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Blind Review Thread II

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco Reviews' started by woody, May 26, 2012.

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  1. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I received several samples today for the thread. I will have to sit down and have my first one tonight. This should be fun, I'm excited!
     
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  2. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Alright, well, I just sat down and lit up after a long day. Time to relax!

    When I received the package in the mail today from Briar Boy I was pretty pleased to see it. After all, I was having a good day, and new tobaccos to try just makes it that much nicer!

    I took it upstairs to my place and opened it up to find a paper envelope within the soft, plastic, waterproof exterior. The envelope was labeled simply: BLIND REVIEW SAMPLES FROM BRIAR BOY

    and contained within 6 small plastic baggies each bearing a numbered label and packed full of tobacco. Upon first opening the envelope I was greeted with a fragrant, smokey, earthy, and almost dirty latakia aroma. Coming from BB, I pretty much expected at least most of these samples would be latakia blends. Just fine by me, I like latakia well enough and maybe I'll find a few new ones to enjoy!

    I laid the sample baggies down on the coffee table - looking at them it struck me as a good thing that a cop didn't see them laying there. It would probably result in a minor inconvenience having to explain why tobacco smells like this and is packaged in such small baggies :)

    Well, I have time to smoke now, so I grabbed the F. Baki and put on the television. I had planned on going through the samples in numerical order, 1-6, but instead I just grabbed the baggie closest to me. Having no clue what's what, any sample is as good as any other!

    Sample #3 is a ribbon cut tobacco, at the perfect moisture level to smoke right away. No drying time was needed. The cut was medium-fine, nowhere near a shag cut but not the thickest of ribbons. I'd guess this is probably of European origin based on the cut. Color of the leaves varies from Medium nut brown through slightly reddish brown to near-black. There is no indication of any additives, natural or otherwise. The aroma was fairly nice prior to smoking it. It has a very woodsy, outdoorsy aroma. Not a full latakia mixture, but it's presence is known, and strikes me as sort of a more rustic latakia; smokey and woody in the same manner as the latakia found in PS Proper English or Balkan Sasieni, less incense and leather notes like you get from some other smokes. There does not appear to be any substantial quantity of non latakia oriental leaf in this blend. It has virtually no sweetness to it, but it doesn't lack richness. I would suspect this is VA with a "splash" of latakia and with some quantity of burley perhaps. I think that there is some other element at play here, and I can't pinpoint it. I've heard that cigar leaf doesn't usually translate well into a cigar flavor in pipe mixtures, and I know it is usually used in combination with latakia, so I wouldn't be wholly surprised to learn there is cigar leaf in this. That said, I wouldn't bet money on it.

    I'm about 1/3 into the smoke and it's building in strength of flavor and richness. It is robust, rustic, and verging on intense, despite not appearing really high in nicotine or being a total lat dump.

    I really have no freaking clue what this is! I do enjoy it, but will need the next few bowls to decide whether this is something I'd buy a tin of. Enjoyable, medium-full blend with a decent dose of campfire.
     
  3. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    Nesta, the smell of that blend reminds me of sharp cheese for some reason and I know what you mean about the woodsy aroma, sample #3 is Cornell & Diehl's #968 Odessa, a blend of Burly, Latakia, Perique and Turkish.
     
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  4. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was pretty off! Interesting. I almost said that if there were orientals other than latakia in it that I would have guessed Izmir, but hey, almost doesn't count! I'm pretty sure C&D uses some Izmir in a few of their blends.

    I am pretty surprised C&D makes it - the cut is unlike any I've seen from them yet!

    But the lack of sweetness and the lack of additives makes perfect sense.

    Interesting. I did enjoy it, I'll have to try some more of it. This is one I'd been wanting to try for a while now, so that's pretty cool. Thanks!

    Now I'm interested in embarrassing myself with wildly inaccurate speculations some more haha
     
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  5. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    You can't do any worse than me calling Erinmore Flake a Lakeland :rolleyes::ohyh:.
     
