June 29, 2015

Ezra Zion Releases New Cigar "All My EX's"


Ezra Zion Cigar Company announces the release of it’s newest cigar All My EX’s!

“We are constantly trying to challenge ourselves in our blending. The next cigar has to be better than the last.” said co-owner Kyle Hoover. “All My EX’s is a blend that we’ve been working on for over a year to perfect.”

All My EX’s is produced in Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa factory, owned by close friend Noel Rojas. 

“When I tried the Ezra Zion All My EX’s blend I told Chris and Kyle, ‘This is the best cigar I’ve ever made in this factory’.” noted Rojas.

All My EX’s is a medium-strength, full bodied cigar. Flavors include creamed coffee, earth, leather, nuanced with baking spices, cashews, and bitter-sweet chocolate.

It is the company’s first release featuring an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. Fillers are Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo. 

All My EX’s is presented in raw wood cabinet style boxes of 25 cigars. It features the new Ezra Zion 2015 “Republic of Texas” logo on both the box and the band. Total production is 800 boxes. 

All My EX’s comes in 3 sizes: 5x50 Robusto, 6x52 Toro, and a 7x42 Lancero. MSRP is $8.95 for Toro and Lancero and $8.50 for Robusto. 

“This is ‘next level’ Ezra Zion. We are having fun making great cigars. I think it comes out in this blend. So many people are trying to figure out how to innovate in this industry. We finally realized that the greatest innovation we can do is to remember why we got into this business in the first place. It’s because we love cigars! They are there with us at the best moments of our lives.” added co-owner Chris Kelly.

All My EX’s will be immediately available for purchase from House of Emilio sales personnel. 

For more information, please contact sales@ezrazion.com.

June 27, 2015

1502 Nicaragua Churchill (7 x 48)





Video review HERE.


This is the newest edition from 1502; the 1502 Nicaragua churchill. It uses the same tobaccos that were used in the original 1502 robusto. Up until now the 1502 Nicaragua only came in the robusto size but they decided to expand the line to include a churchill size. It is a box pressed cigar, just like the robusto. It is also made in the A. J. Fernandez factory. 

The 1502 Nicaragua contains tobaccos from the four main growing regions of Nicaragua: Esteli, Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe. This cigar fits right in between the 1502 Emerald and 1502 Ruby - as a "medium plus" cigar.

I reviewed the robusto size last year and it made my Top 10 for the year. For fun you might want to look back at that review and compare it to this review.

The cigar uses a "cigar lock" at the foot. It is partially closed as you can see.




The test draw after cutting the cap was perfect with just a touch of firmness. The initial flavors were sweet pink grapefruit, nutmeg, cream, and roasted nuts. The finish was sweet cream with roasted nuts. The pepper was a light black pepper rated at a 7.


About one inch in the main flavors are consistent but at the base there are light black coffee notes. The cigar is medium bodied. The finish is unchanged and very nice.



Close to the midpoint the nutmeg is prominent and has a touch of butter. The pink grapefruit, roasted nuts, coffee and cream are consistent. The cigar is still medium bodied. The finish is unchanged.



At the end the sweetness elevated along with the strength. It is now medium to full bodied. The other notes remained about the same. This cigar is pretty much a longer version of the robusto I reviewed last year, which is not a bad thing. I enjoyed this cigar very much. If you're a fan of the robusto version you will be a fan of these. Look for them at shops that carry the 1502 brand.


Score: 93

June 25, 2015

DURAN CIGARS TO INTRODUCE THE "BIG JACK" 7x70 NEYA F8 AT 2015 IPCPR‏




(Miami, Florida) June 25, 2015—Roberto Duran Premium Cigars, doing business as Duran Cigars, one of the fastest growing boutique cigar companies, will unveil a line extension for the Neya F-8 Ligero Typhoon during this year's IPCPR in July. The new size will be 7 x 70 and aptly named "Big Jack" after Jack Torano, the company's representative.

