In aligning to an overarching theme of simplicity, allow me now to present yet another interesting original entry from that small brick and mortar, Campbell’s Smoke Shop, operating out of Lansing, Michigan. Here for your sincere piping contemplation appears # 12 Kon-Tiki, ostensibly a Spartan tobacconist’s effigy to the adventuresome balsa wood raft of Norwegian exploratory fame. A simple tobacco contrived for simple pleasure.
Chiefly an ultra-mild combination, Kon-Tiki as crafted, enlists a tasteful melody of variable Burley tobaccos originating from distant Africa and the regions of the greater Americas. And although it is unlikely that these very leaves were secured to the shores of central Michigan using a flimsily constructed sea vessel, it does make for some inventive imaging, as you envision yourself gainfully puffing over the waves of the rolling Pacific. Lightly coated, or perhaps more so heavily cased, with simple sugared embellishments, this blend could easily stand as a straight-up Burley-based offering, even though it is technically sorted as just another light aromatic.
Sold primarily as a basic ribbon cut mixture, this well-prepared offering comes coarsely populated with a range of comprising tobaccos that span an inviting collection of thin shaggy threads, broken irregular filaments, and thickened locks of what commonly appears to be pressed/ready-rubbed Dark Burley. Set with optimum moisture, Kon-Tiki displays deep intonations of brown-toned brilliance as added depth and dimension is provided by a chase of a paler White varietal and mottled aged leaves. In the act of mulling over a healthy pinch of this character, I should relate that the immediate feel is naturally grainy and richly thick, as Kon-Tiki’s body is well cultured and aptly constructed.
As to its observed pouch essence, by fair assessment, the tobacco projects an appropriately modest aromatic nose in complementing its mildly sweet demeanor. In particular, just a relaxed tracing of general sugars escapes, suggesting perhaps muted caramel and darker corn syrup influence. Yet conclusively, native Burley is the posted featuring. Its gentle expression is that of aged woodiness, pallid nuts, and a mid-bottom release of contained natural sourness, signifying that a balance of quality Burley leaf has been selectively deployed.
In regard to the general taste profile, as I suggested, this mimics a sweetened Burley production more than anything else. Mainly, the coatings are so minimalistic and well veiled, it was an interesting contest in formulating an overriding conclusion as to the details hiding within the recipe driving the docile sweetness. As such, by way of my opinion, Kon-Tiki would well serve both aromatic and non-aromatic enthusiasts alike. For myself, I could easily recline in the company of this blend for the entirety of the day, as it definitely got on the right side of my favor.
Being a bit more precise, on the coating application specific, the registration brings forward an exceptionally fine crossover affluence lying somewhere between a buttery maple and a roasted caramel type ambience typical of karo. The experienced intensity, even so, is comfortably slighted and well contained by all measures.
Further supporting these mystery additives is a note of common Burley molasses, and a delicate walnut-like tone sufficing as the trailed accent. Nevertheless, the substance of flavor is dominated by a tasteful fusion of standard Burley with sugared nuttiness and lively wood that models a wonderful twist of oak and sweet cedar elements. In general terms, this Kon-Tiki characterization holds true with satisfying consistency and impressive finish for the term of the bowl.
Mechanically, the mixture manifests ideal burn properties with respect to optimum coolness and level pacing. The ensuing production resulting from its inflamed expenditure is a handsome display of generous plumes of dense hardy, gray-tempered smoke. With that development, the immediate surroundings are politely propagated with a relaxed and rather thin classic “pipey” fragrance that one could accountably label as truly tolerable, if not inobtrusive. And on one final point of reference, Kon-Tiki proved to be unfailingly easy on the palate with no perceived indications of biting disturbance whatsoever.
Coming back to some original advice, sometimes pure simplicity can be a splendid thing. Paraphrasing the words of wise Confucius, life can be very simple, it is we, who continue to make it more complicated than necessary. Perhaps the infallible folly of being human, I guess. One thing is for sure, I see no need to push this futility into our piping affairs my friends. And on that thought, might I suggest that you give Campbell’s Kon-Tiki an open invitation, so as to experience what simple contentment is all about. 3.0 Pipes
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