Review by Cortezattic
Brighton: aptly named bright , festive, verdant smoke
Brighton is a lemony straight Virginia with an abundance of bright yellow and golden leaf that has been rubbed out from flake. The darkest leaf I can see in the blend is probably red Virginia – and not too much of that. The tin note (bag, actually) is at once herbal, yeasty, and in a way, nutty. It reminds me of the pungency of Orientals, and something approaching grass (or sweet greenery of some kind.) It’s worth the price of admission, and I spend more than a few moments just deeply inhaling the aroma from the bag. If ever a blend smelled so good you could eat it, this is it; and the bouquet translates faithfully into the taste of the smoke stream.
Upon lighting, Brighton generates a good volume of lush, chewy smoke with good body, or whole mouth feel, and a smooth, creamy finish. It is a plain smoke, and so it invites unfair comparisons to cigarette tobacco despite its incomparable quality and sophistication. In addition to the flavors suggested by the bouquet I described earlier, there is a taste that reminds me of the nut at the center of a black olive pit (if you’ve ever had occasion to taste that.) Whether in the smoke stream itself, or the finish – I can’t say which – I find a taste similar to the flesh of a red bell pepper, or maybe pimento.
While the flavor is grass-like, it is soft and smooth, as opposed to sharp, racy, or hay-like. In brief the smoke is verdant, soft, and as naturally sweet as cooked carrots. Although the brights in this blend do not have a tart, citrus flavor – the kind that detonates your salivary glands – there is a definite resemblance to the lemon grass herb used in Chinese cuisine, and it is very refreshing. There is also a slight astringency, but it doesn’t detract from the experience. I am half-tempted to say there is a touch of anise flavoring in Brighton; but if so, it is well done and I really can’t be sure. It might be safer to say there is a dark brown edge in there, somewhere.
The details: good lighting and burning characteristics; very smooth because of the balance in strength, flavor and body; low nicotine content; dry and cool smoke stream; no inclination to bite; and very refreshing.