Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Size: 6 x 52
Price: $9.00 by the 5 Pack/$7.50 by the 12 Pack/$7.00 by the 24 Pack
Photo above courtesy of Ezra Zion Cigar Co.
Today we take a look at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 by Ezra Zion Cigars.
Thanks to Carter Tinsley and Miguel Castro for the sticks.
From the Ezra Zion Cigar Co. web site:
“Announcing the very first Ezra Zion Ugly Christmas Sweater project! This will be our annual Christmas release; each year featuring the coolest in Ugly Christmas Sweater action! We will use this final release each year to showcase the rarest and most special tobaccos we come across all during the year.
“The inaugural Ugly Christmas Sweater 2015 is TWO blends!! We felt festive so we thought we’d be extra jolly!
“Each 6 pack contains 3 Red Sweaters and 3 Green Sweaters.
“The Red Sweater Blend is an Ecuador Habano wrapper over rare Indonesian binder and Nicaraguan filler. Shoot…if they could grow tobacco at the North Pole we would’ve used it!
“The cigar is money! Full bodied, full/medium strength with flavors of hazelnut, sweet cream, and dark coffee bean. It’s complimented by notes of white pepper, berry, and cocoa. Size 6×52.
“The Green Sweater Blend is a little bundle of wonderful! Colorado wrapper and all Nicaraguan binder/filler combine to make this one of the most perfectly balanced cigars we’ve ever blended IMO.
“Very creamy and sweet on the palate, but with a cinnamon retrohale through the nose. Throughout the cigar flavors of earth, leather, vanilla make an appearance. Size 5×50.
“To make this even cooler, each 6-Pack comes with a wooden gift tag that we will personally address to you–or to anyone you’d like to give it to as a gift! (Let us know in “Add a Note to Your Order” field of the Shopping Cart if you’d like a different name. Otherwise it will be made out to the purchaser.)
“THERE ARE ONLY 75 6-PACKS AVAILABLE!
“Total Production: 450 Cigars (225 Red/225 Green)
“Merry Christmas!” (And a belated Happy Hanukkah! from the Katman)
OK. What is it with all the skulls and crossbones being so popular? In the last couple of years, every third cigar manufactured seems to have a skull on the cigar band. Is it End of Days?
But the cigar looks might fine. A very pretty mottled, marble, wood grain wrapper the color of pecan/mocha. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch.
The triple cap is absolutely flawless. Invisible seams and very few veins.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell maple, spice, cream, pine nuts, coffee, and a light hint of wintergreen.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell gingerbread, spice, barnyard, pine, wintergreen, (Damn. The spice makes me sneeze twice), cream, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of cream, cocoa, coffee, wintergreen, spice, grass, and cedar.
The draw is great.
Right out of the gate, a flood of flavors: Heavy cream, black pepper, malts, milk chocolate, sweetness, cedar, coffee, raw cashews, poppy seeds, and a real milk shake quality to it.
I’ve made it pretty clear how much I respect, and admire, Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. They keep pumping out great blend without as much as a single clunker.
Charlotte is home with the flu. Didn’t get her shot like I noodged her to do. I got mine about 6 weeks ago. Fingers crossed.
Back to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015.
Strength is medium body. The char line is absolutely dead nuts perfect.
A floral note emerges both in taste and aroma. Then black currant. After that, boysenberry. Now I’m hungry.
I never have construction problems with Ezra Zion cigars. It’s a big relief going into a review of one of their new blends knowing there won’t be the angst of a bad burn issue.
I keep telling you, dear readers, it’s the rollers…not me; or my method of humidor storage that makes cigars go awry.
An inch in, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 finds its complexity. Nice balance. And long, creamy finish.
The spice is on the wane. Too bad. I’m a spice junkie.
In my old age, I’ve become strictly a medium/full to full body smoke lover. Medium normally tastes too weak to me. And I won’t touch a mild body cigar. But what can make up for the lack of oomph is the flavor profile.
Now this cigar blend is described by Kyle and Chris as medium/full bodied. I expect that the strength portion of this episode will rise to the occasion soon. Some cigars hit you in the puss right from the start and others build. I prefer the ones that build. It works hand in hand with the flavor transitions.
Speaking of transitions…the Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 is in constant flux. Flavors spinning like a disco ball. And I’m John Travolta. (But I’m straight.)
A big combo of graham cracker and gingerbread leap on to the pile of flavors.
And here they are: Aromatic Malt, Chocolate Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Crystal/Caramel Malt, and Peated Malt. (See Malt Chart).
Unlike a recent review, this cigar is jam packed with tobacco. It smokes slowly. And I find it a very relaxing cigar.
Strength moves to medium/full.
Nutmeg moves in on the block. Nice addition as it also brings out a cinnamon element.
The black pepper becomes red pepper. And begins to build once again. That’s a’ nice.