Robert Pelayo Duran, owner of Duran Cigars, said this of the decision, "As we all know, Jack Torano has a larger than life personality, so I figured that it was a natural fit to name the Neya F8 7 x 70 after him. He (Jack) had been pushing for the bigger size because there is a growing segment of cigar consumers that enjoy not only a full-flavored cigar, but a larger sized cigar as well. We look forward to presenting the "Big Jack" and feel that this new vitola will really impress those looking for the ultimate in size and strength."

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would have a cigar name inspired by me, but what better cigar than the Neya F8 7 x 70. The Neya F8 has been a smash hit for us. There are many consumers that are looking for a full size-strength cigar and this one delivers. It's well balanced with complex flavors and it packs a punch! I'm very excited about it and I really look forward to introducing the "Big Jack" at the IPCPR." said Jack Torano.

The Neya Premium Cigar Brand was introduced during the 2014 IPCPR and it comes in a cedar 20 count cabinet. Both the filler and binder is Nicaraguan, while the wrapper is a Habana Ecuador. The Neya F-8 Ligero Typhoon, which is a full bodied version of the Neya Classic, is currently available in six sizes. The "Big Jack" will carry the same blend as the Typhoon but will pack an extra punch for those looking for that bigger size and strength.

In other news: Duran Cigars is proud to unveil a newly designed website. Please visit www.robertodurancigars.com for up to date news on events, and store availability.

Roberto Pelayo Duran began his life’s work in his homeland of Havana, Cuba where tobacco grabbed a hold of him, and never let go. Supervising the production of cigar manufacturing in Cuba was only the beginning as he later went on to assemble and manage distribution of all Cuban cigar brands for Asia at The Pacific Cigar Company Ltd. The creation of Duran Cigars has given Roberto the platform to introduce cigar brands that offer the same quality, construction, and detail which he expected from those he supervised while in Cuba. Duran Cigars brands include Azan, Roberto P. Duran Signature, Neya, and Baracoa.

June 24, 2015

1502 Nicaragua adds new vitola


Global Premium Cigars has added a new vitola to their 1502 Nicaragua line-up. The new vitola is a 7x48 box pressed churchill. Previously the only size available for the 1502 Nicaragua was the robusto.

The 1502 Nicaragua contains tobaccos from the four main growing regions of Nicaragua: Esteli, Jalapa, Condega, and Ometepe. This cigar fits right in between the 1502 Emerald and 1502 Ruby - as a "medium plus" cigar.

The 1502 Nicaragua robusto made my Top 10 of 2014.

The blend for the new churchill is the same as the robusto.

June 21, 2015

Perdomo Small Batch 2005 Maduro Belicoso (5x54)




Video review HERE.


This is the final installment in the Perdomo Small Batch 2005 series. All the cigars in the series use the same binder and filler with only the wrappers changing. This cigar uses a Nicaraguan maduro wrapper. Perdomo says the tobacco for the Small Batch 2005 release was aged for 10 years and the wrappers spent some time in bourbon barrels. All the cigars are made at Tabacalera Perdomo in Estelí, Nicaragua.

It is available in the same four sizes and prices: 
Half Corona (4 x 46, $4.99)
Rothschild (4 1/2 x 50, $5.99)
Belicoso (5 x 54, $6.50) (REVIEWED TODAY)
Toro Especial (5 1/4 x 54)

All sizes are limited to 3,000 boxes per vitola, per wrapper for a total of 1.08 million cigars.

Here is a shot of the foot.




The test draw after cutting the tip of the cap was very good. The initial flavors were chocolate, espresso, and nutmeg. The chocolate has a little sweetness. The cigar is heavy on the espresso. There was black pepper rated at an 8. This cigar produced a lot of smoke! There is an earthy finish; somewhat like earthy coffee.


1 1/2 inches in and the flavors have not changed. There is a little earthiness mixed in the front end but that's not unusual for these other flavors. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.



