Let me introduce another blend by the respected Samuel Gawith brand: The Lakeland Mixed.
It's a fine-cut, almost shag-like mixture of Virginia and Kentucky. Its look, quality and overall impression let me think of it as of Samuel Gawith's answer to Gawith Hoggarth's Kendal No7 Blend.
It's what I would call an Ultimate Autumn Blend. Its tin nose brings to mind an autumn park or forest carpeted with yellow fallen leaves, the fragrant scent of which is combined with a whiff of smoke from distant bonfires (burning, again, fallen leaves) somewhere up in the village.
Although it's a Virginia-based blend, Lakeland Mixed is surprisingly dry (like in a dry wine) - not even a faintest lick of sweetness here. And it's not sour either. The Virginias are quite neutral, letting Kentucky go forward in a very pleasant way. I caught some really unique notes from this Kentucky and came to appreciate it very high. Honestly, I have never sampled finer Kentucky in other blends. This sort of smoked leaf isn't the most common ingredient in Samuel Gawith's recipes, nevertheless when it makes its way into the mixture, it's of a top notch quality. And I dare to say the Kentucky in Lakeland Mixed is quite different and noticeably better than that in 1792 and Bracken Flake.
I liked Virginias in this mixture somewhat less than Kentucky. Dry and completely sweet-less, they are mostly of the flue-cured variety and therefore manifest a bit of sharpness, especially at the beginning of the bowl. Otherwise they're really nice, making a solid background for the splendid Kentucky to shine.
The strength and flavour are defined mainly by Virginias, while Kentucky steps forward in aroma. Which would have been just a perfect balance if Virginias were a bit sweeter.
I'm glad I discovered this rare blend exactly this month, October. It's an excellent companion to savour the beautiful Autumn season.
The review is based on one session only, but I'm going to buy this guy regularly.
No sweetness, no citruses - in general, Virginias are in harmony with Kentucky which tastes for me like a burnt grill sausage, with some herbal/resin notes. Thanks to Virginia taste is very smooth as a result.
There is one caveat though. At the beginning of the bowl, the smoke was harsh and rather unpleasant. Maybe I rushed too much and overheated it a little.
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