G. L. Pease Embarcadero

(3.13)
Rich, ripe red virginias are combined with top grade Izmir leaf, pressed and aged in cakes, then sliced into flakes and tinned. The result is a wonderfully fragrant, natural blend with subdued sweetness, more "brut" than "demi-sec", delightful toasty flavors, and hints of nuttiness and roasted coffee. Satisfying and refreshing; a comforting smoke, with enough complexity to keep it interesting.
Notes: Embarcadero was released in July, 2007.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Fog City Selection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Oriental
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Flake
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.13 / 4
40

34

16

6

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 40 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Every so often I'll run into a mixture that I absolutely love. However, it's infrequent that I smoke a blend that I initially think is "good," and months down the road find myself head over heels for it. For me Embarcadero is one such blend & it's positively worthy of at least a true two ounce try. I say this because it took me a bit of time to develop a palate for it.

Without a doubt Embarcadero is a wonderful tobacco. It's flavorful, nuanced, balanced and deceptively complex. The red Virginia is sweet, malty, a bit earthly and it's harmonized perfectly with the savory bitterness and slight astringency provided by the fragrant Izmir leaf. This tobacco is masterfully prepared and the broken flake cut provides an endless amount of complexities.

The most wonderful aspect of Embarcadero is the contrast in the flavors between the two leafs. The interplay is simply delightful. The Izmir distorts the Virginias, the Virginias respond correcting and at times over-correcting the balance. Altogether this sounds very simple but down the bowl these shifts in flavor back and forth between sweetness, bitterness, & rich earthiness happen in a multitude of varying degrees, creating a wide array of more finespun flavor nuances. Embarcadero also has a gentle spiciness that builds gradually adding another layer of enjoyment.

I wouldn't go so far as to call Embarcadero “pipe dependent,” but it's definitely worth experiencing it in more than one pipe. You will notice slight differences in how it tastes from pipe to pipe. I ran it through about five different pipes before settling on my one and only Dublin which features a gradually tapered conical bowl that is somewhat wider than average.

It pairs nicely with a dark porter style beer or a simple cold sparkling water. DGT seems to provide a bit more complexity but most important is that it tastes just as good to me as where I left off.

Ultimately this is an honest to goodness, unabashed top notch tobacco mixture

Highly Recommended
36 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2008 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
I popped open my tin of Embarcadero on its one year birthday. I had really wanted to try this sooner but it just got lost in the cellar. I am a fan of only two other Pease blends. Filmore and Barbary Coast. I'm not much of a Latakia fan so that knocks out most of his blends for me right off of the bat. This one, however, was much different.

Man, this blend has a great aroma in the tin. It's kind of a sweet and sour smell. I assume the sweet is from the Virginias and the sour comes from the Izmir mixed in there.

The cut on the blend is like nothing I have seen so far. It's kind of a ribbon cut but the ribbons are really long and pretty wide. It makes packing the pipe interesting. Not hard, but interesting.

My blend came a bit wet so I laid all of it out on a paper towel and dried it for about an hour and a half. Now it is at the perfect moisture level for me. The first light was very easy. Did a few false lights to really get it going and then I was off to the races.

For those who know me, I am usually a VaPer smoker. This different spice tobacco really appealed to me. It was similar to Perique but also very different. The Izmir plays in and out with the Virginias and never takes over. The Red Virginias are very flavorful in a way similar to Rattray's Hal O The Wynd.

I have smoked about half of the tin so far and I really, really like this blend. I will definitely be buying more to smoke.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2007 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have been looking forward to Embarcadaro since it was announced as I am quite partial towards GLP's products and especially his Virginia based blends.

Upon opening the tin, I was unimpressed by the aroma. Hey came to mind. Hey? Well, maybe my olfactory senses are going downhill, but that is what I sensed. Then I discovered the moisture level to be about as high as those cheap drug store blends I smoked until I learned what quality tobacco was all about.

This was not a good start. In all my years of smoking, I have never enjoyed a tobacco that did not have an inviting tin aroma, save one single exception. And to me, hey is not inviting. I really feared a scorched tongue as a result of the anticipated steam from burning such a moist tobacco. Never did I smoke a blend with both of those characteristics.

