A wonderful black cavendish with burley and Virginia added. A full aromatic with vanilla, chocolate and arrow root as the flavorings. Very cool smoking with almost no residue. Reminiscent of the old Bengal Mixture.
I'm moving more and more away from aromatics and into virginias. But WOZ will always have a place in my rotation. It smokes very easily. No bite no matter how hard you puff. It tastes sweet but not too sweet, and the arrow root gives it an earthy, and almost herbal finish. An interesting and unique blend.
Another solid blend from the folks at Rich’s. WOZ is a bit of a departure from any Steven Books blend that I have tried. I can’t fathom Mr. Books selling this product, or anything similar at his House of Calabash, and as far as I know he doesn’t. Typically his aromatics are lightly flavored and the taste of the tobacco is always the focus. WOZ on the other hand is well-cased and the flavoring does most of the work. However, it’s a good flavor. It’s lightly sweet with chocolate and vanilla notes and no cheap chemical off-flavors. There’s a very subtle herbal note on the finish to go along with the toasty Black Cavendish bass note. WOZ produces a very pleasant scent and burns slow with no bite. Some relights are required and it needs to be smoked at a slow sip, but most good tobacco mixtures of this type do.
Without a doubt I love WOZ. There is a lot going on in this blend - lots of different flavors that make there presence known as one goes through a bowl of tobacco - I get vanilla, brown sugar, rum, and something else - I would probably say arrow root - although that is something I have never smoked before - so let's leave it at an herbacious flavor - unknown but very tasty. The blend smokes well - never overheats and burns to a fine ash. The flavors keep coming throughout the bowl. Every time I smoke this blend - I get something totally different in tast. Truly amazing.
Now about the legal issue brought up distinguishedgentleman in his review. I am totally on board with his comments regarding Portland Oregon Laws. Never have I encountered so many - "we can't do thats" in dealing with a tobacco vendor. So don't even ask for "Samples" or even "matches" for god's sake.
I tried this once back when I was smoking aromatics, it was ok, it might have been one of the last aromatics I smoked, I just can't handle casings in my good briars. I wanted to speak to the side of State of Oregon Law though. There are some pretty dumb laws, one recently passed that damned near made smoke shops no smoking zones, it passed the house but the senate insisted that established smoke shops and cigar bars be excluded. However, of the big four smoke shops I frequent in this town, richs is the only one I know of that doesn't have a walk in humidor and a few years back they did have one. Cascade Cigar, just up the street from me has a five hundred square foot walk in humidor, granted someone is usually in there to keep folks from pawing the or palming the cigars but there isn't anyone stopping you. As far as pipes go, it's a been a while since I travelled around the states extensively, though I grew up between chicago and Detroit, but I';m having a hard time remembering any smoke shop that, outside of basket pipes and corn cobs, have high grade pipes just sitting out. I'm pretty sure that has more to do with theft and the pipes value than any law prohibiting an open display. I like Richs alot, it has a lot of character, I hope they didn't tell you a lack of walkin humidor was Oregon Law though. Not trying to be difficult or even demonstrate local pride, there are some dumb anti-smoking laws here, but not anymore than elsewhere in the states.
I'm a huge fan of "Bill's Blend" and asked for something like Bill's, but a little different. I was immediately impressed. Wonderfully complex with almost no bite. Can be smoked any time or even all day. I know I will continue to enjoy this blend in the pipe my girlfriend bought me.
My only complaint is that, fresh out of the bag, it was a little wet smoking. Be sure you keep a pipe cleaner or two handy.
While visiting Portland, Oregon on Labor day I happened upon this little tobacco shop in the downtown area. A very quaint shop dedicated to periodicals an tobaccos.I immediately asked what their most unusual aromatic might be. I told blender Steve Books that I loved an old blend from the 70's called "BENGAL MIXTURE". He promptly respnded "Try Woz". This is almost an exact replica of that blend from yesteryear. It is very sweet and luscious. There are so many flavors going on in the bowl it makes your head spin. I think the addition of arrow root is what gives it a distinct flavor. It burns very cool with almost no gurgle.It has a very cocoa/nougat flavor with some spice added in. This is a full aromatic and will win friends among non- smokers quickly. For the die hard tobacco purist this is not a blend he or she would enjoy. The store Manager Bill and blender Steve make this a great little store. I also met some local Portland pipers and they were a bunch of great guys. I will be trying many other blends from Rich's soon. This gets 3.5 of 4 aromatic stars.========= As an unfortunate side note- Oregon has 1 of the dumbest laws in th United States. There is no self service regarding tobacco- TRANSLATED - that means no Walk-in Humidor,no tasting a bowl of pipe tobacco w/o being helped, and no handling of pipes unless assisted by store staff. Luckily, Steve and Bill make it a pleasant experience.
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