A visit to Iwan Ries was a weekly ritual for me when I was commuting to Chicago and I loved visiting the shop. I don't get to Chicago much anymore, but I do still have a few tins of the 'Gourmet' line hanging about.
The Gourmet Aromatic is moist out of the tin and, like most such cased tobackies, will burn you if you can't slow things down. Tin aromas are of dried cherries, raisins, apricot--all the classic fruitcake scents.
Even though I think it burns too hot to be a regular smoke, I find it thoroughly enjoyable as an occasional winter smoke. It's great with a tongue-restoring bottle of Oatmeal Stout.
Gourmet Aromatic is very similar to the McClelland's Townsman Cavendish line. (I'm not positive, but I agree with thedstnguishdgntlmn's thinking that McClelland's also blends the IRC line of tobaccos.) But, the cut here is not at all a shag as it is with the Townsman Cavendish blends.
I am somewhat mystified by this offering in that there is a whisp of an oriental note that makes its presence known throughout this very sweet smoke. The above descriptive does not indicate Oriental leaf in this blend, but I do get that "oriental" feeling while smoking this IRC product.
It burns cool for an aromatic, stays lit well and didn't leave my pipe soppy. Still, it's just not my cup of tea.
This is a soft blend with a subtle flavoring. If tasting multiple tobaccos in a session, try this one first. Smells good, tastes good. I tried this in a few pipes and I thought it was good. Then I tried it in a deeper pipe - Peterson XL something (I can never remember the number) - and it was even better! Somehow, in a deeper pipe, it settles in and develops differently than in a smaller pipe. By the way, I have found that meerschaums give a great sample of aromatics. If I had a deep meer, this would be awesome!
Pipe Used: Various, the deeper the bowl, the better
I was in the Iwan Ries shop today(a Saturday ritual for me) buying my C&D Black Frigate when I decided to try a bowl of this stuff.I was actually pleasantly surprised. I adore "Kings Oriental" and wanted something similar to-yet different.Well,I was happy I tried this.This has very fruity quality to it in the jar but when smoked it is similar to Kings Oriental without the heavy clove flavoring(which is what I love).I believe this must also be a McC. aromatic.The fruit I taste is cherry with something a little sour added to it.All the same qualities as Kings Oriental but with a sour cherry taste. I really will buy this the next time ,I mean Saturday that I am in the shop.Very unique and worth a try.Excellent room note and no goop,gunk, or gurgle.3 of 4 aromatic stars.
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