Friday, January 14, 2011

Kristoff Ligero Maduro Matador

Size: 6.5 X 56

Shape: Matador

Origin: Dominican Republic

Body: Full Powerhouse
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, 70% Ligero

Smoke Clock: 1hr 15mins

While outside the wind wildly whipped the white falling snow, I was warm and cozy inside and puffing away at a delicious and overpowering cigar: the Kristoff Maduro Ligero. With 70% ligero filler, this cigar ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

From first light I could tell this cigar was going to lay me out. Fortunately, the flavor profile matches the body blow for blow.

Rich dark chocolate, earth, and coffee notes washed over my palate as I adjusted to power of this cigar. After a few puffs, I began to taste a mingling of flavors that could only be described as blackened chicken. Before long, however, the profile and body smoothed out, allowing caramel notes to emerge with dark roasted coffee as the forerunners in the blend.

As the cigar evolved, I toted a nice degree of spice joining in part way through the second quarter. As the third quarter began, notes of cashew and walnut began to emerge, complimenting the coffee note beautifully and providing an added sense of depth to the blend.

Being quite drunk at the end of the third quarter, I lay this stick to rest. As I took a few moments to relax and sober up, I considered whether this was the strongest cigar I’d ever smoked. It took no more than the consideration of a moment to give the answer: yes, without question.


Presentation: 7/10 – Kristoff’s style of presentation, in theory, is nice: simple, straightforward, masculine. However, in the execution, they fall short. This band is nice, but unless I manage to find just the right light I can’t read the small print on the band primarily due to the lack of contrast in the colors they use. What gives?

Appearance: 8/10 – Pretty nice looking cigar here. The wrapper is near seamless with a few very thin veins running the length of the stick and exhibits a dark brown color mottled by lighter earth tones. The choices to leave the foot rough and add a pig tail to the head are interesting visual touches that I appreciate.

Construction: 33/35 – This stick is extremely solid, yet has a great draw. This smoke burned quite evenly until the half way mark when it began to run a bit. The run fixed itself, so no major marks off.

Flavor: 43/45 – This cigar exhibited purity, complexity, and depth to the flavor profile while never becoming bitter. The blackened chicken taste at the beginning was a little disconcerting though.

Overall: 92/100 – As you can see by the 92 to your left, this cigar fared pretty well in my book. I’m not sure I can say I’d reach for them though as this blend had yours truly nearly doubled over drunk. If what you’re after is a delicious, complex, and extremely full bodied smoke, this is a pal you should shake hands with.