|Opening a 1 1/2 year old tin of Cornell & Diehl's First Responders revealed coarse cut ribbons that were dominated with hues of brown with slivers of yellow, black, and blue. It was a little dry to the touch, but I like my tobacco a little dry, and it had the initial odor of dark chocolate. As I really got my nose into the tin a more smoked chocolate smell came through. If I could eat a brownie that smelled like this closer tin aroma, I would be a happy man.
An unlit sip consistently brought a sweet taste to my lips, but the initial light seemed to be inconsistent based on pipe/packing method. At times it was sweet, and at times it was spicy hot. Neither was bad. Overall it was a good dark and toasty smoke, with spiciness and sweetness vying for my attention. The best smoke I had with this was in a an old Jobey billiard that I typically just smoke when it's handy. This old billiard had me paying attention to it for the first time in years thanks to this tobacco. In this pipe there was an oily feel to the smoke, like some of my favorite maduro cigars. The finish was pretty unnoticeable to me for the most part, except in the Jobey where the oiliness lingered. I was told that the room note was very pleasant and it was described as a spicy tastiness.
First Responders grew on me over the course of smoking it. At first I didn't expect much and didn't get much, but as I tried it in more pipes and found one that it would sing it, it very much earned my appreciation. I think anyone who enjoys a spicy and sweet combination in a medium strength blend would enjoy this very much. I know I will be buying more, if nothing else to give my old Jobey something to do besides take up rack room.
|Looks like Tribute in the tin and smells like it as well. Same notes of dark chocolate but a bit less musty. Same mottled appearance and same wide choppy ribbon.
Taste-wise, it's clear to me that this is a fresh example of GLP Tribute. The blend has the same flavor characteristics of dark and toasty virginias with a touch of perique spice. But the flavor is a little rougher, a little less mature, as if the flavors simply haven't melded quite yet. Then again, it's youthful vigor might be just what some smokers want. It certainly appears to me to be the same recipe. I plan to age my other tin of this and see. But if you've missed out on Tribute, fear not. This one should fill the void quite nicely. It just needs a bit of seasoning in your cellar. Give it 6-12 months and enjoy.