The nutty, toasty, earthy, woody, lightly sweet burley is the lead component. The grassy, citrusy Virginia is a supporting player. The sugary black cavendish is a step below the Virginia. The rich, slightly tart black raspberry topping sublimates the tobaccos quite a bit without drowning them out. It does weaken a tad in the last third of the bowl. The strength is almost in the center of mild to medium, while the taste level is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. The nic-hit is mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deeply sweet consistent flavor to the end. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste and room note. An all day smoke.
I am able to visit John Brandt occasionally, and am glad to know him. He bought the company from the woman in Vermont, and now blends her tobacco recipes beautifully.
I enjoy a good fruit topped aromatic on my morning walks, and this one is an excellent experience. The tin note is wonderfully rich, the tobacco a nice combination of golden burley and black Cavendish ribbons. It is a bit moist, but packs nicely, lights fairly easily, and burns like an aromatic. I don't have to be too careful with the pace, as it never gets too hot or bites, but I like to savor all my smokes, so it is almost always a gentle pace. The raspberry flavor starts slowly at the start and is clearly present mid-bowl, but never overpowering or obnoxious. It is nicely sweet. I love burley in an aromatic, as its nuttiness is a a great compliment to the topping, and it comes through clearly with the raspberry. Idon't notice the Virginias, but the overall taste is light and sweet, due no doubt to their support. Produces a nice grey smoke (white if you puff harder) and burns to a fine, gray ash. The nicotine is barely noticeable. All in all, exactly what I would expect a raspberry aromatic to be. The room note is excellent. My wife, who hates the smell of tobacco smoke, actually finds this one nice! Definitely an all day smoke if you like aromatics, and definitely four stars.
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