Esoterica Tobacciana And So To Bed

(2.84)
Finest grade Virginia and Maryland type tobaccos are carefully aged and blended with Greek Oriental leaf and top-grade Cyprian Latakia. The blend is then specially processed and additionally matured to produce a mellow full strength smoke with rich flavor and unique aroma.
Notes: This mixture is absolutely ideal for the evening, ergo.We borrowed the name from the diaries of Samuel Pepys, Esquire. Most excellent grade Virginia and Maryland type tobaccos are carefully aged and blended with Greek "Oriental" leaf and top-grade Cyprian Latakia. The blend is then specially processed and additionally matured to produce a mellow, full-strength smoke with rich flavor and unique aroma.

Details

Brand Esoterica Tobacciana
Blended By  
Manufactured By J.F. Germain & Son
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Maryland, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 oz/56.7 gram tin, 8 ounce/226.7 gram bag
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

2.84 / 4
30

32

23

11

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 32 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 16, 2013 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Thank the blenders' imaginations rather than time or chance for this exotic tobacco. The term "kaleidoscopic" comes immediately to mind, from the minute the tin is popped, with swirling scents and textures of English tobacco, stewed prunes, rotten apples, raisins and apricots. It packs, lights and burns OK, and there is plenty of "exotic" smoke. The lot is smoky, sweet, sour and fruity all at once, augmented by sandalwood, cedar incense and more. Simply put, there's a lot going on here. And, amazingly enough, ASTB actually pulls it off. But do take note of the "native" moisture content, because, as it turns out, this tale hangs thereon, and when ASTB gets dry, the curtain falls on the magic theater.

Though it might hold its own as a medium English, the toppings pretty well preclude this, and I prefer to smoke ASTB like "dessert", or something like that. I would give it 4 stars, because I think "everyone should try it", but I guess I just don't like it that well, myself. Though it is unique, and it smokes far better than most aromatics I am aware of, over time the novelty simply wears a little thin, though still thick enough for 3 stars. So far, cellaring hasn't helped it much, and I hereby remind hoarders to keep tabs on the moisture.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2012 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
EDIT 1/9/2017

I like reading reviews from earlier in my pipe smoking days to appreciate how my tastes have changed in this great journey that we all share. Primarily finding your way through the tobacco maze to find what you really like.

Since this review I have found several aromatic blends that I do enjoy. Also, I did buy an 8 oz bag of ASTB and Found, while still a good blend, I liked it less. I think a big contributor to this is that the first tin that I bought had several years age on it. It made the Virginia leaf much sweeter influencing my tastes toward four stars. Likely this dulled the latakia a bit more and allowed the topping, whatever it is, to shine a little more.

Whatever the case, I don't think that this is personally a four star blend to me, but it is definitely still a three star blend, so I am making that adjustment. All else still holds true.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 3/16/2012

I really like this tobacco. It has a natural sweetness that is a real treat once in awhile. In my short history of pipe smoking, I have never embraced any aros and have yet to find one that I like. I have found that something in this vein seems to satisfy my sweet tooth needs adequately while also providing a wonderful light english taste.

As To Esoterica products in General, I like both the tin art and dimensions. First to the art. It is no doubt what attracted me to buy this as I really didn't know what I was doing. Second, the use of 2 oz. and 56.7 grams is nice. It is nice to see a british company embrace the old system of measurement they left us here in the states. We will likely be the only country that never switches to the metric system, so thanks for understanding our lack of comprehension.

But in all seriousness, I will certainly restock with more of this. I will likely purchase 8oz. bulk next time. I realize that it won't come in that bueatiful tin, but the tobacco is what it is really about. Highly recommended.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 29, 2002 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Note: This is a modification of the original review, based on a better sampling of the product (a full 2 oz., rather than a few bowls from an open tin).

Appearance: A beautiful mixture of assorted color ribbons, about 40% dark. The remainder run from lemon on through deep red. The name makes me think of Nightcap,but this is not as dark.

Aroma: Classic heavy Oriental aroma, with a sweet note. I can?t decide whether there is an additive, or if the Orientals are heavier than usual. Still, definitely NOT an aromatic. There is a good base of rich Virginias, a spicy melange of Turkish varieties, and a nice amount of Latakia. Very pleasing to the nose, makes me want to fill up and light immediately. Definitely not as Latakia heavy as Nightcap.

