The aromas of citrus, ginger, and honey are very strong when the tin is cracked...or rather when the tin is cracked and the bag opened. It's a very pleasant aroma, but it reminds me of the tea I make when I have a cold more than summertime. The tobacco is very damp...I might go so far as to call it goopy, since i could roll it into a ball that stuck together impressively. As is, it smoked hot and wet and had a tendency to bite. It also required a few relights if I wanted to avoid BBQing my tongue. I dried it out for a while, then let it age in a jar for a few months. This improved the blend tremendously.
Quality Virginias et al are what you'd expect from Rattray's, and it's on the mild side. The tobacco flavors assert themselves more towards the bottom of the bowl. The flavorings are there, and more prevalent than those in Bagpiper's Dream for example, but they don't overpower the tobacco. The room note is excellent, and the SO even commented on how pleasant it is. It comes in a nice tin as well.
Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal Rocky 01
Age When Smoked: 6 months
Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com
Similar Blends: I haven't tried it, but I bet this is similar to Rattray's Exotic Orange..
The aroma of Rattray's Summer 2018 is extremely enticing and the room note is very pleasant. It was very moist in the tin & I dried out just enough for about a size three bowl. I could still smell wafts from the exotic aroma as it was being dried out via a special heating unit I use for such purposes. After it dried out enough for stoking a bowl the aroma could still be noted only not quite as much. As far as smoking it however, the full taste of the mixture & aromatic aroma was still there.
The taste was very sweet & spicy. The blend itself was a bit too mild to suit my whims for a "great" aromatic although still a fine quality mixture. However, it does gain some strength approaching the halfway point. Many will prefer this as milder means less tongue bite and palate discomfort. However, for me, a decent aromatic must contain more strength for satisfying the Vitamin N necessity but that's just me. The tin note was very similar to Eric Stokkebye's 4th Generation Family Reserve which is my favorite aromatic blend due to its strength and intoxicating flavor.
After employing the DGT method with this blend there was no noticeable bite or palate discomfort and the flavoring was awesome. I liked it very much and based solely on the basis of an aromatic blend, Summer 2018 is highly regarded by me for its enticing flavor & aroma. I'm not a heavy hitter when it comes to aromatic blends but enjoy them as a change of pace on occasion & thought I'd give this a try. If you are a fan of mild to medium, very flavorful aromatic blends with a very pleasant taste & room note, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.
Pipe Used: Peterson Stirling System 312
Age When Smoked: Fresh pouch
Purchased From: Given in a 1 oz. pouch as a bonus.
Similar Blends: Eric Stokkebye's 4th Generation Family Reserve.
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