A no-frills burley blend with some grassy, citrusy Virginia, though it's hard to taste much of the Va. The toppings are medium sweet, and disguises some of the burley's earthy, nutty and molasses notes. There's also a very subtle cocoa note and a touch of anise among the toppings; perhaps a little coconut, too. The nic-hit is very mild. Won't bite, but can burn a little warm, so I recommend a slow puffing cadence. Burns slightly faster than moderate with a consistent flavor. Needs few relights, and leaves little dampness in the bowl. An all day smoke with a short lived after taste.
An old-time Burley blend from one of America's oldest tobacconists, Iwan Ries of Chicago. So many flavors dancing around it's hard to describe them all.
Burley is the major player here, Virginia in the background; way in the background in fact. Chocolate, maybe some Vanilla and a small dose of Anise.
My 8 ounce can came a bit on the dry side making it burn quickly. Don't puff away or it will surely bit! It didn't leave a mess behind but it is a ghoster. Room note is inoffensive but not great. Uniqueness is its best quality. It wouldn't be around forever if it didn't have many fans.
I agree with Pipestud. This is one of those blends that has been around for probably as long as the great old Wabash Avenue Ravenswood elevated transit line running adjacent to the venerable Iwan Ries. It's not a blend that will give shivers up and down your spine, but it is a comforting, chewy non-aromatic that you might like to try from time to time. Like Barking Dog, it's always been there, and it has its loyal followers. The taste is mild, the aroma pleasant and characteristic of Iwan Ries, though not as heavy on the licorice as their Three Star blends. It leaves the pipe dry. It's a tobacco you may not love, but you'll never hate. If you're ever in Chicago, you must stop up at Iwan Ries and try a bowl of Ko Ko. No, I don't work for them.
This has been a usual go-to blend for one of my pipes and one of the first non aromatic blends I've stuck with longer than year. That being said, I do enjoy it.
This was the third blend I tried from them and took me a little while to adjust to it. I tend to keep mine on the higher humidity side to keep it from burning too hot. It's very easy to burn yourself on this and is unforgiving to a novice.
I find it's blander and really less aromatic than many burley blends, which tend to be on the aromatic side. Over time my sealed jar of it has developed a faint red wine smell along with a natural nutty aroma. Initially some of the scent lends itself to the flavor but midway through the bowl changes. It does require some pipe cleaners as I get it gurgle halfway down the bowl and end up tossing it 3/4 down.
Is it perfect, no. But when some one says burley blend this became my standard note for a burley. I say give it a shot if you really want a non aromatic burley blend.
Opening my purchase of Ko-Ko brought back a pleasant memory from my boyhood, when I used to like opening up my grand-dad's can of Half and Half (the original Half and Half, that is, not the Pinkerton product currently on the market) and sniffing that marvelous aroma. Such is the pouch fragrance of Ko-Ko. And that pretty much describes it. It's a straightforward, flavored burley with a few bright flakes, designed to be IRC's upscale answer to the drugstore blends, a niche it's occupied for generations.
The characteristics of the tobacco are typical of the genre. It packs and lights easily, smokes mild and cool, and leaves a pleasant room note. The taste is nutty and slightly sweet. Pack it firmly enough to leave just a slight spring and puff it slowly and evenly, and it will not bite. My overall impression is that Ko-Ko is a solid representative of a typically American style blend, one that's still a favorite with many.
If you like the modern-day versions of Half and Half and Carter Hall, you will probably like Ko-Ko.
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