The other day I had the joy of a dental appointment, a total thrill in itself, but the main thrill is the 1.5 hour drive to get there. Vroom I go, get numbed up and drilled, and get put in an over tired grumpy ass mood. What better way to fix that mood than a trip to my “local” beer shop that happens to carry a good selection of cigars. I use the term local in a loose manner due to the fact where I live there aren’t any places worth going too that sell cigars, and the nearest one that is worth going to is an hour and a half away which, conveniently is about 2 miles away from the dentist office. If you know the area, its Bear World in Watertown NY outside the gates of Ft Drum Army base. I usually make a point of stopping in whenever I am in the area, huge selection of craft beers and cigars. In I go to help out the economy to make a few purchases, a two pint bottle of some Game of Thrones ale and a couple cigars, one of which this review is based on, the Kristoff Galerones Intensivo. I picked this one up because basically I knew nothing about it, it looked tasty, and from past experience with Kristoff cigars, I figured this one would be a good one. $9.99 each and it was mine. Fast forward to the next day when I decided to light this bad boy and turn it into ashes. With it being called the Intensivo, one would think, this should be intense and aggressive, so I will need some music to match, so why not some aggressive angry screaming chick, some Courtney Love and Hole, lets get that cued up on the mp3 and have some fun.
Knowing next to nothing about this cigar other than recognizing the name Kristoff, I did some research on it, not only to learn more about it, but also to make myself appear smarter than I really am in writing this up. (Yeah I’m keepin it reelz) According to various sites, this is supposed to be the strongest cigar that Kristoff has ever put out. Groovy, I like a good strong kick in the pants. It’s make up is all Cuban seed, its fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican, as I mentioned, all Cuban seed, with a wrapper of Brazilian maduro. Sounds interesting. Some people were reporting nutty flavors, along with typical maduro flavors of chocolate, coffee, espresso, you know the type, and also woody notes (no I don’t mean notes with boners drawn on them, get your head out of the gutter) as well as a lot of spicy peppery stuff going on. We shall see what I get out of it.
The one I had was the gordo (6×60), box press, which I learned in my research, this is also the first boxpress that Kristoff has ever released. This particular one also comes in a robusto and torpedo sizes, also box press. I went with a punch cut, and did the ol sniff and dry draw to see what comes out of it. With both tests you get a real good chocolate smell and taste from the dry draw, and for whatever demented reason it reminded me of headless chocolate Easter bunnies hopping around. Yeah, I’m odd. I’m reminded daily by my wife. So first impressions were, I should be getting a lot of chocolate and coffee out of it, flavor profiles I like from a maduro. On a side note, when I did the dry draw, the draw itself was real loose, like sucking on a straw, so before I lit I figured I’d take my time with it so it don’t over heat, get bitter and crappy. Ok, enough looking at the damn thing, lite the sumbitch.
Boom, after setting fire to it like a pyromaniac, with a screaming woman singing about doll parts, I start taking this beast in. First draws were a kick in the face, very intense pepper and cedar, I was like, wtf, wheres all that chocolate and coffee I was expecting? It wasn’t there and it never appeared, just a kick of white pepper, leather and wood. I was surprised, amused, and in away happy that I was head faked into something I was completely not expecting. The first few puffs were almost raw, in your face and borderline harsh, but then it did a 180 and smoothed out into a really flavorful smoke. The pepper turned subtle, the cedar and oak-like notes remained, and you really didn’t get the chocolate up front, it was well hidden. As for the claims of coffee and espresso, I didn’t pick up on that at all, the slight nuttiness I picked up was very subtle, almost non existent. But then again, everyone tastes things differently, a lot of people say it depends on how you cut it, how you light it, how you hold it, or if Pluto is in line with Uranus in the constellation of a pooping ostrich or something. I just report what I experience. Burn wise, I wasn’t too impressed, with a loose draw it seemed to like to burn uneven for the first 2/3rds and when the ash fell off you end up with a cone that looks like the afterburner on a space ship in a cheesy sci-fi B-movie. Lots of touch ups were needed. The ash itself was a dark grey, fairly solid. The smoke a bluish white, and a lot of it, and the smell of the smoke was great too, definitely not one that is meant to be smoked to keep the bugs at bay, it might draw them in. After the first 2/3rds were up in the air, it started to behave. The flavor was consistent throughout, and I got a hint of sweetness, but then again I had it paired with a cherry flavored energy drink, not the best combination, coffee would have been a hell of a lot better.
Final thoughts, I ended up stabbing it with the knife blade on my Leatherman and nubbing the snot out of it. I really enjoyed the flavors, as for it being extremely strong, well, it was strong but there’s a lot stronger smokes out there. Construction was a little disappointing, as was the burn, but over all it was an interesting smoke and I would definitely buy it again. Plus now, my mustache smells good from it. Sniff sniff….
Until next time, smoke what you like, like what you smoke, and don’t let the headless chocolate bunnies get you.