The First Amendment to the Drucquer catalog in 40 years, this blend celebrates the collective right to free expression with an enduring formula of red and bright Virginia tobaccos and fine air-cured leaf, seasoned with Cypriot Latakia and Louisiana perique, then pressed and aged in cakes and sliced. First Amendment is rich and satisfying, with notes of dark chocolate, malty Assam tea, black walnut, hints of a deep, earthy sweetness, and a complexity whose nuances are as endless as those of our time-tested and essential freedoms.
The bright Virginia provides plenty of tart and tangy citrus, grass, bread, some sour lemon, floralness, sugar, light vegetation, tea, spice, and acidity. It’s a little more obvious the tangy dark fruity, earthy, woody, bready, mildly sugary, lightly spicy red Virginia. The red also has a slight essence of vinegar. The Virginias take a small lead. The air cured white and dark burleys offer plenty of earth, wood, nuts, some cocoa, mild sugary molasses, sourness, very light spice, and a small, sharp roughness. They have an important supporting role. The smoky, woody, earthy, leathery, very floral, lightly sweet Cyprian Latakia isn’t quite a secondary player. The spice from the mildly raisiny, plumy, earthy, woody perique is its most obvious aspect. That spice competes with the aspects of the Latakia. The strength and nic-hit are a slot past the medium mark. The taste is a rung past that. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. There are a few small rough edges, but less than a blend in this genre usually sports. The broken flakes are mildly moist, easy to break apart, and need no dry time. Well balanced with some complexity, it burns cool and clean at a slightly slow rate with a fairly consistent, tangy, nutty, spicy, very floral, rather mildly sweet, sour campfire flavor that translates to the lightly lingering, pleasant after taste. The room note is a tad stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl. Requires a couple more than an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and easily repeatable for the less experienced. Three and a half stars out of four.
A rich and complex melange of tobaccos that contribute equally in their own way to the overall taste. Well balanced, Replacing the orientals/Turkish with burleys and perique reshapes the flavor of the latakia resulting in an American variation of the English standard.
It reminds me of Ed's Special blend from the original Tinderbox on Wilshire in West L.A., decades ago. That blend was unique (it originally had a pinch of deertongue herb to add a indescribable piquancy).
I needed a change of pace from Blairgowrie, which I've been smoking for a few years, and this does the trick.
The flakes have been sort of ''half broken'', if that makes any sense. Some of it still appears to be in flake form but at the lightest touch a ''flake'' will break apart. The tin-note has a slight mustiness to it, from the Latakia, but it doesn't give the impression that this is a Lat bomb. It isn't damp, nor too dry, so smoking can proceed right from the opening.
There's plenty of sharp lemon and grassy flavours from the bright Virginia and a good amount of juicy fruits from the red Va; the red comes through clearer at about the halfway mark. The Burley acts as a platform for the rest, it's presence is unequivocal; nutty, fairly rugged, and a little ''dry''. The Latakia acts congruently to the tin-note. Yes, it's there, a tad smoky, very woody, but it isn't the leader of the pack; very tame. The Perique is similar. It gives a spot of vinegar, a definite sour note, but I don't find the smoke awash with pepper. It burns steadily, not necessitating much maintenance.
I want to get back into doing reviews so I thought I'd start with the Drucquer & Sons lineup since Blairgowrie is on of my favorites. I don't have as much experience with English blends as I like so I have to try more, right? This was a special release at first, being the first new release of the line since G.L. Pease brought it back to the market. Judging by the other Englishes I've had from them this one is a winner too.
The tin comes only in 100g which is fine since I jar most of mine after opening, but I will say it does tend to hold its moisture even in the tin for an extended period. Opening it up I found a semi broken flake more yellow than brown in color but it has a good mix. The smell is sweet from the virginias, haylike, smokey with a tang. The Cyprian Latakia is present, and offers a very pleasant English sort of smell. The flakes are soft and rub out easily but I just end up stuffing my pipe wholesale. Takes a light well.
I have to say that I didn't know how I felt about this one at first but it's grown on me. I can taste the Virginias and the Latakia, but it's a little more subdued than the tin note would suggest. There is a nice interplay between the Burley and Latakia that I like. This is what I call a slow sipper blend, the slower you go the more comes out of it. There's sweetness to the smoke I really like. This one burned slowly and evenly.
The taste is a medium-full. It does coat your pallet. It's a straight medium in terms of nicotine. It satisfies but it's not going to leave you plastered into a chair. It really has grown on me, and I find this one to be a nice evening smoke especially. Another win for Pease.
Freshly opened 15-month-old tin, has notes of sour, smoky, and tart sweet. Tobacco Broken Flake are mostly brown and dark brown with a little tan and black. Moisture content is good to go, and larger flakes pieces rub out with a little effort. No drying needed. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is medium to strong and nic is medium. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and fairly consistent, with complex notes of floral, toast, sweet, mildly smoky, spice, wood, tangy dark fruit, vegetation, mildly herbal, lemon grass, sour, very dry, leathery, quite spicy, nuts, a tart orange peel/zest background note, and a peppery retro. Virginia has a small lead on Perique, with Burley supporting. Latakia is mildly supporting. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is awesome.
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