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Finest grade Virginia and Maryland type tobaccos are carefully aged and blended with Greek Oriental leaf and top-grade Cyprian Latakia. The blend is then specially processed and additionally matured to produce a mellow full strength smoke with rich flavor and unique aroma.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeEnglish
Contents Latakia, Maryland, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

72 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1593)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

The Virginias are very fermented citrusy sweet with minor grass notes, and is the star component. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woody sweet as the second star and is obvious in every puff without disrupting the cause of the Virginias. The Greek Oriental is woody sweet with a slight spice and sour hit in a supporting role. The Maryland acts as a connector blend component. There’s a fruity apricot topping that is evident from the smell out of the bag and in the taste of the tobacco. I also detect raisins in the topping. A well balanced blend where the tobaccos meld together to create a very consistent flavor from first puff to last. The tobacco may need a little dry time, but being shag cut, burns at a decent pace whether dried or not. Needs more relights in the last third of the bowl than the first two thirds. If not dried, you’ll have a little trouble smoking it to ash. Has a mild nic-hit. Leaves a pleasant after taste that lingers a little, and the room note won’t offend. While the taste is right at being medium, it somehow seems more filling than that, so I would not quite classify this as an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

11 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (683)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am a fan of Esoterica blends. Sadly, this isn't one of them. When I first began smoking it I enjoyed it, but after several tins, my taste for it diminished. I like the light fruity smell to the tin and although somewhat scented, I would not call it an aromatic. Some of the scent I believe comes from the treatment of the tobacco. My distaste grew because it lacks complexity even though there are a lot of different tobaccos in the blend. I sometimes enjoy light English mixtures with small amounts of latakia, this one seemed to lack latakia and really need it because nothing else stood out. I decided to jar some of my remaining stash and after 2 1/2 years, the blend still remains flat. ASTB is not a horrible tobacco, it's just not interesting.

7 people found this review helpful.

Bigdadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bigdadz (34)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I was only able to get my hands on one tin of this fine tobacco before it was perpetually out of stock. My experience differs from most of the reviewers here. I do not remember detecting any topping. There was definitely some fermented sweetness but I wouldn't call it a topping. This is an oily tobacco of mostly dark leaf. I would call it more of a Balkan, with some sour notes and a subtle sweetness. It reminded me a little of durbar.

Update 30-09-2014: I recently got a bag of this stuff and was extremely disappointed. The stuff smells of Bananas, or as my friend Virginia Lover best describes it, Juicy Fruit chewing gum. What have they done to this blend! Shame that the description on the packaging is so misleading. This in my books qualifies as an aromatic tobacco.

5 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (71)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Thank the blenders' imaginations rather than time or chance for this exotic tobacco. The term "kaleidoscopic" comes immediately to mind, from the minute the tin is popped, with swirling scents and textures of English tobacco, stewed prunes, rotten apples, raisins and apricots. It packs, lights and burns OK, and there is plenty of "exotic" smoke. The lot is smoky, sweet, sour and fruity all at once, augmented by sandalwood, cedar incense and more. Simply put, there's a lot going on here. And, amazingly enough, ASTB actually pulls it off. But do take note of the "native" moisture content, because, as it turns out, this tale hangs thereon, and when ASTB gets dry, the curtain falls on the magic theater.

Though it might hold its own as a medium English, the toppings pretty well preclude this, and I prefer to smoke ASTB like "dessert", or something like that. I would give it 4 stars, because I think "everyone should try it", but I guess I just don't like it that well, myself. Though it is unique, and it smokes far better than any aromatic I am aware of, over time the novelty simply wears a little thin, though still thick enough for 3 stars. So far, cellaring hasn't helped it much, and I hereby remind hoarders to keep tabs on the moisture.

5 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (366)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I really like this tobacco. It has a natural sweetness that is a real treat once in awhile. In my short history of pipe smoking, I have never embraced any aros and have yet to find one that I like. I have found that something in this vein seems to satisfy my sweet tooth needs adequately while also providing a wonderful light english taste.

As To Esoterica products in General, I like both the tin art and dimensions. First to the art. It is no doubt what attracted me to buy this as I really didn't know what I was doing. Second, the use of 2 oz. and 56.7 grams is nice. It is nice to see a british company embrace the old system of measurement they left us here in the states. We will likely be the only country that never switches to the metric system, so thanks for understanding our lack of comprehension.

But in all seriousness, I will certainly restock with more of this. I will likely purchase 8oz. bulk next time. I realize that it won't come in that bueatiful tin, but the tobacco is what it is really about. Highly recommended.

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (274)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was a tasty tobacco a friend gave me in a sample pack. I liked the taste of latakia with the sweet virginia. There is a subtle spiciness here. There is some depth to the flavors, and it may be the Maryland giving it some body. Overall this is a great tobacco. I suggest you try it. It is not a lat-bomb, but it is a good solid smoke...

[EDIT] I have figured out what it was that made this an oddly compelling flavor profile for me. It is the orientals, and I think I like them. This blend has grown on me as I have smoked through the bag. If it were in stock anywhere, I would buy a pound or so have some around.

[Edit 2 - 11/17/15] I have now purchased a pound of this and think really this tobacco merits a 4 on the scale. You should try this if you can.

4 people found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I thought I reviewed this, but I guess I didn't or perhaps it dropped off. In either case, I first tried this blend about a year ago & wasn't impressed. I don't like the taste of anise in tobacco or liquor, though I enjoy it in biscotti or a little in coffee. This blend was always too briny & left an unpleasant aftertaste. Though I never liked it, I respected it for what it was: a unique tobacco creation of Esoterica by master blender JF Germain. Well, once again, outsourcing or tobacco crop failure or recipe changes are afoot here. Previously, I might have given this two stars, but now I'd give it less than one. The anise is not a flavoring, but a sensory overdose. The latakia is hot & one dimensional. Room note is billows of thick, unmemorable smoke. I don't know what's going on, but the last three tins of stuff I've bought or tried have been woefully disappointing. Now I'm hearing rumors that the marvelous Penzance is not being produced or about to undergo some serious changes. Wither pipesmoking? I hope not, as it's one of the few pleasures some of us have left. Yeah, right, I know, get a life, right? I'd be glad to, provided, of course modern times offered a life worth getting.

1/2 of five stars

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1454)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I am updating my review of And So To Bed originally composed about a year ago - tastes change and mine certainly has with this blend which I found to be too overwhelmingly Oriental back then.

Perhaps the composition of the leaf was somehow different this second go round. Perhaps I tried it in better quality pipes. Perhaps my tastes have changed. Bottom line, I smoked a tin over the past week and dadgumit, I like this stuff now!

