I found that this is a good aromatic blend. Looking at it I see ribbon cut virginia. Don't see any black or gold cavendish at all.
The absence of the usual cavendish tobaccos means that while early on you taste and smell the vanilla that this is cased with, by about mid-bowl you start tasting the virginia, which makes this an all around pleasant smoke. A nice dry aromatic, not tacky to the touch when you take it out.
I do find that it is difficult to keep lit toward the bottom of the bowl, even when tamping and dumping ash. It does burn down to 3/4ths of the bowl or more, and more patient smokers may find they get a better performance out of it.
The fact that it is a virginia aromatic helps me like it more as I generally don't like aromatics. The light casing helps as well, because it is nice and dry straight from the pouch.
I bought an oz. of this on a whim from a flyby-night tobacco joint in Bend, OR. a few years ago in 99. At the time I smoked a few bowls and it left me wondering why I just didn't wait until they got my favorite Cav in at the Specialty Cigar store. I decided it's only hope was to cellar it. Well I just got around to opening it up today and give it a second try. Well, 3 years later and it tastes the same, and yes, I DO know how to age tobacco. If I'd thrown in some good pungent cutter grade with it, there may have been a chance to salvage this, but as it is, it is the most bland, unimaginative WEED I have wasted my money on. Not worth dirtying my pipe with. There is an old adage that goes like this: you get what you pay for.
I found this blend in a small tobacco outlet store. He had a few other Stokkebye blends, but they didn't appeal to me. Like most of us, I started out smoking aromatic blends, and now smoke almost nothing but english mixtures. 2 ounces for $1.99, I thought, why not. Remind me not to think anymore about aromatics. The tastes aren't too bad upon the initial lighting, but then they more or less disappear, once you get things going. As with most aromatics, things can start heating up a bit, and this blend is no exception. Reminds me of Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic, but I like Sir Walter, hands down. I think I've been spoiled with Sam Gawith blends. Not my cup of tea...
I really like this blend. It's kind of a nice halfway point between an aromatic and plain uncased tobacco. Very mild, my wife actually enjoys this believe it or not. It's a good all day smoke for me as it's difficult to get it to bite and I like to smoke my pipes all day long. Like the other reviewers stated the fruit is most noticeable in the nose and any flavoring is only present about 2/3 of the way down the bowl. Very dry right out of the bulk bag. Smokes great.
Why Do I do This?? I try something very cheap- then I wind up giving it away... This stuff doesnt taste like vanilla or fruit. It does smell great, taste smooth and mild, smoke is irritating, and out the nose has a very mild fruityness to it. I have had constant bad luck with Stokkebye. It is priced right- but often flat and flavorless... Stokkebye makes a great Luxury Twist, for those needing a cheaper smoke.
Improvement: Try Reiner. Holger Danske, or Mac Baren.
This is a mild fruit and vanilla mix, certainly not as strong as Blue Note, but along similar lines. If you like this, I'd suggest you try McClelland 5115 Old World Classic, which is a Virginia w/ fruit mix that IMHO has better tobacco flavor.
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