I am really looking forward to writing this review, having never heard of this tobacco prior to today. The only thing I know about Sutliff’s Roma Vita is that it’s an aromatic tobacco. So being an aro pipe smoker, this feels a little like what I remember Christmas Eve to be like as an 8 year old. Though not having the details, I knew I was in for a special treat – that’s exactly how I feel right now. Truth be told, I’ve turned into a giant Sutliff fan since my first bowl of Molto Dolce and Moulin Rogue – now named Cabaret Rogue. I have found their tobacco to be of the finest and consistent quality. Now thinking about my 8-year old self, the only question I have is will I be getting something useful – like socks – or will I be getting the toy of my dreams? Here goes……
Like all Sutliff Private Stock tobacco tins, Roma Vita comes in a cardboard “tin” with a plastic gold top. And like all the rest, they are tastefully decorated and become more interesting the more you stare at them. Now that I’ve popped the tin, I realize I’ve been rewarded with yet another amazing and unique scent. It almost smells like chocolate mixed with booze, maybe burbon. It seems to also have fruity notes as well. Believe it or not, I can almost sense a "cut grass" scent too. It really smells amazing in the tin. Probably not as captivating as Molto Dolce but incredible in its own right.
The tobacco feels slightly damp but soft and feathery. You cannot feel any casing whatsoever – what a pleasant surprise. It has a traditional neutral brown color with not too much yellow or dark tobacco mixes. I’ll be smoking this tobacco in a 1970’s Falcon Pipe with a new meerschaum bowl and I’ll be lighting with Diamond Greenlight matches.
The smoke has a very pleasant yet neutral room note. It definitely does not overwhelm you with either good or bad scents. I’m getting a lot of nods from my family. However, the taste is quite a bit subtler than the scent; you almost have to work to taste it. The experience almost feels gentle or passive like the tobacco is trying not to be the main attraction. After one bowl, I don’t think I would smoke this tobacco daily, though I would reach for it often. It’s very enjoyable.
Sutliff has done it again. They have created yet another new experience for me. When I need to think, relax and enjoy but not be bowled over by my tobacco scent, I think I’ll reach for a tin of Roma Vita. Did I get socks or the cool new toy? I think I just got a very very good book. The kind you read over and over again.
A mild aromatic with a pleasant amaretto topping, and light vanilla subtext provided by the black cavendish. The Virginia is underplayed, adding a light grass note or two. The burley chips in with a little nutty flavor. Has very little nicotine. Won't bite, but can get warm on the tongue. Thinly cut so it burns well, but don't puff it like a freight train. Has a consistent flavor, and leaves just a little moisture in the bowl. Needs an average number of relights. It has a very nice aftertaste, and while it is designed to be an after dinner smoke, it's also good as your all day companion while you go about your business.
Roma Vita is the sixth of six Sutliff Private Stock aromatic blends that never left my show table in four consecutive seasons and I'm trying to find out why that is. Some of these six blends were dark, damp, overly odorized and stuck to their tin bottoms; Old Vienna, St. George's Blend and Spinaker. Some were more bright, drier, somewhat less odorized and had clean tin bottoms; Country Estate and County Cork. Roma Vita is like a hybrid between the two categories; only somewhat dark, only moist, odorized and stuck to the tin bottom. The tin opening revealed a chocolatey brown mixture with little color range in a finer rubbed-out cut that was a little drier than the norm for these six tins. My sniff test was something like that of reviewer ZoNoMo 2014-09-30; tobacco, alcohol and coffee? I let a spread-out wad of this blend sit all night. The next morning it had settled down to a smokable state and the aroma was now more like chocolate and tobacco. A few days later, the tin aroma was of amoretto. A few days later than that, the aroma was gone. Now, we are at the base blend; a well behaved middle of the road VaBur. As long as it retained its amoretto aroma, everything was okay and I enjoyed the upper portion of the smoke. Once the amoretto went bye-bye, everything reversed and I consistently enjoyed the bottom of the smoke to a greater degree. Somewhat mild for a VaBur, I still like the blend and used it successfully in micro blending. Although I'm not writing home about it, I still recommend it at three stars. As to why they didn't sell; they all have one thing in common. None were smokable at the tin opening and all required airing-out times of long duration; some for prodigious amounts of time. I don't think the modern younger pipe smoker wants to put up with all that fuss.
Pipe Used: Ashton ELX Brindle billiard
Age When Smoked: unknown, but about ten years old
Purchased From: an Ebay seller
Similar Blends: I've smoked an amoretto blend before from time to time, but nothing stands out in my memory. Mostly, they were to be found in decanters next to other aromatics in smoke shops..
This blend smells great in the tin. The tin note reminds me of pistachios. It does not translate to the smoke for me, however. I found that when smoked, this blend has little taste at all. It smells great in the room, though. A typical aromatic...
This is very nice. It uses a shag cut and required a lot of drying out, but after that, it burned well and was pretty tasty. About 15% dottle. I think the casing is port or burgundy wine. It is burley, so it can bite if you're not careful.
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