One of the new lines of cigars we picked up at the IPCPR Trade Show this summer that is quietly making its appearance into our stores is Kristoff. Considered by some to be part of that “boutique premium” market, Kristoff has established itself as more of a mainstream cigar the past few years. They were founded back in 2004 by Glen Case and through a lot of hard work and countless hours have established themselves as a serious player in the ever expanding cigar market. His striving to find the highest quality tobaccos available has paid off well and his cigars are some serious smokes!
We only brought in a handful of Glen’s offerings to start and today we’ll take a look at one of my favorites: Kristoff Original Maduro. I’m sure in the next few months we’ll take a closer look at both the Kristiana and Corojo Limitada that we picked up, but today we’ll take a peek at the maduro.
It was a beautiful, cool evening so I poured myself a bit of Port to go along with the maduro robusto I picked from my humidor. And let’s just say right now that Port is the perfect companion for this smoke! The basics of this cigar are an old school pigtail cap and an uncut “shaggy” foot. Very rustic looking appearance, yet very classic in construction. We’ve got a beautiful oily Brazilian maduro wrapper on this cigar with a Dominican binder surrounding the Dominican olor and Nicaraguan filler.
Right off the bat you will notice that fresh “barnyard” smell to this stick. Just a wonderful aroma and hoping the rest of the experience will match this. The first few draws are a little tight but they soon open up to nice draw…just enough to produce some serious smoke. And it is one beautiful smoke with flavors of coffee and cocoa and just a hint of spice. The smoke is full of flavor and extremely smooth with essentially no pepper notes that one might expect from the Nicaraguan filler. The retrohale is just full of rich tobacco and coffee and cocoa flavors with not one bit of harshness. The smoke is thick and almost has that chewy texture which pairs just perfectly with the glass of Port.
Halfway through the smoke, the flavors begin to change a bit as some more earthy flavors begin to creep in and just a bit of the pepper notes start to show—but this cigar is still amazingly smooth even with these complex flavors. The burn has been perfect and never needed retouching and it has a nice solid silvery-gray ash building. As it nears the end, some bitter sweet chocolate flavors come into play along with some bitter orange. Definitely some interesting flavor profiles on that last couple inches.
This is just a great smoke and I highly recommend trying it. This is a medium-bodied cigar that is unbelievably smooth and has great flavor. If you’ve been put off by maduros thinking they are way too strong, then you need to give this a try; it will make you a maduro fan. If you don’t see it in your favorite store yet, just ask our staff if they can get some for you. This cigar will not disappoint you!
The best cigar is the one you enjoy,
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits cigar and gourmet products planner and Certified Retail Tobacconist
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarmungo