The black cavendish offers the usual vanilla you expect, though how much you taste over the sweet and fairly smooth vanilla topping is hard to define. The topping does lack a little depth, though it does well enough for all day smoke or as a mixer. Has no nicotine to speak of. Burns at a moderate pace if you give it a light dry time, though it can get warm if you puff real fast. Requires a few relights, and leaves some moisture in the bowl. Nice after taste and room note as these blends tend to do.
Finck Cigar Company recently opened a retail store near my house, so I dropped in to check it out. As it happens, I purchased some of the black vanilla. The bag I purchased was rather dry, compared to most black cavendish tobacco I have smoked. It burned a little hot, so I used my pouch humidifier to moisten it up a little. After that, I was very pleased (this also intensified the bag aroma): it packed easily, burned readily, had a very nice room note, and the taste remained constant thru the entire pipe. The vanilla taste is mild, not overpowering. It's not a 4-star tobacco, but is still much better than most of the drugstore-type goopy tobaccos out there. I like smoking the stronger flavored tobaccos but my taste buds grow tired of them after about 2 pipeloads; so I end up smoking several different ones throughout the day. This black vanilla could easily be an all day smoke for me, because it has a mild flavor(I'll give it 3-stars for the all day smoke potential).
If you are looking for a decent, inexpensive, crowd friendly, vanilla flavored black Cavendish, then this should make you happy! I only give it two stars, because it is not my usual style, but I can see where many would enjoy this old standard. Pack it loosely, and watch your puffing cadence to keep the moisture level down. Better yet, smoke it in a clay pipe or a meerschaum.
My standard warning -- I'm a new pipe smoker (less than a year)! Reader beware, my palate and descriptive talents are not mature, but I write as I smoke, from a newbie point of view. Finck's Black Vanilla was one of my first tobaccos to try. It's exactly what you think -- black cavendish, with a vanilla casing. I believe it is cased rather than topped with vanilla because it smells like vanilla, tastes like vanilla, and the room smells like vanilla. The tobacco is a ribbon cut, easily packed. It took me a couple of lights to get it to stay lit, but then it was fine. The smoke is rich and thick, and smells great. You would not be asked to leave the room with this stuff! However, the taste and flavor are not very strong. No tongue bite, but even as a new pipe smoker, I outgrew this blend. I would return to it for a bowlful every now and again, but definitely not as an everyday smoke for me, nor in my rotation. As an added change of pace, or a tobacco to take for a smoke in a crowd, this one is fine.
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