Air cured burleys and a variety of Virginias come together in this blackberry treat that features notes of whiskey, sugar, and spice. Blackberry Cobbler comes to mind for some... perhaps the kind that would win First Prize at the Neshoba County Fair.
Smoked a lot of aromatic blends in 30 + years of piping and I believe this one tops them all. A little hay from the Virginia and earthy nutty Burley. These are not masked by the rich sweet blackberry, bourbon and spice topping. They work together in harmony. Consistent throughout the process and bag note and taste are dang near identical. No goop or bite like many aromatic blends. Burns to a fine white ash with little or no dottle. Well done indeed.
Its been years since I tried an aromatic and this tobacco reminded me of all the reasons I started smoking a pipe. The bag note and flavor both have a great blueberry (what I get rather than blackberry) flavor that was a great smoke on a hot summer evening. The flavor is sweet but the tobacco is not syrupy in the least. I also get a subtle flavor of roasted pine nuts from the burley. I don't taste much virginia. As the bowl progresses the flavor diminishes and the burley stands out a bit more but still a pleasant blend of the two. I highly recommend this as something to try for aromatic lovers but for me it will just be an occasional smoke in the summer to break up the virginias I love.
Best aromatic I've smoked to date. Can't say anymore than that. Tastes great, non syrupy. Burns well. Great warm weather smoke and one that could be an all day blend for those that smoke multiple bowls a day
My favorite aromatic so far. Dry (but not hamster cage dry) yet has a full blackberry taste that complements the tobacco flavors. It takes a lot of huffing and puffing to get tongue bite with this blend, which says a lot about the skills of the good Jon David. The first blend Ive found that I can happily smoke all day.
So I’m coming around once again with a personal commentary on a specific aromatic blend from The Country Squire Tobacconist. This occasion brings my attention to an engaging standard aromatic mixture produced by The Country Squire entitled Blue Ribbon. With the name Blue Ribbon, what comes to mind is the image of a prize-winning entry for some veritable contest of some sort. Now I’m not sure why the name Blue Ribbon was chosen for this particular mix given its very distinct taste, although there is some reference in the marketing banner concerning its perceived merit at the local country fair. Nonetheless, the descriptive recipe listed on the company’s website did catch my fancy. Hm, Soft Blackberry was the sub-heading. As I am overly fond of things that are blackberry in nature, I felt compelled me to see what was up with this one.
The specification on this particular blend states ribbon cut, however, my observations were that it is primarily course in texture with just a scant amount of thinly formed ribbon. Heavy chards of deep tinted Burley and the chunky pressed black-brown Cavendish occupy most of the space in the bulk. Nonetheless, Blue Ribbon is a recipe comprised of assorted Burley, flavored Cavendish, and some darker varietal Virginia.
The fragrance that springs from the pouch is largely dominated by the presence of strong blackberry flavoring that has been applied to the mass; wonderful to senses. If blindfolded one would surmise that you were sniffing an open jar of Smucker’s Blackberry jam for all practical purposes. Way in the back of that melodious berry air, one does just catch a pleasant register of distinctly nutty, tart, grassy tones from the native base components. With such an alluring fruity perfume, I was anxious to take a taste.
Generally Blue Ribbon, to my best characterization once again, is like a plentiful spoon’s worth of sweet blackberry jam. It is a fruity confectionary delight of an aromatic tobacco. Initially the flavorings are very strong on this one, but eventually calm down to a consistently balanced character, that being sweet, rich, slightly tart, sugary with succulent notes of honey, clovey, nutmegish type spices. There is some very beery-like astringency that I sensed that melds together with the rounded sweetness that makes this a very tasty enjoyable smoke. Additionally, one will find a subtle note of bourbon whiskey that conveys a tad bit of spice on the trailing top notes of the smoke. So the drawl comes at you with a delightful fusion of spicy fruitiness with a finishing zest. Full, fruita-licious, and comforting is the overall impression and experience.
As mentioned, the casings and toppings definitely dominate the overall taste but one does register some of the nice sour-woodish Burley tones and just a tad of natural Virginia burned grassiness/hay. The Cavendish, more than likely cased in a sugar or honey is so plentiful that it works strongly to extend the overt sweetness while adding a little more depth to the overall flavor and smoke. Given the ample levels of added flavoring, it’s best to allow extended drying time to optimize the smoke-ability of this blend. I did notice more of the native tobacco essences migrate through with the subject drying. Perhaps some of the top coating either settles or softens in strength?
About half way down the bowl the flavorings seemed to attenuate a bit leaving the natural flavors of the tobaccos to move forward with a more attentive bass note. The Burley is characteristically very light and mellow showing a soft, soury woodiness. The Virginia imparts some toasty, bread-like essence that combines well with the softened casing/flavoring. The aftertaste is appealing and the aroma pleasantly lingers on your mustache (if you have one).
Blue Ribbon burns reasonably cool and evenly. I did not experience in bite or hatefulness on my palate as I smoked it. The smoke is thick and voluminous, again the pressed Cavendish body influence, with a mellow but heavenly room note.
Blue Ribbon probably is much more appealing than naming this mixture Black Ribbon despite the dominant flair of the taste. I would recommend you give this one a go provided you favor rich, sweet tasting aromatics. This particular aromatic scored mid-high on my rating scale and will be one that I mostly likely repeat given the occasion. Final note: It pairs nicely as a dessert right after a heavy dinner of Italian cuisine. At least that’s how I enjoyed it myself.
Tastes like melted plastic, burnt toast and deck shoes worn without socks, this one is a true gift. Every puff brings reminisces of suntanning after a morning of mosquito bites and family conflict. Great for tonight as an accompaniment for anxiety and an uncertain future. This tobacco going remarkably vell with movie Scarface. "What are you waiting for? Say hello to my little friend". Zarnicky used new pipe not broken in. I like sweet aromatic tobacco. Dis not sweet. Vill not buying Blue Ribbon again. Diss only my opinion. Some people think Zarnicky not have good taste. Still, Blue Ribbon is better than yak droppings - or maybe not. Zarnicky prefer yak droppings.
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