The composition of this blend must have changed considerably judging from what I read from the first review of Pure Caribe. My tin was fresh as opposed to aged.
Okay, Pure Caribe made me wobbly. Whew, is it ever powerful and I love it! When I popped the tin and took a whiff I started drooling. That stuff has the best smell in the tin of any tobacco I've ever stuck my snout close to. The cut is very fine ribbon with black chunks of something (the Carribean cigar leaf perhaps?) and it was easy to pack and light. The smoke was quite thick and it stayed lit with just one fire up from my always reliable Corona Old Boy. This one has all the nicotine that a normal man will ever need in a smoke and the flavor, although not overwhelming, goes flying over the tongue in a steady stream. I enjoyed the flavor the more slowly I puffed. The hints of cigar leaf were certainly more than a little evident, but this one also has something else; Virginia leaf perhaps? The back of the tin says Pure Caribe will enhance any blend. I will certainly try it as a mixer with some of the weak-kneed stuff I have laying around, but it's darned good by itself!
Heavily "mushroom-y," and not very cedary like an actual cigar. It is however, a decent smoke. It is one dimensional until halfway down the bowl, where it acquires a slightly smoky element, which it carries to the end of the bowl.
It is not great when smoked straight. Where this tobacco shines, is when it is added to any and all English mixtures! Ones with some perique present, such as black house, stand to gain the most from being "spiced" with this tobacco. It is not even remotely similar to the type of cigar leaf used in Robert Lewis 123, or one of those fine "dunhill replacement" blends. It is like adding ambergris to a perfume: while adding little or no scent of its own, it brings out the best in all of the other scents.
Every tobacco closet or cellar should have a tin or two handy for spicing up one's evening English blend, when it has become routine and not enjoyment. Easily brings a boring or bland mixture up to par.
Just light brown and medium light brown cigar leaf, nothing else. What more could a piper ask for! Very sweet smelling in the tin but smokes like a medium strength cigar ie. not too sweet. No need to blend it, just smoke it straight from the tin.
One note - The wax paper smelled exactly like a smell I'm very familiar with from living next door to a dairy farm. Cow shit. Luckily this has not affected the tin note or the taste at all.
I find wax paper tends to suck the flavor out of aromatic tobacco. However it seems to have been a wise decision in this case.
After this, I'd love to try pure Havana. A bit hard to find tho. (EDIT - according to several sources pure Caribe IS pure Havana)
This has a fair amount of sweet anise either in the casing or in a topping. Seems like casing to me, but can't be sure. It sublimates the natural tobacco flavor to a good extent. This makes it useless to me as a blender and nearly useless as a stand-alone smoke. Evidently the cigar leaf used here is very mild in flavor. Just barely 2 stars.
Mild to medium in body. Flavoring is mild to medium. Taste is mild to medium. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain
I haven't done a review on it, but my first straight cigar leaf was c&d chopped cigar leaf. I'll tell you right away, this stuff blows that Pennsylvania broadleaf out of the water.
It's just about crispy after opening. I tried one bowl before hydrating it. The tin aroma smells like brown sugar and earth. It's pretty consistent from first light to last puff. Tastes like I'm smoking a medium bodied Maduro cigar. It has your typical desert like flavors. Its sweet cocoa, creamy, slight coffee note and musty. It must be aged well before K and K gets ahold of it for processing. It's very smooth after hydrating it with no harshness. And just like any good cigar, it has a very white, powdery ash.
In comparison to c&d, this is very sophisticated and refined. It works well with c&d Virginia flake. Makes a very nice creamy smoke. Highly recommended for blending and smoking straight. You can't go wrong with either way.
I got a pretty well aged tin of this stuff about 1 year ago.It is a very mild cigar leaf mixture. A decent blender. It will not however yield a potent cigar note to a blend. This is a very bland and mellow leaf. Not the worst but not the best. 2.5 stars
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