Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Staff Reviews

Kristoff Vengeance Robusto Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

Spring is here, and I’m smoking Kristoff Vengeance in a 5 by 50 Robusto, a fitting cigar to puff on while I’m manning the barbecue – my absolute favorite pastime. Kristoff cigars are handmade in the Dominican Republic at the Charles Fairmorn factory, which was operated by Rolando Villamil until his passing in January of 2022. Brand owner Glen Case launched Kristoff in 2004, and the cigars are crafted to the meticulous standards Villamil established over many decades as a premium cigar-maker.

Overall, Kristoff is a brawny brand you can get for a good discount during one of our regularly recurring Kristoff deals. Kristoff cigars are considered an everyman’s brand when you factor in the price and the rustic packaging. Kristoff stands out from other brands, though, because each cigar is adorned with a tight pigtail cap, and they’re packaged, without cellophane, on a bed of loose tobacco in the boxes.

Kristoff Vengeance is draped in an ultra-dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a fairly complex blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Indonesian long-fillers. The wrapper is oily, and the foot is closed, while the cigar is densely packed to the touch. Vengeance displays a hearty appearance. As soon as the box is opened, aromas of root beer and moss pour out with hints of pepper. When I clip the cap and take a few unlit puffs, sweet notes of southern sweet tea, earth, leather, and cocoa create a tempting first impression. Hints of barnyard, earth, and chocolate linger on the palate a bit.

Because the foot on the cigar is closed, I can ignite it faster than normal with my Jetline Hurricane II Triple Torch, one of my favorite all-purpose lighters for outside. A bold profile of coffee and pepper overloads my palate with leathery texture in the first few minutes of smoking the Robusto. After I’m a half-inch in, traces of cedar help to smooth the taste out, but the retrohale stings my nostrils like a beehive. Its harsh influence overshadows the cigar, so I do my best to avoid pushing much smoke out through my nose.

Vengeance balances out better in the second half, thankfully. My eyes have stopped watering, and I can focus on the taste, which begins to display the chocolaty sweetness I expect from a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. A touch of espresso mingles with lingering notes of black pepper, but the spice has subsided considerably from where it started. Hints of citrus hit my nasal cavity as I cautiously nudge a few puffs of smoke through my nose.

I perform a couple quick touchups with my torch to keep Kristoff Vengeance burning straight, but its combustion is nothing out of the ordinary. The ash is mostly firm, and there hasn’t been a single issue with the draw. Despite its aggressive start, Vengeance turns the corner and smooths out by the time I’m taking the band off to close in on the nub. The Robusto actually displays a surprising finesse by the end. This specimen lasted fifty-five-plus minutes, normally a little longer than I would spend smoking a Robusto, but the cigar’s initial harshness called for a slower intake.

If you can handle an aggressive spice, Kristoff Vengeance lives up to its name. It’s not my favorite Kristoff cigar, but I will smoke it again. I’m rating it 86 points, but that’s after docking a few for the retrohale. Like other Kristoff cigars, Vengeance is bold but offers a dependable value. Smoke a few singles before you splurge on a box, and know you can save a lot of cash when we’re running one of our Kristoff box discounts.

If you haven’t had Kristoff before, check out our previous reviews of Kristoff Maduro, Kristoff Pistoff, and Kristoff Ligero Maduro for comparison. Although the Kristoff Robusto Assortment doesn’t include Vengeance, it’s a solid introduction to the brand.


Featured Products