Perfectly blended hot pressed dark and golden Virginias, jet-black and shiny with natural oils. Topped with a dash of licorice extract. This thoroughly satisfying tobacco has an English pedigree with marvelous smoking characteristics.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia Based
FlavoringLicorice, Other / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging8 ounce bag
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Mild, Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The hot pressed dark and gold Virginias offer a range of familiar characteristics known to those tobaccos: some tart and tangy citrus and grass along with a little fermented tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread and a bare hint of spice. There’s more gold Virginia than dark. The mild licorice topping has a tame quality that reduces its importance. There’s a very mild fruit topping, too. Has a mild nic-hit at best. The strength is mild, while the taste is just short of the center of mild to medium. Won't bite and has no harsh or dull spots. Needs some dry time. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a very consistent, smooth, sweet taste, and requires some relights. How much moisture is left in the bowl depends on whether or not you’ve dried it, but no dottle is likely, unless you are also a wet smoker. The flavors (and lightly lingering after taste) are very mild with little depth or body. Has a very pleasant room note. An all day smoke for those wanting a gentle sweet smoke. Two and a half stars.


17 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Blackpool was not at all what I expected. This blend contains "a dash of licorice extract." And boy, does it ever enhance the leaf with a flavor presentation that is 'to die for." The Virginia itself is top-shelf with the special secret processing that Germain is famous for. And the flavor presentation changes dramatically all the way down the bowl. One of the delights of this blend is that you never know exactly what you are going to get with each puff, but you know that whatever it is, it'll be good!


13 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (251)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Interesting stuff. I can taste the licorice, even in my over ten-year-old sample, but it is not overpowering. The blend is indeed jet-black, and a very mellow smoke, and if it has a fault, it is that it burns a bit fast. I will go to this when I want an easy smoke, because there really isn't much complexity here, but still, another great offering among the less well-known Esoterica blends.

11-1-2022 Still have about 3 ounces left, and it is 20 years old by now. Smoking some now (though have smoked the occasional bowl through the years), and can't add much. Like it, but won't smoke it every day. I'm getting more complexity than I seem to have when I first reviewed it, and nice to have some 20 yo Esoterica in my collection.

10 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (217)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Blackpool is a soft, dark ready-rubbed mixture with an understated fruit and licorice scent. The flavor is quite mild and the aftertaste is lightly sweet, at times carrying with it what I can only describe as a faint curry like flavor.

Honestly, this blend tastes & smokes like a substantially toned-down version of Ramsgate. I would imagine that this is by design as the lighter application of licorice certainly makes Blackpool less of an acquired taste. However, this comes with a price, as Blackpool lacks the flavor depth & character of Ramsgate.

To sum it up, Blackpool is not a bad tobacco mixture and if I hadn't already had the pleasure of smoking Ramsgate I might have enjoyed it more. Pipers who prefer smoking milder aromatics may very well enjoy this but I found the flavor of Blackpool to be softer & more timid than I prefer.

8 people found this review helpful.

Mikefu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mikefu (20)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Upon opening the bag, it smells like a stoved VA, like Dark Star or Dark Fragrant, without the vinegar tang. Dark fruit is the main note, with undertones of fruity black tea, like a Keemun. Licorice is there, but mild. The cut is leathery little ribbons, and in my case were covered in bloom. Damp out of the bag, but correctly moist after 45 minutes in dry Colorado air. Loads and packs well. Lighting is a bit more difficult than the cut would indicate, but still easy compared to a flake. The taste on lighting is sweet, mildly tangy fruity stoved VA, with a hint of saltiness and grilled meat. Licorice is hard to notice initially, but comes through in the retrohale. Even then it is hard to single out, and provides more licorice aftertaste than up front flavor. It reminds me of an herb tea that has been sweetened with licorice root, whose licorice you don’t notice until after swallowing and the primary flavors fade. It gains sweetness through the bowl, and more stewed plum flavor builds, with enough tang to avoid cloying sweetness. Hints of molasses and grilled meats fade in and out, with the consistent licorice sweetness providing base notes. Requires a few relights, and burns down clean. Provides lots of thick smoke, and a relatively strong lingering room note for a milder blend. Overall recommended and enjoyed.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: 6 months and 1 year

Similar Blends: Dark Fragrant.

