Size: 6.3 x 52
Price: $8.00-$10.00 depending on quantity bought (Backordered)
Today we take a look at Blessed Leaf Theophany by Ezra Zion Cigar Co.
It’s 5:15am. I woke up at 5am because of damn back pain so from the mouth of John Lennon:
“I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink.”
I settled for a Diet Coke.
The definition of the word Theophany: “A visible manifestation to humankind of God or a god.”
From the Ezra Zion Cigar Co. web site:
“In our quest to make each cigar better than the last, we challenged ourselves to make the next Blessed Leaf release even better than Doxology, 1611, and Kairos.
“We are proud to bring you Blessed Leaf Theophany!
“This project began when we stumbled upon the most gorgeous and fragrant Corojo wrapper ever. We knew it was something special and had to be blended as such. No normal filler would do!
“After calling in a few favors, we procured the “dream” tobaccos worthy of this project. Literally, the filler tobacco is so old in this cigar that you can taste the age! It’s phenomenal!
“Flavors begin with a bold leather wave across the palate. Blasts of vanilla, white pepper, and caramel give way to a luscious creamy finish. Elegantly full-bodied, strength through the retrohale is strong–but silky from the mature vintage Ligeros.
“As the cigar progresses, notes of cocoa powder, walnuts, and marshmallow begin to emerge. The final third introduces a beautiful red pepper spice, dark chocolate bar, cedar and whipped cream.
“Theophany is a decadent and luxurious smoking experience. We think it’s gonna take the top spot in your humidor!
“Total Production: 695 Cigars”
The wrapper is an oily, gingerbread color.
Seams are invisible. The cigar is solid. And the triple cap is impeccable. In fact, the cap is a perfect dome.
The cigar band is at the foot but it is loose enough that I can slide it up to where a regular cigar band would be. Making for nice photos.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell dark chocolate, red pepper, marshmallow (just like EZ’s description), nutty, malts, cedar, graham cracker, and sweet hickory.
From the clipped cap and foot, I smell intensely dark chocolate, graham cracker, red pepper, nuts, malts, cedar, and marshmallow.
The cold draw presents flavors of red hot pepper (sneeze 3 times in fast succession), Mexican mole, malt, and nuts.
Here we go. The Blessed Leaf Theophany starts as a pepper bomb. I’m a spice junkie so I love this.
Then we see other flavors seeping through the fog: dark cocoa, marshmallow, malt, nuts, salty pretzel, espresso, tart sweetness, cedar, and caramel.
I love when a blend starts off with a bang. The true sign that the cigar has its shit together. No waiting around for it to kick in at some point. Nope. The Blessed Leaf Theophany is kicking ass and taking names. Now if it continues to transition, we have a winner here.
I’ve made it known I’m a sucker for Ezra Zion blends. They can do no wrong in my book and you know that the Katman ain’t taking any bribes or money to say this. It is the God’s truth.
Strength is a strong medium body.
The caramel becomes gooey and decadently sophisticated along with some creaminess that just appeared.
I’m experiencing all the flavors the EZ boys described. Dead nuts. Perfect.
For new readers, dead nuts, is a construction term. When an iron worker is installing a high strength bolt into a beam or column connection, he uses a gun that tells him the torque as he tightens it. When the bolts hit the designated spec, he declares: “Dead Nuts.”
I use the term all the time in everyday life and I forget not everyone knows what it means.
The Blessed Leaf Theophany is super flavorful and I’ve burned only an inch.
The char line could use some improvement. No razor sharp burn line going on here.
The marshmallow and black walnut elements are screaming laughter now. I’ve tasted marshmallow in a lot of blends but this is the strongest I’ve tasted.
I’m now awake. What the hell did I write while I was bleary eyed? Oh yeah. It’s OK.
Onward Christian Soldiers! Plus a couple Israeli Defense Forces guys.
The Blessed Leaf Theophany is packed solid so it’s a slow roll. Fine with me because I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Every puff is packed with a bundle of flavors. I was going to say cornucopia of flavors but I use that term too often.
Since Kyle and Chris are serious Christians, I tried to pick a couple after review stories that would not offend them.
The 1-1/4” has taken me 15 minutes to smoke. This will be at least an hour and 45 minute cigar experience. Now I genuflect and pray there is a minimum of nicotine.
This is going to be a long review as I am a motor mouth and the cigar is burning slowly.
Maybe 5,000 words compared to my usual 1800 words.
Have your mother or wife read this review to you when you can’t go to sleep. It will work every time.
Transitions are laser sharp and continuous. Complexity is deep and rich. The blend is so smooth I want to kiss its tushy.
I grew up in a family where everyone kissed each other all the time. I kissed my father, my uncle, and my grandfather. Hugs were included. It was S.O.P. And I’m talking about as adults. Right to the end. I never understood families that shook hands instead of embracing each other. Life is too short for handshakes.
