Ashton Artisan's Blend

(3.53)
This full bodied English mixture is carefully crafted for the experienced pipe smoker. Virginia and Turkish tobaccos harmonize with Latakia and a touch of perique to create a taste that is resoundingly rich, spicy and satisfying.
Notes: The tin description and website pipesandcigars.com and smokingpipes.com show that Artisan's Blend has Virginia, Turkish tobaccos, Syrian Latakia and a touch of perique. But according to the Kohlhase & Kopp website, the main ingredient of this spicy mixture is Syrian Latakia, which was rounded off with small amounts of Virginia, fire-cured Kentucky, black cavendish, and perique. Currently, this blend only contains Cyprian Latakia, as the stock of Syrian Latakia ran out.

Details

Brand Ashton
Blended By  
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.53 / 4
143

49

19

5

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 215 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
My favorite English blend, so far, smoked in a pipe dedicated to English blends. Smoky, smoky, smoky aroma in the tin, which is a real attractant to me on this one.

While a fairly strong smoke, it is NOT overpowering. I personally love the room note, but my wife definitely does not (thus the rating).
Pipe Used: Stanwell
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 17, 2009 Medium Mild Mild Tolerable
Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based:

Artisan's Blend is a fail. Cavendish & Perique being the culprits. Not being a Perique fan, I am obviously biased. But the Perique is the only thing strong or interesting here, the Cavendish making for a very mild and boring body. Seems to me English is a standard: Virginias, Orientals, & Latakia. You can change on the margins (add Perique = Nightcap)(add Cavendish = 965)(not exactly, but you get the idea...) But if you add Perique AND Cavendish, now we're into un-English territory. Artisans indeed.

Close to Nightcap? Nonsense. Traditional English? No.

Experience required? Hardly. Aromatic smokers inching towards English might wish to experiment here, if you've a taste for Perique.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 16, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Mostly black with some mottling small ribbons with a heavy scent of Syrian lat in the tin. This is a tale of 3 vintages, all of which are quite different from one another. I had a 2 year old tin in my cellar, picked up a 10 year old in a trade and while smoking those two could not resist the temptation to buy a fresh one and smoke it also.

The winner is the 2 year old tin. Fresh this one had all the issues that I suspected a blend with this many components would have - a kind of dirty tasting cloudiness as if the constituent tobaccos hadn't melded properly. The 2 year old tin meshed perfectly, with the Syrian lat and orientals taking the lead, giving a spicy and occasionally wonderfully sour woodsmoke flavor. The Virginias had a relaxed sweetness (to which the Cavendish likely contributed) and the perique was really only tasted in the snork and lent a light pepperish taste that brought the whole concoction together. At 2 years old, this blend becomes somewhat Peasian, with a bevy of different flavors rearing their heads at different times, including dark roast coffee and a lightly sweet toffee caramel flavor (but not artificial). Nicely mellow complexity and nowhere near as much nicotine as, say, Nightcap, although this is far from a nic lightweight.

In an odd twist of fate, the 10 year old tin went into repose a little more than I like. The Syrian lat was diminished in taste and the Virginias came more to the fore. The orientals kind of lost their way and the perique actually became more apparent. It was almost like a totally different blend. Still good but not the flavor powerhouse with tons of clarity that the 2 year old tin possessed. It became more ordinary while the 2 year old rose above the common. Now the trick is to figure out the point at which this blend reaches its peak. Should be fun to figure out! I've ordered a couple more tins and will crack them in 2 year. This one is just short of absolutely excellent but a four star blend all the way. Just don't let it age too much.
Age When Smoked: fresh, 2 and 10 years
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
If you hate this smoke, you probably either don't like English at all or you may need to clean your pipe thoroughly. When you smoke a pipe for over 5 times, the pipe would be gunky and cleaning tube is not enough. Using this kind of pipe you probably would hate every smoke. You may want to use facial puff dipping alcohol(no whisky or cognac please, it would be more gunkier and stinkier) to clean your pipe. Then you would realize why the smoke is so spicy and stinky. please do that after 4 or 5 bowls of smoke.

It is hard to find a replacement for the blend. It is in my daily rotation list with Penzence. But dont be misunderstanding, its character is very distinctive with P. P is more matured, but not as multilayered and vivid as Artisan. Penzance is good, but it let me fall asleep when puffing it. After I smoked Penzance, why not a bowl of Artisan? It always comes into my mind. Both Artisan and Penzance are decent smokes. It is thick but not harsh, spicy yet creamy,... full of Lat strength (maybe mid-strengh) but not going to knock you out, somehow bitter but sweet, very subtle but crispy sweet, which reminds me a hint of black java with milk and a little brown sugar not totally melted. Sometimes you even tasted the sweet. Topping? Maybe. But it is too natural to think it is topped, at least not as freaking topped as Mississippi River or Plum Pudding. Artisan is unbeatable!!! A must buy for each English blend lovers!!
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong
Together with Westminster and Charing Cross this has become one of my favourite Anglo/Balkan tobaccos. If you like a classic full bodied English look no further. A tad stronger than Westminster, with some added Pèrique (but not as dense as the bygone Nightcap), this blend really brings back the meaning of a proper English. Strong but palatable, easy to fill and light up, Artisan's Blend lingers as a close friend. It's steady, reliable, perfect for an evening of contemplation or reading. The different leafs combine harmoniously, in perfect balance, and the Pèrique shines through from time to time without outdoing the Virginias, Turkish and Latakia. Think of an upgraded version of Squadron Leader and a very close relative to Dunhill's old London Mixture, with the added strength of the Pèrique. Wonderful!
Pipe Used: Savinelli Bing's Favorite
PurchasedFrom: Joshua's Pipe Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: N/A
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 01, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Summary: a gentle English with some strength to it and a sweet, comfortable flavor.

