This tobacco is custom-blended by a smoke shop near my home, in East Lansing, Michigan. They stock many good bulk blends as well as popular tinned tobacco. Some of these are Lane bulks, but the owner does blend his own as well, having over 25 years experience doing so. This blend is new as of the year 2000, and is a very good, medium English mixture: smooth, rich, and absolutely bite-free. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys English mixtures. The aroma of this blend is that of an average Latakia tobacco: leathery and rich, pretty much a classic English smell. The leaf is highly varied, about 40% black, 40% darker brown, and 20% light tan, all in a medium/wide cut. The moisture level is average and it lights easily, burning very well with fewer than the average number of relights required. In the first 1/3 of the bowl, the taste is that of a classic English blend: a leathery, stout, and fairly complex blending of Latakia, Virginias, and Orientals that melds together very well. There is also a light note of sweetness under the smoky flavor. The smoke is very dense and smooth, and the room note is that of a strong English blend. In the second 1/3, the smooth, full flavor continues, and the Latakia taste has intensified a bit. The sweetness has decreased while the overall flavor has grown darker. There are no moisture problems thus far, and nary a hint of tongue bite to be seen. In the last third, the flavor remains full and rich, a smooth yet satisfying mixture. There is good complexity and pleasantly of Latakia for those who MUST have it. It smokes cool and dry right to the bottom; I was sucking ash before I knew it. Overall, this is an excellent medium to full English blend that is very well blended. It is less complex than Renaissance, less rich than Raven's Wing, and slightly less smooth than Frog Morton; regardless, it works perfectly as a middle-of-the-road Latakia blend that could easily function as an all day smoke or as a satisfying end of the day treat. I firmly recommend this to anyone who likes English mixtures and/or fairly strong Latakia tobaccos. I have a couple pounds of the stuff cellared myself, and use it as an inexpensive alternative to high-quality tins.
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