Bravo, you've got some great choices there. I love Squadron Leader, its the closest I've come to the perfect tobacco. I'm smoking some Union Sqaure at the moment and its pretty darn tasty, but last time I bought tobacco I couldn't find anyone who had SG FVF anywhere (so bit of a bummer). What kind of pipe is that by the way, I like nice simple shapes like that?
Thanks for the input fellas. I have mostly smoked aromatics, but I have a feeling I would like straight virginias so I went with the FVF and Union Square. I wanted to take another try at English and everyone raves about Squadron Leader, so I thought that would be another good bet. Got the Escudo just to spice it up a bit if the Va's are to my liking, and the Blue Note & Old Fashioned to fall back on in case I don't like any of it! I've never tried any of these though so it'll be a fun experience sampling the different varieties.
The pipe is a Savinelli Venezia series pot (622ks). I was looking for something more like the 626 (bent apple) but they were out of stock. This was my second choice but it's pretty close and now that I have it in my hands I have no regrets. This is also my first brand new briar.
OK. I decided my first go at it tonight would be FVF. Everyone has smoked this so it may be old news to you, but it was my first time with FVF or any straight Virginia so I will share my impressions.
When I first opened the tin I was greeted by a mild but tempting aroma. My first thought was freshly brewed tea. I broke up a flake or so, enough for a whole bowl, but I decided to smoke two halves instead of one whole. At first I had a hard time getting a good light (probably because I need some practice on my flake rub & loading) and I smoked it kind of hot trying to overcompensate, I think, but once I got a good burn and smoked it down a way things got interesting.
The flavor was not overpowering or especially pronounced to me, but I could pick up some hints of a tea-like flavor. The aroma was really different to me, though. It reminded me a lot of barbecue (one of my favorite past times). The smokiness reminded me of hardwoods with hints of a subtle fruit, like apples or tomatoes even. It wasn't a candy-like smell like the aromatics I'm used to but in a way that's a good thing because I also don't feel like I need a shower after smoking it.
I decided to put it down and come in the house to get some work done and made a couple more notes. First, it is a very relaxing smoke. Is this high in nicotine content? I was never a cig smoker so I'm not really experienced in the nic buzz but I stood up and my legs were wobbly. I feel really chill now. The other thing is that it has left a pleasant aftertaste, similar to the tea-like flavor I mentioned earlier, but it's not a bad thing. And, again, I don't feel like I am physically dirty or like I reek the way I do after I smoke some aro's.
Overall, it probably won't replace the "dessert" smoke I crave toward the end of the day, but I could see it being a nice experience mid-day when I need to go out and decompress.
After I made that post last night I went to work on an article for my blog. I had been putting it off because I wasn't sure what I wanted to write. My mind was so clear and focused after that pipe that I just rattled off an awesome article in about 15 minutes. The irony is that it was about Mark McGwire, talk about performance enhancing substances.