|I am new to pipe smoking and new to Virginia tobaccos-- so, please take what I say here with a grain of salt.
By the numbers: Flavor: 1.5/4 Burn: 3/4 Room Note: 2/4 Value: 2.5/4 AVERAGE: 2.25 = **
My first voyage into the land of pipe smoking has been a short tour of Boswell blends. I placed an order where I attempted to purchase as wide a variety of tobaccos as possible for as little money as possible. To represent the Virginia variety, I went with Boswell VA Slice.
I like all the Boswell blends I purchased-- except this one. Now, I have no way of knowing if it's just a matter of my not liking Virginia tobaccos (in which case you can't really fault it for being what it is), or if this is just not a good representation of the tobacco type. Since I have no other reference points, I have no way of knowing.
Nevertheless, my experience of this tobacco is as follows.
The tobacco came to me in kind of a broken flake form. In the bag (and now the mason jar) I am met with a pleasant sweet aroma-- not unlike dried fruit. I rub the flakes out a bit and use the air pocket method-- which seems to work pretty well for me as my pipe stays lit just fine. As I draw, I get a distinct sour taste as the smoke jets across my tongue. Not sweet or grassy or hay- like (which I are terms I have heard in connection with VA tobaccos). Just sour. Some might call it "citrus-like," but I just found it unpleasantly sour.
This blend also seems to bite more than the Boswell blends I have tried. Quite a bit more actually. This is not to say that I had a lingering biting sensation after smoking-- just that while drawing in there was a kind of burning tingle. Again, not something I particularly enjoyed.
As for the room note, I found it a bit cigarette-like while smoking, but after leaving and returning to the room, the note was pleasant and toasty.
I do not enjoy this tobacco, but, again, this could just be that I am not fond of VA blends. I am not sure. At any rate, I will not be purchasing this again.
I award a third star only in the effort to give the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps someone with more experience with VA might say it's a fine blend.