Before I say anything about the blend, please be aware: I am not a keen aromatic smoker, I hardly smoke aromatics - since Christmas 2017 I have went through two tins of aros, with quite some difficulty. I have been defeated by curiosity and openness to the new, when on impulse I bought this tin (100 gr for that matter) and I am writing this review with some bias.
In theory this is supposed to be a Va/Lat aromatic with black Cavendish. Well aromatic it sure is, but the latakia is either so subtle that I cannot detect it or they simply forgot to put some in my tin. As you open the black rectangular tin, you find your sealed pouch and the very next second a strong sweet, fruity smell hits you straight on. They say Maracuja - yup, that's quite obvious in the nose, erdbeere (whatever erdbeere is???), passion fruit and strawberry. To the naked eye the baccy looks very attractive, neat ready rubbed with golden like pieces mixed with some black tobacco - like I said probably more cavendish than latakia, gold/black being in about 50-50 proportion. There is no doubt that Ashton is not making the slightest compromise with tobacco quality. I light it up, and what do we have? A HEAVILY cased tobacco, with a maracuja taste - yes I have eaten the fruit before and it does taste just like it. The maracuja flavor lingers with you the whole way. Perhaps after the first half of the bowl it tones down a bit, and some sweet citrussy and some distant remnant of berries can be tasted. The tobacco is very sweet, and it stays so all the way. Perhaps a good or bad, depends on smoker, marriage between casing and golden virginia. Here and there the virginia speaks to you, but the latakia remains mute. It doesn't smoke very hot, the taste is rather consistent all the way, little to no bite, a tad moist out of the packaging, one or two relights are required and it has a very pleasant room note. Nic hit is mild. I suspect that this may somewhat ghost. Something about the topping reminds me of Ashton's Guilty Pleasure, which is noticeably different from Smooth Sailing or Winding Road.
Overall: as far as I understand aromatics I would rate it 2.5/4. In spite of the fact that I am not very happy about the sweetness of the topping, it is top quality tobacco no doubt. I gave it a 2.5 instead of 3, because in my opinion the latakia mentioning is misleading.
I'm not very keen to aromatic, but i've found this crossover blend is very helpful for those who are afraid to the taste of latakia. On the first bowl untill the last one, i could taste strong virginia and cavandish taste. Only mild latakia taste somewhat sat behind the passion fruit flavor. Nice blend for me. 3.0
Black Cavendish,Virginia with Latakia(?!) must be very interesting. but the truth is can't find any latakia smokness character in this blend. maybe producer afraid the aromatic smoker will refund this blend,just want to play safe. As a aromatic blend,it is pleasant.
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