I was gifted an already opened tin of Sobranie Reserve Blend #7 back in 2011. From my notes - "Absolutely delicious and the finest naturally aromatic tasting Virginia I've ever had the pleasure to smoke. I am not sure what the added essence is, but whatever it is, it compliments the deep and darkly aged Virginia leaf within perfectly." - As noted on the tin, the contents were blended specifically for the House of Sobranie Board of Directors. It was never intended for public sale but enough of the leaf was produced to do so. Perhaps the most rare of any publicly released Sobranie blend, and certainly one of my own all-time personal favorites!
The other day, I popped open a 30+ year old tin of this stuff that I bought around 1990. It was a pain in the neck to pry open the tin! The paper disk on top stated Sobranie House, Burlington Arcade, that would serve to further define the age. Anyway, what awaited me was near-perfect humidity for a ribbon cut dark Virginia tobacco with a very few blond strands, and a very fruity aroma, but not overwhelming. it was relatively easy to light in a medium sized bowl, and smoked well to about one quarter of its original load, with diligent tamping. Near the end, I encountered some condensate that was a bit too much for me. Mind you, I was smoking it faster than I should have, and in the cold, damp weather outside.
The flavour appeared to be pleasant and nearly constant throughout the smoke. Some of the tin aroma lingered on throughout the smoke. I cannot discern whether it was a topping or a casing. If the latter, it was not too powerful.
Comparing it to Scottish No. 3, I prefer this one, as the other one had a flavour that was too strong, almost to the point of me not wanting to finish the tin, despite the fact that it was a a Sobranie product of the same age. This is a good tobacco, even with the age on it, and well worth a smoke, if you can get it!
Pipe Used: Penthouse Billiard, England
Age When Smoked: 33+ years!
Purchased From: Thomas Hinds Tobacconist, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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