The fermented matured red Virginias provide a lot of tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, some sugar, vegetation, light grass, floralness and a pinch of spice as one of the lead components. The stoved dark fired Kentucky offers some earth, wood, floralness, spice, vegetation, smoke, sweetness, and light nuttiness with a small hint of barbecue. It is a close competitor to the red Virginias, and occasionally equals or takes a small lead over the them. The stoving process smooths out most of the Kentucky’s rough edges as well as sweetening it. Almost sharing a competitive race with the dark fired Kentucky are the very floral Orientals (basma, yenidje, prilep, katerini, samsun, and izmir) which have a fair amount of earth, wood, herbs, some spice, vegetation, rough sourness, and mild buttery sweetness and incense. The stewed sugary dark fruity, earthy, woody stoved Virginia tames some of the potential rough edges as its inherent sweetness is its main aspect. The strength level is a couple of steps past the medium threshold. The taste is a slot past that. The nic-hit is just below the overall strength rating. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. Well balanced with a little complexity, it is mildly moist and burns cool, clean and a tad slow with a sweet and sour, fruity, floral, spicy, savory, zesty flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a tad stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a couple more than an average number of relights. Not quite an all day smoke for the veteran, but it’s certainly repeatable. Four stars.
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