The Witchcraft is a remix of the CRAFT 2013 La Campaña de Panamá Soberana, a 5 x 46/60 bell-shaped cigar by RoMa Craft Tobac. The CRAFT 2013 was the first in a series of limited edition cigars coming out of Nica Sueño.
“La Campaña de Panamá Soberana is made completely by hand, without molds. In fact the only tool used in its production is a chaveta. This blend and Vitola is our 2013 selection for CRAFT, the first in an ongoing series of annual limited edition cigars produced in this manner.
CRAFT is what a limited edition cigar should be. Something exceptional, limited by the rare nature of the tobacco and the time-consuming nature of the process used to produce it.” – Co-owner of RoMa Craft Tobac, Skip Martin
While CRAFT was introduced as an annual release, the CRAFT 2014 never materialized. By June of this year Martin announced the Witchcraft, a La Campaña de Panamá Soberana with a reversed binder and wrapper that would be produced for the California Mega Herf in September. The Witchcraft ended up being a limited edition shop exclusive for La Marca Cigars in Monrovia, CA. Shop owner Ken C. Wu provides a few details on how the release came together.
The promoters of the California Mega Herf were looking to bring boutique brands out to California for their event and we had a good working relationship with RoMa Craft. I decided that RoMa Craft would be a great addition to the event. While working out the details to bring RoMa Craft out to Cali, the promoters pitched the idea of a kick-off party at our shop and Skip came up with the idea of creating and bringing out the Witchcraft for the event and having us be the sole shop to carry this limited edition cigar. It all worked out very organically. – Ken C. Wu
At the time of writing (Dec. 9, 2014), La Marca Cigars still has around 20 boxes remaining. Each box contains 10 cigars and is sold for $150 each.
Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Rolled: Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Ligero
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Cameroon & Nicaragua
Sample: La Marca Cigars
Quantity smoked: 1
Age: Approx. 2 months since release
The Witchcraft features a unique hand-rolled shape that I like to call a “trumpet”. The closed foot and strips of lighter shaded tobacco give it a special touch. The wrapper is dark, oily and substantial, already hinting at the hearty experience to come. It’s fairly solid when squeezed between the fingers which is somewhat surprising considering no molds were used during construction.
The cold draw is open and easy providing an earthy minerality while the wrapper smells of deep leather and mineral-earth.
The Witchcraft starts with a base of mineral-earth, black pepper and a zingy lime note on the tip of the tongue. The pepper starts mellow, slowly building every puff I take. It’s a full-bodied pepper that sits in the throat and really opens up the sinuses on a retro-hale. Underneath are notes of herbal tobacco, leather and cedar with just whisper of sweet dark bread. The easy draw is cool, delivering large volumes of chewy smoke. I didn’t really notice too much of a change when I smoked beyond the rings of lighter shaded tobacco but the sweetness did jump up a tad. I can already feel the cigar in my chest by the end of the first third, leaving it at full-bodied and full strength.
It’s no surprise that the further I get into this cigar, the draw continues to tighten up. The burn-line is slightly erratic but hasn’t caused me issues. The pepper drops down but is by no means irrelevant, mainly sitting in the throat and resonating deeply after a retro-hale. I don’t get quite as much of the zesty lime on the tip of my tongue but continue to get plenty of mineral-earth, herbal tobacco, and cedar with undertones of sweet dark bread and coffee. Much like the Neanderthal, there is quite a bit of sweetness in the mix but it’s somewhat masked by the robust pepper and dark flavors. Ash is flaky but holds on quite strong, almost to the halfway point. Definitely a strong cigar, providing a faint head change and certainly full-bodied.
As the journey comes to the last bend I begin to notice the development of a faint liquorice flavor. The earth in the profile begins to be taken over by darker flavors of coffee/cocoa. Undertones of sweet cedar, herbal tobacco and faint bread remain as accents. The strength has definitely hit its apex, coming in waves of power. The finish is surprisingly smooth considering the strength, but there is a tar flavor that requires a purge or two to keep it that way. Strength and body full.
This makes for the second time I’ve given a RoMa Craft a Dynamite. While it’s certainly not as strong as the Neanderthal Pre-Release, the nicotine crept up on me towards the end, producing a buzz. Combine that with a deep, robust pepper present for the majority of the cigar and you’ve got yourself a Dynamite.
The Witchcraft is a unique and hearty cigar that’s a little rough around the edges but provides a steady combination of good flavors. I loved how the sweetness complimented the dark, robust characteristics. It also featured a few interesting, albeit small, transitions from third to third. The truly unique shape not only affects how it smokes, producing a big open draw with tons of smoke, but is likewise awesome to look at. The Witchcraft is a showpiece cigar because of the wild “bell” shape and rings of lighter tobacco that adorn the first inch of the cigar. The level of “craft” required in its construction made me savor it in a way I might not have otherwise.