7 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Love the flavors here, but it has some minor faults. A fairly strong citrus flavor with lesser notes of dark fruit. The licorice is barely noticed. Has a moderate sweetness and a bit of spice. A little too much earthiness shows later in the bowl and that dulls the flavor a little. Needs an above average number of relights. I can't go more than 2 stars on this one.

Mild to medium in body and taste. Flavoring is extremely mild. Burn is fair at best.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: kingsmokingpipesandcigars.com

7 people found this review helpful.

Pastor Puff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pastor Puff (15)
Very Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tasting Notes: Esoterica Tobacciana Blackpool

Component Tobaccos: Pressed Virginias with a licorice topping

Cut: Ready rubbed

Tin Note: Raisin, very sweet

Body: 3/10

Strength: 5/10

Nic: 3/10

Mechanics: I have had flakes stay lit better than this. It doesn't light well, doesn't stay lit.

Taste: First light is the dark, deep moldering grass Virginia flavor with some bread in the background. The retrohale is reminiscent of Granny's cinnamon, raisin bread. I notice the topping but just barely, it adds a bit of sweetness and some fruity quality to the blend. It doesn't change; Blackpool gives it all to you up front and remains steadfast through to the end. It's a nice dark Virginia with a bit of sweetness thanks to that licorice topping.

Thoughts: Okay so I like it. It's a very straight forward blend. Nice and dark with contrasting sweet notes. I find it hard to call an aromatic but there is a noticeable topping. My problem is that this is an Esoterica blend. They are hard to find and honestly over hyped. Is Blackpool good? Yes, absolutely. Is Blackpool mind-blowing? No, absolutely not. If it were a readily available blend it might be a daily smoker for me but as it stands Dark Flake is easily gotten and has a similar profile. If you can find it, pick up a bag. But I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Overall: 5.5/10

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: Not sure, sample

Purchased From: Sample

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Dark Flake Re-Release.

6 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (401)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Unnoticeable

I was able to smoke a good three bowls of this compliments of our Honorary Vice President of our pipe club who was able to get this from a company that sold it online. Licorice, I guess for most either you love it or hate it. As for me I love it. The tin note reminded me of licorice ropes that you buy. The tobacco was a mostly dark ribbon cut with some brown scattered throughout. It was moist but not wet like some aromatics tend to be. The licorice flavor lasted from start to finish and was a fantastic smoke. The description says the blend type is Virginia based but if it tastes like an aro then it is an aro. I could smoke a lot of this but herein lies the rub. Esoterica tobaccos are as elusive as finding the Tasmanian Devil, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker and the Carolina Parakeet all in one day. I searched over a half dozen or more online tobacco companies and all were out of stock. I just to not have the energy to try and obtain this elusive tobacco. Of course, if I ever get the chance to buy it I will but am not going to actively hunt this down. Lucky to have tried it. It reminds me of the old adage, ‘Is it better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all”. Not sure. Anyway, if you like licorice this is an excellent blend and is not goopy but more naturally processed with the flavoring

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Purchased From: Gifted Sample

5 people found this review helpful.

TorontoSmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TorontoSmoker (19)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Had a small sample of this sent to me by a very nice fellow who sold me a pipe. I think it was well aged. I did enjoy it. High quality, jet-black baccy, with a nice, mild flavouring added.

If you like strong aromatics, you will probably be disappointed with this one. The mild licorace flavouring stays in the background as it should, since, as with other fine Esoterica offerings, the quality leaf itself is the star here, I will definitely get more, if I can ever find any... :-/

Pipe Used: small briars

Age When Smoked: 4 years old

5 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (143)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Esoterica really does a good job at making excellent tobaccos and Blackpool is no exception.

This tobacco reminds me almost exactly, but not quite, like Kingsbridge.

The way the tobacco looks in the bag is identical to Kingsbridge, but perhaps a shade darker and a few less sugar crystals. The smell, again, is almost a perfect match to Kingsbridge, but just a tad sweeter with more black licorice scent. Loads and burns well without troubles. Light but firm tamping keeps it going and a sipping method is preferred rather than heavy puffing.

The flavors remind me of Kingsbridge, but there is slightly more licorice flavor and one doesn't get the tongue tingles (antiseptic) feel from this one like I did with Kingsbridge. The flavor profile reminds me of blackwoods flake a lot, but sweeter and deeper like darkstar. The sweetness is a natural sweetness, not from any toppings or additions. The topping is quite nice but again doesn't seem to be a sweet topping. Just some good licorice from time to time mixes with the natural sweet, woodsy, aged and deep virginia flavor. From time to time there was a bit of spice that reminded me more of cloves than pepper. Consistent flavor all the way down the bowl, and it burns quite slowly. Excellent tobacco!

