TIN AROMA: A classicaly sweet, dusky and smokey turkish tobacco aroma. Perhaps a bit like a mixture of earth and latakia, but richer. Not everybody's cup of tea perhaps as it's a trifle pungent but nevertheless a beautiful, full bodied bouquet, in my humble opinion. I suppose I should say 'pouch aroma' as I could only buy this loose from my tobacconist.
ROOM NOTE: Well, what can I say? It's certainly pungent. I would describe it as a 'scented latakia' type of aroma. It has that earthy, smokey, 'rubber' type of smell with a sweet, dusky, perfumed edge to it. A classically heady Turkish that perhaps only the connoisseur will appreciate!
PACKING: Being a short ribbon cut and on the dry side of a 'perfect' moisture content, it's a joy to pack and easy to attain just the right amount of 'springiness'.
LIGHTING: Very easy. One charring light, one light tamper, a relight and away you go.
APPEARANCE: A very even, short length ribbon cut that is mainly a uniform dark mahogany in colour flecked with bright and black flecks here and there. It's obviously a blend of different Turkish varietals but I don't have any further information such as the type of leaf etc.
SMOKING: This blend burns very evenly, but I must admit surprisingly quickly. It can also bite but only if puffed carelessley. If you take your time it burns as cool as a bowl of pure latakia, which is somewhat paradoxical, really. Makes a fair bit of white smoke as you get the old bellows going. The smoke, like the taste, feels fairly full bodied in the mouth and has a smokey, earthy flavour similar to latakia but sweeter and with greater depth and dimension. Burns to a fine grey ash with no dottle. Although this is obviously a good quality Turkish blend, I couldn't smoke it all the time as it's a little too pungent and monotonous for all day, everyday consumption. Strength wise, I personally found it 'medium' with a vague nicotine rush, but as my nicotine tolerance is pretty high (I find St. Bruno mild), others might find this a head spinner! I do find this a good mixture for blending with latakia and virginia to make a homemade English; it's quality shines through well. I tend to keep some handy in one of my humidors for this purpose.
PROS: A versatile, well flavoured and heady Turkish that smokes well on it's own or blended with other tobaccos. Burns very well and evenly. Near perfect moisure content. Packs and lights beautifully.
CONS: A little one dimensional and pungent to smoke all the time. Can burn hot and bite a bit, so careful puffing is required at times. Also, the room note will not make you popular as it's even headier than your average English/oriental. Can burn a little quickly.
After smoking this blend for 30 years I thought it a good idea to look back on it since it has not been available for seven years, since the Connoisseur Pipe Shop closed in February of 2009. Composed of (in descending order) Turkish, Virginia, Latakia, and Perique, Turkish Black was a robust blend in which slow puffing enabled the smoker to enjoy the four tobaccos as each seemed to rise to the forefront and then fade as a new one took its place, and so on, repeatedly, as the bowl was consumed. Now, smoking the Turkish Black I had vacuum-sealed in Mason jars for 7-15 years, I find the flavors muddled and overwhelmed by the Latakia. When I described this phenomenon to Burak, he told me that the tobacco was meant to be smoked after only a few months of aging (which took place before he sold it). He acknowledged that it tended to lose complexity when aged too long.
Sad, this used be to be my favorite tobacco. But that position has now been taken over by another Connoisseur blend, Pickwick, which loses much less in aging. Pickwick has the same ingredients as Turkish Black, but with the order of Turkish and Virginia reversed.
Both Pickwick and TB are best enjoyed in a large-bowled pipe.
Pipe Used: Connoisseurs in various shapes and other brands
Age When Smoked: various - youngest being 7 years aged
I still have part of a pack from 2003. A truly wonderful smoke with all the richness you'd expect from this type of tobacco. If you live with a partner, smoke it on the patio or terrace, or aerate the room when you're done!
This is one of those Turkish blends that actually tastes like Planters Nuts Mix and tobacco burning together. The Latakia is very detectable yet restrained. It really has a very NUTTY quality to it and is one of the more unique blends out there. It is however, very finely shredded and burns quickly, though not hot. The flavor is all unto itself. It harkens back to the Rattray's mixture of 30 years ago. 3 of 4 stars.
This blend was recomended to me by Ed himself. I told him that I use to smoke Dunhills London Mixture but it has seemed to be harder to find. I have been smoking Dan's Tobacco London Mixture 1000 which is a suitable replacement. So I tried Ed's blend upon his recomendation. This is a wonderful blend. Very Musky & Smokey good with a glass of scotch. AS with all his blends you must smoke it very slow. This can smoke hot and so that you dont loose the sutle flavor. I will use this in rotation.
I like full strength English and Balkan mixtures, so I felt this could match my tastes well. In fact, I found it very flavorful, with many of the individual tobaccos (Virginia, Turkish, Latakia, Perique) all playing their part and also blending well. However, the mixture smoked too hot for me. I tested it in my best smoking pipes and found it burning hot in all, some even causing a little bite.
I'm thinking of adding some Latakia to it, to see if it helps it to smoke a little cooler. For me this tobacco is close, but doesn't displace any of the tobaccos in my rotation.
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