|In the bag, X-10 is a soft brown ribbon, pliant but not sticky or wet, with an understated aroma of hot cocoa. The taste and aroma in the bowl is very faithful to the aroma in the bag - hot chocolate, chocolate wafer cookies, and hints of hazelnut. None of these are overtly artificial-tasting or overbearing.
X-10 is a nice, simple, velvety sweet smoke by itself and fun to blend with other tobaccos. I like to add a little to homemade VA blends to lend some extra suppleness and nuttiness. I added a pinch of Perique and chopped cigar to X-10 also, on a weird lark, and actually really liked that.
In the "Truth in Advertising" dept., though, as has been pointed out, I'm not too sure this is "Unflavored" as McC purports it to be. The suggestion of Swiss Miss seems to contraindicate that. Either way, I like it.
2.647 straight and 3.12 as a blender.
|I don't see how this could be described as uncased, natural, or "no added aroma." In the bag, it smells just like sweet chocolate. It has a mahogany complexion and a very wide ribbon cut.
Taste: not much, very slight bite. It may be the VA or added sugar that seems to DGT towards the end of the bowl.
Aroma: light chocolate burley
Nicotine: mild to moderate
Overall: On its own merit, not much to it. It must be the VA mix that gives the small depth.
|ADDENDUM: The philosopher said "You can never step into the same water once." That is true of tobacco as well. The very act of interacting with the world changes the world and the actor. I was so impressed with X-10 that I recently bought a pound. It was not the remarkable experience I first had. The tobacco was more moist and felt a little sticky. But the big disappointment was in the smoking. That wonderful toasty, nutty taste I first enjoyed was not there. Was it the weather? The time of year? My mental state? The state of my oral hygiene? The tobacco? It is unfortunate. Well, my first time with X-10 gave me a pleasant recollection of my father. That was worth it. I must moderate my initial appraisal, however.
This is a very nice tobacco, very enjoyable to smoke. "Naturally rich and nutty in flavor" describes the experience well. As I smoked this tobacco I began to think of my father. He was a child of the depression and served in WW II as an underwater demolition expert with the Naval Amphibious Forces in the Pacific.
He was a carpenter, building things until his death. He was a gentle man with an earthy, sometimes vulgar sense of humor. He once said that if he had been born a girl there would have been a whore in the family, as he just couldn't say no to anyone. He was generous to anyone who needed a hand.
This Burley ribbon is also generous, "easy" if you will. It is easy to pack in the pipe. It is easy to light. It is easy to keep burning. It is easy to like. The slightly sweet, nutty natural flavor are evident. And they remain there throughout the bowl. Like my father, it is straight forward, pleasant, good natured and easy to be around.
As I progressed through the bowl, the mild, light sweetness becomes darker, heavier, more like brown sugar. The sugars are no doubt carmelizing. All of this is the tobacco. No casing was detected. I smoke it to the bottom of the bowl and experience no bite.
I did not know what to expect with this tobacco. So, I purchased only 2 ounces. They are gone now. I am going back for more.
Before closing I would like to share a true story about my father. I grew up on a dairy farm. My father kept a bull, before going to a breeding service ("ABS the Champagne of bottled bull" was their motto for many years.).
One spring my father put the cows out in the barnyard with a new, young bull. The bull apparantly suffered from performance anxiety, forgot about the cows, put his head down and charged my dad, who was leaning beside the barn door.
He reached inside the barn door, grabbed a wiffle tree. (A wiffle tree is part of a horse harness, 3-4 feet of oak with steel rings and collars at each end.) Just as the bull was almost on my father, the wiffle tree came crashing down between his ears. The bull went down and laid at my father's feet, blood coming out of his mouth, nose and ears.
The bull finally got up and staggered off. My father laughted about the incident saying, "After that, if I'd told the s.o.b. to climb the ladder into the haymow he would have tried!" He was like that until his death. He was hospitalized, in a coma. We had come, expecting him to die, as did his doctor. I saw him open his eyes, look around and exclaim, "It almost had me that time, but I'm not done yet." He did die a few weeks later, my mother with him. She was concerned about his soul and he gently assured her that he was going to be alright. And he died. Gutsy, good humored and gentle. Kind of like this tobacco. That's why I'll buy some more.