The white and dark burleys offer a bit of earth, wood and nuts, some toastiness, a little molasses and bitter cocoa, and a light sharp rough note. They form the base of the blend. The red Virginia provides some earth, wood, bread and tangy dark fruit in a support role. The smoky, woody, earthy, sweet Cyprian Latakia doesn’t seem quite as sweet as usual, and is mostly condimental. The raisiny, plumy, spicy perique is an ever present background player. The mildly applied molasses topping tones down the tobaccos to a small extent. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium, and gets slightly stronger in the last third of the bowl. The strength and taste levels start out as mild to medium, and reach the medium threshold by the half way point. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does sport some rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent sweet and slightly savory taste, which translates to the pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. The room note is a slot stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a tad more than an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke.
The one half ounce sample bag I received from an Ebay seller did not have the ingredients listed on it. We might think that this is Old Joe Krantz with a small amount of Latakia in it, and we would be partially correct. OJK Red Label has both Latakia and black Cavendish added to the original ingredients, and this makes it a new blend. We are told that it was formerly tinned as Bag Piper, but Bag Piper was various Burleys with a small amount of Latakia added. Also, Bag Piper was flavored with both deer tongue and an alcohol-based agent. I repeat - OJKRL is a brand new blend and I am reviewing it as such. So, what Cornell and Diehl have done here is to introduce us to, yet, another English blend in a very crowded field of English blends. As such, I have to label OJKRL as a light English, and it has to compete with all the other light English blends that exist. It does this quite handily in my opinion. The underlying base of Virginia, Burley and Perique has much the same punch as original OJK, and that makes it a very good smoke. OJKRL has a richness that we all like in pipe blends and it delivers an all around quality smoke that makes you want to smoke it again (and again). The bottom third of each bowl was still a good smoke, unlike so many pipe blends that sink into a gray ashy area. This is one of the best light English mixtures I have smoked in some time and I have no problem giving it four stars.
Pipe Used: John Eells canted Squat bulldog (2008 NASPC pipe)
Age When Smoked: current
Purchased From: gifted by an Ebay Seller
Similar Blends: I can't say specifically, but I know I have smoked multiple similar blends over the decades..
The pouch (I bought from bulk) has an aroma where the Latakia's easily identified but it doesn't smell overly sharp, and it isn't taken over by the Latakia. The moisture can't be faulted, but seeing as this was from bulk a sealed tin might vary.
The Latakia gives a smokiness/woodiness but OJKRL isn't anywhere near what I'd consider a Lat-Bomb. The other leaves all have there say. The Burley tastes a little rustic, toasty, and nutty. I get a fruity note from the red Virginia, which gives the smoke a pleasant buoyancy, and lightens the flavour, somewhat. From the Perique I notice a little touch, but nothing too overt. The same can be said for the black Cavendish. It gives a vanilla-creaminess, but nothing too sticky or aromatic. The smoke has a slight sweetness reminiscent of a mild topping. It burns quite cool and I get no bite.
Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant.
Old Joe Krantz Red Label? A nice smoke that does justice to three stars:
Rich, creamy smoke with great flavor and complexity. Very enjoyable and surprisingly strong. A hint of sweetness quickly gives way to the piney smokey Latakia. There is also a subtle nutty flavor as well as a bit of spiceyness. Overall the blend smokes with consistent flavor all the way through the bowl. A bit heavy for summer day but definitely a tobacco that will make my fall/winter rotation. I enjoyed this tobacco in several pipes but found the wide prince bowl to be the best.
Pipe Used: Weber Shellbrooke billiard, Comoy prince
Summary: a moderate American English with little harmony between Burleys and Virginias.
The committee decided to expand best-seller "Old Joe Krantz" by making multiple versions of it, including an English, in the hopes of using the name to sell other stuff that was not selling as well under those names. This is a fairly uninspired English tobacco. A light dose of Latakia forms the dominant flavor, but the Burleys fail to meld well with the Virginias and Cavendish, leading to a somewhat flat and wet flavor with the Latakia filling in the gaps. I have no idea why someone would not simply purchase "Mountain Camp," which is similar but less busy, instead.
Old joe krantz red is more like the white label than the original blend, a good thing in my opinion. There is a nice sweetness like the white, from the cavendish. Good amount of smoky latakia but not enough to rob the flavor of the OJK.
If you like heavy burley/perique blends such as Picayune, Big n' Burley, Old Joe Krantz, Haunted Bookshop, etc., this is not it. OJK red label smokes like a light English Latakia blend with the addition of black Cavendish. It contains a fair amount of the sweetened type, which I am not a fan of, but all the ingredients and components are of good quality, so I cannot find CD at fault here for not being a favourite. My only complaint is it seems to contain a fair amount of it, so it plays a major role right at the forefront of everything. If you have been smoking OTCs up until now and you want to dabble into the world of non-aromatics, this blend could be for you.
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