AAA Latakia combined with pure Virginias and exotic Turkish form a popular, robust mixture for the experienced smoker or a great change of pace for the aromatic devotee. Since A-100 aroma comes from pure tobaccos, no foreign flavorings were used.
I think at this blend as a step further from 10 Downing St. on the way to Crown Achievement: not light and ethereal as the first and not as full as the last. It has the best of both worlds: the easy smoking and the dryness from 10 Downing and some of the spicy flavour from the Crown. A fine all-day smoke, well worth the little money you pay it.
I am rating this tobacco four stars for what it is: A very good introduction to English style tobaccos without the strong taste and smells that something like 965 has. It is a stepping stone and could be an all-day smoke for some. The other reviews only gave this one star even though they thought it was a good beginner. A lot of people new to pipe tobacco will never try this if it only has one star and it is a good smoke in the proper catagory. Seems to be fairly light on the nicotine too for those that are concerned with such things.
Update: Three stars...Good starter English.(09/16/2005)
Update: Do yourself a big favor and try Count Pulaski by Consolidated. (Altadis)
Notes: I have smoked several ounces of this, on and off, in several different pipes. I find it likes a larger pipe, and I usually smoke it in an Ashton LX size. Smaller pipes tend to present the tobacco with a milder flavor, but it really shines in a larger bowl. I also find it benefits a bit from DGT ("delayed gratification techinique"- light it, smoke a bit, then come back to it later).
Appearance: A striking blend of bright golden Virginia and darker brown and black medium to thick cut ribbon, fully rubbed out.
Taste: Very rich and heavy, almost creamy on the palate. It can nip the tongue a bit. The flavor is medium-bodied and there is not very much nicotine here. The flavors are bold, well-demarcated, and there is not a great deal of complexity. Plenty of smoky latakia and a good amount of sweet-sour perique give this blend a nutty, forward, wonderfully musty flavor. Over-ripe fruit, stewed plums, sweet Jamaican rum, raisins, cut hay.
Comparisons: Compared to Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe, much more forward and spicy. Compared to Dunhill's My Mixture No. 965, not nearly as complex or heavy. Similar to Dunhill's London Mixture, but leaner and sharper.
Bottom Line: An excellent medium English blend, made more attractive by its availablity as an inexpensive bulk tobacco. For those who enjoy a sharp-flavored, well-balanced medium English blend, mild in nicotine, with perique, this will be a very good choice.
I'm in the minority here with a 3-star. I give it this rating because the overall blend, strength and flavor are in better harmony and this is a consistent tobacco throughout my 15+ years of smoking. Sure not one of my regulars due to it's mildness & lack of flavor, but compared to the other Lane offerings, I think the Latakia/Oriental presence and overall balance is better than the rest. #10 Downing Street is a bore, BS-5 has too much humectant, and Crown Achievement is a has-been. I felt the need to separate this from the 1 & 2 star reviews I gave the aforementioned. So there it is, my justification.
Well I figured I would give this a try as it is available in bulk in most shops either under the name A-100 or a shop name. To give you some perspective on my tastes, I am a Dunhill 965 fan.
In any event, I thought the tin (I mean jar) aroma was pleasant. A nice basic English blend. The cut of the tobacco was nice, a bit coarser than Dunhill and closer to the cut coming from Pease or C & D. It looked like a fairly even blend of Virginias, Orientals and Latakia. All in all pretty good.
Here is where the fun stopped for me. The flavor was far too mild. Not much body at all. The Latakia flavor was fairly faint (although the room aroma is Latakia). Kind of bland.
This is not a bad tobacco, per se, and probably would be good for someone trying to get acquianted with English blends. But not enough there for me. Sorry Lane.
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