Team Cigar Review: Kristoff JT Signature Series

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Cigar Details: Kristoff JT Signature Series

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian HVA Habano
  • Binder: Sumatra
  • Filler: Mexican San Andrés and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Charles Fairmorn
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $12.50
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Source: Kristoff

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper of the Kristoff JT Signature Series is a marbled medium brown as it goes around the rounded rectangle press. There are a few slightly raised veins present and the seams are pretty well disguised in the wrappers marbling. The head is finished with a pigtail cap and the foot is covered with a fair amount of excess wrapper. There are two bands with the primary being slate gray with gold lettering and artwork. It denotes the company and line name. The foot band is navy blue with red lettering and gold borders and denotes that this is the JT version of the line. The aroma from the wrapper and closed foot is sweet wood. The pre-light draw brings sweet cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Kristoff JT Signature Series comes nicely pressed and finished with a fancy pigtail and closed foot. It is very soft to the touch and silky in texture. I would classify the wrapper as being between Colorado and Maduro, and it has this dark marbled brown coloring with a reddish hue. Veins are medium to large in size and present throughout. In terms of aroma, I am picking up soft spices, earth and chocolate.

Pre-light Experience

The Kristoff JT Signature Series has a semi firm box press shape. It also has complications in the form of a pigtail cap and a closed and unfinished foot with roughly a half inch of tobacco sticking out. The cigar has a primary band of gold on gray, as well as a foot band of red and gold on blue, with flat gold accents. Nosing the wrapper, I’m able to pick up sweet barnyard, cedar and because the foot is closed, nothing from the foot.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of cedar and black pepper. At a half inch in, the cedar gains a toasted note. At three quarters of an inch in, some mustiness joins in while the black pepper still has a bit of a bite to it on the back end of the draw. The retrohale has black pepper up front and then musty cedar following. At an inch and a half, the toasted cedar, black pepper and mustiness are all at equal levels. As the third comes to a close, the toasted cedar has a slight lead over the pepper and mustiness. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third opens up with some sweet spices, leather, rich earth and damp wood. It is filling and while not overly complex, a solid smoking experience. The body and strength are around the medium level, and the same goes for flavors.

First Third

Creamy spices and cedar to open. Creamy with more intense spices on the retrohale with pepper at medium-full strength to finish and into the post draw. There is a toasted sweetness in the middle, along with powdered cocoa minutes later. That powdered cocoa immediately starts to increase in intensity settling at medium-full. As the cocoa increases, the post draw pepper fades away and the cigar settles in. Baking spices are at medium-full on the retrohale with creaminess being pushed underneath it. At the 30 minute mark, some sweet raisin joins the middle, finishing with sweet cedar.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the black pepper increases to become even with the toasted cedar as the mustiness is in the background. At a half inch in, the mustiness increases so that all components are once again even. The retrohale is toasted cedar and mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the toasted note is no longer detectable as the cedar and mustiness are paired up and the black pepper is a bit dulled now. The third wraps up with the same musty cedar and dull black pepper. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

The second third is identical to the first third in my opinion and shows no transitioning whatsoever. It has those core profiles of sweet spices, leather, earth and wood, and the body, strength and flavors are still at that medium level.

Second Third

Some palate coating dry cedar and sweetness moving into the second third. Baking spices and cedar at medium strength in the middle of the profile as the second third settles in. There is a lingering post draw sweetness. Cigar nicotine strength is hitting me at medium-full by this point. Toasted sweetness, approaching a crème brûlée in the middle of the profile. By the mid point, baking spices and cedar take over the middle, with cedar and sweetness carrying into the post draw.

Final Third

The final third starts by maintaining the musty cedar and dull black pepper profile. At a half inch in, the cedar transitions to just a general musty wood note as the pepper is pretty faint. At an inch in, a slight mintiness joins the profile. The retrohale is musty wood and slight mintiness. As the cigar comes to a close, the profile is musty wood with a faint mintiness. The strength in this third dropped to slightly below medium.

Final Third

The final third is identical to the second third which makes it identical to the first third. Flavors of sweet spices, leather, rich earth and damp wood.

Final Third

Baking spices reach medium-full leading into the last third. Dry cedar settles into the center of the profile once the cigar has established itself. A mild dry cedar defines the post draw. Minutes later, toasted cocoa takes over the middle of the profile. At the halfway point, toasted earth takes over the entire profile with significant earth coating the palate on the post draw.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy throughout. The cigar went out once in each third, requiring re-lights. The ash held on in two inch increments.

Burn

The JT Signature Series needed a lot of work throughout. It went out quite a bit and burned unevenly from start to finish.

Burn

The burn starts out straight, but goes out while puffing in the first third, requiring a re-light. Uneven burn continues, eventually going out in the second third, requiring a re-light. Burn is straight but goes out in the last third, requiring another re-light.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar started with cedar and black pepper as some mustiness joined in fairly quickly. The levels of each flavor went up and down until the final third when the black pepper left and the cedar transitioned to a general wood note and some mintiness joined in. The burn was an issue as it went out once in each third and strength was around medium the whole way. The Kristoff JT Signature Series began with a nice combination of flavors, but by the second third was fairly average. The burn issues probably didn’t help things. This was my first chance of smoking something in the brands signature series. With this experience, it didn’t wow me or put me off from the line, so I’d be interested in smoking the other offering, but for this cigar, not something I’m necessarily in a hurry to revisit, but would smoke it again if it was in front of me but in hopes of a better burn.

Draw

Draw was incredibly loose on the samples I smoked.

Overall

I really don’t have much to say on the cigar. It had a core flavor profile that was not bad, but it was far from good. It didn’t go anywhere and with the poor draw and burn line, it left me frustrated throughout. I smoked multiple samples for this review and all were consistently underwhelming. The Kristoff JT Signature Series needed more to the blend to really pop. On top of that, the cigars needed to be constructed better. They were all soft and appeared to be under filled.

Draw

The draw is a half notch towards open, still in the ideal zone for a perfect draw.

Overall

The Kristoff JT Signature Series was a good smoking experience. Significant amount of flavor complexity through the first and second third, and average smoking experience in the last third. Flavors of creaminess, baking spices, cedar, pepper, powdered cocoa, raisin, crème brûlée and toasted earthiness at points. The cigar struggled with burn issues at multiple points, requiring three re-lights by the end. Strength and flavor intensity were both medium-full, so this cigar will very much appeal to the fuller bodied cigar smokers.

Aaron
Seth
John
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdAverageSecond ThirdGood
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
SubparBurnSubparBurnSubpar
AmazingDrawSubparDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.70

Cost/Point

$2.19

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.38

Cost/Point

$2.85

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.42

Cost/Point

$1.95

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Kristoff JT Signature Series
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Kristoff JT Signature Series

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