The smoky, woody, earthy, mildly musty, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the main component. The Italian dark fired provides wood, smoke, spice, some barbecue, a few floral notes, and some dryness as an important supporting player. The mildly floral, grassy, tea-like, cedary cigar leaf also sports light citrus, pepper, and wood is a secondary star, though once in a while, it equals or slightly surpasses the dark fired. The raisiny, plumy, figgy, spicy perique rides shotgun through the proceedings as it’s a couple slots below the dark fired and cigar leaf in terms of effect. The tart and tangy, lemony, citrusy, grassy, lightly bready bright Virginia is almost as obvious as the perique. The mildly sugary black cavendish serves to tame some of the rough edges. The whiskey topping has a little richness, and mildly sublimates the tobaccos. The strength is medium, while the taste just passes that mark. Both start out at a little lower level, and gain some potency by the half way mark. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but the spice content may tickle the tongue of a fast puffer. I recommend a slow puffing cadence. Burns fairly cool and very clean at a reasonable rate with a mostly consistent, mildly tartly sweet and rather savory, very spicy, rich, deep, complex flavor that translates to the long, lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three and a half stars.
Interesting blend. Mostly shag cut with chunks of black bits. Moist when I open the bag so dry time needed. Packs easy and lights easy. First light is sweet from Cavendish and Whiskey. Takes a while but it fade into the background. At mix bowl everything changes. A more complex mix of latakia, oriental, and cigar leaf start to come more into play. Much better favorite light sweetness in background. This is a aromatic English blend. Very well done. Never got pass mild for me. I'm not a aromatic guy at all. Don't like them. But this is a well made blend that I still highly recommend for lovers of a lite aromatic English.
The tobacco is a fine shag cut mottled from dark brown to black. The jar-note is slightly woody and musty with a big blast of whiskey, sweet cigar and a little bit of cherry. It's a little damp to start but still lights well if you don't pack the shag too tight. From light it's a blast of flavours, the cavendish and sweet cigar make a big-bodied creamy smoke and the whiskey comes through with an almost banana note. The latakia adds a little smokey pine that blends in nicely. I would compare it to a boozy banana bread with a little bit of campfire. It takes me to a rustic kitchen with a cozy wood oven and a large matron baking something delicious and sweet.
It requires a couple relights and gets a little sour at the end of the bowl. Very enjoyable and especially good on cold nights. The flavour gets a little overbearing if you use a big bowl and smoke it for a while so maybe better in a small pipe as a "desert." Probably pairs well with a brandy.
Ken Byron makes great blends, this is a tasty one but not like the depth, complexity and consistency of his best. Still, definitely give it a shot if you like something sweet and smokey.
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