|RATTRAYS RED RAPPAREE 50g round tin.
The name didn't mean anything and i don't know what a rapparee is,all i could think of was "little red rooster" by 'The Rolling Stones',a jamboree fanfare,or bagpipes marching tune.
Popping open the 50g round tin,the tin note is slightly reminicent of 'Punchbowle' a sort of smokey/light creosote with a fermented mango sour fruit pickle.
Appearance of tin contents is a tan/gingery brown for the main, with some bright lemon flecks,dark brown flecks,and the odd small broken flake traces. Mainly a fine ribbon short cut/rough cut.
Loading up in an unsmoked vintage 'Duncan Delta'aluminium stem system pipe, with moisture trap stem(simular to a falcon). This pipe has a 3mm diameter draught smoke tube which should give a concentrated taste not far away from my old clay pipes i'm hopeing.
Inhaling through the as yet unlit pipe for a guess taste, i get a dryish, woody oak sherry barrel, tangy-tan tobacco clue,which tastes like a serious medium weight tobacco, not dissimular to Petersons Irish Oak at this point actually.(I had been trying a new tin of Irish Oak just before this trial).
Lighting up i immediately get a slight herby onions from the oriental/or turkish within.No applied aromatic properties are in this,it seems like a strait natural tobacco and the fruity tin aroma may just be an accidental scent of the natural ingredients.
The strength picks up after the first 1/4"inch of combustion to deliver a vegetable soup tang akin to minestrone,,,swede?,,leek?,,vegetable stock?,, winter vegetables? which have maintained their natural raw rooty earthy mineral soil/tannin tangyness...
Comparisons at this point are somewhere between Dunhill LONDON MIXTURE,Robert McConnels's 'The Original ORIENTAL',but not quite as smokey or herbaceous(at this point).
Quite fullish taste,it doesn't taste airy,empty or gappy where i need to argue with it,or want to fill a taste gap,but light enough like an approachable soup compared to a full bloating vegetable stew(alegorically speaking of course).
I can't say i am blown away, but that doesn't mean anything is wrong,its just that the more brands i smoke,i feel i have met this one before and that it exists within certain quintessential discovered pillars i am already familiar with,and doesn't for me on this occasion offer any real new novelty.
Like meeting a friend you haven't seen for a while who is looking different lately;you can't work out why "did he used to have a moustache?":Or like meeting somebodies family relatives,a cousin whos persona is a hybrid of other family members;a bit of Dave and a bit of Robin and something of their own which perhaps you can see in a lesser degree within the other two?..Is it the older brother or middle brother?(still making up my mind here),between the blond sister and the brunette;the 3rd red head sister?(or something?)
Its a sensible smoke actually and what it says is interesting but not unique in this stage of my smoking exploration, but confirms like a 3rd oppinion of what i already think i know regarding what "Oriental" means as a type of pipe tobacco. When i rest the pipe for a moment i get a slight raw white cabbage finish in my mouth.It tastes mature and well fermented,age cured and leathery.
The nicotine maybe stronger here and obove medium(i have already been caning some Irish Oak before this test and am already nicotine filled,i suddenly got that warning cough which i don't think comes from Red Rapparee alone,but it has enough power here to be a finisher if i dont watch out!).
Without checking the ingredients my guess is Oriental/or Turkish with darker aged mature Virginia's,some earthy Burley body in the background which keeps the other dynamic duo in check and cools things down.
No bite,although it gets tangy in an onion/garlicy way. Yeasty-ish with sage and onion (paxo stuffing mix)... Being simular to a few contempories i already have ,its something i will reach for when i am in the general mood for an oriental like it,or when one or the other brands due to some hypothetical, unfathomable, atmospheric conditions (or just contempt from familiarity from overuse) is not delivering any novelty factor.
I am one who does like to do side by side smokes of simulars for a comparible 'variations on a theme'. Like letting each instrument of a string section play its solo:This in my oriental selection is like a cello between violins and a 3/4 bass(or something),it plays the same tune but in a different voice/timbre or octave range. Its Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees or one of the other Nolan sisters that maybe you dont look at as much but would notice if they were not there..:John Deacon of Queen if you get my alegorical bullshit.
