Developed for Officers of Alexandra's Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment) during The Great War. A full English mixture combining fifty-percent dark Virginias and the balance Oriental and latakia. Slow burning with a white ash.
Compton's Compendium: A tasting journey through each of Maxim Engel's Compton's Blends.
The pouch aroma is wonderful. The campfire smokiness is palpable but this is in no way a Latakia bomb – not even close. Moisture is perfect, providing the quintessential “springiness” upon loading. In other words, not too dry, but the ribbons also do not stick together. From the photo, it seems the three weeds are plainly visible: the black Latakia, the dark reddish-brown Virginias and the tan-greenish Orientals.
It takes the fire well, and requires a very minimum of relights. A couple false lights helps to toast the surface and prepare for a good burn. I usually don't burn my bowls to the very bottom because the last 10% seems a little too bitter for me, but it seems it would burn down to the bottom cleanly and easily if I allowed it.
As for flavor, there's a lot there, even though I don't place this in the “full” category. As an English blend it's mild to medium, not unexpected with the 50% Virginias in the formula. The Latakia is present, but not strong, so it's more like a condiment than a major player. A lot of character comes from the orientals. The dark Virginias are not as sweet as most, so there is only some lingering background sweetness at times but overall it's a rather “dry” smoke in wine terms.
What really stands out about Regimental Mixture is its perfect balance. No single flavor really dominates at any time. The overall flavor has a unique identity that comes from – and exceeds – the sum of its parts. All the components cooperate so well together that it creates a wonderful flavor that can't be blamed on any one of the ingredients. It's a bit smoky, with some herbal undertones from the Orientals, along with a good sturdy background of Virginias.
I put this in the same category as some light to medium English blends like McClelland's Anniversary, not because of similarities in flavor, but because it's mostly Virginia (Regimental is 50% VA while Anniversary is Virginia that is “lightly seasoned” with Latakia) with other leaf providing flavor and depth.
Even though this style of blend is not my favorite, this is by all means a four star mixture. It's one of the best all-day smokes I've encountered because of it medium strength, great flavor and good behavior. Consistent in virtually every pipe I tried, and relatively consistent from first match to last draw.
Four stars. A great way to begin the Compton's Compendium!
Comptons of Galashiels tobacco blends are some of the best available. This collection begins with what seems to be higher quality tobacco and then blends them with an exceptional hand. Regimental Mixture is no different. Rich leathery tobacco smoke, multidimensional flavor, exquisite aroma. Smokey and on the dry oak leaf side - its smooth and will age exquisitely. No candy coating or food flavoring, even lightly, for those of us who simply like well blended top shelf tobacco. The predominant commercial mixtures now seem to be lower quality tobaccos, instead focusing on the mass market appeal of heavy flavors/coating, catchy names and labels. Regimental Blend is an uncompromising heirloom quality traditional English blend.
The Virginia is the headliner in this blend with richness and boldness not often found. The Latakia and Orientals may be in the background but do fight for a lead role from time to time. Nothing boring about this heady blend as one finds plenty of variance with every puff. My bag was well aged and I am sure that helped, but again, the Virginia really stands out in this one.
this is described as "a full english". i beg to differ, as it's 50% dark virginias and 50% latakia/orientals. to me, that makes for a medium english - but what a splendid one!
the virginias have depth and power, the latakias add spice, smokiness and a little bitterness, and the orientals possess the usual fragrance found in most of the compton's blends. the whole is a lot more than that, of course, and it's loaded with absolutely perfectly balanced flavours. i get associations to espresso and dark chokolate (like, say, valrhona's manjari), as well as spices like chili and coriander. the virginia adds woodsy, vanillaish and more of the slightly citrusy notes. sounds like a mess? it isn't. it is, imo, The Perfect English!
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