Mystery Tobacco Review #1
Too often, our thoughts and feelings as consumers are unintentionally influenced by the opinions of others. While at other times, we intentionally seek others’ insights in order to be influenced one way or another. Not that I want to downplay individuals’ opinions, as I feel both experience and wisdom are crucially underappreciated in our current society, however, it is sometimes refreshing to get an objective perspective from others who don’t have a moral obligation to sell a product, or focus on personal gain to push an independent agenda.
The purpose of the mystery tobacco review experiment is to provide you, the audience and consumer, with unaltered opinions/thoughts on tobaccos currently available on the market. The review team has no idea what each blend is, as samples were received in baggies marked only with a month and number.
Reviewers were provided enough tobacco in each sample to smoke several bowls before making judgements on the tobacco and each reviewer was asked to summarize their experience under the following headings:
- Tin/Bag Aroma
- Tobacco’s Visual Appearance
- Initial Impressions (charring light and opening of bowl)
- Smoking Experience (room note, tobacco performance, tastes, enjoyment, etc.)
- Overall Impressions
The mystery tobacco reviewer panel consists of four individuals including myself. Special thanks for Corey (The Portland Pipe Smoker), Derek Tant, and Jake Lee for their participation in the mystery tobacco reviews. For those who are part of the YouTube Pipe Community (YTPC), information on both Corey and Derek’s YouTube channels can be found below.
Corey’s YouTube Channel
Derek’s YouTube Channel
For those who listen to The Pipe Professor podcast, you will note Jake Lee to be my current partner and crime on the show. For more information on The Pipe Professor podcast please visit iTunes or stay tuned here at The Pipe Professor website for the bi-weekly posting of new episodes.
On to the review…
From the Tin
Derek: I am looking at simple ribbon cut tobacco with the occasional chunky piece. The moisture content betrays its aromatic origins. Spongy, but not goopy. Nice. The tin note is fruity and sweet. Not natural, but not bad either.
Corey: Very pleasant aromatic aroma, not too overpowering or chemically, very sweet berry aroma with a bit of vanilla. Fairly typical looking with the cut, but on the darker side. Looks to be Cavendish with perhaps some red Virginias and/or burleys, a coarse ribbon cut. Felt a bit moist to the touch but burned really well and didn’t get too moist through the smoke.
Kyle: This nice dark ribbon cut tobacco is without a doubt an aromatic. Lots of black Cavendish mixed with Virginias and possibly some Burleys. The tobacco is pretty wet and will require some drying time. Aroma from the tin/bag has fruity notes, hints of syrup/molasses, and a light vanilla fragrance.
Derek: The ribbon packs easily and takes to the flame with similar ease. This tobacco is well-behaved. As I smoke, the bowl stays lit and burns down quite nicely to the mythical “fine, white ash” with very few relights. No tongue bite, either. Those are the strengths of this tobacco. Unfortunately, I am barely able to taste anything. I feel like I can somewhat tease out a berry note. It seems like quality tobacco at the base, but the flavor disappears quickly, and an artificial note pokes its head in occasionally. No tongue bite, but no flavor either. Towards the end of the bowl, the flavor grows ashy, but I am 90% through it anyway.
Corey: Lit really well, was surprised, because it seemed a bit moist…but that didn’t seem to matter, performed well. Started out really smooth for the first third of the bowl…very fruity and berry-like but not too distracting, with a good creaminess in the background to keep it rounded out. Also, I noted that there might be burleys in this blend, because in the 2nd third of the bowl, I could detect some nuttiness in the background with the creamy taste I found earlier. No tongue bite or harshness, but I could tell that if you pushed it too hard at the last part of the bowl, it could get a little bitter…but didn’t for me.
Kyle: I allowed this blend to dry for 15 minutes before loading my pipe each time. Tobacco burned well and produced a nice grey ash. Aroma had notes of sweet cream and nutmeg. It reminded me of the whipped froth on a latte. Tastes were difficult to pinpoint. I noted very faint nutty notes and mild fig. No spice at all. Tobacco wanted to burn hot making me slow my cadence a little less than I like. Tobacco became less than desirable near the end of the bowl with a wet mossy tastes appearing when smoked in a briar. Tobacco produced lots of thick white smoke.
Derek: Overall, I am conflicted. The tobacco behaves wonderfully but doesn’t have much flavor. Tried it in a meerschaum and a cob. Fared better in the meerschaum. It puts a lot of moisture in the pipe, but still burns well. I wouldn’t age it and I wouldn’t really consider buying it. Happy to smoke it, though. It’s just okay.
Corey: A good quality aromatic that burns well, has good flavor and aroma but is not too overpowering or goopy and allows the natural taste of the tobaccos to come through. I wouldn’t call it a great blend as it also doesn’t have anything that causes it to stand out in tobacco leaves used or out of the ordinary aromas or flavors, just a good, straight fruity aromatic that performs well.
Kyle: I was able to smoke three small bowls of the sample, one in a cob, one in a meerschaum, and one in a briar. Out of the three I most enjoyed this blend in a meerschaum. The tobacco had a really nice room note but lacked in taste and complexity. I’m glad I was able to smoke this tobacco, however, unless it’s an absolute steal of a price, I don’t think I would purchase it again in the future.
Derek (2 ½ Pipes)
Corey (3 Pipes)
Kyle (3 Pipes)
Now that we have established our thoughts and scores, it’s time to reveal the tobacco. Mystery Tobacco #1 is:
L.J. Peretti’s Yuletide (2015)
I hope you have enjoyed this first Mystery Tobacco review here at The Pipe Professor website. Stay tuned for future Mystery Tobacco reviews along with other great pipe and tobacco related content. Thanks again to the review panel and cheers to all.