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Notes: The original Larus and Bros. Holiday Mixture Aromatic Blend

BrandLarus & Brother Company, Inc
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
Packaging14 oz Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild, Mild to Medium
Mild, Mild to Medium
Mild, Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable
2 reviews
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marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (70)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a review of the original Larus Holiday Mixture from an unopened vintage tin. I acquired this unopened tin from eBay, and have kept it in a large ceramic Comoy's humidor since its' opening. I have done this review to provide some information to others regarding this blend, but it must come with a huge caveat in that the tobacco was dry as a bone, and most likely had been for decades. It is difficult to assess how this desiccation, over time, affected the smoking characteristics, but it would be be reasonable to expect that the experience is not identical to what smoking a fresh tin in perfect condition forty years ago. With that said, here goes.

The tobacco is a relatively uniform medium brown with flecks of darker brown, most likely the cavendish. It is a darker brown than the "match" tobacco offered today. The tin aroma is difficult to describe. It is sweet, like honey or caramel with the faintest hint of licorice. Now that i have smelled it I think "Holiday Mixture", but before that I had never smelled a tobacco mixture with a similar odor. It is a very pleasant tin aroma.

The cut is a small cube cut, like a fully broken crumble cake. The pieces are smaller and more uniform than the reissue tobacco. It takes zero effort to pack a pipe due to this size and uniformity, and in fact effort must be made not to overpack. My rehydrated blend lights easily and burns readily. This is a very easy blend to smoke. My guess is that this is due to a high burley content.

Holiday Mixture has a mild flavor which is somewhat sharp on the tongue. It is not like tongue bite from a sweet VA, and is present from the beginning. This might be the perique, but I have smoked many other perique blends and this has never been an issue for me. With Holiday Mixture I notice and feel it constantly, and it is in fact one of the spiciest blends in that sense that I have ever tried. The casing does not really come through in the flavor with the exception of a faint hint of licorice. That is my adjective, however, and who knows what the real essence was.

I have mixed emotions about this blend. I was expecting something unique and different given the vintage, and in that sense it did not disappoint. What was disappointing was that it was not a more pleasant smoking experience, as it stings mightily on the tongue. This very well may be due to the age and fact that it had to be totally re-hydrated. This is doubly troubling as I now have a huge quantity of the mixture, and expect that my grandchildren's grandchildren will be figuring out what to do with it.

Pipe Used: Vintage GBD Bent Billiard Virgin

Age When Smoked: 45+ years old

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Holiday is not nearly as complex as the contents may make it appear. It is a middle of the road, mildly aromatic old classic that offers Perique lovers an unusual presentation for their cherished condiment. It is a cool, soft burning blend with no special characteristics, but enough flavor is in this blend to keep one interested... for awhile.

3 people found this review helpful.