Review by cortezattic
SJ Rimboché: Not what you may think it is.
Rimboché SJ is a fairly new entry on the tobacco market, and I first popped a tin in July, 2010. It is composed of irregular, rough-cut leaf in various golden and brown shades, speckled with the black Perique. The original moisture level was textbook correct, so I immediately transferred it to a Mason jar and have been sampling it five or six times a month since then. I doubt any real aging of my supply has taken place, and it has dried out a bit, which suits me just fine. The aroma from the tin is a little yeasty, slightly oat-like, and a little nutty -- and it carries over into the smoke more or less, though at a more subdued level.
If you have to classify a blend, well, I suppose this has to be called a Vaper; but you'll only find a subtle Va. sweetness here. It doesn't lean toward the sweet side of the spectrum -- it merely turns and faces that way! It's a natural, herbal sweetness, but nothing overtly saccharine. If it's similar to anything in my limited experience, I'd have to put it in a niche with Germain's Royal Jersey Perique Mixture: a good, honest-but-plain tobacco blend that is delicately seasoned with Perique, but is not a showcase for it.
I think that Rimboché SJ is somewhat cigarette-like, even though it is cut for the pipe. I taste what I believe are high quality, top leaf Virginia's, and maybe even some Turkish leaf, that is merely supported by Perique. So on first light I was somewhat disappointed. I thought it was a blend that "featured" Perique; it isn't. It's not even remotely similar to what we normally think of as classic Vapers -- those that meld Va.'s sweetness with Perique's earthy, musty, stewed fruit plumminess, like: Escudo; Night Train; 2015; Anni Kake, or any of the Hearth & Home Vapers, really...
That's not to say this isn't a good smoke. It is very smooth and mild; and tasty in its own right, although it is easy to smoke without paying much attention to the flavor. I see it as a kind of "coffee break smoke" -- being neither assertive nor demanding of one's attention. If you choose to focus on its gentle flavor, you will find it delicate and delightful -- any smoker would; but it won't knock your socks off. If you're seeking Vapers like I listed above, you will probably be a little disappointed with Rimboché SJ. If you're switching from cigarettes to the pipe, this would be a good transition blend. If you need to smoke purely from habit, or for want of nicotine, but you're palate is fatigued, this will fill the bill.
There are no packing, lighting, or burning issues; no goop, no gurgle, no dottle, no bite, no peppery tingles; good smoke volume; easy on the nose and sinuses; medium nicotine strength. Buy it for its no nonsense tobacco goodness, because that's all it offers.