During the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, Kristoff Cigars showed off a new limited release that was added to the company’s Signature Series. The Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series is a 6 1/2 x 60 box-pressed perfecto vitola that was available exclusively to retailers who attended the trade show last July.
Blend-wise, the Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series incorporates a broadleaf wrapper grown in Connecticut covering a Dominican binder and filler tobaccos sourced from both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. According to Kristoff, the MSRP is set at $11 per cigar—or $220 for a box of 20 cigars—and they were rolled at the Charles Fairmorn factory located in the Dominican Republic.
Kristoff’s Signature Series now includes three different lines, each a different blend:
- Glen Case Signature Series (6 x 60, 5 1/2 x 54, 6 1/4 x 52 & 7 x 50) — 2011
- JT Signature Series (6 1/4 x 54) — 2019
- Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series (6 1/2 x 60) — 2022
The Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series is limited to 750 boxes of 20 cigars that started shipping to retailers in October 2022.
- Cigar Reviewed: Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Charles Fairmorn Factory
- Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Broadleaf)
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $11 (Box of 20, $220)
- Release Date: October 2022
- Number of Cigars Released: 750 Boxes of 20 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
With its combination of a long, pointed cap, straight-cut foot and noticeable box press, the Kristoff 2022 PCA Exclusive is certainly unique from a visual perspective. The wrapper is a rustic-looking dark chocolate brown color that features quite a bit of tooth and some obvious mottling. In addition, all three cigars have a multitude of thick, overt veins running up and down their lengths and all three are also spongy when squeezed. The aroma from the wrapper includes strong dark chocolate combined with earth, leather, manure, generic wood and a touch of anise. However, the foot features a somewhat different combination made up of strong cedar, almonds, gritty earth, bitter espresso beans and a distinct raisin sweetness. Finally, the cold draw brings flavors of aromatic cedar, leather, earth and powdery cocoa nibs along with gritty earth, toasted bread and a slight floral sweetness.
A combination of cocoa nibs and cinnamon dominate the first puffs of the Kristoff 2022 PCA Exclusive. While the cocoa nibs flavor remains one of the top flavors, the cinnamon quickly retreats to the background while a rich espresso bean note flavor is added less than 10 months in. Additional notes of toasted bread, cedar, earth and dry straw flit in and out and while there is a small amount of spice present on my lips, it already seems to be fading. The retrohale features a combination of black pepper and strong caramel sweetness. Flavor ends the first third at a solid medium, while the body and strength lag a bit behind at a point slightly under the medium mark. All three cigars give me no issues when it comes to the draw and smoke production, but one cigar has some minor burn problems that necessitate a quick correction.
The spice that was present on my tongue in the first third of the cigar is nowhere to be seen as the second third begins, but the combination of rich espresso beans and cocoa nibs continues to top the profile with no signs of waning anytime soon. Secondary flavors include dry oatmeal, leather tack, earth, hay and generic nuts, along with a mineral saltiness that shows up from time to time. There are a couple of changes to the retrohale compared to the first third, as the amount of black pepper has dropped significantly and the caramel sweetness has morphed into a light fruity flavor that reminds me of cherries. Flavor increases slightly to a point just north of medium and the strength manages to break into the solid medium range, but the body stays put at just under medium. In terms of construction, the draws and smoke production continue to be excellent for all three cigars, but once again, one of the cigars—a different one than the first third—needs some minor attention from my lighter to keep on track.
Although cocoa nibs and espresso beans continue to be the main flavors during the final third of the Kristoff, the cinnamon note from the first third reappears, albeit on the finish instead of as a part of the main profile. Those aforementioned main flavors are followed by a combination of cedar, earth, salted nuts, tobacco, baker’s spices and light tea leaves, while some black pepper has returned to the retrohale to join with a slightly increased amount of cherry sweetness. Flavor stays put at a point just slightly above medium and the body manages to reach a solid medium, but the strength increases noticeably to end at medium-plus. All aspects of the construction—draw, burn and smoke production—on each of the three cigars manage to find a way to work together until I put the nubs down with about an inch remaining.
- The Kristoff brand is named after Case’s son Christopher, and he has a line named Britannia Reserva after his daughter, Brittany.
- Another new release introduced by Kristoff during the PCA Convention named Guardrail was inspired by a near-death motorcycle accident experience that Case went through three years ago.
- Although the cigar happens to be a 6 1/2 x 60 perfecto, the two bands that are wrapped around the cigar are large enough that the secondary band has to be removed before the burn line even reaches the mid-way point.
- The burn lines on all three cigars were far from razor sharp at any point—in fact, there were more than a few times when the burn looked like the above—and while two of the cigars needed corrections with my lighter, most of the issues corrected themselves.
- I tried cutting my first cigar with a v-cut but found that it left so much of the cap end sticking into my mouth that it was uncomfortable. I used a Dickman cut on the last two cigars, which rectified the issue nicely.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged two hours and six minutes for all three cigars.
The Kristoff PCA 2022 Signature Series features an enjoyable profile highlighted by notes of cocoa nibs, espresso beans and cinnamon as well as a sweetness on the retrohale that changes from caramel in the first third to a cherry note in the final two thirds. The box-pressed perfecto is visually interesting, the balance is quite good, and the overall construction gave me no major issues, although the burn lines never rose to a point that I would call attractive. I enjoyed the company’s Lil Pistoff Kristoff and Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker a bit more, but that does not change the fact that the PCA 2022 Signature Series is easily enjoyable enough to warrant tracking down for yourself.