Review by romeowood
Blend: Special Reserve 2010
Blender: Kohlhase, Kopp & Co.
Cure: Air cured
Tobaccos: Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
Room Note: Mild, Pleasant
Tin Size: 100g
Tin Age: New to 6 months
Tin Description: A mix of black Cavendish, Virginia and Burley tobaccos make up this blend. It has a fruity cocktail of yellow plum, nougat and vanilla to give an overall delicious tobacco with a mellow fragrance. The annual Special Reserve offering from Peterson strikes a solid chord with the 2010 vintage; a mild, uncomplicated smoke that deserves special moments of celebration.
Tin: The gold tin is embossed with a hallmark denoting the year, and is a very classy presentation of a very classy tobacco. Within the cellophane wrapper you'll find a very even mixture of golden, orange and ebony ribbons exuding a refined aroma of vanilla nougat, sweet fermented yellow plum, and the unmistakable nuttiness of Burleys and Cavendish.
Char: Upon lighting one is immediately struck by a strong note of Bergamot interlaced with the tobacco; the bitter orange melds perfectly with the tobacco here as it does in Earl Grey teas. Virginias stand up and announce their presence in the retrohale, though not over loudly.
Top: Proceeding into the burn reveals more than a passing resemblance to that most British of teas; the fruit notes of Bergamot and fermented plum are tinged with the smoky tang of the tobacco quite succinctly. Vanilla begins to come through on the back of the Cavendish, providing a nice body to the smoke.
Mid: Appreciated best in a larger, open bowl the middle of the bowl is truly the heart of it. The sweetness is mellowed to an accent for the tobacco, the Burley kicks in and cools the burn, and the body really develops. The bitter tang of tea leaves is of course not unpleasant in the least, and when enjoying a bowl paired with a strong Earl Grey tea the effect is quite remarkable of both drinking and smoking kindred substances. The vanilla nougat really come out in the top- to mid-bowl, fading out toward the end to the burley.
Finish: An even, slow pace is rewarded with a delightful mild smoke through the end of the bowl; incautious smoking will invite some gurgling, if too heated the burleys can veer to souring the flavors, and in the worst cases some bite. This is a very calming smoke, and perfect for an afternoon tea, either warm or iced dependant upon the weather, or an after-dinner aperitif. A mild smoke in all regards, there is just enough nicotine to calm the stomach and the nerves, and invigorate the mind.
Room Note: Producing a volume of smoke as mild as the nicotine, the aroma is quite close to the tin description, and appreciated on one's smoking jacket.
Overall: A very dignified, refined aromatic, if not overly exciting. The vanilla remains steady and the pairing with Earl Grey tea is compelling.
A solid offering from Peterson, and a credit to the Special Reserve line.
Added points for the beautiful presentation tin.
Minor points lost for its somewhat limited character, and for the tin not being sealable.