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
141

47

19

5

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 211 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
WOW. Just wow. This, folks, is Ambrosia in a tin!

The bizarre thing is I didn't get this blend at first. I love English blends, and Syrian Latakia is my favorite condimental tobacco. But smoked fresh, something just seemed off and unharmonious. I smoked half the tin within two weeks of opening it, and left the remaining half in the cellar to forget about it for about 6 months. I don't know if the aging made the difference or just the exposure to air. But whatever the case, this transformed into possibly my all time favorite blend.

Visually, Artisan's Blend is very dark. I don't believe there's Black Cavendish in it so if we're to assume that the dark leaf is Syrian Latakia, it must be in the 50% range, putting it on par with the level of Syrian Lat in the old Balkan Sobranie of the 60s and 70s. The taste would concur with this assumption. The Lat is front and center for the duration of the smoke. You will certainly be well acquainted with Syrian Lat by the end of a tin of AB! And make no mistake, it is most definitely Syrian. Same distinct taste as Mac Baren's HHVS, Bill Bailey's Balkan, and the McClelland Syrian blends.

Artisan's Blend is distinct from the aforementioned tobaccos in several ways. For one, this has the boldest Syrian taste of the lot. I've smoked a great deal of HHVS and while exceptionally good, sometimes the Kentucky takes over and dominates the Lat. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the Lat taste is a bit more muted in HHVS or BBBB. Second, Artisan's Blend has a very strong Oriental presence. By mid bowl and through the end of the smoke, the Orientals make their presence known unreservedly. At times they complete with the Syrian and it's a brilliant, complex interplay between the two. Many reviewers have compared this to Nightcap and that's a fair assessment. But really, it reminds me a lot more of Dunhill's London Blend which I always found Oriental forward but with an omnipresent Syrian Latakia taste throughout.

The flavor, complexity, nicotine, boldness, and harmony is just spot on with this blend. I know I'm smoking a stout, hearty English blend with a lot of backbone and depth yet not overwhelming. And while the McClelland Syrian blends are great in their own right, they are much milder and a little less satisfying than AB.

This also contains Virginia and Perique. The Lat and Orientals are so dominant that I can't discern the Virginia very distinctively but I'm sure they add to the overall character of the blend. Perique gives this blend piquancy and some subtle spiciness but shouldn't be offensive to the those that can't tolerate it in excess.

Room note, eh, not a crowd pleaser but Syrian Lat is incense to my olfactory senses so I'm perfectly happy. Wife will have to suffer from time to time from this, it's just too darn good!!

I consider myself lucky to have tried this, and I wholeheartedly agree with the high rating the community has given AB. It is definitely worthy of it and deserves a prime location in my humble cellar.

27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 09, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
My first English blend was Nightcap and since then I've been searching for a tobacco as good as that. Commonwealth Mixture, Lagonda, London Mixture, 965 etc - all fine in their own right by not even close to Nightcap, for me.

The quality of Artisan's Blend is not only on a par with Nightcap, it is a superior smoke. Complex but consistently tasty. The peaty smoke of Latakia is there, of course, but it is occasionally joined by a flavour more akin to smoked meat, in a manner I tend to associate with Kentucky tobacco. This is a savoury tobacco, with just a hint of sweetness.

If you are a fan of Latakia you NEED to get this in your rotation.
60 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 13, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is the smokiest English I have yet tried. Smokey, sharp, and tangy. The Turkish is nicely balanced with the Latakia. The Virginias and the Perique round things out very nicely. This is a very well thought out blend. I'm impressed. I'm certain that age is only going to make it better. I'm loading my cellar with many tins.
51 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 07, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Full-bodied indeed. Enough flavour to make this one a go-to- full-time-rotation. Nicely balanced Latakia and the perique is just right; not too spicy but spicy enough to warm to sub-cockles of the cockles of my heart.

I really like the aroma of this even smoke. Had some trouble lighting at first, aired out round two, and it burned evenly (though warm, in my Vauen, warmer than Froggy Mortons top two).

Anyone want my aromatics? I aint goin back. I'm just not. My goal was a top three, then five. Thinking...this will be in the former and I'm three for three with the latest order. (FM Cellar, FM Bayou).

You MOB (Men of Briar) who recommended this one to me...you da man. War Department likes this even better than the two Frog Men.

I am an Artisan addict now (after my first tin). Gonna put up against D Man's Nightcap next.

Love you long time Ashtons.
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2008 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Seems like everyone is comparing this blend to the old Dunhill Nightcap..... And, I can only sing along with the choir to an extent. This one may be a little heavier on the Latakia and lighter on the Perique and is lacking the extraordinary depth of Nightcap. Both blends are heavy on the taste buds and stink up a room in a hurry (pleasantly so, according to my nose). As good as it gets as far as I am concerned.
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 07, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Really a well put together blend. The cut is a finer ribbon. Easy to pack and light. I find Syrian Latakia to be more subtle than Cyprian. More of a background smokiness when this starts out with a good Virginia tang. The other elements seem to have a smoothing out effect. The Perique is only periodically discerned as a standout in my experiences.

Does best for me in a wider bowled pipe. This stuff really hits its stride mid bowl, everything kinda melds into a rounded creamy and smoky experience. It stays in that zone til the end if your puffing is careful and consistent.

