Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Cuban Seed Dominican
Filler: Cuban Seed Dominican, Cuban Nicaraguan
Size: Robusto (5.5 x 54)
Pics of review on Photobucket
Like all the Kristoff offerings, this was an attractive cigar with two long veins down either side of a dark, oily wrapper. The bands were affixed with too much glue because it was spread out on the wrapper around both of them. The foot smelled mildly of hay and dirt. This cigar was cut with a guillotine cutter. The cold draw was mild and not that inspiring. There was an earthiness and coffee flavor. I toasted the foot with a torch after trimming the excess leaf, and finished lighting it with a match.
The first part of the cigar was mellow with a mixture of earth and faint cocoa flavors. Once again Kristoff has surprised me by avoiding the harsh initial ½” that many stick present upon lighting. Once fully going it smoked with a consistent strength profile and never needed to “settle down”.
As I approached the second phase of the cigar it developed some minor tunneling. I was able to touch it up around the edges and it recovered but I’m not sure why it happened in the first place. The RH it came out of was fine but no harm, no foul in the end. This is where I really found the espresso flavor in the cigar. It was not only pleasantly bitter, but definitely counterbalanced any hints of cocoa in the stick.
I had to touch up the burn again as I got into the nub (it had gone almost a ½” askew). At this point I was able to slip both bands off cleanly in spite of the excess glue. This stick didn’t develop as much flavor wise as the Ligero Maduro did. There was a pleasant “smokiness” to the darker flavors in the final draws that maintained its medium profile but still came across as very rich.
Overall I was a little disappointed by the burn challenges considering it came out of a seasoned humidor that gave me a couple decent smokes in the last week. I can only assume it was an issue with the cigar and not the RH because it was also smoked indoors. I think I might have set myself up with high expectations because a BOTL whose opinion I respect spoke quite well of this cigar. I will definitely give it another go because I think this one may have been an anomaly of sorts. With a better burn I found this mellow enough to be a nice morning cigar, but robust enough in flavor to work after dinner as well.
Pros: Decent flavor, Attractive cigar.
Cons: Uneven burn