Continuing a 400 year old tradition, Royal Twist is a limited-edition spun-cut blend, its recipe originating in the 1960s. A whole leaf wrapper encases a core of Virginias, dark fired Kentucky, and perique, handspun into ropes and sliced into coins -- resulting a naturally sweet, complex, and spicy smoking experience.
The spice content is the star attraction. Some of it comes from the earthy, woody, very plumy, mildly raisiny, figgy perique. It is a little more obvious than the spice from herbal, earthy, woody, vegetative, sour, nutty, floral, mildly smoky dark fired Kentucky. These two varietals are the lead components because of the spice. In a strong support role is the gold Virginia, which forms the base of the blend. It provides a lot of tart and tangy citrus, grass, bread, sugar, vegetation, light floralness, spice, and a touches of honey and acidity. There’s a very mild honey casing that helps tame a few of the rough edges as well as producing a little sweetness. The strength and nic-hit are medium. The taste is a slot past that mark. Won’t bite or get harsh, but the spice content may tingle the tongue of a fast puffer. I suggest a relaxed puffing cadence. Even though there area few small rough notes, this blend is smoother than expected. The mildly moist coins easily break apart, and need no dry time. Burns clean, and a touch warm at a slightly slow pace with a mostly consistent sweet and spicy, mildly sour, floral, lightly nutty, creamy flavor that extends to pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is notch stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a few relights. Can be an all day smoke. Four stars.
I almost ordered 10 tins of this. Something told me it was going to be outstanding, but in a rare moment of self control, I decided to order just five tins.
I could kick myself!!!
I’d only recently begun exploring the magical world of VaPerKys. There’s just something, well, perfect about a well-done blend of Virginia, Dark-fired Kentucky and perique. G.L. Pease’s Triple Play plug is a decent-enough example... but it suffers (in my opinion) from the same blandness that afflicts most other GLP/C&D offerings.
Scottish Cake by McConnell is a much better example of a VaPerKy done right, and Rattray’s has three really good ones, too.
But Mac Baren takes the gold medal in this category, with a perfect 10. They nailed the ratios. The casing is just enough.
What we end up with is a delicate spun cut treasure... sweet and subtle one moment, bold and zesty the next. MB’s Dark-fired zing proves reminiscent (again, to me) of McLelland’s VaPers.
Excellent. Just excellent. I went through two tins in about a week and a half. I was honestly hoping I’d end up getting a little bored with it, so I could just move on... but no. It’s just too good. This is the one I’ve been looking for... my desert island blend.
As I explained to a friend... I love VaPerKys, I love spun cut... it’s like Mac Baren made this one just for me. Surely they’ll make this masterpiece part of the regular product line... right???
I mean, if there’s ANY justice in the world...they can’t just make a limited run of the best tobacco I’ve ever had.... watch it sell out in a day... and then just move on to the next limited run.
Do you hear me, Mac Baren??? The world needs more Royal Twist. I need more Royal Twist.
Summary: a strong and flavorful twist which brings the dark fired Kentucky Burley to the fore and uses Perique as a condiment.
I have met very few vaperky -- Virginia, Perique, and dark fired Kentucky Burley -- combinations that I dislike, but every now and then, you meet one that really makes friends in a lasting way. In this blend, the dark fired Kentucky Burley flavor hits first, a nice rich roast like a steaming mug of coffee, and then the Virginia sweetness rises around it. These Virginias are well-aged and seem to have spent some time in rope form, causing them to ferment, so they have a gentle glow of honey-like flavor on roasted nuts, something that the Perique then complements in the third part of the flavor: a berry-like, fruity and tangy, zesty flavor that seems to emerge from the interaction between the three ingredients in this smoke. Mac Baren has changed something about their maple sugar "glue" that holds together the ropes because the fireball is mostly gone, replaced by a first puff that melts the Virginias and makes for a smoothly integrated flavor. I hope this one becomes a regular. It is a strong medium for strength, but in flavor is gentle yet powerful, so that you instinctively smoke this one slowly because even a thin stream of smoke brings a rewarding taste. I could smoke this all day, every day, and be happy.
Just the smell upon opening made my mouth water! The coins have perfect moisture, so are easily crumbled and stuffed into the pipe. The moisture aids easy ignition, then what a smoke!
The Perique and Kentucky lead, the Virginia is the ''backdrop''. The Perique, being spicy and sharp, was the first flavour to leap out. After a short while I noticed the ambrosial, more fragrant, Kentucky. I find the Perique and Kentucky switch after a quarter; at first the Perique leads, but subsequently the Kentucky takes the lead. The Virginia's there, although quite nebulous compared to the formidable flavours from the Perique and Kentucky; it acts as a platform. The burn? Impeccable! Reliable, independent, needs little maintenance. No tongue bite, for me.
Nicotine: medium to strong. Room-note: not great, but tolerable.
I was pleasantly surprised at the tin note slightly sweet and sour musky very mild. This may be one of the best tobaccos I have ever smoked. Perfect blend of perique, dark fired Kentucky and Virginia. The spice is the dominate player in this but it's light enough to just be perfect. I rubbed out the coins and only needed two lights. I only ordered 2 tins wish I had ordered more. I could smoke this every day. Defiantly if I was stranded on an Island this would be one I could be happy with. If smoked hard it tingles a bit but if sipped its perfect. Mild all day smoke If you can find it buy it.
Spicy flavor since opening the can. Next come the flavors of earthy, woody, plum, raisin, and fig. Mild smoke from Kentucky. Gold Virginia is the base of the blend.It gives the flavor of tart and tart citruses, grass, bread, sugar, botanicals and light flowers. They don't bite or get hard, moderately wet coins disintegrate easily, and don't need dry time. It can be smoke all day.
Freshly opened tin dated Mar 2021, has notes of mild pungent barbeque, spices, and sugar. Tobacco is an orangish brown and dark brown coins with tan specks. moisture content is a on the dry side, coins rub out with a little effort. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is medium and nic is mild to medium. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and consistent, with notes of wood, bread, leather, orange peel, dry earth, floral, slightly bitter, grass/vegetation/hay, sugar, moderately spicy, a tangy dark spice fruit background note, and a peppery retro. Virginia is leading with Kentucky and Perique supporting. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is outstanding.
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