The cigar marketplace today is loaded with so many good choices. As a result, there always is a backlog of cigars to assess. Along the way, there have been some good cigar companies that have not made it on to this web-site. Once such web-site is Kristoff Cigars. I’ve smoked many cigars from Kristoff, and I do think there are an Indie/Boutique cigar-maker that brings something special to the table. They bring the type of cigar that is capable of knocking something else out of a retailer’s humidor. In 2011, Kristoff released a new cigar called the Kristania. This was a cigar that I recently got around to trying – and it probably is one of those cigars that slipped under the radar of many. It turned out to be a very good cigar.
Kristoff Cigars was founded by Glen Case. Case originally launched a company called Exclusive Cigars and one of the lines under this company was Kristoff. About a year ago, Case rebranded the company Kristoff Cigars. At the 2011 IPCPR, Kristoff debuted the Kristania cigar. The Kristania’s name is derived from the name of Case’s son and daughter, Kristofer and Brittany. The cigar is intended to be a value-priced cigar with an SRP of $5.00-$5.50.
Let’s take a closer look at the Kristoff Kristania and see what it brings to the table:
The Kristania features a mix of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos:
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Criollo Habano
Binder: Dominican Habano
Filler: Dominican Habano
At this time, there are three sizes of the Kristania available:
Robusto: 5 x50
Toro: 6 x 52
(Unnamed): 5 1/2 x 60
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my assessment of the Kristoff Kristania, I selected the Toro vitola. I placed my usual straight cut into the cap of the Kristania and commenced with the pre-light draw. For the most part the dry draw notes were pretty generic. I detected a mix of wood and cedar spice. While it wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, I was still anxious to light up my Kristania and see what would come to the table.
The start of the smoke of the Kristoff Kristania provided me a mix of pepper and wood notes. The pepper notes were not overwhelming. Some cedar notes emerged early on. These cedar notes had more of a sweet taste to them as opposed to a cedar spice. I was pretty impressed with the boldness of the cedar notes.
As the smoke of the Kristania reached the second third, I noticed the emergence of cream notes. These cream notes had more of a vanilla cream flavor – and it was one of the more unique flavors I’ve gotten from a cigar in sometime. The cream notes eventually moved to the forefront with the cedar sweetness as the smoke reached midway point.
The second half of the smoke saw an increase in the pepper spice that remained present from the very beginning. The pepper movedmore to the forefont and the cedar sweetness diminished. In addition, the vanilla cream notes continued to be very much in the forefront with the pepper notes. This was the way the cigar came to a finish. Overall, while there was more spice in the second half, this was a very smooth smoke with a smooth finish. The nub was cool, but a little on the soft side.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the Kristoff Kristania did very well in terms of burn. The cigar burned straight with minimal touch-ups throughout the cigar experience. It also burned at an ideal rate and an ideal temperature. The draw was satisfactory. It was a little bit of a looser draw than I prefer, but overall it really didn’t impediment the smoking experience.
Strength and Body
There was some very good balance between strength and body in this smoke. From a nicotine perspective, the Kristoff Kristania is not going to overwhelm you. The Kristania is definitely what I would categorize as a classic medium-strength cigar. As for the depth of the flavor notes, I would say this cigar starts off medium to full-bodied, but eventually moves into the full-bodied range. The depth of the flavor notes with just the right amount of strength made for a very enjoyable smoking experience.
While I didn’t find this the most complex smoke in terms of flavor transitions, I was still very impressed with the flavors the Kristoff Kristania produced. I found this to be a very good smoke and at its price point it can be an everyday cigar. In addition, this is a cigar that really can be smoked almost every time of the day. I’d easily recommend this to a novice cigar enthusiast looking to get into something outside that is fuller bodied without the overwhelming strength. While it might lack the complexity a seasoned cigar enthusiast may be looking for, I do believe the seasoned cigar enthusiast will like the deep flavors this cigar brings to the table. I certainly will be smoking more of these in the future.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigar(s) for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.