For cigar geeks like myself, TAA Releases are like a Christmas gift come early. This year the first TAA I’ve smoked award goes to Kristoff Cigars with their release of 685 Woodland. The cigar shares its name with the home Glen Case lived in until the age of 21. Released only to members of the TAA this cigar might have a familiar sound to it and that is because back in 2013, the first ever TAA release from Kristoff was 685 Woodland. That cigar was a 6.5 x 60 perfecto and thankfully the 2021 release is a more manageable size.
Cigar Review: Kristoff 685 Woodland
Filler: Dominican, Nicaragua, Undisclosed
Ring Gauge: 54
The Look: Packaged in 10 count boxes, each cigar sits in cello within its own slot. The cigar features a black and red band with 685 Woodland denoted in a shape and font that would be reminiscent of something hanging on a house. A secondary band denotes that this is part of the Glen Case Series with a third band at the foot showcasing the TAA Logo. In typical Kristoff fashion the cigar features a pigtail cap and a closed foot. The oily wrapper has some brindle like color variations to it and is otherwise flawless. Box pressed to perfection the cigar has no voids of tobacco although it does feel slightly light in the hand.
The Notes: Once we clip the cap the cold draw reminds me of Cheerios, especially the crumb residue at the bottom of the box. Additionally there is some nutmeg and earth that on the palate, both of which are matched by the aroma of the foot and wrapper. With a closed foot, we opt not to taste the cigar, pull the flame toward the wrapper but not touching it as to not scorch it. Once lit, the cigar serves up notes of wood and nutmeg.
As we dive deeper into the first third of the Kristoff 685 Woodland it is obvious this is a flavor bomb in the making. Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and dare I say it, for a fleeting moment, pumpkin spice. As we progress further into the first two inches, notes of leather and black pepper begin to emerge with neither being too overpowering to take away from the complex nature of this cigar. The retrohale of the cigar sees a subtle plum and coffee notes added to the profile.
Moving into the second third notes of plum show up in the background with hints of nutmeg and espresso. The leather that appeared in the first third now serves as an afterthought. As the second third comes to a close hints of licorice appear with a touch of black pepper. The retrohale adds to the finish making it long in duration with continued coffee and black pepper.
The last third sees a subtle vanilla develop with touches of honey and nutmeg, while a slight coffee component remains on the finish. The retrohale showcases notes of espresso and an ample amount of black pepper.
The Finish: Kristoff is a brand that has been around since 2004 and sometimes it feels like they get lost in the shuffle. I know there are times I go on a Kristoff kick, and then there are times I forget about the brand. Every time I come back to them, I wonder why it has been so long between cigars. Since last year when they released the JT Signature it feels like the company finally hit a rhythm that grabbed me back to the brand, and now they follow that up with the 685 Woodland TAA Exclusive. Both lines seemed to have take Kristoff to the next level, and if it’s been a while since you tried one, you should go back and visit that and this. It’s a 10 count box that is box worthy.
Price: $12.19 / $107.99