I found Caribbean Sea to have quite a bit of flavor, one that is satisfying too. The pouch aroma is very pleasant, with the rum toppings not too strong but I certainly noticed them. It tastes very good; the flavorings don?t dominate the tobacco taste but compliment it. It is pretty sweet, however. The room aroma is excellent and drew no complaints. If you are an aromatic smoker, I think you will really like this blend. It?s not the most complicated but most aromatics that I have tried aren?t anyway. I don?t know if I will buy this again as I am moving out of aromatics and into English blends but I recommend it to those who stick with aromatic style blends.
Pouch aroma: In the pouch, the tobacco emits the musty smell of the White Burley. There is also the barest hint of raisins. The topping is hardly noticeable in the pouch. This smells like tobacco, not an ice cream sundae.
Appearance: Various shades of brown, with the leaves cut into medium-length ribbons. Despite being an aromatic, the tobacco is not sticky or wet. This one is easy to pack by pinches.
Initial flavor: When the flame touches the leaf, the tobacco produces a cloud of cool smoke, but not much flavor. There is the breath of the Burley, which matches the musty aroma of the pouch, but the Virginia seems to be a reserve player. The topping is noticeable in the room aroma, but not the flavor.
Mid bowl: The sweet buttered rum taste becomes somewhat more evident mid-bowl. It?s quite a nice flavor. The Burley is still the main component here, with a subtle Virginia tang noticeable mostly when the smoke is exhaled through the nose. There?s still not much flavor here, but that small flavor is sweet.
Finish: After mid-bowl, the Burley flavor picks up somewhat, then begins to wane, faithful to the Dreaded Burley Curse. The Virginia remains sleepily in the background throughout the entire bowl, and the topping, while imparting a nice, subtle flavor, doesn?t do much to give this smoke any body.
Summary: I am an inveterate English smoker, and I lean towards unflavored tobaccos with a rich Latakia component. Therefore, I made this blend my first pipe of the day on several occasions in order to give it fair use of my taste buds.
I smoked it in several pipes, including a cob, a meerschaum and briars, hoping that it would develop a flavor more capable of getting my attention. I had no luck.
The tobacco burns well and has no bite, unlike many aromatics. What little flavor there is comes mostly from the tobaccos, and most of that is from the Burley.
Recommendation: If you?re smoking to please someone else this blend might work for you, as the room aroma is outstanding. If you?re smoking to please your own taste, however, you should look elsewhere. A much more pleasant flavor experience along these lines would come from another Clan Shaw Burley blend, Calm Seas.
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