A cozy holiday blend released in 2021, Sutliff's North Pole Peppermint Mocha is an Aromatic pipe tobacco that conjures feelings of fireside comfort with your favorite hot beverage on a snowy night. It comprises premium grade black cavendish, Dark burley, and Virginias in a ribbon cut blended with chocolatey cocoa, sweet vanilla, and just a hint of refreshing mint for a delightful room note and a flavor profile that pairs perfectly with the holiday season.
The power laden peppermint topping is the star attraction. The chocolate is a secondary player at best. The vanilla is in the background. The nutty aspects of the dark burley, and grass from the Virginia is all the tobaccos contribute. You won’t notice the black cavendish. Barely has any nicotine. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Has no rough notes. Needs a little dry time. Burns cool and clean at a slow rate with a very potent peppermint patty-like flavor. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl. Requires some relights. Has a long lasting pleasant after taste, and room note. Not an all day smoke.
Expressly delivered from the frigid, dark, icy extremities of the polar cap arriving for your timely holiday pleasure is Sutliff Tobacco’s North Pole Peppermint Mocha, a “Santa-licious” aromatic extravagance comprised of tasteful Burley, supporting Virginia, and doting Black Cavendish. Bundled up gleefully in a comforting wintery wrap of festal peppermint, arousing cocoa/chocolate, and sugary vanilla, North Pole Peppermint Mocha offers an attractive pass of deep, dark-variant hued mixed-cut strains.
At face value, the rich mound of tobacco looks authentically centered in an appeal for the joyful partaking. Sampling the bag note, the fragrance emitted is flooded by a wonderful, candied essence of yummy, sweet chocolatey peppermint that makes a promise to be enjoyable in nature. With all that, I settled myself in to be happily delighted by an elegant holiday-rousing treat.
Granted on any given day, as a course of normal business, I don’t rub elbows with the collective crowd of learned psychologists. Yet in simple layman’s terms, I do fundamentally grasp their principle of cognitive dissonance, the rather fancy phrase for mentally processing conflicting stimuli. For the sake of the discussion at hand, the gist of the concept as applied, is that some matters in pipe smoking life can be highly subjective and thereby promote incongruence with our rational perceptions. A tad cranial understandably, but please bear with me as relevance is written all over this one.
With that thought in mind I must inform you, that from my vantage point, the referenced “hint” of the featured mint flavoring that Sutliff alludes to within their marketing line begs of candid commentary. A hint to me suggests something that is of minor significance or a bit dismissive in nature. However, with this particular blend, the subject additive initially yields the equivalency of the softened impact of a ten-pound sledgehammer, underscoring a wallop that is inconsistent with its gentle billing and inviting constitution. Maybe if your palate is completely non-receptive or numbed? If not, then rest assured, it surely soon will be.
More specifically, on a note of utmost clarity, imagine if you will, you hold an open bottle of that wonderful analgesic known as Biofreeze. Now go ahead to proceed running your naked tongue ravenously across the applicator ball about five to six times. Voila! The felt sensation that presently has you flinched, and reeling is a reasonable facsimile to the first impressions of this North Pole centric concoction by leveled comparison.
Clearly with that last bit of orneriness, there is high probability that I just made Sutliff’s Naughty List, meaning Santa will most likely stuff my stocking full of nothing but Captain Black Grape as consequence. Understand, unlike the cold-hearted Mr. Grinch, my aim is not to be mean-spirited, but merely a sincere desire to relate my objective experience in the smoking of this tobacco. And well, I never professed to not being a sarcastic smart a … yeah, you know.
Upon the charring light this surly blast of menthol overwhelms the palate with its rather course stimulation making it difficult to taste anything but that. In fact, my lips, my tongue, and the back of my throat were wrought with a genuine chemical induced discomfort. Subsequent, I found myself standing on a slippery glacial precipice ready to jump off this troubling encounter, when suddenly, this brash indulgence did decide to finally extend a cheerier disposition. Conveniently, the profile positively moved to a more enjoyable rendition of common balanced sugary peppermint.
In this exchange, the supporting mix of bittersweet dark chocolate and spicy vanilla finally found voice evoking an essential taste modeling the flair common to an exquisite York candied patty, actually quite pleasant I must admit. As to the mocha, I sensed no evidence of any stream that was coffee-like but what did register was a fairly odd off-putting taste that was very acidic and soured in nature, definitely not Seattle’s Best.
Frankly in being true to my assessment, with tempered reasoning and open perspective, the exclusive flavor of this mixture kind of grew on me, just a wee hair of a bit. Namely the boldness of the mint continued to correct itself as the registration grew surprisingly calmer, well at least by my perceptual framework or perhaps by the sum result of a battered palate.
On the whole, North Pole Peppermint Mocha’s standard draw is accentuated by a kind featuring of the dominant Burley projecting a lovely, sugared nuttiness accented by strong darker molasses. For the Virginia, the strain counters very passively but does contribute a quality endowment of pleasant general tangy hay. As to the Cavendish it is significantly snowbound, buried deep within only showing a tinge of complacent earthiness in response. And one final performance note, no question that this singular blend prefers to be experienced ideally through a Meerschaum.
As no surprise the spent room air is controlled by the featured top-coating as it lends a fragrance that is categorically minty and subtly sweet, appropriately tolerable if not legitimately pleasant. And despite the mentioned bumpiness of the initial presentation that had me painfully festered seeking the quickest sleigh ride heading to the warm South, North Pole Peppermint Mocha does tender a cool, bite-less excursion.
Whether I would entertain this blend again, that is favorably doubtful. Again, that is me with respect to the perception formed, if not cursed, by an overly sensitive palate. Yet, you are you, so by all means give it a try if there is at least a curious interest on your part. 2.2 Pipes.
As a newer pipe smoker, I am mainly exploring the different blends (I favor aromatic blends, although I am dipping my toes into the non-aromatic blends now) to find what I like.
Christmas blends are my favorite, I want to try them all, so I go into each Christmas blend with great expectations!
This review is for the 2021 Christmas batch...
Opening the bag, what I smelled was chocolate and peppermint. Seriously, this is the perfect name for this blend as this is exactly what it smells like! I could not smell any of the tobacco (or anything else), just these 2 distinct flavors.
The flavor I tasted was overwhelmingly chocolate and peppermint, no false advertising on the flavors! It was almost like smoking an Altoids mint while eating a chocolate bar. If you were looking forward to these flavors, you will not be disappointed with this blend. Even after smoking, I could feel/taste the peppermint.
Everyone who smelled the tobacco (even before I lit up) commented on how pleasant and strong it was. The room note follows the flavor profile (no tobacco noted in room note, just chocolate and peppermint) and was enjoyed by anyone smelling it. I really like this blend, and can see it being a reoccurring Christmas purchase! But as much as I like this, a little goes a longggg way and this is not an everyday blend (at least to me), to be honest its not even one I will be smoking more than one bowl a day. But it is probably one of my more favorite Christmas themed blends I tried this year.
My only concern is that this will probably ghost your pipe, the peppermint is that strong...
It arrived moist, but not too much and I smoked it without any drying time. Was able to light this without issue and did have to have a few relights. I did not have any tounge-bite with this blend.
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