Review by cortezattic
Sweet & Savory -- aptly named
Opening a tin of Sweet & Savory releases the gently sweet and oaty aroma emanating from an mix of bright golden, brown tone, and black ribbons of delectable tobacco. The initial visual and olfactory impression is that of a high quality and sophisticated blend. The moisture level is textbook correct for immediate smoking: dry, yet supple and springy. Care must be given to pack this tobacco a bit lower in the bowl, and tighter than normal, because it will expand a lot during the light, and burn rather fast if packed too loosely.
Sweet & Savory produces a good volume of thick, luscious smoke -- the kind you can almost chew. The slight pepperiness of Perique appears on lighting-up, but fades rather quickly. As the bowl settles-in, the flavor profile becomes Oriental forward; the vegetable root sweetness of the Va's serve as a foil; and the brut, currant-like Perique -- just barely perceptible -- fills-out the required bottom notes. I can't really pick up on the supposed dark fired Kentucky in this blend; but whatever it does, it must be doing it well because all the flavors seem to complement each other and be in good balance.
This is a blend with great clarity, and the Orientals are outstanding and easy to isolate, if not to describe too definitively. While the taste of a thing is a quintessential property -- something unique that you just have to experience -- I can tell you that in this blend the Orientals deliver a flavor in the family of the aromatic herbs similar to, though different from, basil, parsley, bay leaf, etc., with ephemeral hints of something musty, yeasty, and perhaps even pungent (like the meat of a raw green olive).
Sweet & Savory delivers a cool, dry smoke; and I doubt it would bite even frenetic puffers. My only knock on the blend is its very low nicotine content. But then again, that gives me a second reason to come back for another helping -- the first reason being its amazing, full Oriental taste. For comparison purposes, I've tried most of McClelland's Grand Oriental Series blends, and Sweet & Savory is better than any of them -- by far.