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-3 months

Purchased From: Morgan Hill Cigar and Wine

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Kingsbridge, McClelland - Dark Star (Personal Reserve).

4 people found this review helpful.

lesliesrussell Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lesliesrussell (7)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

This is not, and I feel it incumbent upon me to stress the point, an aromatic. In fact none of the Esoterica blends I have sampled yet falls into that bemoaned category. These are, to my way of thinking, Lakeland blends. That being said, the licorice topping doesn't make an appearance at all except in the tin. However, upon initial touch, the is a brief taste almost like seasoned meat flavor reminiscent of Worchestershire sauce. It is an exceedingly pleasant, mild, flavorful tobacco which burns well, resulting in a fine white ash, and very little dottle

Pipe Used: Hardcastle pot

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

Similar Blends: Esoterica Kingsbridge, Esoterica Ramsgate.

4 people found this review helpful.

Carcosa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carcosa (2)
Mild Mild to Medium Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm smoking a bowl as I write this...

That being said I am a fan of boerdere drop and other dutch licorice, so I searched out a tobacco with this flavoring. Was happy to find this as a nonaromatic flavored tobacco. For you aromatic fans the flavoring rating might be cut down to mild or very mild.

I can barely notice the anis flavor in this light smoke, but once in awhile it really comes through. Like someone else mentioned the flavoring is more akin to tea. Not as sweet as other virginias I have smoked, and to add a little kick I blended in some St. James perique.

I will enjoy the rest of this bag, but make sure not to smoke something stronger first, like Irish Flake or this may come across bland.

Pipe Used: Peterson Briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The topping is said to be licorice, but the blend actually looks, smells and tastes like ... black tea! They could have called this English Breakfast and gotten better sales, except that "English" would throw people off: it's actually all Virginia as far as I can tell, mellowed by age so that the bite is gone, but with that tang you would expect from a strongly brewed cup.

I originally picked this one up because I'm a licorice aficionado, but can't detect any licorice at all. So, if licorice scares you, no worries. It's tea all the way.

Unfortunately, despite a clean smoke it goops up the pipe a bit, and doesn't always burn all the way to the bottom. Still, lights easily enough. A pleasant experience all in all, and recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very similar to Esoterica Ramsgate in description, this smokes to its own beat. It arrives black and damp, but the moisture isn't sticky so I assume it is hydrated more with water than with PG.

At light up (or after several light ups), a thick and creamy smoke consistency greets the smoker. While apparently topped with licorice, it isn't especially apparent in the flavor. Instead, there is a subdued melange, consisting of the usual Esoterica mid-range flavors of mushroom/marshmallow, and an unusual lingering hint of gunpowder. Like almost all Esotericas I have tried, there is a significant but well-disguised nicotine element.

Once fully into the burn, the top range exhibits a zesty note that tickles the nose and tongue. Also a delicate sweetness, like shortbread. This smokes like two different blends: air-smoking and attention is essential for getting all of the subtle Virginia flavors, though this blend also is pleasant and satisfying when smoked without thought. In that sense, the style of Blackpool (though not the flavor) is similar to GH Bright CR Flake.

As with Ramsgate, the sweetness grows as the bowl progresses. The mid-range features a brewing-beer or Vegamite tone, though more pleasant (apologies to the Aussies out there). Again the nicotine reminds me of its presence. There is also a cheesy note. If Esoterica Tilsbury has gorgonzola, Blackpool has Havarti, or maybe a medium-sharp cheddar, both in terms of flavor nuance and creaminess. Sometimes it flickers sweeter, as from cheesecake. (I am coming to recognize this cheesy/musty character as a signature of Esoterica's matured leaf).

Top range notes are observed on the front of the tongue mostly, with the smoke trickling out of the mouth around the stem. Past the halfway mark, the sweetness has become a dominant (but pleasant) force, reminding me of apple crisp with caramel, with a zest like touching your tongue to an almost-depleted 9 volt battery, which makes this intriguing and satisfying on all levels. I have yet to detect licorice. Finally, at the junction of the top and middle ranges, I pick up an element of dried cherries.

Final words: your clothes really smell after smoking this stuff, even outside. It smokes like a gentle fog. Well done.

