|This is a true medium blend, which artfully combines the best of English and American styles. The medium width ribbons aare nicely variegated in color, and very even in texture. The aroma is spicy and smokey, like a properEnlish blend, but with a nutty note of good Burley. The Perique does show up in the pouch aroma. There is no excessive use of PG to the touch.
The blend packs and lights well, yielding a smooth tasty smoke with some slight complexity. Mostly it produces a well mingled flavor of all the ingreients in an old-fashioned manner. Very well behaved, and smooth on the tongue. If it were a food, it would be "comfort food".
|Maagde paetje, Girls' Path, is what the Dutch called the grassy foot-path bordering the brook that ran from Nassau Street to the East River. Servant girls were always to be seen there, on the brook bank, washing and bleaching clothes. The "scrubbing Dutch"! In the evening, the maidens' path became lovers' lane.
Today's Maiden Lane still follows the tortuous course of the olden brook, one of many narrow, mysterious little streets that make up New York's financial district, in Downtown Manhattan. Generations of New York smokers would haunt Maiden Lane, however, not for the girls, but because Barclay-Rex Tobacco Blenders, "Pipes Repaired While You Wait", stood regally at No. 7 for untold decades. Silver-haired types, from the great money-changing enterprises; dapper clubmen on their way to luncheon in wainscotted splendour; younger men trying to appear soigné—all kinds and conditions, and your teen-aged humble servant, too, were to be seen there, oggling the beautiful pipes and the scrumptious tobacco in the crystal jars.
Wall Street has changed much; the patrician financier is not often to be seen, outside the novels of Louis Auchincloss; but Barclay-Rex, now at a spanking new, yuppy location at 75 Broad Street, goes on forever. Founded by Vincent Nastri in 1910, it is a testimonial to the continuity and cultural stability of a Great City—a great Puritan metropolis of Commerce, Learning, and Serious Pleasure.
Maiden Lane Blend is the only relic of the old Barclay-Rex, a perfect Anglo-American mixture from the time when, with very few exceptions, only Anglo-Americans fitted-in the Wall Street milieu. The Anglo part is in the virginia-latakia-turkish ritual; the American burley addition, something the real English would never do, lending the whole composition a simplicity and clarity that I would almost call democratic.
If your palate has been confused or surfeited by too much complexity; if you are tired of singular sensations and want to get back to the real taste of tobacco; or if you have neglected smoking in the busy throng of occurrences, and wish to be reminded of why you took up pipe smoking in the first place, by all means give Maiden Lane Blend a try. It is good, clean taste, up-front, no-nonsense flavour, and will make any bloated pipe snap out of it. And it is my blend of choice to take on trips, because it goes with everything and everybody. Especially dry gin.
The Blend for All Seasons.