Kristoff Nicaragua Toro

Kristoff Nicaragua Toro

Today, we review the Kristoff Nicaragua in the Toro size. This year, Kristoff is celebrating its 20th anniversary. During the past two decades, owner Glen Case has built a sizable portfolio of blends that offer something for every kind of smoker. One thing the Kristoff portfolio did not have were puro blends – namely, blends with tobacco from a single country. All of that would change in 2023 when Kristoff released two puro blends – each containing 100% Nicaraguan tobacco – one of these blends was the Kristoff Nicaragua.

In addition to the Kristoff Nicaragua, another blend was created, the Kristoff Tres Compadres. Tres Compadres pays homage to two friends of owner Glen Case. Case’s friend of 42 years, Chuck Finch, passed away a few years ago. This was followed six months later by the death of Case’s friend and mentor, Rolando Villamil. We will be assessing Tres Compadres in an upcoming review. Both the Kristoff Nicaragua and Kristoff Tres Compadres are the first installments of Kristoff’s Heritage Series, a planned series of puros that will be released with tobaccos from various countries.

The packaging is another noticeable thing about the Kristoff Nicaragua and Kristoff Tres Compadres. Kristoff has been known for its “rustic elegance” look – namely rough-cut cedar boxes with loose tobacco for many years. When Kristoff Guardrail debuted in 2022, it moved away from this with more sleek boxes and bands. Kristoff Nicaragua and Kristoff Tres Compadres continue this trend. Kristoff has also announced the whole portfolio will be moving away from the rustic elegance. In fact, this has already started with the Kristoff Vengeance.

For now, let’s turn our attention back to the Kristoff Nicaragua Toro and see what this cigar offers.

Kristoff Nicaragua Toro – Cigar Review


Blend and Origin

As we have discussed, Kristoff Nicaragua features 100% Nicaraguan-grown tobaccos. Specifics on the wrapper have been disclosed. The binder is Nicaraguan Corojo, but the region has not been disclosed. The filler uses tobaccos from the three main growing regions in Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí, and Jalapa), but the varietals have not been disclosed. Production comes from Kristoff’s long-time manufacturing partner, Tabacalera von Eicken (formerly known as the Charles Fairmorn factory) in the Dominican Republic.

Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Blend from Condega, Esteli, and Jalapa in Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera von Eicken

Vitolas Offered

Presented in 20-count boxes, the  Kristoff Nicaragua comes in three regular production vitolas.

Toro: 6 1/4 x 54
Robusto: 5 x 50
6 x 60: 6 x 60

Appearance (*)

The Kristoff Nicaragua Toro’s Nicaraguan wrapper was medium brown with a slight rosado tint. There wasn’t much in the way of oils on the surface of this wrapper, but there was a slight amount of mottling visible. The surface of the wrapper had some visible veins, and there were also thin, visible wrapper seams.


Pre-Light Draw (*)

One thing that I noticed on the Nicaragua Toro was that there was a slight cinnamon-like aroma emitted from the wrapper. This wasn’t overpowering, and it was quite “natural” in terms of what I picked up. After clipping the cap off, I moved on to the pre-light draw, where a natural cinnamon note also picked up on the tongue. In addition, there were some notes of earth and natural tobacco. To me, this was an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the footer of the Nicaragua Toro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Tasting Notes

The Nicaragua Toro opened with cinnamon, wood, earth, and natural tobacco sweetness notes, joined by some cedar notes. There was no dominant note in the early stages. By the midway point of the first third, the wood and cinnamon notes emerged in the forefront. The natural tobacco and earth stayed in the background, where notes of black pepper joined them. As for the retro-hale, an additional layer of wood was present.

The second third of the Nicaragua Toro saw the wood notes become primary. The cinnamon notes settled into the background with the cedar, pepper, earth, and natural tobacco sweetness. During this phase, the cedar and pepper notes increased in intensity while the cinnamon notes decreased in intensity. Toward the latter part of the second third, the cinnamon notes completely dissipated. Meanwhile, some pepper notes mixed in with the retro-hale.

The final third saw the wood notes remain primary. The pepper notes slightly increased again but still fell short of moving into the forefront. There were still notes of cedar, earth, and natural tobacco. This is how the Nicaragua Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.


On each of the samples of the Nicaragua Toro, the burn started out low maintenance. However, as the burn progressed, touch-ups were required to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. The touch-ups did the trick, but the cigar required more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash was light gray. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t loose. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.

Burn of the Kristoff Nicaragua Toro


The best word to describe the draw of the Nicaragua Toro is “inconsistent”. On one sample, the draw was too tight. On the other two samples, the draw was open. I usually prefer my draw to have a touch resistance, but not too much.

Strength and Body

The Nicaragua Toro opened as a medium-strength, medium-bodied cigar. Strength and body increased nominally along the way, but both attributes remained in the medium range from start to finish. Strength and body also balanced each other nicely, with neither attribute overshadowing the other.


As much as I was a fan of Kristoff’s rustic elegance, I agree it was time to change. It took me a while to buy into the shade of red used on the bands and boxes, but ultimately, I did. Looking at the shade of red against the wrapper color and the wood finish boxes did the trick for me.

Packaging of the Kristoff Nicaragua


Final Thoughts

Regarding its flavor profile, Nicaragua Toro was a classic “tale of two cigars.”  The cigar was enjoyable in the first third, becoming ordinary in the second third and disappointing in the final third. While I had higher hopes for this particular cigar, I still hope to see Kristoff do more in the way of Nicaraguan puros beyond the Nicaragua and Tres Compadres lines.  With this specific cigar, my advice is to Try a Sample first and see what you think.


Key Flavors: Wood, Cinnamon, Cedar, Natural Tobacco, Earth, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Very Good


Value: Try a Sample
Score: 87


News: Kristoff Nicaragua to Debut at the 2023 PCA Trade Show
Price: $10.50
Source: Purchased
Brand Reference: Kristoff

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop

(*) Indicates this is not factored into the score or value rating