When you mention the name Ronald Reagan in mixed company you will get a wide range of responses. However, in circles of cigar smokers, who disproportionally are republicans, cigars are enjoyed in his name. While I can attribute qualities of leadership and intelligence to the fortieth Commander in Chief, to be honest, I find more in conflict than in union with his, and his party’s, ideals.
From the rollers of Ezra Zion, regardless of party affiliation, cigar smokers can enjoy a pair of cigars bearing the President’s name. A Nicaraguan, Cuban seed cigar, the blend comes in two offerings, the Churchill (54 x 6.75) sized “President,” and the 52 by 6 box pressed “40th” which I am enjoying today.
The box press isn’t as exaggerated as other rollers’ interpretations of the vitola, but exhibits subtle squared sides that I enjoy holding in my fingers and between my teeth. The wrapper is expertly placed, camouflaging the edges of the exterior leaf almost flawlessly. Combined with the oily, reddish brown hue of the tobacco, it is an example of the artistry that is the cigar.
The talent of the roller acts as the introduction, an aesthetic the bridge to the blender’s complex and delicious crescendo of smoke. An earthy, sweet, prelight draw is transformed into a peppery drum roll that gets my mustache twirling as smoke plumes out of my nose. A slight metallic backend shows itself around the edges of my palate, but evaporates from the cigar’s profile once about a half inch of ash is formed.
As the pepper and spice notes temper with a nice leather backend, this medium full cigar remains enjoyable, avoiding any overly earthy or acrid off flavors that I feel sometimes persist in lesser Nicaraguan sticks.
This cigar was quite enjoyable, and I can only hope a cigar honoring Carter (perhaps a candela for his mild nature) or Lyndon Johnson can join the ranks of the “Reagan” series of cigars produced by Ezra Zion.
I won’t hold my breath though.
Happy smoking, to both sides of the isle!