At about the midpoint the same flavors are present but now there is a slight amount of butter which gives the cigar a semi-richness. It is not overly buttery but I detected some. The finish is now a toasted cream with a small amount of lingering pepper. The cigar is moving toward medium to full bodied.



The cigar ended with a touch of sweet cedar. By and large this is not a sweet cigar. There is some in the chocolate and now the cedar but not much else. The espresso plays a huge part. The finish was about the same. The cigar is medium to full bodied. This is a very dark noted cigar. I could see this as an after dinner cigar.

Score: 89

June 20, 2015

Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber Epicure (6 1/2 x 54)




Video review HERE.


Perdomo Cigars has introduced a new line of cigars that have been specifically createded to pair with various beers.  The Perdomo Craft Series is available in three traditional wrapper options – Connecticut Shade, Sun Grown Habano, and Maduro.  Each of the three blends are meant to complement a specific type of beer.

The Perdomo Special Craft Series Amber features a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper from the Jalapa Valley. It is meant to be paired with ambers, IPAs, lagers, pale ales, and Oktoberfests.


Wrapper: Jalapa (Nicaragua) Sun Grown
Binder: Condega (Nicaragua)
Filler: Esteli (Nicaragua)


Each of the four sizes are packaged in 25 count boxes

Robusto: 5 1/2 x 54
Epicure: 6 1/2 x 54 (REVIEWED TODAY)
Gordo: 6 x 60
Churchill: 7  x 54


The band is among the largest you will see. The cigar has a nice feel in the hand and appears to be fairly dense.




After removing the large band and cutting the cap the test draw was very good. The initial flavors were sweet pink grapefruit, boysenberry, leather, cream, and light black pepper rated at a 7 1/2.


About one inch in. Add about 2 to 3 minutes to the times shown. I forgot to start the timer at light up! Now, if you were to take all the flavors, mix them in a bowl in equal amounts, and spoon them out and taste them that's the flavor you have. The flavors are very sweet. The leather notes are a fresh, new leather. The ash is almost solid white!  



2 inches in the boysenberry notes have gone away but the pink grapefruit notes are very sweet and there is some cream to give a thick sweetness. There is still the leather. There are now some nutmeg notes also. The cigar is medium bodied. The is a nice sweet cream with some lingering pepper.



About 2 1/2 inches remaining and the pink grapefruit notes have changed to a cedar with sweet cherry notes. The leather notes have really moved forward and become prominent. There are still cream notes to mellow out the front end flavors. The nutmeg, which is still on the front end has really influenced the finish. It combines with the sweet cream. The cigar is medium to full bodied now.



At the end you have a sweet cherry with lots of fresh leather notes. The cream was subdued. I didn't get much of the cedar anymore. The nutmeg is faint, at best, on the front end but it's really noticed on the finish. The pepper seems to be more pronounced. The cigar is the upper end of medium to full bodied. I simply don't know if this cigar pairs well with the beers shown but I'm sure beer drinkers will tell me. I am judging the cigar on it's merits alone. This cigar had several major changes, which I like. A very enjoyable cigar with drastic changes.


Score: 92

June 14, 2015

La Musa Melete Lancero (7 x 40)




Video review HERE.


This is the second of the La Musa Melete cigars that I'm reviewing. Back on April 5, 2014 I reviewed the toro size. That cigar scored a nice 92 rating. Lanceros are known to have a more intense flavor, sometimes, due to their small size and the rollers using only the most crucial leaves for the cigar.

La Musa Melete is the second blend in the Greek themed series. Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars had this to say about Melete:

The Melete blending was completed earlier this year, and yields a somewhat stronger, but equally complex cigar as compared to the original.

As far as the name goes, in Greek mythology, Melete (Μελέτη) was one of the three original (Boeotian) Muses, though there were later nine.

From the House of Emilio website:
Muses are here to inspire. La Musa Cigars pay tribute to a dear friend of ours known to do just that. Mousa, is a unique blend, produced in Esteli, Nicaragua from carefully selected tobaccos. This cigar will be limited in quantity based on harvest conditions. A true masterpiece in the finest
tradition.

