|This is a rather ordinary and often duplicated presentation of Turkish/Oriental/Virginia leaf. Still, G.L. Pease has managed to add his own special touches that makes this one a cut above the rest.
The somewhat ticklish Virginia base put me off a bit, but a subdued puffing cadence did help me manage to keep the heat down. If you enjoy light Latakia flavor, then this will probably suit your palate.
As is the case with most Pease blends, this one arrived at the right moisture content and burned with no trouble.
|The smell of the unsmoked tobacco -- what Cubans call ?fumar al crudo? (raw smoking) ? is almost buttery, with hints of cedar. Certainly, this a variation from the traditional olfactory notes found in a typical English blend.
In the pipe, the smoker is treated to almost cigar like beginnings with luscious chocolate notes. Here, the marriage between Latakias and Virginias is close to being almost perfect, both tobaccos express themselves in unison, though on different registers. Though, as one has come to expect -- alas -- by now with Pease blends, the shrillness of the Virginias will make itself heard. And it will burns hot and scorch your tongue, unless you savor it very, very slowly.
If you do smoke it slowly, the experience is interesting because varied; some notes evoke English Forest soil covered in wet leaves. Then, in a puff, you move to burning leaves in autumn, and it gets stronger still.
This is a blending masterpiece, though maybe unwittingly so: by virtue of being so rare and valuable, Southlinch has had time to age and the virgnias are not so hot as to make the experience unpleasant... Or maybe it was all planned that way....
Southlinch will immensly benefit from further aging and I strongly recommend waiting until 2010 before opening your tin if you have one or more. So for smoking today (2005) I rate as "recommended" or three stars. Rendez-vous in 2010 for the upgrade!