Team Cigar Review: Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto

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Cigar Details: Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Honduran Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Charles Fairmorn
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $7.90
  • Release Date: June 2019
  • Source: Kristoff

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto is light brown as has a network or raised veins that carry a darker color. The foot is completely covered by excess wrapper. There are also veins from the binder visible due to the darkness pressed into the wrapper. The seams are smooth but easily visible due to vein placement. The head appears to have a double cap that has a tightly wound pigtail finish. The band is varying shades of gray with gold lettering that denotes the brand and line. The aroma from the wrapper and covered foot is a full on sweet hay. The pre-light draw consists of dry cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto has a light brown wrapper, with an interesting pigtail cap complication and a closed foot. The aromas from the wrapper include sweet graham cracker, along with hay. As a result of the closed foot, I’m unable to pick up more than just sweetness.

Pre-light Experience

The Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto has a paler yellow yet oily claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even with a nice give and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper and enclosed foot tell a plethora of barnyard stank. Cold draw yields hay, cedar and light white/black pepper.

First Third

The cigar begins with cedar, mustiness and light baking spice. At a half inch in, some char has joined the cedar while the baking spice is fairly faint now. The retrohale is musty cedar with a fuller baking spice. At an inch in, the char has become very light. At an inch and a quarter, the char is completely gone and the profile is musty cedar and faint baking spice. As the third comes to a close, some faint black pepper has replaced the baking spice. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

Light, sweet hay and cedar open the first third. Sweet cedar quickly moves into the middle of the flavor profile, with graham cracker coming through at the end of the retrohale. Some nuttiness joins the middle of the profile some time later. By the halfway point, hay comes through at the end of each draw, and lingers into the post draw.

First Third

The first third has a pleasant array of aroma and taste. Buttered bread, hay, dried nuts and a finishing layer of baking spices. Retrohaling gives amplified buttered bread, dried nuts and also some stewed stone fruits. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness has a slight lead over the cedar with the faint black pepper in the background. At a half inch in, the black pepper is gone and the profile is now just musty cedar that is slightly dry. The retrohale is now a musty general wood note. At an inch in, a light sweetness is now present on the finish. The third closes out with the musty cedar and lightly sweet finish. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Second Third

TLight, dry cedar, hay and sweetness leads the profile moving into the second third. Light graham cracker makes up the retrohale as the cigar settles in. At roughly the 10 minute mark, a pleasant sweetness anchors the flavors together. Some time later, hay pushes into the middle of the flavor profile, and like the first third, lingers into the post draw.

Second Third

The second third continues on a similar path as the first third. There’s a greater influence of buttered bread that also becomes sweeter. The other notes of hay, dried nuts and layered baking spices continues to flow through. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

The final third continues with the musty cedar while the sweet finish has become a bit fuller. At a half inch in, the sweetness starts to intertwine with the musty cedar and is not just relegated to the finish. The retrohale is musty cedar with sweetness right behind. At an inch in, the sweetness has gone back to the finish only. The cigar finishes out with the musty cedar and lightly sweet finish. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Final Third

The last third is defined by light hay, and finishes with dry cedar on the post draw.

Final Third

The final third shifts to being more cedar and baking spice driven. There’s a slight decrease in the sweet buttered bread but the profile is still quite nutty and creamy. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn was very straight through the smoking experience, with ash holding on well over 1 inch.

Burn

Aside from a couple quick touch-ups, the burn performance was great. Just a little shy of perfection.

Draw

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

Overall

The cigar began with cedar, mustiness and light baking spice. Some char joined in and then faded out while the baking spice was replaced by black pepper near the end. The second third saw the black pepper fade out while the profile gained a slightly sweet finish. The final third saw the sweetness join the core flavors for a bit before it moved back to the finish. Construction was great and strength was slightly below medium most of the way. Although the Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto had a fairly average flavor profile throughout, there were some nice moments along the way. The sweet finish was a nice touch and not something I experience frequently. The short time that the sweetness was mixed with the musty cedar in the final third was quite good. The score won’t reflect this clearly, but this is a cigar I would return to. The simple core flavors are delivered well and the price point makes this an easy purchase. I’d really be interested to see how this pairs with some coffee.

Draw

On both Shade Grown cigars I smoked, the draw was slightly resistant, roughly 1-1/2 to 2 notches.

Overall

The Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto was a pleasant and enjoyable cigar. The flavors weren’t particularly bold, and I wouldn’t describe the overall impressions as complex, but it did harmonize in a way that kept me interested throughout. Both cigars that I smoked had a carbon copy flavor profile for each third. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 37 minutes.

Draw

The draw was perfect. The ideal amount of resistance and air flow.

Overall

A good and consistent cigar. I enjoyed the notes of sweet buttered bread, hay, dried nuts and baking spices, all wrapped up in a medium body and strength formula. With a smoking time of near two hours and a very attractive price point of ~$8, the Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto will no doubt be in the rotation of Connecticut shade offerings that I enjoy.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Good
Very GoodBurnAmazingBurnVery Good
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
GoodOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.02

Cost/Point

$1.31

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$1.18

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.07

Cost/Point

$1.12

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Kristoff Shade Grown Robusto

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