The mildly tangy dark fruit sweet, earthy, lightly citrusy red Virginia and Carolina ribbon form the base of the blend, and take the third seat in this product. The red Virginia is much more noticeable than the Carolina ribbon. The woody, earthy, dry, spicy, lightly buttery sweet and moderately sour Turkish plays an important support role. The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is not quite as forceful as the Turkish, but you’ll notice it in every puff. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium, while the taste level is a step past that. The nic-hit is just below the strength threshold. No chance of bite or harshness. Hardly has a rough edge to speak of. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very consistent, well balanced flavor: mildly sweet with a tad more savoriness. Leaves little moisture in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. An all day smoke. Three and a half stars.
Compton's Compendium - A Tasting Journey Through Each of Maxim Engel's Compton's Blends.
Soft smoking? Yes. Smooth? Not as smooth as York Full, even though York has more Latakia. Akin to Dunhill White Spot? Don't know since I've never had it!
This seems like a lighter version of York Full to me, with a bit of added spiciness. Although York does not have Carolina leaf, yet they are definitely in the same family. I very much like this blend. It's a medium English with a significant Oriental component that will satisfy fans of spicy Oriental mixtures.
Perhaps some of the “more spicy than York” character comes from the Red Virginias while York uses Browns. Perhaps from the proportions of Virginias to Orientals. Whatever the case, it's an excellent tobacco, and it will easily earn four stars, but in my lineup I prefer York Full and Balkan since there are a hundred good competitors for this blend, which I will call a medium spicy English that veers toward the Balkan side of the road due what seems like a large proportion of Oriental leaf.
One thing I am noticing during the Compton's Compendium is that, true to what we've read here in past SF entries, particular blenders have particular styles. All of these Compton's blends have a particular flavor profile, which I won't even attempt to describe but which is definitely "Compton's. Some love everything McC puts out, some love all of the Pease blends. Compton's has a consistency and level of quality that I believe would allow one to pick any Compton's blend out of a lineup.
Three Feathers is an appropriate name for this blend. It's cool and soothing, pleasing to the palate and sinuses. Inhaling smoke is rare for me, however Three Feathers seems to have a therapeutic quality when rolled softly in and then out through the nose - no burn or sting, but transports me into calm contemplation. Very Relaxing. Its a curiously light and meditative smoke, though not at all bland. Completely flavorful with young wood and floral tones, at the same time rich, mildly sweet, and soft. Artfully blended. Quite nice.
Mixed, fairly fine cut, browns with a roughly equal amount of tans and blacks.
Pouch note: appetizingly 'English' with latakia and a subtle sweetness reminiscent of fresh peat.
At the match: soft, smooth with latakia first followed by a velvety, almost sweet earthiness. After a few sips spicy and floral orientals come into play as attractively bitter tannins provide backbone and an axis for an enticing spectrum of deliciously deep and gentle flavors to revolve around. This one is impossible to smoke without allowing it to pass in and out of the nose.
Second third: the flavors become deeper, with even greater balance as the tannic axis dissolves into a new and very savory richness. This is a treat! Although you can always 'find' the latakia and other elements, the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
Final third: peaty, perhaps a bit toastier, creamy, flabergastingly well balanced with an enthralling earthiness, pleasing sweetness, an ever so slight saltiness, and a wonderful mouth-feel.
All in all this is a very lively smoke with an almost 'sporty' interplay of flavours devoid of all heaviness. While it is relaxing and satisfying it is also exhilarating. It will not do your taste buds in. Actually I find it appetizing and (perhaps with an aperitif) perfect before a meal. It's also great late Sunday mornings with an early slurp, afternoons at a sporting event or picnic, or on a night out during the intermission of a concert or interval between acts of a play.
Great in briar, it sings in Meerschaum, and the duration of the 'Zone' seems to be determined only by the size of the pipe.
Worth the price and the wait.
Pipe Used: Several, reserved for Latakia/Orientals/Va blends
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