Had I an opportunity to sample this blend at a tobacco shop or at a pipe show I would have probably passed on to another blend without even giving this one a chance. With two strikes going against it, I packed an Ashton XXX chimney using whole flakes inserted lengthwise into the pipe and topping off with a bit of loose tobacco.

Remarkably, the tobacco lit easily with only two matches and burned cool down to the bottom of the bowl leaving only ash. The smoking process seemed to go on and on. I don't know if it was because of the tobacco itself or because I could not help but slowly savor the myriad of flavors.

While my first pipefull was quite enjoyable, what followed next was nothing short of magical. I dried out a few flakes and began anew. Everything about the process remained the same, except for the flavors which burst forth. The experience was positively overwhelming. I'm not even going to try to enumerate all of the flavors since I haven't even discovered them.

This is not a blend to smoke casually. It would be a waste of good money and good tobacco. I smoke this one as well as some other tobaccos only during the evening when I can relax and pay attention to the experience (usually) along with a cup or more of espresso.

So what makes this blend so good? Of course, there is in addition the quality tobacco one expects from GLP and the techniques he uses in production, the intrduction of the Izmir leaf. I find that the addition of most Turkish leaf today in many, but not all blends is more of a liability instead of an asset. Such was not the case twenty and more years ago when most blenders used either different Turkish leaves or in ways no longer done today.

Izmir is a leaf with which until today, I have been unfamiliar. I have no idea how it would smoke on its own. When blended with the Virginia's in Embarcadaro the results are truly amazing. Unlike a previous reviewer, I did not find substantial changes in the taste during the beginning, middle and end, but rather subtle changes from puff to puff.

I can't help but thinking of Wagner and how he introduces various lietmotifs in his music that continually evolve throughout the work. And then there is (genuine) Cajun food and great French Cuisine. The leitmotif in Embarcadaro is the spice that is both pronounced and yet subtle. Cajun food, when done well, will enable the diner to experience a different taste sensation with each bite due to the spices which are pronounced. French food on the other hand, provides a fine experience with its subtle use of spice. Embarcadaro gives us the best of both experiences.

Back to the moisture issue. I wrote to Greg and he provided a rather extensive reply. In short, it is his belief that the high moisture content is necessary for the flakes to hold together especially in transit and that he preferred the taste better. Well, I can't argue with the production or transit issues, but for me, drying this one out a bit adds immeasurably to the experience. To each his own, as they say.

I've been smoking a pipe for fifty years. On about a half dozen occasions, I come across a blend that is so extraordinary that it is destined to become a classic. Embarcadaro is added to that short list. I haven't been wrong yet, and I don't think I'm going to be wrong with this one.

Most highly recommended.
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 02, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This puffed tin is from the spring of 2008.

A broken flake, reddish brown with darker brown strands mottled with the marvelously odd lightly greenish yellow of the Izmir. The colors darken as they mature in the tin.

Tin aroma: beautifully sweet, sour, lightly fermented, intriguing with teasingly subtle fruity elements: figs, dates, chocolate, citrus (orange flower water? Cointreau?), and, perhaps, cherry. Very distantly dessert-like. What is that? Like black forest cake... dough?

Moisture level upon opening 16-17%. Dries quickly to 13-14% and seems to profit from a bit of airing.

At the light an almost off-putting tannic spiciness dominates. As the smoke progresses the flavours modulate, becoming mellow, more complex as the tannic aspect subsides to an enjoyable level (becoming reminiscent of the tannins in espresso, a taste that recurs) giving way to toastiness and depth balanced by sweetness (subtle), spice (fascinating), and, at times, an herbal earthiness. Flavours emerge and withdraw, swirl and settle in a smoke rich with body and a satisfyingly smooth mouth-feel. A captivating caleidoscope always in slow movement ...

The aftertaste is clean and yet complex with a hint of Cointreau or Grand Marnier and a number of flavours that one can't put one's 'finger' on.

Give this one a charring light and get this one going for a few draws, a tamp and a couple of draws more and put it aside for a few minutes. This seems to bring out a mellow depth of flavour making the smoke 'bigger' upon relight and allowing one to skip a large portion of the tannic phase.

In "Embarcadero - A Point of Departure" posted (2007) in his "The Briar & Leaf Chronicles" (http://www.glpease.com/BriarAndLeaf/?p=40) Greg Pease's description is, as one would expect, hard to top. Who knows this tobacco better?

