A true Scottish blend! Heavy on the Turkish with a base of matured red Virginia, a portion of dark Virginia cavendish, a tiny dash of Latakia, and a very light spirit infusion of Johnny Walker "White Walker".
Even being a Scotsman myself, I can forgive the misspelling in the name of this blend by the inimitable Ernie Quintt ;). 4 oz bag and I smoked slightly less than 3 oz, as it took me awhile to figure this one out... or at least figure it out in my own head! In the bag, this gave off a musty, sour pungency with a hint of latakia. Ribbons of both narrow and wide girth, and mostly lighter browns with a speckling of black.
Ernie mentioned that the latakia would be tough to discern in the smoking but I found it obvious, albeit extremely condimental. I had more trouble picking out the latakia in his Old Black Magic than in this one. But here the Turkish ruled the roost, with an earthy and slightly sour mustiness, and the barest hint of florals. Everything else was condimental. More savory than sweet, this still had an underlying tang from the Virginias, but most of the sweetness was of the "butter-nut" variety rather than fruit. The whiskey topping is barely present and not at all intrusive. Boisterous in flavor but not rough or strong, and not as complex as I would have imagined. Even so, this one was not boring, once I found the right pipe for it. Making judgment calls on a new tobacco after a single bowl are dubious at best, and this blend proved that. The smoker needs to experiment with several pipefuls. I was frankly bored with it until I tried it in a taller, narrow bowl. Somehow this concentrated the flavors. I haven't experimented much with bowl shapes, so I don't know if this is typical or weird, but this blend worked well with a narrow bowl - a meerschaum, to be more specific. Putting this one through further paces, I increased my puffing cadence in one bowl to find out how this fared under pressure. This elicited a strongish cigar note, making me think one of the Turkish varietals is Samsun. Best to smoke this one slowly, as is the case with most blends, but this didn't break down. For my personal taste, I could have used a bit more latakia, as Orientals without enough ( or any) latakia often break down for me. Orientals tend to work really well with latakia and often not so well without it. However, Ernie made a batch of his Persian Slipper without any latakia and, while it started out kind of dull, with a few years of aging it has morphed into something exquisite. I expect the same of this one. We'll see. Three stars for now.
The floral Turkish provides earth, wood, herbs, vegetation, leather, light spice, incense and sharp rough notes, and a fair amount of sourness as the lead component. The matured red Virginia offers tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, light sugar and floralness, vinegar and tart and tangy citrus along with a hint of grass and spice in a support role. The dark Virginia presents some tangy dried dark fruit, earth, wood, and small notes of spice, vegetation, and floralness as a secondary player. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is a condiment at best. The Johnny Walker “White Walker” topping mildly sublimates the tobaccos. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste almost reaches the medium mark. No chance of bite or harshness, and has few rough moments. Well balanced with a little punch and depth, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very consistent, mildly sweet and sour, rather savory, campfire, rich flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste and lightly stronger room note. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and is easily repeatable for the less experienced.
I absolutely enjoyed this blend immensely! It started out mild and slowly transitioned to a medium. It wasn’t overkill with any one component. Started out with an almost pure Virginia blend & as it warmed up the Turkish spices came in to play. The Latakia was mild and a background player until the last 1/3 of the bowl.
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