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3 unique reviews

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DESCRIPTION
Brand: Esoterica Tobacciana
Tin Description: A marriage of air-cured leaf and Burley with selected dark Virginia. Hard pressed and aged to produce brown flakes with dark undertones. A traditional English flake favored by experienced pipe smokers.
Curing Group: Air Cured
Contents: Burley, Virginia
Cut: Flake
Packaging: 8oz pouch

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# 7/6/2011 User rated 0/5
Review by drusus

Hard to find


This blend is always in short supply!
That said, if you can locate a bag, and are willing to wait several years, you are in for a treat. I was able to purchase two bags four years ago. I must say, I found an oatmeal-like taste out of the bag that I did not like. I placed all the flakes into storage jars and forgot about them for two years. What came out of the jars after this time was quite good.....nothing like fresh out of the bag. The taste is not easy to describe. I find it (aged) quite earthy and slightly sweet. No bite. Should be smoked cool as the blend seems to foul if smoked too fast. I rub the flakes out and dry for an hour or two. I live in a dry climate, more than a couple of hours and the tobacco will be too dry. This blend, once properly dried, smokes like a dream start to finish. I tend to sip this blend to get the maximum earth flavors. This tobacco just gets better with age. I have had to ration what is left. 

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# 16/5/2012 User rated 0/5
Review by Cortezattic

Stonehaven: In same family as SG/FVF; and as hard to find.

Stonehaven is a somewhat moist, hard pressed flake, about 5” x 1¼”, and only 1/32” thick. It has a very dark, mottled brown color and leathery appearance – though for all of that it handles fairly well. If one is reasonably careful, the flakes can be folded and rubbed out into a springy shag without crumbling them excessively or creating tobacco pebbles. From that point I dry it slightly with a hot air blower before use.

The aroma from the bag is at once wheaty, musty and boozy; and a faithful harbinger of the dark flavors that will soon bathe the palate. It packs nicely; lights-up reasonably well on 2 matches; and burns slowly – seemingly forever. One flake in a bowl large enough to accommodate it will burn for about 1½ hours; and given its full flavor and strength, it can easily fatigue the palate. Since my first experience with it I have relegated it to much smaller pipes.

Stonehaven has a very heavy, full tobacco flavor -- very complex, but not delicate by any means. It has good body with a full mouth feel that involves all the taste buds, palate, nose and sinuses. The exact taste of a blend is a quintessential property, and therefore to a degree, ineffable – it is the thing that it is, and nothing else; but I can characterize it by alluding to similar tastes. They belong to the dark end of the spectrum, like anise, fennel, fig, coffee bean, black chocolate, tree bark, black tea, etc. -- not precisely those flavors, but like them.

There are also ethereal traces of something floral or perfumy, musty, and citrus – but these are mere suggestions -- not explicit tastes and aromas. This is not a bright, sharp Va. flake. Neither is it sugary sweet. Perhaps the pressing technique moderates both of those Va. properties, rendering a smooth smoke with only a subtle sweetness. It is rather strong in nicotine, but exceptionally smooth; and produces great volumes of lush, chewy smoke that is fun to channel through the nose and sinuses.

I like it a lot, though it’s too rich and luxuriant to smoke on a daily basis; and I don't understand why people hoard it and make it difficult to obtain. I would recommend that everyone try a bowl of it -- but if you can’t get it, rest assured that there are better, more available blends with their own allure. If you have tasted Gawith’s Full Virginia Flake, then you have covered pretty much the same ground as Stonehaven aficionados

Rating:
Tin note: 2 stars (just OK)
Flavor: 4 stars (liked it a lot)
Recommend: 3 stars (If you can get it, go for it. But if you can't, no big loss.)

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# 14/8/2012 User rated 0/5
Review by Monkeyshine

Love me some Stonehaven!

I absolutely love this stuff, I've smoked about 1.5 lbs in a year. To me, it has a faint cherry/dark chocolate taste and a tin note of a chocolate covered raisins; not in an aromatic sense. I also get a bready malt taste when smoking this. The thin long flakes require some drying time before smoking and I have best results with fully rubbing this one out.

This is probably my all time favorite tobacco, which is not great since it is hard to find online. If you are lucky, you have a good brick and mortar that will order it for you. I pay a little more than what I have seen it for online but it is a fair enough trade.

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