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English Tobacco - an Oriental English blend containing exotic latakia, premium perique, and flavorful Oriental tobaccos.

Notes: There is a small amount of burley in the blend, and Cyprian latakia has replaced the Syrian, as per Dan Spaniola.

BrandPaul's Pipe Shop
Blended ByDan Spaniola
Manufactured ByPaul's Pipe Shop
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBurley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutMixture
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.8
8 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2849)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The grassy, citrusy Virginias also have a touch of earth and darker fruit, and are a team player while being the base of the blend. The very spicy, woody, dry and mildly buttery sweet, earthy, floral Orientals are the star components. The spice content is such that it is hard to gage how much comes from the Orientals, and how much comes from the perique, which adds a little plum and raisins in the background. The smoky, woody, earthy wine-like Syrian latakia is mostly a condiment. The earthy, woody, nutty, mildly molasses sweet and fairly savory aged burley is also a condiment, though its presence is often disguised by the Orientals, peeking through here and there during the experience. The strength and taste levels are medium, while the nic-hit is a step or so behind them. The spice content is high enough that it can nip at the tongue if puffed beyond the moderate threshold. Has no harshness. Burns clean at a reasonable rate with a mildly inconsistent flavor that has a little depth. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly spicy sweet after taste. Not an all day smoke due to the spice.

Update 11-26-2018: Having smoked the Cyprian latakia version, the only difference I note is the aspects of what Syrian (smoky, woody, earthy wine-like) and Cyprian (smoky, woody, earthy, mildly musty sweet) offer to the smoker's palate. The proportions of varietals seem the same to me with the same effects.

-JimInks

9 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This one is a staple at Paul's and blended up by his son Dan, according to the descriptive. An American English style tobacco with Burley and a dash of Perique mixed in with the Orientals, Latakia and Virginia. A nice smoke! And for whatever it is worth, I purchased several of the Spaniola house blends back in the late 1990s while purchasing one of their Cayuga pipes, which, by the way, came with a casing, too. The inner bowl was pre-carbed with honey, I think.

5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Very good oriental English blend. One of the first English blends I tried. I love the smoky, nutty, natural tobacco flavors. It has a strong taste that I find very delicious.

I will say, to me personally it doesn't smell appetizing at all in the pouch, smelling rather repugnant in my own opinion.

The room note is rather strong, and around other pipe smokers they don't seem to mind or even enjoy it, although some non-smokers have told me that it stinks. I personally don't mind the smell of it smoked, and think it compliments the flavor.

Would recommend for for fans of English and Oriental blends.

Pipe Used: B.B.K. Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Paul's Pipe Shop and Pipe Hospital

5 people found this review helpful.

Lawyertodd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lawyertodd (27)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smooth and flavorful. The perique adds the slight spiciness needed to liven up the blend. Not a lat bomb, but a lat pleasure. The VA (red? lemon?) and Orientals (Yenidge? Others?) moderate the latakia content appropriately.

Pipe Used: Barling

Age When Smoked: Newly arrived in the mail

Purchased From: Paul's Pipe Shop

Similar Blends: Nat Sherman's 536.

3 people found this review helpful.

Der Pfeifenraucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Der Pfeifenraucher (71)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great tobacco. Right up there with the London Mixture from Dunhill IMO. An English blend with the usual components plus a little extra on the oriental spiciness. Great flavor, great nic hit, just a great experience. I will caution on the possibility of tongue bite. Although not in the usual experience, a fast puffer may get bite from this.

Pipe Used: cayuga

Age When Smoked: Only Dan knows for sure

Purchased From: Pauls pipe shop

2 people found this review helpful.

Faberdei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Faberdei (11)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Could feel licorice wood and dark toffee aroma. The aroma is also woody and smoky but non overwhelming. Global taste is creamy and nutty with fruity and sweet spots. A little bit of BBQ savory also. Best with a light packing.

Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum, corncob

Purchased From: Paul's pipe

1 person found this review helpful.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (134)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great English-style blend. It has a good amount of Latakia and is smooth and a little spicy. I could smoke this every day and not be bored with it.

Pipe Used: Old Dunhill Pot

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Paul's Pipe Shop in Flint, Michigan

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

1 person found this review helpful.

JimPM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimPM (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I once read somewhere, as a culture, we humans thrive on black and white simplicity. In direct opposition to that principle, therefore, matters of complexity often serve to exhaust our capacity to effectively sort and process meaningful order. Okay interesting thoughts but why is this bit of intellectual banter relevant to a simple review of a subject pipe tobacco? Well truthfully, as I reflect on this most intriguing blend at hand, the experiential trial plight that unfolded stands as a testament to this very concept. Although I do enjoy a challenge, I soon discovered that decoding Darwin Asa’s core marrow was much like a quest in tasting cryptography, (pronounced as “ace-a”).

Clearly the mixture is a brilliant example of pure wealth achieved through deliberate blending craftmanship. Challenged by the multiplicity of its unique soul, I found myself in state of diligent contemplation and intense focus to in order accurately gauge what experiences were transpiring with its smoking. This is no ordinary English concoction mirroring a simple commonalty of genre. Paul’s Pipe Shop’s entry delivers a distinctive feel of something more colorfully artistic and exceptional in nature. Postmortem, having smoked numerous bowls of the same, I feel that I can now put a finger on those alluring subtleties.

On a fore note, and arguably so, Paul’s Pipe Shop is a virtual institution of any and all facets relating to the passion of pipe smoking. Operating since 1928, this family-owned establishment is one of the country's most impressive commercial operations in existence today. Largely known for an elaborate menu of quality aromatics, the shop actually houses over 200 diverse recipes within its originals collection. Darwin Asa, a custom blend developed specifically for and named after one of their most dedicated customers, is one of a few openly marketed non-aromatics selections available to enthusiasts.

