Fighting the cold


Will this winter ever end? I’m sure that is something that has a little more meaning in places north of Florida but we have suffered here as well. We may not be digging our cars out of the snow but not being able to wear shorts and flip flops this close to March is very frustrating for those of us in the Sunshine State. This weather also makes it difficult for us to enjoy a cigar on the patio. The keyword there is difficult, notice I didn’t say impossible.

This week I chose to make a stand against Jack Frost and review a great cigar for all of you. My selection this week is the Kristoff Kristania, a relative new comer to our humidors. This cigar is produced in the Dominican Republic and contains mostly Cuban Seed tobacco from that country. The wrapper, Nicaraguan Criolla Habano, is the lone non-Dominican component in the cigar and certainly the star of the show here. What makes this such a great blend and well-balanced smoke is the contrasting natures of the Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves.

Once lit, you will know exactly what I am talking about when I say well balanced. There is a nice pepper spice that comes from the wrapper, but it isn’t overpowering. There are also hints of cedar and vanilla but nothing really dominates your palate. This cigar does exactly what it was blended to do and that is to give the smoker an even flavor profile, an easy draw, and a perfect burn that requires no “touchups”.


As the cigar approached the second third I detected some mild espresso flavors. My companion beverage for the Kristania was a cup of Dominican Coffee, and though my café negra was strong, it didn’t make the coffee notes in the cigar drown out those initial flavors. This cigar was very enjoyable all the way to the band. It never got harsh or bitter and the sweetness on my palate seemed to intensify even more once I had finished my coffee.

The strength of this cigar is right in the middle as well. If you aren’t a fan of full-bodied smokes, then this one is a great stick for you. Its price tag will also make you happy. The best way to describe the Kristoff Kristania as it relates to cost is that it is a “boutique on a budget” cigar.

Along with the Kristania, which we offer in two sizes, you can also pick up the Maduro and the Corojo Limitada at your local ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. If they don’t have it in the humidor just ask the manager to order it for you. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the cigar’s flavor, construction, and overall smoking experience. Oh, and it will help keep you warm during this harsh and bitter Florida winter.

Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits TU Certified Tobacconist & Cicerone Server, Category Manager: Premium Cigars and Craft Beer

Follow me on Twitter @abccigarchris

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