Review by Cortezattic
Norwood: a Danish nod to American codger Burleys.
Norwood's tin note has a verdant tobacco smell that is both pleasant and inviting, but unremarkable in other respects. There is no distinctive aroma such as fruit, spice, mustiness, hay, etc., although a subtle sweetness lurks -- as an impression more than a perception. It is a fully rubbed-out flake packed at a perfect moisture level for immediate smoking: seemingly dry, yet springy and supple. As such it presents no packing, lighting or burning problems. In fact it burns very nicely: cool and dry, yet generating a nice volume of smoke with good body and mouth feel.
With respect to taste however, the smoker will, with a little perseverance, discover that Norwood has a split personality. In the altogether likely event that one's first few bowlfuls are sampled on a clear palate, Norwood's Burley bitters will come forward and provide a woody, bark-like taste that is overly herbal and unsavory. To some extent it reminds me of the skin of a walnut -- brut and bitter. In the background one can sense the sweet Virginia's failure to rescue the experience.
I was about to give up on this blend when by chance I smoked a bowl right after a hearty dinner, and it revealed a completely different personality. I don't think I will ever understand how mouth chemistry works to such good effect, but repeated trials have proved to me that with Norwood it is real, predictable, and a delightful phenomenon. After a meal, especially a rich dinner, this blend produces a nutty, refreshing, and borderline sweet subtlety that is as good as anything I've found for the purpose. I especially enjoy its medium nicotine strength with coffee after a hearty breakfast.
I have trouble understanding why Norwood survives in the face of Burley London Blend's superiority, but I'm not going to worry about it. Norwood has found its niche in my rotation; and while I'm not likely to buy a second tin any time soon, I won't completely rule that out. I think you should give Norwood a try if you enjoy those beguiling after dinner indulgences.