This blend is stout, yet in an elegant way. It had a subtle sweetness from the Orientals that complimented the Cyprian Latakia marvelously. There does not appear to be any sort of topping or casing and I think the sweetness is a natural by-product of the exquisite Virginia leaf interlaced with the Orientals and Latakia. Although not mild and certainly containing a healthy enough dose of nicotine, And So To Bed refreshes the palate without slapping your tongue around.

Try letting the leaf dry out a bit and give it a quick chop with your knife or blender for best packing and smoking results.

If you are a fan of a classy Oriental/Latakia mixture that doesn't scream "LATAKIA,", then take this stuff to bed and relax, you'll be in pipe puffers heaven!

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (549)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I really love the flavors in this blend. The Virginias lead with a hay and citrus note. The Lat is light but evident. The Orientals add a nice mildly sour spice that goes very well with the light apricot topping. Can't say I can taste the Maryland. It's truly delicious. I have to be careful with my pace though or the flavor can go off the rails. If I behave myself this is an easy 4 star smoke.

Mild to medium in body. Taste is medium. Added flavoring is mild. Burns perfectly with a little drying time. Same in briar, cob, or clay.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 54, MM Mark Twain, MF #9

Age When Smoked: 4 months

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium Mild Full Tolerable

I'm not a fan of "American English" blends, but ASTB should be a staple for those who enjoy flavored English mixtures. The Virginias/Orientals/Latakia balance falls toward Latakia, although Virginias and Orientals are always present. A particular casing, which would somehow resemble wine, is also noted throughout the bowl. In fact, it tends to get a bit cloying by the end of the pipe, but I mostly found it enjoyable.

The shag cut makes it easy to choke the airway, so care must be taken at the time of packing.

3 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Note: This is a modification of the original review, based on a better sampling of the product (a full 2 oz., rather than a few bowls from an open tin).

Appearance: A beautiful mixture of assorted color ribbons, about 40% dark. The remainder run from lemon on through deep red. The name makes me think of Nightcap,but this is not as dark.

Aroma: Classic heavy Oriental aroma, with a sweet note. I can?t decide whether there is an additive, or if the Orientals are heavier than usual. Still, definitely NOT an aromatic. There is a good base of rich Virginias, a spicy melange of Turkish varieties, and a nice amount of Latakia. Very pleasing to the nose, makes me want to fill up and light immediately. Definitely not as Latakia heavy as Nightcap.

Packing: The ribbon cut packs well into any pipe from group 3 on up to really big, including stacks.

Lighting: Lights readily with a Vesta, tamp and relight. Usually needs two matches, but ocassionally one will do.

Initial flavor: Initial flavor is just like the aroma, rich, spicy and just a touch of sweetness. The Orientals seem to be the star, with the Latakia and Virginia both playing important supporting roles. Again, not as heavy as Nightcap, but better balanced IMHO.

Mid-bowl: Rich, cool, complex, everything you hope for in a fine English blend. There is a constant interplay of the different tobaccos, sometimes sweeter, or spicier, or smokier. Nothing ever fades away completely, or becomes too dominant. If I had to name another tobacco in the same class as this, it would be Greg Pease?s Renaissance.

Finish: Still cool and dry, still complex and layered, right to the bottom. A fluffy light gray ash is all that?s left.

Summary: A wonderful, world-class Oriental mixture. Might be disappointing for the Latakia junkies (try Penzance), but a great blend for an evening?s enjoyment. Superb with a wee dram of Laphroig, but doesn?t need it.

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (957)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Esoterica - And So To Bed.

The name of some blends carry a certain charm, e.g. Haunted Bookshop just makes me want to fill up and light. This is one of those; And So To Bed, just has, in my mind, a charming character! It's the name that led me to ask my American Pipe buddy Gentleman Zombie to do me a trade and he said "no problem, I'll send a sample"; I couldn't believe my good fortune when the 'sample' he sent transpired to be three jars of different Esoterica blends! A huge thanks Franck!!

Aside from the name, I didn't know too much about this, but I can now say, happily, it's something special. The flavour from the smoke is inimitable compared to other blends. It doesn't seem 'aromatic', but it has a pleasing sweetness to it that's more so than the kind to normally come from Virginia's. The Latakia also seems a little different; it can be identified, but to do so it has to be purposely looked for and when found it isn't too formidable in it's flavour style; more of a relaxed cedar/woodiness than a direct smokiness.

The burn from And So To Bed is a very good one; even and consistent. The only issue with it is because it's quite a fine shag, if it's puffed hard it can become a little warm and that will also cause it to burn too quickly.

This is a superb/tasty blend; highly recommended.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peder Jeppesen

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Trade with Gentleman Zombie

2 people found this review helpful.

Padre603 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Padre603 (6)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This was delivered as a mistake/replacement for an order of another Esoterica blend. I called the shop in question and they say there is no way they would have sent this instead of that, but they haven't had "that" in a months time, blah, blah. I think it was "God" working in mysterious ways again, to get me to try something outside of my norm.

What a delightful mistake. I have an 8oz bag of this. The "tin" note offered no hints to me of the coming flavor extravaganza. All be it a wonderful English tin aroma.

The shag ribbons need a little time in the toe of a Persian slipper, but not much. A very moist tobacco, but I used it fresh from the bag, and had no trouble lighting, nor keeping lit, this tasty accident.

I understand completely the other reviews that say they sense a topping of some sort. A winey - apricot essence is what I taste and a remarkable sweetness I attribute to the Virgina components. (I smoke Star of the East, Nightcap, and an 80% Latakia blend of my own most regularly.)

My first bowl happened at work, and was relaxed. The room note was enjoyed by all in my circle. I really could not stop smoking this blend.

It has a very full and satisfying mouth feel. Very well rounded and pleasant. This is a solid addition to my rotation, but not an all day smoke for me, definitely a tasty palate cleanser.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo Cutty

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

A weird blend for sure: think Margate or Pembroke, but lighter-tasting... and with a particular flavoring. I don't know if it's actually flavored but I guess so: I can't explain in any other way the weirs anise smell I get from the tin and in the smoke.

It is also reminiscent of the bitter-sweet spicyness of Midnight Ride, but smoother, rounder and better balanced.

It can grow heavy and tiresome on the long run due to the flavoring, though... and the usual considerations about this brand (extreme wetness of the leaf, mustiness of the taste) still apply here, too.

2 people found this review helpful.

Gripsholm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gripsholm (22)
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

There is something seriously wrong with this tobacco. It has a sweet rotting smell and is absolutely putrid to the point of nauseating. Just to be clear I smoke a lot of aro’s and enjoy them very much, however this is no aromatic. There is definitely something very wrong with this tobacco.

What really irks me is that the folks at Esoterica knew full well that there is something not right with this tobacco, yet they still packaged it and sold it to their customer's. Now I’m starting to wonder what their secret aging process is. Do they let it soak in the bottom of an outhouse for three months, and then this time did somebody have some nasty diarrhea that somehow sweetened it to a putrid nauseating stench?

Last night at the backyard campfire I gave my 8 oz bag of ASTB a Nordic funeral pyre. I threw the entire bag into the campfire, held my mug of beer up high, and declared “Never again!” Fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice shame on me!

Pipe Used: didn't even try to smoke it

Age When Smoked: Fresh as dung

Similar Blends: Honeywagon backwash.

1 person found this review helpful.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I have a tin of this tobacco from 2012 and, for the purpose of comparison, was foolish enough to pay an unseemly sum for the latest incarnation. The 2012 tin won hands down. The ribbon cut is the same, but similarities end there. The latest version had some odd flavoring or topping, not the more interesting (and satisfying) characteristics of 2012. I have no idea what Germain has done to this blend, or why. BigDadz and Virginia Lover have it right: a hint of banana and Juicy Fruit. One can only hope that this is 'bad batch' tobacco, or that quality control was on holiday during production. In any case, the price prohibits me from giving it a second chance any time soon.

1 person found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (158)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Mild Pleasant

This "English" is an light Aromatic. Bland Virginias with a smidgeon of Latakia and Orientals lost in the casing. The only plus is that the casing smells and tastes the same, Juicy Fruit chewing gum with a base of alcohol. For a light strength Aromatic, I would give three stars but advertised as an English mixture it's worth one star and that is because I cannot give half. Talk about false advertisement, I don't miss Esoterica so much anymore.

1 person found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Has probably the most beautiful tin art I have ever seen. Even for Esoterica.

Unfortunately this was a big 'Larry Let Down'.

I have three tins that are about a year old, and I cracked one open last night to give this blend a whirl.

This is an aromatic for sure. Not a pleasant one either, as all I could smell (and to some extent taste) upon opening the tin and in the first half of the smoke was what I can only describe as 'Stewed apple & sour bruised banana' I had heard this has been compared to Nightcap.......WTF?!?!

Sorry, not even close, I could barely make out any of the alleged leaves in this blend at all due to the slightly disturbing casing. Nightcap is stronger by a country mile, and tons better than this stuff.

The last half of the bowl got a little sour, so I did what all good ultimate smoking warriors do when they're losing.

I 'tapped' out...

2 stars for tin art

1 person found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

[Review based on a brand-new, fresh tin.]

Not since Penzance have I taken so immediately to a blend. This was pleasure at first puff.

First, this needs several hours of drying time once you open the tin. (Although smokeable initially, you'll go through a lot of matches.)

There's a lot going on here. There is a whiff of green apple in the tin, but there is nothing like that happening in the bowl. In fact, if the blenders didn't acknowledge that there was an added flavoring (natural), I'm not sure most smokers would even recognize its presence. There is certainly no identifiable, defining flavoring agent present in the smoke: Just delightful, ineluctable tobacco aroma and flavor.

Once lit, solid latakia flavors slowly give way to the orientals (the opposite for how Penzance, from the same blender, presents itself to me). There is a tiny, tiny bit of sweetness that only occasionally comes through, along with the dark and toasty-tasting Virginias. I can't imagine smoking this and then going to bed; I always want another bowlful right away!

BTW, the tin copy is accurate: "A soft but full-bodied mixture..." There is a nicotine presence here that is stronger than Penzance (which doesn't affect me at all). It's far from Nightcap or Hal o' the Wynd territory, though.

This is the third Esoterica English I've tried, along with Margate and Penzance. All three have been wonderful.

1 person found this review helpful.

sonoma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonoma (11)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I don't know what the special process and additional maturing entails, but I think its got something to do with honey flavored cough syrup and raisins. About all I can say of this bacco is that it's a usefull blend to resurrect a pipe that chambered too many aromatics. I salvaged my favorite Comoy using a tin of this stuff. Not for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I no longer update reviews. I write new ones, as I am finding there are dramatic changes occuring in these blends.They,therefore,warrant new reviews. I'll get to the point quickly on this one. It went from being my desert island blend to being my worst enemy blend. Perfume on top of cheap leaf! Reminds me of Sam Malloys or Liberty. Real Garbage. It seems the European tobaccos are getting worse by the year. What is going on since the EU? I guess unification in one area brings discord in another. Pass on all Butera tins for now. They lost their MOJO.

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

02-15-2005 Unfortunately, this one put me to bed.

Appearance and Tin aroma: Looks similar to Margate, but with less darker leaf. Smells like there is a high content of Oriental leaaf in the blend, possibly a clove type casing?

Packing and Lighting: Moisture was perfect, loading was typical for a ribbon cut. Stayed lit easily after a second relight.

Initial Flavor: Whoa! Either the flavor is of a particularly fragrant greek or oriental, or there is some sort of casing in this. It reminds me of clove cigarettes, but not as intense.

Mid-bowl: The initial intensity of flavor softens and the flavor is quite deliciously rich. This blend also benefits from DGT. The bad of this blend is also apparent at this point: namely, it is giving me a headache and a thick coating in my mouth.

Bottom of bowl: There is a definite build up of strength of both flavor and nicotine, but it is not overbearing. My headache is getting worse. Ash that is left is fine and grey.

Overall: This is a high quality blend that definitely has a unique flavor. Unfortunately, something in it triggered an allergic reaction in me. Yes, it gave me a whopper of a headache and a mouth coating that would not go away for a while, even when rinsing with a hydrogen peroxide solution. I also developed some hives on my skin that lasted a couple days. The flavor reminded me of Germain's Royal Jersey Latakia mixture, but that one does not affect me like this one did. I suppose that I will stick with Margate, Penzance, Stonehaven, and Tilbury for now.

