The Bulldog line is apparently produced by DAN tobacco and it doesn't seem to be available in the USA. I picked up my tin at a pipe and cigar shop in Beijing about 18 months ago. Given the small selection of pipe tobacco the shop had on hand, and the fact that it was hidden away in a dusty old cupboard, I suspect the tin had been there for some time.
Man's Best Friend was far from an immediate hit with me. I smoked a few bowls when I first picked it up and found it to be just ok. Then I tossed it into a jar, more from disinterest than with any intention of maturing the weed.
This is a ready rubbed, medium brown Virginia with a small amount of bright leaf. In the tin, it shows a light anise quality and some vague floral notes. I have no recollection how it smoked when I first opened it, but now that I'm down to a few bowls worth of well-dried, mature tobacco, it smokes very clean and cool. The licorice doesn't come out much in the smoke. Instead, the florals dominate, and so much so that if I didn't know that this is made in Germany, I'd guess it to be a classic (though light) English Virginia. It's not St. Bruno—at least not in terms of flavor intensity—but it does seem to participate in the UK OTC tradition.
I'm finding the last smokes from this tin to be very enjoyable and I'm a touch sad that I won't be able to repeat these experiences. Overall, this is a pleasant, mild Virginia with some very attractive flavors. If I see another tin somewhere, I'll happily buy it.
I purchased this blend for the tin a few years back. Before reviewing this mixture, let me just say that if you collect tobacco tins, look through the Dan Tobacco catalog, you will find a compilation of outstanding tins that would enhance any collection.
Now to the blend itself. It is not as unique as the tin. It's a fairly simple combination of mostly Virginias of varying shades. The above description calls Bulldog a flake tobacco, but it just appears chunky to me and can be loaded straight from the tin in a large pipe. I rubbed it out further before loading it into my mine though.
The taste is very subdued...a bulldog without a bite...and you may enjoy the subtle ambiance of the Virginia leaf. But, if you are hoping for a big flavor, walk a different dog. I have tasted much better Virginia blends, and much worse ones too. All in all, you can pet this bulldog, he's a pretty tame beast!
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