|During a recent trip to New York City I visited the Barclay-Rex store on Lexington Ave. The Manager, Bill, was very gracious and patient while I purchased a beautiful Tim West pipe (for a very fair price) and offered me a bowl of Vincent's blend.
The tobacco has a nice visual appeal and a wonderful aroma. The blend is composed of Latakia and Orientals in a coarse ribbon cut with a generous amount of stoved Virginias as large pieces of broken flake. The moisture content was OK and the blend packed well into the pipe.
First impression - this stuff is pretty good; a great balance of the smoky Latakia and tangy Orientals with just the right touch of natural sweetness from the stoved Virginia. As I smoked down the bowl the flavors deepened and matured but did not change significantly or get bitter. The tobacco burned well down to a fine grey ash.
I like this blend and would not hesitate to smoke it on a regular basis. The flavor is reminicent to me of the "original" Rattray's Highland Targe with a bit more Virginia presence. I have since smoked a couple of ounces of this blend and I think it will get added to the regular rotation.
|Vincent Nastri was Barclay-Rex' legendary founder, c. 1910. ("Barclay" because the shop was then on Barclay Street. "Rex" was Mr Nastri's giant Schnauzer.)
This is a perfectly decent, mild-mannered English blend, no frills, light-medium.
If I were a normal person working at the NYC financial district, instead of a tobacco snob sampling hundreds of blends I hate, there is no reason why I wouldn't regularly pick up some of this pleasant, inexpensive stuff. Generations of smart people have done precisely that, let me tell you. A common-sense choice.