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Staff Reviews

Kristoff Ligero Maduro Matador Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Time to smoke. In my hand, I have an eye-catching Kristoff Ligero Maduro in a chunky 6.5 x 56 shape called the Matador. Brand founder Glenn Case launched Kristoff back in 2004 as a small boutique franchise. Case left behind a career in corporate America to dive into his passion for premium cigars head first. After a decade and a half and much hard work and dedication, Kristoff is a popular and well-known boutique cigar brand today.

Kristoff cigars are distinct for their rustic appearance and simple, old-time packaging. Most Kristoff cigars display a pigtail cap with an uncut foot. The cigars are packed in coarse boxes with loose tobacco scraps for added visual effect. Consumers are often drawn to Kristoff due to the brand’s presentation on store shelves. Many Kristoff blends are medium to full-bodied and include a range of complex flavor profiles which are drawn from wrapper, binder, and filler tobaccos from around the globe.

The Matador shape I am smoking from the Ligero Maduro line feels sturdy in my hand with its stout dimensions and oily sheen. Handmade in the Dominican Republic, the blend is juiced up with loads of spicy Ligero tobaccos as the name indicates. A rich assemblage of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-fillers lies beneath a dark, oily, and durable Brazilian wrapper. Pre-light aromas of espresso beans and dark chocolate kick off the party. After a fresh cut to the pigtail cap and a few cold draws, hints of berries and peppers hit the palate.

Once lit, a tight, medium-gray ash forms as the first third of the cigar passes in a series of easy draws. Sweet notes of cocoa envelop the palate in conjunction with the spicy taste Ligero Maduro delivers. The blend lacks any unwanted bitterness and is a clear indication the tobacco has been fermented correctly as the second third unfolds. The cigar’s sharp burn and clear draw are evidence of its superior construction. As I reach the middle of the cigar, surprising notes of caramel add a sweet dimension to the taste and refute the cigar’s initial intensity.

While the Ligero-heavy blend delivers plenty of spice, its chocolaty notes offer a welcome balance and prevent the cigar from overpowering the palate. Notes of earth and leather penetrate the profile in the final third. The added complexity is likely owed to the cigar’s Brazilian wrapper. A hint of citrus peaks in as the final two inches reveal a nub-worthy finish.

All in all, Kristoff Ligero Maduro is a solid cigar. It might not be an all-out award-winner, but it certainly packs enough power and finesse for the majority of seasoned smokers out there to appreciate. For around $8 and change, it’s easily worth a try. If the blend grabs your attention, keep your eyes peeled for our daily deals where you can scoop up Kristoff at rock-bottom prices. Consider the Kristoff Robusto Assortment, too. You can sample eight different blends in a classy small-batch collection. Give Kristoff a shot if you’re looking for well-made, spicy, and complex boutiques for an unbeatable price. Enjoy!


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