|Gold Standard is apparently produced by Altadis for XYZ’s Wessex brand (unlike most others in the Wessex line, which are manufactured in Germany by K&K). I probably shouldn’t mention that because I’ve encountered far too many in pipedom who seem to associate all-things Altadis with all-things bitey or chemically enhanced. Gold Standard is neither of these things.
This isn’t half bad as a medium to medium-full English. It all seems very correct with a lightly sweet Virginia base, soothing Orientals, and a modest amount of musty, smoky Latakia. The problem with all of this is that correct English blends are pretty common and unless you’re going to do it better or cheaper or you’re going to market the hell out of it, you run the risk of being a marginal member of a very large group. I’m inclined to believe that’s exactly where this tobacco is going to remain. In the Wessex catalog, I suppose it is “cheaper”—cheaper at least than the German manufactured Balkan Supreme. But it is only equal in price to many other fine, American made, correct English mixtures.
I quite like it and would have no problem buying another tin if my preferred English mixtures were all-of-a-sudden unavailable. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.