If you’ve only been smoking cigars for the last few years—or only following the cigar market for that period of time—your knowledge of Ezra Zion is likely quite different than what the company once was.
Today, Ezra Zion is noted for its cigars, coffee, beard oil, spirits and white partnerships and its on again-off again ownership of Cigar Federation. Cigar-wise, Ezra Zion is now largely known for its plethora of highly limited releases that are sold through its online stores. The company seems to have shifted strategies from selling cigars in a traditional manner to selling cigars direct.
In April 2013, Ezra Zion released Tantrum, a 4 11/25 (4.44 inches) x 44 petit corona that was aggressive in just about every way. Perhaps most notably was its $9.50 price tag, which even today is a premium. Despite the price, Tantrum was well-received. It went on to win The Consensus in 2013 and was regarded as one of the better cigars the company released.
I reviewed the cigar first as a preproduction offering and enjoyed the flavor, but had some construction issues:
There are two problem Ezra Zion will face with Tantrum: price and how soft the cigars are. While both could change, the latter seems more likely. While there were issues with tunneling—the draw and smoke production were both excellent and far from concerning. That being said, if I walked into a shop and picked up a cigar this soft, I’d have some questions. None of Ezra Zion’s releases have been particularly in the value range, albeit, none are tougher pills to swallow than the $9.50 price for a 4.44 x 44. All that being said, this is a good cigar. There are three defined and enjoyable profiles that combine for a harmony that a lot of cigars fail to achieve. I think the price is perfectly acceptable for what the cigar gives you, even in it’s small form, but it won’t be surprising to me when many turn down an opportunity to smoke just one because of the aforementioned concerns.
A year or so later, I revisited the cigar and found it to still be enjoyable, though some construction issues remained:
I had hoped for more in this cigar. After nearly one year, the Tantrum is a good cigar, it’s just not a great cigar. I had hoped that there would be a dynamic profile with contrasting richness. The Tantrum is not that. It is however a cigar with developed flavors and some construction issues. Ultimately, the issue is hardly flavor or construction, it’s all about price. There are still cigars to be found on shelves and I imagine if it was $4.44, not $9.50 that would not be the case. Good cigar, bad price.
When I opened up my redux box and saw the Tantrum, I knew that’s what I wanted to smoke. I cannot remember the last time I smoked an Ezra Zion and was generally curious how the potent Tantrum had aged.
- Cigar Reviewed: Ezra Zion Tantrum
- Country of Origin: USA
- Factory: Casa Fernández Miami
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Criollo)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 4 11/25 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Petit Corona
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 28, $266)
- Release Date: April 26, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 28 Cigars (42,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
This sample was stored in cellophane and I’m thankful for that because it seems to have preserved the enjoyable aroma I’m greeted with; the wrapper is mostly chocolate, but there’s some fruitiness behind it, notably a peach and sweet ketchup flavor. Most importantly, there’s zero signs of harshness or acidity. The foot is a bit stronger, still medium-full and still chocolate forward with peach skin, creaminess and nuttiness behind that. It’s a similar story on the cold draw: chocolate, lots of twang, barbecue-flavored sunflower seeds and that distinct peach flavor.
While the start isn’t boring, it’s quite pedestrian compared to the cold draw: salty earth, strawberries and white pepper. For as complex and layered as all of the pre-light aromas and cold draw were, once lit the Tantrum just doesn’t blend together well. The first third settles to an extremely toasty earthy flavor over straw, pineapple and white pepper. Retrohales produce a lot of kiwi, creaminess and white pepper—but it’s tough for the cigar to blend well. It gets saltier in the second third, though the earthiness remains the main flavor, now joined by some paprika and grassiness underneath. By the final third, the Tantrum gets a bit sweeter, though earthiness, toastiness and creaminess are the main flavors. Behind that is some refreshing mint, orange peel and white pepper. The finish has some black pepper and an extremely burnt bread flavor.
Keeping the cigar lit is a struggle from pretty early on. I try to avoid the cigar going out by increasing my puff rate, but the resulting bright red foot of the cigar only makes the flavor extremely harsh. Unfortunately, touch-ups are needed in all three parts of the relatively short cigar. Flavor and body are full for the first two thirds with strength starting medium-plus before reducing itself. By the end the Ezra Zion Tantrum is medium-full in flavor and body while strength is medium.
Based on everything prior to lighting the Tantrum up, I had extremely high expectations for this Ezra Zion. Unfortunately, those hopes disappeared upon first puff. What showed all the signs of a balanced and nuanced cigar collapsed into an earth bomb impacted negatively by constant relights. Cigars cannot age forever and five years of age hasn't done favors to the Tantrum.