RO Series Acadian Gold - RussO hits another winner

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lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,637
3
Chester County, PA
Last night's Lehigh Valley Pipe Club's makeup meeting provided a revelation. At previous meetings, we had heard from the great Russ Ouellette about his innovative idea, per "In October of 2015, while spending a day with Mark Ryan at the L.A. Poche Perique Company in St. James Parish, Louisiana. our own Russ Ouellette asked Mark if he had ever thought of trying to process Virginia in the same method as perique. Mark said that he had thought of it, but was told it wouldn't work. After a bit of conversation, Mark decided to bring down some bright, sweet, yellow, Canadian-grown Virginia to give it a try. The processing time had to be much shorter due to the aggressive fermentation due to the high sugar content, but the result, called Acadian Gold, has more depth than normal Virginia with a malty note unlike anything else."
I had nabbed the whole series but to get a sense of what they would do this was the tin we popped. The tin note was very, very unusual. Yes, there was a periquey organic scent that welled up, at odds with the visual of very light ribbons. It sure looked like a young bright VA, but sure didn't smell like one, except for faint hints of citrus. There was little hay like undertones, and not being a red VA, I didn't expect any bready or yeasty notes.
With the first puff, we knew something was indeed different about this, and by the time a quarter of a bowl was combusted, several of us had already decided this was going to prominently figure in the next P&C TAD. Acadian Gold is very tasty, but not overpowering in that department. Nicotine levels were moderate. Progressive puffing revealed the citrus and sweet characters of the Canadian Virginia, but there was no bite. If anything, the blend tasted as if it had a good deal of age on it, but absent the musty earthiness. Acadian Gold burned quite well, even for a ribbon, despite the fact that I didn't dry it out to my customary crispiness.
I need to run this through my usual assortment of chamber sizes and configurations, and also need to check it out in other substrates, starting with meerschaum, clay, morta, olivewood, corn cob and strawberrywood. I'll probably also pull out one of the Ropp cherrywoods to help define the flavor contours. I need to do more study to ferret out the malty notes. Then I might feel armed enough to push out a proper review. But since this may have gotten lost in the flood of recent pre-FDA introductions, I thought it would be good to let folks know that this one is a winner.
hp

les

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,164
541
Acadian Gold has worked its way into my rotation. I am about done with my first tin. I have found it does best in a medium sized bowl, .78-.8" chamber size, with some height. Starting out light, sweet and mead-y, it stoves in a tall pipe like a dream and almost gets a latakia-like smokiness towards the end, with its robustness. Great stuff. If you like a Virginia that slowly changes flavors as you smoke it, you'll be amazed by this one. I'm anxious to try the VaPer version.

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,860
1
Massachusetts
I just finished off my first tin and I couldn't agree more with the above assessments. This is a most unusual blend and worthy of a try. But don't dally with the new FDA rules it won't be available for long. My understanding is that it was produced as a one time experiment.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,843
20
If you think Acadian gold is good, wait until you open Acadian VaPer and Acadian English. I did a review on the VaPer and I've smoked 5 bowls of the Acadian English but am still trying to figure it out.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,190
179
Maryland
Thanks for sharing last night! I really enjoyed this blend, perhaps more than my other current 2nd blend, OGS. (and it's easier to smoke!)

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,277
55
Les, thank you for sharing that tin with us on Wednesday evening. From the moment the seal was broken, I knew that was something unique and delicious. Your review is, as usual, spot on.

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,219
54
Since this was going to be one of my final projects in creating pipe tobaccos, this meant a lot to me. I was chomping at the bit because we knew that the Acadian Gold couldn't spend as much time in the barrel as Perique (it would break down), but we had a looming deadline (FDA date) and we weren't sure that the final product would have enough time to properly ferment. When Mark said that it was ready and he was sending me some samples, I was excited and nervous. What if it turned out to be a bust?

When I received the packaged and tried the first bowl, all my concerns disappeared. Acadian Gold is the most unique-tasting Virginia I have ever tried, and it has no casing or top-dressing at all. I couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out, and I'm glad that people are enjoying it.
Russ

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,803
8
Congrats, Russ. Looking forward to trying this one. By the way, what went into the decision to use Canadian Virginias for this?

 

curl

Preferred Member
Apr 29, 2014
597
15
I just bought 1 tin each of this series.

I look forward to sometime in 2017 or the next couple years when I can try them out.

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,219
54
Congrats, Russ. Looking forward to trying this one. By the way, what went into the decision to use Canadian Virginias for this?
Thanks for the congratulations. About two years ago or so, Mark Ryan sent me a large sample of what he called the most amazing Virginias he had ever seen. The leaf was delicate and was the brightest yellow I have ever seen in a flue-cured tobacco. Since he sent me raw leaf, it wasn't cased at all. When I cut some and tried it, I was blown away by the sweetness and the acidic tang. When I suggested the idea of processing Virginia in the Perique method to Mark, we both immediately thought of that Canadian Virginia. We both felt that the high sugar content would work best, and we also thought that the processing would drive back the acidic tartness.

When Mark sent the finished samples, I was struck first by the color. The Virginia went from lemon-yellow to a golden hue, like perfectly fried battered fish. The tasting bore out my hopes that the maturation process would drive back the acidity. The depth, and what I call a maltiness, showed me that we had something truly unique on our hands. It's phenomenal on its own, but it is also a great blending base. My only disappointment is that I won't have the opportunity to do more with this amazing tobacco.
Russ

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,277
55
Six tins ordered.
It will be especially interesting to revisit them in the coming years. I fully expect that Acadian Gold will only get better with the passage of time.
This is indeed a high water mark in your blending career, Russ.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,843
20
Since this was going to be one of my final projects in creating pipe tobaccos,
Russ,

I fell in love with the Acadian VaPer from the first time I opened the tin and I'm now developing a love for the Acadian English. I tried the Gold and it is very good but I'm not a straight Virginia smoker.

 

pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,213
0
"I wonder what old Russ is up to. Maybe I'll just stop by for a min or two "
*knock knock knock*
"Hey Ruuuussssss. You home? I brought you a fruitcake. Watcha workin' on in there?? Ruuuuussss..."

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,843
20
Russ could go on unemployment. When filling out the forms he can explain he can't find a job because the FDA destroyed his livelihood.