|Reviewed By||Date||Rating||Strength||Flavoring||Taste||Room Note|
|Lit a Kia (70)||Mild||None Detected||Medium to Full||Very Pleasant|
I admit, I got caught up in the kerfuffle that an article in the New York Times aroused over Belgian Semois in the Spring of 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/magazine/tobacco-thats-so-brooklyn-but-made-in-belgium.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
Wil Hylton's wonderful article (dopey editor's title aside) and comments from a Salabreuil in response to a short Pease commentary moved me to get my hands on some of the stuff: http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/when-tradition-endures/#comment-12187
The Internet is an incredible thing. A conversation about rye whisky turned into plans for a personal trans-Atlantic tobacco swap, and in only a few months, I had two bricks of Couvert in my hands, along with some of his cigarillos and two of Vincent Manil's bouchons. (Thanks again, Paul!) Taking Sabreuil's advice, I dove into the Cordemoy first.
WOW...the brick smelled like a bouquet of flowers sitting on a thin layer of fresh hay. This is, allegedly, just a straight burley with no flavorings of any kind. I'm not used to a burley with such interesting aromas or high-note, minty flavors. Terroir, indeed. Mrs. Manil claims it's the seeds too, maybe: thepipeguys.com/semois-tobacco-old-world-leaf/
It's a very, very dry tobacco, which makes packing and lighting easy. Use your tamper and you should be able to keep your matches in your pocket. With Cordemoy, tongue bite was nonexistent. The flavors aren't deep, but they're interesting, fleeting, ephemeral. Violets, anise, peppermint and freshly baked bread all take their turns dancing on the nose and the tongue. In between, you get light flavors of burning grass. Not the kind that grows on lawns, but something very light and fragrant with the subtlest hints of sweetness. I love this stuff.
It's not for everyone. Nicotine is light to very moderate, but there. But it's not rich, deep, or complex. There is absolutely nothing to chew on. A heavy Balkan is to Cordemoy as ogres are to woodland fairies. But this airy tobacco puts on an interesting show, like fireflies on an early summer night. I'm a fan of stout English blends, but this is one of my absolute favorites.
This smokes best for me in wide bowls, corn cob or briar. Narrower bowls weren't nearly as enjoyable.
Pipe Used: cob, tomato
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