Cigar Review: Kristoff Sumatra

Cigar Review: Kristoff Sumatra

Today we have a guest review from TriMarkC, on the Kristoff Sumatra

On a recent business trip to the Baltimore/DC area, I had an evening to kill and had had a week-long desire for a NUb Maduro.  After a quick search on CigarFriendly.com I couldn’t find a local B&M close enough. But after asking around, I found Faders Tobacco in Towson MD was relatively nearby.  Once there, Andrew introduced himself and asked me about what cigars I liked, as he gave me a tour.  With a NUb Maduro safely in hand, Andrew also talked me into trying a Kristoff Sumatra pigtail, as well. I’ve enjoyed numerous Kristoffs, starting at an event in 2009 when I met founder, Glenn Case.

My evening got even better when a gentleman in Faders’ lounge offered me a nice, crisp Yuengling lager to pair my Kristoff with!

As I examined this cigar, I kept thinking to myself, “Self, this is a huge cigar!” And at 7×56, I was right! I also loved the perfectly formed double-twisted pigtail, and it’s unfinished foot! The Sumatra has a red band which gives it a 1960-ish look, and the color matches well to the hue of the wrapper, which is medium brown with a hint of rouge.

Downside was the wrappers’ construction. Maybe it was a bad batch, but there were tears and/or pinching in almost every cigar’s wrapper in the box. I was able to find one that had only one or two very tiny tears near the band that I didn’t think would affect the cigar’s smoking enjoyment.

Pre-light, I found the Sumatra had very little aroma. After I cut the head, I could taste a slight hint of leather and cedar.

But as I toasted the foot, this cigar started waking up, with lots of cedar and leather, especially on the retrohale.  After a few puffs, I also picked up some vanilla, as well, in its creamy, mouth-coating smoke.

1st Third – The initial flavors have intensified, with strong leather, and some woodsy-ness. The burn was crisp but wavy.  The ash was white and appeared flaky but firmly held for almost 1.5″, telling of the cigar’s inner construction. The smoke off the cigar was thin and a very white color, but it’s aroma was like autumn leaves or a campfire, but not quite. I usually like this aroma, but…something was different. I would say this Kristoff Sumatra’s strength was a low-to-mid Medium.

2nd Third – The flavor profile changed up, with the cedar coming to the front and the leather receded. Interestingly, while the vanilla was still there, I swear perhaps some carmel showed up occasionally, too. The cigar seemed to be producing more smoke, and the burn improved to near perfect. Unfortunately, one of the tiny tears at the band opened up more, & started to create slight draw problems.

3rd Third – For the first time, a slight spiciness kicked in, especially on the retrohale. But, that strange off-putting flavor has picked up, too. Worse, the tiny tear that grew into a split joined with another split where the band was, making the draw almost impossible.

Overall – I went in expecting to like this cigar as much as I’ve liked the other Kristoff’s I’ve had. But, while I enjoyed Faders Lounge and the Yuengling lager, this Kristoff Sumatra pigtail just didn’t do it for me.