Like many, I went looking for a substitute for Dunhill "Nightcap," but found instead a gentle, spicy English which is more like "My Mixture 965" thanks to the addition of Black Cavendish. The mixture consists of mostly black leaf, which would be the Perique, Cavendish, and Latakia, with a few shreds of light tan and brown and for the Virginias and Orientals. On first light, it gives off a leathery flavor rather than a campfire sensation, which suggests that these Latakia leaves were treated somehow (possibly just washing/casing) before cutting. Comprised of thin ribbon cut shreds of a perfect moisture level, "Artisan's Blend" starts out with a leathery flavor, then moves into a piquant spice from the Perique and Orientals in balance, and finally as everything caramelizes, merges into a tangy citrus-maple flavor from the Virginias and Orientals. The latter half of the bowl is pure English mixture delight, with the smoky Latakia taking a leathery background role, the Cavendish and Virginias sweetening the blend, and the Perique moderating the Orientals and Latakia into a zingy, spicy flavor. This is not as strong as "Nightcap," nor quite as zesty as "My Mixture 965," but it has become one of my favorite English blends nonetheless.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 29, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Blends with Syrian latakia are starting to extinct and this is very sad.Syrian latakia are unique and nothing can replace them.this blend contains Syrian latakia and my opinion is that it is a hidden star.once the tin breaks you instantly realize that this is a full bodied english blend with some sour and vinegar notes.the blend is dark with a small amount of bright birginias with perfect moisture smooth texture and ribbon cut.packs and lights easy with a few relights needed.while smoking from the first puffs you realize the complexity of this blend.latakias are the main player being sweet,leathery,coaly and woodsy.orientals are sharp,earthy and spicy.then the perique adds some great sour and spicy notes with some plums very rare.virginias are in the backround supporting the blend with some grass and citrus notes.the flavours combine perfect in a very balanced and natural way making a full bodied english blend.burns slow and medium hot to total ash with no moisture at the end of the bowl.the room note is tolerable to unpleasant as a proper english blend should smell.the nicotine level is medium and the aftertaste nice.not an all day smoke.the complexity of this blend can't be revealed if smoked fast so my advise is to pack it in a churchwarden pipe seat comfortable and enjoy it with a nice smoked whiskey!!
Age When Smoked: New
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2008 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I really enjoyed the old Ashton line. I had smoked Celebrated Sovereign, Black Parrot, and Old Dog, and I remember offering four stars for each blend. The word was, they were manufactured under the McClelland brand.

I was distraught a bit to find that the old line had been eliminated and a new incarnation would be introduced. I cried foul, lamenting that a small user base is not an accurate reflection of quality.

Artisan's Blend is the first of the new I have sampled, and there are differences. The taste profile is different, somehow. I can't elaborate more on that, but it's a feeling I have, growing more with the readings I have incurred of frothy aromatics and sugary product. The blenders are distinctly different from the original inception of Ashton. But, that's not necessarily bad, right?

I have grown increasingly attached to this Syrian Latakia, and I cannot imagine a moment in which the supply may cease, other than an artificial circumstance of marketing. Artisan's Blend delivers the English, with Syrian in full. I understand that many have compared this to Nightcap, and though I do not fully associate this linkage, other than to say...if you want a strong English, with Syrian for Cyprian, this is your bet. It's wonderful, and I shall not back away from this assertion.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2005 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I am not a fan of Dunhill English blends and I am always searching for a good "English" from europe. This was it. A very nice alternative to the throat searing Dunhill blends being produced now. It reminded me very nuch of what "Nightcap" used to be. I think that says it all.Nice balance ,even burn, and a good Latakia flavor.Not for the meek! 3 of 4 stars.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2018 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable
Two words: BORING ZZZ

Artisan's Blend is your archetypal 'hipster blend': takes great things, mixes it all up together, ruins the uniqueness and distinctiveness of each, resulting in a forgettable and hollow product. Tobacco blends aren't like cooking stuffing for Thanksgiving, you can't just "add good things and hope for the best", there has to be some efficiency and preciseness to making a great tobacco blend. This doesn't have it.

Artisan's Blend is a mild, unremarkable English blend that lacks the complexity of other similar blends, resulting in an unexceptional, mediocre smoke. On paper Artisan’s Blend looks like a winner, containing 5 high-quality tobaccos, but neither tobacco really stands out: the spiciness of the Perique and Turkish aren’t very noticeable, the Syrian Latakia lacks flavor and tastes diluted, and the Virginia’s go undetected throughout. In my opinion, the Black Cavendish makes the blend overly-mellow and limits the taste the rest of the 4 tobaccos. This would be a much better blend if the Cavendish was left out entirely.

The main problem is that nothing really stands out about this blend; there is nothing exceptional or truly satisfying from start to finish, and lacks any real depth or complexity. It might be a balanced blend, but in the sense that you hardly taste anything and is ‘balanced’ in its utter tastelessness. Honestly, it felt like I was just smoking hot air, with some lawnmower grass tossed in and a drop of Tabasco sauce added for 'flavor'. That's what it tastes like.

Go for Presbyterian or Irish Oak if you want something more flavorful and enjoyable to smoke (and less Hipster sounding as well). Even the Latakia in Presbyterian is superior to the Latakia found in Artisan’s, and Presbyterian doesn’t actually have any. I had high hopes for this, but was a resounding disappointment, hence why I am being so hard on this blend.
7 people found this review helpful.
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