Aaaah! Ripples. This almost forgotten little Danish beauty, made its appearance on the market almost sixty years ago. Last time I tried it (ten years ago) I kinda liked it, but forgot all about, until now (2011), I decided to give it a shot again.
ST-group tend to change their blends when taking over production - i.e. Dunhill, St. Bruno etc., but the original danish blends, stay just the same as always. Therefore Ripples is as I remember it.
Pipestud mentioned spiciness in the beginning, and of that I agree. It is almost a cigar-like aroma, which vanishes after a couple of minutes. After that there is only sweet, heavy, creamy and toffee-like VA niceness left. monochromatic, but what the heck: you don't want the goodness to stop!
It burns a little fast, so I recommend packing it a bit firm, and smoking it slowly.
This might be the next blend ST-Group will pull off the shelves, so be shure to buy some tins (http://www.danishpipeshop.dk). I am not shure if it's listed, but I know they carry it. Probably the highest quality danish curly out there - the only one by ST, but WAY better than any of MacBaren's offerings!
A friend from Denmark sent me a tin of Ripples since it is not available here in the USA. The discs are beautiful to gaze upon. The tin note is delicious, sort of a mildly sweet and grassy smell that told me I could be in for a treat.
The discs were a bit moist and difficult to rub out. Once dried however, they broke up much more readily. The strands are long and I broke them up further to make loading easier.
At the match, Ripples starts out just a wee bit spicy and then settles into a fairly naturally sweet smoke that doesn't change much in flavor as the leaf is consumed.
My palate was left with a fresh, cool and pleasant after taste.
Collected on my recent trip to Denmark, my tin of this blend sat around for a few weeks before I opened it. On opening it, I was rewarded with a very nice tin aroma, with VA hay and citrus in the foreground. For somebody who is accustomed to MacBarens' curlies and the likes of Dunhill DeLuxe Navy Rolls, this is something quite different in a Curly.
The leaf is bright throughout; the tobacco is similar in appearance to the brighter MacBaren Curlies. The slices can be rubbed out or folded; either way it stuffs easily and will behave just like any other curly cut on lighting--i.e., it will try to escape the bowl, so be ready to tamp down. The taste is clean, tangy, sweet VA with just a little extra depth in there (the Burley, most likely); from beginning to end there is little difference except that the taste gets a little deeper and a tad more sweet. Which I, personally, think is a good thing.
The room note seems to fade to a cigar-ish nothingness after a while; I am not sure whether that is good or bad. Just rather unexpected.
There is some dottle at the end of the bowl for me, but not so much that I would want to complain; this is a sweet and tangy smoke I could enjoy all day. Enough said, four stars; one of the best Curlies I have ever had. I like to enjoy it alongside a good Brandy.
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