|Ezra Zion Eminence – Robusto
At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ezra Zion Cigar Company showcased their third core line and fourth blend overall, the Ezra Zion Eminence. The Eminence is a significant cigar for the company for two reasons. First it is the company’s first foray into a maduro cigar. Secondly, it is the company’s first non-Nicaraguan puro as it uses a San Andres Mexican maduro wrapper. The cigar is made by Casa Fernandez cigars. When it comes to working with the San Andres Mexican maduro wrapper, I’ve been on the record many times as saying Casa Fernandez is at the top of the game when it come to blending a cigar with this wrapper. The Ezra Zion Eminence is no exception. This is one heck of a cigar. Just when I thought the limited edition Ezra Zion Tantrum was the best release, along comes the Eminence and raises the bar even higher.
In a little over a year, Ezra Zion has really developed a loyal following. With the company’s energy and the quality releases, we named Ezra Zion Cigar Company one of our 2013 Five Boutiques to Watch going into the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show. The releases of the Tantrum and now the Eminence helped solidify this selection for us.
At this point, let’s dive right into the Ezra Zion Eminence and see what this particular cigar brings to the table:
While this is the first Ezra Zion to not leverage a Nicaraguan wrapper, the remainder of the blend remains Nicaraguan.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan (Double)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Grade AA Nicaraguan Tobaccos Aged 5 to 7 Years)
The Eminence is currently available in six vitolas. There are three box-press and three rounded vitolas.
Belicoso Gran Toro: 5 x 58
Box Press Belicoso: 7 x 48
Box Press Exquisito: 6 1/4 x 52
Box Press Churchill: 7 x 48
Corona: 6 x 46
Robusto: 5 1/4 x 50
For this cigar experience, I sampled the Ezra Zion Eminence Robusto. The San Andres wrapper of the Eminence Robusto has a dark chocolate color. Upon closer examination, there are some darker spots on the wrapper. The wrapper is also on the bumpy side. The color and the bumps on the wrapper were also noticeable on the Corona and Box Press Exquisito frontmarks. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. Overall the wrapper had a lot of charm to this cigar.
There are two bands on the Tantrum. The color scheme and design are similar to the Jamais Vu and Tantrum. Both have a silver font and black background color scheme. The primary band features the logo that pays homage to the two deceased children of the company owners. This primary band features the “EZ” logo in the middle – surrounded by a shield. There are two silver angels to the left and right and eternal flame at the top. Below the shield it says “EZRA ZION” in silver. The remainder the band has silver and black striping around it.
The Eminence Robusto started with a short blast of pepper. It was soon joined by some cocoa notes. The cocoa notes quickly moved to the forefront. The pepper notes receded into the background and were joined by by some cream notes. Meanwhile the pepper could also be detected on the retro-hale.
The cocoa notes remained in the forefront for the duration of the smoking experience. I did notice the cocoa took on an interesting pattern. There were times the cocoa had what I would term more of a “cocoa powder” taste. There were other times where I felt the cocoa had more of a “rich chocolate” taste. These variations swapped in and out throughout most of the smoking experience. The pepper notes remained in the background. The cocoa and chocolate gave the Eminence the right amount of sweetness as well. At the same time there was a “tobacco” quality to these flavors.
In the second half, the pattern of the cocoa continued, but the pepper spice started to ramp up. The spice approached the forefront, but it never got overwhelming. There was no harshness at the end of the cigar. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn and draw scored quite well on the Eminence Robusto. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. I wouldn’t describe the resulting ash as tight, but it had enough firmness to not be prone to any significant flaking or flowering. The ash itself was a darker salt and pepper color pattern. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Ezra Zion Eminence – Robusto
The draw to the Eminence Robusto was excellent. It was not too loose and not too tight. It made the Eminence a very low maintenance cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
Overall, I did not find the Eminence Robusto to be a nicotine bomb. I assessed its strength level to be medium from start to finish. While I noticed the Corona and Box Press Exquisito vitolas increased in strength to medium to full, I found (for whatever reason), the Robusto did not do this. As for the flavors, there was some nice depth to them. The flavors stayed on the medium to full side from start to finish. As for strength versus body, the Eminence Robusto is going to emphasize flavor – thus the body has the advantage here.
It was very interesting smoking several different vitolas of the Ezra Zion Eminence line. I found each brought some unique characteristics. However, the one vitola I kept coming back to was the Robusto. The ironic thing is I think from a complexity standpoint, the Robusto probably did not offer as much as the Corona or Box-Press Exquisito. On the other hand from a flavors standpoint, I felt the Robusto stood high above any of the other vitolas. 2013 might go down as the “Year of the Maduro” as it has certainly be a banner year for them. The Ezra Zion Eminence holds its own among some of the best of them. This is a cigar I’d certainly recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is not only a cigar I’d reach for again, but one I’d recommend a box purchase of.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Source: The cigars for this assessment was provided by Ezra Zion Cigar Company. The samples were received in order to provide feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the samples, but in no way does this influence this write-up.