Packing: The ribbon cut packs well into any pipe from group 3 on up to really big, including stacks.

Lighting: Lights readily with a Vesta, tamp and relight. Usually needs two matches, but ocassionally one will do.

Initial flavor: Initial flavor is just like the aroma, rich, spicy and just a touch of sweetness. The Orientals seem to be the star, with the Latakia and Virginia both playing important supporting roles. Again, not as heavy as Nightcap, but better balanced IMHO.

Mid-bowl: Rich, cool, complex, everything you hope for in a fine English blend. There is a constant interplay of the different tobaccos, sometimes sweeter, or spicier, or smokier. Nothing ever fades away completely, or becomes too dominant. If I had to name another tobacco in the same class as this, it would be Greg Pease?s Renaissance.

Finish: Still cool and dry, still complex and layered, right to the bottom. A fluffy light gray ash is all that?s left.

Summary: A wonderful, world-class Oriental mixture. Might be disappointing for the Latakia junkies (try Penzance), but a great blend for an evening?s enjoyment. Superb with a wee dram of Laphroig, but doesn?t need it.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 16, 2018 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I am glad I waited to review this tobacco. I had not enjoyed this blend at first, from the tin note to 4 or 5 bowls in different pipes. I recently went back to it and not only did I like it but I fell in love with it. I have read a few reviews that reflect a similar experience with other reviewers. The tin note is not too pleasing to me. It has an odd smell that I immediately identify with a disgusting bodily response to bad fish or too much to drink. After about 7 months in a mason jar the tin note is now Latakia, sweet Virgini'a a sour note from the Oriental's and the topping (which is what made for an unpleasant scent when new) in now that of congac or whiskey. It blends nicely with the tobacco, similar to Pembroke but not the same. The tobacco flavors are very well balanced. The Latakia and Orientals are what make this blend shine. Smokey and sweet Latakia and spicy, woody orientals intermingle off of a base of Virginia's that are grassy with a lemony hint. The topping enhances the flavor of the tobacco and does not mask it.The combination of the blend, topping and Germain's unique processing methods give this tobacco a uniform and consistent flavor from start to finish. This is a nuanced and complex blend but not one that changes much throughout the bowl. Each puff provides complexity of flavor, latakia on the tongue and Orientals in the nose all on a bed of sweetness. Very good smoke!
Pipe Used: Briar's and cobs
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 1 year
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2009 Medium Mild Full Tolerable
I'm not a fan of "American English" blends, but ASTB should be a staple for those who enjoy flavored English mixtures. The Virginias/Orientals/Latakia balance falls toward Latakia, although Virginias and Orientals are always present. A particular casing, which would somehow resemble wine, is also noted throughout the bowl. In fact, it tends to get a bit cloying by the end of the pipe, but I mostly found it enjoyable.