4 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (186)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

ah....im so pleased to see esoterica back on the shelves (to some degree). Blackpool was never the most popular of the esoterica line. I think stonehaven was (which is among my least favorites). I smoke virginias mostly. This is a very old timey tobacco combination. The licorice is very mild but appreciated. Its like the rolls royce version of rattrays Dark Fragrant. Except this is exceptional tasting, very very cool....i dont think you could get tongue bite no matter how hard you tried. Cool and slow (for a ribbon especially) and with that contemplative quality McClelland #27 i think that was the one....used to provide. (its nothing like dark flake at all...as someone down here mentioned). But this might strike modern smokers as not punchy enough or something. Complex is a word i hear a lot. I dont know that tobacco has to be complex. Im not sure thats even a good thing. This is a flavour profile one would have found in the early 1900s or before even. Its well worth trying and taking your time with.

Purchased From: cup o joes

3 people found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

First i saw it, i quite surprised because i saw a black mixtures tobacco with a white powder, i think this tobacco is dammaged because a fungus but my friend told me if this blend is good and the white powder is licorice or somewhat he explain me. The mixture is easy to pack, but you must pack it more firmly because it litle bit hot to enjoy. I smoke it using my Peterson Dracula and pack it very firmly and carefull to ensure if the packing is not to loose or to tight so i can still make easy draw on it. The taste is very good but the flavor is quite strange for me, because is almost similar with throat pain relief candy that i ussually bought at drug store. The smoke is great with a combination of sweetness and little bitter taste.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 221

3 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Cousin to Ramsgate, but lighter topping. I'm not a big fan of this cut as it reminds me of the bottom of a tin when all you have left is that last 1/2 a bowl of flake scraps left, comes damper than I like. The initial light gives off a sweet licorice/Juicy Fruit flavor , I found this not unpleasant but I could do without it. After about a quarter of the pipe, the topping is almost 90% gone and a sweeter caramel flavor develops. This is nice, if you like sweet quality Virginias. The bottom 1/3 of the bowl turns slightly bitter .This tobacco was cellared for about a year and smoked in a cob. Better than a drug store brand or it would have got only two stars. I will not buy again but I will give it 3 stars. I like Rattrays "Dark Fragrant" better than this and I find DF is in a similar style but not as boring.

3 people found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (221)
Mild to Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Extra Strong

I smelled dark cherries in the tin, with no anise smell as I had expected. Once lit I tasted almost nothing at all, I expected licorice ambrosia but what I smoked was very flat and boring. As a big fan of Esotericas' blends I am even more disappointed. Also, the wife said the room note was-outdoors only.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As I like licorice, this tobacco gave me exactly what i was expecting. The Virginias are of the highest quality and the flavor they deliver is fantastic. The licorice flavor is perfectly married to the leaf and compliments it in a way that I have never found before.

I am not an aromatic fan. Never have been. If you have read my reviews, you know this, and are not surprised. But, as I have mentioned before, I have always wanted to find a flavored tobacco that I liked. The idea has always intrigued me and I occasionally will order the odd sample. My experiences have not been good until now. Is this an aromatic in the classic sense? No, I think not. It is a FLAVORED tobacco. There is a difference. And what a difference it is!

With all that said, the drying time is critical here. I think this comes standard at about 16% humidity, maybe more. I tend to smoke at about 10-11%. The result after drying is substantially different. A much smoother, cleaner, richer, and bite free smoke. The Virginias used here are very tasty. A reviewer said they could not figure out what else was in this blend besides the Virginias. Well, that would be because there isn't anything else. No need to look for what isn't there. LOL

I will be keeping this one around. It will be my summertime smoke after mowing the lawn, or any outside activity for that matter. I think the lighter body will be appropriate for the hot humid weather we have here in the midwest.

Those looking for a flavored tobacco, and that like licorice as well, but have not liked aromatics, will find a keeper here. Not heavy in the nicotine so safe for the weak-kneed among our brothers and sisters.


3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At first I didn't like this tobacco at all but vowed to return to it because someone with similar tastes to mine regularly enjoyed it. Then I realized, upon my next experience, the reason I avoided judging a tobacco on one bowl full. Could be the humidity, the temperature, what I had for lunch or my attitude. Who knows, but I'm glad I had a sufficient cache to enjoy it further ... and enjoy I did.

It's a bit unusual because of the mild casing and it hasn't made it into my regular rotation but, that being said, it is a very nice tobacco. A slight anise note in the aroma and taste in the beginning of the bowl, which disappears further along. I would not classify this as an aromatic tobacco.

