Here is my review for the original: The Virginia is grassy and naturally sweet, and is the base for the other components to play off. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woodsy with a touch of sweetness, and prominent in every puff without drowning out the other tobaccos. It’s well supported by the woody, and slight sweet and sour notes from the Orientals/Turkish, which also provides some body as well as depth to the blend. There’s a very slight sweet note that I can’t identify with the ingredients, which indicates a topping of some sort. The perique is a minor player, with a little plum and only a hint of spice. Has a mild nic-hit. Burns as a reasonable rate (especially considering how dry the tobacco is) with a consistent medium taste, no harsh or dull spots, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. Slightly creamy, it produces lots of smoke when you puff, though excessive puffing reduces the nuance of flavors. Darn near an all day English smoke if you so choose.
I could almost write the same review for the Match. The differences are that the Match is a shade sweeter and is creamier with a degree less of the Oriental/Turkish sour woodiness. The Match is a little richer in flavor, but not a stronger English. It took me quite a bit of time to figure out the differences between these two because they are very close to being the same tobacco. I rated the original at three stars.
The year was 2002. I had been smoking a pipe (legally) for about 5 years. I had stuck with the basic Captain Black aromatics, some Carter hall, Half and Half and Union Leader. I high school buddy was the manager of a little shop in town called Tobacco Road. They had a few lane and Altadis blends, including Crown achievement. I remember the first time I opened the huge jar and inhaled. How repulsive I thought! Who seriously would smoke this!?
Oh, how naive was I back then. little did I know English/Balkans and mainly Latakia would become my mainstay.
Lets dive into this Crown Achievement match, shall we?
Pouch aroma smells very similar, but i remember the original having slightly more Latakia aroma. The cut of the match is quite different as well. The original was even thin ribbons. This is fat and chunky.
Loads well, lighting only takes a few matches if you rub out those chunks.
I wish I smoked more of the original. The flavors of the match seemed close to what I remember. Smoky, chewy and salty. Earthy, woody and slightly spicy undertones. The right amount of sweetness from the Virginia rounds out the full spectrum of the Balkan flavor wheel. Not overly complex, but has enough flavor to keep it interesting down to the the bottom of the bowl. I wish I ordered more than 2oz of this now that I'm down to the last of it. I see a pound or 3 in my future! A solid 4 star Balkan blend that won't break the bank.
The pouch note is similar to the original but not near as woodsy. The cut is thicker ribbon and of course the tobaccos of a lesser quality. Thus, the difference in price. The taste is also similar but lacking in my opinion. Guess we have to settle for what we can get, but why Lane discos the best blend they ever came up with is beyond me.
I never smoked the original so my review is only for Crown Achievement Match. Upon opening the jar I was greeted with a pleasant aroma of sweet smoke, grassy, woody, plum and light spiciness.
Upon lighting I found it lighted easily, threw a lot of thick, creamy, billowy smoke. This burns slow, does not bite, if pushed no harsh edges and no creosote taste. This is a very long ribbon cut with chunks. The flavor is very consistent and very pleasant. Smoke slow, for if pushed the flavors get lost to the Latakia. Less than average delights. No moisture.
The flavors while smoking were very pleasant. They are very consistent, this is not a complex tobacco. There is a sweet flavor to all the flavors which are all mild. These flavors include a campfire, grass, wood, a very light touch of sour, plum, light spiciness with a creaminess that creates a very smooth smoke. This is a wonderfully straight forward blend that can be smoked all day and one does not have to focus on while smoking. Has a pleasantly light sweet aftertaste. If you like your English or Balkans full flavored like Nightcap or complex like Quiet Nights you will find this to be a lighter version that is not complex. The nic hit is low. However, if you love English or Balkan blends and want to smoke one all day while doing chores this is one you will love. A 3.7 out of 4 stars only because I like em full flavored and that is my personal preference. But this has a spot in my rotation for those times when I want a simple, not complex pleasant smoke while doing something else besides focusing on the bacca.
Blend is Latakia, Oriental, Virginia and Perique. Strength is mild, Flavoring is mild, Taste is Mild, Roomnote is a pleasant smokiness. Smoked in MM Huck Finn
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