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Favorite Sub-Genre of Aromatic
Interested to see to which flavors of aromatic tobacco smokers are drawn.
I have to say that vanilla and chocolate walks hanging hands... hard to get one that does not remind the other one. Also hard to have a 'only one' flavor in one tobacco, they are almost always combined. So considering that they are isolated my personal taste nowadays is like that:
Hopefully I’m not being too pedantic here, but it’s a difficult question to answer in some ways. The biggest issue is there seems to be mixed opinions as to what an aromatic tobacco is. Virtually all tobacco is flavored with something in casing to some degree, many smokers are unaware that their “pure” tobacco choices aren’t actually. Anise is so commonly used for this that many people associate the flavor as a component of tobacco rather than an additional flavor component. Even tobacco companies have mixed definitions of “aromatics”. It seems overall to be dictated by the quantity of flavoring. Less/mild flavoring is not an aromatic while more/stronger flavoring is. There has also been a trend by tobacco blenders to quit using the term altogether.
Some examples of less/more would be Gawith Hoggarth Dark Flake and Brown Flake. Both come in an “unscented” version and an “aromatic” version. The unscented ones still have some of the distinct floral flavors that make a “Lakeland” while the aromatic versions have more in quantity and variety.
The most common tobacco on the market that I can think of that has no apparent flavoring at all would be some of Daughters and Ryan’s blends. Vincent Manil Semois also seems to fit into the truly unflavored category, but I’m not 100% sure of either. I have smoked unprocessed leaf before and it’s an interesting experience. Nothing like finished products on the market.
The question also changes based on where one is from. In the US and Canada, an aromatic is usually a heavily flavored tobacco with burley and American style black cavendish in it. The actual tobacco flavor takes a back seat to varying degrees. In Europe the perception of what an aromatic is, is different.
Anyway I’m ranting, so I’ll quit. My answer was Lakeland as an aromatic, but as far as flavors that show up in a supporting role, I lean towards genuine maple syrup as in Mac Baren products, rum, plum, cocoa, citrus and vanilla based on what blend they are in.
Annisette/licorice usually in a Latakia blend, kinda weird but I like it. Cinnamon is always fun around Christmas time. Peach flavor during the summer. Certain bourbon/whiskey blends on occasion. Tonka bean is also a favorite. I absolutely detest chocolate.
Aromatics aren't a regular for me but I do enjoy them on occasion, maybe half a dozen times a year.
I'm an American, and "cut my teeth" (so-to-speak) on American aromatics like Milan's Sunset Rum and C&D's Green River Vanilla. But, this summer I tried Kohlhase & Kopp's "Caribbean Blue" series, and have discovered that I much prefer the European style of aromatic.
Being relatively narrow in my exposure, with a developing tobacco palate, I still consider myself primarily an "aromatic" smoker. Yet, I answered OTHER on the survey because the flavoring concept is not one-dimensional for me. I like blends. And, I like to think in terms of blends, not individual components like Vanilla or Chocolate.
I'm pretty new to it all and didn't even know what Lakeland was until a few days ago. But I know that vanilla aroma triggers a memory in me of the first time I ever smelled a pipe being smoked. So it is comforting to me.
Vanillas always seem to be comforting but I have a very real bias for anything maple even outside of tobaccos. I use syrup in place of sugar most of the time whether cooking, cocktails or whatever. Autumn Evening scratches that itch pretty well.
So hard to rank and they seem to change with my mood.
I highly prefer Maple.
Or something completely exotic like Old Toby.
But if the topping tastes even a tiny bit artificial it ends up rotting in my cellar, or in the hands of someone else.