It doesn't bite and smokes pretty cool despite what the appearance would lead one to believe, dark black bits. I have found that I enjoy it best in a small meerschaum and know precisely when to reach for it.

Cheers, VC

3 people found this review helpful.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (119)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I actually just finished a bowl of this blend, so this is a review from a fresh experience! I very much enjoy this tobacco, my first experience with this blend was a rather well aged and somewhat dried out sample. This was also my most well loved experience. I am currently aging a small stock of this baccy to see if I can replicate my previous experience as the freshly opened, young stuff was just not as good. With all that said, I do really like this blend, although I think Esoterica has a few of these blends that are very similar in taste, they could probably trim down the herd a bit. It is a nice mild VA that surprisingly has never bit me. I can smoke this one in any size bowl I like and I've even rolled it into cigarettes mixed with rolling tobacco and found it quite enjoyable when I was going through a RYO faze. It is particularly I find, a nice summer mid afternoon blend, as it doesn't bite and it doesn't have such a strong flavor as to clash with the warm weather. It has a liquerish/raisin tin note and although this is mildly detectable in the smoke at times, I have not found it to be very present in the room note disappointingly. Good blend, give it a try!

2 people found this review helpful.

arpie55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
arpie55 (77)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

this had a very good virginia taste and the licorice topping appealed to my senses, i was not disappointed. the aromatic agent was noticeable in the tin, in the burn , and in the room note, but did not mask what i was looking for in terms of tobacco. i will buy again.

4/1/16 i had been having trouble finding this blend but since being able to purchase more find that it better than i remember it with one exception, the room note is nowhere as pleasent ad i recall.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I like Esoterica but i just could not see what made this special. It was a one dimensional and rather boring smoke. If you get it for free try it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

I bought a 8 oz bag of this and I really like it, it goes nice as a after dinner pipe The room note is pleasent and I like the way it smokes. I dry out most of my tobacco now so it did not matter to me that it was a little moist. Blaclpool leaves a mild aftertaste that is enjoyable.

2 people found this review helpful.

wyrmis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wyrmis (7)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I find it intriguing that they add minerals to pure water to make it taste more like our expectations of water. Blackpool reminds me of this concept. The flavoring, however faint, to this tobacco blend somehow makes it smell and taste more like what I am expecting from pure tobacco. This is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. It is a pleasant,though neutral, smoke that fails to overly distinguish itself.

What you do have, though, is a good midday smoke with only a mild punch, a flavor that won't overly tickle nor confuse your palate, and a smooth, even burn that does not require relights.

Definitely quality, but not my favorite.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Going alphabetically through my sample pack of Esoterica tobacco, this is the second one I tried. Since this is an aromatic Virginia blend, I was expecting a sweet smoke that required care to avoid tongue bite. While there is sweetness here, it is balanced by a musty, full, complex maturity that provides a very smooth, remarkably bite-free smoke. The aroma in the bag is very mild, a light anise casing mixed with a musty tobacco odor and a hint of sweetness. The tobacco itself looks almost like black licorice: very dark black with a flake or two of dark brown. The moisture level is average, not wet at all but not super-dry like C&D blends. The cut is medium and fairly narrow, packing easily in the pipe so long as care is taken not to press too firmly. It lights easily and burns well, requiring a normal number of relights, to a very fine, white ash. For the first third, the flavor is bright and full, the starting sweetness quickly maturing and changing into a more musty taste. The licorice casing is noticeable, but takes a back seat role to the semi-bright Virginia flavor. It compliments the fullness of flavor without distracting from the excellent tobacco base. An impressive feature of this blend is the full, smooth Virginia smoke appears thus far to be totally bite-free. Into the second 1/3 of the bowl, the brightness changes more into a darker, somewhat fuller taste, the licorice still nicely in the background. There is still a musty sweetness to the smoke, and I haven't noticed any bite or moisture problems. I've found that it is very pleasant exhaled through the nose. Moving on to the final part of the bowl, and I can say that this smoke is nearly as smooth and bite-free as my standard, Frog Morton. The taste is still complex and full, elements of sweetness and mustiness mixing well with the light licorice note. There is some moisture towards the bottom, but a single pipe cleaner took care of that. The room aroma is pleasant after smoking, and the scent lingers in my clothes. Overall, this is a very good, fully mature Virginia blend: full, musty/sweet, and complex, complemented but not overwhelmed by the licorice casing. I enjoyed smoking this tobacco, and would likely reach for it when I was in the mood for a mature, smooth Virginia without any danger of bite. So far, Esoterica is two out of two for me!

