A little musty, woodsy, earthy and lightly smokey latakia is backed up by a mildly floral, earthy, woody, dry Turkish addition. The Virginias are earthy and grassy as the third star in the blend. The nic-hit is just past mild. Burns very well and dry with a consistent tasty English flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. It's more of a mid-range smoke, so it ought to please most English smokers, except for the hard core lat-lovers. Fairly relaxing for an all day English blend.
The best of the Mastro de Paja blends I've tried. I'm not sure if this is made anymore and my tin was maybe 6-8 years old (sorry, there was no date stamp of any kind on the tin and I'd had it in my cellar a long time). The presentation was mild English all the way and it was very tasty indeed. A little spicy Turkish is present here, and that really added to my overall enjoyment of Venezia. I sure wish I could find another tin.
This is a mixture that is produced to fill the gap between Dunhill´s 365 and Medium, I guess. Mastro is also a pipe artist as well, so why not. KK stands for the quality of their products. So nothing to say against quality of leaf, presentation and price. A good english mixture, burns well down to the bottom, cool, grey ash, no dottle, some relights necessary, when smoked too slowly. Latakia is there, t & va taking the lead, but in the room note it is more disitinctive than in the bowl, but in a nice way. Compared to my favorites old dublin and 365 only two ** Nice for beginners, because the scent of latakia is very very gentle.
Appearance and Tin Aroma: Typical English blend with a mixture of dark, golden, and brown leaf. Smells like a good ol' musty English blend should.
Packing and Lighting: moisture is perfect out of tin, medium width ribbons don't give a fuss. 2-3 lights max.
Initial Flavor: Delicious, well balanced English from the get go.
Mid-Bowl: unobtrusive, all-day smoke. All the leaves are in perfect balance. No tongue-bite.
Bottom of Bowl: A nice, gentle build up of strength and all you are left with is grey mottled ash.
Overall: This is blended by Kolhase & Kopp, the same blenders for Rattray's, Brebbia, and others. It has quality ingredients and is in the same genre as "London Mixture", "Black Mallory", etc... This is a solid high quality blend that I would smoke more often if it was cheaper in cost. At $12.00 US a tin, it is more expensive than some stellar English blends by others. But if the price does not bother you, here you have a solid, delicious English blend.
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