This blend is very clean and refreshing and balanced. Most Latakia containing blends leave a coating in the mouth. This does not. My Latakia fave has been C&D'S Star of the East flake. It has an earthiness to it, this blend does not. Likewise, Dunhill Nightcap has this smoky charred wood punch, Artisans blend lacks these edges. It is more rich and smooth. I absolutely love the lingering aroma this leaves on the hands, clothes, and nostrils.

The tin states "for the experienced smoker". I disagree and would recommend to anyone looking to try Latakia as it is a very reliable and predictable smoke
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 27, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Ashton - Artisan's Blend.

The aroma from the blend whilst unlit is fabulous, you can detect a little bit of all the ingredients without it being swamped by Lat' only; many blends with Latakia in them seem to have an aroma that allows ONLY this to come through. The moistness of the ribbons are great, as is the amount of the different tobaccos: a very fair mixture with a good quantity of each type. The moment my pipe is filled I can't wait to get started! This is a superlative blend to get lit: a small amount of time with the flame is more than enough to give a good burn. As this one burns it does so very evenly leaving behind a grey ash whilst delivering a medium temperature smoke. The flavour is surprising in the fact that the Latakia is no where near as abrasive as many Lat' blends can be, I would describe the Lat taste as soft and subtle which is wonderful as this lets the other tobaccos shine as well. You get a delicate sourness from the Orientals with a lovely spicy strength from the Perique which really gives the blend some "oomph" whilst all the way there is the steadiness of the hay flavour from the Virginia. The Vitamin N level with Artisan's is the quintessential "middle ground" one. Tongue bite doesn't happen at any point throughout the whole bowl at all, even if really strained. The room-note is a pleasing one: again like all aspects of Artisan's blend it is very even with its constituents and not what I would describe as heavy at all. Due to the softer/different Latakia taste I think this is a definite blend to try for any passionate piper.

A perfectly rounded smoke!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 221
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2011 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Artisan's Blend is a Latakia lover's dream. I like Latakia but tend to shy away from blends where the Latakia dominates, but this blend is so well done it can't be denied. The tobacco is of high quality, the supporting tobacco's round out the blend nicely without grabbing the spotlight. A lot of folks seem to compare this to Nightcap but they really are two very different blends. The perique is more of a player in Nightcap and “Lady N” comes to visit in Artisan's, but doesn't want to “move in” as she does with Nightcap. What they have in common of course is the Latakia. They are also both full bodied English blends. Artisan is slightly sweet and although not an all day smoke for me, it is a great ending to the day. Highly Recommended!
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Ashton's Artisan's Blend: well named...

Ashton's Artisan's Blend is described at TR as being composed of Syrian Latakia, Turkish/Oriental, Perique and Virginia and scores a dramatic 3.5, even after many, many reviews.

Its tin aroma is a deep smoky savory, perhaps a bit of raisin, all of which carry through. Even though many reviewers seem to present this as a "full English" and compare Artisan's to Nightcap and 965, for some reason this pipe opened - to me - with the Turkish-Oriental being the first to show up, with a nice background Virginia sweetness over a light peppery/spicy Perique background as mild seasoning. Occasional whiffs of rich and woodsy/tobacco campfire in between puffs.

Apparently most latakias are of the Cyprian variety, which differs from the savory and more sophisticated Syrian of the Artisan's. What is especially provocative about Artisan's Blend is its remarkable balance, with the Syrian latakia and Turkish/Oriental playing the major roles and trading off with one another from moment to moment, over an ever present background of the Virginia and Perique. The Artisan's Blend is not the least bit drying (as one might expect from a "full English"), but actually leaves a lovely savory aftertaste - to me its trademark.

Key words: shifting, balanced, harmonious, savory - all presented with artistic subtlety. Accordingly, I have a real problem calling this simply a "full English", but rather an experience that alternated between more Balkan with English moments.

One more note: is the importance of sipping and taking the time to reflect on its ever changing presentation. I would add that those who recommend a wider bowl may be right in terms of further exploring this lovely blend that may technically be full, but is so well balanced that you may not notice.

Summary: a brilliant, savory, well-named blend that you should be willing to sip and spend time with, even at the cost of a few relights. Relax. Breathe. Marvel. And enjoy...
Pipe Used: MM Cob
PurchasedFrom: Local
Age When Smoked: Unknown
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2014 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Tried AB a couple of years ago after reading the favorable reviews here, when I needed to break in a 9mm pipe. (Usually I smoke no filter, or 6mm, but this was a gift.) Artisan's Blend caught my attention from the first puff. Straight out of the can, I was taken by the rich flavors and the heavy aroma. I knew from the first bowl this would be a contender to My Mixture 965, and by now, AB has surpassed MM. I smoke about twice as many cans of it as the Dunhill. I've been smoking English blends exclusively for ten years, and like a good share of Latakia, which AB provides. Its nice, rich aroma is there from lighting up, and enhances gently half-way through. The smoke is cool and tasty, and the cut stays lit and burns all the way. A must-try for everyone who enjoys Latakia in a heavier blend.
Pipe Used: Chacom 862 9mm
Age When Smoked: New to 6 mo.
16 people found this review helpful.
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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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