Review by cortezattic
Beware! Old Gowrie will grow on you!
My tin of Old Gowrie was cellared for 15 months before I popped the top and discovered the auburn and dark brown shreds of a fairly well rubbed-out flake. It was at a perfect moisture level, and doesn't really benefit from my customary slight drying out. I didn't find the tin note to have any distinctive or enticing aroma beyond the expected (somewhat) grassy red Virginia smell. I find that it packs, lights and burns quite nicely as presented, but I prefer to rub it out thoroughly -- and it complies by falling into nice ribbons that approach that of a thick shag. Very nice to work with.
Old Gowrie delivers a nice volume of luxurious smoke with a more or less standard red Va. taste: very smooth, with a mild flavor leaning toward, but never fully committing to, the sweet side of the spectrum. I would call it a medium strong smoke with a dark nutty flavor that reminds me of toasted almonds -- perhaps from the Kentucky leaf. And if you focus on the taste(s), I think you'll get a nice hint of caraway seed flavor.
Although this blend contains Perique, and you'll probably be able to detect its dark, brut, fruity character lurking beneath the Va., it isn't prominent enough to classify Old Gowrie as a Vaper. I think it's in there merely to mitigate whatever sharpness the Va.'s may have. By mid-bowl I often find my palate chasing, but never quite capturing, a complementary bitter element -- mostly in the finish. Well, that's enough for the close dissection of flavors. The important thing to come away with from this review is that this is a dark, kind of nutty red Va. flake. Very smooth, very soothing, very true to the leaf. It delivers nice tastes, but there's nothing exotic or complex here. Give it high marks for quality, flavor, and satisfaction; and low marks for pizzazz.
The first time I smoked Old Gowrie I thought, "Is that all? Good, but nothing to write home about." Curiously, this blend has grown on me with each successive bowlful, and it has managed to elbow aside many of the other regulars in my rotation.