Like its namesake, Low Country estate, Atalaya is a resplendent mélange of the familiar and the exotic, combining dark Virginias, bold St. James perique, and peppery Orientals for a medium-bodied smoke with notes of savory herbs and subtle spice pirouetting in cadence with each puff.
The very spicy, earthy, woody, plumy, mildly raisiny St. James perique plays a strong role. The aged Izmir and sun cured Basma produce a fair amount of earth, wood, floralness, herbs, vegetation, spice, dry, sharp sourness, some buttery sweetness, and mild smokiness. They are not far behind the perique in terms of effect. The bright, red and 2019 red cavendish Virginias provide an abundance of tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, sugar, a good deal of tart and tangy citrus, some grass, vegetation, floralness, light spice, sour lemon, and a touch of vinegar as the base of the blend. The combination of perique and Orientals is why the Virginias are secondary team players instead of the lead despite their greater percentage in the mix. The strength and taste levels are in the center of medium to full. The nicotine is just below that mark. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, though there are a few small rough notes. The moderately thick and thinner sliced flakes are mildly moist, and as per my custom, I did not give it any dry time for review. Burns cool, clean, and fairly slow with a well balanced, nuanced, zesty, deeply rich, and mostly consistent fruity, spicy, floral, herbal, mildly sour, lightly smoky flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note has some potency. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Four stars.
I’ll rarely call a blend “perfect,” as so many subjective things make a blend perfect for some and not so for others… but… this one is pretty close.
This gourmet blend is aptly named after a modern castle in South Carolina, as this blend is fit for a king. It should be approached like a fine dining experience: tie and jacket, no flip flops allowed. Bursting with flavors of low country cuisine, dark herb, slight clove and cocoa sweetness, all the while keeping you on your toes with a nice spicy note from the genuine St James perique. Billows of smoke, clean white ash and good to the last puff. This ain’t dessert, it’s the whole dang meal.
Tin note of pungent, tart fruit, and mildly sweet figs. The mostly dry broken flakes are mostly brown with a little tan and a little dark brown. No drying needed and it rubs out with a little effort. Burns moderately slow with few relights. The strength is medium to strong and nic is mild to medium. No flavoring was detected. Taste is medium to full and consistent, but complex, with notes of peppery herbs, dry earthy, mildly sweet ripe plums, wood, floral, sweet grass, mild lemon zesty, mild stewed fruit, and a peppery retro. Virginias are leading with perique, Orientals are supporting. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is great.
A broken flake that's easily manageable. Meaning, it doesn't need further rubbing, etc, just load and light. The moisture of the chunky ''ribbons'' is good to smoke, so on we go!
Although this contains Perique, it isn't over-the-top. Yup, the Perique leads, but isn't too much. It's vinegar-like, sharp, but the other varietals diminish its alacrity. The Oriental leaf gives a formidable floral note, is very present throughout the bowl, but not in the lead. Virginia? Takes more of a curious tongue to seek out. The Va comes through a little more after half a bowl, but only ever acts as a platform for the others.
Nicotine: medium. Room-note: unoffensive.
Atalaya? A good blend, not ''great''. Three stars:
I went into this blend blind and ended up demolishing a tin in the span of two months.
Just the right levels of spice from the perique to leave a cigar smoker like myself satisfied. Atalaya is complex enough to pick out the nuances in it if you choose to, but not so complex that you can’t just sit back and puff away while enjoying a good book.
I’ll have to practice some restraint with my other tins as I leave them in my cellar to age. Guess that means I have to check out the rest of the Low Country series now, too.
This blend claims to have authentic St James Perique and you can tell that it certainly does. The ripe figgy flavour is prevalent throughout the bowl. This blend is heavy on the perique, but those bursts of spice and fruit do not overwhelm the woodiness of the Orientals, and the touch of sweetness from the red Virginia. This is a phenomenally balanced perique-forward blend, and my only disappointment is that it is limited edition.
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