The musty, leathery, incense-like, sweet Cyprian Latakia provides plenty of earth, wood, smoke, some floralness, and a little spice as the lead component. It’s half the blend. The Turkish Oriental offers a wealth of earth, wood, floralness, vegetation, sourness, some spice, and light buttery sweetness as a supporting player. The fermented various dark African, fire cured dark African and Van Gogh Virginias produce a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, grass, earth, wood, vegetation, floralness, bread, sugar, some tangy dark fruit, sour lemon, mild spice, and light smoky barbecue. They are a couple of steps below the Turkish. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of notches past the center of medium to strong. The taste level just edges past that level. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Has a few rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent zesty, punchy, sour, spicy, mildly sweet, fruity, deeply floral campfire flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke. Four stars.
Hand of Götz is the second KBV Latakia blend I tried, and it had the unfortunate bad luck of following Plateau in my tasting tour which makes a comparison unavoidable. I have no doubt that Hand of Götz is blended from high quality leaf, but to my taste it lacked finesse and had quite a few rough edges. Where Plateau is notably smooth with strength, Hand of Götz is mostly just strong and a little harsh. I like strength but also want some sweetness in my Latakia blends, and I did not find any sweetness here - to my palate this tended more in the direction of hot and ashy - perhaps that is the influence of the fire-cured in this blend (which Plateau does not contain). I'm glad I tried Hand of Götz but after smoking through half of the 2 oz. pouch I really was not enjoying it and passed it on to another piper to try. I can only somewhat recommend.
Pipe Used: Peterson System Magnum, Peterson Dunmore
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