There is much here that reminds me of smoking a cigar and it is more cigar-like than any pipe tobacco I can recall at the moment. See what you think. It is a unique blend.

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Several, reserved for Va/Orientals w/out Latakia
Age When Smoked: 6 years old, tinned 2008
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Yak
Oct 25, 2007 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant
I don't know how to describe this. But I take comfort in the fact that nobody else does either.

I think, on balance, that Weedmeister Pease should have named it Sheherezade.

For one reason, because the experience of it is as out-of-the-ordinary as the Sultan's encounter with her must have been. Because she's a figure from the Near East, where Izmir comes from. Because the diaphanous harem costume you visualise her in that (from the rest of the National Anthem that nobody learns) half reveals, half discloses is as close to an analogue with its flavor as weeks of pondering (and smoking) it can come up with.

Big deal, you say. Another tobacco. Big deal, the Sultan said. Another woman. But, in both cases, the range of expectations is transcended. It begins with Wow? ! How often does that happen ? And it isn't a tin-note assault on your senses Wow (like the patchouli oil the rest of the harem girls probably slathered themselves with) either. It's subtle. Intriguing.

Subtle, intriguing and . . . diaphanous. How else can you describe the flavor of Embarcadero ? It eludes being pinned down to similarity with anything you're used to from the world outside of fairy tales. It's comprised of Virginias and Izmir, but GLP's alchemy transforms them into shifting combinations (plural) that have no analogues in the world of experience with the Virginia and Oriental peasent girls from the village. Well, except that they do. And it's this back-and-forth, yes-but-no character that 's going (I suspect) to get to you. Smoke a tin of it with careful attention, and you're no closer to having a handle on its allure than when you set out. It may be a lifetime quest. Especially as a friend who is extremely well-versed in matters weedular estimates that, in light of its constituents, it will probably reach its full flavor potential after twenty years.

I began my acquaintance with Sheherezade properly. Princesses don't live in hovels, so George Dibos rolled back the odometers on two well-seasoned, classic billiards to zero for me. (NBB : heed Pipeline 's advice ! The Izmir in Embarcadero can really, really clash with the residues of some other tobaccos).

Suitably prepared, 1,001 nights await you. Each one a Revelation. (A term familiar to all from the Bible, where it is the English equivalent of the Greek apokalupsis : the removal of a veil).
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
So far every tobacco I've tried in the fog city series has been amazing (I've tried telegraph hill, Fillmore, union square).. Embarcadero is no exception.. Right from the tin note (similar to regent's flake) you are invited to something sweet and sour and fermented (my favorite quality and this tin had scarcely 1 year on it).. it smokes best a little dried out like many c&d manufacturered blends.. You get a nice companion here to telegraph hill.. this blend does the same subtle dance with 2 tobacco varietals.. it isn't strong but at the same time not too light.. a slight earthy, sweet, sour, slightly spicy/floral and very pleasant smoke.. This is one I would prefer in spring/summer.. a refreshing yet subtle and ever slightly complex blend.. I have a feeling this will age incredibly well.. highly recommended.. a smoke that fills that spot.. when you don't exactly want a straight virginia but you don't really want an English.. a genre that is among my favorites now (Sam's flake, regent's flake, and cairo are the only others I've tried in this spectrum).. I tend to really like red virginia blends that are complimented with condimental leaf or light flavoring.. izmir leaf is becoming a favorite of mine.. it has that Turkish zing but never seems to overpower.. kind of a perfect companion to a Virginia base..
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 31, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is an interesting smoke. It's a simple blend of Izmir and Red Virginia tobaccos. While I'm certain the base is mostly the Red Virginia, the Izmir leaf really shines through on this one. The Izmir provides a very spicy note to the blend and provides a very incense-like room note. To be clear, this is a straight tobacco blend with no perceivable topping I could detect. The taste is straight tobacco with a nice medium body and spicy quality. This needs to be smoked properly and slowly to preserve the delicate interplay between the two constituent tobaccos. Smoking too fast will result is a cigarette-like character that ruins the beauty of this blend. Take it slow, take your time, you will be rewarded.

