Bosun is one of the classics which helped put Gawith & Hoggarth on the map. The special Virginia casings compliment 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.
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