I get favorable comments when smoking this, even from non -smokers. Even though I use a filtered pipe most of the time, the full flavor and strength comes through. It's got some nicotine, too. I like this stuff and will probably keep it in my rotation. If you find it too strong, I suggest the Owl Shop's "Black Magic" , which is milder.
For those who want a pleasant aromatic with some body and a nice room note, this tobacco is for you.
I bought the tobacco from The Owl Shop. As always, the staff were extremely nice. The tobacco was ribbon cut and had dark tortoise shell coloring. It was just on the moist side of perfect, as bought.
Tin note was rich and, being the aromatic-lover that I am, luxurious: base aroma a mixture of dried dates, figs, and straw, topped with light notes of vanilla. I also detected a wisp of coconut, which I attribute to the bright Virginias.
The first half of the smoke was cool with no bite. I didn't have to pace my cadence to keep the bowl either cool or lit. The smoke was so cool...much appreciated after having nursed my way through 1/4-a-tin of Mac Baren's Mixture Scottish Blend! The dates and straw came through in the smoke, as did a balanced sweetness from the Cavendish. The Virgina provided solid body. No coconut or vanilla flavors came through in the smoke, though my tongue was fried from the Mac Baren's, so perhaps I missed them. As the bowl progressed, notes of hazenut and dark tea began to register. Second half of the bowl smoked hot and the sweetness from before was replaced with a rich, toasted nuttyness. Smoked dry all the way through (keep in mind I was smoking in a cob, which could smoke water-logged oak leaves dry). Mild nicotine hit.
Mixed wonderfully with a freshly brewed ice coffee!
The room note was out of the world, described by my GF as "wonderful", "great", and "not pungent at all."
Four out of four stars for the aromatic aficionados out there!
The owl shop must be where Fitzgerald got his description of Yale "a bunch of guys in sweaters smoking pipes". This side of paradise. The owl shop fits in perfectly with that. If there was a classic era of the cia one could see analysts putting in orders to this place, perhaps covertly, and perhaps via their Russian handlers seeing as the place would not be possible to afford on a GS-10 pay scale. 14 oz of mystique will set you back about $80 with S/H. The question is it worth it. My conclusion would be absolutely so. The reviewer above almost perfectly hit the nuances of this blend when he described it as combining vanilla, almonds, straw and black tea. It's trite to say it's hard to describe. But it really is, hence "mystique". Yale being the preeminent French studies academe one recalls mystique is feminine. IMHO it carries a faint incense quality, suggesting an aphrodisiac (or perhaps a Root candle from the "Autumn" seasonal line) as well as a rather noticeable stimulant -- it would be interesting to know what is the actual nicotine content in the blend. The reviewers above doing far better than I as to room, burn and aromatics let me leave you with this, I consider this to be a travelers blend, inasmuch as there is such a thing. Much more so than all of these prefab popular concoctions you know the kind: middle earth, isengard, mushrooms, and then the new cult blends. All of these appeal to the things which mystique actually does represent: last night train to Irkutsk, last mountain pass to Ladakh. Mystique is not blended by a Hollywood type, but by an old man who's been there since the 1930's. One suspects he's seen a lot come and go in his time. This blend however will certainly withstand its test. (Please note: excuse my grammar, I did not go to Yale).
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