|Compton's Compendium: A tasting journey through each of Maxim Engel's Compton's Blends.
The pouch aroma is wonderful. The campfire smokiness is palpable but this is in no way a Latakia bomb – not even close. Moisture is perfect, providing the quintessential “springiness” upon loading. In other words, not too dry, but the ribbons also do not stick together. From the photo, it seems the three weeds are plainly visible: the black Latakia, the dark reddish-brown Virginias and the tan-greenish Orientals.
It takes the fire well, and requires a very minimum of relights. A couple false lights helps to toast the surface and prepare for a good burn. I usually don’t burn my bowls to the very bottom because the last 10% seems a little too bitter for me, but it seems it would burn down to the bottom cleanly and easily if I allowed it.
As for flavor, there’s a lot there, even though I don’t place this in the “full” category. As an English blend it’s mild to medium, not unexpected with the 50% Virginias in the formula. The Latakia is present, but not strong, so it’s more like a condiment than a major player. A lot of character comes from the orientals. The dark Virginias are not as sweet as most, so there is only some lingering background sweetness at times but overall it’s a rather “dry” smoke in wine terms.
What really stands out about Regimental Mixture is its perfect balance. No single flavor really dominates at any time. The overall flavor has a unique identity that comes from – and exceeds – the sum of its parts. All the components cooperate so well together that it creates a wonderful flavor that can’t be blamed on any one of the ingredients. It’s a bit smoky, with some herbal undertones from the Orientals, along with a good sturdy background of Virginias.
I put this in the same category as some light to medium English blends like McClelland’s Anniversary, not because of similarities in flavor, but because it’s mostly Virginia (Regimental is 50% VA while Anniversary is Virginia that is “lightly seasoned” with Latakia) with other leaf providing flavor and depth.
Even though this style of blend is not my favorite, this is by all means a four star mixture. It’s one of the best all-day smokes I’ve encountered because of it medium strength, great flavor and good behavior. Consistent in virtually every pipe I tried, and relatively consistent from first match to last draw.
Four stars. A great way to begin the Compton’s Compendium!