As a friend of the curlies by MacBaren, I thought I'd broaden my horizons a little and bought a tin of Dan Tobacco's/Timm's London Blend 750.
Opening the tin, I was a little disappointed because I could not make out any trace of the Black Cavendish and Perique that were advertised to be in the blend, and the tin aroma is much more Burley/VA than anything else.
The coins were dryer than I am used to from fresh MacBaren curly cut tins, but that is a good thing because those are normally a little on the moist side. So, filling a pipe is easy, and LB750 lights easily enough.
The taste was rather milder than what I am used to from the likes of MB Roll Cake, Dark Twist or Club Blend -- and quite noticeably more bland; there is little spiciness in there, and little strength. What there is absolutely nothing of is Perique or Black Cavendish. None at all. I was about to feel cheated, but then I noticed that the tin's label does not say anything about the content.
The smoke is the usual curly cut affair -- it's as good as you pack your pipe, the 'baccy needs some room -- and the room note is nothing special; drily sweet but overall only so-so. The taste does contain more than a little hint of Burley, but good quality, and it's nice.
All together, while I am disappointed with this blend, it's not a bad smoke. It just cannot compete with the curlies by MacBaren, which are much more exciting, tasty, spicy and have substantially more strength.
Update, 06-08-09: This curly is actually manufactured by McBaren (according to Michael Apitz at Dan Pipe). Well, the tobacco quality certainly makes that claim plausible enough; LB750 is pretty close to what I would imagine the pure-bright part of Dark Twist to be like without the darker slices. Still, for me, too little oomph, too little variation, too bland. Which leads me to the conclusion that the Halberg family (i.e., McBaren) had their reasons to include the darker slices in their roll cuts. One thng is highly positive in all this: LB750 does not contain any additives at all.
Another note from my visit to Dan Pipe/Dan Tobacco last week: Dan Tobacco has received notice that McBaren will not be able to supply them with the amount of rolled tobacco they had ordered because McBaren feels they do not have enough high-quality raw tobacco in stock. Having read the original letter, I feel much reassured regarding the quality of McBaren's tobaccos.
Interesting stuff, indeed. A coin-cut tobacco after the decline and fall of classic like Three Nuns seems a great and brave idea! Enjoying the Timm 1000 offering, I decided to give this tobacco a try: I am glad I did, although I was not rocked. The coins are medium-sized (smaller than Escudo), at perfect moisture and crumble easily in case you prefer to smoke them fully rubbed out. The thing that strikes me immediately is that there is little color variation in them: nutty brown, golden straw, some hints of chestnut. No evident black/dark brown specks. The smell is sweet, nutty and honeyish, with hints of MacBaren-like flavoring. Smoking this tobacco is absolutely trouble-free: lighting is easy and combustion is excellent. Alas, taste ranges from delicate but interesting (nutty, sweet, reminding of toasted chestnuts) to slightly watery and boring, with little evolution. Perique is very subtle: its sourish spicy note isn't alway apparent, and in my case I found it shines almost only in English pipes like Ashtons. It definitely improves, becoming spicier and tastier, when it's dried a little. Overall, a nice crossover between a traditional English coin-cut tobacco, and a moderate aromatic (though quite a natural one, as the only flavoring comes from the cavendish, not from topping). It sure ain't Escudo, and it can grow a bit boring on the long run, but it's also definitely better than stuff like MacBaren's Roll Cake, which is never as tasty, as rounded, as bite-free.
2009 Update: I am smoking a tin of 750 right after finishing one of my beloved Marlin Flake... Well, it still is a nice tobacco, but perhaps my rating was a bit too enthusiastic as it often is too delicate (even watery) to my taste. Still pleasant and well behaved (it can bite a bit, but never like some MacBaren offerings), still biscuity and nutty, but I'd really like some more flavour sometimes.
I share the most part of Beer?s opinions (he is one of the finest reviewers a TR), and I?m so smoking the second half of the 100grms can which have been let dry for months. I?m really in love with Va and VaPer?s. Time after time I?m still learning how to manage them, they need the slowest possible draw, which to me is a lifetime goal quite hard to achieve? More than others LB750 needs steadily quiet sipping, otherwise no particular troubles for your tongue, but your palate will become like sandpaper. Not to say how hot the bowl! The most pleasure I get from LB750 is to my nostrils, where it delivers one of the nicest combinations of aroma: spicy, biscuity, honeysh. The choice of the right bowl seems also to be quite important: I got the best from mediums (let?s say # 3 in the Dunhill?s scale) straight billiards. Three stars
Like all of the original classic DT numbered series, 750 is extremely difficult to find. Next to 1000, probably the most sought after of the London Blends and I'm told it was a bugger to produce due to the special curly cut and the wrapping of the various tobacco types. It does have an added casing, but the Virginia and Perique are at the forefront. Additionally, the black cavendish adds body giving the smoker a fuller taste.
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