I purchased a tin of this tobacco not long ago simply because I liked the name. I enjoy dark, well stoved Virginia leaf and I appreciate shag cut tobacco because it is easy to pack and stays lit well.
I am not sure whether this is a new Fairmorn offering, but it is certainly a good one. The taste is similar to the visual presentation; strong and dark. Not really any sweetness here, just straight forward tobacco taste.
I have read other reviewers refer to some tobaccos as having a "campfire" taste. Personally, I've never tasted campfire, but if I ever do, I'm sure it'll remind me of Dark Fired Shag, which does have a woodsey, smokey taste. This tobacco has also been stoved to the point where it is biteless. As a comparison, it is similar to Walnut Flake, but not nearly as strong or as naturally bitter.
I believe this Fairmorn offering will age beautifully, so I have added a few tins to my tobacco cellar (Coleman Cooler, hall closet, top shelf.)
When I popped the tin I knew I was gonna like this tobacco, it looked like peat moss packed very tightly in the tin and smelled like those sweet va's I have come to adore so much. I packed it using the Frank method it went up like there was some kind of accelerant on it. Like Tilbury the burn was superb. Tasting the first few puffs of Dark Fired Shag was a real treat, a mouth watering musty sweetness that grew deeper and stronger the whole way down. Feeling satisfied at the end of a bowl is a must for a 4 star recommendation and this gets it. This tobacco is a diamond in the rough! Spark up a bowl of this with a cup of the finest Zimbabwe coffee and you will be in your glory.
I was able to sample this at the weekly pipe club that I have been attending lately. This was from 2006. The shag cut reminded me of Drum cigarette tobacco. I liked it but it was late in the evening and I was only able to have one bowl. Smooth, woodsy with somewhat of a nic hit. Reminds me of dark bird’s eye. Maybe next week I can try some more.
Although my review ends in complete agreement, it is clear that my route to that end contrasts that of the fine reviewer preceeding me.
Dark Fired Shag is precisely that, a fire cured tobacco so the air curing group that has been attached to its Tobacco Review notation above seems to be inaccurate. This is very much in the realm of SG Dark Birdseye and Peterson's Irish Flake, although DFS is a very finely shredded shag, they share similarity of fire cured taste and strength.. The taste is distinct and quite woodsy - in fact - I would suggest that it is cured using smoldering oak and not the pine family that is associated with many fire cured orientals.
It is strong, it packs a lot of nicotine and the taste moves quite full and sharp towards the end of the bowl. I like this very much in a medium sized bowl as a change of pace that is full / strong and biteless. It is also a fast smoke and lends it self to small slow puffing. Quite excellent when full taste is the destination. This is a rustic smoke.
To my palate, this is the most refined dark shag you can put in your pipe. Absent are any traces of bite, any cigar like overtones, overbearing off tastes, or floral/soapy notes.
Just a very smooth dark espresso like VA flavor with no variance, with the familiar element of dark fired throughout. It is very full in the nicotine department, but not absolutely overwhelming. Its ultrafine cut means you have to be careful in packing and smoking. Room aroma is tolerable as well. A good tobacco for the hairy chested ryo crowd too.
Look, this is okay pipe tobacco. But it's really a top-notch cigarette tobacco. It's actually wasted in a pipe. My friends and I debated the function of this tobacco and the universal consensus is that it is cigarette rolling tobacco. Of course, you could emulate Holmes and call for a pound of this and sit amongst a pile of pillows on the ground with your oily clay pipe. I see no reason why this couldn't be an excellent blending element.
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