The star in this mixture is the finest perique, extended by six different Virginia leafs that got dark fired, and a pinch of Oriental. Carefully processed into flake form and packed by hand. Highly aromatic pleasure with the typical perique character.
My preview review was based on a sample I've got from the Peter Heinrichs store in Bergheim. My sample had some serious age to it I guess, as it had LOTS of crystals and was pretty damn dry. After hydrating it, I was impressed by the unique character of this blend, so I bought a tin of it and am now writing an more in-depth review.
Opening the nondescript tin, with the inconspicuous design of which more(!!) than the half label is the damn warning sticker these days........, I find a lovely and classy golden sticker in form of a tobacco leaf that's for closing the greaseproof paper (similar to the ones for packing breads for school or work) inside the tin. All Reserve Crue blends have it. I can't remember, but somebody once told me which manufacturer uses those golden-leaf stickers, and based on the revenue stamp it's not produced by K&K, who produces almost all P. Heinrichs blends. The revenue stamp on this one says "363 E"
Inside there are two stacks of small almost square slices that are cut at about 2mm thickness. It's easy to identify the dark fired (Virginia) leaf in it, as the flakes are very dark. Black, dark brown, some brighter brown speckles and only very few, small dots of golden-yellow.
The tin note is intriguingly piquant-fruity. A decent smokiness forms the base of the scent, accompanied by a fruity, slightly sour aroma with mild, honeyish sweetness to it. You can also identify the Orientas clearly scent-wise, as they offer a distinctive woodsy-sour, very herbal, decently ethereal aroma. Complex tin note, that makes you want to load a bowlful. The tobacco itself needs 30mins up to 1-2 hours of drying time, depending on personal preference. Yet it is smokeable right out of the tin.
On first light I got hit by a rich nuttiness that is underscored by decent woody and earthy undertones. After a few puffs the Perique makes its presence known by contributing a slightly fermented fruity aroma, reminiscent of figs, dates and maybe a whiff of ripe oranges. Intensly earthy, with a good share of woody-smokiness to it. Very piquant and peppery, herbal spice to it. Ethereal in character.
The rich fruitiness and the tasty nuttiness are married in perfect harmony and complement one another excellently. It's like raisins and nuts - they just harmonize so well! Underscored by the ethereal, herbal, and smoky-spiciness this is a unique blend with a genuine aroma to it. At half-way through the bowl the fruity,herbal and nuttydimensions are tamed just a bit and make room for the smoky, woody and peppery sides of this blend shine a tad more.
Smokes cool, doesn't bite and if smoked at moderate pace it never gets harsh.
Easily enjoyable, it has a very "exotic and oriental" feeling to it. The aromas of this blend are unlike most other Va/Per blends, and convince with its genuine flavor profile that's taking you to fairytales of 1001 nights! 3,5-stars!
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