|This is very certainly the first english blend I tried. it was brought back to me as a gift from a previous girlfriend's uncle.
The first thing I noticed upon opening was a strong cigarette-ish tin aroma. Then I saw the beautiful long cut tobacco and decided to try it.
Being new at English blends, i returned back to my cased tobaccos but this one planted the seed that inevitably led me to VA/PER and English types of tobaccos a few years after that.
I digress...I recommend it but, as pointed out by Pipestud, you can't try it!
|Once again, a classic blend no longer produced...Sigh.
Down the Road Mixture is a spicy Orientals blend with what appears to be a lot of bright. Due to the fact that my tin was quite aged, the smoke was smooth as a baby's bottom. Upon initial lighting my nostrils tingled with the spice of the Orientals, but the smoke soon settled down and purred like a kitten all the way to the bottom of the bowl with nothing but beautiful white ash remaining.
Down the Road Mixture has a slight sweetness and I never tasted even a hint of Latakia, although that leaf is listed as a component. The nicotine level was high enough to be felt and I really enjoyed the cool, clean taste of the Virginia leaf from top to bottom. This blend does not really change much as it is consumed, but that's okay. The initial flavor was not one I wanted to disappear anyway.
If you can find a tin of this old classic, grab it.
|Aspect: upon opening the tin you immediatly notice the absence of black leaves( very little Latakia here): the colour is a mix of pale/ medium Virginias and brown to green Orientals. The cut is a medium short ribbon, with some longer and larger part.
Smell: very light, you immediatly identify the Oriental leaf from its typical spiced flavour. No trace of external toppings and no hint of dried fruits, molasses or whatever, just plain tobacco: a good clue of quality.
Packing and lighting: the moisture in the tin is almost perfect, I just left the tin open for about 15 minutes and it was perfect. Due to the cut, packing and lighting are easy.
Smoking: the first impact is with the Oriental flavour, spiced, a little acrid, that invades your nose. The body is really light. The Virginia taste arrives later, but not with their usual sweetness and strenght, everything remains in the mild department with an almost cigarettish feel. Latakia still not present at all. This blend is very "dry", in the sense that lacks any roundness and leaves your mouth clean and (exactly) dry. Had it a little more of Latakia leaf it would be a fine mild English mixture, in the line of Davidoff Royalty or Rattray's red Rapparee; like it is, it's more of a VA.Oriental blend. The burning is very regular and even, surprisingly cool and dry (considering the leaves involved) and you won't need to relight more than, maybe, one time. The taste doesn't build up in a great evolution but it keeps to the end of the bowl, a clear symptom that the leaves are of good quality; the only evolution is that towards the end of the bowl the body strenghtens a little.
All in all a good tobacco, especially in the early morning when your tastebuds are clean, fresh and ready to appreciate the delicacy of this blend.