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Staff Reviews

Kristoff Maduro Robusto Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

If you’re looking for a dark and meaty small-batch cigar, allow me to introduce Kristoff Maduro in a 5.5 x 54 Robusto. Since its debut in 2004, the Kristoff brand has become a staple for fans of boutique cigars thanks to their sweet and spicy flavors and the rustic no-frills boxes they’re packaged in.

Brand owner Glen Case left a hectic career in finance after nearly two decades to follow his passion for premium cigars. Case traveled to the Dominican Republic looking for a suitable factory to bring his brand to life. He developed relationships with cigar-makers at the Charles Fairmorn cigar factory and decided to start production there. A decade and a half later, all Kristoff cigars are handcrafted in the same facility.

Kristoff Maduro is noticeable for the nearly jet-black appearance of its Brazilian wrapper leaf. The band is basic with a brand logo that looks like it’s out of the Old West. Under the oily Maduro wrapper is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos with a Dominican binder. Kristoff cigars share a signature look with an uncut foot and a tight pigtail cap. They’re packed on a bed of loose tobacco in plain wooden boxes with a coarse texture.

The Robusto I’m about to fire up offers aromas of leather, mesquite, and pepper when I pull it out of the box and run it under my nose. The cold draw brings out tasting notes of earth, espresso, and a bit more spice. Thanks to the extra wrapper leaf on the uncut foot, the first few puffs of Kristoff Maduro are intense as I hit it with my lighter. Strong notes of dark chocolate, pepper, and espresso beans begin to mingle. As the cigar slowly progresses and the tobaccos warm up, the profile becomes earthier with underlying hints of leather. The retrohale is quite interesting with zesty and slightly sweet flavors of coffee and spices. I can taste tart hints of dried fruit too.

Kristoff Maduro is hearty and dark and would go well with a good porter. The second half of the cigar is very creamy and smooth. I pick up notes of caramel, earth, and dark-chocolate-covered cherries. The spice mellows out substantially and the cigar’s sweetness fully shines. The flavor profile is more complex and balanced than I expected it to be at first. The draw is perfect with the right amount of resistance and a sturdy ash proves the cigar is well made. The Robusto burns straight from beginning to end.

A long and savory finish gives off leather and coffee bean notes with a bit of black pepper fading in and out as I get down past the band. One thing to keep in mind, Kristoff Maduro burns very slow. The five-and-a-half-inch Robusto lasted over an hour. It lands square in the medium-bodied range at its strongest.

If you’re a fan of beefy, complex cigars and you like to smoke slow, Kristoff Maduro is worth a look. The everyday selling price is just under nine bucks, but you can get them for less than $5 apiece if you buy a box during one of our big weekly Kristoff discounts. And check out the 8-cigar Kristoff Robusto Assortment if you want to kick the tires on the different blends Kristoff has to offer before you decide which box to splurge on.

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