|I wonder how many people are out there, sitting with their tins of this stuff, waiting for the bank holiday weekend in June. Plus there's the ones who will keep a full tin hoping it'll be worth something in a few years. Well, I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone but, in summary, don't bother. Here's why.
I ordered this as, being an Englishman, I only thought it right to buy a tin by one of our best providers of the naughty leaf that celebrates the reign of one of our greatest monarchs. Nobly, my bank account did oblige and this, along with tins of two other tobaccos. I had actually planned to smoke this one last, but my anticipation, excitement and appreciated of SG's finest got the better and I caved in. My god, I wished I hadn't.
Upon opening said tin, I was a little disappointed at the aroma, a barely tangible scent of flat champagne was all I could discern. Packing and lighting, well, yawn, very easy as always. One of the first noticeable things about the smoke was the tonguebite, even with filters in pipe and stem. With said filters, the tonguebite isn't too bad and disappears quickly leaving that flat champagne flavour with hints of toffee and something else, might be the virginia coming through maybe. Still though, quite a pleasant, if not challenging smoke. Without any filters though, the tonguebite, while not lasting much longer, quickly kills the tastebuds so there's no possibility to get to grips with what it's really like. Worse than all this though, all flavour disappears three quarters of the way into the tin, leaving nought but fuel to keep your pipe warm.
Now, I know this all sounds like I should be giving it one star, but I did have some nice smokes when the tobacco was at it's freshest, so I think two stars is fair enough. Only the truly rank gets one star in my book. However, I am very disappointed with Samuel Gawith's for this stuff. Everything of theirs I have have tried so far has been of a high standard, in fact every SG pipe tobacco I have sampled before this I have rated four stars either first time round or on appeal after being good enough to require a second tin. This stuff is a letdown. That tonguebite for a start, I can't help thinking they put it in on purpose as if to try and give the fizzing sensation of champagne along with the taste. And the flavour, though okay doesn't really work and the tobacco struggles to raise it's head, as if it's been cured lazily. I can always tell a tobacco is not up to much when, at some point, I begin to get this nagging thought about throwing the stuff out. Needless to say, that happened here.
It is tragic that the one company I would trust to come up with a celebratory pipe smoke would be Samuel Gawiths. The real tragedy though, is those who bought this to either enjoy on the day or as investment. Bought some have you? Kept the receipt?