Jim's Watch City Simply Red Review.

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jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,371
3,013
Simply Red is a good name, but this is not a simple blend. There are several different shades of red (from light to medium to black) with a little orange in this ribbon cut Virginia product. Some of the reds are obviously processed differently. I believe there’s a little stoved red in the mix. The characteristics I observe are a burst of ripe dark fruit with a little fermentation, some tanginess, a lot of earth and wood, a splash of semi-tart citrus, mild grassiness, light sugar and stewed fruit, and a tinge of floral along with small spice, bread and acidic sour notes. It also sports a whisper of vinegar, though you won’t smell it when you sniff the tobacco, and will seldom taste it. The taste level falls just short of medium. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium, while the nic-hit is barely past that center. No chance of bite or harshness even when pushed. Has a minute rough edge here and there. The tobacco is lightly moist, but I don’t think it needs any dry time. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with average range of complexity and a mostly consistent, well balanced, rather smooth, medium sweet flavor that also has a touch of sour savoriness from start to finish. These attributes translate to the short lived after taste. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires a couple more than an average number of relights if given no chance to dry. The room note is pleasant. An all day smoke that makes a good mixer, too.
It’s a little more complex, smoother, refined, mildly less sweeter, less matured, and a notch stronger than McClelland’s 5100, which also has a modest vinegar presence that Simply Red mostly lacks. SR is not quite as earthy or sweet, but is smoother with a hair more variety of subtleness than the more matured C&D’s Carolina Red Flake, which is a rung or two higher in the strength and taste departments. It’s not as sweet, aged, or as smooth, is a touch earthier and a little more nuanced, and doesn’t have the depth of flavor that the various years of McCranie’s reds have. This blend reminds me a bit of the reds used in the Sutliff crumble kakes with a little more nuance, and a little less strength and flavor. Simply Red is a couple of degrees more complex, citrusy, grassy and earthy, and is not quite as sweet as Sutliff’s Matured Red Virginia 515 RC-1, a fraction of which I suspect is in this manufacture. SR also has a tad more potency in body, depth, and variety of flavor. As far as I know, the tobaccos in this creation are provided by Sutliff. Four stars out of four.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,036
174
Excellent review Jim. Dead nuts on IMHO, especially your comparison/contrast to 5100. I've been smoking a bowl of this quite regularly and find it really enjoyable.

 

sunriseboy

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2017
96
0
Yeah, Ernie just sent me two ounces down here in Oz, because it was the last two ounces had! Top blend...as usual. Jim has said it all. Highly recommended.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,271
495
I'm not sure if an old burley huffer like me can do Simply Red without dressing up and going on good behavior, but it sounds complex in a good way and truly refined. I do miss McC's 5100, so this might fill the gap. One heck of a review, but that's jiminks.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,371
3,013
Ernie is making more of it while we chat. He'll have a new batch before long.
Many thanks to those who complimented the review. Knowing the importance of anything dealing with red Virginias in our current market, I tried my best to be as thorough as I could so my fellow pipers would know exactly what this blend is, and what it is compared to other red Va.s so they could make an informed decision.

 

snoopy311

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
349
0
Haha, Harris!
New batch back in stock. I just ordered 8 ozs. Looking forward to trying a little and setting it into the cellar to mellow.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,476
616
30
WI
Jim always takes pipe smoking to the next level. I don't have the brain capacity to think as much into it as him!

 

snoopy311

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
349
0
Just received my 8 oz. today. Harris, I’ll be sure to send a couple of ounces your way. :rofl:

 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
302
1
Thanks for the tip on this tobacco! I bought some as well, and I say after two bowls of it, I understand the sweetness that is Red Virginia. Really good tobacco that stays lit and smokes to the bottom of the bowl! It has caused me to break out my 515-RC1 and TSR1 that I have jarred and set aside to do some comparison work.
I am glad my taste buds can handle this stuff, as I really do like these reds!

 

jrbjr

Member
Mar 6, 2019
104
0
I was lucky enough to get some of the last offering. So very smooth and tasty, I also can tell you it is worth trying if you haven't. How does this Tobacco age?

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,036
174
Simply Red has only been produced for less than six months, no one knows how it ages. Given it is red virginia, I'd expect it would age superbly. I've smoked quite a bit of it,excellent tobacco. No need to lament over the loss of 5100 any longer. Watch City has numerous excellent blends people should be trying.

 

stbruno70

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2013
481
34
I had some SR pre-release and really enjoyed it.
I have ordered more and will put some aside for ageing.
Ernie is a superb blender. Have a go at his other creations.