I got this about a week ago from Mars as an afterthought when ordering a couple of Gawith plugs. The price was right, 3.95 for 2 ounces and an incredible 20.40/lb. I went with the 2 ounces, and submitted it as a new blend as I awaited the best opportunity to review it. I may not be quite at my best right now, since I have a bit of a cold, but it is not interfering too much with my ability to taste tobacco, just making me smoke less and jump from blend to blend for one that is easier on my sinuses! When I change blends frequently, I tend to have some left over from one pipe, which I then mix with the next day's pipe, and so on and so forth. Of course I mainly smoke blends "unadulterated," or un-reblended, but like to experiment in this way. Sometimes I get a good hybrid, sometimes not. This week's hybrid had I believe some Back Porch by C&D, some MacBaren Roll Cake, and smaller amounts of Gawith Cannon Plug and McClelland #27, well-aged. As one might imagine, this resulted in a blend in which the tastes never really meld, that not too many smokers would give four stars to!
I decided to make this my opportunity to evaluate the blending potential of the Turkish, and also packed a small bowl of the straight product to smoke afterward, to judge it on its own merits. I mixed up a bowlful consisting of about two parts of my Frankenstein's monster-like creation to one part of the Turkish, and took it outside with the straight Turkish bowl to smoke with my morning coffee. The Turkish did seem to mellow out the blend. It was less harsh, and it even toned down the heavily scented honeydew (or patchouli) notes of the Cannon Plug. It calmed the bite of the MacBaren. My first impression is that this is likely to be an economical and useful blending tobacco. The next thing is to use it in a more carefully thought out homemade blend, and edit or add to my review when I see how that turns out.
I was not sure how the Turkish would do on its own. The ribbon seems a little coarse and dry, but not brittle, and it was not the easiest to pack. There was certainly no question of it needing to be dried first. I was pleasantly surprised, however, as it burned really well once I got it going good after the second light, and the taste was mild and spicy, maybe a bit one-dimensional; but I can see myself smoking it by itself once in a while. I don't know if this is pure Turkish, or what kind of Turkish, or just mainly Turkish, but the leaf all looks pretty much the same. I would be interested in what others think, and also can't wait to experiment with the leaf to see how my opinions change.
Same day blending update: a few hours later, early evening. I mixed about 1 1/2 flakes of year-and-a-half old Gawith Full Virginia Flake, making up 2 parts of the total blend, with 1 part each of the Turkish and McConnell's Rich Dark Virginia, which did not get good reviews here, except for mine. I added a modest amount of blending perique from Just For Him, less than 1/2 of any of the other "parts." It is my best blending effort yet. I will have to mix up a couple of ounces and call it "Kilmarnock Piper Blend!" It is mellow with no bite, does not aggravate my cold, and gets better towards the end due to the base of quality yet neutral FVF. The lightly spicy Turkish comes out more and more, so I now know it will make a great blender. The effect on the perique I added is to mute the peppery qualities and really round out the bowl. Yummy! I'm sure one could use similar tobaccos to get a similar blend to mine with similar results.
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