  6. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Also: I have a feeling this would actually work better in a beater briar, like my Croft's Premium Canadian

    Hah! I could see someone thinking of Erinmore as being similar to the Lakeland tobaccos though. At least, I could see someone thinking of it as similar to some of the SG tobaccos, except in appearance. Ditto University Flake and Royal Yacht :)
     
  7. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    I haven't delved that deeply into the exhaustive C&D pool. Sounds like #968 Odessa is my kinda smoke. Thanks for sharing that one BriarBoy, and thank you Nesta for the awesome review.

    Now to figure out #'s 1- #967
    I know I like Pirate Kake! lol
     
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  8. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    What I've had from them, with the exception of Adagio, has all been stellar quality. And in fact, Adagio wasn't even poor quality so much as just boring. I've definitely been wanting to try more of their stuff....several of their blends are near the top of my "list" of favorite blends.

    I think this is worth a try, Spillproof. C&D burley with a little latakia thing going on...it's different but good :)
     
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  9. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    So, I've had a long but productive day. I went to my two Friday classes, went to pay rent, went to the gym, went to the library to do reading for my Buddhism class (now we're on to Zen) and I picked up a dvd on Korean shamanism.

    On my way home I picked up some really good takeaway food, and I just finished dinner and I've had a chance to relax a little now. Throughout the day so far I had a bowl of Five Brothers on the way too and from the rental office, a bowl of HH Highland Blend in the Kapet 68 on the way to the library, and a bowl of Peterson Sherlock Holmes in the Kapet 03 on the way to the restaurant.

    Now I'm tired, and sitting down to watch this documentary. I'll have to restart it after I finish typing this, because the only English is in the subtitles and I cannot write and read at the same time.

    So on to the task at hand. I picked the first packet my hand rested on. This time the label on it said "#2"

    This looks like it will be a doozy. This is dark, dark tobacco. Some leaves are nearly glossy black. The bulk of the tobacco is either black or very dark brown. There is a little bit of lighter brown speckled throughout, but not a substantial amount. The scent is deep, musty, smokey. I have a feeling there is a substantial amount of latakia, but I suspect there is also a large quantity of orientals to back it up. The cut is slightly irregular, but not substantially so. It is not very stemmy, and loaded into my Baki with ease.

    This one is moister than the #3. If I had to hazard a guess, I would think this probably is an American made blend. Perhaps McClelland, though even with the few latakia blends I've tried from them I find a bit of a sweet vinegar sharpness in what VA is in there to back it up, and I find nothing of the sort in this one. Perhaps Pease or C&D. I wouldn't bet money on any of these, but I do suspect it's from the USA.

    Okay, time to light it up....

    Rich, semi-sweet, deep and smokey, hints of milk chocolate and dried fruit waaaaaaay in the background, with a round, incense-like smokeyness. I packed it very lightly, so it took a false light well and easily tamped down substantially without applying much pressure at all. Maybe 3/4 of a bowl. It's going well now, smoking smoothly.

    I would say there probably is a substantial Oriental component, a healthy dose of latakia, and a nice little serving of Virginia to pull it together and add some sweetness. I'll report back with further thoughts farther in to the bowl.:puffy:
     
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  10. UnarmedCrayon

    UnarmedCrayon Member

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    Sorry for my laps in reviews, been busy at work and passed out early a couple nights with no chance to smoke. Smoking my 3rd sample now. Looks like Nesta has the same plan right now. :byg:
     
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  11. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Watching this documentary, some of the women also do other jobs besides performing rituals - often farming. It looked like one shaman worked on a tobacco farm during one scene, sorting this big leaves and hanging them on racks to dry.

    I'm getting close to the end of the bowl, and it's a little bit richer, a little deeper, and yet a little mellower. This is a smooth blend, though I generally dislike describing a blend as such.

    Pretty enjoyable. Not quite as punchy in the nicotine as I tend to prefer, but elegant.
     
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  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I received 6 samples from Marker. :th1:

    Hope to get at least 2 done by Monday, as I have a 3 day weekend coming up!!!!
     
