|This tobacco was a gift from an employer who didn't seem to like the smell of my non-aromatic blends. It had been given to him by his son who had visited one of the Barclay Rex shops. He had owned it for over a year before passing it on to me. He assured me that this tobacco would smell ?better? than my VA?s or Balkans.
I really don?t have specific knowledge of the age of this particular sample, other than I?ve owned it for perhaps 8 months and the previous owner had it for over a year. I don?t have any first hand knowledge of Barclay Rex other than by reputation. They are supposed to be a premium tobacconist in NYC. I have no idea how they blend, if they blend, or if their tobaccos are renamed Lane or Consolidated tobaccos.
Appearance: Mostly ribbon cut bright and reddish Virginia and toasted Cavendish. The tobaccoreviews.com description says it contains ?not much burley? and I really can?t visually detect any. Even after over 1 ½ years in a Barclay Rex zip lock baggie, it is still moist to the touch (danger Will Robinson). The cut is fairly uniform and pleasant enough to look at, from yellowish flakes through browns to nearly black.
Tin aroma: This blend smells like it is mostly topped (cased) with vanilla, though there are other components that I?m unable to properly identify. It smells rather odd, perhaps Brandy or Rum, hard to say. There is also an odd ?chemical smell? to it PG or some other humectants? The over all tobacco smell is of perfumed Cavendish, very little of the Virginia and none of the Burley come through.
This stuff packs easily but watch it, like other goopy aromatics, you can easily pack it too tight. Lighting is about what you might expect for a ?goopy aromatic? it takes several applications of flame to really get it burning evenly. After the first tamp, you should be well on your way to mediocrity. Initial flavor is of vanilla ? maple casing with as yet unidentifiable other components, with toasted Cavendish being the main tobacco player.
Mid Bowl: This turns out to be a fairly pleasant smoke about mid-bowl. The humectants and casing agents settle down and some of the Virginia and Burley start coming through. The aromatic properties never truly go away and being a very moist tobacco, I?ve found that I generally soil 2-3 pipe cleaners getting to the bottom of this blend. The Room Note seems pleasant enough, for your non smoking friends. My LSW reports that it smells ?better? than most of my smokes, but not as good as Evening Stroll by Benjamin Hartwell.
Home Stretch: The mid-bowl glory has faded considerably, and this is becoming too muddled. Where many blends are truly coming ?into their own? here we descend into pipe madness and muddy aromatic confusion. No single components stand out anymore and an odd chemical taste (as smelled in the tin aroma) is becoming pronounced. Eventually this becomes a goopy un-light able mess of dottle.
Supplemental Notes: I have had this particular sample (perhaps 2 ounces) for 8 months and have smoked it at least 1 dozen times in various pipes. The result is nearly always the same; I enjoy maybe 10-15 minutes at mid-bowl and end up with about 1/5 of a bowl of goopy dottle. I also get the added benefit of having to thoroughly clean the pipe afterward, to insure that my next bowl does not taste like Marvilla. Rating for those interested in numbers 1/2 * (1/2 a star)