Smoked Esoterica Penzance for the first time. Long review.

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by paintedklown, May 15, 2013.

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  1. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    Hello all,

    I was fortunate enough to have someone give me a generous sampling of Esoterica Penzance, which I received in the mail yesterday. Being new to the pipe smoking community, I have yet to try very many blends, so one of the more experienced members of another forum (and fellow Iowa resident) offered to send me a sample of the highly sought after blend.

    I was thinking that I would receive a couple of bowls worth, and would have been extremely happy with that. However, when I opened up his package, I was happily shocked to see a rather large sized "sample" amount inside. Easily well over what would be in a 50g tin.

    Now, let’s move on to my experience and thoughts.
    The smell of the tobacco before being smoked is a sort of sweet smell (I can't quite lay my finger on the proper word to describe it) with a bit of the latakia smell coming through as well. It doesn't have a strong campfire smell, like Frog Morton's Cellar. It is there, but quite a bit more subtle in its "presentation"...I hope that makes sense.

    I loaded about a half bowl for a "test" run, and then loaded a loosely packed "full" bowl. Both of these were in my MM legend, and my review here covers both of them, as it was literally one, then the other, with no break in between.

    When smoking this blend, it reminds me of the flavor of Frog Morton's Cellar, but the latakia takes more of a back seat IMO. It's there, and obvious, but not quite as prominent to my taste buds. The latakia flavor seems more "laid back" than FMC, yet the overall taste of the tobacco seems stronger. I know that probably sounds odd, but I haven't yet spent enough time with the blend to fully "grasp", nor properly articulate, what I tasted.

    I also felt that that Penzance left more of an after taste on the palate than any other blend that I have tried. Not a bad thing IMO, but I found myself wanting to have something to drink along with it (in this case I was drinking bottled water), as I seem to like to have a "cleaner" feeling in my mouth as I smoke. Having said that, I am aware that there are a LOT of people who are just the opposite, and really look for a lingering taste. If that is what you desire, Penzance will provide.

    Penzance is definitely the slowest burning tobacco I have smoked yet (a good thing IMO, as the bowl lasts longer), and also has more of a nicotine punch than any other blend I have tried. QUITE a bit more, it seems to me. This would make an excellent smoke to relax with at the end of the day, which is exactly when I smoked it, and will continue to do so in the future.


    During my smoking session, I felt this blend seemed to almost naturally define its self as a tobacco that you don't just "gulp" down, but rather, one you truly "sip".Penzance requires you to slow down, take in the flavors, and relish every puff of your pipe. To be quite honest, I like the fact that this tobacco literally "demands" you slow down and enjoy it.

    Part of this forced slowing down, was due to the fact that Penzance has a BIG nic hit IMO. Normally, I have a habit of smoking my pipe too fast, but even I slowed my pace to the point where the bowl was cooling completely, and a re-light was in order to get another puff. About half way through my second (the full) bowl, I was buzzing pretty good, and feeling quite mellow. At that point, I was just relaxing, watching some tv, and only taking an occasional puff. This is good stuff my friends, especially for those of you who like a strong nicotine punch.

    There is no doubt about it; Penzance is a "relaxing" blend, if there ever was one. In fact, I believe (and I am simply guessing) that this "head spinning" effect is probably why this blend is so popular, and has garnered almost universal praise. It will mellow you out to be sure.

    Although this is only my second English blend, I felt there was enough differences between FMC and Penzance, to necessitate having both on hand, as each blend has its own smoking qualities, not only in their flavors, but in their burn times, and (quite frankly) their "buzz" factor as well.

    Penzance presents its self as a slow burning, high potency blend, that is best reserved for when you have time to sit down (and maybe even nap afterwards), while FMC could possibly be smoked all day, if you really wanted to.

    I will update this thread after smoking some more, to see if I am able to add anything that would be helpful, useful, or interesting, but for now, I have written another novel, and will sum up this review with the two words that will immediately come to mind when I think of Penzance: "Nicotine Buzz".
     
