Overlapping planes of vintage, sun-cured Basma and Izmir leaf reframe the malty, natural sweetness of mature red Virginias in this modern expression of the classical Virginia/ Oriental archetype. Aged in cakes to deepen and enrich the flavors, this structured, plug-cut tobacco is poised to engage and intrigue all of the senses.
The aged sun cured Basma and Izmir provide a wealth of floralness, earth, wood, vegetation, herbs, a fair amount of sourness, some spice, mild buttery sweetness, light incense and bitterness as the lead components. The mature red Virginias produce some tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, tart citrus, mild sugar, light grass, floralness, a pinch of spice, and a bare hint of vinegar. They are a slot below a full support role, and their inherent sweetness is the most obvious contribution. The strength is two and a half steps past the medium threshold. The taste edges past that mark. The nic-hit is a notch below the overall strength level. Won’t bite or get harsh. It does have a few rough edges. The fairly dense plug is mildly moist, and not hard to cut, though there area few veins to cut through. As is my custom, I did not dry it for review nor did I see a need to do so. I recommend cutting the plug down the side as the individual varietals are layered if you want a more consistent smoking experience. Burns cool, clean and slow with a mostly consistent, moderately sweet and rather sour, floral, mildly spicy, savory flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a tad pungent. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three stars.
Checked to be sure, and it looks like Geometrie is only GLP’s 2nd VA/Oriental blend (joining Embarcadero), and it’s his 2nd plug of this general stripe (joining Temple Bar). Lucky me, both Embarcadero and Temple Bar are favorites of mine, and they are met with synergy (synergie?) in Geometrie. As Greg’s introduction to his Zeitgeist collection suggests, Geometrie is qualitatively “different”. It seems to me that the VAs and the Orientals here are fairly well fused and morphed in a way I still find difficult to describe. The plug in the new/young tin is an apparently random amalgamation of red-blonde, brown and dark brown leaves pressed together in very tight layers. The scent is not strong, but it is pungent, festering, almost brooding, in a way that augers well for those attuned to high quality blends, with dark fruit compote under fermenting wheat/rye bread with muted, musty baking and roasting spices, some raw cocoa, along with faint goat aftermath. Without thinking much about it, I cut a couple of 1/8” slices perpendicular to the plug layers, then I turned the slices on edge and cut several slices from them, resulting in small “cubes” and small square pieces of tobacco leaves. These handle, load, light and smoke down just fine, straight from the tin, given fairly constant attention. Smoking it, Geometrie is strong stuff for a VA/Oriental blend, well past medium on that front, and the tastes build most of the way to full, if one keeps it burning through the entire smoke, as I have done. Oddly, I find the nicotine is also substantial by the end of a bowl, and particularly so for the genre. For reference, FWIW, Geometrie is altogether stronger than Embarcadero. The ample red VA seems to be Carolina. In any case, it’s rich, “low-pitched”, fairly bluff and sooty like that, and it ensures that tastes and scents are full-spectrum, top to bottom, throughout every smoke. No surprise to me, G has bloomed as it’s rested in a jar, where I put it after popping the tin. The well-melded varietals start out ensemble, with a sort of bready, dark-fruity mass of musty, bluntly pungent spices and wood, and more open, more floral aspects have increased over time, as G develops in the jar. Although there is some sweetness from the VA, it is overridden by sourness and spices from the Orientals, with the floral Basma providing baking spices and the Izmer providing spicy spices. Again, strength is toward strong from medium, and tastes are toward full from medium. Room note is tolerable to strong. Aftertaste is a slow fade of the best of the smoke, drawn out and sweeter from the VA.
Re-reading the above, I keep thinking I should try harder to line out what’s good about Geometrie. OK. Basically, Geometrie is a complex and saturated blend, and the quality is there, like a young Grand Cru wine. I like it, and I give it 4 stars now. I would not be surprised if G is not loved by new pipe smokers. More people will like it better after it gets some rest, a couple of months, maybe longer. I also deem Geometrie a good candidate for sealed-in-tin aging.
Pipe Used: dedicated #4 briar
Similar Blends: compare/contrast to GLP Embarcadero.
Tin note of spices, dried fruit and grass/hay. Tobacco is a plug of marbled orangish tan, brown and dark brown. Moisture content is great. Recommend a sharp thin knife or razor to slice off some 1/8 inch flakes. Rubs out with a little force. Cubes nicely. Burns slow with a few extra relights. The strength is medium and nic is mild. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and very consistent, with notes of spices, fermented sour, floral, tart citrus, wood, peaty herbal vegetation, lemon grass, mildly savory, orange peel/zest, spicy, bread, semi-sweet dark dried fruit, a earthy and sweet hay background note, and a very peppery retro. Oriental/Turkish is leading with Virginia trying to keep up. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is good.
Pipe Used: 2016 Northern Briars Regal Rox Cut #4 Pot
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