Review by Schmitz Bitz
"A Sea Whale of a Smoke" Indeed
The first thing that
strikes me upon opening the tin is the visual beauty of the Crumble Cake. It
honestly looks good enough to eat, with a nice blend of dark browns, tans, and
blacks - something akin to a dark chocolate brownie. The tin note definitely
reveals the high latakia content in this blend, but hidden amongst the smokiness
are hints of leather, peat, creosote, wet earth, leaves, and the slightest hints of spice.
The Cake slices and
crumbles very easily, leaving one with a fairly fine cut - I find it's usually
a touch on the moist side for my liking, and benefits from ten to twenty
minutes of airing time. Packs easily, and takes a flame wonderfully.
On the charring
light, the first thing I notice is Latakia. And nothing else. It really
overwhelms, although that isn't a bad thing in this case - the smoke is smooth
and creamy, and leaves one (or, me at least) wanting more. The after taste on
the palate reveals the spiciness of the Oriental leaf, with an almost camphor-like
With the true light,
the full impact (I hesitate to use the word complex, because this blend is
about as complex as a kick to the boys) of this blend comes forth. Certainly
the campfire-esque Latakia is the foremost flavour to be found, however it
never overwhelms, but rather stays smooth throughout. I can also detect notes
of fruit and spice, from the Va's and Orientals, although these are fleeting,
and oft hide behind the pure Latakia flavour.
As the bowl
progresses through the halfway point, I find the sweetness of this blend really
begins to come forth, which really seems to allow the aforementioned flavours
to mellow and mingle into something truly wonderful. This remains for me though
the end of the bowl - in fact, this is one of the few blends I can say that I
do smoke down to the heel time and time again; relighting to ensure every scrap
of tobacco is burned - it's that tasty.
tobacco is not for the faint of heart. It needs to be smoked slowly, not because
it will bite you, but because it can leave you reeling. The nicotine certainly
there, and if you abuse it, it will abuse you.The room note, my
wife assures me, is akin to a wet-dog in a bog-fire - I tend to disagree, but I
will admit, its wonderfully strong. I'll often smoke this in the evening, just
so I can have the lingering aroma wafting from my beard throughout the night.
This is a wonderful
tobacco if you're looking for something latakia forward that packs a punch in
the nicotine department, not for all day smoking, but a great way to end the evening. Highly recommended!
Compliments a peaty
Scotch extremely well!