I'd recommend this blend for anyone who loves straight English style blends but isn't in the mood for Latakia. Virginia lovers in the mood for something a little different would also enjoy this blend. Finally, anyone who loves spicy oriental blends will love this blend.
PurchasedFrom: An Internet tobacco vendor
Age When Smoked: 1-2 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Embarcadero was a surprise for me, moving quickly from off-the-radar to a comfortable spot on my Favorites List. For openers, it features the finest Izmir leaf I have smoked in over 40 years. The toothsome red VAs seem to be stoved, and they are a perfect pairing, and it's all processed and fermented just right. I know this because I can smell and taste the results, right from the match. The bloated, 7-year-old tin enjoyed for this review proved E ages very well, and I am buying more as you read this. The initial tin note was decidedly funky, soured peach schnapps over the sour Izmir moss and spices, over earthy, fermented VAs. There are undertones of fermented dates and apricots, as well, and it soon includes something like best-of-the-barnyard, lite. Original tin moisture is fine for smoking, or maybe dry it just a little. As others have mentioned, the "flakes" were actually re-cut into chunky "ribbons" before tinning. I like to loosely load a few of the ribbons vertically into a medium/small-ish pipe, since E is less complex from larger pipes. Wow! Again, it's been a very long time since I smoked Izmir like this, and, like I said, the earthy red VAs are the perfect underpinning for this Old School Turkish blend. Once the fragrant smoke billows up, it's hard not to sniff it all back in with each puff. Be warned, however, that despite the smoothness of the smoke, the spices are there, and your sinuses will be affected, depending on your tolerance for this spectacular weed. I find the taste and smell "envelope" to be fairly consistent, once a bowl is started, but it changes bowl to bowl, and there is also a "range" of tastes and scents that change delicately over the course of the smoke, from puff to puff, during each bowl. Complicated? Yes! And IMO, it never puts a foot wrong.

Complexity notwithstanding, Embarcadero is no-nonsense, and it is indeed an easy and "comfortable" smoke, a tasty, interesting blend of well selected, treated, matched and aged tobaccos, and I can't imagine it being any better. Strength is mild to medium; taste is medium (or full, depending on how you take to the Turkish leaf...); room note is... Turkish, albeit a most pleasant iteration of the genre. It's a little sweet and fairly sour, and the fragrance is (fragrances are)... singular, in an "up-dated, bygone" way, if that makes any sense. The enduring aftertaste is the best of the smoke, and if you are like me, you will have trouble not smoking it. I recommend Embarcadero to VA/Per and Turkish lovers, alike, and anyone who enjoys complex, natural VAs might give it a go. 4 Stars and a spot on my Favorites List, for sure. BTW, IMO, Embarcadero is an interesting counterpoint to GLP's Telegraph Hill.
Pipe Used: various Briars; small-to-medium preferred
PurchasedFrom: private party
Age When Smoked: 7 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 23, 2008 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable
I have just finished my 3rd tin of Embacadero and it has earned a 92 point score. As predomintaly a virginia/vaper smoker the Izmir leaf was a question mark. In fact if I did not know I was smoking virginia/izmir, I would have guessed I was smoking an excellent virginia with a bit of perique. This is a beautiful full bodied smoke. Mildly sweet, quite rich and complex. I have a dozen tins in the cellar and plan to add many more to my stash believing this will age nicely for years to come. I just finished a bowl after several single malts and prime aged fillet.....what a treat! Greg Pease sure makes some wonderful tobacco..... right up there with Filmore!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2007 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
The first thing I noticed with this flake was its softness - it was tender to the touch, easily rubbed out. This is a mark of quality indicating a lack of glycerin or humeectants and sugar additives. If one looks in the bottom of the tin you do not find broken leaf, tobacco dust or other "drek", another sign of absolute quality.

The aroma on opening the tin is what I would expect from a Virginia/Turkish blend. The description on the label described my smoking experience to a 'T', another rare experience in tobaccodom and comment on the care taken to produce this flake. Embarcadero is "top shelf".

1 December 08 update: Smoked a bowl in a favorite canadian last night. This tobacco has a subtle sweetness and what I call the "high notes" (taste) of Turkish leaf. It is smooth, but agree with the reviews after mine that it can heat the bowl if puffed too vigorously. It does not bite. However I prefer a flake with some "deeper notes" - tates in the nutty range. Still, this will be in my rotation.
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