In a world where we are looking for a sense of normalcy, it’s nice as a cigar smoker to see TAA releases still coming too retail. Earlier this year the TAA postponed their annual convention before canceling the event due to COVID-19. Limited to 500 boxes, the Kristoff TAA Exclusive has the honor of being the first TAA I have smoked from this years batch of releases.
Cigar Review: Kristoff San Andres 2020 TAA Exclusive
Wrapper: San Andres
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Ring Gauge: 54
The Look: Packaged in 20 count flip top boxes of a darker unfinished wood, the cigar are laid out in two rows of 10. The cliche on the box denoting the brand and line is in gold which matches the band of the cigar. The primary band is that of the Kristoff San Andres with a secondary band of black and gold showcasing the TAA Look. The dark San Andres wrapper is loaded with oils and is nearly flawless in appearance. In the hand the cigar is firm with a pig tail cap and closed foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the 2020 Kristoff TAA Exclusive serves up dark chocolate and marshmallow fluff while the aroma off the foot and wrapper is mocha. Once the cigar is lit the initial notes are sweet but not quite defined.
As we move into the first third and move past the burning foot so the binder and fillers ignite the cigar sees the sweetness become a well defined cocoa where is joined by marshmallow fluff bringing the cold draw experience to the cigar itself. As the first third comes to a close the sweetness begins to fade and the finish begins to grow in duration while the retrohale adds leather to the mix.
The second third sees some lingering marshmallow fluff begin to disappear as notes of espresso become dominant. The leather notes of the retrohale make it to my palate where they linger in the background on the long finish. Around the halfway point of the cigar the mocha occasionally reappears, but the dark notes of espresso have a hold of my taste buds. The retrohale is smooth and it continues to add leather to mix.
During the last third the leather notes become dominant with hints of mocha and espresso in the background. The cigar has a long finish with the retrohale seeing the addition of some pepper notes while also enhancing the leather notes of the cigar.
The Finish: This dark and rich cigar fired on all cylinders from first light to last puff. The flavors were easily identified and fulfilling where I found myself smoking a few back to back. The draw and construction were spot on with an even burn line and a perfect draw. It’s definitely a winner for Kristoff and a perfect way to start of the 2020 limited edition TAA releases.
Price: $9.99 / $176.99