The tobacco came at a good level of hydration for me. It is a mix of tans in a medium ribbon. There are some irregular chopped bits, but it is really a short ribbon. This bag and the Natural Virginia are very similar in appearance with this one being slightly darker.
This is a pleasant smoke. It is slightly sweet and there is a little spice from the Orientals. It makes a good combination. The smoking was uneventful - it did not smoke hot or damp. It was not challenging to keep it lit. Flavors were consistent. It is fairly mild in the nicotine, and the flavor is on the medium end of the range. I have to say I have enjoyed the Oriental signature, and it seems to grow on me.
I think this is a better all-day smoke than the Natural Virginia, and I might buy more of this. It is a solid 3 on the scale.
The Old Belt red Virginia offers mild tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, light floralness and vegetation along with pinches of sugar, spice, and a touch of malty vinegar as the lead component. The potently floral, woody, earthy, very sour, spicy, herbal, vegetative, slightly buttery sweet, sharp, acidic Turkish is a secondary supporting player despite the claim there’s just a touch of it present. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are a couple of steps below the medium mark. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, though there are a few rough edges. Well balanced and mildly complex, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent sweet and sour, savory, spicy, floral flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a notch stronger. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. An all day smoke with some depth and body.
A very well rubbed-out ribbon, medium brown, with a great hydration to it. Although the blend contains a few coarser pieces, the majority's shag-like, so there's no pieces in need of discarding.
Something which reduces the rating is the temperature of the burn. Unless a gentle technique is used it becomes quite warm. It says there's a 'touch' of Turkish, but mine has the flavour of more than just a touch. The Turkish adds a fragrant, floral, taste. The Virginia accounts for a lot of the smoke, but has quite a mediocre flavour. It burns well, apart from the heat, and doesn't bite me.
Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant to tolerable.
Mostly mid brown tobacco with a scattering of pale leaf. There is a sweet nondescript bag note somewhere in the brown sugar part of the spectrum and some spice on the nose that reminded me of cinnamon and cloves. It is a short ribbon cut that tends towards dry.
Takes a light easily and burns well.
This is solid red Va territory with bread like aromas filling the mid palate. Orientals provide a distinct sharp acidity on the top end and this marries with some lemon and grass from the Virginias. If this were a wine it would be a Riesling. It doesn't have a lot of complexity, nor is there appreciable transition as the bowl progresses. I haven't tried adding Lat or Perique to this blend, but given the price point this might be a good candidate for a base blend to experiment with. If you like baccy on the tangy and sharp side then this will fit the bill as it is.
I enjoyed this straightforward blend and will surely buy more of it.
At less than $20 a POUND in 2021 I figured this one was worth a try. It was less than 2 months blended (Feb 2021) when I first smoked it, so it's very Green. Comes in a large Ziplock bag which isn't heat-sealed.
The bag note is grassy and a little floral. Moisture content was great. It's a ribbon cut on the shaggy side similar to some RYO mixes. My bag was well mixed and I didn't see any twigs or larger pieces.
It's an easy mixture to pack and lights well. The smoke has a grassy high note from the VA's with some sweetness. The Oriental (maybe Izmir?) adds a good level of floral/spice and the combination reminds me slightly (in a good way) of a camel unfiltered.
It's not overly complex and I found the smoke repeatable in different shaped bowls. It does want to burn warm if pushed, but if sipped plays nicely. I found it a little "ashy" in some smokes towards the end of the bow, but not enough to stop smoking.
At the price-point (no more than a tin of some tobaccos) it provides a smoke which is solid by itself and also lends itself quite nicely as a base for blending.
Adding some latakia will move it towards the light english range while some perique hits a VaPer. Some additional Izmir or other oriental can boost that side of the smoke if you find it lacking.
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