With its intricate and well-balanced recipe, Darwin Asa poses a lively venture in American English style tobacco. Superbly configured by the skillful metering of vibrant Turkish/Orientals, select Latakia, cultured Perique, scant Virginia, and earthen Burley, Darwin Asa is truly a singular smoking experience. In profiling its base character, the experience manifests as a wonderful diversion of exotically spiced and aromatic woodiness, sensitively supported by a murmur of sweetness, finishing with a remarkable tinge of curry-like vitality.

Lending an eye of discernment to the pouched tobacco, observation reveals an unwieldy yet attractive hodgepodge toothy and bran-like in demeanor. A richly blackened cascade of ruffled coarse cut fragments, twisted flecks, and shreds comprised by the Turkish, Latakia, Perique and Burley constitute the lion’s share of the total mass @ 80%. What appears to be of Red varietal, the Virginia bares itself as finer slivers of delicate burnt orange-gold ribbon. Comfortably dry to the touch, Darwin Asa uncommonly presents itself as a curiously heterogeneous commixture.

With uncontrolled intention, Darwin Asa’s nose registration thwacks the immediate senses as I found myself wincing in response. Taking an initial read, a potent blast of extremely sharp tartness and energized pungent spices sprung from the pouch as the first bellow of Turkish/Oriental. Recoiling from the imposition, I then fell upon the tamer scent of deep campy Latakia towering over the non-distinct musty essence of soured wood perhaps signaling the dance of Burley and Perique. Distantly hiding under this immodest dark blanket, a withdrawn hint of Virginia sweet grass struggled to surface at best. Clearly the Turkish/Orientals and Latakia cavort to overpower accompanying elements. Based upon the resonance of this bold aroma, I surmised that the blend’s flavor would enter as a multicolored and highly seasoned.

The immediate presentation of Darwin Asa’s pouched state naturally lends for simplicity in preparation of the resulting bowl. Achieving a faultless level of moisture, that being a tad bit drier for the optimum English experience, the assortment of dissimilar tobaccos handsomely packs with ease, settling into an interwoven and elegant pillow remarkably dense and proud in conformance. As I gazed at my loaded Savinelli Tre 802, the pipe seemed to express a degree of contented gratitude given the teeming girth housed within its obliging chamber.

As I alluded, the determination of Darwin Asa’s base character proved to be a fascinating contest, the blend is a veritable chameleon. The first series of bowls presented me with an unparalleled volume of perplexing twists much like the adventure of feeling the pulse of Mac Baren’s Mixture Scottish Blend. With the consumption of a half dozen bowls, finally the semblance of order started to drop for me.

Condensing the overall findings, I would charter Darwin Asa as a lively compote dominated by a celebration of Turkish/Oriental variety. Essentially defining the forward flavor, the Turkish/Oriental spice bridges a spectrum of everchanging nuances, mapping one of the most unique qualities of the leaf itself. All other complementing varietals engage in passive support as they functionally frame the Turkish/Oriental content while at the same time highlighting the niceties of their own native features. Although distinguishable, the architecture of this frame is fluid in itself, thereby providing enhanced flavor context as the bowl progresses. Ultimately these converging yet contrasted registrations bounce about in random fashion. Coming together with exquisite mutual interplay and dependency, the achievement is one of pizzazz and sheer convolution in taste.

Regarding the specifics of varietal flavor, the leading Turkish/Oriental offers a seasoned paste of coarse vibrant earthy spice, buttery mushroom, vegetal/evergreen/cilantro-like zest, smoky peat, and lovely nuttiness reminiscent of savory cashew. A soured Burley provides complement with raw nuts and pithy aged wood accented by soft molasses with very docile sugariness.

Additionally, and of lessor magnitude, the comprising Latakia tenders with a very light smoky incense but seems to manifest more prominently in leathery/dark wood tones. The character of the accompanying Perique brings a dash of dark fruity earthen mustiness coupled with a distant peppery zest. Lying very subdued on the bottom, sweet, grassy, citrus/woody Virginia endows the base foundation. Finally, I experienced captivating accents of mint or menthol-like tails on the high notes, a tannic affluence much like red wine, and a gentle underlying sweetness with a finishing pop of curry.

With deep character, Darwin Asa’s fragrance fills the room with a plentiful mesh of colorful and swirling spice interlaced by the thick essence of spent diverse soured woods. Heavy in mass and resilient in duration, the odor leaves very little uncertainty as to the bold richness of constitution. The smoke itself takes on a creamy mellow temperament making the smoking session an eventful pleasure. By sipping the mix graciously, Darwin Asa’s true complexion is revealed, completing the offering as a very satiating and fulfilling blend.

In relation to the essential mechanicals, the mixture burns at an even cool pace leaving a lovely plush white ash with the eventual consumption. The nicotine content is minor at best, yet the blend itself is categorically satisfying in smoking necessity. Not an all-day blend by my estimation but truly a noteworthy pursuit that was obviously designed to be experienced in a more cultured, relaxed venue.

Distinctly raising the bar of complexity and appreciable savor, Darwin Asa exemplifies the coveted standard for blend crafting excellence. Through my trial smoking, I find center once again leaning on the truism that often the apparent complication in items of complexity ultimately expose their underlying simplicity once understood and venerated. As American English mixtures go, this one happens to be one of the finest that I have yet encountered thus earning a respectful position in my standard favored rotation.

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