Andres Maduro, Habano, Connecticut wrappers, and a lot more. Cigars of all shapes and sizes. These are the ultimate mystery sampler–much like blending is. That’s the fun of it to us. You get to smoke something that will never be available again!”
A beautiful, sleek box pressed stick. An oily, toffee colored wrapper that is super smooth to the touch. Seams are invisible and nearly no veins. The stick is solid with just the right amount of give. It has a soft box press.
5 pack: $24.95
10 Pack: $44.95
20 Pack: 79.95
Shipping: $3.99-$6.99 (Depending on cigar count)
Available at the Ezra Zion Store.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell melon sweetness, spice, cedar, golden raisins, coffee, barnyard and malt.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell milk chocolate, coffee, sweetness, and raisins.
The cold draw presents flavors of coffee, allspice, spice, cream, (Double sneeze from the spice), and very earthy tobacco note.
The draw is excellent.
The first puffs are Bozo crazy with substantial flavors.
We have: Sweetness, creaminess, caramel, malts, nuts, toffee, chocolate, coffee, black walnuts, honey, rye bread, and very rich in the earthy tobacco department.
I dry boxed the Liga 8 for 3 days. I am, on average, dry boxing all of the Blending Sessions cigars for 2-3 days. Perfection. I’ve yet to smoke anything less than perfect.
I smoked an oily, charcoal black stick yesterday and my socks blew off. It seems I have doubles of a lot of wrappers but in different sizes. I smoked this charcoal beauty in a short robusto yesterday. The photo below is a Toro.
Strength is medium body. This is how every $10 cigar should start. Oh wait…er..this is a $3.99 stick by the 20 count bundle. 2nds, my ass. This blend tastes every bit as good as a first. And not a single blemish or imperfection unless EZ wanted the box press to be more defined instead of being a soft box press.
Here are the malts: Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, Cara Vienna, Flaked Rye Malt, and Honey Malt. (See Malt Chart).
This blend is much more impressive than I expected. Yeah, I’m a fool for the Ezra Zion folks. But I’m not getting paid, I’m not getting free cigars….just kind notes from Kyle Hoover showing his appreciation for me taking EZ as a personal goal to help them anyway I can. I did this for Paul Stulac and many, many others in the past.
This is a very slow smoke. It is pretty solid with no soft spots noticed.
I got some nice cigars from buddy, Eric Anderson yesterday: La Palina Red Label, Henry Clay Tattoo, and La Bohème Encantador. I also got a small package from an anonymous reader with this inside: El Güegüense from Foundation Cigar Co. New cigar, new company.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
A killer blend. Very complex now. Long finish.
Ooh…Ooh..I have an anecdote. The cable TV radio classic rock station is playing The Beatle’s “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
In the late 60’s, I became friends with the owner of McCabe’s Guitar Shop. A legendary guitar store where the rock stars had their guitars tweaked and had instruments built for them. You never knew who you would see in there. But I was there all the time.
I played 5 string bluegrass banjo back then and I took lessons from John McEwen who became a member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and told me during my lesson it would be my last as he was joining a new band. The whole group was from Long Beach. I even went to high school with Jimmy Fadden who played the blues harp. He got kicked out of high school because he wouldn’t cut his long hair.
My band’s rehearsal space got unexpectedly yanked from us on the day we were to practice. I called McCabe’s and asked if we could rehearse there? It was a small place. Really small. But the owner let us play in the tiny show room adjacent to the store.
While we rehearsed that Beatles’ song, The Nitty Gritty Band showed up for some reason and heard us playing. They grabbed some instruments off the wall and we spent the afternoon jamming. What a thrill that was.
OK. Back to the Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Liga 8.
Creamy, chocolaty, cappuccino, (I never tasted a cigar that had both flavors of caramel and toffee at the same time), nuts, toasty, heavy on the malts, dried fruit, fresh summer fruit, honey, rye bread, and very rich tobacco notes.
