Kristoff 685 Woodlawn | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican Habano, Undisclosed
Size: 6.5 x 60 “Perfecto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $14.00

1

2

Today we take a look at the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn.
I know this is not a new cigar. It is an expensive cigar but I’m running out of cigars to review and I need to continue to write. So be it. Make it so.

BACKGROUND:
Release Date: May 2013
Factory: Charles Fairmorn Dominican Republic.
Cigars Released: 2000 Boxes of 10.
Kristoff 685 Woodlawn is named for Glen Case’s address from birth to 21 years old.
There you go. This cigar has gotten plenty of reviews so no need to add to the mishegos.

DESCRIPTION:
I only have one as it was a gift from a reader and I’m sure he had it a long time so no excuses.
This is a strange looking duck. An odd perfecto shape with a flat foot tapering up to the middle where the snake ate a rabbit and then tapering down to a pin point cap.

The rolling is pretty sloppy; especially on the top half. I hope Case didn’t pay more than minimum wage to this roller.
The wrapper is an oily, cherry brown color. Some tooth but mostly smooth. The cap looks like a mangled circumcision. Even tilts a little…leaning tower of penis.

How the two cigar bands manage to stay when not in the cello is a mystery. I know you can weld ferrous or non-ferrous metals so maybe they should have thought of that.
The big main cigar band slides off each time I pick it up. This will be a bitch for the review. The secondary band seems snug.
The stick is solid. Good solid.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell floral notes, sweetness, sweet cedar, spice, and baking spices.
From the clipped penile portion of the cap and the foot, I smell sweet cookie dough, spice, and floral notes.
The cold draw presents flavors of more cookie dough, spice, molasses, vegetal notes, fruit notes, and grass.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is very good.
I take a couple photos to show you where the wrapper is not terminated correctly and I will see runs in both areas.

3

4

Black Cherries, cedar, black pepper, espresso, super creamy, and tastes like crusty French bread. This is one well-aged cigar.
And there you go…I got one beaut of a run exactly where I predicted in just moments after taking photos 3 & 4. I touch up the foot and allow it to cool so the rest of the foot can catch up. Usually takes 2-3 minutes.

5

None of the other reviews tasted what I taste because there was a rush to be the first on their block to review it. This cigar has nearly 9 months of humidor time and it shows big time. Some of the other reviewers dance around the fact that they can’t taste much. I hate that. But I must admire their ability to do excellent double talk.

Strength is medium/full almost from the get go.

The Kristoff 685 Woodlawn is a difficult cigar shape to let dangle from your lips.
The char line needs one more touch up. Shitty rolling.

6

But then I’ve never been a big fan of Kristoff Cigars. Out of thousands of reviews I’ve written, I’ve only reviewed 6 Kristoff cigars. The last one I reviewed was the Kristoff Galerones Series Brazilian Habano and I gave it an 83.
I’m hoping the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn surprises me.

More Van Morrison this morning. Ahhh…

The Kristoff 685 Woodlawn tastes just fine but isn’t bowling me over like a $14.00 stick should. Far from it. It should be taking me on a magic carpet ride. Instead, it is like any other good $8.00 cigar blend. I don’t care how special spectacular the undisclosed filler is, it should be blowing me out of my socks.
For such a limited run cigar (2000 boxes), is there any doubt while after two years on the market that you can still buy this cigar? The smoking public has spoken.
A whole shit load of big online stores still carry it. Maybe I missed something. Maybe Glen Case made this a regular production cigar.

The char line has calmed down at about 1-1/4” burned.

And then it blossoms: Creaminess, coffee, spice, malts (Coffee Malt, Cara/Munich Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, and Flaked Rye Malt) See Malt Chart, cocoa, dried fruit, lemon citrus, cherries, cedar and toasty Jewish rye bread.
We have a chain bakery called “Breadsmith” nearby. They make the best Jewish rye in Milwaukee. Not cheap but worth every shekel. I love a slice, toasted, with unsalted sweet butter. Yum.

The wrapper near the secondary cigar band is beginning to flake. Damn.
The $7.00 Santiago Maduro, I reviewed yesterday, was much better than the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn.

The owner of Santiago Cigars, Roberto Lopez, called me from Nicaragua yesterday. He was pleased with the review and we talked for a while. Very nice, grounded man. He is going to send me more info about his business. I can’t wait to try his Habano and the Connecticut. Now this man puts passion into his cigar blending. Something missing in Kristoff blends.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Normally, I would touch up errant char lines to make nice photos. As long as they are just a tad bit wavy. But not today folks. A $14.00 cigar has no business having a fucked up burn line.

There are no transitions happening. No complexity. A so so balance. And a short finish.
Shame, shame Glen Case.

