|Update January 2011: My favourites now are BBF, Flake medallions and Holker Twist, but I can still recommend Flowers of Ireland to Virginia lovers to try for yourself!
Synjeco’s blurp almost made me pass over Flowers of Ireland as I normally prefer natural tobaccos without any (discernable) flavouring. The mention of ‘slight’ before the words ‘top flavour (honey)’ however convinced me to try it, though I strongly suspected I would not like it. Also I don’t particularly like flowers.
Opening the pouch, the clear smell of honey slightly worried me, but I was agreably surprised by the flower scent. Pleasant and very natural. Not synthetic, nor a whiff of toilet refreshener about it... Synjeco’s description does not mention any additions apart from the honey, so how this tobacco ends up smelling like flowers baffles me.
The neatly cut flakes come in several shades of brown, ranging from very light to darkbrown: the overall appearence is of medium brown.
Using the fold and stuff method, Flowers of Ireland is very easy to load. With a few crumbs on top, first light is a doddle, giving a beautiful and evenly glowing layer. With most other flakes I have not had such a successful first go!
Taste on lighting up is pleasantly sharp with a tobaccoey taste. The beautiful white smoke tingles a bit in the nose making one want more...
Second light is just as easy, smooth sailing from now on. The pure tobacco taste with a very faint but pleasant hint of flowers is rounded of to a subtle sweet aftertaste of honey, a very pleasant smoke to blow out through the nose. Even inhaling (I know, I know...) is a pleasingly mellow experience. I did not experience any tongue burn either.
Flowers of Ireland has become the first tobacco I think of when I crave a pipe. In this respect I should perhaps mention that I normally have about ten open tins to choose from.
This is the first tobacco which reminded me straight away of Longbottom Leaf! Peaceful campfires keeping orcs at distance spring to my mind :)
Highly recommended, try it for yourself!