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Wessex Burley Broadcut - A Review

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    Anonymous

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    I bought this one on a whim. A big, black, 7 ounce can for less than $15. It's the epitome of an "under the radar" tobacco. Six reviews on TR, none bad, all positive. Hmmm. I was looking for a burley, a step up from OTCs, one that wasn't an aromatic, but not just straight burley, either. I know many disagree, but to me, straight burleys are bore-ringgg. LOL. Wessex Burley Broadcut is made in the USA (maybe why it's so reasonably priced?)

    OK, opened the tin and it smells sweet. Real sweet. Ah, molasses? What do we have here Edgeworth on steroids? Well it is well developed, I mean it's not itty-bitty cubes and there's no powder -- this here, folks, is broken flake -- sort of looks like McClelland's Blackwoods Flake in appearance. Supposedly, besides the burley (very forward), there's also some black virginia cavendish in here, which is one of the reasons I bought it -- a good Va/Bur, to me, is a good thing. The smell and the casing, though tell me this is not Silver Flake, or Old Dark Fired, although dark, like Fired Kentucky would be (maybe it's the molasses).

    This blend is a bit moist. Not wet. So I took some out and broke it up in pinches into a dish -- just enough for this bowlful that I'm smoking now. After 15-20 minutes, it was ready to ride. I drop fed it, packing a bit tightly, into this old Barontini rustic canadian. It took a few chars and longer to true light than usual, but then I've been smoking Wal-Hall, so in all fairness, given the cut, topping and prep of this Burley Broadcut, I really wasn't surprised.

    The first puffs deliver unusual flavors. Leather, earth (what? this isn't a cigar ) it's also sweet -- not sticky aromatic sweet though, a very slightly bitter molasses sweet. The nuts are certainly in evidence, walnuts, from the quality burley I'm sure. This Burley Broadcut burns slowly, doesn't smoke hot at all; it's smooth and a bit creamy, with nice, full flavors and zero bite. The sweetness tones down noticeably half way through the smoke, but still there as a touch of pepper comes into play. It burns surprisingly dry, all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

    It's not Edgeworth, but it is what I would call a crossover burely blend and I don't think there's anything else quite like it. It probably won't get better with age, but should hold it's own well and for a long time. I will get more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. bobpnm

    bobpnm

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    Thanks Roth! Nice review. I am definitely on a burley kick these days. I have been smoking Stokkebye Cubed Cut. It is a burley/va blend. I'm going to get some Wessex Burley Broadcut! -bp

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. brdavidson

    brdavidson

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    Hi Roth, I've been smoking Edgeworth for the last couple of days and I'm absolutely loving it. Sounds like this is a blend I need to try.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. sparroa

    simenon

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    Is this just a cut version of the Wessex Burley Slices or is there a fundamental difference?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Is this just a cut version of the Wessex Burley Slices or is there a fundamental difference?

    I actually haven't tried the Burley Slices, but since the Burley Slices are all, well, burley and the Burley Broadcut has a molasses like topping and contains a fair amount of virginia black cavendish, I think I am safe in saying:

    It's different

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. sparroa

    simenon

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    I've never looked up the reviews for the Broadcut, I was just checking.

    I believe the Burley Slices are also cased with molasses but it does not stand out to me in the same fashion that the Broadcut stands out to you. It is very understated and more bitter than sweet, but the molasses is very prevalent in the tin aroma and its dark flavours meld really well with the burley.

    (I also wasn't sure if the Wessex was 100% burley - it still probably has a bit of VA component, who knows)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Sounds to me like the same casing. Like I said, I haven't tried the Slices, but I'm thinking the Broadcut probably has more virginia and the virginia might well be different in both.

    I think the Broadcut could well be classified as a crossover by some puffers. But that would be iffy in my view. What Broadcut isn't is the burley blends such as Russ's Classic Burley Kake or Scotty's Butternut Burley, or Carole's Wilke Butternut Burley -- those blends (and others like them) are, to me, aromatics. Burley Broadcut is not.

    Hope this helps, Simenon.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. sparroa

    simenon

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    All clear. Thanks.

    That is what would make Burley Broadcut a keeper to me in comparison to the others. Aromatics are a big turn off...

    I would be astonished if I did not like WBB, based on your review alone. Too many similarities with WBS.

