A naturally Sweet & Tangy blend of Golden Virginias, Flue-cured Virginias, Burley, Turkish, and Louisiana Perique.
Notes: Ruins of Windsor derives its name from the well-known Mississippi landmark located near the Mississippi River and the town of Port Gibson. Once the site of a beautiful plantation home, named Windsor, that was commissioned by Smith Coffee Daniell II in 1859 and completed in 1861, now only 23 Corinthian columns remain. When the four-story home was built, no expense was spared in its crafting and furnishing by Daniell, who unfortunately only lived in the home for a few weeks before his untimely death. During The Civil War, the roof-top observatory was used by Confederate soldiers as a lookout, and during Grant’s campaign against Port Gibson, the home was used as a hospital for Union soldiers. As the story goes, a Union soldier was shot and killed in the doorway of the magnificent mansion and in retaliation, the soldiers were instructed to burn Windsor. However, the widow Catherine Daniell pleaded for the home and reminded the soldiers of the care she had granted to their wounded and sick. The plantation home was saved that day, but Windsor met its fate on February 17, 1890, when a fire was accidentally started by a cigarette. Today only the ghostly columns and portions of the balustrade remain, an eerie reminder of the past. Some say you can see the ghost of Mr. Daniell walking in midst of the columns longing for his final rest or the phantom of the Union soldier looming where the door once stood. Do you dare take a journey to the Ruins of Windsor?
Bag note/jar note smells promising, but I find this rather lightweight on the palate. Without Latakia or Cavendish for mouthfeel, it seems to lack foundation and depth, and comes across to me like a livelier, spicier Newminster Va-Tur. That in itself could still earn three stars if it weren’t for some other issues . . .
First minute strong of chlorophyll, burning grass, and burnt almonds. Settles in on flavors dominated by the interplay of Turkish and Perique, emphasizing lively spicy top notes, notably pink Malabar peppercorn, toasted pinoli, and black sesame seed. At times the Perique dominates with its pepper and mustiness (no dark fruits). The second half of the bowl also sees some earthy tastes come and go, like unwashed potato peel, suggesting to me that one of the ingredients wasn’t balanced in terms of pH.
I do find this distinctive, it’s not just another run-of-the-mill concoction, and there’s no question it has a unique savory character about it. But I find an oddness about this blend, the earthiness combined with something that has been cased in a sweet style, the net result being like brown sugar and vanilla custard on a baked potato peel. Hey, this obviously passed an initial tasting panel before being released, so somebody found it a worthwhile addition to the Country Squire portfolio.
Those who like Perique more than I may derive more enjoyment, but it’s not necessarily the percentage of Perique that bothers me, but how it reacts with the Turkish. I find that Turkish and Perique require careful balancing. In my own blending I often combine Perique with sweet Basma, but I use very judiciously with toasted Smyrna, Izmir, and not at all with Soukham. Blends are all about synergy, and this one, while ‘interesting’ just doesn’t have the harmony I seek.
I tried in a variety of briars, cobs, and meers, with pretty much the same result, though this blend did taste a little ‘cleaner’ in a Falcon International, using the proprietary long wood cellulose filter. I will set aside the remaining amount of my supply to revisit in 18 months; maybe I will have a better impression then. For now: two stars.
This blend is new, and it shows. I'd recommend grabbing an ounce or two because it is good and interesting in its incongruousness.
The name and blending notes of this tobacco make it seem like it is going to be a powerhouse, but this blend starts off as one of the more milder blends in my cellar. As an American blend (this Windsor references a destroyed manor in Mississippi, not that other Windsor across the pond), it starts especially light. There is no casing or topping that I expect from other American blends, like C&D's Epiphany. It's not heavy. Have I mentioned yet that it's a light blend? You wouldn't think that it would be.
At about half-bowl, the flavor of this blend nicely develops. The complexity of the blending bill finally starts poking through, and it gets a little bit fuller and a lot more interesting. You finally get the toastiness and nuttiness that you'd expect from a blend this rich.
Near the end of the bowl, this blend surprised me again by getting me so nicotine-sick that I had to put this down. I was probably 7/8ths through and it came down like a hammer. This blend didn't seem like it would have any nicotine at all, but that was incorrect. This one is sneaky.
I'd recommend this blend. I believe that this blend will age rather well. Its flavor is good enough, but this blend stands out because it's such an interesting and unexpected trip. Grab an ounce or two. Probably not a pound.
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