Tin Aroma: I am convinced that there is something decidely odd about the Virginias that Ferndown uses in their blends. All of them that I have run across so far have a really weird tin aroma, where the predominant note is sweet, almost to the point of being sickly, and the other scents kind of linger behind that. I mean, a tin that describes itself as "Red Virginias Flavored With Orientals" shouldn't smell like a year old bag of halloween candy, should it?
Physical Characteristics: A variagated mixture, but leaning towards the middle shades of brown, in a thinnish ribbon-cut.
Notes: This is a heady mixture of Orientals and Virginias, slightly more 'tangy' than some of the other offerings in this line, and the one most likely to please a Virginia smoker. The physicla mixing is flawless, and never did I find myself with a bowl of this that was too heavily weighted in favor of one constituent tobacco. Thankfully, the sickly sweet smell I noticed in the aroma did not make itself known in the smoke. Instead, the understated sweetness of the Virginias filled out the muskiness of the Orientals, which were top quality. Too many Oriental blends end up tasting dusty to me instead of earthy, but this one defiantely satisfies.
Verdict: I would gladly smoke another tin of this if it were given to me, and I will probably buy a tin or tw oin the future.
The tin description is right on target with this blend. Yellow Orientals mixed with reddish brown Virginias along with a few black strands of Latakia. The smoke is mild, building to medium along the way. A smooth Va./Oriental taste, this reminds me of Dunhill's Standard Mild during the Murray's blending era. There's a hint of Latakia ever so often, but the Virginias and the sweet/sour Oriental leaf hold sway until the end. Yellow & Brown is a good mixture for the first pipe of the day, but most English smokers I know would want something a bit heavier for late Evening, including yours truly.
From what I understand, the Ferndown line is to be no more. Sad to see any tobacco series go, but at least we have Dunhill's excellent blends to fall back on. And frankly, I prefer the latter.
Appearance and Tin Aroma: Tyipical yellows, browns, and a little darker leaf. Smells awfull and musty in the tin.
Packing and Lighting: Easy to pack and light, two to three lights max.
Initial Flavor: Delicious! The orientals are very fragrant, and the Va gives support. There might be a little latakia in here.
Mid-bowl: Nice, round, fragrant flavor. makes you want to put on a turban and ride a camel.
Bottom of Bowl: Nice build up of strength, never burns hot, leaves a fine grey ash when it is all over.
Overall: I was a little hesitant to try this blend, but I am glad I did. I prefer this blend over Red Rapparee, Aperitif, midnight Ride, and all of the McClelland orientals. For fulller orientals though, I go to my Balkans. Since this is very fragrant, I never found myself puffing hard and thus avoided tongue-bite.
Appearance: A nicely variegated ribon cut. Mostly red leaf, with some dark Latakia and lighter Oriental evident.
Aroma: Average English bouquet, sweet and smokey and spicey.
Packing: Packed well in small, medium and large pipes..
Lighting: Lights well, sometimes on just a single Vesta..
Initial flavor: Good red Va. Flavor initially, soon followed by the others components. Very pleasant, well balanced flavor.
Mid-bowl: Although the Va seemed to be the dominant flavor, it was exceptionally well balanced by the Latakia and Turkish. Very soft on the palate and tongue, good nuances of flavors kept it interesting. Taste came through without strong puffing, so it stayed cool and dry.
Finish: Finishes well, dry and clean with fluffy ash. Taste variety lingered until the very end
Summary: An extrarodinary English blend. This could be an all-day smoke for me. The first impression is that it?s a mild blend, but it is really an exceptional medium mixture. I will get more to cellar.
Ferndown's Yellow & Brown is a pleasing medium Oriental/English mixture made with high-quality tobaccos. I like the "sweet and sour" tin aroma; it hints nicely of the interesting experience that awaits once a bowl of Y & B is fired up. Some of the ribbon-cut strands are a bit long and try to escape over the rim of small-bowled pipes-- obviously not a major concern. The Virginias are very tasty and moderately sweet; the Orientals are tangy and musty. There is a nice balance between the two types of tobacco; the Virginias are slightly more prominent, but they don't overwhelm the Orientals. I detect a bit of Latakia among the Orientals here, but it's more of a background note. Other Latakia fiends might be disappointed, but I wasn't; as much as I love the stuff, I can and do enjoy mixtures that have little or none. Y & B doesn't require frequent relights, and doesn't seem inclined to bite. I do get more than the usual amount of gurgles from mid-bowl down though, eliminated by occasionally running a pipe cleaner through the pipestem. This was the first Ferndown mixture I've tried, and I'm favorably impressed; I'll certainly buy it again.
Upon opening the tin I was almost knocked down by the pungent aroma of the VA & oriental leaf within.The tobacco was quite moist so I left it open for a few hours to dry.It packed easily in a large billiard.High kudos should go to the blender,the tobaccos play off of each other perfectly resulting in a smooth and rich blend not lacking in complexity.It reminded me a bit of Samuel Gawith's "Squadron Leader".If you're fond of that blend, you should really give this one a try... ===Highly Recommended=== prep 2-4-05
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