San Valentino is a pleasant concoction of red and bright Virginia, scraps of Virginia flake, blackened Virginia, white burley, blackened burley, and Macedonian Orientals (Basma/Yenidje) with a strawberry cream fragrance.
The basma and yenidje provide plenty of earth, wood, floralness, vegetation, herbs, mild buttery sweetness, light sourness, and a pinch of spice. They take a small lead. The bright, red, stoved and flake Virginias offer plenty of tart and tangy citrus, grass, vegetation, sugar, bread, some tangy ripe dark fruit, stewed fruit, earth, wood, floralness, and light spice as competitive supporting players even though they lead by percentage in the mix. The white and blackened burley produce a fair amount of earth, wood, nuts, and creamy sugar with a very light rough note. They sit in the third slot. The strawberry and cream toppings fairly sublimate the tobaccos as the main attraction. I also notice a little condimental tart red and white wine vinegar, apple, and a hint of vanilla. The strength is medium. The taste is a step past that line. The nic-hit is a notch behind the strength level. No chance of bite or harshness. Well balanced and very complex with a wide variety of flavors, some obvious, others much more nuanced. The most noticeable aspects include zesty tart and mildly tangy fruits, sugar, floralness, some tart wine vinegar, sourness and nuts. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a couple more than an average number of relights. Has a very pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and easily repeatable for the less experienced. I recommend a wide bowl to fully capture the experience. Four stars.
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