Its not an underdog though by the way,just not a front man;its sort of enigmatic,reserved,smooth,quiet,mysterious,private, but with a full presence of pensive content like a silent teacher. (yet i could probably say that of my other oriental blends really)
Savoury is a better word,and that tannin tangyness;think of the tang of blue stilton cheese minus the cheese factor,slightly astringent,maybe a challenge but not unpleasant,earthy and real. Onion soup,salted butter,it melts in the mouth like a knob of warm butter.
After pipe ;it leaves a memory in your mouth akin to having eaten a tangy salad of onions,spring onions,radish, that is felt and fades over a couple of hours.A complimentary food would be a ploughmans lunch(can't think of a drink really but jamesons scotch blended whisky has a certain tang factor).
Bubble and squeek,Irish colcannon,butter fried cabbage and herbs-it comes accross as a vegetarian smoke.It has a slight soap factor ala 'Wrights coal tar soap'which is the baccy and not an applied lakeland-esque essence, or result of curing with burned fragrence woods,its just an accident of natural occurance.
Just checking 'Tobacco Reviews.Com' for a compared oppinion, i know now why i chose this tin to try,its because of the 'red virginia and oriental' curiosity. This contains cavendish but its not really tasted, and this baccy is not really that sweet.The cavendish within is probably not a particularly sweet type, and may explain why i thought i was tasting burley in the mix.Oriental leaf is apparently unsmoked latakia anyway, so it might explain why there was a slight familier smokey association when sniffing in the tin.
I have tasted red virginia in Petersons Sherlock Holmes before and i think of sweet floral red onions. I wanted tangy and got tangy.
Its nearest taste competitors in my rotation are 'Dunhill London Mixture' and 'Robert McConnel ORIENTAL'. I have jarred this tin already in a kilner jar because i have no idea at this point how long i will take to smoke it(i have about 50 baccies on the go at the moment and am doing pipe and baccy combination trials to find the best mates.)
UPDATE;2ND DAY Comparison Trial 3x Vintage Duncan Delta pipes side by side test, with Red Rapparee,ORIENTAL,London Mixture. The short story:
'Red Rapparee' is more salty buttery smooth than 'Oriental'.
'London Mixture' is a milder smooth operator,the only difference was that this bowl has 5 smaller exhaust holes compared to the other 2 bowls which only have a single exhaust port,plus this stem has a fishtail mouthpeice where the others have a rounder exit dental grip bit,which delivers a slightly different dynamic delivery in mouth feel which i will try to compensate for. (i am already familier with London mixture in other pipes as well anyway).
'London Mixture' feels slightly milder than the others and implies a slight touch of the smokey latakia in a condimental ghost sence,possibly due to the milder virgina or lesser quantity oriental baccy in the mix so that the spice factor seems augmented in the overal balance.
'Oriental' and 'Red Rapperee' have more of the herb garden factor with Oriental having the more significant herbal bias.
All three are within a gnats cock of eachother when smoked side by side in near identical condition pipes as a standard TBH, and could on a different day taste like one another.
So ;strengths of nuance differentiation:
London mixture-spice. Oriental-herbs. Red Rapparee-salted butter.
All three have that slight 'wrights coal tar soap' taste but are not smokey in a bonfire latakia sence,more closer to the grilled herbs taste.
I can't be arsed to pick a winner because they are equal substitutes in my mouth and either satisfy the oriental urge.
I would easily buy Red Rapparee again if i ran out,more for the red virginia than anything,even though its more imagined than tasted probably,and doesn't taste much different overal compared to my other Orientals already. It burns quite cool and slower than average.Creats a bit of wet in the moisture trap which needs wiping out a couple of times a session which might creat gurgle in a conventional briar maybe (if you don't pre dry it before smoking).But it smokes ok and dry in this pipe and down to a completely burned fluffy ash.
3 stars for now,its good but nothing really new to me this time,maybe if i tried Red Rapparee first i would be saying the same of the other contenders.