|On a recent trip to Manhattan, my wife brought back for me several tins of Nat Sherman tobacco. One of them, 580, turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable mild Virginia.
Tin tin aroma is almost non-existant, with only the faintest bit of vanilla and some other earthy note. Packing the bowl was very easy, facilitated by the ease of getting the tobacco out of the tin. Lightly rubbing two fingers over the dense packed tin caused the ribbon cut to almost shed from the tin. Lighting was simple and straight forward.
The tobacco is well behaved while smoking, not being too wet or too hot. The flavor is straight Virginia not adulterated by any other tobacco or topping. In comparison to other virginias, it is relatively mild, but very pleasant. It is perhaps a better all day smoke than FVF or Marlin Flake, both of which I prefer in flavor, but can only smoke one bowl per day.
|Nat Sherman, Tobacconist to the World's elegant Fifth Avenue establishment is one of the High Places of smoking New York. His proprietary blends, all named after Famous Spots in the Great Metropolis of the American Empire, are fun. The tins are illustrated with pictures of the landmarks after which the blends are named, see? Neat Idea.
Howsoever that may be, though, I am not much for house blends. I just am not at all seduced by someone's Coco Loco mixture?which is probably someone else's Banana Daiquirí mixture. House blends are more often than not generic mélanges that industrial blenders, like Cornell & Diehl et al., provide to any number of mall-and-shopping-center practitioners, who then name them whatever their fancy strikes them. Cherry Rum Jambalia.
So when the nice lady at Sherman's suggested that I might require some tobacco as well?I had just bought a garnet-coloured, sunrise-grained Savinelli Punto Oro that immediately became a treasured favourite?I demurred. Still, since I AM a perfect gentleman, and she WAS wearing some ineffable Guerlain parfum that always gives me a giddy tingling directly south of the solar plexus, I said, with Manly Tone: "give me whatever you have that's pure Virginia". And so I got 580. And nothing else.
When I poked my nose into the nylon sachet full of golden tinsel, I thought that she had given me a helping of vanilla custard pudding by mistake. I almost tossed the whole thing into the nearest KEEP NOO YAWK CLEAN receptacle. Still, here I was, with a brand new purple pipe in my pocket, and nothing to stuff into it. I decided to give the Virgin Vanilla mixture a try.
Surprise. Amazement. Here was the real flavour of...tobacco. Naturally sweet, naturally mild, not bland, chewy, cashew-nut Virginia flavour. QUITE delicious. Not-at-all cloying. Not biting. Talk of judging a book by its cover! This almost reminded me of the old, beloved SOBRANIE "Pure Virginia" Flake (in the green étui, remember?)
I cannot taste the casing at all. I surmise that it is a mild sweetener, with a completely unnecessary topping. Leave out the twinky top spray, and this would be a classic. May be, like perfume, it will evapourate...