Originally blended for the San Diego Pipe Club, Coronado Oriental has plenty of Orientals and Cyprian Latakia with a little silky, creamy unsweetened black cavendish to mildly smooth the edges of your daily smoke.
The Orientals offer an abundance of earth, wood, herbs, floralness, vegetation, and some buttery sweetness, spice and sourness as they take a small lead. The musty sweet Cyprian Latakia provides a lot of smoke, wood, earth, floralness, and some sourness along with a little spice as a close competitor. The mildly creamy, unsweetened black cavendish tames many of the rough edges. Its position here is a couple of notches above the condiment line. The strength is a step past the medium mark. The taste level is a slot past that. The nic-hit is a shade below medium. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent sweet and sour, floral, spicy, campfire flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. Has a tolerable room note. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and repeatable for the less experienced. Three and a half stars.
My, how the San Diego Pipe Club has grown over the years and now as of 2022 we have our own blend. Back in the early part of 2018, I stopped by a local pipe and cigar store that I use to frequent heavily about six years prior. I had my pipe and was browsing around the store and noticed a gentleman sitting at the counter smoking his pipe and talking to one of the great guys there that worked behind the counter. The store then had a lot of displays in the center and there was not much room to navigate or sit but I squeezed my over and we struck up a conversion. Obviously, I cannot remember all of the details but was informed that there were pipe club meetings on Sunday from around 230-500pm and since the chap looked sort of lonely so I stuck around for the meeting that day and found out he had inherited the presidency of the club and we soon over a short time became good friends. Back then and I may be off on the exact numbers but there was only a small number of people that was considered part of the club. For privacy reasons I will leave out the names but there was “N”, ‘JJ’, “C”, “C” and “L”. That is all that I can remember as it really was very informal at that time. Just a few guys sitting around smoking and sharing different blends that we would bring in. Hard to believe that it has been four years and during that time the club has grown to over a hundred listed members. I am sure there are quite a few members that have come and gone but I think you get the point. We have a new President and VP now and between their hard work and that of others our club is also a member of United Pipe Clubs of America. https://unitedpipeclubs.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=90797&module_id=195858 I was recently given a Willmer Extra Grain “A” Poker by “PKT” on this forum as a departing gift as I am currently retiring a few years earlier than planned and am moving out of state so therefore my time is running short with the club. PKT your father’s pipe is in good hands and I am very honored to be given something of such a personal nature and will ensure that it will always have a good home and given the proper respect that it deserves. I guess I should get off my soap box and do the review. This one has a fair amount of Latakia which surprised me with the name Coronado Oriental but I would not consider this a lat bomb by any means. I have had three large bowls of this and it is definitely a smoother, milder smoke than I normally have when it comes to English blends but it is not a detraction. I agree with JimInks that the Orientals do take a small lead and this one does provide a lot of white smoky clouds that I enjoy watching wafting through the air. This is an all-day blend if one chooses. I will make a point to purchase some of this later in the fall when things get a little cooler as I am sure will enjoy it more than puffing away on it in the July afternoon heat. In closing, once I depart, I guess my reviews will not be as many as over these past few years as what made the club fun was that there was always something new on the table no matter when I showed up and us pipe smokers are a generous people when it comes to sharing our tobacco. I’ll just have them mail it to me😊 P.S. For you Non-Californians: “Just across the Big Bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado Island beckons visitors with its pristine beaches, crystal waters and friendly beach town persona. It’s here that the historic Hotel Del Coronado has been luring guests since 1888 and where those with an affinity for the beach, the ocean, fine food and eclectic shops gather to relish in its delightful amenities.” https://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/coronado-island
Delish! The Turkish leaf used here has just exactly the kind of natural earthy sweetness that I love. Latakia seems of the lightly-cured variety which means no campfire, just a little incense-like piquancy which enlivens the palate. I didn’t see much Cavendish in my 2-ounce sample, but on the palate it seemed in perfect proportion to the other flavors. While unflavored, it does somewhat cushion the palate against any rough edges. While my usual approach for sipping and savoring involves long, slow retrohales, I enjoyed this mostly with “micro” retrohales, just enough to register and appreciate the interaction with the flavors in the mouth, then another micro burst, and so on. This will tolerate greedy puffing, but when you discover how much more you get with the measured approach, that is no longer a temptation.
Although tasty in every pipe I tried it in (clay, cob, meer, briar) it really hit it out of the park for me in a Savinelli Punto Oro 122. The slightly wider chamber allows more of the subtle and harmonious ingredients to combust simultaneously for increased complexity and depth. Smooth, seamless, and refined.
I could have sworn I tasted some 575 Virginia in this, but it must have simply been a naturally sweet harvest of Turkish leaf. Even without Virginia, I have a feeling this is going to age wonderfully, so I’m re-ordering in quantity to divide into small jars targeted for three, five, and seven years in the aging cupboard. Meanwhile, I’m going to need some more of this for right now. It is quickly becoming a favorite in my rotation!
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