Review by Schmitz Bitz
I was predetermined to enjoy this blend
Let me begin by saying I made the pun, yes, but no, I'm not an adherent to the Presbyterian church...or any church, for that matter. This is just good tobacco.
Upon opening the tin, I was quite surprised to find the tobacco contained in a plastic bag, rather than a paper liner (doily?)...not sure if this was the cause, but this tobacco is on the wet side of the spectrum, and required a couple of hours of drying before I was able to tackle a bowl.
The tobacco itself is a glorious melange of ready rubbed, including bright ribbons, tan and brown shag, and black clumps...sadly, shot through with large amounts of stem (and large stems - 6cmx1cm+). Due to this, I find packing can be a chore, the biggest drawback to this tobacco.
The (tin) aroma brings the comforting scents of campfire, cardamom, sage, and clove, interwoven with musty leaves, earth, rubber, and an almost figgy note.
The tobacco takes a charring light nicely; I find that it takes on a strong peaty/camphor flavour initially, but settles into a subtly sweet mix, with strong Orientals dominating, bringing a slightly spicy note to the tongue.
With true light, the full majesty of this fine tobacco comes forth - the full bodied Orientals certainly dominate with their spicy rich flavours, however, the other leaf in the blend provides a wonderful hay-like sweetness, punctuated by notes of leather, and something that I can only describe as dust (not a bad thing though!). Although latakia never does come to the forefront of this blend, I am very sure it does contain a small amount of the leaf, as the characteristic camphor oil and campfire in a peat bog notes hide on the back of the tongue.
As the bowl progresses, I find the flavour profiles tend to remain fairly constant to about the 3/4 point, where the Orientals really begin to dominate, and an almost acrid flavour, akin to cider vinegar, or perhaps cheap lambic wine, begins to enter the mix.
The nicotine kick in this tobacco is just about perfect for a cigarette smoker (who hopes to be add former to that moniker soon)...if I'm not careful, the first signs of nicotine overload begin to rear their ugly head, but 99% of the time, it satisfies just perfectly.
The room note on this tobacco is not exactly pleasant, according to the wife, but for my money, smells like heaven. Strong notes of Orientals prevail, I liken it to a walk through an Arabic Bazzar (thats on fire). Hints of freshly mown lawn, dry wood shavings, and oiled leather waft amongst the creamy blue smoke, but alas, these are fleeting and oft gone as soon as I've identified them.
All in all, a wonderful tobacco with a uniform flavour profile that will provide joy from charring light through tipping ash - if it wasn't for stem issues as outlined above, and the high price point, this would be a 5 star blend. Definitely recommended.