|Like all the Carey tobaccos I've tried, a bit on the dry side, but that doesn't seem to affect its performance. I'm not generally a great fan of aromatics, but this sounded intriguing from the catalogue description. Appearance: browns and black, fairly coarse cut. Smell in the pouch: fruity. Taste: fruity, vanilla and honey. Not as markedly aromatic as some aros, and a very pleasant, medium-strength smoke, which I will probably return to.
|Tobacco arrives in a generic, blue plastic pouch and is well sealed.
The tobacco was dry out of the bag, and did not hold together when pinched.
Aroma out of the pouch is sweet, giving me vanilla, cherry and perhaps even prunes, and promises a sweet smoke, which is usually my preference.
I usually don’t like dry tobacco, associating dryness with too much heat, but loaded a medium, tapered Westbrook and lit up anyway. First impressions were of some nice flavours, quite sweet and mild with some spice, but not the full Cavendish experience I was hoping for, and not particularly in line with the pouch aroma, reminding me of an aromatic like Peterson’s Special Reserve 2011. However, after only a few minutes my pipe was almost too hot to hold, and the smoke I was only sipping by then became harsh so I stopped my trial, deciding it was just too dry, and that some rehydrating was required.
I emptied the pouch into a plastic dish and placed a piece of wet cotton over it for about 3 hours, after which it just about passed the pinch test.
Test 2. This time I tried a medium Invicta billiard, packed the tobacco much tighter and with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, put match to bowl. I got pretty much the same experience but with some improvement in temperature. This time it burned a little damp, but nothing drastic, and I was able to complete my bowl. Flavours developed somewhat but nothing profound, though quite strong cigar flavours did come through, which I don’t really like much, so I imagine I will smoke this tobacco occasionally and perhaps in a smaller bowl, allowing the last 25% to go to waste, which I don’t have a problem with. (I never really understood those who feel as if they are somehow ‘letting the side down’ if they don’t burn every last molecule of tobacco. For me, pipe smoking is a pleasure not a duty. If I stop enjoying a bowl, I stop smoking it.) This won’t become a favourite for me, but an occasional smoke, and I might add a little black cherry, or rum mix for richness. I’ll probably store it in a jam jar with a large hunk of orange peel. Nothing to get overexcited about for me, but some nice flavours. Room note – sweet-ish but not of anything in particular; wouldn’t charm a non-smoker. 2 stars only.