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Staff Reviews

Kristoff Habano Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m smoking a 5.5-by-54 Robusto from Kristoff in the brand’s Habano blend – a cigar named for it’s Cuban-seed wrapper leaf. Kristoff Cigars have been around since 2004, and the brand’s owner and founder, Glen Case, has done a great job building out a sizeable portfolio of consistent everyman cigars you can scoop up without breaking the bank.

Kristoff cigars are easy to spot in a retail shop because they’re packaged on a bed of loose tobacco scraps tucked inside rustic-looking boxes. The bands and boxes are basic, but the flavors are complex. Kristoff cigars tend to be full-bodied and spicy. Let’s fire up a Kristoff Habano Robusto and find out how it performs.

Like most other Kristoff blends, the Habano is finished with a pigtail cap at the head. Kristoff Habano is blended from an oily and toothy Brazilian wrapper grown from Cuban seeds. Inside, a hearty binder of Brazilian tobacco covers a blend of long-fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Brazilian tobaccos are known for their dark and earthy taste, and the combination with Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos promises to deliver an elaborate smoke.

When I clip the cap and spin a fresh Kristoff Habano Robusto around in my lips, sweet and intense tasting notes of red pepper, cedar, and black coffee fill out the cold draw. Strong aromas of earth, leather, and raisin mingle with a touch of peat. Although Kristoff cigars occupy a somewhat value niche, they’re well made, and you can anticipate a perfect draw with an even burn and a stable ash.

When I fire up a Robusto from a fresh box, a rush of black pepper and espresso stings my nostrils for a moment. Kristoff Habano starts out with a pronounced dark and smoky zest. Fortunately, it settles within the first five minutes. Woody notes of cinnamon and black pepper layer my taste buds with hints of mesquite. A moment or two of bitterness invades the overall profile as Kristoff Habano develops, but a sweet foundation of cedar and hickory prevents the taste from veering into an acidic profile.

Cuban-seed tobacco grown in Brazil is less common than Cuban-seed tobacco grown in Nicaragua and Ecuador. But Brazil imparts dark and chewy flavor with a charry sweetness you won’t find in tobaccos grown in other regions. Cigar-makers who blend with Brazilian tobacco inevitably create cigars you can easily distinguish from other brands as a result, especially when a cigar’s wrapper is Brazilian.

As I savor the second half, about thirty minutes have gone by. An earthy foundation of espresso and hickory continues to mingle with vibrant notes of crushed red pepper and undercurrent of minerals. Kristoff Habano isn’t as hardy as the Ligero Maduro blend, but it still packs a wallop for medium-bodied cigar, similar to Kristoff Maduro.

After peeling the bands off and puffing through the nub, the profile gets a little bitter at the end, but I don’t believe it clashes with the cigar’s overall taste. Kristoff Habano brandishes a naturally charry taste, but it’s rounded out with enough sweetness and pepper that fans of spicy cigars will likely enjoy it. If you like strong espresso and you only drink bourbon neat, Kristoff Habano is a consistent smoke you can stash in your coolerdor without spending a fortune.


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