First it was the Red Knight, followed by the Zlatno Sonce and Crna Nok. Now the latest from Riste Riatevski and his young Jas Sum Kral Cigars company, is the Kralot. I have to hand it to Riste, he has some of the most unique names for his cigars.
So what is a Kralot anyway? I am glad you asked, it translates to “King” in Macedonian, which is Riste’s native country. So there you have it, a Red Knight, the Golden Sun, a Black Night and now the King. There does seem to be a thread in these names.
Previous cigars from Jas Sum Kral – which by the way, means “I Am King” – have been spectacular and set my expectations for the Kralot high on the throne.
The Kralot was talked about at the 2018 IPCPR but Riste only had a pre-release sample to offer me as the production versions were planned for later in the year. I was going to review the pre-release first, but my good friend and Stogie Press associate, Alton Otto, brought me a belated Christmas gift which included the production Kralot. So a simple coin flip and I went with the production version first. I will smoke the pre-release and compare it later, but I was told by Riste that he used some higher priming’s for the production blend which he felt it made it a better cigar.
Riste does not say too much about the blend on his website, other than it uses a Mexican San Andreas wrapper. The binder and filler were not disclosed, but I did contact him and he confirmed the secret to the kings sauce is:
- Wrapper: Mexico (San Andreas)
- Binder: Nicaragua (Ometepe & Somoto)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí & Jalapa)
That is one rich blend for sure, and Riste describes it all as:
Kralot (“The King”) introduces an elaborate marriage of gratifying astutely wrapped in a rich Mexican San Andreas wrapper. Although buried deeply, the intense flavors of this cigar are ready to deliver a palatable speech so grand, it’s worthy on of “The King”.
The Jas Sum Kral Kralot is currently available in a single “Mag 50” (7 x 50) vitola and comes packaged in 20-count boxes with an MSRP set at $14.00/Cigar. There will be two more vitolas introduced this year, we were told, which will include a 4 x 44 and 7 x 38, vitola names are still not disclosed.
It should also be noted that the Kralot is not being produced at Noel Rojas’ factory as were previous Jas Sum Kral cigars. As we noted early in 2018, Riste moved his production to Tabacalera de Aragon S.A, in Esteli. The Kralot along with the previous lines are now manufactured there.
Well enough with the introductions and lets get on with the pageantry for the King starting with the pre-light испитување (examination).
The Jas Sum Kral Kralot sports a dark brown cloak that is a bit veiny and has a few bumps here and there. It is solidly packed and is so well rolled that there is no noticeable seams in the wrap. The wrapper has a light grit to it and a simple cap complete the presentation.
As far as jewels, the Kralot is adorned with a single golden band that takes up a good part of the cigar. At least it seems that way as it is placed a bit further down from the shoulder and it is a large band. There is only three parts of the band that have color other than gold – first the name “Kralot” is printed in white and the letter “R” on either side of the center are also in white, finally the phrase “Jas Sum Kral” is printed in small black letters in the center logo.
So what does this tell us? Kralot means King, Jas Sum Kral means I am King, and the two R’s stand for Riste Riatevski. Get the picture?
Well even the king needs to be subjected to the sniff test if it wishes to pass through my examination. So I ran it past the nose and noted its citrus and lemon grass aroma along its barrel and I picked up a complex set of baking spice notes off the foot. Unique if i say so myself.
Beyond the sniff, his majesty must remove his cap in order for the procession to continue. Without further adieu, I sliced the Kralot’s cap with my double blade and proceeded to take some cold draw puffs. Let me say, the draw was snug…more snug than I like…but not plugged. It offered earthy notes along with a peppery burn on the lips.
I took one more long stare at his majesty as I ignited my dual flame torch and warmed the foot. A puff here and puff there and the foot glowed bright. I bid farewell to the king, as we both knew he would soon be turned to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light peppery notes fill the palate
- Creamy coffee notes lay in the background
- Light grey ash evolves atop of a thin char line
- Floral fruit aroma wafts off the foot early on
- Natural sweetness grows in the profile coupled with a dry fruit note
- Aroma slides into a sweet nut component after an inch plus of burn
- Ash fell revealing a decently formed burn cone on a wavy line
- Smoke volume is medium at best
- Chocolate notes enter, both in taste and aroma
- Mild spice enters joins the mix in the second third with a continued creamy background
- Herbal notes develop deep into the second third
- The wave has grown to an off burn that needed a mild touch up
- Sweet nut aroma returns
- The spice increases a tad, becoming the prominent note through the final third
- Medium-plus in Strength
- Total Smoking time was a whopping 2 hours and 30 minutes (A slow burner)
Overall, the Jas Sum Kral Kralot was quite a pleasant smoke with a tasty array of flavors and shifting aromas. The draw was snug from the cold puffs to the nub and it delivered only a medium volume of smoke, but it lasted 2 1/2 hours. I would’ve liked this to have opened up a bit midway. There was a slight wave in the burn which turned into an off burn requiring a mild touch-up. I rate the Kralot a 92.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke; (-1) Mild Touch-up; (-1) Would Buy Another