A fruity blend of Virginia, burley, Oriental and spice tobaccos are lightly pressed and cross cut. Subsequently black cavendish and bright Virginia are added. The blend is flavoured with rum, mango maracuja and vanilla from Madagascar.
This cross cut tobacco is only suited for those who love fruity aromatics.
Being flavored with mango, maracuja, rum and vanilla, he tin note smells intensely of exotic fruit with notes of rum; the vanilla I find less detectable. There's even a slight tobacco scent.
As usual with cubes, filling your pipe is easy: just let it trckle into your bowl and tamp lightly. Because of the added loose cut Black Cavendish and Virginia lighting is easier than with other cross cut tobaccos.
Right from the start there's a pleasant sweet, fruity taste that lasts till the end of the bowl with a tangy edge especially second half, which probably comes from the Virginlas and Orientals in the blend. There's even some genuine tobacco flavor throughout the bowl, that gets a little stronger towards the end. It's a smooth and cool smoke, burning evenly and slowly. Enjoyed with care, it won't give you tongue bite, hoewever, smoked too hot it will.
The room note is very pleasant, fruity, and sweet.
Pipe Used: Stanwell Lilje
Age When Smoked: Fresh
Purchased From: Local Tobacconist
Similar Blends: Peterson St. Patrick's Day 2015 (Limited Edition).
Yet another of Larsen's seemingly endless range of blends. Once again, this was purchased at a reasonable price from Dan Tobacco of Germany. Never seen it in the UK.
It's a typical Larsen's tobacco, arriving in it's glossy pouch and posh-sounding name, which of course has been bastardised to 'Bell-Epok-kew' in RH parlance.
In colour, the tobacco again is standard, but the blend comes in 'cube cut' form as noted by a couple of reviewers. This cut is new to me, and I am reliably informed that it is proving popular with smokers on the continent. It's irritating though and reminds me of soft croutons or even an the old fashioned chunks you used to get in oxtail soup.
Not to taste of course, but these little cubes are annoyingly moist and it's difficult to know what to do with them. Breaking them up more makes a yukky mess and keeping them whole and stuffing them in to the bowl just created a log-jam that was almost unlightable.
I suspect a good drying out will make the blend a little easier to manage. From the limited time I did get it to burn it has a very pleasant - not overly- sweet taste that seems reminiscent of dark strawberry chocolate. Certainly not the flavours as touted in the blurb, but more than acceptable.
The taste remains throughout the bowl (despite all the relights) and a room note that went surprisingly unremarked, but detectable nonetheless even with these ancient nasal passages.
Another good blend then from W.O Larsens, nice aromas and ruined slightly by this annoying cube cut. Worthy of further investigation.
Pipe Used: All of them (briars)
Age When Smoked: New
Purchased From: DanPipe, Germany.
Similar Blends: Savinelli Cavendish, Davidoff's Green mixture..
Ok, so most importantly: if you're not that into aromatics or like mild ones, stay away from this. Now, that being said, if you're looking for a very pleasant room note that will please the wife (fruity, vanilla-y with a hint of rum), you have a winner in "Belle-époque". The casing, although enjoyable, is HEAVY. So inevitably you'll get some tongue-bite if puffed too hard or fresh from the new pouch without some drying beforehand. Also, a thorough cleaning of your pipe is required after every bowl of that stuff because of the moisture. It's not a bad tobacco, W.O. Larsen is still my go-to brand for aromatics, it's just too heavily cased for me and I need to cut it with some kind of "half and half" to enjoy it and make it dryer.
W.O. Larsen seems to be reorganising its blends, with new packaging and, it seems, new blends. I will not comment on the name, failing to find any 'belle époque' meaning to the first name or to the 'carte noire' subsequent name. In the pouch the cavendish is stong and the fruity aroma well dominant, smelling like figs or other dried fruits. Smoking it the rum addition is first detected, then the vanilla flavor. Unfortunately it bits the tongue rather quickly. People around me liked the room note, mentioning whisky although it is rum flavored: anyway it shows how the balance in the blend is adjusted. A bit disappointing if one think of other aromatics from the brand (1864 or Classic) but worth a try. It seems to have been introduced recently in Europe: I bought the pouch in Munich a fortnight ago. A month ago in was not available in Brussels.
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