Review by themightypen
Not Just Smoke
Lovers of Pirate Kake, Three Oaks and Tree Blend, and the Frog Morton series should find something different and enjoyable, if not superior in this heavily pressed, deep hued blend. Also, it should be noted, while it is common suggest Lancer Slices to Penzance lovers, a comparison of the two is not apt, as you will find no excess of olive oil or mink oil notes, nor an excess of the gentle musk and leathery taste found in the Butera/Esoterica blend. Of course, the difference of leaf composition is the reason for this. However, lovers of the well-hyped Penzance should find pleasure in the richer differences of the Lat focused blend.
Without further adue, open we swing the gate to the wonder-world of this blend:
What is this we find here?--having been said a million times before, it's tin note is very much of a bbq and a woodfire. Yet it is not so simple as that. This is a complex arrangement of incenses and aromas. Among us now, we find phantoms of wood and grass and simple herbal notes in the latakia and virgina very similar to a mixed wood fire built upon a fresh earth with grass and diverse dried leaves and natural, weedy onions still growing green upon the ground that upon the char become more defined in the magnifying of the flavors through the smoke.
The smoke evolves throughout the the bowl, yet revolves upon that imaginary axis insists to take one, privately, to solemnly commune with a fragrant campfire. While some celebrated lat-focused blends are suited for lounging in thoughtful reveries and engaging salon discussions and digressions, for me, this one is suited to the solitary man to whom, for the time, his mind is an island and to whom nature is a chorus of silent friends. If blends are orchestras evocative of scene and season, the scene here is more of a man immersed in the brisk, late year, autumnal solemnity iof nature taking a break from his zen like toils. Wipe the sweat from your brow. Let it carry you there.
The flavors are deep and diverse, rich with the typical undercurrents of leather, peat and musk, but upon the rooted flavors of the diversely composed woodfire as they are being engulfed in a calm roil of flames, the flavor digresses and shifts between fragrances of cured hickory, hicory nuts and cured oaks. There are spices here as well, but not so much of the oriental, Marco Polo ilk that the word 'spices' tend to connote. Instead, what you find here are subtle and hidden spirts whispering their songs, flavors which you know, but cannot put your finger upon. Light, spicy, trance inducing, spell-like suggestions of charred and nutty onion, garlic and rosemary that our palates are so used to weave there characteristics among the fragrant incenses of the wood smokes. We are lost in the scene.
And now, the smoke is all about us. Like a sign of the solitary soul of man alone in the forest, a unified smoke lingers haze-like and ominous, woven among the trees. Above all of the delicate nuances, though perfectly integrated among them, as a canvas upon which all of the specific flavors play, there is a carbonious palete, almost a rich red wine like tanic, which most certainly sets the stage for the psychological scene of a woodfire and a bbq. From the moment the tin is opened, until the lingering smoke left from the finished bowl settles, this carbonious palate-theme serves to give unity to the expression of flavors. Here we find the black char lines etched into a cut of freshly caught game upon a grill. But set down our bow and arrow, your knife, your gun or your axe. Do not cling to it. There is more space to wander than this archetypal theme. This flavor-thought need not be limited to the imagery of cooking steak, no, here is primordial man, without words, lingering around the fire which warms his individual soul, and thereby gives him over to his higher aesthetic sense of scents and flavors. The same sense which in old age carries him back to the discoveries and memory compositions of a youth filled with fresh experiences.
A highly recommended smoke. It gives no complications to the smoker. Perfect moisture. No bite. Mild. Easy. Full flavored. Pleasurable. Deep. Well orchestrated. Wonderful. Let us hope this one does not go the way of The Celebrated Bengal Slices.