A classic English blend made of the finest Latakia, Louisiana perique, a medium cut burley and Virginias. This is an ideal blend for the smoker who enjoys a spicy and full bodied smoke that is also smooth.
The nutty, earthy, woody, mildly molasses sweet burley takes a small lead over the other components. The smoky, earthy, woody, sweet, lightly musty Cyprian Latakia is a supporting player whose effect varies from time to time. The Latakia has fair competition from the Virginias, which offer a bit of light tart and tangy citrus and grass with a dark fruit note. The rather spicy, raisiny, plumy perique has an important presence in the proceedings to the extent that it often competes with the other tobaccos. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is just shy of the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a deeply rich, though lightly inconsistent, complex sweet, smoky, spicy flavor that translates to the slightly lingering after taste. Hardly leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. This blend straddles the line between being an all day smoke and a repeatable one. Veteran smokers may fall in the former category. Three and a half stars only due to the aforementioned inconsistency.
No. 78 is a Burley forward, although it is similar in taste and aroma to No. 13, 524, etc. I love simple blends like Sutliff's "Ready Rubbed Match" and other Codger blends. So I've definitely come to love this blend as well, and No. 78 expresses the delightful simplicity of the Codger blend while capturing the full-bodied taste of the English blend to build a complex, exquisite, delightful aroma. There is no nicotine hit, but given the presence of Burley and Perique, repeated smoking will inevitably cause buzz (or nauseousness) just because it's easy to smoke. In other words, it's such a smooth blend. The aforementioned words are something I have to watch out for myself!
This is a rich blend, which can smoke hot if not sipped slowly. However, with that in mind, this is a great tasting tobacco with a lot of character. It is not a subtle brew; it is similar to Sonza Bitches, but perhaps packs more punch. I suspect that many would find this blend too strong, but I really enjoyed the complex flavors. A great smoke indeed.
Over the last months I have smoked a fair share of this wonderful blend and in fact I am smoking it right now as well! What sets this blend apart from so many Anglo-American tobacco's is that it is always a highly satisfying smoke. This is due to the fantastic interplay of the four tobacco's used in this blend. It has been referred to as having a "hot ball" effect in the mouth and this is correct. This is due to the Perique and the way it interacts with Latakia, they really reinforce each other IMO.It packs easily enough in a not too large bowl and burns nice and evenly to a fine grey ash.
This blend will not leave you wanting in the strength/nicotine department but is not overbearing either. I would especially recommend it as a great after dinner smoke, perhaps with a nice malt whisky to accompany it
My daughter bought a sampler from Wilke Pipeworks and this was one of the blends included. When I read what was in it, I was sure I wasn't going to like it. Well, I was wrong. It's one of the few tobaccos that I enjoyed from the very first pipeful. And wow, what a kick! Initially, the Perique must dominate, because my mouth felt like I was sucking on a red hot. Not unpleasant, but definitely strong. And then as the smoke continued, the sharpness of the Perique gave way to the strength of the Latakia. This is indeed a man's smoke that tastes like real tobacco combined with the nicotine kick that I enjoy on occasion. And the taste continues thru to the end. If this were around in Sherlock Holmes day, I feel this would have been his blend of choice. The burley and Virginia tobaccos must just be fillers in this case whose only purpose is to smooth out the Latakia. Two factors prohibit me from giving #78 the highest rating: I find it somewhat difficult to keep lit and the room note is very dominating. But I will indeed order this "wake up call for the mouth" again. I think this would be a great wintertime smoke after breakfast.
The blenders description is pretty accurate. A fuller English with a lot of flavor, but without the harshness I have experienced with some blends of the same strength. I don't have the expertise to analyze the tobacco content, other than to say it is about 60% dark, 40%lighter tobacco of numerous cuts. A very nice English smoke, with no excessive heat or bite.
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