BrandJohn Aylesbury
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringFruit / Citrus, Other / Misc
Packaging100 grams & 150 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant
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moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (220)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

John Aylesbury’s 40th Anniversary Edition blend is unabashedly aromatic, with a light, complex blend of high quality, carefully processed and blended tobaccos to underpin the very natural toppings. An important feature of this blend, something one should know going in, IMO, is, it’s mild. Not insipid, mind you, just mild. I see it was released in 2014, but I would be surprised to learn that my tin is 6 years old, as it tasted "fresh" to me, and there was no "chuff" when I popped the tin. Perhaps they are still producing it? In any case it reminds me a lot of Aylesbury’s 2018 Edition (also reviewed), which made a good impression even though it barely registered in my old mouth. Yet I can tell, based on long experience, and I will say, fair dinkum, it’s “First Quality”. This puts me in the position of recommending something I am not likely to smoke more of, myself, which pretty much sums up my version of a 2 star rating, as I explain (or, I try to…) in my TR profile.

Popping the tin, the fruity topping bursts forth, evoking a fruit monger’s cart. It smells like a stronger version of the topping used on 2018E, with Mirabel plum and peach over green apple, and rose geranium. Although it’s quite natural in character, and likely some will just dig in, I find it’s a bit much at first. The tobaccos run the gamut, from pale golden bits of thin leaves to red-gold ribbons, to red-brown broken flakes, to black chunks, all of it quite drenched with the topping. Though I enjoyed my first smoke straight from the tin, subsequent smokes were better, if only because I left it in its (re-closed) tin for several days before jarring it, to give it a chance to breathe, and I dried it some before smoking it each time after that. As I mentioned, this blend is tops in terms of quality. It handles, loads, lights and smokes down as it should, with plenty of fragrant smoke. The toppings track the tin note very well, except the combusted scents are better for being softer, IMO. The tobaccos are sweet, meadow grassy, dried, fresh hay-ish, subtly dark fruity, and nutty, slightly sour and only faintly bitter, well melded enough so I can’t unwind it. I tend to smoke my first bowl of any aro with caution, even trepidation, just waiting for the awful tastes of PG and/or wretched combusted chemicals. But that never happens with 40E! Rather, it smokes like a sweet dream from top to bottom. I don’t pull, and it never bites. Strength is mild, with negligible nicotine. Tastes build to just over mild. The room note is very pleasant. Aftertaste is a trailing off of the best of the smoke, with the topping fading before the tobaccos do.

Again, key words here are aromatic, top quality, and mild. If it’s so easy to do a mild aro like this, wouldn’t there be more like this than there are? 2 stars from me, meaning I might not smoke the rest of it, but I can easily see that others would like it, and I recommend it to anyone to whom it sounds good.

Pipe Used: aro briars

Age When Smoked: 6 years???

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: John Aylesbury's 2018 Edition.

3 people found this review helpful.

Brunello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brunello (166)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

My tin was manufacturer on 16 Oct. 2018, and I bought it February 2019. Had several bowls, took some notes, and then found it at the back of my cupboard this morning. Evidently it is still available to buy on several online sites. Amazingly the paint can seal has preserved this tobacco as fresh as the day I first opened it (which in this case is about ideal moisture level). The flavor profile has changed quite a bit over the intervening years. My first notes indicate a taste of chocolate covered cherries in confectionery brandy, a suggestion of Coco Puffs on the retrohale, and very little or no discernible natural tobacco taste. It wasn’t goopy, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea either. To be honest, this kind of aromatic seems more like an inexpensive pouch tobacco than something to be dressed up in a gold tin with a premium price tag.

Fast forward to today when I’ve had two bowls in different pipes (cob and meer). First half of the bowl tastes like ambrosia (fruit salad with sweetened whipped cream), however, by mid-bowl nearly all the fruit is gone (like a stick of Juicy Fruit that has been chewed a few too many miles down the road). I actually prefer the new flavors that emerge: pan-scorched brown sugar, tapioca, torched custard, sprinkle of Belgian cocoa, little bit of white pepper on the retrohale. Although it always burns steady and without need for relights, and never gave me tongue bite, it does leave a rawness in my mouth that is not appreciated (nothing some good gelato can’t take care of!).

Whether fresh, or after some time in the can, I’d rate this somewhere in the range of 2 – 2.5 stars. Those who like fruity beginnings and a bowl that transitions midway will like this more than I do. After concluding that I don’t need to spend any more precious time with this blend I thought that I could at least use the can for storing my weekly ration, but when I went to peel off the label, the entire can itself was embossed with dire warnings! Boo.

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