|Ezra Zion FHK Truth|
The Ezra Zion FHK marked the fifth line to be released by Ezra Zion Cigar Company. The cigar had an official release on January 1st, 2014 – making it for all practical purposes the first cigar to get released for the calendar year of 2014. The cigar was a major departure for Ezra Zion in that it was the company’s most multi-national blend to date – incorporating tobaccos from four different countries. As we close out the 2014 calendar year, we come full circle and take a look at the Ezra Zion FHK as we look at 7 x 44 “Truth” frontmark. Overall, I found this to not only be an excellent cigar, but one that delivers a unique cigar enthusiast.
Ezra Zion Cigar Company is owned by Kyle Hoover and Chris Kelly. The company launched two years ago and quickly gained traction in the marketplace. Late in 2012, they became part of the House of Emilio distribution umbrella. In 2013, we named the company one of our “Five Boutiques to Watch”.
FHK stands for “Fathers of Hoover and Kelly” and pays tribute to the fathers of the two principals of Ezra Zion. It is also the second cigar of the “Honor Series” (the first cigar was originally named “Reagan” to pay homage to the 40th President, but was renamed to just “Honor Series”).
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Ezra Zion FHK Truth and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Ezra Zion has been a company that has focused on Nicaraguan blends . The company’s first three blends (Jamais Vu, Honor Series, and Tantrum) were Nicaraguan puros. The fourth release Eminence was the first to use non Nicaraguan tobacco as it featured a San Andres wrapper. As mentioned, the FHK is a departure in that it uses tobaccos from four countries.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
The Ezra Zion FHK line is available in four sizes:
Inspired: 5 1/2 x 50
Character: 6 x 52 (Belicoso)
Truth: 7 x 44
Stature: 7 x 54
The FHK Truth has a dark mocha-colored wrapper. Upon closer examination, there is some subtle dark marbling on the surface. It is definitely one of the more attractive San Andres Maduro wrappers I have seen. The wrapper has a light coating of oil. There are some thin visible minimal veins. The dark color of the wrapper does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the FHK. Both have a gold font and black background color scheme. The primary band features the logo that pays homage to the two deceased children of the company owners. The primary band features the “EZ” logo in the middle – surrounded by a shield. There are two gold angels to the left and right. Below the shield it says “EZRA ZION” in gold. The remainder the band has gold and black striping around it.
The second band is a footer band with the same gold font and black background color scheme. On the band it features “FHK” in large gold font. Below that text is the text “Honor Series” in gold scripted font. There are gold leaves to the left and right. The top and the bottom of the band has gold trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my FHK Truth, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was successfully clipped I proceeded with the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw was one of the more unique ones I have had. I picked up some earth notes, but I also picked up notes reminiscent of lager malt with some of them specifically reminiscent of a chocolate stout. These notes would be a sign of things to come. At this point, I removed the footer band of the Ezra Zion FHK Truth, lit up the cigar and prepared for the smoking phase.
Overall I didn’t find the FHK Truth to be a cigar that went through radical flavor transitions, but I did find this to be the kind of cigar that offered a nice amount of flavor nuances.
The start to the FHK Truth continued the notes of lager malt I got on the pre-light. I found this to be a very unique flavor, but not anything close to being infused as it exhibited many natural tobacco flavors. I also detected some notes of dark chocolate. In the background I picked up some notes of white pepper. The pepper was also on the retro-hale and exhibited both white and black pepper notes. In the early stages, I also detected some notes of grapefruit.
The lager and dark chocolate notes alternated in intensity. As the smoking experience of the FHK progressed, the lager notes got more prominent. By the second third, the grapefruit sweetness fused with the pepper creating more of a sweet spice. I also detected some notes of earth in the background. Meanwhile, the retro-hale was now more of a black pepper spice.
On the last third, I found the spices to fold into the forefront with the lager notes. There was still an occasional dark chocolate note. This is the way the flavor profile came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
In terms of the burn, this performed rock-solid – and earns the highest rating for this attribute with an “exceptional”. The burn line remained sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting was white in color and remained firm throughout the cigar experience. The FHK Truth was not prone to flaking and the ash came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Ezra Zion FHK Truth|
The draw had a touch of resistance – which is something I like. Overall I found the FHK Truth to be a very enjoyable and low maintenance cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
In terms of the strength and body of the FHK Truth, I found both attributes to balance each other near perfect from start to finish. The FHK Truth started out in the medium range. Somewhere by the midway point, both kicked up into the medium to full range. Both attributes remained medium to full in the second half. At no point did the cigar become a nicotine bomb or were the flavors “too heavy” on the palate.
In a two year plus year span, Ezra Zion has established a nice track record of cigar releases. Perhaps the Ezra Zion FHK is the most underrated of all of them. The FHK has a very unique flavor profile. The lager and chocolate notes give this cigar its own identity. As I mentioned, the best part about these flavors are they still very much have a “tobacco-like quality” to them. I’ve found some variations in terms of the overall experience with the sizes, but there is no question the Truth (lonsdale) is the Belle of the Ball here. As I’ve said a lot, many times I’m critical of the San Andres wrapper because it can overwhelm a blend, but not with the FHK Truth. Finally, based on the samples I have had over the past few months, I’ve seen this flavor profile continue to get better with age.
This is a cigar I’d recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. Given the flavor profile is pretty unique, this is the type of cigar I’d recommend to someone who likes to try something different. As for myself, this is an outstanding cigar. It’s box worthy in my book and one I certainly would smoke again.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy