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 The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project

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Rob_In_MO

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Age : 44
Location : Park Hills, MO
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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:29 pm

Blackhorse wrote:
Generally, it has moderate rather than super reviews...and monbla's approval means little to me. But if YOU recommend it, I'll give it a try.

You know how reviews go, and I put little faith in general review sites these days.
It really is an excellent VA blend, and should score well.

Ironically, Kaiser is the one who turned me on to it. And it's been a pretty-regular order every since.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:44 pm

I agree re review sites...if one takes everyone's word there they will be misled. After all, some guys rate blends highly and others don't like it. I find a half dozen guys with similar tastes to mine and look for their comments. Kaiser is a good man.

That, and there isn't any scoring here. Just an impression..a glance if you will. And I often cut and paste some other reviews that interest me re the blend. There's no way I could do an even slightly comprehensive review of all the things listed here.

The intention is more to introduce a broad number of blends that are among the most appreciated in order to expand my own experience and open doors for other members to try...if they are so inclined.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:55 pm

Today's first bowl: Rivendell. One of The Country Squire's Middle Earth Series.

In a cob.

Blender notes: Rivendell is woodsy and earthy. Mildly sweet with a hint of walnut.

Reviews:

Nutty, Woodsy, Cocoa... this is a very accurate description by the blender.

I'm a big fan of all of the Squire's Tolkien blends, but Rivendell is by far my favorite. It's nutty taste provides a great, cool smoke. No tongue bite or rough smokes from this blend, even if you tend to puff deep and quickly like I do. A great blend to accompany you when you're outdoors camping, or just when you need to "get away" from the monotony of the daily grind. This natural, earthy blend is a great way to escape.

My take? Like the above I get pronounced nutty, woodsy notes in this easy to pack, light and manage blend. The tobacco flavors come through well and yes, there are wisps of Walnut in there. Very enjoyable.


On a different tack...Jon, at The Country Squire contacted me and wanted to donate two blends to this humble affair...Choctaw and Blue Ribbon. On behalf of my follow tasters here I accepted with all our thanks. Nice folks there!
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:55 pm

That sounds yummy!
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:06 pm

Sounds like another Country Squire winner and another for the "to try list."
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:08 pm

It is good. I think I like Parson's Blend a bit more, but then they're different. There are two others in the Middle Earth series I have on their way...and looking forward to those as well.

Among the most interesting is the VA trio...Choctaw, Indian Outlaw and Cherokee. Choctaw was originally Cherokee #1. About 20 years ago, Cherokee #2 was rebranded "Cherokee" and Cherokee #1 was renamed "Choctaw". Then they mixed the two together and came up with the Outlaw! Starting with Cherokee as the lightest, they are supposed to be progressively stronger. I can hardly wait!
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:29 pm

Got two in as mentioned. From The Country Squire...Indian Outlaw and Second Breakfast.

Here is my perhaps over the top review of Indian Outlaw in my new Chubby Rhodesian.

The Squire's website says that this, Cherokee and Choctaw are a trio of sorts, with this one being a blending of the other two. Cherokee is the mildest, Choctaw the most full. That would put this one in the middle. I can actually taste the Cherokee in there. Cherokee is mild and subtle as butterfly kisses. Outlaw is a solid smack from your lover's lips by comparison. I thought I had smoked about every blend known to man, but a friend suggested the Country Squire...a new friend well met. Astonishing deftness in blending. Little individual works of art. Picture a handsome pastry chef wheeling his cart to your table as you sip your after dinner coffee. The tray is laden with small wonders...petit fours and tarts and parfaits of the most delectable ingredients nurtured to perfection under caring hands. The aromas! The flavors! Such treasures. That's the feeling these blends convey. The Outlaw is VA back and forth with Cavendish. The scenting is very faint, and needs to be as the Virginia's are so subtle. Tobacco notes are forward. Good. Packs, lights and burns very well. Not even slightly hot and no hint of bite. While Cherokee needs a nice chair and a fireplace, the Outlaw should be quite at home on a morning Stroll...or any time of day. Flavors build toward the bottom, but never go bitter. A rock solid five out of five stars.

I thought that their Parson's Blend took the great prize...this one is quite different but gives it a fair race indeed. The winner might just depend on the day and setting.

_________________

Just keep in mind, these are my opinions only. YMMV.
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juanmedusa

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:53 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if the Country Squire fills some orders to brand new customers in the near future.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:30 pm

Afternoon Delight.

The Country Squire's: Second Breakfast. In a standard cob.

I can't claim a victory here. I couldn't find the right cadence or maybe it was the wrong pipe, but with a medium tamp it wanted to go fast and hot, which likely killed any potential the blend had. Others have posted good results.

Sorry.

5)

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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:06 am

Blackhorse wrote:
Afternoon Delight.

The Country Squire's: Second Breakfast. In a standard cob.

I can't claim a victory here. I couldn't find the right cadence or maybe it was the wrong pipe, but with a medium tamp it wanted to go fast and hot, which likely killed any potential the blend had. Others have posted good results.

Sorry.

5)


Ah, every once in a while, even the great ones produce a blend that is less than stellar. I ordered a few of Milan's blends about the time you started this, two were wonderful, one was a mouthful of flavorless hot air. I was a bit mystified. The one I didn't like was not one that you had reviewed, but it did have favorable reviews from others... just a mystery to me. scratch
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:23 am

SM - I don't think that Second Breakfast represents a failed blend in any way. I think it represents a failed attempt. We've all loaded a known pipe with a known blend and had it go South. It happens. Here we have an unknown blend (to me) that just needs the right pipe geometry or whatever to bring out the goodness that's there.
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:32 am

Blackhorse wrote:
SM - I don't think that Second Breakfast represents a failed blend in any way. I think it represents a failed attempt. We've all loaded a known pipe with a known blend and had it go South. It happens. Here we have an unknown blend (to me) that just needs the right pipe geometry or whatever to bring out the goodness that's there.

True. I almost was ready to give up on Durbar until I found the right pipe. Now it's one of my favorites. Perhaps I gave up on the Milan blend too soon without finding a more suitable pipe for it.
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juanmedusa

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:14 am

Once I was told that you should smoke a pound of any tobacco before you make your mind up about it. Now, as I did then, I find that ridiculously excessive. A pound is way to much tobacco to smoke of something you don't like. However, I do agree with you guys that some retrying and tinkering is warranted before giving up.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:00 am

Yeah...and hardly anyone has a pipe that big either! lol


Well, it usually happens. Guys just don't have the time or inclination to read through every post in what will likely end up being a long thread...but up there somewhere I make the point that this thing is, of course, no kind of real review or evaluation. It's more like a glimpse of a glance...a peek...an initial reaction. That kind of thing.

I think in today's world most guys feel that a full TIN will give enough insight to know whether one wants to go further.

But there are some situations where you know right off it's not for you. Some guys hate Lakelands while others don't smoke Latakia. Then there's Tambolaka, etc.

Anyway, of course, your point is well made.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:20 pm

Blackhorse wrote:
Yeah...and hardly anyone has a pipe that big either!  lol


Well, it usually happens. Guys just don't have the time or inclination to read through every post in what will likely end up being a long thread...but up there somewhere I make the point that this thing is, of course, no kind of real review or evaluation. It's more like a glimpse of a glance...a peek...an initial reaction. That kind of thing.

I think in today's world most guys feel that a full TIN will give enough insight to know whether one wants to go further.

But there are some situations where you know right off it's not for you.  Some guys hate Lakelands while others don't smoke Latakia. Then there's Tambolaka, etc.

Anyway, of course, your point is well made.


Well put Mr. Horse.



Cheers,

RR
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:20 pm

Today I fished out my TIN of GL Pease's new Virginia Cream..

First, from an adjacent thread, Puff Daddy sez:

"Just smoked my first bowl of this, in a Stanwell 118 pot. Upon opening the tin the immediate aroma is boozy, but soft. The colors are beautiful. Very eye appealing blend, smells nice, not overly done. I'm reminded of Gregs Barbary Coast, his just a kiss of brandy kind of boozy note, nothing too overbearing or synthetic. Drawing on the unlit pipe I get bourbon and a faint, soft natural vanilla. After a couple of lights and it settling down I get bright virginia notes and suddenly I see where the topping is supposed to be. These virginias are the kind that leave a soft natural sweetness on the lips and the tip of the tongue and the topping is applied so it sits right there complimenting that sweetness. Again, in a natural way. Now I understand the cream soda comments. You know how when you take a sip of a cream soda that isn't overly sweet and the sweetness sits on the lips while the fizz sits mid palate? This is exactly what is happening with this tobacco. It works. At mid bowl there is a definite spice at mid palate that to me tastes of perique, and this works with the aforementioned sweetness. It's a vaper now, to me, and continues to build this way with the soft topped virginia sweetness diminishing and a solid creamy vaper that never gets too strong or develops and real bass notes. "

Can't do any better description than that. My bowl was is a lovely little James Upshall group 3 Pot. Good pairing. I also got an under note of Bourbon and a sort of creamy hint on opening. Stuff comes just at an ideal dryness. Excellent. The aroma of middle and high note VA's are in the foreground, the other notes further back. So the tobacco leads. It's a really enticing aroma. Three match start. No further lights required. Lovely mid and high VA flavors to me. They intensify dowl the bowl, no real base notes here but no complaints at all...lovely stuff. In terms of being an Aromatic? I wouldn't call it one in how it plays out. It's that subtle and far back but noticeable...condimental. Even without the Bourbon this would be a good blend, the scent just enhances an already fine design. By the time the end game arrives it has picked up considerable power re tobacco flavors. Very rewarding. Mr. Pease hasn't lost his touch. There are a lot of blends out there that use Bourbon...a quick search on the review site comes up with 37. Surely, this has to use the good stuff.  lol

Definitely want to play with this one further.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:16 pm

Up today is the third in the Indian series from the Country Squire. Keep in mind that this outfit really blends their own...and you can tell. There is actually a component that comes out really strongly. It's called, "WE CARE". It just screams. It matters.

This one is " Choctaw". To me, it's the most strongly aromatic of the trio made up of Choctaw, Indian Outlaw and Cherokee. The pouch and bowl aromas match...cocoa vanilla and hints of Caramel...very nicely applied to the Cavendish (I assume to the Cavendish) and then there are VA's added to the blend. Slight deep notes, more mId tones and some brightness back. The balance of the cases flavors against the VA natural tobaccos is superb. It has great mechanics...packing, lighting, smoking. No heat even when steadily puffed...no bite. The great thing here, to me, is the fairly full aromatic profile coupled to a restrained VA...both being consistent most all the way through the smoke...the Aro notes finally going away at the very end. Man, this stuff is fine! I don't know about you but I don't need a lot of aromatic blends around...but I want the ones that are around to be knockouts. At this point, again for me, The Country Squire is the blender of choice for that super level of quality.

Smoked in a James Upshall P group 3 eighth bent Pot. Excellent pairing.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:24 pm

Today's entry to the field of honor...The Country Squire's "Black and Tan".

This is a Burley/Cavendish blend with aromatic notes of Cocoa/Vanilla and a hint of Caramel.

My thoughts:

Looks handsome and smells delicious in the pouch. Cut is rough and aroma is a vanilla/chocolate/Caramel...all back a bit, but masking any tobacco aromas. It's not obnoxious or brash...very polite. The feel is light and not wet or sticky. As usual with a Country Squire blend it oozes quality in both the components and the process. The blend has great mechanics...meaning that it packs, lights and behaves well as it burns down. I can tell this is a Burley/Cavendish blend but the aromatics mostly cover the tobaccos. It doesn't want to burn hot and of course doesn't bite. The flavors are smooth and very nice. A friendly, easy smoke not requiring concentration, making it a good companion for work or play, field or shop, back porch or fireside.

Pipe Used: Alpha Hand Made Freehand Plateaux

Other's impressions:

Black and Tan is a full flavored aromatic with a strong coffee taste, interspersed with lovely hints of dark chocolate. The taste of this blend paired with the incredible room note make for an aromatic lover's dream. This is what pipe smoking is all about! Five stars.

Note: hmmmm. I didn't get any coffee at all...or 'dark' chocolate.  As they say, YMMV.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:32 pm

Today's confection, boys and girls, is one I've had my eye on quite literally for years. I've even had it in my cart on several occasions, but never pulled the trigger. Why? Simple. It was always replaced by some known and more desired option.

It's what Gawith now calls "Red Style" and the guys at Gawith say "Red and Orange grades of Virginia and Burley with a little casing make this Red a great replacement for Amphora. The light, sweet fruity tastes can be found throughout the whole bowl. For a tobacco this light there is no bite. A sweet fruity smoke with a scent that is pleasant for people around you."

