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Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker | halfwheel


The year 2007 brought the debut of one of the longest-running retailer exclusives series that continues to this day: the Firecracker Series. Originally made exclusively for New Hampshire-based retailer Two Guys Smoke Shop, the series is populated with cigars released around the July 4th holiday that include physical attributes based around a centralized firecracker theme. Specifically, the cigars used for the series are small vitolas with “fuses,” or long pigtails protruding from the cap and running down most of the length of the cigar itself.

Following the first cigar in the series—a limited creation from My Father Cigars, Inc. in 2007—other manufacturers have produced limited runs of blends in similar violas, including Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, FratelloKristoff, La Flor Dominicana, PerdomoRoMa Craft Tobac and Tatuaje.

In 2019, Kristoff released the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker, a 3 1/2 x 50 petit corona that includes both a covered foot and the aforementioned “fuse.”

In terms of the blend, the Firecracker incorporates the same combination as the rest of the Pistoff Kristoff line: 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, 2019.

Here is what I wrote in my original review of the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker almost two years ago:

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.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Charles Fairmorn Factory
  • 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 Redux: 1

Visually, the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker looks pretty much identical to the samples from my first review—a dark brown mottled wrapper with a covered foot and long pigtail cap—but that is where the similarities end. The two-year-old cigar I’m smoking for this redux features a strong barbecue and mesquite combination emanating from the cover leaf, while the foot brings notes of cinnamon, earth, barnyard and generic nuts. After cutting the cap with a straight cut, the cold draw has flavors of the same strong barbecue and mesquite combination that I noted from the wrapper, along with additional notes of hay, espresso beans, black pepper and slight citrus.

Starting out, the profile of the Firecracker features a blast of black pepper and spice on my palate—albeit not nearly as aggressive as I remember from the first time around—along with top flavors of both mesquite and charred meat. Secondary notes of hay, dark chocolate, anise, peanuts, cinnamon and citrus flit in and out, and there is plenty of both black pepper and honey sweetness on the retrohale. However, the second half sees a shift closer to what I remember from the first review, with flavors of creamy oak and leather taking the main spots, followed by notes of gritty earth, dry hay, espresso beans, cocoa nibs, generic nuts and a touch of cinnamon. In addition, while there is still some spice present on my tongue until the very end of the cigar, it is too mild to be a major player in the profile starting around the beginning of the final third. The black pepper and honey sweetness each continue to play off of each other nicely on the retrohale, but the distinctness of the combination has waned a bit compared to its high point in the first half. Additionally, the nub does get a little hot at the end which adds some bitterness to the profile.

Construction-wise, the draw features an excellent amount of resistance after a simple straight cut, while the burn gives me no issues after a quick touch-up almost immediately after lighting the foot. There is also a bit more smoke production than I remember compared to the first time around, albeit just as thick off of the foot. The strength starts a little closer to medium than mild before gradually increasing enough to hit a point slightly below the medium mark right as I put down the nub after 59 minutes of smoking time when the nub becomes noticeably hot.

89
Overall Score

When I first reviewed the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker, I noted that I hoped some age would put a dent in the amount of spice and black pepper in the profile, thus giving the rest of the flavors in the profile room to breathe. While that did occur, I was not expecting a complete metamorphosis of the main flavors that were present. In the end, while I did get pretty much exactly what I was wanting out of the Pistoff Kristoff Firecracker after two years of rest, I am also confident that the cigar has plenty of gas left in its tank and can’t wait to see what some more time does to the profile.

Original Score (August 2019)

89

Redux Score (August 2021)

89

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