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
And heeeere they are: Caramel, walnuts, marshmallow, creaminess, cedar, chocolate, red pepper, English profiterole, pretzel, and graham cracker.
This is definitely one of the finest EZ blends yet.
I do believe that Kyle and Chris know Robert Johnson.
My only criticism is that the foot has required a few touch ups. More cosmetic than dangerous as I like my photos to show a clean char line.
Strength is now a very smooth medium body.
The boys never say what strength the cigar is on their web site. One must smoke it before finding out. Little devils.
But then, I’ve only smoked 2-1/4”. Time will tell.
Now this is a $10 cigar. As most smokers won’t be able to afford a pack of 50 at $8 a pop, I believe EZ sold a lot of 5, 10, and 20 packs.
The Blessed Leaf Theophany is a very smoky cigar. I find myself coughing as the smoke encircles my pinhead. Sort of like “Peanuts” Pig Pen.
I’m taking my time enjoying the Blessed Leaf Theophany…only taking a few puffs every 2-3 minutes. It gives the palate a chance to relax before slamming flavors home again.
Now it’s medium/full.
There is an English West Country dessert and I cannot remember its name. While playing in Curved Air, I drove to Devon with the band leader, Darryl, and we stopped at the home where he grew up. His mom made us tea and caramel apple pie and crumpets with clotted cream.
I taste that devilish clotted cream in the Blessed Leaf Theophany. And the caramel apple pie.
The West Country is a gorgeous part of Britain and very upscale.
We were on the way to Torquay to play a gig. It’s right on the far end of the tip of the island and is a big tourist attraction for the beaches.
The transitions keep coming. According to the sage and wise Sonny and Cher:
“The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding
A rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da”
In this case, the Blessed Leaf Theophany keeps pounding flavors to the brain.
I’m at the delicious halfway point.
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
A new component enters the picture: a nice campfire smokiness. Charred oak.
With a meaty element.
And then I drop the cigar right on to my lap. I screech because I’m just wearing boxers and I fear my naughty bits might catch on fire. I do a quick check and all is well. The cigar merely bounced off.
Now tell me….what other reviewer would tell you such intimate details?
Now, let us dissect the malts: Biscuit Malt, Caramel Wheat Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Cara Munich Malt, and Peated Malt. (See Malt Chart).
Malts really make the blend whole.
The graham cracker is super bold now. So is the marshmallow. The chocolate completes the recipe.
The blend is moving towards full body.
And the dreaded nicotine kicks in. Oy.
I know I’ve been accused of using this term too often but the Blessed Leaf Theophany is now a bona fide Flavor Bomb.
The sweet spot is dripping down my leg.
I don’t have a clue how the EZ boys put out so many blends so quickly. While most manufacturers put out one or two blends a year….EZ puts them out every 30 minutes.
When do they have time to sleep?
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
What a journey!
The nicotine is causing me to type the same word 4 times. Typos.
I have become the Rain Man.
This is the perfect blend for the sophisticated palate.
If I pass out, I hope I just slip to the floor and not hit my head on the keyboard.
The caramel apple pie element is pungent and strong. So is the clotted cream.
The spiciness returns with a vengeance. But now it is black pepper instead of red pepper.
The flavor profile of the Blessed Leaf Theophany is like a spinning roulette.
Constant changes. The Blessed Leaf Theophany is about a perfect cigar blend as they come.
No more burn issues.
I will have to deduct a point for the early char line issues.
The Blessed Leaf Theophany is very full bodied now.
And I think I’m going blind. Good thing I know how to type.
My mother made me take a typing class in high school in preparation for college. I was the only boy in the class. Humiliating. But I thank my mother for forcing me to take the class.
Ordinarily, I can type 70wpm. Under the influence of nicotine, it is only 5wpm.
The last 1-1/2” is pure manna. No flavors have escaped. Rather, they are intensified.
I’m pretty sure I’ve missed some flavors. Such an intense blend.
Currently, the Blessed Leaf Theophany is backordered. When they return, snag as many as you can behind your wife’s back. When she looks at your bank statement online, tell her Ezra Zion is a charity that feeds poor African children. And cross your fingers she buys it.
What a blend! Kudos to Kyle and Chris.
Final smoke time is nearly two hours.
Thanks to Bryan Kinnaman for sending me a stick and to Kyle and Chris for sending me samples.
If you haven’t read my latest post, “Thank You,” please read it now.
And now for something completely different:
I was in the midst of doing the PR crap with Butch Patrick for our hit single: “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” Yes, it was sort of a hit. We sold over 200,000 units before the F.B.I swooped in and shut Rocshire Records down (Google Rocshire Records and read the articles. Wikipedia is pretty good). And shut down just weeks before I got my check for $50K.