2 people found this review helpful.

Mijnnif Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mijnnif (130)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Bag note is sweet and some slight anise. My sample was at a prefect moisture level. Dark black small flakes pack nicely. The licorice taste is much milder than I expected. It also has a fruit topping of some sort. I don't get any chemical taste at all. Its a very mild lightly sweet smoke. The Virginias provide some tobacco flavors. The retrohale is quite nice. Needs a few relights. Nic hit is mild burns a bit hot. Perhaps a nice place to start for those switching from aromatics to non aromatics. Three stars

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow duke tasting pipe

Age When Smoked: gift not sure but aged a bit

Purchased From: friend gift

1 person found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I opened a bag from 2017 this afternoon and found upon opening the magic "white dust" on the ribbon. The smell was decidedly black licorice (which I'm a fan of). The cut is typical ready rub.. not a shag but larger pieces.

Easy to pack and light. The licorice didn't come through the smoke as much as I had expected. It's not overpowering at all, but gives it a sweet top note. Burned cool in my Castello without any tongue bite. The flavor was consistent throughout the bowl for a very consistent smoke.

The only thing I wish is that this one was more available...

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: Smitty's Cigars - Gainesville, GA

1 person found this review helpful.

McQueen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McQueen (41)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

This is another winner from esoterica. Mild anise flavor, loads of smoke, and really easy going. Gave it a little dry time and it was perfect.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Good review Sceny, I just want to put my tuppence in here too. Blackpool is well-matured VA tobaccos, black with deep browns mixed in as well. The pleasant musty sweetness reveals the light licorice topping, but only slightly. This medium-cut tobacco packs and lights fairly easy, just don't get to heavy-fingered. It is a bit moist, but I find that once "toasted" it burns rather well. Since this is basically Kingsbridge with a licorice extract, some characteristics are the same for both blends. Blackpool seems to be not as full or heavy, though it does have some body to it. This is a smooth, virtually no-bite smoke with a light sweetness that mingles with a hint of a sour (citrusy?) note, the VA tang right there during most of the bowl. Near the bottom the flavor becomes more rich and the sweetness, though subtle, seems to still be there behind the smoky/tangy notes. This tobacco also burns evenly and dry down to a nice white ash. That to me is one (among many)of the endearing qualities of Esoterica tobaccos, that clean burn to a pure white/dove gray ash. The vibrant taste and the deep, full flavors, as well as the cool, smooth smoking properties of Blackpool make this a tobak to be enjoyed, at least for me, most anytime of the day. A very tasty and relaxing blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (305)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is almost as black as licorice with a few dark brown flakes intermixed. If not rubbed out, it is slightly difficult to lite due to the moisture content. Once going, a cool and even burn results without a hint of bite leaving a nice white ash. Only a slight hint of the anise is present in the pouch aroma, taste or room aroma and the quality VAs dominate the taste. An enjoyable smoke but not so interesting to be an all day or steady smoke for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

As a licorice lover, I was anxius to try this blend. Unfortunately, my tin opened up way too wet and I had to let the tobacco dry for several days. Even after drying it, I had trouble keeping it lit, and found it bit pretty bad. I eventually mixed it with a drier, more neutral tobacco that burned OK but that did not, unfortunately, taste much like licorice. This stuff does burn to a nice white ash, but it was enough of a problem that I don't plan to buy any more.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Being new to pipes, I have stayed with the safe tobaccos that people have recommended to me. This one was a gift and I love it! Easy burn, even for a beginner and very nice flavour. The smoke was incredible. I don't have many to compare it to but it is on my "to buy" list when this runs out.

1 person found this review helpful.

Duke_Lancaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Duke_Lancaster (11)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Good and smoothe smoke with a little bit of licorice in not a fan of the stuff but the Tabasco was pretty good and not overly flavored it was a bit wet and took a little bit to get going a took some relights but that might be because I threw a boveda pick in there when I found it lost behind the cabinets at my local smoke shop in a sandwich bag the cut was odd but overall I would recommend it and I will definitely smoke more it’s a nice pleasant aromatic without being goopy

Pipe Used: Corncobs

Age When Smoked: Yes

Purchased From: Found behind cabinets in a bagy

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