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  2. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    Well gang, it looks like I need to amend my review of Penzance regarding my comments about the "head spinning" buzz. I no longer believe that to be the case, but instead believe that my body just doesn't like it! :confused:

    I came home from work today and loaded up a small bowl. Only about 3-4 puffs in, I had the same thing happen. I began to feel REALLY buzzed..like a dizzy disoriented feeling almost. :puke:

    I assumed this happened yesterday due to having smoked a bowl of Carter Hall prior to the Penzance, and thought maybe it was just a SUPER big nic hit causing me to feel the way I did.

    Anyway, I began to feel that dizzy/disoriented feeling and stopped smoking it. After a little bit, the feeling went away, so I decided to smoke a bit of FMC. All was good, and I didn't feel "weird" at all.

    Now, it is the afternoon, so I thought that I would load a small bowl of the Panzance in my mini cob, and have another go at it. Once gain, just a few puffs in and BAM, I was feeling that same dizzy/disoriented feeling.

    I am not sure what is causing this, but I don't think my body likes this blend too well. To be honest, I don't think I will be trying to smoke any more of it.

    Well, that's it for the update. Either it is WAY too potent for me, or I am having some sort of odd "reaction" to something in the blend.
     
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  3. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    You're mixing up the Penzance with the bath salts again. I told you to label the containers better.
     
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  4. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    HAHAHAHA! Not sure what bath salts are, but that's funny! :p:
     
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  5. ArmedOctopus

    ArmedOctopus Active Member

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    Not true. Notice he says nothing of eating anyone's face off.....
     
  6. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    Does anybody have any idea of what could be in Penzance that would cause such a reaction?

    I don't think it's the latakia, because I smoke FMC and enjoy it immensely, with no weird side effects. In fact, I have almost gone through my tin of it...Must. Get. More. :D
     
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  7. Johnny Dingo

    Johnny Dingo Writer of wrongs

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    Might just be your personal chemistry. Some people react adversely to certain blends. I can puff Irish Flake like my face is on fire and barely notice anything, but I smoke one cigarette at the wrong time and I'm flat on my a-double and wondering where I am.
     
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  8. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    Yeah, it might just be this particular blend. :msty:

    It sucks to know I am going to be limited in my choices, but at least I won't have to search high and low to try to keep it on hand all the time.
     
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  9. Buckshot

    Buckshot Member

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    Yes, consider yourself lucky. I was afraid to try Penzance because I didn't want to get attached to a blend that's hard to get when I want more. I like it but I can live without it. Thank goodness.
     
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  10. YAPPG

    YAPPG Member

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    You did good ! Grats on getting started to being used to the nic hit. Just put it in a jar and sit it back untill you get a little farther along on your journey. You have done the big thing so now go look after what you like and enjoy. Penzance will be there when you are ready for it. *the big thing being hit smack in the face with a big nic hit. Don't worry about it, it will subside as you go. But do keep it jarred up for later cause some say it just gets better that way.
     
  11. paintedklown

    paintedklown Member

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    I actually offered to give what is left back to the guy who sent it to me. He is from also Iowa, and some of the local guys recently started a pipe club here in Des Moines.

    I was unable to attend the first meeting, but will be at the upcoming one (in a week) along with the gentlemen who sent me the sample. He said to just bring it to the meeting, and pass it out to local members to try for free. Pretty cool IMO. :cool:
     
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  12. JRobert

    JRobert Hermit Forum Guide

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    Pictures or it didn't happen... :p:
     
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  13. YAPPG

    YAPPG Member

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    That would be a very exceptional thing to do. Save some back in a jar for yourself, too.:puffy:
     
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  14. rondel65

    rondel65 Misplaces Lighters

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    I've smoked both blends and find that Penzance is a much stronger but very subtle in it's delivery of king nic. I love of the smokehouse beef jerky smell. It does leave an after taste that can stay with you. If I smoke it on consecutive days I get a charcoal taste on my tongue. If you haven't tried Blue Mountain you need too. Similar tin note but not as strong as Penzance. Blue Mountain fills my Penzance void. Penzance is very hard to come by so I limit myself to a treat on the weekends. Follow YAPPG's advice and revisit it some day. If it still doesn't agree with still, you will have no trouble trading it off. FMC is some really good stuff as well. I also find if I smoke a bowl on an empty stomach tobacco can have a adverse affect on me with some blends. Good review!
     
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