Manufactured by Exclusive Cigars.
A seemingly well-filled cigar with a slight softness at the head and foot. The wrapper is deep brown in color with some dark splotches. The cigar has a pigtail cap and a shaggy foot. The only real wrapper defect I could find was that the application at the foot was a little sloppy and wrinkled. Prelight aroma was deeply earthy with notes of spiciness and cardamom. There is also a slight sweetness in the aroma that reminds me of that sweetened pipe tobacco that the tobacconist used to keep in those clear jars when I was younger. Prelight taste had a lot of dried fruit flavors – specifically apricot and raisin. There were also light cedar flavors.
I found it interesting that the first few puffs had none of the prelight dried fruit flavors that I found. The cigar opened very dry with pleasant hay flavors with a healthy spice in my nose and on my palate. As the first third progressed, there was also a slight sweetness that developed on the wrapper as well.
Though it appeared relatively well-filled before lighting, the foot developed a soft, under-filled feeling during the second third. The head became similarly soft, and it was not able to easily hold its shape. This issues at the foot also caused an uneven burn that I ended up correcting throughout the rest of the cigar. The sweetness on the wrapper continued, and the hay flavors and spiciness continued and began to intensify, and were complimented by earthy flavors.
The earthiness continued to develop, and the hay evolved into what I can best describe as a mahogany-type hardwood essence. The spiciness intensified and increased in overall fullness. There was a tiny bit of a harsh edge that developed that may indicate the presence of just a touch of youthfulness.
A good evolution of flavors and a solid medium-bodied smoke. The earthy and woody flavors were well-complimented by the spiciness, and the strength was not at all overpowering. The loose pack in the head and foot proved distracting, as did the uneven burn that needed correction constantly in the final two thirds.
I have a maduro sample of the same vitola that I am looking forward to trying to see if there are similar construction and burn issues. With the resolution of these issues, I would certainly consider including this cigar in my regular rotation. I look forward to trying other Kristoff vitolas as well.