|I got Taste Master as an early Christmas gift, together with Best of the Show. For a moment I had visions of Chocolate and Ketchup, and was not sure of opening the tins. Overcoming my initial fear, I ventured into the contents and was greeted by a nice surprise. I hadn?t had this type of heavily steam-cased leaf in a long time.
Chunky bits of jet-black, shiny leaf, splattered with some golden bits, making a lovely contrast. Highly aromatic (nay, pungent), the chocolate-dry raisings-plumb aroma jumps at your nostrils and knocks you out! Wow! I guess if you are an aromatic lover this must be manna! I wouldn?t classify this as your typical drug store aromatic blend. Though moist and sweet, the tobacco is neither syrupy nor sticky. In fact, it is easy to light, and the first puffs yield a rather cool and rich smoke, not entirely sweet. This blend has a rather bittersweet smoky under taste which can be very palatable and not at all cloying.
The aroma is indeed very strong, but tolerable and for many non-smokers it?s even pleasant. The wife loved it. The taste is not as sweet in the smoke as it is in the tin. It burns pretty well, and surprisingly slowly for a steam-cased concoction. The flavor is consistent throughout the bowl, and can be monochromatic, but it?s rich, without the slightest speck of tongue bite, and mild. There?s a certain carbon like note, not at all unpleasant.
This is a very high quality aromatic, in a completely different league compared to the traditional drug store blends. In spite of having the typical flavor of steam-cased Burleys (1Q and Black Natural come to mind), the added dark chocolate sauce gives this one a meatier edge, and you can smoke it rather frequently. I liked Taste Maste much better than Best of the Show, precisely because of this quality.
Personally I don?t enjoy McClelland?s straight Virginias, and I haven?t had the courage to try their Orientals, but this one at least seems like very nice aromatic blend, adequate for the season, and a once-in-a- while change of pace. Though this type of blend helps build a quick carbon layer in the pipe, and does not leave an excessively strong aroma, it?s advisable to set aside a pipe, keeping your Virginia and Oriental briars from the inevitable aroma contamination.
|08-24-04 This is definitely a high quality aromatic! I love chocolate, let's see what this one did.
Appearance and Tin aroma: Black and Tan leaf, CHOCOLATE!!!
Packing and Lighting: easy, two lights typical in spite of the moisture.
Initial Flavor: somewhere between expresso and chocolate.
Mid-bowl: Round chocolate flavor, leaf peaks through now and then.
End of Bowl: A little build up of strength, still can't discern leaf too much, a little dottle if smoked slowly, lots if rushed.
Overall: I liked this much more than town topic, but I still got nipped on the tongue in spite of slow-puffing. The quest for the perfect aromatic will not end here....
Rating 3.5 out of 5 Points