With only slightly over 50% (54%) flue-cured Virginias from Brazil, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and 31% dark fired leaf, this is a fairly strong smoke. The addition of some sweeter sun cured leaf from Malawi, and the rich cigar type notes from the dark air cured Indian grade help to round off the blend. The special Virginia casings complement the top notes derived from the addition of sharper flavours including oil of cloves and rose geranium.
The various Virginia tobaccos are very earthy, slightly spicy and grassy, mildly floral and woody with a light smokiness, a bit of fermented ripe dark fruit and some citrus. The Malawi burley provides earth, wood, and some nuttiness as a supporting player. The noticeable cigar notes underscore the experience. The oil of cloves is lightly added with the rose geranium being the more prominent topping, both of which sublimate the varietals quite a bit, though they don’t drown them out. The only differences between this and broken flake version is that this plug is a tad sweeter, smoother, and more well rounded. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste is in the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is medium. No chance of bite, and has no harsh or dull moments. Burns a little slow, cool and clean with a fairly smooth and creamy, very consistent richly sweet and floral flavor from start to finish. Needs some relights, but leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and a stronger room note, which lingers just a little, too. For those experienced in Lakelands, this could almost be an all day smoke in small bowls.
As usual this needs the usual firm prep' associated with plug tobacco, I set aside a good half hour and sit with my razor sharp knife slicing it in to thin pieces, across the grain so that I can rub it out like a flake. Once it is shredded and rubbed I take a sniff and straight away get a floral aromatic note with a slight sweetness as well.
Normally I find plug tobaccos a complete pain to keep lit, it's not the tobacco's fault it's simply because I have been lazy in the prep' but due actually spending time on this it burns brill'. This has a definite aromatic side, most of which is a sort of herb, floral addition. The lightest additive is the alcohol, I can detect a sort of 'malty scotch whiskey' note but it is not the strongest. The tobacco's used give a good nicotine hit, to put it simply it is very strong! At the end of my pipe the only remnant in the bowl is a pure grey ash, no dottle whatsoever. Considering how floral this one is I wonder how flower like their 'Rose Geranium' plug will be!
The flavour of this is kind of like St Bruno on steroids, don't take that as a negative as it scores a solid three stars!
My goodness this tobacco is wonderful. The plug is easy and fun to prepare. I cut it into cubes and rub out a little to place on the top to simplify lighting. Drying a bit is critical.
Extremely flavorful. Topping is as others have noted. Tobacco is sublimated somewhat but Va and burley shine. Smokes cool and quite slow. Will buy in quantity if I can find it. Will age well. A desert island tobacco.
Pipe Used: Various medium size briars and meerschaums
If this indeed a Lakeland then it is a very mild one, so mild that I had to double check that I hadn’t been sent the unscented offering by mistake. Compared to Ennerdale or Grasmere this is super light when it comes to the floral, rose geranium, rose water toppings - it is somewhat reminiscent of Erinmore in so much as the tin note doesn’t translate to the smoke a whole bunch. This is, of course, subjective and you might think “Boy, I get something completely different.” It also reminds me of a tobacco somewhere between Condor and St Bruno; as I am sat here smoking Bosun’s as I’m writing this I keep getting a draw that reminds me a lot of Bruno and then, in a couple more draws, I’m getting Condor, especially both flake versions. I cut a flake off the plug and left it for a good hour or two and it is smoking like a dream - one match so far, light on the bite, burning slow and cool with an ample amount of smoke. There is some sweetness on the tongue and I can’t quite decide on if this is coming from the Virginias or what little topping there is - it really doesn’t taste overly floral. It has a similar pouch note to Coniston Cut Plug but Coniston has the Lakeland vibe when it is fired up, this is very subtle. All in all, I quite like it but then I am a fan of the mighty SB and Condor so that doesn’t come as a shock to me. The room note is quite pleasant as well. As a foray into the world of Lakeland’s this could be a good option for those who don’t like the overtly ‘soapy’ topping of the Ennerdales in this bracket, it would also work for beginners as, like SB you can be quite rough with it and it doesn’t fight back.
Age When Smoked: Fairly new
Similar Blends: St Bruno and Condor flakes just without their vinegar/ketchup notes.
Package note of barbeque, flowers and sweet grass. Tobacco is a plug of marbled brown, reddish-brown, dark brown and black. Moisture content is great. Recommend using a sharp thin knife or razor and slicing off what you need and rubbing out. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is medium to strong and nic is medium. Flavoring is medium with notes of Cloves and Rose Geranium. Rose Geranium is most evident throughout, but drops to a background player after the first 1/3. Cloves seems to be a background player that becomes more evident in the last 2/3's. Taste is medium to full and very consistent, with notes of Rose Geranium, sweet grass, sugar, savory, peaty fermented vegetation, mild clove, tangy citrus, toast, semi-sweet nuts, wood, cigar, dark died fruit, spices, spicy, mildly bitter, a sweet herbal floral background note, and a peppery retro. Virginias (Flue-Cured, Dark Fired and Sun Cured) are leading with Flavoring and Burley supporting. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is great.
20230226 edit: jar note is definitely rose geranium and tonkin. In the smoke, mainly rose geranium. Maybe I do detect a bit of clove, but if it's there it's slight.
As someone relatively new to Lakelands, the scent and taste is strongly reminiscent of baby powder, or old lady perfume. This must be mainly the rose geranium, not picking out much if any clove. The more I smoke, the more pleasant those scents/flavors become, but it does seem like an acquired taste. Quite sweet, but it's tough for me to taste much beyond the topping, which is fine since it's growing on me. I'll definitely keep some in stock, but it's not something that I'd smoke bowl after bowl. More like a dessert, or something to smoke when I want to shake things up. It fills a particular niche for me, which I can't imagine being filled better by anything else.
Similar Blends: St. Bruno, with more Lakeland essence, and slightly more than just rose geranium.
Individual reviews are the opinion(s) of the contributor and do not reflect the opinion(s)
of STC Holdings LLC. Published review content of this website is considered the
copyright intellectual property of the reviewer and STC Holdings LLC and may not be
reproduced in any manner without the expressed written consent of STC Holdings LLC.