|Update: I had to update this review and downgrade my rating, unfortunately. One problem is there's too much humectant for a English style mixture. This level of pg would be ok in an aromatic, where you have to have pg to carry the casing. The other problem is..there are other Perique skewed mixtures that are more interesting to me (Bayou Night, Irish Oak, even Haddos).
I have never before given a four star rating to an Altadis blend, at least I don't think so. This is, for me, somewhere between four and five stars, so I'm going to bump it up.
As a fan of the old Elizabethan, Royal Yacht and more recently, Peterson's Irish Oak, I feel confident in putting this offering in or right near that group, although it is a bit more American in character.
One thing this is not, is a typical Va/Per.
It does not deliver a boatload of Perique like Irish Oak, but it is noticable, slightly peppery, slightly figgy tasting. It likes to be smoked slowly, not packed too tight, and it comes too moist in the tin.
The other reviewer was spot on in comparing this somewhat to Royal Yacht, although milder. The darkned tobaccos in this, are very smooth, a bit muted. There is not the depth of VA nuance that there is in the old RY or even Irish Oak. However, there is a very nice, under the radar, aromatic component of some kind, that to me tastes like burnt marshmellows. Maybe this is the unflavored black Cavendish. And there is the goodness of Perique. And this contrast provides the interest in this.
In any event, this is worth trying for Perique lovers. It does not overwhelm, is not confusing, and very pleasing. Those looking for some Virginia with their Perique won't find it here, and they should look at Navy Rolls and the many similar tasting high quality blends.
The blend works by combining the rounded, slightly sweet taste of unflavored Cavendish with the spice of Perique. Don't overlook this one, if you're a fan of English style tobaccos with Perique. Aromatic lovers will be dissapointed.
|Sniffing this long-cut, fine ribbon blend betrays the distinctive aroma of white burley and a small amount of sweetness, both natural and added. Fruity aromas are almost absent.
The flavor follows the aroma. This is primarily a dry and earthy smoke with copious amounts of white burley along with a muted sweetness from golden virginias and natural black (burley?) cavendish. The contribution from the perique is noticeable, though secondary.
Golden Age is a satisfying and easy-going blend with a generously rugged and voluptuously sweet flavor that bears no immediately obvious resemblance to Elizabethan Mixture. This seemed best in a narrow to medium gauge chamber.