Well, here goes nothing!  My first cigar blog post.  I got tired of posting on Facebook so I thought this forum might do me better.
After a relaxing day visiting the Grandparents (Grandpa turned 91 on the 6th), I met up with my good buddy, James for a smoke or two at our favorite local haunt, The Wharf.  James had been feeling a bit cooped-up and really needed the time to unwind.
Now, saying that I am a Tatuaje fan would be a bit of an understatement.  I usually head straight to the Tatuaje case and I am set for the duration.  I surprised myself today by selecting one of the new Kristoff lines, the Kristoff Brittania Reserva Matador.  A hefty 6.5 x 56 vitola and quite heavy in the hand, my sights were set high.  Did it measure up?  Let's see.
Construction:  The Brittania Reserva is similar to all of the Kristoff cigars I have smoked in that the construction is top notch.  Only some slight veins in the wrapper leaf and a very mild mottling of color in spots.  The cigar was beautifully oily and supple to the touch and just begged to be smoked.  It also sports the typical pigtail cap and slightly shaggy foot of the Kristoff line.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw:  A nice clean tobacco aroma meets the nostrils when you take a sniff out of the cellophane.  After cutting, I noticed the draw was nice and open but not overly so.  Just about where you would want a big fat cigar to be in terms of breathability, actually.  Guaranteed to last at least an hour.
Light and Burn:  I lit this monster with a cigar match.  It took a nice wide flame to touch it off just right and I had no trouble starting a nice even burn.  As the cigar continued to burn and I gabbed back and forth with James, I noticed a perfectly even burn.  I mean spot-on even.  The ash was a nice light gray and very solid.  It was over two inches long before it dropped.  Under the first drop was no cone - just more ash developing for the next drop which was about another inch and a half.  In my opinion this is the hallmark of a great cigar.  I only touched up the light once as it developed a little cold spot towards the end - but nothing to detract from the smoke.  I am OCD in keeping my light even.
Tasting:  Mild to medium in body, the Brittania Reserva really delivers in terms of flavor.  At the opening I noted a nice mild woody flavor which developed into a rich tobacco and mild coffee profile.  Very enjoyable.  As the cigar smokes down the flavors of spice and cedar start to develop into a nice creamy core.  Overall, one of the best cigars I have tried in a long while.
Value: At around $9.50 a piece, the Brittania Reserva is not cheap but not so extravagant that it makes it a once in a while treat.  I certainly intend to add this monster to my regular rotation.
Final Thoughts:  The Brittania is yet another excellent cigar from a great brand.  While maybe not as " eventful" as I am used to with Don Pepin's blends, it certainly makes for a fine smoke.  I enjoyed it all the way down to the nub and thoroughly intent to go back for more.  Highly recommended!
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade, Honduran
Binder: Cuban Seed Dominican
Filler: Cuban Seed Nicaraguan, Cuban Seed Dominican
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