Introduced in 2019, the Kristoff Shade Grown is a cigar most sites have noted as a re-branding of the original Kristoff Britannia Reserva. Regardless, it fills out the company’s portfolio with Honduran Shade grown Connecticut wrapper that offers a mild to medium body.
Kristoff describes this cigar as:
“The Shade Grown is a mild-medium bodied cigar that .. offers the depth, flavor and complexity not found in other mild cigars.”
The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Connecticut Shade, Honduran
- Binder – Cuban Seed Dominican
- Filler – Cuban Seed Nicaraguan, Cuban Seed Dominican
The Kristoff Shade Grown is expressed in three vitolas each of which comes packaged in 20-count boxes cushioned by loose leaf in the box.
- Matador (6.5 x 56) MSRP $9.00
- Robusto (5.5 x 54) MSRP $8.00
- Churchill (7 x 50) MSRP $8.14
For this review, I sampled the Kristoff Shade Grown Matador.
The Kristoff Shade Grown has a medium tan and oily wrapper that is light on veins and has a bit of marbling running through it. It is fairly solid to the touch and uses a twist cap and a closed foot to complete the presentation. It should be noted that the cap is not rounded but flat.
There is a single band that adorns the cigar, using a dark grey and gold motif. The name Kristoff is boldly printed in gold in the center, along with “Shade Grown” and the phrase “Hecho a Mano Dominicana” (Hand Made in the Dominican) on top and bottom.
As I ran the barrel along the nose I picked up a floral aroma and the foot exuded notes of natural sweetness, nut, and a hint of vanilla. Enticing to say the least.
After thinking about how to open the cap, I chose to use a double blade cutter and sliced the cap straight across, right below the top. A few cold draw puffs treated the palate to some light spice and a touch of nut.
I reached for my double flame torch to warm the foot which took to the flame immediately with the closed foot leaf. I draw in some early puffs of a light-medium peppery smoke and gentle burn on the nose.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offered medium pepper and light burn on the nose
- There is a note I can’t place, but it reminds me of cigars I smoked back thirty-plus years ago
- Grassy notes start to show early in the burn
- The smoke is quite smooth, but just medium in volume
- Butter Nut aroma wafts off the foot
- A light grey ash forms on a medium thick char line
- Citrus and coffee notes with an undertone of cream enter the profile
- Once the ash fell it revealed a fairly centered burn cone
- Herbal notes start to grow
- A touch of bitterness enters midway that lasted for about an 1/8 inch of burn
- Spice is breaking in
- Floral notes join the mix
- Aroma shifts to more of a nut aroma
- Ash is getting flaky
- Spice and floral notes swirl about with a nuance of toast deep in second third
- Burn starts to go off entering the final third
- Spice increases with a nuance of dried fruit moving through the final
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes
Overall, the Kristoff Shade Grown is a decent value, mild to medium, cigar that would make for a good start of the day with a nice cup cafe latte. The flavors were plentiful and ever changing from start to finish, though not exactly the most balanced. It had a medium volume of smoke, a flaky ash, and it did demonstrate an off burn deep in the burn. If you are looking for a mild to medium cigar at a decent price, check one out. I rate this a 86.
Point Deductions: (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke; (-1) Bitterness; (-1) Flaky Ash; (-2) Unbalanced Flavors; (-1) Off Burn deep in the burn; (-1) Worth checking one out