The shag cut makes it easy to choke the airway, so care must be taken at the time of packing.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 10, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I bought two 8 oz bags of this stuff a few years back, before even trying it, because they were the last 2 at my tobacconists and he had held them for me after hearing me express interest in it at a pipe club meeting. These are the sort of things one does in order to ensure the trusting relationship between patron and owner that is so critical. Well, i fell in love with it right off the bat, and over the course of some months polished off the first bag. Something about the topping grew tiresome after frequent smoking, so it became a blend i enjoyed once in a while. Now it seems it is once every great while that i select it, but i must say i still enjoy it. It has a lot going for it. It is novel; in its shag cut, its inclusion of burley, and its fermented fruit and wine topping. It is ultra high quality leaf, aged and blended to perfection. It has a bit more nicotine than most light english blends as well. Overall i recommend it if the opportunity presents itself, it is a unique, fragrant, and woody smoke with character. Now, there are a few criticisms of the blend that are valid. It does smoke hotly, and must be packed perfectly and sipped to be enjoyed. Unusual for an English mixture. The topping is a bit much after repeated experiences...i enjoy it as a change of pace, but its potency pretty much precludes it from being a regular smoke (for me). Lastly, it is moist, and must remain moderately so, or the flavor of the blend noses over into bland and flat territory (again, for me). It is definitely worth a try as an interesting blend, especially if crossover englishes are in your wheelhouse.
Pipe Used: Cobs, meerschaums, briar
PurchasedFrom: Smokers Haven
Age When Smoked: New to 3 yrs
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 31, 2001 Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
This is the first Esoterica tobacco I ever tried. Since I'd been hearing good things for some time about this blender, I ordered a sample pack of several of their blends. I was not disappointed; this is a very good English blend! The smell in the plastic bag is mild, with Latakia clearly present and other tobaccos adding to the dark, musty aroma of a full English blend. The tobacco appears to be a mixture of dark, medium, and lighter browns, in a very long cut (almost like spaghetti!). It packs with minor difficulty and, in the bag, seems to have an average moisture content. I smoked this first in a Nording freehand. The tobacco lights easily and stays lit well, needing about the average number of relights. For the first third of the bowl, The main flavor was Latakia, rich and slightly sweet. It has good complexity, no one flavor being overwhelming, the various tobaccos melding well in the smoke. Into the second third, and we're bite-free thus far. The Latakia is still dominant, while the overall tone has become slightly darker, with some additional richness. I also notice a bit of sweetness from time to time. By the last third, the richness has leveled off, maintaining a good level of nutty Latakia complexity. I still haven't noticed any bite, and the smoke is fairly smooth and full. There is some moisture left at the bottom, but it isn't excessive; you shouldn't need to use a pipe cleaner while smoking a bowl. Overall, this is a nice, complex full English blend with enough Latakia to provide a very satisfying smoke. I would rate it between Frog Morton and GLP Renaissance in complexity and richness: not outstanding but very, very good nonetheless. English blend lovers should enjoy this one; I plan to buy a full tin with my next tobacco order.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Oh, what a simply delicious blend this is..... The quality of leaf shines through here, especially the Latakia. This did not need drying time after opening, and the tin aroma was addicting. Burns beautifully all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Great smoke!
Pipe Used: Briar, clay, meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Private seller
Age When Smoked: Aged about two years
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 03, 2008 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
Another one of those blends that gets a bad rap because it isn't Nightcap.

This is a rather mild blend of Virginias, Turkish, and just a hint of Latakia. I find it to be delightfully light, but flavorful on the palate and one does not have to worry about being bitten by this blend. Like every blend, it is better when allowed to dry out a bit, but please don't be so naive to believe that its moisture is some sort of mistake (Germaine and Son know what they are doing).

I particularly like to blow smoke through my nose with this one because it has a sort of Turkish cigarette blend quality to it. The nice cool, nutty flavor is enhanced with some nice notes reminding me of Mediterranean spices. A rather nice aroma helps make this tobacco as enjoyable indoors as outdoors.

I don't like giving stars but grading as follows: 1 Star, pass it by 2 Stars, Okay blend, but has some unredeeming qualities 3 Stars, Good blend that is pleasant to smoke and worth a try 4 Stars, Superb Stuff

I give this 3 stars. It is a good blend worth the time of the selective smoker, but please don't do it the injustice of comparing it to a heavy latakia blend.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I am a big fan of Esoterica tobaccos.They all have a unique flavour that I have experienced with some other British tobaccos. Some of the blends are better than others but I haven't tried a bad one yet. And So To Bed ranks somewhere in the middle but closer to the top. It is an English blend having Latakia and Oriental tobaccos. It has a very distinctive flavor/tang that I have not tasted with any other tobacco as yet. Although I find it quite pleasant I cannot say that I could or would consider it an all day blend. It is rich in flavour and is best enjoyed, I find later in the day, but not neccessarily as the name might imply before bed. The tin aroma almost has a putrid odour to it but does ride the edge to almost being pleasant with a definite sweetness to it. The flavour is similar but is more pleasing and enjoyable. After tasting the tobacco, to go back and smell the tin aroma again one appreciates the aroma moreso.I have often found this tobacco difficult to keep lit if the humidity of the tobacco is not slightly on the dry side. Burns to nice grey to white ash and as one smokes down the bowl the flavours do not change very appreciably. It does become stronger. There is no bite and you will be left with a memory of a rather unique experience that you will have enjoyed immeasurably or will never want to try again.Three and a half stars out of five.
1 person found this review helpful.
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