Construction is top notch. And the char line is just cruising at 30,000 feet without a seat belt needed.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Holy shit. Transitions. Complexity. Balance. Finish. Flavor profile. Ka-Boom!
I’m mounting my poor Ebba (My boxer dog) as I write this. I had to find some manner in which I could celebrate the intense flavors smashing against my palate like two gold beams in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
That blue strand on the right is me.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 is uber delightful. If you want a real treat, try the Blending Sessions. You can get it in 5, 10, or 20 packs. The more you buy, the cheaper it gets. At a 5 pack, it’s $5 a stick. At 20 count, it’s $4 a stick. And it is like Christmas and Hanukkah every day of the year. A mish mosh of wonderful EZ blends. Who knows what they are and who cares? Each one is a winner. I reviewed two blends: Blending Sessions Liga 7 and Blending Sessions Liga 8. Both killer cigars.
The flavors have shifted a bit: Creamy, chocolate, espresso, spice, ginger cookies, malts, berries, black currant, sweetness, cedar, sweet raw cashews, vanilla, poppy seeds, and marzipan. There is a heavy chocolate milk shake quality. I can nearly taste the thick chocolate flavored vanilla ice cream running down my throat.
The thing I love about EZ blends is the short amount of humidor time needed before one can light a cigar.
They all taste like they have already been extensively aged.
I reach the halfway point.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
I am putting Carter and Miguel in my will. (I hope they can afford the debt) These short little cigar production runs that you can only find out about, in time, is through signing up for their email notifications and then just disappear in days…if that. And if you don’t have the dough…like me, well then..you are S.O.L.
God bless Carter and Miguel for thinking of me.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 oozes high premium cigar quality. I don’t know if it’s me or what…but it seems with every new release, the blends get better and better. It’s nice to see that one can find the regular production EZ cigars on quite a few online stores now. But my favorite is still “The Collective’’ that can only be purchased from Cigar Federation at $11.00 a stick. Worth every penny.
Every year, I get a flu shot and every year I get the flu. Now some people say that the flu shot gives you the flu. Horseshit. Small minds that don’t do their research. Of course, the immunization gives you a small amount of the virus in order for your immune system to build up a tolerance for a full frontal attack. But the scientists guess the year before which flus they think will hit. At most, I believe, they provide for only 3 strains of the flu while there are hundreds of strains out there. And more often than not, they guess wrong. I got my flu shots a while back because Medicare does pay for it. I got shots for 4 different strains. And my sole hope is that I don’t catch the dreaded illness from Charlotte. I can barely handle a head cold. But lying on the bathroom floor with your arm wrapped around the toilet? Wishing that God will take you right there and then….No thanks.
To show you what a good husband I am, Charlotte came home from work early because she was sick. Instead of taking my old man nap as I always do late afternoon, I got dressed and drove to Sendik’s (Our upscale chain of markets in Milwaukee) and bought her some of their fantastic chicken soup and other sundries to make her comfortable.
So I missed my nap and was cranky for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
OK. The Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015. I could suck on this cigar all day long. I can’t wait to try the Green blend.
This is one of the slowest smokes I’ve had in a long time. What a simple pleasure.
Yeah, I know the boys at EZ worked their asses off to make this blend but at my end it is a simple pleasure.
The char line gets a bit wavy but a minor touch up takes care of it.
I turn the heat off when Charlotte sleeps in and I’m downstairs reviewing. That way the cigar smoke doesn’t travel through the vents to the bedroom and awaken her. It is frigging cold. And I’m freezing my tuchas off.
Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.
And the rocket takes off. We have full body. We have a bona fide flavor bomb. We have an absolute perfect balance. And the finish is making me cry.
Construction and char line have been dead nuts.
Once again, I must state unequivocally, that Ezra Zion Cigar Company is my desert island choice of brands.
For a full bodied stick, this cigar is so smooth that strength disappears into the stratosphere.
All flavors intact. No changes except the spiciness is stronger.
This is definitely a tobacco milk shake.
If you haven’t signed up for email notifications from Ezra Zion, do it now.
The strength of flavors, while near the end of the cigar, keep on keepin’ on. They are stronger now than earlier. Transitions. They make or break a cigar blend.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater Red Blend 2015 is a masterpiece. And I’m sure you are tiring of me using that same noun for every EZ blend I review. But it is what it is.
Clearly, the boys made a deal with Beezelbub. I can’t think of any other manufacturer that pumps out blends of the highest standards like they are turning on a light switch.
There is no harshness, heat, bitterness or nicotine as I come to an end.
With only 750 cigars for sale, it was impossible to review this cigar in time for you to buy some. If you’d like, I will sell singles for $750 each. Email me at imasucker.com. I need a PET scan and Medicare won’t pay for it so I have to save up $7,000.00. Or you can go to the Go Fund Me widget on the right side of the page and donate $20.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
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