In the pouch the aroma is restrained, not potent. Indeed almost all Gawith tat are known Lakelands easily have twice the pouch aroma punch of this one...and it is totally different from the florals and soaps of the garden variety Lakeland. The cut is what I would call crushed ribbon. The look is a tricolor, mostly blond and medium brown with a small Dark Brown component. I detect no Cavendish here, it appears to be all VA though there's purported to be some Burley.

One reviewer sez: "This really has some nice flavors going. The Virginias come through clearly. Can only pick up a touch of Burley. Must be a very small amount. Has a mild fruity note plus a little Lakeland floral. Very pleasant smoke which I find myself enjoying more each time I smoke it. Rock solid three stars.Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. Flavoring is mild to medium. Burns very well.
EDIT: Forgot to add that mine is labeled "Red Style". Description is "The first idea of GH was to do a replacement for Amphora Red in the U.K. The Pipe Club of London as well as other Pipesmoker Clubs tested it and found it very similar. This is an Air Cured blend of Burleys and Virginias." No doubt this is the same blend."

Another:  "The smell this gives off is lovely, it has a pleasant fruity touch to it without smelling heavily cased. It arrives with a good quantity of moisture allowing smoking to proceed straight away. The flavouring from this is slightly heavier than the aroma whilst un-lit lead me to believe. It doesn't taste sticky or gloopy but the casings are quite noticeable with ease. The two tobaccos are evenly weighted, both slightly less pre-eminent than the toppings. One of the better areas with Red is tongue bite, no matter what it doesn't bite me. I find the nicotine light with Red, to notice it big inhalations are a requisite. I can smoke a bowl of Red with it only needing a small amount of re-lights whilst throughout the temperature of the smoke doesn't become too warm and at the end of a bowl all that remains is grey ash. The room note is a very light one...".

Me? I smoked mine in my old CAO "Sherlock & Watson" meer. While it didn't come wet at all it wanted the occasional relight to keep a decent smolder going. I think some drying is in order here as it wanted to burn warm...a bit moreso than I prefer. It smelled oh so light to me with very little notice from the aromatics. I think I detected the Burley on occasion, but it's very back. What I got was a rather one dimensional mid range VA profile. Not very exciting for a Gawith of good repute. And not really having any familiarity with Amphora Red I can't comment on how similar this might be. My Pug didn't complain about the room note, but he's very polite. I paired it with a Dutch Bros. double shot White Chocolate Mocha with Almond flavoring...coffee bliss from a local drive through. Here, the bottom half does much better than the top...better burn, better VA flavors, better all around. If I was scoring these things, which I'm not, this would get a 'good' for the medium VA's and a 'meh' for the aromatics. My new Mecca, The Country Squire, does better than this by a fair margin. Just sayin'. But that's just one bowl.
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:54 pm

Seems like it's been a long while since I've posted here...nearly a week. Issues with relatives and whatnot rather killed by idle time. But here I am with one I've looked forward to a great deal...Peretti's Thanksgiving Day...smoked in my James Upshall P eighth bent group 3 Pot.





Impressions other than mine:

Drums & Beer: A very good mild course cut pressed burley with plenty of flavor and a hint of sweet honey & subtle floral essence on the finish. Personally I think this is a fantastic smoke, but I could definitely see how it would leave the nicotine loving burley-phile wanting, as it is mild to medium at best in overall strength. In other words, if you prefer blends like Haunted Bookshop, OJK or Solani ABF, this might not be enough to float your boat. It's sweet, mellow and easy going with no bitterness or bite, Thanksgiving Day is probably the closest thing to what OTC burley's used to be like back in the day when they were comprised of higher quality tobaccos. Sweetens nicely as the bowl progresses with excellent flavor clarity. It's not too rich or complex but it's still delicious all the way to bowl's end.