These cigars are available in 5 sizes;
Robusto 5x50
Toro 6x50 
Torpedo 6x52
Corona 5 1/2x46
Lancero 7x40 (REVIEWED TODAY)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

This is a Nicaraguan puro. The cigar is extremely well made with no defects. The wrapper has a nice semi-gloss sheen. Here is a shot of the foot.




The cigar also has a nice pigtail at the cap.




I decided to clip the pigtail instead of twisting the pigtail off the cigar. The test draw was very good with a touch of firmness. The initial flavors were a sweet boysenberry and brown sugar. There also seems to be an underlying flavor of white chocolate. There was black pepper rated at an 8. The finish could not be pinned down at light up so I decided to let the cigar settle down.



About one inch in the flavors settled down into a buttery sweet cedar and brown sugar. I don't really get the boysenberry and white chocolate notes now. The finish is a buttery cream with a lot of sweetness and nice lingering pepper. Simply put, the flavors are fantastic!



About 3 inches in the white chocolate notes are back! The other flavors are about the same. The white chocolate gives the cigar a thick depth. These flavors are so sweet they remind me of a buttery cream icing on a cake. These flavors carry over to the finish also. There is now a touch of toasty notes on the sweet, buttery cream. The cigar is the high end of medium bodied at this point. The cigar is burning very evenly.




With about 2 1/2 inches remaining the brown sugar has taken over. It is thick and deep. The cedar is still there and the buttery notes give the cigar some richness. There are cream notes to mellow it out. The cigar is now full bodied. The finish is about the same and amazing tasting. 



At the end there was a high concentration of sweet cedar, butter, and brown sugar. The flavors are fantastic. The finish is still great. The cigar is definitely full bodied now. This has been a fantastic cigar and I liked it better than the toro previously reviewed. You simply must try this cigar even if you're not a lancero fan. The flavors are intense and extremely pleasing!

Score: 94

June 13, 2015

Ezra Zion Tantrum PA (6 1/2 x 44)





Video review HERE.


The Ezra Zion Cigar Company launched a line extension to its Tantrum line at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show.  The Ezra Zion Tantrum P.A. is a lonsdale format.  While this cigar is a different size, it is also a different blend.

The “P.A.” stands for “Passive Aggressive” and as described by Ezra Zion co-founder Kyle Hoover "the cigar has more strength in the early stages, then it mellows in the second third before ramping up on the final third".

Ezra Zion says they did not have the tobaccos from the original Ezra Zion Tantrum to create another cigar, but they looked for tobaccos that would deliver a cigar that incorporates some of the profiles of the original. 

Ezra Zion is considering making the Tantrum series an annual release, but a final decision hasn’t been made.

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available:

The Ezra Zion Tantrum P.A. will be available in one size – a 6 1/2 x 44 lonsdale.  
A total of 600 boxes were made.

I reviewed the original Tantrum last year and it was one of the best cigars I reviewed in 2014. Since this is a different blend I am curious as to whether this cigar will be as good as the original.

The cigar is very well made and beautiful to look at. It is box pressed.




The gauge of the cigar is the same as the original Tantrum; 44, and they stretched the length to a lonsdale at 6 1/2 inches.

Here is a shot of the foot:




The test draw after cutting the cap was very good with just a touch of firmness. The initial flavors were orange citrus and graham crackers with nice sweetness, along with some brown sugar and dry wood. There was white pepper rated at a 7 1/2.


About 1 1/2 inches in the citrus notes are overshadowed by the heavy graham cracker and cinnamon. The dry wood is also very prominent. The cigar is very meaty, almost like a good steak. The cigar is a tad over medium bodied. The finish is a sweet cream with some dry wood and a little lingering white pepper.



