Review by romeowood
Christmas Holiday 2010
Blend: Holiday 2010 â�¨
Blender: Kohlhase, Kopp & Co.
Cut: Broad Ribbon
Cure: Air cured
Tobaccos: Virginia, Black Cavendish, Burley
Room Note: Mild to Medium, Very Pleasant
Tin Size: 100g
Tin Age: New to 6 months
Tin Description: Red and golden Virginia tobaccos from the US and Africa are the basis of this wonderful mixture. They are blended with double fermented, broad cut Black Cavendish as well as a hint of roasted Burley, refined with a delicious aroma of cookies and cream and a touch of espresso. The result is an irresistible pleasure for both your palate as well as your environment.
Truth in advertising from the tin description, as this is one irresistible offering from Peterson. Their aromatics are, as a rule, of top-quality leaf and casing, and are very reliable sweet smokes. In this Christmas blend they have outdone themselves, and raised the bar for subsequent offerings.
Tin: The warm and inviting artwork of a red, wreath-adorned door opens to a tin with an incredibly rich fragrance redolent of exactly what it claims chocolate cookies and cream and espresso, and even some fruitcake, caramel sauce, simmering butterscotch, vanilla and figs. There is no searching or stretching the imagination for the aroma, it is rich and deep and heady, and not at all perfumey or chemically. The tobacco is equal parts golden and orange versus dark chocolate and espresso colored wide ribbons in a characteristic Peterson mottle.
Char: On the first match a burst of flavor from the Virginias easily lights the bowl, and the sweetness of the casing does not cloud nor hinder the tobacco shining through. The measure of red Virginia is as apparent as the sugary sweetness of the cased Cavendish.
Top: As the fire progresses, one can discern the proportions of the tobaccos being as listed on the tinâ��first the red Virginias, highlighted by the gold; the sweet cake-batter Cavendish in lesser amount, and finally the Burley rounds it out with a wonderful chestnut note and coolness of smoke.
Mid: The balance of this blend is perhaps its most remarkable achievement. Bowl after bowl, tin after tin, the sweetness of the casing never outstrips the flavor of the tobacco, nor vice-versa. The smoke develops a fuller body as the bowl progresses, elucidating the flavors of holiday treat breads baking, gingerbread and cinnamon and caramel and butterscotch with colorful fruity notes interspersed like a fruitcake. The back of the tongue gathers the sweetness and has the mouthfeel of having had a shot of espresso con miele, the honey clinging to the palate. The retrohale excites the burley, and carries in it all the tin aroma with the addition of the burning leaf, producing a wonderful roasted chestnut experience.
Finish: At times the rich body of the smoke actually makes the mouth water, as if one were chewing on fruitcake and Oreo cookies. The dark coffee tones step forward in the latter half of the bowl, riding along with the Burley nuttiness. Fig and mulled wine, sugar and spice. Despite a rather constant cadence and repeated bowls it tends not to bite at all, and leaves such a richness on the tongue that it simply begs for more. The smoke is thick, creamy and chewy, in all the best ways. Paired with an Irish coffee it reaches sublime proportions.
Room Note: The smoke produced is nearly identical to the tin aroma, and will serve as a pleasant reminder of the pipe as it clings gently to your sweater.
Overall: Perhaps one of the finest aromatics ever produced. The casing never competes with the tobacco; it glorifies it. Even confirmed Latakiaphiles have sheepishly asked for a bowlful of this, which was gladly gifted. It will be sad when this is but a ghost of Christmas past.
The formulation is almost magical, and the quality of the tobacco ensures its place in the pantheon of great specialty blends. Added points for the beautiful presentation tin.
Minor points lost for the tin not being sealable.