Review by Cortezattic
Sillem's Red: a sophisticated Cavendish style aromatic with big flavor.
Sillem’s Red comes in a folded and taped cellophane wrapper nestled in an elegant tin. Since neither can be sealed airtight, the packaging is unsuitable for long term storage. I advise that you purchase this from a high volume dealer to avoid getting a dried out, and possibly stale product. My supply’s moisture level is ideal – perhaps even a tad moister than I usually like; but it packs and lights easily, and provides a cool dry smoke. The blend is an amazingly complex mix of colors and cuts, spanning the range of possibilities: from bright gold through darker brown tones to black; and in ribbons of various thicknesses, tangled with coarse and square cut leaf – and even fragments of broken flake.
The whole presentation oozes with sophistication, and one immediately senses that this is an extraordinary aromatic – one that even a tobacco purist would find very appealing. The bouquet is a very sweet floral, fruit and spice-like aroma in harmony with an enticing tobacco leaf essence of palpable depth, roundness and clarity. As it happens, it is a very accurate representation of the taste of the blend.
Under the match it becomes an exquisite mélange of sweet tobacco flavors embellished by fruit and mild confectionery spices, with just a hint of floral notes and a soapy finish that nods to the Lakeland style. The full body, or mouth feel, lends a certain feeling of extravagance and sophistication; and its medium strength creates a nice sense of balance. The first part of the bowl stimulates the taste buds with the slight pinch of a piquant Va., but that quickly fades as smoky and fruit-like flavors become the focus.
This aromatic blend has little, if anything, in common with cheap cased White Burley abominations available OTC. It is a deftly accomplished Cavendish style aromatic that emphasizes taste rather than room note – although you will not hear any complaints about that either. It will not disappoint the tobacco purist, though some will obstinately avoid this Elysian delight to their own detriment.
Except for the useless packaging, this blend has no compromising issues – except perhaps price (though it is competitive with boutique blends). If you like Pease’s Haddo’s Delight and Mac Baren’s Mixture Scottish, and to some extent Gawith’s Grouse-moor, then you’ll like Sillem’s Red because it delivers the best of the above -- and unique extras.