|"Mountain Village" most likely is the simple translation of the name of Dan Pipe's former place of business, the town of Bergedorf which is now part of Hamburg, Germany. How the place got its name is a mystery; there certainly aren't any mountains nearby.
That is history. This blend is not. Opening the tin, my nose was greeted by the sweet grassiness I expect of matured VAs, with a touch extra that seemed promising. The leaf is about 50/50 of a mid-sized ribbon cut with the other half being a ready-rubbed flake, with some larger pieces of the flake to be found throughout the tin. I had to look for the BC and Perique, but it can be found without having to resort to a microscope.
Stuffing and lighting is easy; a single char should do. From then, it's a fresh VA-with-sweetness taste with a nice, bright room note that will last throughout the bowl; towards the middle, the Perique makes an appearance and adds a little spice and a note of freshness; the sweetness deepens a little towards the end. I believe there is at least some Oriental in there, too, adding spice and sweetness.
The smoke tickles the nose in a delightful way; I am tempted to use the word "bubbly" as in Champagne for this 'baccy. A delightfully bright, light yet full blend containing nothing but honest tobacco. Beautiful!
|Tin Aroma: mmmm, sweet and spicy, just the way it ought to be! The Virginias in here are massive, and immediately strike me as high quality. The perique adds a spicy, sourish note that really does go nicely with the Virginias. I have trouble picking out the Cavendish in this blend, except for maybe lending something to the overall sweetness of the aroma.
Physical Appearance: A light colored, short ribbon cut, in what I guess could be called a Scottish style. The Cavendish is a bit more noticeable looking at this blend than smelling it, being the few dark pieces I see strewn around the tin. Dan Tobacco does pack their tobacco a bit moist for me, so I always let this air out for a bit before smoking it, but once aired, it packs like a dream, and holds its' shape remarkably well during the charring light, unlike some Virginia blends that are so moisture laden as to balloon to three times their own size during the charring light. Once lit, it burns pleasantly slow and even, leaving behind a rather large portion of fluffy, mottled grey ash.
Notes: This is a Virginia blend, make no mistake about it. The Cavendish seems to be nigh on nonexistant here, except to impart a 'roundness' to the smoke that seems a bit out of place at first, but becomes less noticeble as the bowl progresses. Easy burning qualities and a pretty high nicotine content make this an ideal first bowl of the morning blend, though I enjoy it at almost any time of day. I find a nice dark roastred coffee to be the perfect accompaniment to this blend, though a more medicinal Scotch, such as Bowmore also goes nicely with it.
Verdict: I am not a big fan of Virginia blends, the vast majority of them being, to me, one dimensional, and lacking in the midrange and bass, as it were. Solway blend overcomes these categorical shortcomings, and joins the short list of Virginias I will happily smoke, along with Orlik's Golden Sliced and Reiner's Long Golden Flake.