|Kristoff 685 Woodlawn|
2013 was a very busy year for Glen Case’s Kristoff Cigars. At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, not only did Case show up with four new blend under his Kristoff Galerones lines, but he also brought a limited edition cigar known as the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn. This cigar has been released in one size – a 6 1/2 x 60 perfecto. It had been a project in the works for quite some time – in fact Case mentioned work on a large ring gauge perfecto back on a 7/28/12 appearance on Kiss My Ash Radio. While 2013 was a busy year, the end result was also some very good products by Kristoff – and the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn is certainly one of them. This proved to be another very good release by Kristoff.
The name 685 Woodlawn refers to the street address where Case grew up in the Chicago, Illinois area. Kristoff’s Galerones releases focused around elegant packaging, and the 685 Woodlawn follows suit. While the Galerones was made at a new factory for Kristoff (PDR Cigars factory), the 685 Woodlawn comes out of the Charles Fairmorn factory in the Dominican Republic. This factory is where many of the heritage Kristoff products are made.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The cigar uses a Brazilian Cubra wrapper and also incorporates tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican Habano
As mentioned, the 685 Woodlawn will be available in a single size – 6 1/2 x 60 perfecto. The cigars are packaged in boxes of 10. Case told us last year about 2,000 boxes were slated for production, and that the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) were given first crack at ordering the cigar.
|Packaging of the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn
(Cigar Coop IPCPR 2013 Photo)
The Kristoff 685 Woodlawn has a medium brown – almost oak colored wrapper. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper, but it is not an overly oily wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams and visible veins. There is an open footer and a sharp tapering by the head..
There are two bands on the 685 Woodlawn. The top band has primarily a black background with gold trim. At the top is the text “KRISTOFF” in gold font in the usual font used on the company’s cigars. There is a metallic red-colored shield on the center of the band surrounded by gold trim. On that shield is the text “685” in large gold font with “WOODLAWN” below it in small gold font. TO the left is the text “Dominican Republic” in gold cursive font and to the right is the text “Glen Case” – also in gold cursive font. The remainder of the band has gold adornments.
The secondary band rests just below the primary band. It has a dark brown color in the center that gets lighter in a gradient style as it moves away from the center. It has the same metallic red shield design as the primary band, but smaller. Below the shield is the text “Glen Case” in gold cursive font. Below that text is “SERIES” in a smaller gold font. There are also gold adornments and gold trim on that band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Given this perfecto had a sharp tip, I defaulted to a straight cut and a small portion of the tip off. I then proceeded with the prelight draw. The dry draw provided mostly a mixture of floral spice and cherry sweetness. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the 685 Woodlawn to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the overall smoking experience would have in store.
The start to the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn provided a mix of wood, cherry sweetness, and some light pepper. It took a few minutes, but the pepper notes kicked up early – and provided a nice tingle on the tongue. The cherry and pepper notes soon became the primary flavors while the wood notes receded into the background. Meanwhile the retro-hale provided an interesting sweet spice that I could not draw an analogy to.
Later in the first third, a natural tobacco flavor surfaced as the primary flavor. The cherry and pepper receded slightly back becoming a close secondary note. The wood notes in the background morphed into more of a bready flavor.
In the second third, the natural tobacco notes took on a sweetness of its own and the cherry sweetness had pretty much dissipated. The pepper receded a bit more in the background and the bready notes remained almost a tertiary flavor.
In the last third, the pepper picked back up and this became a mostly natural tobacco and spicy profile. Toward the end there was a slight bit of harshness, but there still were some good flavors coming from the 685 Woodlawn. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and slightly lukewarm.
Burn and Draw
For the most part, I was satisfied with the way the 685 Woodlawn burned. I think the open footer was key for how well this cigar burned. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish. The resulting ash was tight with a bright white color. The burn rate and burn temperature were also ideal.
|Burn of the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn|
The draw performed reasonably well. It wasn’t a tight draw or a loose draw. This made for an enjoyable smoking experience.
Strength and Body
This cigar had a little more strength than I expected. This cigar came right out of the gate with medium to full strength. There was a slight increase in strength along the way, but the 685 Woodlawn still remained medium to full strength. As for the flavors, I found they had some nice depth and provided some weight on the pallet. It had just enough depth to qualify this as a full-bodied cigar in my book. Overall I found the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn emphasized body over strength.
Overall the 685 Woodlawn performs quite well for a large ring gauge perfecto. For people who don’t like a large ring gauge, I still think they will appreciate the tapered tip. From my standpoint, while I liked the open footer, the tapered tip didn’t really do much for me. I did wonder how this blend would smoke in a traditional parejo with a slightly smaller ring gauge. Still, this was still an enjoyable cigar. I especially liked how this cigar exhibited complexity in its flavor profile. It’s probably a cigar I would steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast because it does have a little more strength and body. As for myself, this is certainly a cigar I would smoke again – and its worth a fiver.
Strength: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 89
Stogie Feed: Kristoff 685 Woodlawn