Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion Cigar Co. | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 52 “Robusto”
Body: Medium
Price: $7.00

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bees

Today we take a look at a rare thing: Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion Cigar Co.
Basically, you snooze you lose. If you are signed up for the Ezra Zion web site emails, you get the inside track on limited editions. And when this email arrived, you had about 3-4 days and then it was over.
Many thanks to Miguel Castro and Kyle Hoover (Co-Owner of Ezra Zion) who sent me cigars.

BACKGROUND:
From the Ezra Zion Cigar Co. web site:
“We wanted a blend that would be perfect to smoke on the cool autumn evenings with a hot drink! THE cigar for the start of the holiday season.

“BEE’S KNEES is a Nicaraguan puro of corojo and criollo tobaccos. The medium strength, medium-bodied blend is refined, subtle and silky.

“Flavors include toasty leather and sweet cream complimented by baking spices, dried fruit, and cashew. Also hints of floral notes and clove.

“We recommend pairing with Brandy or hot cider.
“Total production: 700 cigars.”

DESCRIPTION:
Nice looking stick. I had gotten my hands on the Blending Sessions packs a few times. Still on sale and reasonably priced. Most were great cigars…but there were a few clunkers here and there. But well worth the dough.

The Bee’s Knees reminds me of some of the Blending Session blends. Who knows? I may have already smoked one as EZ may have put some in those packs.

blending

The wrapper is an oily, caramel brown color that feels like very fine sandpaper. Won’t show up in my photos. The stick is solid. Not a single soft spot.
Tight seams. Some have a lot of veins and others, very little. The triple cap is masterfully applied.
And of course, the ode to the Bee is the footer band that looks like a honeycomb.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet creaminess, honey, fruit, spice, floral notes, cedar, and molasses.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell strong honeysuckle, spice, fruit sweetness, cedar, earthy tobacco notes, and caramel malt.
The cold draw presents flavors of honeysuckle, floral notes, nuts, fruity sweetness, molasses, chocolate, coffee, cedar, and malts.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is excellent.
First out of the gate is a walloping dose of strong red pepper. Nice.
Followed by milk chocolate, malts, creaminess, caramel, smokiness, cedar, and a pile of dried fruit and mixed nuts.

I’ve already smoked a couple. But they were smoked in the course of the day and they didn’t taste like this morning’s blend. Just goes to show how sensitive one’s palate is. And how important it is to realize that the first cigar of the day is the best and the others lose their subtlety and nuance.
And that is exactly what this Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion is chock full of: Beautiful harmony of subtlety and nuance.

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The Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion has already achieved its complexity, balance and finish by only burning ¾”.

Now this is what I harp on about all the time. An expensive cigar, like yesterday’s review of the Rocky Patel Decade Cameroon shouldn’t finally come to life in the last third. It should hit you square in the face in the first puffs. Just like the Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion.
But then, I’m a massive fan of EZ. My desert island cigar of choice.

BTW- Another better act quickly because they will all be gone tomorrow sale. The Ugly Christmas Sweater 2015 is new and only 450 cigars are being sold in 6 packs. EZ says on their web site only 75 six packs available for $53.95, 12 count packs for $89.95, and 24 count packs for $167.95. I’d love to snag some. But alas…

ugly

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF EZRA ZION CIGAR CO.

This will be an annual release according to EZ.
OK. Back to the Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion.
It started off at medium body. But with 3-3/4” to go, it is now medium/full.
Super smooth and complex.
A slight change in the flavor profile which I will enumerate in the second third.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Man, this is a fucking incredible cigar. I’m not kidding. And it ain’t because I’m partial to the folks at Ezra Zion. I think they are fucking mad geniuses at blending. I would love to buy another Blending Sessions. The best deal on the planet.

madscientists

Here they are: Creaminess, caramel, spice, chocolate, honeysuckle, floral notes, mixed nuts, clove, coffee, orange citrus, molasses, fruity sweetness, malts: Biscuit Malt, Cara Munich Malt, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, and Flaked Barley Malt (See Malt Chart), smokiness, cedar, toasty, and molasses.
Wow.

5third

In order to taste these wonderful flavors I must make a change in my schedule. I write a review every day because I love doing it and its good exercise for my brain. But I will take a few days off here and there to enjoy the Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion first cigar of the day. I only have 3 or 4 left. I shall treasure them as if they came from Sierra Madre.

Construction has been excellent. A bit of a wavy char line but no touch ups needed.
Strength has backed off to medium body.

I love that spiciness is in the picture and hasn’t disappeared. Gives the blend some zip and oomph.
If any of the big manufacturers put this cigar out this year, I fucking guarantee it would cost $14.00. No shit.

The Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion is what the Padrón Dámaso No.17 tried to achieve at $17.50. What a joke.
Kyle and Chris have their feet firmly planted in reality. They crank out blends and I don’t remember one costing more than $11.00. And every single one better than any Padron I’ve tasted.

6half

The halfway point is here. Smoke time is 40 minutes.
I could smoke these all day and just not eat that would screw up my palate and not allow the delicate nuances of the blend.

I piss and moan about having trouble with my cigars and getting runs all the time. I swear it isn’t me. It is the lousy rolling. And here we have a perfect example of the perfect cigar construction and not a single burn issue.

We are getting a bit of snow this morning but it is a mild Wisconsin Fall/Winter so far. In fact, it is only 32° outside. Bathing suit weather for Wisconsinites.