The record company forced me to go along with Butch, across the country, promoting the single. Back then, Butch had a real drinking and substance abuse problem. Of course, back in the early 80’s, everyone was living on the Beverly Hills diet of champagne and cocaine. They felt he needed a babysitter. Me.
Getting your record played was just as crooked as it was in the 1950’s. You had to grease the radio program director with money and drugs. Otherwise, take a hike. It’s probably still going on. I got screwed by several program directors that took large sums of money from me and never played the single once.
We were in Minneapolis. It was Halloween. I forget the guy’s name but he was a huge hit in that area for his TV show that was along the same format as all the horror movie shows. He dressed up like Beetlejuice and made a total ass of himself all the way to the bank.
Butch did the show and we were invited to his house for the biggest Halloween party in Minneapolis.
No kidding. His home looked like the one from “Psycho.” A gazillion people were drinking and doing drugs. The TV guy had a special room that was kept locked from the inside. He took us, and a few other people, in this room and I saw the biggest pile of cocaine splayed across a table. They were doing paramedic 911 call quantities up their noses. I watched as Butch tried to do the whole thing at once.
I told Butch we had to leave and to meet me in the car. I waited and waited. Finally, he came out and said he wanted to stay. I told him no. We had to fly to NYC in the morning and do a syndicated NBC show.
He finally showed up to the hotel around 4am. He woke me up because he brought 20 people back with him. I told him we have to get up at 6am. “Get some sleep.” His eyes had no white in them. Totally black. Scared the hell out of me and I wondered if I would find him dead in the morning.
I got up and found him unconscious on the hotel room floor. And there were maybe 8-10 people left, all asleep on the floor. Some of the girls were naked.
I couldn’t get him up. He pleaded with me to cancel the show that morning. I was furious. I threw water on him. Nothing. No response.
I called NBC and made my excuses that Butch was sick. Could we please do it tomorrow? Begrudgingly, they said yes.
And then Butch told me to call them back because he would do the show.
I lost it. I jumped on him throwing him to the floor and got on top of him. I began to strangle him. He yelped for me to stop. My senses returned.
I threw a $20 bill on Butch’s chest, along with his plane ticket, and told him to get his ass to NYC tomorrow. And then I packed my stuff and left for home.
Yes, he made the show. But all the management, press agent, and record company took turns yelling at me for leaving him alone for 24 hours. I think I was about to have a nervous breakdown.
And now for something completely different Part 2:
1975 My Curved Air Adventures
I hated how cheap management was when they sent us on tours of the European Continent. Since Amsterdam was always our first country, they sent us via ferry from England to the Hook of Holland. Basically, an overnight trip. Those waters are extremely rough and I got sea sick every time.
So I went to my doc and she prescribed Valium. Dramamine was just not cutting it.
The roadies always left a couple days before the band so a ritual began in which I traveled with them which gave me a couple days to recover.
We had a baseline of road crew. Five guys. We would then have the Dutch office provide the rest of the crew. Maybe another 10-15 roadies.
Beric Wickens and Moray Smith took good care of me because I was the only one in the band that didn’t treat the roadies like sub species. I didn’t have the enormous ego that the rest of the band had.
We were standing on the dock waiting for the 16 wheeler to arrive with our gear. While waiting, Led Zep’s crew showed up doing the exact same thing. They arrived in a taxi.
These guys were really nuts! I’m sure they were high as hell. They handed the cab driver a few hundred English pounds and began to take the taxi apart…just for fun.
It took a little over an hour.
The cab driver nearly had apoplexy as he watched this. The Zep crew was made of really big guys and rough in every term of the word.
We left the cab driver and got on the boat. It was a huge ferry. We had state rooms and were to arrive in Holland around 7am.
So we went to the first class restaurant where they served you family style. Everyone at a big table. We had some pretty upscale clientele sitting with us. And they had no sense of humor.
The Zep roadies were drunk and it was “Fuck this, and fuck that” all through dinner. “Gimme dose fookin’ peas, huh darlin’?”
I have to hand it to the upper 1% at our table. They stayed the entire time. Even when the Zep roadies began throwing mash potatoes and peas at each other.
I was so embarrassed. The Zep roadies must have lived in a parallel world. Being civil just wasn’t in their DNA.
It was getting late. Beric told me to take my Valium and drink a 20oz glass of English beer. And then go to bed. And that I should remember to roll with the boat. That’s how you keep from getting sea sick. The thing is I don’t drink so it really hit me hard.
I remember climbing into my rack, totally wasted, and rolling with the waves as we left England. I fell asleep and didn’t wake until we were there.
I never got to meet the band members of Zep but the roadies were a lot of fun.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS