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First Days of Spring intriguingly blends Virginia and Burleys with a dash of Perique to add a dark fruit note and some spice. Speaking of fruit, the blend is lightly topped off with a splash of berry flavor. The taste and room note will change the way you think about aromatics.

With plum blossom scent, this sudden sun emerges along a mountain trail. - Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)

Notes: "The Four Seasons" is a line of aromatic blends that are meant to capture the essence of the four distinct seasons in Japan. They were announced at 2014 IPCPR, and released in late 2014.

BrandTsuge Premium Pipe Tobacco
Manufactured ByDrew Estate
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringFruit / Citrus
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Mild, Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Medium
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
2.9
10 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
2
3 star:
6
2 star:
1
1 star:
1
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luvinthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
luvinthepipe (25)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I am somewhat new to aromatics. I only smoke a couple of pipes a week and suddenly found myself wanting something sweet a few months ago. A free 1.5 oz sample of Maple Street sat in my cellar 5 years then awakened my sweet tooth!

Style of Tobacco: I wrote my prelude because First Days of Spring does not smoke like an aromatic. It smokes like a light Virginia.

Scent: first crack of the tin brought a light combination plum fruit/plum blossom. The scent is yummy.

Tobacco look: light tan all the way to some black which must be the Cavendish. seems high quality. Pliable and Springy yet on the dry side, C&D-like that way. Packs easy into bowl.

Smoke: lots of easy smoke and no dottle. This one is a keeper. Smokes like a good Virginia. No Aro sweetness, only real tobacco flavor and Virginia sweetness. The scent does not completely make it's way into flavor but I could smell the blossoms on my fingers as I lift my pipe.

Tin Art: very nice! I was a little disappointed that the black on my tin is glossy and not Matte as depicted in all pictures I have seen. bummer. matte would have been a nice touch.

Summary: very nice. A very solid 3 stars and recommended for those wanting aromatic smell but natural tobacco taste and experience. I highly recommend keeping the tin open and near you while you smoke. little wafts of scent make this very enjoyable. Those Pipesters who enjoy lighter tobacco with natural taste, no syrup but a nice tin note which lingers on your fingers should pick up a tin!

Pipe Used: Wellington and Cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh like Spring!

Purchased From: Online seller (I live 3 hrs from civilization)

Similar Blends: C&D Poplar Camp.

7 people found this review helpful.

pxi106 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pxi106 (18)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

First, a caveat. My preferred tobaccos these days are nicotine heavy: most of what I smoke is either Key Largo from Mr. Pease or Dunhill's lovely Royal Yacht. Nonetheless, I have been looking for a mixture to smoke that, if not crowd friendly, at least won't get me stoned by an outraged populace.

I selected this tobacco as an attempt at combining the best of both worlds. Needing a pleasant smelling smoke for a trip to visit my wife's family in Tokyo, I selected this mixture for both the obvious sentimental reasons and the fact that ume (japanese plum) is one of my favorite tastes.

Perhaps I was predisposed to like this blend, but it really performed admirably during the cherry blossom season. For two weeks, only my first and last bowls of the day were Royal Yacht. The rest were of First Days of Spring. I'm still smoking this blend almost exclusively upon our return. I'm currently on my third tin.

This mixture is simply pleasant. The smell out of the tin is as advertised...lovely plum. But lightly plummy. Ones fingers aren't goo encased after loading the pipe. The appearance is a stringy medium golden texture, with the occasional flake of cavendish.

I really can't comment on its loading propensities. my preferred method of packing this sort of mixture is simply to take a large pinch in the palm of my left hand and placing the bowl upside down over the tobacco, rotate the pipe across my Palm until the bowl is filled. Simple and foolproof.

Lighting is extraordinarily easy. One match, agressively used, a light tamp, and off one goes. Relights are rare.

Initial flavor is of light sweet plum and sweet Virginia tobacco. Neither seem to dominate, but meld together harmoniously. Flavor remains consistent until the bottom third, when the plum fades into the background and the overall taste becomes darker, but still pleasant.

This mixture remains consistent across the board of my chosen pipes. it was smoked in a falcon with a meerschaum bowl, a group 1 Dunhill shell briar, a pair of group three billiards and a large Tsuge Ikebana. There was little difference noted between the relative sizes.

Burns relatively cleanly and kept everyone about me happy. Not heavy on the nicotine at all. The best part is the remarkable aftertaste...pure sweet plum. No ashiness. If one happens to have a beer afterwards, you get ume-shiso, my absolute favorite japanese flavor.

This should be tried with an open mind. It frankly shocked me.

Pipe Used: various group 1-4 pipes, falcon meerschaum.

Age When Smoked: upon receipt

5 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (461)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really enjoyed this blend. I shamefully purchased all four of the Tsuge seasons mainly because I was seduced by the beautiful tin art. They really are some of the nicest looking tins I have seen and, the fact they are made by Drew Estates, put my mind at ease that it would be quality leaf and well made. The latter point being of particular interest as these were all pretty much aromatic blends and I have really enjoyed my time with all the DE aros I have tried to date.

This blend is different and kind of defies categorization in either the Vaburper and aro genres. It really crosses a bridge and will offer a nice change of pace for the fan of either. The topping is a berry flavored topping that falls well short of "gooper" status. It is lightly applied as it should be. There is no sense in putting perique in a blend if you can't taste it. And taste it you will. The perique adds that nice pepper and dried fruit taste that plays well with the topping.

The fact that there is burley and perique also gives this blend some body, but it is a far cry from a stout C&D blend. It is really well done. I am giving it three stars for my personal tastes as it is just a change of pace blend for me, but I can see this being a four star blend to the right person.

I don't know whether I will buy more, but that is more due to the fact that I probably already have more than enough aros in my cellar to last my lifetime.

2 people found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (88)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this one for two reasons: One of my favorite blends thus far is Grand Central by Drew Estate, and since Drew Estate also makes Tsuge, it seemed a good place to dabble. Secondly, it was in fact spring when I bought it and my girlfriend (decked in a Kimono) and I were going to a Japanese flower garden to view the cherry blossoms. I won't taint the review with that awesome experience, rather this is what I thought the next week.

The tin artwork, for me, was a nice change of pace from the usual English artwork themes other brands seem to use. The initial waf, was that of sick, sour, cherries (which I think always turns me off heralding back to an early childhood memory with cherry flavored medicine). Thankfully it wasn't too fruity, but the smell of earthy must reminded me a lot of Samuel Gawith's Grousemoor. Similarly, the odor goes away once smoked.

It is spongy and moist (likely changing the flavor when left to dry out), but there was no problem getting it lit and maintaining a cherry (insert pun here) straight from the tin. It leaves a sugar note on the tongue with a hint of cherry.

About a month later the cherry aroma in the tin has given way to a chocolate and more pleasant scent, perhaps upping this to 3 stars as a nice aromatic? It was a light and pleasant smoke, but nothing remarkable or close to Grand Central for complexity. I'll be happy to finish the tin, but likely won't rebuy it.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith Grousemoor.

1 person found this review helpful.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (85)
★★★★
Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is one of the best aromatics on the market. It completely surprised me in both flavor, aroma, and smoking properties. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a very floral, nutty, fruity aroma. It wasn't sickeningly sweet smelling, but very pleasant. It was at the proper moisture right out of the tin, and the cut allowed it to be packed effortlessly. It lights well every time without a fuss.

The initial taste reminds me of cherry blossoms. It has a sweet but floral hit with a bit of spice in the background. The VA's are very prominent in this blend, adding a sweet grassy flavor that perfectly captures the essence of Spring here in the mountains. The fruit flavor does not identify itself as berries, which Tsuge suggests. Instead, they come around about mid-bowl and present themselves as fresh, bright fruits instead of dark ones. The presence of Perique probably aids with this quality. It burns all the way down to a fine white ash, and leaves no aftertaste. I will be buying more of this, and I hope the other Tsuge blends are as fulfilling as this one. I recommend this to any pipe smoker, even if they are not a fan of aromatics. Good job, Tsuge!

Pipe Used: Medico, Dr. Grabow, several commissioned pieces

Age When Smoked: Fresh to 2 months

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

1 person found this review helpful.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (76)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It's not often you see an aromatic utilizing perique. I was not as thrilled with the flavoring of this blend as I was with the summer season blend. But it is still a well done, lightly topped blend. There seems to be a healthy helping of perique as evidenced by the nasal pinch and slightly sour, earthiness. Quite interesting! The topping provides higher, citrus sour notes that work in tandem with perique's natural bottom end sweetness and tartness. I'm giving 3 stars for quality and originality, but only 2 stars for my personal flavor preference...which isn't this particular topping.

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin undated

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dov of the Galilee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dov of the Galilee (30)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Well I admit it I bought it for the tin.

I like the cut of the tobacco, very pleasing to the touch. Smells good in the can but lit it gives off a strong cigarette smell

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Copper2x4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Copper2x4 (3)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tin note was delicate and almost flowery. Moisture content was spot on for me and packed well in the bowl. Initial taste was floral with a hint of fruit akin to smelling a fruit blossom where the whispers of what is to come can be sensed. About half-way down, after a relight, the plum really came through, not a syrupy fake flavor but closer to slicing the fresh fruit. Still perfectly gentle and cool burning with no bite. This was a perfect morning smoke for me and went nicely with a cup of Red Rose tea on the porch.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very pleasant blend of quality base tobaccos with a hint of berry-plum sweetness. No overdone casing or goo to speak of. Tingly spiciness on retrohale. A cedar-like taste lingers on the palate. Initial light took hold with no additional fuss all the way to the end.

Pipe Used: Neerup Classic

Age When Smoked: No clue. Recently purchased.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sound Dude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sound Dude (6)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This is the last of the Tsuge "4 seasons" blends I've tried. After the Disappointment of Winter, this blend was much better. Nice aroma upon cracking the tin greets you. It was a little on the dry side, but not by much. Packs easy, lights right up and stays lit all the way to the bottom. Very light and mild. Taste of plums - every so subtly. The description says a berry flavor, but not like Peterson's Holiday Blend which has a big berry flavor. All in all an enjoyable break from the Englishes I've been having lately.

Pipe Used: Peterson, Nording

Age When Smoked: 6 mo

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.