The Kristoff is a cigar I’ve had list of smokes to try for quite a while now. I first heard about them on a Dog Watch Cigar Radio episode sometime last year. Dale and Bob spoke so glowingly of them, I knew I just had to give them a shot. But then, as is often the case, my plan to track them down got lost the events and cigar reviews of the week. Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago. I heard that an online retail was running a deal on Kristoffs. Oh yeah, I remember those, I thought. I was looking for something new and interesting to review, so I picked up a fiver.
I haven’t been able to find too much information about these cigars. What I do know is that they’re made in the Dominican Republic by Exclusive Cigars (try putting that in a search engine!), and that the maduro debuted in 2007. Reportedly there is a Kristoff with a dark Nicaraguan wrapper out there, but I’ve never seen it.
So was it worth the wait and anticipation? The only way to answer that is with a review. Let’s check it out.
Size: 6 1/8 x 52
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 1/4 hours
The shaggy foot
The Kristoff torpedo is a pretty unusual looking cigar. It’s dark, oily wrapper comes to a sharp point at the end, and ends in a shaggy bit of tobacco at the foot. Instead of ringing this dark cigar with a flashy gold and silver band, the manufacturer instead opted for a pair of rustic, almost leathery looking, light brown bands. As is my habit, I always take a quicker look at the band to see if there’s any interesting quirks or mysterious symbols in the art work. I noticed on closer inspection that the band actually has a texture, almost like scales.
As I mentioned, the wrapper is nicely dark and oily, and I found no surface imperfections. The cigar’s feel varied in the three I smoked for this review. For the most part the cigars were fairly smooth, with a few larger veins. One cigar seemed to be a bit more veiny than the others, and another seemed to have a bit of a soft spot.
The scent of the wrapper was an interesting combination of sweat, chocolate and compost. Since it’s been a while since I hit the gym (so much for resolutions, huh), I’m pretty sure the sweaty smell wasn’t me! Only one of the cigars had enough of a draw when initially clipped to get a read on the cold taste. I tasted molasses.
In stark contrast with last week’s controversial Don Lino Africa review, this cigar had a beautiful, but slow burn. The ash was solid, light, and very attractive. Ashes in excess of an inch were the name of the game. My only complaint with the burn is that the draw was too firm in the last cigar I smoked. The nearly plugged draw did cause that cigar to suffer in the flavor department, but fortunately it opened up in time for me to smoke the second half of the cigar comfortably.
Admit it, you’re jealous of my ash
The first third of this cigar is enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. It began with a rich sweet chocolate flavor and very quickly joined by caramel and a bit of coffee. As it moves into the second third, it becomes creamier and earthier. In the second third, I got pronounced tart citrus. In two of the cigars, this flavor was a bit much, but before very long it became smoother and sweeter again. By the time I smoked into the final third, I started to get a very interesting and enjoyable toasted coconut flavor. There was also a good deal of creaminess, earth and some leather as took the cigar down to the nub.
The price for these cigars seems to vary quite a bit. In a quick survey of the net, I saw stories of people paying eight or even ten dollars for this cigar. Ten bucks seems a little high for this cigar, but six to eight dollar range doesn’t seem too bad. It’s not a budget smoke, but it’s not going to kill your wallet either.
I really enjoyed this cigar. I liked the burn, and found the flavors to be very enjoyable. I also really liked the way this cigar seems to really encourage you to take your time. I have heard some say they found this cigar to be a little bitter or harsh, but I never had that problem, if you eliminate the nearly plugged stick. Though, I think I could see how this cigar may be a bit rough it you try to hurry it along.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.