The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the most prominent component. The toasty walnut/pecan, earthy, woody, lightly sweet Tennessee burley is a supporting player. The very spicy, plumy, raisiny, earthy perique is an important condiment. The yenidje provides wood, earth, herbs, slight sweet and sourness, some dry floralness, and an “unflavored soda-like” essence, playing around the same level as the perique in terms of its effect. The grassy, citrusy Virginia takes a back seat to the other varietals. The brown sugary black cavendish smooths out the blend a little. The strength level is medium, while the taste is a step past that mark. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite, has few rough edges, and no harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a well balanced, nuanced, rich sweet and savory campfire flavor that never weakens, and translates to the lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Not quite an all day smoke, but veterans used to this kind of mixture will find repeatable with little trouble. Three and a half stars.
There is a sweetness that is quite noticeable, but is this Tennessee Burley? Overall, the flavor reminds me of Surbrug's Golden Sceptre, but not as strong as this blend. The aroma is wider and smokier, I think, and the bitter chocolate flavor is noticeable in the Retro hale, and overall there are many of the characteristics you would expect in a Burley blend, but not enough to detract from the character of the English blend. I find it to be a blend like No. 524 or Commander, but the "sweetness" I find in these blends is a licorice, royal scot (I don't know what this is) aroma that comes from Wilke's Black Cavendish. There is no chocolate hint, so each blend is sweet with a different character. It is recommended for each pipe smoker's preference.
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