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Wessex Gold Brick - No Coffee, But Damn Tasty Anyway

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    Anonymous

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    Pretty innocuous. I mean, look at it.

    Wessex Gold Brick is a bit more than a 2 X 2 inch, sort of grayish-brown block with specks of gold and black wrapped in a piece of cellophane. Wrapped like dates at the supermarket -- Not the most graceful presentation, to say the least. OK, lets slice this sucker open. {Sniff, sniff} ... smells like tobacco, maybe a bit of spice ... but where the hell is the coffee?

    Oh man, maybe I made a mistake on this. It's expensive. It feels dry. Oh well, let's find a sharp enough knife and peel a couple slices off this sucker. Hmm... slices easily enough, actually seems more moist than it looks. {Chop, chop} ... I like how it cube cuts too... Wow, there is actually are going to be quite a few slices from this 100 gram plug... OK, well now it feels too moist, so lets let it dry 10-15 minutes. La La La. There -- that's about right.

    Time to load these cubes in this very pretty Astley Charatan Make quarter bent straight grain dublin panel (the conical bowl should make any cube cut virgina worth it's salt sing)! Packin' it in there tightly; sprinklin' the small crumbled remnants on top and it's time to light this stuff and get this show on the road!

    Hmm ... puffs pre-light = still no coffee. But I do like the taste. Char light puffs up the cubes a bit, true light went well and this stuff is burning evenly. There's a little nuttiness (maybe a touch of quality burley?) that compliments the sweetness of the virginias nicely. Also a bit of cream (yes, cream without the coffee). It is burning evenly and cool, leaving a powdery white ash. No goop, no bite, and no complexity to peak of. Damn tasty though. Vitamin N, at the level I experience from most virginia leaves, is higher than expected, which is fine by me.

    This Gold Brick (WGB) is burning very slowly -- this Astley is a solid Group 5, and any cube-cut virginia flake won't ever win a race to the bottom of the bowl, but still, this WGB is burning slower than most of my other virginia blends. Not a bad thing.

    It's made in Germany, but reminds me of good old time USA virginia. Looks and reminds me a bit of Day's Work (do they still make that stuff?) but IIRC, Day's Work chew was much more moist. Must be the cellophane wrapper.

    This stuff grows on you. Sort of like a plain girl you knew in high school that turned out to be interesting and fun to spend time with. Recommended. This could be an all day smoke.

    But if someone finds the coffee, let me know what they did with it, OK?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    +1-I found a cube cut using a really really sharp knife and
    letting it have some extended dry time really made this one
    Pop for me

    Same goes for the he Dark Flake, outstanding blend,
    smoked cube cut / some extra dry time and in a clay...wow!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. cynyr

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    Good review! I like the way you did it, just like we're on the back porch talking it over.

    I remember Day's Work in the cellophane... the little local store stocked all manner of chaw behind the counter. Bull of the Woods, BnB Twist, rows of cheap cigars, cans of snuff. My grandfather used to send me down there to get Bugler, and a dollar bill would get Dad two packs of Marlboro and a candy bar.

    Ahem. Anyway, the tobacco sounds very nice, and your review was sublime. Good work, roth!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Roth, you dog, I had promised myself , no more tobbaco, but DAMN, I"m gonna find that coffee. The old cajun

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. samcoffeeman

    samcoffeeman

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    I'm interested to try some Wessex tobaccos, this one and the Brigade Campaign. I read on TR that it has coffee flavoring, which would turn me off since I don't want flavored tobacco. I was trying to verify that it has coffee since TR isn't always accurate. Unfortunately what I have found is that most of these tobacco companies do not have websites, or if they do, they are not informative. I guess it is up to us to determine if there is coffee or not...

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
    that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights,
    that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Thanks everyone. I enjoyed writing it.

    Unfortunately what I have found is that most of these tobacco companies do not have websites, or if they do, they are not informative.

    It's good to see something like this -- when a pipe puffer, often relatively new, gets around to realizing this. I think that most of us laugh at this, but unfortunately and from personal experience, the "It must be true -- I saw it on the internet!" mentality can actually permeate the brain if we're not vigilant.

    We had a discussion on another thread here recently about the fact that too often, no matter where or how much we look, there is no definitive "recipe of ingredients" for many if not most pipe tobacco blends. It's proprietary information and as puffers, our "need to know" don't mean squat.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. sparroa

    simenon

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    Although I have not tried the blend, I think that the coffee description on Tobacco Reviews is suspect.

    I have seen many tobacco descriptions where they seemingly pulled the ingredients out of a hat.