7third

Mind you, this was a $14.00 cigar when it was released two years ago! And they aren’t selling. So wouldn’t you think that Mr. Case would lower the price to stop the embarrassment and get this whole thing over with? Hell, no.

I’m going to be reviewing a new cigar tomorrow gifted to me by an anonymous lover…er..I mean reader. The new Padrón Dámaso. They took a left turn and are putting out their first Connecticut wrapped blend that is only mild/medium in strength. Should be interesting. I took some sniffs and it has the most gorgeous aroma of sweet lemons. I hope it is a good stick. And cheap compared to most of their line. Only $17.50 per stick. Wow. What a relief.

The transitions are basically the flavors coming and going. Not using the previous half inch to build upon.
Then, at this moment, the flavors make a surge. Yeah, but for how long?

The citrus is moving to the front. Very creamy. Nutty. The spice is in the last third of the list. The chocolate has improved and the coffee is strong. I do like the rye bread element. Nice. I can taste the caraway seeds.

I’m bopping to Van the Man. I still have my bass and practice amp sitting next to me. And I still try to play it. But instead of playing at an expert’s level, I’m playing like a first year student. Bummer dudes. But it feels so good to hold the bass.
When I bought my Schecter fretless in 1980, I slept with it for two weeks. No kidding. I was single, of course.

The char line is way out of whack. Torching the wrapper does nothing to improve the flavor.

8

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
The Kristoff 685 Woodlawn is going nowhere fast.
It gets these crazy surges then falls back into mediocrity.

It gets no excuses as it is well aged. And I dry boxed it for 48 hours.
The caramel returns. Works nicely with the creaminess. But where is the consistency?
C’mon Case!

I got two of these sticks and smoked one a couple weeks ago. Same problems. Same issues. I had hoped that I just got a bum stick. Apparently, not.

I can’t believe I’m spending all this time on the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn.
I’m now getting a charred steak flavor. That came out of nowhere. But I like it.

9half

I have a doc appointment this afternoon. Dropped Charlotte at work so I could have the truck. We were without a vehicle for months as I had to sell it to pay for medical bills.
My son in law sold us, for almost nothing, his 2003 Chevy Silverado Z71 Off Road. A huge gorgeous truck. Never had a big truck but always wanted one. And this baby is so complex, that it’s like using a computer inside. I guess I’ve finally moved to the 21st Century.

Dear Katie loaned us food money so on the way back from the doc, I’m stopping at Trader Joe’s. Can’t beat those prices or the quality of food. Have to take the dog along. She freaks out when left alone for long periods. Thankfully, it will be 71° in Milwaukee. This is just crazy weather. It should be snowing. So I don’t have to worry about leaving the dog in the cold.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
Finally. Flavors begin to hold their own. Fingers crossed that it stays this way til the end.

Here they are: Creaminess, charred steak, caramel, malts, cherries, rye bread, cocoa, coffee, citrus, nutty, and toasty.
This is what the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn should have been like from the first minute.

The char line needs regular attention.

10third

Halfwheel gave it an 87. Cigar Coop gave it a 90. As I peruse Google, I notice there are very few reviews of the Kristoff 685 Woodlawn. But there are a shit load of stores selling them. How can that be? 2000 boxes. Either Case made this a regular production cigar or the price tag put people off and word of mouth got around it just ain’t worth it.

Strength remains at medium/full. Nicotine shows up.
The first half was a dog show. The second half was an improvement. Just not consistent.
There is no way I can recommend this $14.00 cigar. Sorry Kristoff 685 Woodlawn.
I’ve learned my lesson. No more reviews of Kristoff products.

RATING: 82

PRICE POINT:
Absolutely ridiculous. I have no idea why this cigar would cost so much to begin with.
Even the big guys didn’t really think that much of the cigar. They certainly didn’t taste what I taste. Their descriptions were more from a green cigar than a really aged version.

And the constant fixes of the char line takes this cigar out of contention for a decent rating.
But as I’ve always said, palates are so different. That’s why it so important to read as many reviews as you can and make up your own mind if you want to pop for an expensive cigar.

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2 replies

  1. I read a couple reviews of the Damaso. They confirmed what you said about the cigar burning really fast.
    They feel very light in the hand so clearly they are not packed very well. That’s OK. I have the 7 x 50 Churchill and I don’t want to sit at my laptop for 3 hours.

  2. Another great review Mr. K! After trying a hand full of Kristoff I’m not sure but I think they use the same rollers for their hole line. The ash from your pictures look the same as my Kristoff Kristania line. Why pay $14 a stick for the same price roller of the $5 stick? Just a thought small batch or not!