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Staff Reviews

Kristoff Pistoff Robusto Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

Legend has it, a fan of Kristoff cigars approached Kristoff brand founder Glen Case at an in-store event and suggested “Pissed Off Kristoff” for the name of a cigar. The name resonated with Case, who adjusted the spelling to the more tongue-in-cheek and less offensive, “Pistoff Kristoff,” or rather “Kristoff Pistoff,” as many sites that sell the brand prefer to place the brand name first. In any case, the cigar lives up to its name with a feisty recipe of intense, peppery, and sweet tobaccos.

Kristoff Pistoff is completely hand-rolled in the Dominican Republic utilizing a jet-black San Andrés Maduro wrapper. Underneath is an Indonesian binder and a bold concoction of Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos.

Other than the name, I find it quite amusing that on the band the “o” in Pistoff is actually an angry emoji face. The cigar itself is very solid and features a closed foot, which will undoubtedly give the first few puffs a bit of a kick. There is also an ugly pigtail cap that looks as though the person responsible for putting on the final touches was having a bad day and rushed the cigar out the door. I think my three-year-old could have placed a nicer cap on this cigar.

The cold draw of Kristoff Pistoff is oddly complex. I am picking up notes of sweet red wine, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of wet moss. The foot of the cigar is so spicy that it caused me to sneeze several times. If this is any indication of the strength, I better hold on to my seat.

As anticipated, the initial puffs of Kristoff Pistoff are overwhelming blasts of pepper. After the cigar cools down a bit, the nuances start to unfold. Notes of espresso and red wine start to develop and mellow the spice significantly. By the time I smoked through the first inch, the pepper notes are almost completely gone in favor of notes of leather and earth.

Kristoff Pistoff transitions into a leather bomb. Cedar and oak notes develop perfectly around the halfway point. Honestly, as soon as I was getting fatigued by the immense amount of leather I was tasting, the flavor profile pulled the old switcheroo.

The last couple of inches were loaded with sweetness. The red wine and chocolate notes that I noticed very early on came back in full force. The sweetness complemented the earthiness perfectly, rounding out a spectacular finish.

If I could describe Kristoff Pistoff in one word, it would be “power.” There were several points at which I had to slow it down. Overall construction was great, with the exception of the poorly placed cap. The burn line had a bit of waviness to it, but never required a touch-up. The draw was a little loose for my preference, but nothing I would point out as flagrant by any means. Strength got me, 8.5 out of 10. Next time I smoke a Pistoff, I will make sure to eat first. I suggest you do the same.


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