There have been a number of different retailer exclusive series in the cigar world that have stood the test of time, from Smoke Inn’s Microblend Series to STOGIES World Class Cigars’ H-Town Series of lanceros.

However, a new release in Two Guys Smoke Shop Firecracker Series is always one to look forward to, as they are usually sold around the July 4th holiday. Made up of small cigars with long “fuses”–i.e. long pigtails protruding from the cap and running down most of the length of the cigar itself—series debuted in 2007 with a limited release from My Father Cigars, Inc. Since then, other manufacturers have produced limited runs of blends in similar violas, including Tatuaje, Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas, La Flor Dominicana, RoMa Craft Tobac, Fratello and Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust.

One of the newest additions to the series is the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker, a 3 1/2 x 50 parejo that includes both a covered foot and the aforementioned “fuse.” Blend-wise, the Firecracker incorporates the same combination as the rest of the Pistoff Kristoff line, namely a a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering an Indonesian binder and filler tobaccos sourced from Nicaragua. Each cigar retailed for $6.99 and the total production was limited to just 250 20-count cigars boxes when they went on sale on June 24. Interestingly, while the series started in 2007, this year’s addition marked the fifth consecutive year of a new Firecracker release.

The Pistoff Kristoff now includes seven different vitolas.

  • Pistoff Kristoff Churchill (7 x 50) — $9.20
  • Pistoff Kristoff 660 (6 x 60) — $9.60
  • Pistoff Kristoff Robusto (5 1/2 x 54) — $9
  • Pistoff Kristoff Corona Gorda (5 3/4 x 48) — $8.70
  • Extremely Pistoff Kristoff (8 1/2 x 60) — $10.99
  • Lil Pistoff Kristoff (5 x 44) — $6.60
  • Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker (3 1/2 x 50) — $6.99

  • Cigar Reviewed: Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Charles Fairmorn
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 3 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Petit Corona
  • MSRP: $6.99 (Box of 20, $139.80)
  • Release Date: June 24, 2019
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 20 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Like the other releases in the series, the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker is hard to miss, with a combination of small ring gauge, short size and long “fuse” running from the cap. The wrapper leaf is an espresso bean brown color and features plenty of oil, and the covered foot is a nice touch. Aroma from the wrapper and foot is a combination of sweet oak, mocha coffee, bread, black pepper, earth, leather and vanilla sweetness while the cold draw brings flavors of the same sweet oak, hay, coffee beans, toast and slight varnish.

The wrapper covering the foot of the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker lights extremely easily, and immediately brings a dominant combination of leather and creamy oak, along with flavors of cocoa nibs, hay, peanut shells and cinnamon. There is quite a bit of aggressive black pepper on the retrohale as well as some significant spice on my tongue—both of which seem content to remain at those levels for the time being—and am tasting some slight molasses sweetness that is almost drowned out by them. Both the burn and the draw are excellent from the start, with neither needing any attention whatsoever, and while there is plenty of smoke production, it is quite thin in body. Strength-wise, the new Kristoff starts out fairly mild, but does increase enough to end the first third closer to medium than mild.

Thankfully, both the black pepper and spice that were so aggressive in the first third die down quickly around the time the second third of the Kristoff Firecracker begins, allowing the molasses sweetness from the first third to easily become one of the dominant flavors on the retrohale. That sweetness combines nicely with the still dominant flavors of creamy oak and leather, while lesser flavors of cinnamon bread, popcorn, gritty earth, hay and bitter chocolate bring up the rear. Construction-wise, both the burn and the draw continue to impress while the overall strength as increased to hit point just below medium by the end of the second third.

While the molasses sweetness on the retroahle does remain a major part of the profile in the final third of the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker, the familiar combination of creamy oak and leather easily remain dominant on the palate, followed by notes of peanuts, tree bark, dark chocolate, hay, espresso beans, and a touch of earth. Although the black pepper on the retrohale continues to recede, it is still strong enough to impact the profile by providing a zing of complexity. The overall construction continues to give me virtually no issues whatsoever for the draw, and although I did have to touch up the burn once near the end of the cigar, it was never in any danger of getting out of control. Finally, the overall strength hits a solid medium by the time I put the nub down a less than an inch to go.

Final Notes

  • As is the case with many of the cigars that feature a long fuse/pigtail, instead of cutting the cigar I just pulled the pigtail off, which opened up a nice hole.
  • If the band looks a bit loose, it is because the fuse was inserted under it when it was banded, so once I removed that, there was quite a bit of space left for the band to move around on the cigar.
  • Interestingly, I reviewed the first release in the Firecracker Series in 2009—the Don Pepin García Firecracker—and the same cigar happened to be the second Redux review that halfwheel published, 16 days after it debuted online.
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust’s Mi Querida Firecracker took the 15th spot in halfwheel’s Top 25 list for last year.
  • The overall construction on all three cigars I smoked for this review was fantastic, with a very nice draw and a burn line that needed almost no attention whatsoever.
  • Final smoking time averaged just under one hour—technically, 57 minutes—for all three samples.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Two Guys Smoke Shop is sold out of the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker.
89 Overall Score

Although it starts off like a firecracker, full of black pepper and spice—I have to imagine that was intentional in the blending—the profile calms down nicely by the start of the second third. What you are left with is a profile full of creamy leather and oak along with some very nice molasses sweetness and plenty of black pepper to keep things interesting. Both the burn and draw could hardly get any better for all three samples; in fact, I only had to touch up one of the cigars once, and the burn line was razor sharp for pretty much the entire smoke. An excellent addition to a series that already features some extremely good releases, and one that you should take the effort to track down.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.