Review by Schmitz Bitz
A subtle mild smoke
It was with great anticipation that I first cracked the tin of this tobacco; I know for many it is a personal favourite, and as such, I may have allowed my judgement to become somewhat clouded. I should add here that I really did not like this blend the first couple of bowls, however, it really grew on my as I made my way though the tin.
The tobacco is beautifully presented, with a wonderfully colourful mix of ribbon and shag cut Virginias and Orientals, shot through with Latakia. The tin aroma brings the obvious spicyness of Oriental leaf, with undertones of campfire (from the Latakia) and hints of leather, earth and sawdust. I found my tin to be just about the perfect level of humidity for immediate consumption, and packs quite easily, no matter the method.
The charring light brings a blast of flavour from the Orientals contained within, leaving a truely wonderful aftertaste which brings to mind cardamom, coriander, sage, majoram, with just a touch of juniper...certainly, it hints at better yet to come.
The first quarter of the bowl really seems to focus around pungent Orientals, bringing the flavours above, with hints of lemon and hay from the Virginias, and, of course, the general earthy campfire flavours found in Latakia. Unfortunately, this complexity doesn't seem to last - the Latakia seems to take a step back at around the 1/4 burned point, whilst the Virginias and Orientals really take over; with an almost nutty, floral flavour coming to the forefront. As the bowl passes the half-way point, the Latakia seems to simply dissapear, leaving the bottom of the bowl somewhat lacking in my opinon, but still on the right side of tasty.
The wifes report on the room-note is tolerable - as my sniffer has been taken out of commision by nose-hits of perique, this is all I can really say - she won't elaborate, just says its not awful.
The one downside I have found to this tobacco (and I suspect it is due to my mouth chemistry, rather than a shortcoming with said tobacco) is that it does tend to leave my mouth with a tingle akin to smoking a menthol cig; and a soapy, dry feeling on the tongue.
The nic hit provided by this tobacco is mild - it doesn't leave me craving a cig, but it doesn't hit the spot like dark-fired blends. All in all, a good, mild all day smoke; not your a-typical raunchy (in a good way) Balkan blend, but rather a subtle and complex blend, which highlights Orientals (particularly Yendje?) and offers a nice dabble into Latakia - I recommend it!