    The burley aromatics are a different story.

    The main reason I like burley is for the dark, nutty, woodsy character and the heavier the flavouring, the more those elements are obscured... A moderate dose of molasses does the trick with these blends.

    (A few years ago I sought out to find a "molasses pipe tobacco" - WBS fulfilled that need for me nicely, thankfully without being sticky or sugary, but it took me a nice while to find it. The Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake probably has the most molasses flavour I have encountered over all, but its VA sweetness makes it a different animal.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    That sounds tasty Roth. I will have to add it to the list is tobacco's I want to try, and order a 7oz can or two when it comes back in stock.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. ejames

    ejames

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    I never cared for Edgeworth but the Wessex sounds like something I should try. I do love burleys.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. rmbittner

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    simenon wrote:

    A few years ago I sought out to find a "molasses pipe tobacco"

    If you're still hunting, I'd suggest searching specifically for "honeydew." Traditionally, that's the name given to blends that have been treated with molasses. (And there's no honey -- or honeydew! -- in them!) McClelland's 221B: Honeydew is a very nice blend, although my memory is telling me that it's Virginia-based, not burley-based. (Not surprising, since it's coming from McClelland.)

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. sparroa

    simenon

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    Bob, Thanks for the historical tidbit! I was not aware of that "honeydew" naming tradition. I would usually avoid that name like the plague for fear of some honey or melon scented concoction...

    Having read the reviews on TR.com it seems like a lot of people are fooled by the power of suggestion. There must be two dozen reviews referencing honeydew flavour!

    It does sound like it is Virginia based, but that could still be right up my alley...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    Having read the reviews on TR.com it seems like a lot of people are fooled by the power of suggestion. There must be two dozen reviews referencing honeydew flavour!

    Note the names of those reviewers, so you can disregard their opinions of other blends as well. I probably shouldn't be shocked that folks wouldn't take the time to do even a little research about a blend they're smoking. But I just don't get willful ignorance -- not when there are dozens of reference books and Internet sites where people can educate themselves.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Since 221B series is mentioned, if you haven't tried Black Shag from that series, I highly recommend it. It is the most unusual all-virginia blend I have every smoked; upon lighting my first bowl of Black Shag, I had to go research it to confirm the ingredients.

    It's not something I want to have a permanent and ongoing place in my rotation, but it most certainly has a spot in the cellar and I have a tin jarred to get into on occasion. In my view, Black Shag is arguably the most artfully blended offering from the considerably talented master blenders at McClelland to date.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. gwtwdbss

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    If you're still hunting, I'd suggest searching specifically for "honeydew." Traditionally, that's the name given to blends that have been treated with molasses. (And there's no honey -- or honeydew! -- in them!) McClelland's 221B: Honeydew is a very nice blend, although my memory is telling me that it's Virginia-based, not burley-based. (Not surprising, since it's coming from McClelland.)

    221B Honeydew is one of my favorite Va's. As with all the McClelland's I smoke, it requires a little extra drying time but it sure is delicious!

    I love the tin inscription on the back of the can:

    "The sweet, fragrant Honeydew was all gone by the time Susan Cushing offered the container to Sherlock Holmes, but he was undoubtedly familiar with this fine Irish Flake's gratifying flavor, pleasing aroma and gentleness on the palate."

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    221B Honeydew

    OK fine, that's another one for my bucket list

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    Roth, this is one that I am going to send ya a tin of when I get home. I forgot to restock my traveling bag with it after I sent Bradley some last month or it would already be on its way to you. The first tin is on me then it's all up to you after that buddy!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Ah ha! Thanks! Well some WBB will go in the mail tomorrow (if I can finally get to the mailbox!) I need to scrounge around and see if I have some Black Shag left (but I'm thinking it's gone )

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. flyguy

    flyguy

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    Thanks for the review Roth. You do a good job. That stuff does sound tasty. I am starting to gravitate more to burleys as they tend to be biteless. I will give this a try.

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Thanks, Flyguy! I think you'll like it. As I said, it's a bit sweet. I find it smokes best chopped up and dried until it stops sticking because larger cubes/pieces are harder to keep lit. Simenon's got me wanting to try the Wessex Burley Slices too; I'm thinking those may be similar to this WBB and probably a little less sweet, though it appearss they have similar, if not the same casing.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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