When I saw a tin of this for sale on the secondary market, I looked around and could find out nothing about it. Still, since I tend to like 'strong dark flakes,' I thought I'd take the risk. It was advertised as being from the mid-80s. If so, then the seal must have been next to perfect; most was somewhat dried out, but around 25-30% was still fairly smokable. All the tobacco rehydrated very easily and most of the (short, thin) flakes were intact. The rehydrated flakes fold nicely.
The tin note on opening was pretty much just Kentucky, although some molasses overtones have developed since, which might be from a topping or just from age. I often get a bit of tongue irritation from pure burley blends, and that is just present here, but it is possible there is some VA in the blend somewhere. As for the taste, I would say it's like smoking a blend of 2/3 Peterson Irish Flake, 1/4 McClelland's 2035 Navy Flake, and a touch of Sir Walter Raleigh.
The Kentucky is the star component, being mildly woody and earthy, nutty sweet, while the molasses from the lightly nutty, earthy burley is a strong secondary player. They get minor support from the earthy, lightly fruit sweet Virginia, which accents the other components in nearly every puff, and not mentioned in the description. Not sure why this easily broken apart flake blend was called "strong" when it's mild to medium in strength and taste. Being from the mid-'80s, I imagine age diminished its potency. The nic-hit is a shade past being mild. Won't bite even if pushed. Burns at a reasonable pace with a very consistent cool, clean and smooth well balanced flavor to the finish. Requires few relights, and will burn to ash with little trouble. Leaves no moisture in the bowl. Has a nice after taste and room note. An easy to handle all day smoke that wears well during repeat performances.
Edinger - Strong Dark Flakes. Now then, what a different blend to review; it could be 36 years old!
When I first saw this on The Danish Pipe Shop's website I was a little sceptical after reading the disclaimer that absolves the store from any responsibility for the condition of aged tobacco. I didn't know if it would be smokeable or not. As it transpires, it was.
The age of the tin is attested by the slight build up of corrosion on the outside, there's a few marks of oxidisation. When I removed the lid I was met by a smell of the fermentation that's taken place over the years. I looked at the dry upper layer and felt disappointment; this can't be smoked! But then, after removing the top layer of 3x2 cm flakes, some moister ones were revealed; I guess that over the years the moisture has followed gravity! I always rub my flakes and these are easy to deal with. It only takes a light rub and it's ready to smoke.
The flavour has undergone some enhancements over the years; the biggest one is the smokiness. The flavour from the Kentucky's method of curing has been drastically amplified in comparison to the usual scenario. This seems quite pleasant at first but after a while it becomes a bit too strong a taste for me. In fact, about 15 minutes of smoking this is as much as I can handle! To be honest, I was hoping for a lot more sweetness from any Dextrose sugars etc that might have formed over the years but that never came to fruition!
This burns at an average speed providing you don't take a flake off the top and light without re-hydrating it!
I can see how and why a blend with good age on it would appeal to some folks. Me though, I feel it's wasted on my palate.
It gets two stars instead of one alone as I think it's good to try something with this much age on it at least once!
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