Matured Virginia flavored with Orientals. This tin contains thinly cut ribbons, primarily medium and dark brown but with a few lighter strands sprinkled in and some very dark, rubbed-out flakes evident throughout.
This product has become my preferred English blend. Red Virginia combines with a restrained use of Orientals to produce a sweet/smoky tang. Orange Carolina leaf bolsters this union and contributes du corps. A freshly open tin, left overnight in a humidor, registers a 75% humidity level next morning--indicating a nearly perfect condition of readiness. My wife suggests that the tin's contents smell like beef jerky, but to me, a grassy/dried fruit foundation is evident below the smoky top note. The thin ribbons will ignite easily if a little care is first taken to break up the longer strands and the pipe is not packed too tightly. Exhaled through the nose, the smoke delivers a musty/oily Brazil nut flavor. Smoked slowly, the red Virginia element predominates. As the smoking cadence is increased, sweetness yields to leathery stoutness. Tongue bite is nonexistent throughout. This elegant weed has a soft, lush texture. A well-packed bowl is invariably reduced to fine, light-gray ash with little or no dottle remaining. The room note lingers for hours, reminding me of the Punch Rothschild maduro cigars I smoked as a bachelor. While not wishing to choose sides in the all-day-smoke debate, I submit that "Red & Orange" is an anytime-of-day smoke--not too assertive to enjoy with morning coffee, but sufficiently zesty to accompany a sour mash nightcap. While it may lack the youthful exuberance of a G.L. Pease concoction, this English will not fade and lose flavor like a similar example of Greg's offerings that I have sampled; it remains stately and balanced--even when rushed. If you have discovered that standard English mixtures taste like charcoal, or have been roughed up by their hard-edged intransigence, permit me to offer this recommendation: Have yourself another go 'round and "burn down a Ferndown."
Tis is another blend made by one of the larger blenders and repackaged and relabeled for Ferndown. This is a very pleasant blend overeall but is "plain"
Appearance and Tin Aroma: the musty slightly pungent aroma typical of matured va's is apparent,plus some orientals that I quite can't identify in a fine ribbon presentation. It is mostly darker leaf with the ocassional browns and reds.
Packing and Lighting: This is very moist out of the tin and benefits from drying. Lighting is 4-5 lights when tin is first opened, but 2-3 after some drying.
Initial Flavor: Slightly tangy matured va tempered with I think is macedonian leaf, maybe some turkish too.
Mid-Bowl: does not build much strength. Just a smooth smoke with tongue-bite far away.
Bottom of Bowl: No real build of of strength, finishes easy, no ashiness. Leaves lots o' moisture in the shank though.
Overall: This is a smooth, no-nonsense smoke with enough flavor to keep you interested, but nothing that makes you go wow! After this tin is finished, I won't buy more. I have enough of these style blends to last me for a few years....
Red & Orange is a bold Red Virginia forward tasting blend but the tang of the bright leaf is also noted. A solid player in the Ferndown line up that will not overwhelm with strength, but sure will let you know that you had a fine smoke!
This is the second Ferndown mixture I've tried, and it strengthens my high opinion of their blends. I like Red and Orange a lot. It comes across to me as being similar in flavor and character to Dunhill Nightcap, but not quite as full and considerably less strong. Despite being given second billing, the Oriental tobaccos in R & O exert their influence noticeably. The Matured Virginias are high-quality and very flavorful too. R & O is not overly complex, but it offers the smoker a pleasant two-part harmony. It's pretty consistent from start to finish. R & O lights well and doesn't bite. Tin aroma is sour and musty; it might be off-putting to anyone skittish about Oriental mixtures, but I find it appealing. The room note is decidedly un-aromatic-- it's an unapologetically musty tobacco smell. The flavor hints of wood smoke and autumn leaves, with an undertone of sourness that's not at all unpleasant. Ferndown Red & Orange is a good choice among Oriental/English blends, and one I expect to go back to often.
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