The Virginia provide some citrus and grass, a fair amount of dark fruit, wood and earth as the base of the blend. The Java cigar is earthy, woody, vegetative, herbal, with a couple coffee notes in the background. The nutty, earthy, molasses sweet burley plays a support role. The spicy, raisiny, figgy, plumy perique is just above being in the background. The smoky, wood sweet Cyprian Latakia is a condiment. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, and the taste level is a slot past that. The nic-hit is just short of medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool, clean and even at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl, and hardly needs any relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. Not an all day smoke, but it’s a repeatable one. I suggest you smoke it in a big bowl to capture all the nuances it can offer.
This is another club offering that I was lucky enough to try as I read that it is no longer in production. The jar was dated August 2003, a good 16 years of age on it. From what little bit I could find on the internet it is/was not sold in the United States and is from Switzerland. Here is a little info from Synjeco, the Swiss Company that sells it, “Since 1964, all Schürch tobaccos have been blended by HAND by Hans Schürch himself, and based on the highest quality leaf available.’ I have to agree with another reviewer I first thought this was an aromatic due to the name but Tobacco Reviews says it is Virginia based. This also states it has Java leaf which I am assuming is predominantly cigar leaf. This has what I would call a fine crimp cut of tobacco and had a strong pleasant jar note. I really can’t describe what it tasted like, at first before I read more about it, I thought it was an English/Oriental type blend, but as the ingredients are Burley, Cigar Leaf, Latakia, Perique, Virginia, not really sure. This also does not remind me of a dominantly Virginia blend either. Mostly reminds me of a smooth dark fired blend but without the nicotine. Maybe after 16 years of age all of the ingredients melded into one taste profile, who knows. But in spite of my palette confusion it is really a good smoke. Glad I got to try something that is probably rare. P.S. If Hans Schürch is still blending since 1964 then my hat is off to him.
Does not burn like other blends from Schurch, and bites unlike other blends of schurch. Probably a wrong choice of mine, since the cigar leaf is not my cup of tea, also. but at least, it is a full body blend.
Update: there is a bitter taste also. And the tobacco has serious problems, it is moisted. Maybe once dried?
Update after 45 more days: once dried it does burn correctly. Confirmed the bitter taste. I would rate it no more than 2.5 stars, and in doubt 2.
Schurch produces some of the finest English blends (and aromatics) that most Americans have never heard about. Snowflake has a pouch scent that isn't as inviting as some of the other Schurch English's, but it shouldn't be a deterrent. In the pouch, it appears a bit similar to earlier incarnations of Early Morning Pipe. The somewhat cut ribbons pack with ease and the tobacco arrives pipe ready. Snowflake has less Latakia than the other Schurch blends I have tried, (Tarek's Robusto, Torina and Zaffino), however it is far from lacking strength or complexity. The quality of the leaf, like all of the other Schurch blends I have tried, appears to be quite high. The cigar leaf doesn't play much of a role to my palate. The blender recommends that Snowflake be sipped in a large bowl and I have found that to be the case. My only quibble with this blend is the name. It leads me to think aromatic and not a medium to full English that should be part of any English pipe smoker's rotation. That's silly, I know, but it's tough to find much else to complain about with this one. Three and a half stars!
An interesting composition. However, not fully satisfactory. Although the cigar leaves are not overwhelming, Virginia is too hidden and Perique is too pungent. I had higher expectations. 3,5/5 in my personal rating system.
Pouch appearance and aroma are pleasant and unremarkable.
Packs and lights very easily.
Upon first lighting up, the flavor is dominated by a "dusty sweet" oriental note. This subsides, taking its place alongside a winey tang (Virginias, I presume, perhaps stoved) and just enough smokey Latakia. These kids play very nicely together, with one or two of the three being to the fore and taking turns as the bowl progresses. Very full bodied without being "strong", per se... like, a Burgandy is definitely fuller than a Chianti, but you wouldn't necessarily say the Burgandy is stronger.
Burns cool and dry all the way down.
By a combination of chance and generosity, I acquired eight almost-full 50g pouches of Schürch tobaccos. I came to them with no expectations: they were free, and I had never heard of Hans Schürch. What a windfall they turned out to be! I've smoked some good English blends... enough to feel like I have a good baseline for comparison (965, Nightcap, Margate, Squadron Leader, Abingdon, Odyssey). These Schürch blends are right up there, as good or better. The one area where I feel like the Schürch tobaccos definitely have an edge is their development: the flavor constantly changes as the bowl progresses, but always staying within a certain profile. ==/==
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