The grassy, tart and tangy citrusy, bready, mildly sour lemony, floral, vegetative, sugary, lightly spicy bright Virginia comprises half of this mixture. However, the potency of the Macedonia and Turkish reduce it to a secondary player. The fragrant, very tangy Orientals provide plenty of earth, wood, floralness, a lot of spice, some herbs, vegetation, buttery sweetness and a tad more sourness. The smoky, woody, earthy, leathery, incense-like, sweet Cyprian Latakia is barely noticeable. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are medium. It won’t bite, but the spice content is rather tingly to the tongue, so I suggest a moderate puffing cadence. Has a few small rough edges, but no harsh notes. Burns fairly cool, and very clean at a reasonable pace with a very consistent fruity, very floral, spicy, deeply rich flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a notch stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it’s certainly repeatable. Three and a half stars.
Once again, a classic blend no longer produced...Sigh.
Down the Road Mixture is a spicy Orientals blend with what appears to be a lot of bright. Due to the fact that my tin was quite aged, the smoke was smooth as a baby's bottom. Upon initial lighting my nostrils tingled with the spice of the Orientals, but the smoke soon settled down and purred like a kitten all the way to the bottom of the bowl with nothing but beautiful white ash remaining.
Down the Road Mixture has a slight sweetness and I never tasted even a hint of Latakia, although that leaf is listed as a component. The nicotine level was high enough to be felt and I really enjoyed the cool, clean taste of the Virginia leaf from top to bottom. This blend does not really change much as it is consumed, but that's okay. The initial flavor was not one I wanted to disappear anyway.
If you can find a tin of this old classic, grab it.
Dark brown ribbons with a tin aroma of oily, greasy, juicy orientals. Very mouth watering! As stated, just a pinch of latakia smoke. The "bright" Virginia was no longer bright but closer to walnut brown.
The orientals are front and center at the beginning and showed no floral character but that oily, spicy flavor that I prefer. The Virginias come in shortly and were mildly sweet - more of a graham cracker sweetness rather than sugar. The latakia was barely noticeable but provided a platform to help dial in the orientals. Only slightly complex and with what I felt was light nicotine. This was a good but not great tobacco and I don't think more latakia would hurt this one. So I added some to the last 4 bowls and was rewarded with more complexity and a broader range of flavors as the lat integrated with the Virginias and orientals. Much preferred! Even so, this was a fine smoke, just not anything I'd pay through the nose for (again!).
Aspect: upon opening the tin you immediatly notice the absence of black leaves( very little Latakia here): the colour is a mix of pale/ medium Virginias and brown to green Orientals. The cut is a medium short ribbon, with some longer and larger part.
Smell: very light, you immediatly identify the Oriental leaf from its typical spiced flavour. No trace of external toppings and no hint of dried fruits, molasses or whatever, just plain tobacco: a good clue of quality.
Packing and lighting: the moisture in the tin is almost perfect, I just left the tin open for about 15 minutes and it was perfect. Due to the cut, packing and lighting are easy.
Smoking: the first impact is with the Oriental flavour, spiced, a little acrid, that invades your nose. The body is really light. The Virginia taste arrives later, but not with their usual sweetness and strenght, everything remains in the mild department with an almost cigarettish feel. Latakia still not present at all. This blend is very "dry", in the sense that lacks any roundness and leaves your mouth clean and (exactly) dry. Had it a little more of Latakia leaf it would be a fine mild English mixture, in the line of Davidoff Royalty or Rattray's red Rapparee; like it is, it's more of a VA.Oriental blend. The burning is very regular and even, surprisingly cool and dry (considering the leaves involved) and you won't need to relight more than, maybe, one time. The taste doesn't build up in a great evolution but it keeps to the end of the bowl, a clear symptom that the leaves are of good quality; the only evolution is that towards the end of the bowl the body strenghtens a little.
All in all a good tobacco, especially in the early morning when your tastebuds are clean, fresh and ready to appreciate the delicacy of this blend.
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