Number 6 was an old favorite of the Barclay-Rex crowd and was written about many times in old issues of the Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris. That's where I heard about it and promptly worked a tobacco trade with a New York customer of mine who got me a few ounces to try. Whew! this one will slap around the old kisser! Strong Burley presence and Latakia that seemed to have a lot of twigs in it. As many know, the twigs contain the nicotine, and that just added to the punishment. Maybe some old timer like this sort of blend but I did not. Too strong in the flavor department and a little harsh.
Being one of the only pipe shops left in the city, I decided that I needed to try some of their blends before they, too, could be subject to the culture of immediacy and on-the-go that permeates New York City - particularly the Financial Distract - where this shop is nestled beneath the skyscrapers. Luckily, Barclay Rex has a long and storied history in the city - one that I do not see going away any time soon. So, I walked in wanting an English mixture, and got pointed to No. 6.
No. 6 would be classified as an American English due to the presence of burley in the blend, amongst other things, and I'd say the burley is a dominant player throughout the bowl, offering earthy, nutty notes. Given this is a bulk blend, other's mileage may vary, but the burley in the pipe seemed rough around the edges - almost cigarette-like at times. To some that might be fine, but to me it was a bit of a turn off. The latakia definitely came through in this blend, and due to the bigger chunks of latakia used in the cut, sometimes I felt as if I would get a blast of pure latakia every once in a while. If they cut the latakia in ribbons, it probably would meld the flavors better in the bowl. Nevertheless, the latakia was pleasant and smoky, earthy and leathery, and the big burley presence with the latakia gave this blend and interesting twist. The virginas serve as a base, but are barely detectable. The cavendish is sweet and popped through here and there more fully, helping the blend become a bit more tolerable in the air and in the mouth, given the harshness of the burleys.
I would say there is some strength to this tobacco, due to the burley, but it doesn't push past the medium mark in terms of nicotine. The flavor was straddling the medium/medium-full line for the majority of the smoke. The colder months in the city call for a latakia forward blend, and if you are wanting to try one of New York City's last pipe shops, throw a couple ounces of this on your tab and give it a try. Any shop that reminds us to slow down and enjoy life's quiet moments is a shop worth supporting.
I liked this. Had just the right amount of latakia if ones wants latakia but doesn't want to be overwhelmed with it. Was less latakia than Maiden Lane. Burned cool. The cavendish gave it a sweet note.
I initially gave this a three star but found it so good in an oversized Ser Jacapo pipe. It is an excellent blend and I think I will always have several ounces on hand.
Second review: Bought 6 ounces of this again and this time was not as impressed. It may have been that I was using it to break in a new Savenilli Pipe and need to try this in one of my regualr pipes. Still think it is a regular for me but will see as I get down through the supply this round.
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