#8 2023 Cigar of the Year

#8 2023 Cigar of the Year: Kristoff Guardrail Robusto


Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Burma Valley Zimbabwe, Dominican
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera Von Eicken (Charles Fairmorn)
Robusto: 5 1/4 x 54
Price: $9.50

Sponsor: No
Samples Provided for Initial Review: No
Review: Kristoff Guardrail Robusto (8/13/23)
Appearances on Countdown (By Year/Company): 2 (2019, 2023)

The Details

The #8 2023 Cigar of the Year is the Kristoff Guardrail Robusto. The story behind the Kristoff Guardrail is like no other. Kristoff Guardrail debuted in 2022, but the story’s roots go back a couple of years before that. Kristoff owner Glen Case was in Oklahoma and had rented a motorcycle. He was on the road when his back tire gave way and caused him to crash into a guardrail. The accident was severe enough to land Case in the hospital for weeks, followed by many months of rehabilitation – including spending time in a wheelchair. When Kristoff Guardrail was released a couple of years later, Case was fully recovered. Those around him kept the accident quiet, so many were shocked to hear of the accident. Case felt he was given a second chance at life, and this was the inspiration for the Kristoff Guardrail.

While there is a personal story involving Case for the Kristoff Guardrail, there also is a tobacco story. Regarding Kristoff blends, Case is very much known for his multinational blends, which include tobaccos from different countries and regions. With the Guardrail, Case incorporates tobacco grown Burma Valley of Zimbabwe. While Case isn’t claiming to be the first, he feels confident he is one of the early adopters of using tobacco from Zimbabwe. The Zimbawbe tobacco joins Dominican-grown tobacco in the filler. The cigar also has a Dominican binder and is finished with a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper. The Kristoff Guardrail Robusto measures 5 ¼ x 54. Production comes from Tabacalera Von Eicken in the Dominican Republic.

Flavorwise, the Kristoff Guardrail Robusto is also unique. This cigar delivers notes of coffee, earth, chocolate, baker’s spice, natural tobacco, cedar, and pepper. The flavors and body both fall in the medium range.

This is the second year Kristoff has landed a cigar on a Cigar Coop Countdown. It also is the seventh Dominican-made cigar to land on this year’s Countdown.


Photo/Media Credits: Cigar Coop