Description from the tin: Acadian bright, red Virginia and mahogany burley tobaccos are blended with double toasted burley tobacco along with a friendly amount of Latakia added to this Cajun take on an English blend.
Notes: Raccoon’s Friend has a healthy dose of mahogany burley along with light burley, acadian bright (a new pipe tobacco blending ingredient created by Mark Ryan from bright Virginia processed in the perique style), and some red Virginia. An accent of Cyprian Latakia adds complexity to the blend.
The mildly tangy Acadian bright Virginia is processed in the perique style, and is fruity sweet as a major component. The dark mahogany and double toasted burleys are toasty, nutty, woody, and earthy with a smidgeon of spice with a slight rough, sour hit. They are the most obvious components. The earthy, mildly tangy, dark fruit sweet red Virginia is a background player. The lightly applied smoky, woody, earthy, lightly musty Cyprian Latakia underscores the experience. There’s no topping. You’ll notice nearly all aspects of this complex blend in every puff. The nic-hit is a step closer to medium than it is to mild. The strength and taste levels border on medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but I recommend a little hydration and slow puffing cadence as the tobacco is fairly dry. Once done, this mixed cut blend burns clean at a slightly more than moderate pace with a very consistent flavor as it easily burns to ash. Requires few relights, and leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. Has an earthy, woody, lightly sweet after taste and room note, both of which linger a little. Can be an all day smoke.
A nice VaBur with a touch of smokiness. The Burley is nutty and delicious and is ably backed by the tart and sweet fruity Virginias, mostly the Acadian. The Lat is background smoke, but will step forward on occasion. All in all, a very good smoke. I like the Burleys here enough to give this 4 stars. Very tasty.
Medium in body and taste. No added flavoring. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
The pouch note is smokey and slightly agricultural. The tobacco can slightly dry, but seemed to be at a good level of hydration for smoking. It was similar to the other Raccoon blends - mixed ribbons and colors of various shades. There were a few larger torn "fish flakes." There was more dark leaf in this one - presumably the latakia.
For my palate this is the best of the Raccoon blends. It is a great flavor combo - slightly sweet and smokey. It is not latakia forward, and there is a subtle spice and earthiness. There is some sour that may be from the burley or the perique-processed Virginia. It burned well, and the flavors were consistent through the bowl.
The other Raccoon blends were more of a 2.5 for me, and this one is a solid 3. The perique-processed Virginia works well with the condimental latakia.
One of the better D & R blends where the hydration of a fresh tin is concerned. I've smoked a few from D & R and can't recollect any that weren't too dry; one was crispy. The tobacco meets with the lid in a fresh tin, thusly not allowing much room for any air to dry it out. The mixture's made of mostly medium and light brown ribbons that are fairly coarse.
Raccoon's Friend lights with ease, and then gives quite a cool and independent burn, with a smoke that's free from bite. The downside of the burn is the speed of it: it goes rather fast. The flavour's not bad, not anywhere near, but if I'm honest I find it quite laborious; I get a slightly 'dusty' taste. To be more useful I'll try to list some more objective points: The Burley accounts for the highest proportion of the smoke, with the sweet tasting Virginia providing some back-up. On the tin it says it has "a friendly amount of Latakia", and I construe that as meaning a 'small' amount; it seems pretty well absent for the first part of a bowl, but it does add a petite amount of rich-woodiness after a third has passed.
The room-note's ok, and the nicotine strength is medium.
Raccoon's Friend isn't what I'd call a poor smoke, I bet many folks will love it, but for me it's quintessentially boring.
This blend was not biting. It has smoke smooth and burns very well. I have found the flavor to be exceptional and the Arcadian Virginia added a delightfully rich and seductive flavor and presence. This blend is outstanding and is a must smoke.
A lovely little blend, topped off well with the fine latakia. The flavor and body are not in your face but still some richness there and a nice complexity. I actually like to mix this 50:50 with the "Accent" variation for the yenidje, but then also I often add just a touch of Three Sails and Ryback, which help the burn wonderfully and adds something extra to the flavor.
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