Rating 2 out of 5 points, yes, chemistry is the culprit.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

This is the first Esoterica tobacco that I do not like. At first it seemed like a nice English style aromatic, But the more I got into the tin, the more realized that I didn't care for the casing at all. I much prefer Margate to this. The spaghetti cut didn't pack well either. YMMD.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This is the first Esoterica tobacco I ever tried. Since I'd been hearing good things for some time about this blender, I ordered a sample pack of several of their blends. I was not disappointed; this is a very good English blend! The smell in the plastic bag is mild, with Latakia clearly present and other tobaccos adding to the dark, musty aroma of a full English blend. The tobacco appears to be a mixture of dark, medium, and lighter browns, in a very long cut (almost like spaghetti!). It packs with minor difficulty and, in the bag, seems to have an average moisture content. I smoked this first in a Nording freehand. The tobacco lights easily and stays lit well, needing about the average number of relights. For the first third of the bowl, The main flavor was Latakia, rich and slightly sweet. It has good complexity, no one flavor being overwhelming, the various tobaccos melding well in the smoke. Into the second third, and we're bite-free thus far. The Latakia is still dominant, while the overall tone has become slightly darker, with some additional richness. I also notice a bit of sweetness from time to time. By the last third, the richness has leveled off, maintaining a good level of nutty Latakia complexity. I still haven't noticed any bite, and the smoke is fairly smooth and full. There is some moisture left at the bottom, but it isn't excessive; you shouldn't need to use a pipe cleaner while smoking a bowl. Overall, this is a nice, complex full English blend with enough Latakia to provide a very satisfying smoke. I would rate it between Frog Morton and GLP Renaissance in complexity and richness: not outstanding but very, very good nonetheless. English blend lovers should enjoy this one; I plan to buy a full tin with my next tobacco order.

1 person found this review helpful.

Smoking_Strider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking_Strider (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I got a couple tins of this for pretty cheap and decided to give it a try, and I am really happy I did because I found the perfect tobacco for the evening. The name of the tobacco really says it all for me anyway, Its a blend I like to enjoy right before I go to bed. The tin note is very smokey with hints of chocolates and nuts. I would go as far as saying even a bit "Barbeque". It had a perfect moisture level and was really easy to pack, light and it burned very cool. It really is a great English blend with hints of chocolate and cocoa. It also had a very pleasant room note. I usually find myself smoking 2 or even 3 consecutive bowls.

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bulldog8483 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog8483 (5)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Upon opening this tin, I was greeted by a smell I'm not particularly fond of. Can't place the smell exactly, but it's sweet smelling even though I don't detect any flavoring in the blend. On my first try of the blend, I wasn't excited by it. Definitely mellow both in taste and strength and has a subtle, but naturally sweet smell and taste to it. But those were not the reasons why. It just didn't develop and left me wanting something...

I've now smoked several bowls and the blend keeps getting better and better. I've completely changed my opinion and I've actually grown to like it quite a bit now. It is certainly appropriately named because it is an end of the evening smoke or at least that's what seems appropriate to me. It's a mellow, wind down type of blend. You can taste the subtleness of the Virginias clearly which produces a sweetness i very much enjoy and they meld extremely nicely with the low levels of latakia. I didn't look the at the makeup of the blend, but it seems like there are some orientals in there too that you taste ever so slightly at the end of your draw. It does not bite, has a nice full flavor and burns cool as well. Every type of tobacco in the blend just really compliment one another and bring out the best in the others. Smoking it slowly is your best bet to taste each kind separately and distinctly. Honestly, I'm not sure why this tobacco is only rated at a 2.6/4. My only thought is that Esoterica does such a great job with almost all of their blends such as Penzance, Stone Haven, and even Dunbar, Margate and Dorchester that pipe smokers have slept on this blend. The bar is set quite high for them as a tobacanist and rightfully so and with that said, it's worth your money to try for yourself. Every pipe smoker has different tastes and likes so you can't go wrong with an excellent tobacanist like Esoterica. And hey, as a bonus it has one of the most memorable tin descriptions you'll find anywhere which is always great to help you set the mood before and during your smoke ;) I hope this helps guide you. Enjoy!

Pipe Used: Savinelli 362 and 1611

Age When Smoked: New Tin. Opened 1 week ago

Purchased From: Local B&M

Similar Blends: Nothing I've been able to find..... yet!.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (113)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The name is interesting but the taste is typical mild English. Margate and Pembroke, these two I had tried, are more interesting and complex than ASTB. If you have a chance, you may try it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (77)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The florid tin description ("A soft, but full bodied mixture for the evenig. Put on your smoking jacket, pour a glass of vintage port, let your Golden Retriever settle at your feet and enjoy this superlative Mixtur while you chronicle the day's events on your diary.") somehow makes me think of Dunhill's Nightcap ("A rich flavoured smoking mixture for the evening with its period of relaxation and leisure"). But to me, this is rather a Balkan blend with the Orientals and Latakia in the foreground, and the Virginias in the back. In fact, it reminds me a little of Balkan Sobranie No. 759 Mixture.

In the tin the fine, half dark, half reddish brown ribbon cut (almost a shag) smells heavily of peat smoke and incense, albeit with a distinct sweetness. In a fresh tin the tobacco tends to be a little on the moist side. Just the same, packing and lighting is quite easy. A single charring light, some tamping, and a single true light will usually do.

This is indeed a rich, full bodied, spicy, yet creamy smoke with a subtle sweetness in the aftertaste. The Orientals seem to be the major players with the Latakia and the natural, tangy sweetness of the Virginias as a pleasant backdrop. Nicotine content appears to be quite high, but not as high as in Nightcap. It's indeed suited for a fine after dinner pipe. The tobacco burns down evenly to some greying ash.

The room note is smoky and spicy.

Pipe Used: Rattray's 110th Anniversary

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Balkan Sobranie No. 759 Mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't know if I am fan of scented English blends, because this is my first one, and although there is latakia and everything, It' seems like an aromatic to me. I'm not gonna review the aroma notes fruits, cedar, alcohol and whatever there is, It's all the same to me. It's quite a bit different from classic Danish aromatics, more like an american one, but still an aromatic. It's bearable and enjoyable however, I'm breaking new pipe with it just now, and my wife approved the room note. So that may be another plus for ASTB. To me, Esoterica is like a holly grail. I've had tried so far only their English blends and now I don't know what to think. The whole impression is positive actually. The only aromatics that I could smoke were the lakeland floral soapy ones, and now there's another one. Wouldn't buy again, but certainly I'm going to finish all 8 oz bag that I bought.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (46)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh, my! What a totally wonderful surprise. Truth be told, I was expecting to be let down if not very disappointed. It seemed to me that the blender was purposely holding back to build mystique and lure another bunch of pipers into chasing their ephemeral dream of the perfect smoke. Oh, was I wrong, wrong, wrong!! Although not the perfect smoke (what, in this jaded, faded world, is perfect?). ASTB vastly exceeded my hopes and expectations. Germain does what it can within its limitations. Could STG or any other mega conglomerate tobacco corp. do any better? I doubt it. The lure of profit would be too great...think of the stockholders to hell with the product. It would be akin to turning over the blending recipes of Steven Books to 10,000 apes and hoping for the best. I would smoke this alone forsaking all others except for limited supply and limited budget. Oh, well, I have my memories.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I found an open, yet curiously full tin of this in the back of my cabinet. It must have had a few years on it in this condition. Once I researched the ingredients, I discovered why I would have purchased it: oriental tobacco is a favorite of mine.

I began the tin as I always do: in a clay to discern its unique qualities, then moving to different briars devoted to similar blends with different bowl sizes. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found a venue that yields a smoke that thrills me and the tin is almost gone.

The tin note is pleasant, though not particularly unique: slight latakia phenolics, leather, alcohol and a fruitiness I think derives from fermentation more than topping. As much as I like sniffing it, I've never considered tin note particularly significant to smoking taste.

It is what I'd call a shag cut (what DO Brits call it?) which presents challenges to those accustomed to flakes, ribbons and cubes. First, depending on your local humidity, it can dry out quickly and second, it is more difficult to pack correctly to stay lit and burn optimally for taste and minimizing tongue burn. That may be the reason I've struggled with finding the right pipe for it. I have a nostalgic attachment to shag cut- my formative years were spent with many a tin of shaggy Flying Dutchman back in the '70s. I was better at it then.

When lit at a sustainable rate, this blend is a smoke screen. I want there to be more sweetness. First and consistent taste impressions: Squadron Leader, Campanile (especially), Dunhill's EMP of years ago, and oddly, Penzance without 75% of its latakia. That last one, I think, is due to the same turkish leaf in both. To me, this is a morning smoke, good with coffee.

I seem to notice more nicotine than others have. It may be due to the fact I can smoke this to the bottom where it accumulates.

I like the Esoterica brand, wish it weren't so trendy and production-bottlenecked. The company provides alternatives to companies with their latakia, burley and virginia blend-of-the-month permutations. That said, I doubt I'll restock this one. Glad I tried it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (44)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smooth, milky mouth feel with subtle fruity aroma (not fruit flavor). Like a tea latte. Only a hint of latakia. The tin aroma is sweetly dank. High quality tobacco. A pleasure to smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I have to like any tobacco named for a comment of Samuel Pepys from his great diary.

This fine Germain offering has a mild top note similar to that of Smoker's Haven's 20th Anniverary Mixture, which adds to its interest for me. A shag-like cut, it is a mild Balkan, featuring the orientals and virginias over a small amount of Latakia. Despite its name, ASTB works as a breakfast/morning smoke. It smokes cool and dry to a fine gray ash and is worth a try to those who like milder Balkan blends. Being a Germain product, it features fine source tobaccos but can be somewhat difficult to fine. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you're thinking this is Esoterica's answer to Dunhill's Nightcap, you'd be wrong. This is something different altogether. Its a tad floral which compliments the smokiness of the latakia rather well. Overall I liked it. I'd keep a tin of this on hand for when the mood strikes, but it isn't something I wanna smoke every day or night.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (145)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

This reminds me of Squadron Leader, they are both mild strength English blends of similar character, Va. heavy with very little Latakia and light on the orientals as well. I like my English blends to have more flavor and more strength. Not a bad tobacco, just too light for my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (70)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A rich after dinner blend. The best of Esoterica that I've tried (Stonehaven is on my to-smoke list). Can't see smoking this more than once in a while, though. It's wonderful in my 40 year old Wellington with an XL bowl. Something about XL bowls that bring out nuances that smaller bowls can't. I regress. Recommended, if you haven't tried some. If you like rich, fine English blends, this is for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (170)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

I may come back and review this again after some aging of this open tin.

That "sour" smell when initally opened smells like spoiled milk. I am sure glad it didn't transfer over to the smoke. Easy to light, a decent blend to relax with. Does not pair well with port as the tin states. No port is strong enough to stand up to this tobacco, IMHO. A complex blend, without much nicotine. Burns fairly clean, does not pass the wife room note test, even though most Latakia blends do here. Would pair well with a JW Black.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (42)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This to me tastes like a toned down, more complex version of Penzance. People who kind of like Penzance, but find it to overwhelming and one dimensional (like I do) should be very satisfied with this blend. It does have a fermented fruit smell in the tin and it somewhat translates to taste but man, that just means that this is a blend that is well aged and unique. I say give it a try.


Update 1-26-2013

I still find this blend satisfying. I just wanted to take back what I said about Penzance. After smoking some sugar crystallized Penzance (cellared for 1 yr.) I found Penzance to be an absolutely amazing blend and it far exceeds this blend in my opinion. This blend is till worth every penny! If you see it in your local shop, give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

It is unfortunate that this blend has received so many poor reviews for my experience with this tobacco has been quite pleasant. The tin note has a fermented fruit aroma which remained in the smoke when lit. The flavor reminded me of a cross between 965 and Squadron Leader. Not as intense as 965 but more flavorful than Squadron Leader. (Perhaps a heresy to Squadron Leader fans.)The only shortcomming I detect with this blend is the sparce amount of latakia, especially for an evening blend. It is, in fact, the name of the blend that I believe, has caused this tobacco to be not as popular as it deserves to be. If this tobacco had been called "Afternoon Delight" I hardly believe it would have recieved so many angry reviews. soli Deo gloria

Nobody has rated this review yet.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

I usually don't review a blend if I 'm not a fan, unless I feel I can objectively say why. That's tough, obviously when taste is subjective.

This is "topped", don't know what it is, but would descibe it as a spice smell. Actually, smells very good and is quality leaf- no doubt. The Latakia is present but not forward. You can taste Virgina and Oriental. But it just isn't cohesive. Tastes kind of harsh. I got through half a tin, but just can't bring myself to keep going.

English/Balkans usually take me a half ounce to an ounce to get to know, this one is just not for me.

If you like Esoterica's toppings, you may like it, but I probably wouldn't recommend to you and will not cellar any more in hopes that I grow into it; just not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant


I enjoyed this at first, but grew bored of it. Flavor is rich, in a way, and it is buttery smooth. But it isn't "full bodied" by any definition.

I detect little or no casing, though it has the sweetness of a mild aromatic. If there is any casing, this is not apparent in the tobacco's excellent burn qualities: the tobacco burns clean and cool, even with vigorous puffing.