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  13. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    Awesome. The all-star PSF team is in effect~
     
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  14. HazyDat620

    HazyDat620 Member

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    Heck, yeah spill. Its like you gave this thread a big old 2liter of jolt. three reviews at once, nice.
     
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  15. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    Nesta, the C&D Odessa you smoked was from 2008 just so you know, I find C&D blends on the dry side even when new, Good guess on the blend you just smoked (#2), it's a McClelland blend, it's Wilderness, containing Both Syrian & Cyprian Latakia, at least 3 types of Orientals & Red Virginia, I rarely smoke a blend for it's nicotine content or judge it by such, if I want nicotine I'll do some snuff, I smoke strictly for flavor, but if you were a smoker prior to pipe smoking I could how that might factor in, I know it's important to some people, don't get me wrong I like a strong blend too but won't dismiss a blend due to low strength.
     
  16. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    I have an unscheduled Blind review...
    I recently made a trade with another PSF member who will remain unnamed unless they what to reveal them self, so this mystery blend appears to have a good bit age to it, Smoky scent with a fairly narrow ribbon cut, it consists of blacks and multiple shades of brown and is quite dry, not crumble dry but ideal smoking dry, on the charing light my mouth was hit with a serious tanginess, like a makes your mouth tingle type of tanginess, a good amount of Latakia too which I would guess to be of Syrian origin, further into the bowl, very woody smokiness with an intense wang, very exhilarating to the taste buds, I would guess this to be cause by Perique but I believe there is Oriental in the mix as well, so that's my review, a very tasty blend indeed...
    [​IMG]
     
  17. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Cool, I'd been wanting to try the Wilderness. I like it much better than most McClelland blends!

    And yeah, I really like stronger blends, but most blends out there don't meet that qualification, but that doesn't stop me from smoking them :) I could find a place for this in my rotation, I think. It has none of the downsides of #14....I like it!
     
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  18. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Time for another as I sit down to do some reading for school. I selected packet #4 tonight. Just a touch moist, and I prefer tobacco on the drier side generally, so I'm allowing it a few minutes to air out. Almost jet black, there are some specks of brown and tan mixed in. Rich, smokey aroma again. The cut is fairly fine.

    No clue what it is, but I'll hazard a guess and say maybe McClelland again. Pretty unsure about that, though.

    Alright, this will be from my BST tonight instead of the Baki.

    First thoughts....velvety, thick clouds of smoke....this one borders on sweet. The latakia is very noticeable but well behaved. This strikes me as a fairly refined blend, with no rough edges. I could see this being an all day kind of smoke for someone who especially enjoys English blends. There seems to be a good base of Oriental leaf at play here.

    I only have half a bowl packed because the BST burns freaking forever otherwise, and I might want to have something more later. Will return with further thoughts after this is finished :)
     
  19. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I have reached the point where it will not light up again. I must know what this is! My initial impressions held fairly steady throughout the smoke. I may find the Odessa more satisfying being a strong, burley based blend, but this is a very deeply flavored, refined blend. Medium bodied, luxurious, and indulgent. Odessa is the kind of latakia blend I could smoke on a regular basis to give both an exotic taste and also to satisfy my desire for a strong blend. Whatever #4 is, it is the type of blend I could see myself smoking on a semi regular basis because it is just so good. So, I can not say that it is the smoke that I like the most so far in the blind reviews, but I can say, and in fact do say, that of the three I have tried so far, this is the most artfully blended. Full marks for this one. I could see it being very high in someone's rotation if this is the type of smoke they prefer.
     
  20. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    Funny you should say that because #4 is Ashton Artisan's Blend, glad you like it so well, I will be honest with you I have been getting so many tobaccos lately that I rarely smoke the same thing twice, I only smoked one bowl of this when it arrived and haven't revisited it since, I recall it being quite spicy though (could have just been my mouth that day) I need to start focusing on one blend at a time but I like variety.
     
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