Tu vuo fa l'Americano, eh? Then try this mixture. We take a base of crumb cut burley and spice it lightly with stoved cavendish, Orientals and Latakia for an American Style "English" blend. Richer in Latakia than the old Barking Dog.
Someone added this to the database before me but neglected to review, and mine is the first? Ernie Q's take on the American English with this burley-forward cut plug mix with an old time OTC bag aroma, latakia very noticeable but to the rear. A little extra sweetness from the very lightly sweetened Cavendish. Old timey flavor as well, and does remind me a bit of Barking Dog, although they don't taste the same. The burley here is of better quality and the latakia is a hair more prominent as well as smokier tasting. This one doesn't bite, either, and more aggressive puffing doesn't make it lose its cool; it just makes the latakia recede further to the rear and the burley more upfront. Those who miss the original Barking Dog should check this one out as a richer, more flavorful alternative (but again, not a match... although the so-called "matches" out there fall well short).
American Englishes are not really my thing, and C&D's Epiphany is the only one in my rotation, either regular or occasional. This one is a fair bit better... more cohesive, tastier and more user-friendly. As such, it bumps Epiphany from my occasional rotation, although it may be because Epiphany has changed moderately since I first discovered it. Americano is an excellent example of the American English and reminds me of days gone by. Ernie Q has captured the essence of this style very well, and smokers who have avoided checking out Ernie's blends do so to their own detriment. This guy has definitely won me over! I won't smoke a ton of this but when I want a purebred American English, this is the one I will reach for.
While there are similarities to Barking Dog present, I find this a much better product than the old House of Windsor version. The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, woody, musty, sweet and while you always notice it, it doesn't quite rise to the forefront. The high quality burleys are earthy, nutty, sugary and woody with a touch of molasses, and are the the prominent ingredients by just a little bit. The black cavendish is brown sugar sweet as it helps to tame some of the rough edges. The Oriental is smoky, woodsy, herbal, vegetative, lightly spicy, sweet and sour with a minor dry note in the role of a supporting player. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium, while the taste is a slot short of medium. The nic-hit is a rung below the strength level. Well balanced, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent sweet and savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves just a little moisture at the finish. Requires an average number for relights. Won't bite or get harsh either, though a few small rough edges still appear throughout the experience. Can be an all day smoke.
I just finished a very large sample generously gifted to me by one of the other reviewers above. I am pretty sure his review will always be above mine, since I am sure he did a better job than I will do. lol
This blend bumped Epiphany from his rotation; I actually preferred Epiphany to this one, but I still enjoyed this one very much. It is the very definition of the American English genre in a much higher quality than the old OTC versions it is meant to honor.
With all these type blends I feel the star must be the burley, and Americano (love the name btw) does not disappoint. It is burley forward. A nice nutty sweet burley, that refuses to turn bitter or bite. IMO Also, I find that Latakia should be used a supplement to these blends and it is with Americano. A nice subtle smokiness that works well in the blend. Virginia is used to do what it always does with Burley, mainly amplify the sweetness.
The only reason I don't give this four stars is the same reason I prefer Epiphany to this one. It is a little monotonous. This, I don't think, is a detriment to an American English blend since most of them are, but I prefer it for my own personal tastes. And for reasons of finding similar smokers on TR, I have to pay deference to my personal tastes.
So for an American English, I would say this is a four star blend, but for my own personal tastes, I am putting it at three stars.
I'm usually not a fan of black cavendish, but this is a really well-balanced blend. Plenty of campfire notes from the latakia and other orientals, but they combine well with the other components to produce a smoky/chocolatey/buttery flavor and beautiful, thick clouds of smoke. Give it 10 minutes dry time or so.
Watch City blends are some of the best I've tried. Even if you're not a big fan of this style, this particular version is worth a try. Highly recommended.
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