The various Orientals (dubek, yenidje, and mahala) are the star components. They offer a fair amount of buttery sweetness, a few sour spots, some dryness, a bit of wood and earth, a touch of floral vegetation, spice and an “unflavored soda note”. The very smoky, woody, musty, leathery sweet Cyprian latakia plays a support role. The sun cured Virginia is very citrusy with a few blades of grass in the background. The woody, nutty, earthy burley is a condiment that at times plays just above its percentage in the mix. The strength is just short of the center of mild to medium while the taste level is a step past the center. The nic-hit is a tad less potent than the strength level. Won’t bite, but may get slightly harsh if puffed fast. It does have an occasional rough edge. Burns clean with a mostly consistent, richly sweet and savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly linger sweet campfire after taste. Can be an all day smoke.
I agree that this is definitely a light english. But that is just perfect for someone like me who tends to stick with virginias, and thinks that EMP is often more lat then i want to deal with. I've always wanted a blend that had just a "touch" of lat to give it that character, but not enough to completely overwhelm everything else. I'm sure that if you love latakia, this blend will not cut it for you. But, if you are looking for a blend where the lat is truly a condiment... just a touch, enough to let you know its there, then this blend is for you!
I purchased a few blends from Jack Peterson at Sterling|1776 and thru his guidance was able to narrow down blends that I liked. Jack sent a sample of this to me since I gravitate toward English blends. His recommendation was spot on. This is an awesome smoke, pleasant, full of satisfying flavor. For me, what I've found as a novice is what makes a good smoke is that it tastes good from the first light to the end of the bowl. What makes a great smoke is that good smoke gets better and better until the end of the bowl and leaves you wanting more when it goes out. This is a great smoke. The other thing i found is that it took me about two weeks to smoke thru the sample as I was rotating thru other blends and this blend was great the first time I smoked it and got even more delightful over those few weeks - I was disappointed when my bag was empty.
I'm going off the memory of a free sample I received from Mr. Peterson about 4 months ago. This probably won't be the most accurate assessment possible, but I think it deserves a review (albeit small).
A light English to be sure...(not a Lat bomb). This one had a strong Oriental presence, maybe the most of any English I've had the pleasure to try. Not a bad thing, as the tobaccos used were of a good quality.
The Va and burley element were, in my fading memory, pretty subdued, making me think this one might as well have been labelled an Oriental mixture, without much complaint.
If it was the only blend available to me, I'm sure I'd make do fine...as it is, there are so many different (read: similar) blends and blenders out there that COtB ultimately falls by the wayside. Definitely worth a go, though.
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