As I’m reading the book The Atlantic, I would like to imagine myself in a time passed that after a long trek at sea, I find myself in a bar and after smoking regular blends, I sit myself at a bar in a foreign port and would light this in my pipe and enjoy the full smoke, flavorful and exotic.
After finding this boutique blender online and after much contemplation, I decided to purchase two ounces of this blend, which arrived in beautiful Mylar bags, and a mason jar lid label.
The smokiness was apparent upon breaking the seal on this blend, the blend was dried well and would no doubt smoke well upon initial opening, but with following in habit I let it dry out for another 20 minutes prior to lighting.
Upon first light I got a smokiness due to the 40% Latakia, but it was equally met with tangy tart sweet VA’s that perfect mix of brisket with just enough bbq sauce to not overpower the smokiness and allow the sweetness to mix well.
The orientals round out and bring some sour flavors to add a nice contrast and allow the VA’s to showcase, almost like orange juice, the orientals appear about mid bowl, the Perique is there but never full pepper, and likely add to the sweetness of the VA’s.
The nicotine content is medium, lights easily and flavor is medium, a blend to smoke if you want to learn to pick out components of blends.
Overall not an everyday smoke, but a fantastic blend, truly something to be savored if your inclined to a late night smoke.
I'll make this simple, as I firmly believe "one's palate is one's palate", and you like what you like, and with almost 43 years of enjoying pipes and pipe tobacco, this a fine blend and I like it. No lengthy descriptions, or "reminds me of...", nope, just a damn good smoke in every aspect imho.
The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component, comprising forty percent of the blend. The stoved Virginia provides a lot of sugary tangy stewed fruit, wood, earth, bread, and some tangy dark fruit as an important supporting player. By effect and not percentage, the mildly buttery sweet, fairly sour, dry, woody, earthy, herbal, floral, smoky, very spicy Orientals almost equals the stoved Virginia, and occasionally surpasses it by a razor’s edge. The tangy, dark fruity, earthy, woody, lightly sugary and spicy, bready, slightly vinegary red Virginia helps the stoved Virginia in taming some of roughness of the Latakia and Orientals as well as adding some complexity. The raisiny, plummy, figgy, earthy, woody perique has a stewed fruit quality to it. The spice from the perique gets a little crowded out by the Orientals. Overall, the perique minutely underscores the experience. The strength is a step past the medium mark, while the taste level is a rung beyond that. The nic-hit almost reaches the medium threshold. Won’t bite or get harsh. Barely has any rough edges. Well balanced and complex, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deeply rich, mostly consistent sweet, spicy and savory flavor that translates to the moderately lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The room note has a little pungency. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three and a half stars.
This is an outstanding smoke. Opening the bag you would think it would be overwhelming with Latakia, with it’s very smoky aroma! So I thought! It’s perfectly balanced with Latakia, Virginia and Orientals, but it is pleasantly slightly sweet and well balanced with the Latakia and orientals, mild on a nicotine hit and I tried to freight train it to get some bite as a test, but not happening! Its a very mellow smoke that can be had anytime and the room note is definitely pleasant! Great job KB!!
First things first Did Mike and Mary McNeil let Ken in on a few house secrets??? Because if you're planning on finding a McClelland substitute, this is probably the closest thing out at the moment. How did he doooooo it?????
Pouch aroma is a sweet smoky aroma, with that awesome sour tang. ships on the moist side, but have no fear, not many relights here!
Initial lighting is easy; light tamp light. Oh my is this heavenly!! First half offers up deep, rich flavors of leather and woodsy smoke, sweet bread notes, and a very minor touch of sour. Touch and go bursts of sweetness that I enjoy immensely. The Orientals are very fragrant in here, and meld well into the other components. Second half the latakia, along with the Perique really come forward. The blend isn't held up by a lot of backbone, but the complexity and perfect balance does it for me. Bravo Ken! Bravo!
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