The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, incense-like, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component. The tangy Balkan Orientals provide a lot of earth, wood, floralness, herbal vegetation, some dry sourness and buttery sweetness, incense and spice as strong supporting characters. Yenidje is one of the Orientals, and it sports definite “unflavored soda” notes. These varietals are close behind the Latakia in terms of effect. The red Virginia offers tangy, fermented ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, some bread, light sugar and citrus, and a pinch of spice and some essence of “barbecue” as a secondary star. The aspects of the bright Virginia are tart and tangy citrus, some grass, and a little sugar with a floral note. It competes with the red Virginia for attention. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste is in the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is a rung less potent than the strength level. No chance of bite or harshness. Has fewer rough edges than this kind of blend normally sports. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a complex and nuanced, mostly consistent sweet and savory, spicy, deeply rich campfire flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is more pungent than the after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it’s repeatable. Three and a half stars.
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