|The tin arrived with no professional label on it. Instead, it was apparently an inkjet-printer generated ill-fitting sticker that hung over the sides of the tin. Inside, there was a simple plastic bag that held the flakes, which occupied only about half of the SG-sized tin. I have to say I was disappointed by this presentation of a high-priced blend.
The flakes were loosely formed, about the right moisture level, slightly mottled, mostly dark brown. The aroma was, and still is, unusual to me. I keep thinking "oranges". It's not overly strong, but I can't quite place it, other to say that it seems more citrus-like rather than a raisiny-VA aroma.
I've only had a couple of bowls so the flavor comments are very tentative.
On first light, there is a definite floral/soapy Lakeland note. This stays throughout the bowl to one degree or another. There seems to be a definite topping or casing which add a light, citrus-like(?), note to the flavor. The VA seems to be a steady, dark base which is fairly constant in flavor. I don't have a good comparison; I'd say its darker than Marlin Flake, but not nearly as dark as FVF.
There is little sweetness (which is fine by me). Normally a flake of this nature would bite me quite a bit, especially since I overdried a couple of bowls of flakes to crispness. But there is virtually no bite. Between the lack of bite and the smokey bass notes, I have to guess there is perique here, but I'm not a VA/P expert.
The room note is medium, typically VA but with interesting notes (presumably from the toppings/casings) that kept me going back to smell the smoke as it wafted up. Along with the subtleties in the flavorings, this adds interest to the experience. I think without these features, this blend would be a rather dull smoke.
The flavoring is a bit odd, and the Lakeland note has its share of both fans and detractors. However, I think I am warming up to this blend. It is interesting, full, and well-behaved. As it stands, I doubt I'll buy it again, given the price, along with this not being quite my kind of blend.