As a fellow who has been pipe tobacco smoking since the early 1970s, I've learned that one has to try a tobacco in several different pipes, to find the right marriage between the tobacco, and the pipe. And, one must find the right environmental conditions in which to smoke the sampling. If humidity is high, for instance, it will change the dynamics of the smoking session.
That said, my first try at a sample of Twain is being smoked in a dehumidified room at an ambient temperature of 74 degrees F. I am using a Kirsten Esquire with a medium bowl. This allows any excess moisture to be drawn off the smoke, so that I can get a better true-taste experience.
Out of the bag: to my nose, it is slightly sweet and aromatic. It hints at (for me) some kind of sweet bourbon with a slight floral leaning. At the same time, the sweetness is not sugary, but more like molasses. But, all of this sweetness is subdued; it is not heavy-handed.
My sample is not overly moist, in the bag. It is just moist enough that packing it was very easy, and it retained the compression with a slight spring-back.
Lighting: The first-light went very easily. It stayed lit, so I really did not have to do a second-light, though I let it go out so that I could explore the second-light. The first-light taste was of a slightly nutty essence. The second-lighting seemed to draw out a spiciness that I allude to the VA, with the darker flavoring (i.e., by dark, I mean a more woody, heavier essence, without smokiness) probably due to the Cavendish. The spicy component grabs my tongue right away, with just a hint of hay- like smoke (that's the best way I can describe it).
At first, this does not produce a heavy smoke, but is a light producer. Yet, it seems to burn a bit hot. Perhaps it is too moist out of the bag as received.
Nuttiness continues, with a high spiciness throughout the middle of the smoke. I almost liken this now to nutmeg. Interesting, that. In any case, it was quite warm; and started to produce more smoke as the coal moved down.
My wife notes a caramel, or toffee with buttery fragrance, and she likes the room note. She likes this fragrance more than she likes Hobbits Weed. Interestingly, she is quite picky, but likes this one more than most.
As the coals moved down past the middle, I got more and more of a buttery taste, very smooth. It also cooled down a bit, and produced much more smoke, even allowing me to make some smoke rings. A true delight.
For those looking for a slightly complex VA/Cav mix, this one is certainly in keeping with the traditional blends. It is as advertised. I recommend it to you.
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