I must clarify that I am not a lover of Burley. I had a 4 or 5 year old envelope that I rehydrated about a month ago, and after several weeks of smoking Va or Va / Pe I tried it again. It is a natural tobacco, without aggregates, there is no doubt about that. When lighting, the bitterness of the Burley sticks to the bottom of the tongue, but when you get used to it, you smoke well without finding much of the Va, always present the Burley in front. Not bad for those of us who like tobacco without additives. Because of my predilection for Va, I can't give it more than a two-star rating. I change the room note due to the comments of my wife, who found it soft and pleasant.
This tobacco comes very dry from the pouch, as one would expect from a baccy with no additives (except from water). This quality is the only one to remark from this blend: a flat, monotone Virginia with no taste whatsoever. The funny thing is that tongue bite is quite noticeable (probably due to overpuffing to compensate the lack of taste).
Conclusion: either this tobacco is way too bad or additives are great.
Update: after rehydrating there's a significant improvement. Still monotone, but gained some taste.
Opening the pouch, I see a short medium ribbon cut, bright, red and brown in about equal proportions. The pouch note is mostly sweet, somewhat fruity (the aged VA giving this blend its name), with a hint of spice lurking in the background.
Stuffing and lighting are easy, in part due to a low moisture out of the pouch. Gentle puffing is required or it’ll burn hot.
The room note is brilliant, as is the side-stream. This is not even VA-forward; the other components have the majority, but the VA provides the main flavour component, and it is beautiful.
Addendum 2019-06-24: In response to one reviewer claiming that this is said to be pure VA, please read the package notes, which make it quite clear that Burley and Cavendish are included in the blend. I still have to find the promised "double fermented" VA (which would mean a VA-based Black Cavendish) though. If it's in there, it is well hidden indeed. The "image" VA does, however, provide the heavy lifting for this blend, and after my second pouch, I will come back to this offering. Not primarily a VA smoker at this time, I feel it still is a go-to blend, after all.
Tried a pouch of this one. Would you like to get back to any one? Buy him this blend. It's supposed to be a straight Va and I expected to taste a decent VA, or something similar to Planta's Va's that I've tried. Bad luck. Extremely dry tobacco, it immediately attacked my tongue. There was no taste of Va whatsoever, not even of tobacco; very "chemical", absolutely indifferent, too fake. Hated it.
A very nice tobacco, comes dry, you need to re-hydrate it, however it has its merits. Sweet, mild in taste, a pleasant room note, I would recommend a nice cup of Earl Grey Black tea or a cold dark beer to accompany the natural sweetness. Gluttony is never a virtue, and this is especially true to pipe tobacco connoisseurs. The punishment for such a sin is a burnt tongue for the inexperienced. I usually smoke it in the evening, it's a delight. Ever since Macbaren Virginai no 1 is not available in Hungary, this is my locally obtainable favorite Virginia tobacco.
The review by the_german more or less mirrors my experience of this blend. Must admit I bought a pouch of it as a last resort as my usual blend Amphora Virginia wasn't available. As it was very affordable I wasn't too bothered if it wasn't to my liking. On opening the pouch I found the smell very pleasant, the moisture level spot on. The cut was a bit finer than I would like but you can't have everything. Like most fine ribbon ready rubbed blends it's best not to smoke them fast or you won't get the best out of them. All in all a very pleasant smoke and ideal for when you're on the go. I'll buy it again.
I do not mind this blend and always have some on hand. I find that after breaking in pipes with my usual Navy Cut by Van Eerkoms I tend to smoke a few bowls of this in a new pipe to get it ready for virginias. Its not expensive here in South Africa and is a fairly bland smoke, could have been worse since this does not bite. Mo, South Africa
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