This blend has a story with a small curve ball thrown in. I received this tin (4 years of age) from ASP and Pipe World luminary Tarek Manadily. Racing to a site, I researched and dually noted the ingredients; Va, Latakia, Perique, dash of cavendish. Fired 'er up. Mmmm... boy is this Latakia subtle! So harmonious, you can't even detect it's presence. Allright, allright, dammit, I admit it, I can't taste the latakia!! I wrote Tarek. Seems it was an error, there is no latakia. Whew! If I couldn't taste the latakia in a blend, time to hang up the keyboard . Product: Schurch Champion's Smokin Mix V. Packaging, 50g tin. Appearance: Beautiful, fairly uniform color, due in part to age (4 years) of tin. Med brown. Small "wild" cut. Tin moisture is as close to perfection as likely to appear on this plane of existence. Slightest effort "fluffs" the tobacco into soft spongy peaks. Tin scent: Marvelous. Complex Virginia and Perique with a hint of smooth raspberry and fig in the background. A smidge (just a smidge) of cavendish accounts for a little of this. But the tobaccos present are certainly spectacular and well married. Packs extremely well. Turning Japanese by The Vapours on the stereo, let's rock!...... Flame hits weed releasing a wonderful smoke of great complexity and seamless integration. Many different notes, soft sweetness of Virginia, with ample "salsa" of perique, play about, each moving to the foreground, then dropping back into the harmony like a well seasoned a capella group doing it's thing on a stoop in the old neighborhood.. Easy comparison come readily to mind. While not directly comparable, on some levels (cut for example), one might call the first third of the bowl "Three Nuns" with a smoother softer, more complex hand. The Perique is substantial, but the use of the cavendish, clips any bitterness and bite, rendering an endearing pepperiness sans edge. Warning to ex-cigarette smoker: Extremely inhale able. Mid bowl: The liquid teflon-smooth sounds of Kid Creole and the Coconuts belting out Male Curiosity on the stereo, weed softens even further, sweetness with ephemeral fruit play in the nasal passages, though seemingly impossible, it's complexity maintains. Unlit weed and ash seems to take on scent of fresh mown hay. The match pulls 'er back into life, without warm-up. 0-60 instantly. Wow! End bowl: If it wasn't for the fact that I just sucked a bit of ash, I wouldn't have known that it was end bowl. Nuff said? Summary: Pinnacle of the blender's art. Made for slow, introspective puffing. For those of you who like Three Nuns, get it. For those of you who find the latter day incarnation of Three Nuns and Escudo a tad too aggressive on the palate, try this one before you give up. Highly Recommended, a newer can: eight out of ten Bearclaws, as sampled (aged) nine out of ten Bearclaws.
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