The deeply rich Virginias are fermented dark fruit sweet with a little citrus, some grass/straw, spice and light earth. They also have a very mild toasty, woody quality at times. Not sure about the topping, but it very likely accounts for a little sweet floralness. The strength is just shy of being medium. Has a mild to medium nic-hit that sneaks up on you as you go along. I experienced no bite or harshness, though I could see a fast puffer getting a rough edge. This should be smoked at no more than a moderate pace, which is the rate it burns. A cool, clean smoke with a mostly consistent, fairly smooth flavor. Requires few relights, and leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. The after taste and room note is sweet and a little floral. An all day smoke.
Unlike the above review of the pouch version, my impressions come from a 1980's 50g tin of Gallaher's Rich Dark Honeydew that I recently purchased from Ebay.
Wow! This is certainly one of the top two or three Virginia tobacco blends I've ever smoked. Deep, dark and rich certainly is an apropose description. I popped the tin and was greeted by a shag cut, fully rubbed-out tobacco that was almost black in color. The scent was that of an extremely rich Virginia with just the hint of "English type" topping that is not at all fruity, just a wee bit sweet.
Upon lighting, I was smacked with nicotine - Woo Hoo! The flavor was strong and spicy, yet as smooth as a baby's bottom and as mellow as an old Bassett Hound. No matter how hard I puffed, this tobacco never bit. My palate was simply blanketed in quality, deep, dark and naturally sweet Virginia leaf flavor that only years of aging can produce. Further, the leaf stayed lit evenly and burned to the bottom with just a hint of wet dottle (further increasing my suspiscion that there is some sort of casing added.)
This tobacco is very similiar in taste to the old tinned version of St. Bruno Ready Rubbed, but not quite as heavy on the casing.
Based on two recent bowls, plus the memory of about 25 tins decades ago! I got this for about $5 at a garage sale. The seller had acquired it over 20 years ago and just never smoked it. This is the green, rectangular tin marked "fully rubbed".
Nice black shag tobacco with a heady aroma of good aged virginia, plus a hint of a Lakeland essence. Brought back old memories. A bit dry in the tin but not overly so. The flavor was deep and rich, with good spice and a light sweetness. Very bold flavor, with a nice initial burst with every puff. Some tobaccos have that huge flavor burst... old Sobranie, Murrays 965, St Bruno... and this one had it in spades. Not a tobacco to puff while multi-tasking, this one demanded my full attention. One complex blend, this one showed virginia sweet in front at times, other times an almost stoved-like spice, with side flavors of various spice rack condiments, and a bit of lightly sweetened tea. A fair bit of nicotine but not knock-you-on-the-floor strong. This is one of the finest straight virginia blends I have ever smoked, and I'm going to save the rest of the tin for special occasions. Really wonderful tobacco that has never been duplicated. My memory being hazy, I realize that aging had a bit to do with my success with this tin, but I recall loving this stuff when I bought it fresh many years ago. If you find a tin with a tight seal, eat Ramen noodles for a month and buy it!
The only differences between my experience and Pipestud's comes from the fact that I smoked a tin of flakes, and that it was probably a bit older (came in a 2 oz. tin). This resulted in a very slow, strongish, flavour-bursting virginia smoke from top to bottom. (All right, it may contain a bit of burley)
Every bit as good as i remembered it from when it was available in Denmark, plus what aging does. They just don't make tobaccos like this anymore. So sad.
This is quite a popular tobacco with the established pipe smokers in Britain. (At least it used to be some years ago: mature smokers would go for this one, or Condor, or St. Bruno, while younger generations favoured Condor mild, Craven mild or B&H Mellow Virginia). Readily available in news stands and other shops, it comes in a plastic brown pouch. The aroma is that of dark Virginia (not black, but deep roasted), with a peculiar tanginess that at times seems bitter/sour. The tobacco is on the dry side and comes in rather stiff broken flakes, easy to disintegrate but difficult to pack. It can be lit with one light and burns smoothly.
Medium to full strength, the initial puffs reveal a cool smoke and a spicy flavour. Nothing memorable. It is a simple Virginia, but with some character to it. Being very generous the first half of the bowl is vaguely reminiscent of Rattray's Hayl O' the Wynd, but in a stronger, harsher fashion. After the second half, however, things change. There is some dottle and gurgle, and the spicy elements seem to wear down into a mushy, bitter concoction; the harshness is amplified and, as a result, it becomes somewhat stale and cheap, to the extent it could now be compared to Peterson's University Flake, except that RDH has no casing. DGT is not recommended with this one.
The end is not that bad. Somehow the Virginia spiciness tends to resurface, and the aftertaste is that of roasted chestnuts.If in Britain, not a bad option if stuck in the middle of nowhere in a cold day. However, I would not recommend it for those beginning to smoke a pipe.
This opinion is about a rectangular can of the late 70's or early 80's.
The tobacco is almost black. The aroma is vegetal and sweet, but it anticipates a tobacco with great force.
The smoke is simply spectacular, one of the best virginias I've tasted. Burns cold and even, with great power but no hard edges. The taste and aroma are even and pleasant throughout the smoke.
It is not wise to recommend it, since it has been out of production for a long time. Maybe we have to content ourselves with some similar blend, which will be a guarantee of satisfaction no matter how long it is aged
One of my favorites from way back when. I first started smoking this in the early 1980's and thoroughly enjoyed every puff! Very spicy-sweet as I remember. I don't recall it smoking hot or biting. It was one of my first ventures into English Virginia blends. The 50g tins I had were of a rectangular design - never circular as pictured above. This black, shag-like tobacco had an exquisite bouquet and a fantastic room note. I used to get it at the local Tinderbox (alas, long since gone). It was difficult to come by then as it had to be special ordered for me. I do wonder if it is still being produced. If it were available, I would most certainly rekindle our acquaintance. This tobacco was just magnificent!!
I wish I could still find it! I havent seen it in years and I miss it so. A good strong virginia with a honeydew melon flavoring. If anyone knows where to get this please let me know. This is a nice full bodied smoke in the old english style. Sweet but not confectioned. Smoke it slow because it will bite and get hot. This is a heavyweight tobacco and should be smoked with respect. Hit it too hard and it hits back but my it's so, so, good. MMMMM!
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