Me? Well..for starters this is only available in 4 oz packs that they wishfully call Crumble Cake...and some might be a firm block of pressed tobacco, but not mine...though I didn't care. Mine pretty much collapsed into a loose pile as soon as the orange paper cover was off. So I did the scoop thing and got my bowl that way adding a medium tamp. The pouch aroma of this is fantastic...if you like Burley. As a matter of fact I could preface this whole thing with that phrase cause this is a straight high class Burley...plus. If you read the review site entries on this you'll see claims for aromas ranging from soap to nuts (lol) and everything in between from a groaning Thanksgiving table, including the flower arrangement. Cinnamon, Allspice, Pumpkin Pie, Giblet Gravy...my oh my. Me? I get a very straight Burley with a noticeable VA back...honey sweetness lurking to remove any bitterness... and yes, the slightest hint of floral and spice.  It comes dry (hurrah). It has excellent mechanics (load, burn & tamp)...and very good manners  (no bite and no heat). It is not in any way some honey and floral bomb. Those aspects are subtle and subdued. The balance here is remarkable...so I remarked on it. Sorry. It's not a frivolous or trivial blend. It seems to me to be that homage to the fine blends of yore, when an aromatic was achieved via tobaccos and herbs and the like...not chemicals and propylene glycol... as has been mentioned in numerous Peretti reviews. It's not a strong, sweat inducing, call the EMT's Burley. I'll call it medium. The value here is the quality and uniqueness of the tobacco flavors...plus the very subtle floral spice...but mostly pretty straight nicely developing Burley/VA goodness, easily managed. At $19/4 oz it's not OTC cheap, for sure.But that cost just puts it on a par with most tins out there...so no complaints For me, it's such an outstanding blend it's worth a dedicated Briar. Take note: it's only available for a month or so, so get enough for a year. Right now. Go do it. Hurry up...IF you like Burley.

I had ordered one 4 oz pack. I just now placed an order for another. $19 for the tobacco + $3.34 1st Class shipping.


Last edited by Blackhorse on Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:08 pm

Blackhorse wrote:
Me? Well..for starters this is only available in 4 oz packs that they wishfully call Crumble Cake...and some might be a firm block of pressed tobacco, but not mine...though I didn't care. Mine pretty much collapsed into a loose pile as soon as the orange paper cover was off. So I did the scoop thing and got my bowl that way adding a medium tamp. The pouch aroma of this is fantastic...if you like Burley. As a matter of fact I could preface this whole thing with that phrase cause this is a straight high class Burley...plus. If you read the review site entries on this you'll see claims for aromas ranging from soap to nuts (lol) and everything in between from a groaning Thanksgiving table, including the flower arrangement. Cinnamon, Allspice, Pumpkin Pie, Giblet Gravy...my oh my. Me? I get a very straight Burley with a noticeable VA back...honey sweetness lurking to remove any bitterness... and yes, the slightest hint of floral and spice.  It comes dry (hurrah). It has excellent mechanics (load, burn & tamp)...and very good manners  (no bite and no heat). It is not in any way some honey and floral bomb. Those aspects are subtle and subdued. The balance here is remarkable...so I remarked on it. Sorry. It's not a frivolous or trivial blend. It seems to me to be that homage to the fine blends of yore, when an aromatic was achieved via tobaccos and herbs and the like...not chemicals and propylene glycol... as has been mentioned in numerous Peretti reviews. It's not a strong, sweat inducing, call the EMT's Burley. I'll call it medium. The value here is the quality and uniqueness of the tobacco flavors...plus the very subtle floral spice...but mostly pretty straight nicely developing Burley/VA goodness, easily managed. At $18/4 oz it's not OTC cheap, for sure.But that cost just puts it on a par with most tins out there...so no complaints For me, it's such an outstanding blend it's worth a dedicated Briar. Take note: it's only available for a month or so, so get enough for a year. Right now. Go do it. Hurry up...IF you like Burley.

Well described. I might have to order another block, while the getting is good.
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:14 pm

Nice observations. I'm going to have to forego it this year, but with what just happened to me here (mass-bombing), I should fare just fine. Blackhorse, how do you think it compares or differs from Peretti's 333?
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:34 pm

In a linear progression...

333 = cube cut shoe leather

BPC = the finest cube cut shoe leather

Thanksgiving Day = Ambrosia

(Happy Holidays)


Laughing
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Simple Man

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:45 pm

Blackhorse wrote:
In a linear progression...

333 = cube cut shoe leather

BPC = the finest cube cut shoe leather

Thanksgiving Day = Ambrosia

(Happy Holidays)


Laughing

Good guide. Cool Laughing
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: The Great Best of the Best of the Best Aromatic Project   Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:47 pm

Good thing I happen to like good shoe leather.
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