Ever since I was a kid, I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth. I remember riding my bike to the center of town so I could spend my lawn mowing money on sugar and trading cards. My go-to store, Yankee Grocer, had an excellent selection of penny candy. Those days are long gone though! Probably a good thing that us kids never thought about how riddled with germs those candy boxes likely were. I don't go so hard these days as an adult, but I will never give up chocolate. As of 2023, there were almost 7,000 chocolate shops in the United States. That's an awful lot of Wonka Bars! Some of my favorite chocolate is of the cigar kind. Notes can range between baking cocoa, dark or milk chocolate, and sometimes juicy chocolate cake, which is one of the best notes one could have in a cigar if ya ask me! A subtly sweet choco cake note is always a winner. That is what I'm hoping for with the Kristoff Maduro Torpedo. It does have a delicious looking Brazilian wrapper. As opposed to eating it, my gut tells me to smoke it instead. So here we go.
Cigar: Kristoff Maduro Torpedo
Origin: Santiago, Dominican Republic
Factory: Charles Fairmorn SA
Size: 6.25 x 52
Wrapper: Brazilian Maduro
Binder: Cuban seed Dominican
Filler: Cuban seed Dominican, Cuban seed Nicaraguan
A quick glance is impressive. Decent uniformity, torpedo cap is clean, seams are snugly closed up, the closed foot has plenty of excess, and there is a nice thick & oily texture to the wrapper. Upon closer inspection there are is a bulginess to the profile in a few spots and the overall cigar feels spongey. Three days of dry-boxing did little for that. There is also a large section on the backside that is not shown in the pictures with a large contrast in wrapper color. I don't like seeing barber pole-level contrast on a single wrapper. In general it's a nice torpedo.
I used a combination V-cut & guillotine cut. The draw was on the firm side, but I was able to get a proper puff with standard output. No poking, tweezing or the like. It was a cut-n-go kind of session.
The grey ash was firm and sturdy, only coming off when told to. At the base was a burn line that was acceptably straight. I did apply a couple flame kisses to appease my OCD burn line tendencies, although would have been fine on its own. No swelling, cracks, or any other gear grinding issues.
1/3 - Off the heals of the foot blanket I get notes of damp, dark soil, moss, and a little bit of Brazilian zing. The flavor profile is well toasted and assisted by an ash note and bark. In the back I pick up floral green tea. Body is medium and the retro is a combo of the above notes.
2/3 - Moving into the 2nd third I get a mixed sensation of boldness, yet smooth and soft, yet also unrefined. This leaves me with a flavor experience that feels young & unbalanced, while at the same time not raunchy or punishing. Some baking cocoa and bold leather step into the ring. The damp & dank vibe has settled down from the 1st third, but overall I'm bored. Seems as though I'm digging deep to find various notes. One that came bubbling to the surface is a mineral finish. The ash note pulls up some too.
3/3 - I wouldn't say things begin to shine in the final third, but the profile has rounded over some. There is an addition of not-so-sweet dark chocolate and the floral green tea struggles to remain. As in the 2nd third, the body & finish are bold & smooth, but I still feel flat. It's like going into a hoarders garage: there are various things here & there, but it's all junk, none of it interesting, and might as well be all one unit of Nope.
The Kristoff Maduro Torpedo is one of those cigars where I certainly recommend a second opinion. While the look & performance of the cigar were more than acceptable, I just had a hard time enjoying the flavor profile. Toasty, bark, soil, mineral, and moss are all notes that really need to be refined and balanced for me to enjoy. Perhaps it's exactly what you like! The draw and burn were solid, so maybe this one will strike your fancy more than mine. If it doesn't, I get to say I told ya so!
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1