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Festivus Cheer (2019) is for the red Virginia fans. This uses red Virginia from a 2000 Carolina red crop, a 2009 Brazillian crop, and Mark Ryan’s personal reserve. It is a mix of ribbon and wide cuts which should help regulate burn rate.

Notes: It’s the Small Batch Red Virginia Blend for the Rest of Us.

BrandKen Byron Ventures
Blended ByKen Byron
Manufactured ByKen Byron Ventures
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2647)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The nutty, earthy, woody burley plug (which is chopped into little pieces) takes a light lead. The very stewed fruity (raisins, plums, dates, figs, prunes), earthy, modestly spicy perique is a supporting player. The very tangy, lightly tart citrusy and floral, grassy bright Virginia has an important presence in a secondary role. The sugary black cavendish is a mild addition. The nutty, woody, earthy, lightly floral white burley provides a little strength. The sharp sour dryness usually associated with this varietal is mostly muted by the toppings. The seasonal spices are hard to define, but they are sweet and mildly spicy. Cinnamon, all-spice, a little clove, and possibly cardamom seem to be among them. While the spices moderately sublimate the tobaccos, they also harmoniously blend with them to create a rich, deep, mildly creamy and spicy, very fruity sweet and slightly savory, floral, complex, well balanced flavor. All of that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste is a rung past that, and doesn’t quite reach the medium mark. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no dull or weak moments. Burns cool and clean at a slightly slow pace as the tobacco has a small amount of moisture. Leaves little of that latter aspect in the bowl, and requires a few relights. Has a very sweet, lightly spicy room note. It has a fair amount of depth and body while remaining an all day smoke.


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