Ezra Zion Ride or Die Special Edition | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Colorado (Aged 9 Years)
Binder: Undisclosed (Aged 6-13 Years)
Filler: Undisclosed Aged (6-13 Years)
Size: 6 x 52 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $15.00

These cigars were bought from Luxury Cigar Club and I’ve had them marinating naked in my humidor for 3 months. Unfortunately, they are out of stock…always the problem with reviewing a cigar released as a limited edition. Still, LCC is a sponsor, and you get 15% off if you use the promo code ‘katman’…on every purchase. And check out their Platinum Premium Cigar Subscription. I shall be reviewing some soon. You can check out the September Reveal here.

I’ve reviewed 26 Ezra Zion blends since 2014. Back in the day, the boys were deadly serious about their releases; and hence, each one was a real gem. As you all know, that demeanor has changed as they have become one of the few cigar companies trolling Central American tobacco farms for lost and found blends in very small quantities.

Normally, these sticks cost a company around $1.50-$2.00 per stick and then the company fancies them up with Joe Camel appeal and turns around and re-sells them for $8.00-$14.00 each. And let’s not forget the press releases that claim every new blend of 350 cigars is the best blend they’ve ever smoked. As sophisticated smokers are hip to the P.T. Barnum approach, their customers must be inexperienced smokers that are vulnerable to the hype.

I admit that I am a bit confused between two cigars of the same name. One is called an Ezra Zion Ride or Die…and the other is called Nomad by Ezra Zion Ride or Die. I cannot find it except on small online stores you can track down. The Nomad version is a different blend due to the wrapper named as a Rosado. But the description, third by third, by Ezra Zion is identical to the Ezra Zion Ride or Die Special Edition. Here is a link to EZ’s description of the Nomad Rosado Ride or Die version to compare with this blend. There is also a Maduro version of this cigar. It seems like bait and switch, but I’m spit ballin’ here. And to make it even more confusing, prices for all 3 blends are different.

On that note, I hope with all my heart that this blend is top notch.

Below is the EZ description of what appears to be a different blend than the Special Edition I am reviewing today. I made the right move when I purchased my fiver and copying and pasting the EZ description of the blend:
1st 3rd: Dark chocolate, caramel, chocolate malt, heavy whipping cream, Almond Roca, raw cane sugar, black pepper, white oak…
2nd 3rd: Espreso beans, chocolate chips, cinnamon stick, spiced rum, white pepper, clove, dark brown sugar…
3rd 3rd: Brown sugar, toasted marshmallow, toffee, milk chocolate bar, vanilla bean, whiskey barrel, nutmeg, buttercream

Will I taste these flavor wheel elements? I dunno.

Construction seems solid and the draw is bang on. Won’t need my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. Will certainly need it for some of the gems I have hiding in my humidors. Before Dr. Rod came along, I used the dumbest tools in the hope of clearing a plugged cigar. The main issue with the Rube Goldberg crap I used was that none of them grabbed hold of the offending plug and removed it. The PD does exactly that.

The blend begins with a sweet and savory agreeability. Black pepper pops up and does the Bunny Hop.
An initial complexity hits the ground running.

I’m on receive for the dark cocoa and caramel; and the RoD delivers.
More flavors pile on…malt, sugar cane, and creaminess. Again, the EZ description is precise.
Strength immediately hits medium.

I like this cigar. Alert the media. Finally, an EZ blend that reminds me of the good ole days. I knew if I kept plugging away, odds are I’d find something earning the Golden Ticket of bygone Ezra Zion.

The burn is a bit wonky but I’m not messing with it till it needs angry townspeople with with torches to rid the town of a vampire.

Subtleties and nuances dig in their heels and start running in tangential directions causing my palate to clap like a little girl on her 5th birthday party.

Transitions are launched.
The dark chocolate, creaminess, and malt are exquisite…really, my dears. But I taste no Almond Roca. That’s OK. Our palates don’t need to match perfectly.

I’m just happy as a clam that my brain can relax and no longer needs to ferret out insults.

