Another cigar new to our shelves that made its debut at this year’s IPCPR Trade Show is the Red Witch from the East India Trading Company, a subsidiary of Gurkha. These box-pressed sticks feature an Ecuadorian Rosado wrapper, Dominican binder, and 3-year aged Nicaraguan Jalapa Valley filler leaves, and are the second release under the East India name following last year’s 90-rated Wicked Indie. Considering the success of its predecessor, I figured I should probably see what the Red Witch was all about. For today’s review I selected the Rothchild (6×54).
The cigar had a pretty sharp box-press and construction seemed good, although it was a little soft to the touch. The oily Rosado wrapper was clean-looking and had a decent amount of tooth to it. This stogie gave off a strong barnyard scent from the wrapper, and a slightly sweet scent from the foot. Pre-light draws gave off a strong combination of meaty, bready, and vegetal notes, one that strangely reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner. It was with Stove-top Stuffing in mind that I fired the Red Witch up.
Upon lighting I was met with a taste of bread and cedar with some dry baking spice on the finish. After about an inch I began to pick up a malty sweetness, which I attributed to the wrapper, and I had built up a sizeable grey ash. The cigar definitely had a spongy quality to it, but the burn was razor-sharp and the draw was effortless.
In the second 3rd the profile progressed to notes of butter, a little bit of cocoa, and just a hint of pepper. About halfway through the cigar the aforementioned baking spice began to ramp up a bit, and as I approached the final third the flavors became both creamy and smoky.
When I finally burned into the last portion the burn-line went slightly awry and the profile remained fairly consistent. Notes of espresso, graham, and some dried fruit sweetness carried this stick out in what may be the creamiest final third I‘ve ever tasted.
Honestly, I ended up enjoying the Red Witch far more than I thought I would. This stogie had a great, balanced taste with nice flavor evolution, and was about as smooth and easily smokeable as they come. Aside from a minor burn issue towards the end the Red Witch was also pretty well-behaved in terms of performance. I would be very interested in smoking one of these with a bit of age on it, as I have a feeling it would be quite tasty. At the end of the day I have to give the Red Witch a grade of B+, and I predict high ratings to come for this unique new blend.
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