Into the second third the cigar is a sweet cedar, brown sugar, and cinnamon with quite a bit of influence from the dry wood and there is now light coffee at the base. The strength does not appear to have changed much but it possibly went down just a tad. The finish is about the same.



The cigar ended at a definite medium to full bodied. It really amped up! The flavors are a sweet cedar, cinnamon, and brown sugar with dry wood. The light coffee is still at the base. The pepper seems to be wanting to transition to a black pepper. The finish is about the same. The strength of the cigar is the big news here at the end. This cigar is not, after having it, the same as the original Tantrum. However, it is very good. The flavors are somewhat similar and do remind me of the original, which I liked a little better. But, this is a good cigar in it's own right and lovers of the original will like this one as well.


Score: 92

June 09, 2015

Boveda to donate 50% of sales on June 10-11th to CRA‏




Boveda is going to donate 50% of all sales on June10-11th at BovedaStore.com to CRA. Not 50% of margin, not 50% up to a certain limit - 50% of all total retail product sales. Someone spends $100, we're sending $50 to CRA.

Charles Rutherford of Boveda explains, "The idea was hatched at Cigar Fest when I was talking with Glynn Loope about how we might be able to help pump up donations, separate from membership fees.

There may not be a busier or more committed man in the cigar industry that Glynn and CRA, so we wanted to do our best to help support his incredibly valuable efforts."

From the Boveda website:
Every day, Cigar Rights of America is actively defending the rights of growers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers of premium cigars. With the FDA’s intention of regulating cigars, their work has never been more important.

Because we’re committed to the health of the cigar industry, we’ve decided to donate 50% of retail sales on June 10-11th to CRA. You heard that right, half of every dollar you spend at BovedaStore.com is going to CRA to help keep the FDA out of your humidor and your decisions.

There’s never been a better time to stock up on Boveda. Forward this to your family with your Father’s Day requests, forward it to your cigar pals and let them know.

And by all means, show your commitment to the rights of cigar fans and become a member of CRA.


June 07, 2015

E. P. Carrillo La Historia Regalias de Celia (5 7/8 x 58) Pre-Release Review





Video review HERE.

The Regalias de Celia is a box pressed belicoso using the same blend as the previously released La Historia cigars. The shape brings a new characteristic to the blend. It allows the filler leaves to get more air that is then condensed as the pyramid head creating a superbly phenomenal flavor profile.

Priced at $9.50 retail. These cigars will be debuted at this year's IPCPR.

This is a pre-release review.

I previously reviewed the El Senador in late March, 2015. That cigar scored a 90.

The blend is the same:

Wrapper:  Mexican San Andres
Binder:     Ecuador Sumatra
Filler:       Nicaragua

The cigar is beautiful and expertly made. It has a nice dense feel in the hand.




The test draw after cutting a minute amount from the piramid head was effortless. The initial flavors were sweet nutmeg, boysenberry, and espresso. The sweetness is a low to medium grade sweetness. The espresso is very powerful, The black pepper is rated at a 9.


About one inch in there are still sweet nutmeg notes with subtle boysenberry. There are now sweet chocolate or fudge flavors. The espresso has toned down to a straight black coffee. The cigar is medium to full bodied at least. The finish is cream with some chocolate characteristics. There is a nice amount of lingering black pepper. So far this cigar is greatly different from the El Senador. Could the shape really have this much affect on the flavors?



At the upper band the chocolate notes are really coming out! There are also sweet cream notes toning down the chocolate. The boysenberry and nutmeg notes are no longer there. The finish is unchanged. The cigar is full bodied at this point. I am amazed at the different flavors I am picking up in this cigar versus the El Senador.



The cigar ended with fudge/chocolate notes, light cream, heavy black coffee notes, and nice black pepper. The finish was unchanged. The cigar is full bodied. This cigar is very different in flavors as compared to the El Senador. I had my doubts that it could be that different but it indeed is! This is something for you E. P. Carrillo fans to look forward to. Look for these shortly after this year's IPCPR. Very good cigar!


Score: 92