|update: having become better acquanted with the sam gawith va flakes, this blend pales somewhat. when lighting and smoking it, it becomes obvious that some casing (or perhaps top-flavouring, but the note remains throughout the pipefull) is present, and the virginia taste isn't as rich as in those. downgraded one star.
03/20/2007 medium golden-brown coarsely rubbed flake. not all that well stripped.
tin aroma: classical old school astley's virginia flake: dried fruit, a hint of balsamic vinegar and hay. i've always loved that smell and its promise of well matured, flue cured tobacco. don't know why kohlhase and kopp describe it as air cured...
packs well. lights easily. burns fine from second lighting, with at taste that is sweet, pure, slightly zesty and quite rich, though rather monocromatic virginia. i have smoked this tobacco for near on 20 years, and i remember how much stronger it was back then, but it is still a very nice afternoon tobacco.
i think it may well benefit from a year of storing - or ten! - but it is delightful as it is.
ps: for some reason, astley's #33 is only sold in denmark, whereas #44 is only sold in the usa.