Review by cortezattic
The wife will love it... you may too!
In the interest of full disclosure, I fancy myself a tobacco snob -- disparaging artificially flavored tobaccos with abandon. This doesn't mean, however, that I don't continue to search the field, hoping to one day be surprised. Catamount comes pretty close.
It is a coarse-cut mix of golden, brown tone, and black leaves with a sweet, raisin-like pouch aroma. My supply was almost at an ideal moisture level and needed just a few seconds under a hot air blower to dry to the level I personally prefer (it seems I do that with most any tobacco.) I smoke this blend in a Brigham briar with a rock maple inner-tube filter.
The charring light is all that is needed to get a bowl going; and it produces a sweet and slightly saline taste that quickly evolves into a taste like Luden's Wild Cherry Cough Drops. It is not a strong, cloying cherry flavor that eclipses the underlying tobacco -- but just enough to make the point. It also has a noticeable vanilla component that works well with the cherry.
It smokes dryly, without bite, and produces a great smoke volume that fills the room with a wife-pleasing aroma (the only tobacco my wife ever complimented!) Although it's quite mellow, and a pleasure to work with the palate, nose and sinuses, it provides almost nothing in the way of nicotine satisfaction.
The underlying tobacco flavor is pretty nondescript -- almost generic-tasting; but I suppose one doesn't select a cherry flavored blend because of its nuanced tobacco flavors (ahem).
Just as people can be divided into two camps: those who can tolerate the artificial sweeteners in diet colas and those who can't; so too, I think, are those who can tolerate the chemical aftertaste produced by aromatic blends, and those who can't. Catamount goes a long way toward blurring the line dividing aromatics smokers from tobacco purists. It ranks pretty low on my scale of artificiality. So, I'll keep a small supply on hand for those moments when I think I'm missing something that a nice cherry blend can provide; and I'll even smoke a little now and then just to stay on good terms with the War Department.