A few pipes in, and I have to say I'm disappointed in the newest version of Bengal Slices. I know Russ likes a drier tobacco, and while I appreciate it from a buying weight as a customer perspective, which is HUGE to what I consider a pricey habit, I often don't agree with the flavor benefit of it. Like the OP stated, this needs a bit more moisture. If you think you're going to crack open a new tin and get full benefit, I don't find that to be the case. Doesn't rub out very well in its arrived dry state, either. It wants to crumble into tiny particles, which I do not like.
I do find this to be a nice tobacco. Good flavor. Some complexity in the flavor. In that moderate range of flavor strength. It is somewhat smokey, too. So, it falls short in these respects: 1) flavor strength 2) smokiness 3) floral, or incense if you will, signature Bengal flavor 4) robust English vibe. If the tin label hadn't said "Bengal Slices", I wouldn't have known this was supposed to be Bengal Slices. Not really at all.
Soapiness, incense, floral...call it what you will. One of the unique and great things about original Bengal Slices was how it hit the front 1/3 tip of your tongue (folks who know more about how we experience and process flavors can help here) and the roof of your mouth. It wasn't quite a numbing effect. It sparked activity in those taste regions; almost maybe like a buzzing of the buds. There was the traditional smoke and tasting of tobacco in the back of your mouth and sinuses, but then you had this other thing happening as well. The combination of the two provided this truly robust experience. You were getting walloped from all sides. I didn't get any of that from this tobacco, not the sensation or the flavor. It was really sort of saddening, because with access to the original recipe and such, I thought this was going to be IT. Nope.
So far, from what I've experienced, if you want to get as close to Bengal Slices as possible, you have to go to Paul Bonacquisti's Park-Lane Bengal to find it. He has a great jump on everyone else.