The Kristoff Maduro Robusto is a remarkably attractive cigar. A pig-tail at the head and a shaggy foot. I did wonder as I looked at this cigar, with its dark and sheeny maduro wrapper, if it was one of those cigars which might be a case of style over substance – marketing over blending if you will… I sat down in the early evening, a glass of lime and tonic for company, and set about finding out if that was the case.
As already mentioned, the Maduro Robusto has a dark and sheeny maduro wrapper. It’s nice, and smooth, though there are just a few too many little veiny parts. My concern with the wrapper, which was to be borne out, was that it appeared to be a little flakey (despite the sheen), on account of it being remarkably thin and delicate (even for a wrapper). The pig-tail was rustic and the shaggy foot just added to the impression that this had been cobbled together in a farmyard barn! That’s no bad thing, it’s a remarkably stylish looking cigar, finished off with a nicely understated double band. To the touch this was perfect, just the right amount of give. 13
Pre-light, the aromas were typical of a maduro – chocolate with hints of coffee. Then I lit the cigar and thought I was in deep trouble. Within a few draws the burn was way off straight – one side had barely started glowing and the other was like a runaway train. I needn’t have worried however, as within a couple of minutes it had evened up nicely. And that is how it stayed for the duration. Coupled with a perfect draw and an ideal amount of smoke it’s looking set for a good score. Indeed, even the ash was strong, solid and bright; it didn’t need to be knocked off until half-way – and that was my nerve that gave way, not the ash. The aroma too was pretty good – sweet almost. It may appear as though the Maduro Robusto is in-line for a near perfect score, however… A heinous crime was about to be committed. That wonderful looking wrapper is remarkably delicate (as most wrappers are), but this is just a little too fragile. Part way through my evening smoke, a patch of wrapper just dropped off. How peculiar – it was ideally humidified (this wasn’t a ‘bursting’ moment), what had caused it? I don’t know, and won’t surmise. All I’ll say is that it was a big black mark against otherwise very good construction. 22
In the early going it was a little hard to pin-point exactly what the cigar was giving me . Was the Maduro Robusto going to fulfil my style over substance prediction? They were greenish flavours, which I hadn’t expected. Soon enough, however, the flavours started to become more defined with a greenish cocoa bean coming to mind – there were still the ‘green’ flavours, but they were married with a slightly chocolatey sweetness. Soon afterwards, the sweetness subsided (slightly) and was balanced by the slight bitterness of a coffee-like profile joining the fray. As the cigar reached half-way, some leather notes joined the party, increasing the depth of the flavours. In fact, when taken all together, the flavours were a little reminiscent of lobster… I know crab is the usual maduro ‘flavour’, but this was a little sweeter. As the cigar moved towards the end, the grassy and herbaceous flavours took the lead; alongside these remained a wonderful chocolate and coffee ‘finish’ to each draw. Overall, this was a very pleasant cigar, it developed throughout and was always smooth. My only criticism would be that the changes were a little too subtle from one-third to the next, and as such, the Maduro Robusto lacked a little bit of excitement. 22
Overall Impression /35
The Kristoff Maduro Robusto is a remarkable cigar. Before you even start you have certain pre-conceptions: ‘this is a novelty item’ and ‘this is going to be typical maduro – chocolatey with crab’ were the two which I waded in with. Both were proven to be wrong. Firstly, regardless of how this cigar looks, it tasted nice and balanced, and it’s construction (wrapper aside) was stunning! Secondly, I was given a nice surprise to find out that there are people out there who can blend a cigar with the depth (and slight sweetness) you expect from a maduro, but with other complementary flavours. This was smooth and light-to-medium bodied, with solidly medium flavours. Very nice, I’ll try to find some more… 32
Grand total… 89/100