The taste is smooth, pleasant and rich, but is light in body and left me bored. It's perhaps too unremarkable and monotonous. Those hoping for a strong kick of nicotine might be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is the second Esoterica tin I received that was not vacuum sealed, which pisses me off. Getting past that, ASTB is the type of blend that has grown on me over time. It's mildly aromatic in the English way without being cloying or eclipsing the core tobaccos. It isn't a powerhouse of flavor, but it is smooth with a core sweetness -- a great choice when you want something that won't batter your tastebuds. Relaxing and mellow, it also smells fairly mild for a Latakia blend and burns cool and dry to a fine, light ash, like all Germains. And despite its name, ASTB is also a great morning smoke that pairs well with coffee. Worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

onehitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
onehitter (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I don't normally smoke blends of this kind but its nice to mix it up once in a while. This was awesome,nice peppery taste with a floral almost berry smell in the smoke,I thought nicotine was on the lighter side of medium. Burned well no tongue bite moisture level was good to smoke right after poping the tin no dry time. Two bad points on this tobac were the amount of toothpicks I was pulling out and secondly and not so important was the quality of the tin the top didn't want go back on.All in all classy tobacco.A masterpiece mabey?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (70)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Lighter than Penzance and more of an all day English (despite the name). There was something missing however and although I can make out the latakia, Orientals and Va., it lacked depth. I will continue on with this tin which I am enjoying and tend to smoke in the evening. I guess the name gives me psychological reinforcement when I have to turn off finally and head to bed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt. Cavendish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt. Cavendish (21)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Boy is this blend a sleeper! Coming up with a name for this tobacco probably didn't take much more than thirty seconds. Creative people love it when those kinds of ideas come right at them, but in the case of pipe tobacco, it illustrates little more than mediocrity and simplicity of blend. And so to bed I will put this stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I picked up a tin of this yesterday on the way in to work and tried a couple of bowlfuls during the night. I am pleasantly taken with this blend, which is a English, by definition (no casings, or topping, Latakia containing Oriental based blend), to me, even if lightly so as it is light on the Latakia. However, that fact gives it its intended use - the last smoke of the day. It does not leave any heavy lingering aftertaste. In fact it might serve as the first smoke of the day as well. As to strength: I found it ample - not overpowering but enough. For room note: unsolicited comments from fellow workers, "That smells good".

While pretty moist in the tin, it burned through with only a couple of initial relights to a fine ash, curiously without any gurgles.

So, at this point I like it. As usual I'll put it to my normal one week test and then see.

A nice find, Thanks guys, I'd never have tried this w/o your reviews.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

Update I tried this again after looking over some of the other reviewers comments, thinking perhaps I had gotten a bum tin. I still never tasted the Basma (really the sole reason i tried the blend in the first place) nor did I find anything close to an English taste. I didn't find anything other than the same old stewed fruit/apple cider sliminess I had noted previously. The conflciting reviews for this blend puzzle me, I wonder if there is not more to the disparity in opinion than just the differences between smokers. Perhaps this needs greater time aging than straight off the shelf. I may experiment further with this blend, in a few years. This blend is nothing like I expected. I enjoy the English/Aromatic when I am in an aromatic mood. When I opened the tin, however, I was not sure where the English had gone. The leaf is as damp as I have ever seen and the smell in the tin was that of strong apple cider. While I am a cider fan I was not sure if I wanted it in my pipe. When lit the cider flavor was the only taste I really noted. The flavor and smoke had, as best as I can describe it, a "coldness" about it that I did not care for. I would rather have a tad more latakia and oriental to interplay with the casing. But on its own the taste is very good, truly tasting more like apple than many apple aromatics out there, and it left my pipe clean. I think I will stick to other Esoterica offerings in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zierro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zierro (11)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Extremely well blended mix of Virginia's, moderate amounts of Latakia, and intriguing Orientals. Not sure if it's the orientals alone, or perhaps a bit of Deer Tounge added, that bring out some mild, enjoyable flavor notes.

Tin opens to a moist tobacco that emits a fermented note. Most folks probably will dry it out a bit, I smoke it straight out of the tin, and store to retain same moisture level. Burns smooth, even and clean.

I prefer a more pronounced Latakia punch, but find ASTB to be a great go to, when I want to lighten it up a bit, like on a hot humid day.

Highly recommended to English Blend Smokers looking for a mild to moderate blend. Folks new or not accustomed to English might be a bit confused with what the Orientals do in this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (64)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Another one of those blends that gets a bad rap because it isn't Nightcap.

This is a rather mild blend of Virginias, Turkish, and just a hint of Latakia. I find it to be delightfully light, but flavorful on the palate and one does not have to worry about being bitten by this blend. Like every blend, it is better when allowed to dry out a bit, but please don't be so naive to believe that its moisture is some sort of mistake (Germaine and Son know what they are doing).

I particularly like to blow smoke through my nose with this one because it has a sort of Turkish cigarette blend quality to it. The nice cool, nutty flavor is enhanced with some nice notes reminding me of Mediterranean spices. A rather nice aroma helps make this tobacco as enjoyable indoors as outdoors.

I don't like giving stars but grading as follows: 1 Star, pass it by 2 Stars, Okay blend, but has some unredeeming qualities 3 Stars, Good blend that is pleasant to smoke and worth a try 4 Stars, Superb Stuff

I give this 3 stars. It is a good blend worth the time of the selective smoker, but please don't do it the injustice of comparing it to a heavy latakia blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (23)
Mild to Medium Mild Full Strong

I'm with the Zebra that eats Tacos. I don't get the negative overall reviews on this blend. But to each his own. That's the spice of life.

I will say here that I'm an Esoterica English blend fanatic! I like them all, and rotate them on a constant basis, favoring Penzance, Margate, and Pembroke the most. Only 2 times have I had tins that that were too new and hadn't aged enough. (1 Penzance, and 1 Pembroke) Otherwise, I think Esoterica is extremely consistant and very high quality.

Speaking of spice, this blend has a bit o topping that adds a certain spicey character over-all. Certainly more Virginia component than say Margate or Penzance. The Latakia stands back in this blend a little more, but not overly so. I really like this blend for a change of pace. Smoke this slow and easy. Light puffs yield wonderful flavor and aroma. The blend tends to dry out easily due to the fine ribbon cut, but packs wonderfully easy, and a snap to light and keep lit to the finish. It gets darker and spicier closer to the bottom of the bowl. Savor this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (36)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not certain why this blend isn't rated higher. As a big fan of Penzance, Dunbar, Stonehaven & MArgate, I was curious to try this blend. The hints of anise in the topping in this blend, along with the basma leaf really make this blend soar. Not a latakia smoke bomb here, in fact, I'd venture to say that in the tins I've smoked, it is mostly bvarious shades of brown amongst the leaves.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Devonshire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Devonshire (47)
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Overall, good stuff. I agree that this blend can get a little sticky, so maybe let it dry out just a bit. As with many latakia blends, this one is full bodied and dark, but the Virginias and Orientals mellow it well. A nice smoke for the evening time, as the name suggests. Reminds me a lot of Pease's Odyssey, another great blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (22)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an occasional smoke for me. I have bought this in bulk and tin and found the humidity level to be better with the bulk version. I personally think that the tobacco is cut too fine, a little bit coarser of a cut may make this a much better smoke. To me, the Oriental component also needs amped up a little. And So To Bed does get quite powerful toward the end of the smoke. The tobacco quality seems excellent, the blending is typical Esoterica, excellent. I have found no stalks or stems in the bulk, maybe I've been lucky, no dust. Cellaring helps a little. I get a mild bite at lightup. For me, enjoyable as a change.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Merple Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Merple (15)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tried this a a change from Dunhill Nightcap - New tin opened, quite damp and certainly there is a topping I was not expecting. Sticky to pack and didn't light too well for me. First experience was disappointing with harsh hacky bite and strong flavour of topping with fast burning latakia.

Two weeks later, same tin, I tried again... much better. Actually quite tasty taken on the porch on a cold evening with a glass of sherry. Milder than my last memory and pleasant, relaxing smoke.

Hoping it will get better with time - but found a pleasant evening smoke here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Very Pleasant

Having tried Margate a few years ago, I was looking forward to this, thinking I'd get basically an English blend. I got the tin of ASTB from an employer who had had it for some years. When I opened it and smoked it, I tasted nothing but the casing. Unconscionable for any venerable blender to do that without warning me! Reminds me of Dunhill's "3-Year Matured Virginia" whose name should get them a false advertising suit pronto. However, I didn't throw away the ASTB, but left it in a jar for some months and forgot about it. Then, the weather improving, I dug it out and tried it again. Apparently, the casing had evaporated or something. It actually tasted a lot better. More a subtle chocolate. Still not great, but I figure it could make a good crossover from virginias to aromatics or vice-versa. But then again, it's hard for me to imagine liking aromatics. That is the explanation for my paradoxical choice of "medium to strong" flavoring with a "mild" taste. The flavoring is way too strong initially because it overpowers everything else, the rest having a subtle flavor. Don't waste your time on this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

There is a wonderful quote about dreams from one of Shakespeare's late plays that I was _tempted_ to use here, in a cheeky way, but I decided not to waste such a quote on such a tobacco as Esoterica Tobacciana's 'And so to bed'. This weed is so bland, so boring, so bloody bare (stripped of any interesting nuance) that I cannot understand those who praise it. Perhaps that is a bit harsh--like the surprising feeling in my throat after smoking such a relatively light-bodied weed. Granted, even if I do not like the way this stringy stuff packs, this is a solid tobacco. Unfortunately, it tastes so flat that if it were the Earth Columbus would not have dared to sail it (knowing, in this case, rumour of planar was true). I expected something more from this offering, but the wind was let out of my sails. Indeed, my dreams of smoking this with a glass of vintage port (and the rest of that descriptive nonsense on the tin), were dashed. And so, with my own descriptive nonsense written on this rubbish (good quality tobacco badly cut and blended), I am off to bed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PhlyPhisher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PhlyPhisher (1)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first tried this blend I was pleasantly surprised about its taste. There is a flavor component that might make you think it has been added in during processing. I did a little research via the web on the Greek version of 'Oriental' tobaccos (Basma)and found the discription given for the taste pretty much fit what I experienced. Though its not mentioned on this page as to who the blender is, it is JF Germain & Son.

It was a tad damp when I opened my first tin and need to dry out a little bit. The ribbon is fairly long, but it didn't cause me trouble in packing or during the burn. The sweetness of the Virgina, smokey higlights of the Latakia, the spicy note of the Oriental and an intersting flavor, that reminds me somewhat of Saffron (bitter honey) all fit together for a very plesant smoke. It burned down to leave a fine gray ash. I currently smoke this blend fairly frequently.

I've smoked this blend in pubs that I frequent and haven't had any complaints regarding the room note. I have had one of the bar maids said she liked the smell.

I'm on my 5th tin now and plan to purchase more. It has become one of my current favorites and would recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The buttery Greek "Oriental" leaf is the star of this show. This smells and tastes delicious and unique. A quality blend as are all of Esotericas offerings but as others have stated, this gives me a horrible headache. Therefore, while I do enjoy it, the headaches make me take my permanent leave from it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This smells and tastes delicious. It belongs to the worthy line of Esoterica products. The reason I will not continue to smoke this is the topping.

The topping gives me a whopper of a headache every time, no matter the bowl size.

Unfortunately, I look elsewhere for mild and medium range English blends, despite my great enjoyment of Margate, Penzance, and Germain's King Charles.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (59)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Enjoyable smooth english with a note of some kind of topping. I can't adequately describe the flavour notes of this tobacco, but I am not disappointed. I have smoked a couple bowls and will update this review as I work my way through another dozen pipefulls or so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I tried a tin of this, having enjoyed other blends by this company, and having been told that it was the most popular at the store I bought it from. I can see why, it is a smooth, yet full tasting English, with a little something on the sweet side. When on the dry side, it's burning qualities are above average, although it didn't seem to be something I could smoke all day. It tended to bite slightly if smoked too fast, which is something I'm not used to seeing in an English blend, but a little care got me through the tin OK.

Not my cup of tea on a regular basis, but it was noticably "tasty" in a way I found a bit cloying, but for those who like a bit of sweetness, it could be the perfect late smoke. I certainly was able to finish the tin, and may someday try it again, so it's certainly not a bad experience by any means.

I will add that it holds it's flavor well throughout the smoke, and doesn't get bitter low in the bowl. It packs pretty well, but too much thumb can result in overpacking when it's too fresh.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

"And So To Bed" carries on the tradition of not disliking any Esoterica tobacco that I have tried to date. My previous experience with aromatic English blends - even the best of the lakeland variety - has left me with at most temporary fascination. Usually with quick revulsion.

The immediate comparision as others have made is to Nightcap. While carrying some of the same rich mood as Nightcap, there is none of the astrigency and harshness that sometimes comes with that blend. Here the nicotine is moderate but present - where as Nightcap can be overwhelming. Less nuttiness and more pure smoke sweetness. I find it more comparable to 965 or Frog Morton only quite a bit better in quality and composition than either of those two. It also bears similarity to Raven's Wing, but is somewhat less complex. It does however fill the same niche as these "late night" dark hued tobaccos.

This blend is deep and rich but also very smooth and round tasting. The latakia lends a bit of smoke and depth over the sweet VA. In addition to the mentioned Anise casing, I also detect a bit of plumb. I do not find this element at all disruptive and in fact, in this case - adds wholly to the blend. It is a smooth, mellow, sweet ride with only a tiny hint of cigar like note. However... a bit of drying is recommended as bite is possible if smoked undried and carelessly.

If smoked continuously it could become a bit boring, however as an every now and again smoke it certainly provides a bit of a dessert like luxurious pleasure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hauser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hauser (16)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Opening- Finely cut with speckled leaf. Upon opening the tin, the quality English/Orientals aroma wafts out wonderfully! Beer is right, to me there is a topping but I love it. It has that Esoterica smell to it, which I can?t define but is there and works well. It invites you to sit and inhale from the tin for a while before lighting it.

Packing-Packs well in very pipe I?ve smoked it in.

Lighting-Lights well with 2 matches and a tamp.

First Impression-This is mellow for a medium strength tobacco and the Latakia makes its presence known but doesn?t dominate. It?s full tasting without being harsh.

Mid Bowl-As the bowl burns down, the Latakia eases down and the Orientals reveal themselves more fully and wonderfully. It never smokes hot or wet.

Finish-Finishes well, gaining a little strength towards the end.

Over all-This is an excellent blend, a true work of art! This is a great smoke on it?s own as an every day smoke, but for me it?s a change of pace smoke from my stand by of Pembroke. Recommendation Highest recommendation!

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CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

When I first opened the tin, I got the first surprise this blend had in store for me. It had a decidedly ?over-ripe? fruit aroma to it. I had expected something else. It was pretty wet by my standards, so I dried it a bit.

This is quite a unique tasting tobacco. The flavor started off as almost a floral type fragrant. By this, I do not mean soapy. No, this is something different. I don?t believe there is any topping ? I think one of the Oriental components is responsible for this taste.

Before I started smoking English blends, I had been ?cautioned? about this one and Nightcap. Because of this warning, and the similarity of the names, I guess I always assumed they would be similar. They?re worlds apart. Perhaps the reason the Good Samaritan warned me about them was that he was afraid the nicotine would clobber me. It does have similar nicotine content as compared to Nightcap. I suppose some consider them potent. Maybe I?m immune.

The floral taste that dominated in the beginning receded somewhat, but remained throughout the smoke. Another reason to suspect that it isn?t a topping. It?s too consistent. The Latakia is pleasant and smoky. The Virginias really do their part, providing a wonderful underlying sweetness that ties it all together. The Greek Oriental seems to be the constant, around which the other components dance.

Overall, it?s a good performance.

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J M Hines Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J M Hines (5)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Another fine esoterica blend.Very high quality!More of a oriental english than a latakia english.I always smoke this in a large freehand for easy packing.Great!

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Recovery7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Recovery7 (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Upon opening the tin you are greeted by Latakia and the Oriental leaf. The tobacco is a little damp, but not as much as some. I loaded this into a rather large Savinelli that I have dubbed my "Evening Pipe". The size of the cut lends itself to a rather easy pack. It is a definite two-match light. The taste is rich and round, it almost demands that you smoke it slowly and think about the constituent tobacco and how each shows itself in the blend. I enjoy this as my "End of Day" smoke.

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tvine Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tvine (3)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

"And So To Bed" indeed. I must first state that I am a terrific fan of Esoterica Tobacciana. Old, old, old is the the taste to me. Yes the Virginia seems to have that strange "funk." I am no historian, however all the truly English made tobaccos seem to have it; ands I likes it. The cut is fine, almost to a fault, clingy and slightly difficult to pack(properly,) but once lit it has an explosion of flavor. Tangy for sure, but refreshing. The latakia to me seems well integrated with the orientals, producing a rich, but non creamy smoke. It can be hot, and I can see where this may not be everyone "last bowl," however it is certainly meant for after dinner. I find this to be exemplery. First, last, or otherwise, I know I'll be puffing.

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MissouriFisherman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MissouriFisherman (4)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I often rotate this with "Pembroke" in my Sansieni 4-dot apple. It has a different taste and aroma (as stated earlier here) but it is an aquired taste/aroma. Once you get used to it, its hard to pass it up on those snowy, cold, Midwest evenings. I found this also is a good product to get the wife and kid to leave the room when I want privacy.

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pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

And So To Bed is a good English mixture leaning more towards bright virginias and orientals and less towards latakia. My own taste runs just the opposite for an English, leaning more towards the latakia end of the spectrum with darker virginias. If you prefer your English weighted away from the latakia element, this may be for you.

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Volvo 164 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Volvo 164 (4)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is the first Esoterica blend that I really wouldn't consider adding to my permanent line-up of tobaccos. It tastes as though it has a flavoring agent added to it although I don't know if it actually does. It seems to burn on the hot side of things regardless of the pipe I use. It just doesn't taste all that great to me and if it's going to have the habbit of burning hot it had better taste fantastic--like some hot burning virginas do.

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provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I am a big fan of Esoterica tobaccos.They all have a unique flavour that I have experienced with some other British tobaccos. Some of the blends are better than others but I haven't tried a bad one yet. And So To Bed ranks somewhere in the middle but closer to the top. It is an English blend having Latakia and Oriental tobaccos. It has a very distinctive flavor/tang that I have not tasted with any other tobacco as yet. Although I find it quite pleasant I cannot say that I could or would consider it an all day blend. It is rich in flavour and is best enjoyed, I find later in the day, but not neccessarily as the name might imply before bed. The tin aroma almost has a putrid odour to it but does ride the edge to almost being pleasant with a definite sweetness to it. The flavour is similar but is more pleasing and enjoyable. After tasting the tobacco, to go back and smell the tin aroma again one appreciates the aroma moreso.I have often found this tobacco difficult to keep lit if the humidity of the tobacco is not slightly on the dry side. Burns to nice grey to white ash and as one smokes down the bowl the flavours do not change very appreciably. It does become stronger. There is no bite and you will be left with a memory of a rather unique experience that you will have enjoyed immeasurably or will never want to try again.Three and a half stars out of five.

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Strong

A defined tobacco. A well blended mixture of the usual sort, cavendish, latakia, virginia, and orientals. But the flavoring which stood out was that of the Greek componets in the orientals montage, it leaves alot to be desired. I had numerous complaints from the better half about the smell, not offensive mind you but just different. Not to be compared to the so-called soapyness of some English flakes. My rating is 4, based on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being he best.

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