The flavor profile, still intact, makes its move. Huge high flying flavors, transitions, balance, and finish. The finish alone should keep me happy for the next hour after I conclude the review.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
I hope you took the time to snag some of these. And I absolutely guarantee that the new Ugly Christmas Sweater won’t last through tomorrow. I actually think this is one of the most clever names for a blend I’ve heard. Other boutique brands and big manufacturers try to come up with something clever for each new release and usually make an ass of themselves with really stupid names. And the worst ones have some sort of bible length back story as if we were really interested. Who gives a shit? It’s a fucking cigar. Not a space shuttle.

One of these days, I shall compile a list of the dumbest blend names. Now, that’s a project.
The Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion is about as perfect a cigar as they come. I don’t have a single criticism or suggestion. The boys nailed it.

7third

With less than 1-1/2” to go, the Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion explodes with more flavor…just like an M80.
No harshness. Cool as a cuke. In fact, the end of the Bee’s Knees by Ezra Zion is the coolest of any cigar I’ve smoked. I’m tempted to put the roach into one of my pipes and smoke the rest that way.
Strength moves to medium/full.

Sign up for the Ezra Zion email list. Otherwise, you are going to miss out on their specials.
Brilliant, brilliant blend.
Final smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.

RATING: 96

8

And now for something completely different:
Have you ever been in a real house fire?
I have.
Twice.

God knows why I can remember this when it is so long ago. But I do.

FIRE #1

The first time was in 1975. April and I lived in a very nice flat outside of London in Edgeware. Mostly Jewish community and about 30 minutes from downtown.
One day, I was taking a bath. (Back then, trying to find a bathroom with a shower was about 100 to 1.) April came in, sat on the toilet seat and we began to kibitz.

She was making dinner and spent a little too much time with me staring at my giant shlong.

She had put some cooking oil in a big pot to make some chips (French fries to you Yanks). Well, as I sat in the tub, all of a sudden, I saw black smoke traveling along the ceiling. And it was traveling fast!

I jumped out of the tub and ran into the kitchen. The entire ceiling was on fire.
There was a column of fire about 12” in diameter coming from the pot and going straight to the ceiling. The entire flat was engulfed in fire and smoke.
Now, I was still naked. I shooed April and her little girl out of the flat. I went back in to call the fire department.

They didn’t have a 911 service in those days. I called the local operator and reported the fire; the whole time choking from the smoke.
Now this dumb ass old woman kept saying, “Oh my dear, oh my dear.” I started yelling, “Call the fucking fire department.”
“Oh my dear, oh my dear.” I hung up and crossed my fingers.
I managed to put my boxer shorts on, grabbed my bass, and out I went.

The fire department showed up with the lamest siren I had ever heard: “Ding ding. Ding ding. Ding ding.” WTF?
The fire fighters had these enormous helmets that made them look like Darth Vader.

I stood outside choking and I remember a fire fighter asking, “You all right, mate?” I said no…you idiot..I can’t breathe. And he said, “OK. You are doing well”
Where was the oxygen? It was like a Monty Python sketch.

BTW- The most important part was that I put out the fire. Just before I bolted, I grabbed the lid to the pot and managed to cover it stopping the column of fire immediately. But it didn’t stop the rest of the flat from burning.

The landlord was furious with us. Clearly, it was April’s fault. She was a real dumb bunny. But she was sweet. I’m glad that after 8 years together, she cheated on me and left me. It led to a wild 5 years of bachelorhood, going back into the music business, and eventually making Charlotte’s dream come true by finding me.

FIRE #2
The second time was with April again only this time it wasn’t her fault. It was 1978. We were living at the top of the hill in San Pedro. We had a gorgeous view of the L.A. Harbor at San Pedro. This time it was a house. A big beautiful house.

On the very first day we moved in, the house owner decided to move the water heater from inside the house to outside…in the back of the house. While we were moving boxes and furniture into the house, the plumber was doing some brazing or welding. Can’t remember which.

What he didn’t know, by the time he left, was that he had started a fire between the outside of the house and the inside framing.

We were in the house maybe an hour when someone, in a car, honked until I came out to see what was going on. He screamed, as he pointed, “Your roof is on fire!!”
I ran out front and sure as shit, the entire roof was engulfed in flames.

Once again, I shuffled April and the kid outside and I went back and got my bass.
The fire department was there in less than 2 minutes. Lots of fire trucks.

April and I stood there as black smoke completely covered a 5 house perimeter. All the looky loos were choking from smoke.
This was a bad fire and yet the fire fighters were scrambling to get into the house and on top of the house. I had a horrifying respect for them. One even went through the roof and disappeared. Fortunately, he was saved by his comrades.

When it was all over, the fire chief came over to me; put his arm around my shoulders and walked me slowly towards the house. The whole time telling me it looks worse than it is.

I walked in and gasped. Nearly all of our belongings were destroyed. The entire roof was gone. Water flooded the floors. We had just moved in and hadn’t even spent one night in the house.

We spent time in cheap motels until they rebuilt the house. Only took a month.
I sued the plumber. I wanted to get my money back for everything.

I went before Judge Bean, the hanging judge of San Pedro, and he took one look at my giant afro and denied my case. And the defendant? The plumber? “Not Guilty!!”
I had fire reports saying it was the plumber’s fault. Arson. The judge wouldn’t even look at them. All he saw was a Hippie.

Both experiences were terrible. My only advice if it ever happens to you….get out fast. Fire moves much quicker than you realize. A few seconds can make a difference.
And on that happy note….Have a great day!

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