Forward motion stagnates a bit. I expect a lot in the second half. If I experience an old fashion EZ blend, I promise to never brickbat the brand again…until the next time I buy and review one of their sticks.

The stick is burning a tad too quickly. I smoked the first third in less than 15 minutes. Philly don’t like that.

The burn remains wonky like my tax filings. I’m patient. Ever need to sit in front of an IRS agent? Wear diapers. Tip: Begging is futile.

So…am I tasting the EZ description? I’m getting spicy cinnamon. I must add here that the black pepper is in seamless in its attack. Gives the blend some balls but never overwhelms the flavor points.

I know most smokers tire of a reviewer (Guilty) going on and on about exotic flavors. Our palates are so unique to the person that while base flavors may be transferred, the crazy shit is imperceptible. But at the same time, we often pick up our own acorns of amusement.

We have a lot of squirrels here. I see them when I walk, and I try to be a friend…a squirrel whisperer…to no avail. Then again, not a fan of typhus and ringworm.

The blend is not growing. The same flavors we started with are in attendance, but the complexity is stagnant. It should be expanding like your belly at Thanksgiving.

Still, a tasty stick. Is it worth $15? Nope. But then most overpriced sticks are no great shakes.

65 million years ago when I was in high school, we were not allowed to leave the grounds at lunchtime. I did so anyway. I’d go across the street to the Thrifty Drug and sit at the lunch counter. I’d snag a burger and fries and a giant chocolate shake. Every single time, my stomach rejected the shake due to its extreme richness and I spent the afternoon near ground zero of upchucking…and yet I still graduated.

Just before my senior year, I went in to see the counselor about picking my upcoming classes. I sat there shocked when the woman told me I had all the credits for graduating. She recommended I take some city college classes in which the instructor came to the high school.

But when the second semester hit, I was done. I thought that was terrific. But all my friends were still in school, so I had no one to hang with. I found an activity I enjoyed…I rolled a couple doobies and went to the park with a lake a block from our house. I’d buy a couple loaves of cheap bread for 25 cents each and would entertain myself…with the ducks helping. I’d feed them a slice. And then I would have the munchies and I’d eat a slice. Can’t believe I didn’t weigh a metric ton.

There is no change to the flavor profile at the halfway point. Except it meanders into medium/full strength.

I enter the Bat Cave hoping that the blend will now really shine. The sweet spot awaits.

The burn has taken me to 25 minutes. A good Toro should be 90 minutes. I’m not getting there by this conveyance.

A big sip of water and elements are enhanced: Chocolate, malt, creaminess, cinnamon, cane sugar, espresso, black pepper, caramel, vanilla, and rotting wood.
The balance is as true as a plumb bob.

I deposit the drool infested cap into my spittoon.

This is still the best EZ cigar I’ve smoked in years. I just can’t agree that it is worth the price tag.

One of my favorite sponsors has returned to the fold. Casdagli Cigars. Jeremy just doesn’t know how to blend a mediocre cigar. They ain’t cheap but this brand never disappoints. I cannot think of another cigar company that can claim immaculate consistency.

The fancy shmancy liquor elements in the EZ description elude me.
No sign of a sweet spot. The cigar teeters on being a tasty but linear experience.

Charlotte was diagnosed with dementia this year. Her mother, grandmother, and aunt all had Alzheimer’s disease. If you think that getting older gets easier…it doesn’t. Extended life experience only provides more tools to deal with things without panicking. I’m grateful that I am in tip top health so I can take care of her.

The Ride or Die does not possess a sweet spot. Bummer.

The remnant of the cigar sees an uptick in heat and harshness. This Toro will only be a 45-minute smoke. So much for unsullied construction.

Remember when your group of friends created your second family? I get older and it is something I dearly miss.

I wonder what the other Ride or Die blends compare? I may just dust off my wallet and find out.

Good cigar, but falls short on being a great cigar. The potential was there but doesn’t find its fruition. I also think that this cigar should be more in the $10-$12 range.
Considering the highly aged tobacco, this cigar should have hit it out of the park.

I’ll try to use George Carlin’s 7 dirty words in my next review.
Carry on…



Tags: , , , , , , , ,