Earlier this year, I reviewed a couple of cigars from a small boutique cigar company based out of Chicago. Known as Black Star Line Cigars, their inaugural blend, the El Milagro was a pleasant smoking experience and was hand crafted by El Titan de Bronze in Miami, FL. Last month I received some new samples of their latest introduction, the War Witch.
For this new blend, the company reached out to Aganorsa Leaf as the manufacturer. A good choice, as Arganorsa has access to some awesome leaf and have fine torcedors at the factory.
Before I get deep into this review, let me point out that, the War Witch is a Connecticut Shade offering, but do not confuse this with your everyday, mild to medium Connecticut. The team from Black Star Line Cigars and Arganorsa Leaf jacked this one up with some powerful fillers. It is not for the meek, it will light you up. With that said, let’s move on. I included a video review of the War Witch here, as part of our video highlight series. You can watch, or read on, or both.
The Black Star Line Cigars “War Witch” is a bold Connecticut Shade blend, described by the company as:
- Wrapper – Connecticut Shade
- Binder – Nicaraguan Criollo
- Filler – Nicaraguan Jalapa and Esteli
Expressed in a single 6 x 46 vitola, the War Witch comes packaged in a 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $11.99/cigar.
As mentioned above, these are hand crafted by Agricola Norteña S.A., (AGANORSA) in Nicaragua.
The name War Witch comes from a critically acclaimed Canadian film of the same name, that was released in 2012. The dramatic war film was written and directed by Kim Nguyen and stars Rachel Mwanza, Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien and Serge Kanyinda. It is about a child soldier forced into a civil war in Africa, and who is believed to be a witch. You can watch the trailer here:
The Black Star Line Cigars “War Witch” is a tightly packed cigar with almost no veins running along its medium tan, Connecticut Shade wrapper. It’s solid to the touch and is expertly finished with what I would describe as a quad cap. There was some serious care put into the rolling of this cigar.
A single golden band adorns the cigar. The name “War Witch” is emblazoned in black using script lettering along with the company’s logo to the left. The top is bordered by a black line and the bottom with a red and black lines.
As I ran the War Witch along the nose, I picked up a lightly pungent leaf aroma along the barrel and a gentle cocoa note off the foot.
Looking at the perfectly applied cap, I used my double blade Zikar cutter to slice it, right along the second line of the cap, giving it a nice even straight cut. Taking in a few cold draws, I noted the excellent restriction on the bunching and my palate was graced with notes of cream, fruit, and pepper.
Using a triple flame torch, I warmed the foot, noting that the leaf took to the flame well. I drew in the first palate filling puffs of peppery “nose wacking” smoke. Follow along as I burn the War Witch to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Rich thick and chewy smoke right off the first puff
- Smoke a chocked full of pepper notes to begin
- Profile is a tad harsh for the first 1/4 inch of burn
- Light grey ash forms on a thick char line
- Flavors settling in after half inch with a spicy honey note gracing the taste buds
- Pepper is still warming the cheeks
- Mild wave in burn begins to form
- Already getting the nicups (nicotine reaction) yes is it early and strength is medium plus to start
- Coffee adds to the profile
- Toasted caramel joins the mix near the end of the first third
- Ash fell in a nice chunk revealing a well centered and formed burn cone
- Floral fruit aroma is wafting off the foot
- Moving through the second third it hits max strength
- Smoke volume is still full and the burn line has evened out
- Ash fell in a second chunk
- Smooth smoke at this point both on the palate and retro-hale
- Dry fruit brighten the profile
- Moving into the final third there is a slight off burn
- Spice builds nicely
- Begins to burn hot to the touch
- Full Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 Minutes to the Nub
Overall, the Black Star Line Cigars “War Witch” was a fine smoking journey with nice flavor transitions and delicate aromas. I especially liked the spicy honey and toasted caramel notes in the first third. It did start a tad harsh, but settled in well for a pleasant experience. There was a bit of an early wave and it started a small off burn moving into the final third. it also burned a hot to the touch near the end. This is worth checking out a five pack, I smoked 2 for this review and rate it a 90.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn in First Third; (-1) Off Burn entering Final Third; (-2) Burned Hot to the touch in Final Third; (-1) Bit Harsh to Start
Bonus Point: (+1) Consistent character between samples