I gotta tell you this…If you haven’t bought a 20 count bundle; or two, for $80 a pop you are missing on one of the greatest deals in cigar history. I’m sorry that I’m fawning over Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly but they deserve it and more.
Construction is excellent. Not a single need for a char line touch up.
Strength is climbing and is medium+ body.
Smooth: “…mellow, mild, agreeable, and pleasant.” In a nutshell.
Delicacy: “…treat, luxury, specialty.” Yeah baby cakes.
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
I could easily review every single Ezra Zion Blending Sessions blend in my humidor for the next 20 consecutive days. Each time I light one up, the first thing I think is that I wish I could have reviewed this cigar. These 2nds put to shame every other manufacturer to shame. Not just for beating the hell out of their 2nds, but beating the shit out of their firsts.
Got a small crack in the wrapper. Too small to glue. Fingers crossed.
I bought the first birthday present for Charlotte (Oct. 30. She will be 65). A huge Van Morrison fan. I bought her a 2015 CD called “The Essential Van Morrison.” Has his 37 biggest hits. She is going to flip. Our real stereo set up is in the bedroom upstairs and whenever she cleans, she blasts the walls apart with music. The best part? It was only $9.50 and free shipping because I have Amazon Prime.
Back to the Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Liga 8.
A bit of nicotine shows up.
The crack opens up just enough to slide a dab of glue. Now it is invisible. Probably would have burned right through it anyway. Oh well.
Transitions. Loads of them. Perfect balance. Long, chewy finish.
Strength hits medium/full.
Spectacular cigar. When is the last time you ordered a 20 count sampler and was blown away by each and every stick? What? Never?
Oh yeah…”A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum. Nice.
There are some major changes just before the last third. Flavors are rearranged.
Here they are: Red hot pepper, malts, creaminess, honey, caramel, chocolate, rye, dried fruit, sweetness, nutty and toasty.
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
The complexity is exactly what you expect with an EZ blend. I’m having trouble reconciling that most of these blends are 2nds and not the in production sticks.
Both Kyle and Chris aren’t fooling around when they put their heads together. The huge variety of blending ideas is mind boggling. I’d love to know all the leaf stats.
I expected the Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Liga 8 to be a milder blend. Fooled me. It is so smooth that it is almost impossible to detect the strength. Squinted eyes and saying my mantra is the only way I can tell.
The Ezra Zion Blending Sessions Liga 8 is every bit as good as any $15 cigar on the market.
Since I’ve decided to no longer seek medical attention as my Frontotemporal Dementia has no treatment, I plan to use Katman Sponsor fees to buy another 20 count sampler early November. Maybe two. I will have to speak to Kyle about this to make sure they don’t run out before I’m ready to buy.
No two ways about it…the Ezra Zion is my deserted island brand.
With each puff, the flavors get stronger. The nicotine is in the background and I’m OK. LOL.
I have 1-1/2” to go and the blend is screaming laughter.
I have huge admiration for both Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly for their skills and talent. Every blend reeks of passion and dedication. I really can’t think of another blender duo that meets this mark.
It is a pretty bold move to put out your 2nds not knowing how the smoking public will receive it. Now, after many Blending Session cigars smoked, I understand.
So get off your ass and buy some. Just make sure to leave me some for next month.
And tell Kyle and Chris that the Katman sent you.
Final smoke time is one hour and 20 minutes.
$3.99 in a 20 count bundle. $4.50 in a 10 count. $5.00 in the 5 pack. Who are we kidding? The deal of the century.
Clearly, I love these blends. And each cigar brings a new surprise to my palate. It is sort of exciting not knowing what you are about to smoke.
What a brilliant sales ploy by the boys. (Anyone under 50 is a young man to me).
Sell their 2nds so you go out and buy the 11 other blends from Cigar Federation. There are two other blends sold out that I never tried: Fried Chicken and Burnt Ends. Bummer.
My favorite two blends are the All My Ex’s and The Collective.
But with each new blend from the Ezra Zion Blending Sessions makes me wobble on those choices.
I’ve never promoted so heavily any other cigar deal.
It’s up to you.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS