|Reviewed By||Date||Rating||Strength||Flavoring||Taste||Room Note|
|O'Confrère (31)||Medium to Strong||None Detected||Medium to Full||Pleasant to Tolerable|
This fine ribbon cut is surprisingly light with lots of golds and reds freckled sparingly with blacks.
This very full tin is from February 19, 2014 and is probably from the first batch made available.
Upon opening the moisture seems just right to the touch, but it has actually a moisture level of about 19-20%. It dries quickly though and profits from a bit of airing before firing.
Tin note: Latakia, slightly leathery, slightly sweet, lightly sour, very inviting. No casing detected. It makes an honest impression. No top flavor.
Sipping through the filled yet unlit pipe confirms the aromas from the tin.
At the match the Orientals (not the Latakia!) make themselves known immediately with a lovely musty earthiness that leans more toward the sour than the sweet. Then the Latakia kicks in followed closely by the bright Virginias. By contrasting markedly the individual components work very well together as a whole. Eye-opening, this is a lively smoke.
Middle third: things settle down, the tannic aspect which emerged earlier has become a toastiness (probably the development of the Virginias). The Latakia is softly present in a fine fullness of oriental flavors, nutty, herbal and earthy. The black cavendish is only remotely present. This is a very well balanced blend. It has become relaxing without becoming less interesting.
Last third: the orientals emerge with impressive depth.
Burns beautifully and provides a moderate (noticable) amount of nicotine. Leaves a pleasantly clean aftertaste.
Traditionalists may have a problem with new additions to the Rattray's line, especially as not all of the original blends managed to make it into German production unscathed. However, some did survive quite well. (Some did!) Kudos are due to K&K for their sustained effort and their role in providing many fine blends that would have gone by the wayside had they not stepped in (or up).
Must confess, I had little hopes for this blend. What a surprise! This is (IMHO, of course) a very worthy addition to the Rattray's line.
If you're looking for a Latakia bomb, this ain't it. However, if you enjoy fine Oriental mixtures with a back of Latakia, this is a must!
3.5 stars for now. With time in the tin this may very well become a solid 4 star recommendation.
Age When Smoked: two weeks (just on the market)
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