    Unlike GL Pease (for example) who tends to describe his blends in great deal - Wessex tobacco is supposedly made by Kohlhase & Kopp and they have ZERO online presence and zero tasting notes available for their blends. (Rattray's have a few robotically translated booklets included underneath their tin covers that at least makes an attempt to be helpful) So without any kind of information from the company, I think this coffee flavouring is heresay concocted by the first reviewer to upload the blend at TR.com and nothing more.

    Yet, when people see coffee listed on the website, they shun the blend to avoid some kind of aromatic.

    I've read all the reviews on TR.com and most people just say they have a Virginia dominant plug on their hands with minimal casing of any sort. There are probably coffee notes in the blend, but that could just be a "nuttiness" or even a roasted flavour coming from the constituent leaves when combusted. I find that molasses leaves a lot of coffee taste in a tobacco (so does burley) but it could even be a function of a bit of dark VA in there somewhere that people are picking up on a little.

    Hell, I know a lot of people who insist that Guinness is coffee flavoured because of the way that roasted barley tastes. (I do love myself a nice coffee porter or stout, though...)

    Don't get me wrong, it might be there, but I just have to agree with Roth that you need to consider your sources when reading these descriptions. For all of the facts exchanged on forums, there are quite a few inaccuracies which become "common knowledge" over a very short period of time.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Simenon, I think you're spot on about the coffee. As I'm sure you realized, I was having fun with it in my "review." I totally agree that in trying to ascertain an actual blend "recipe," toppings and casings are nebulous or even suspect, even on the tobacco tin label, and more so when some puffer posts a new blend or reviews the blend on a pipe tobacco review site such tobaccoreviews.com -- most of the time, they are guessing as to what's in it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. sparroa

    simenon

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    Your review was crystal clear and I realize where and when you were being tongue and cheek.

    I suppose I just wanted to chime in again that just because we taste coffee, there may be no coffee in it.

    Tin descriptions are often very misleading and those that are poorly done often give either false hope or false advertising.

    Similarly, individual tobacco reviews are fairly useless (unless one finds a skilled reviewer or trusted friend with similar tastes) and you'd be better served by reading a large sample of the reviews to get an overall feel for the blend because all of our tastes differ so widely...

    I really find it painful to blind buy a blend with less than 15-20 coherent reviews because you don't really know what you are getting...

    It really does a blend a disservice if it is miscategorized in such a way because people make assumptions about names or descriptions - I think it drives less curious consumers away. (I personally enjoy reading up on the differences of opinion) The companies themselves could fix this if they were a little more progressive and provided more info to the consumer, but the old school European brands in particular seem to like shutting us out in the cold. (Trade secrets are one thing, but they could throw us a bone with a few meaningful adjectives)

    Look at a bottle of expensive French wine before? They tell you nada. They expect consumers to be informed. That is all well and good but that's also why French wine sales are tanking. They are not making strides to communicate with the customer, whereas the New World bottles are often too wordy!

    The difference between French wine and old school pipe tobacco, however, is that it is relatively easy to ascertain what is inside the bottle if you do your homework - grape varieties and all manner of production methods are heavily regulated and well documented. The ingredients in a pipe blend are all shrouded in mystery, unfortunately!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. cigrmaster

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    Nice review roth. When I first tried this blend I was looking for the coffee flavoring that I read about. I began smoking it and really concentrated on what I was tasting. I began to get hints of a flavoring that I said to my self, yeah that kind of does taste like coffee. Now if I had not known that it said it was cased with coffee, would I have picked it out, I don't honestly know. I may have talked myself into tasting coffee. On subsequent bowls I did keep tasting that flavoring but I really had to go looking, if I was just smoking and not thinking about it I was tasting a nice Virginia blend with some nice sweetness to it. Whether there is coffee or not and whether I am actually tasting coffee it really doesn't matter because I like the blend for what it is. I did notice that when I got lazy and didn't dry it enough one time, the flavoring was more noticeable, when I dry it properly it is more in the background.

    I really like the plug form, it is fun to play with and they are real easy to store. My large containers I use will hold 10 plugs quite comfortably, with plenty of air for circulation. I am very curious to see how it will taste with a few years of age on it.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. tbradsim1

    tbradsim1

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    Tried this a couple of days ago, heard Roth expound its values, cut some up , PM em Roth, How do you fix this damn tobbaco, was put on right track, loaded bowl up and puffed away, had enough to load up an old Bent Large Edwards and laid it down for morning smoke, back to first smoke , creamy, Carter Hall on Steriods liked it, next morning fired up the old big Edwards and it was a 2 hr smoke that was one of the finest I have had in a long time, Thank You Roth, those little square turds of tobbaco will be on my smoke list, PS it didn"t at all taste like crap LOL. The old cajun

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    those little square turds of tobacco will be on my smoke list

    Tres bien mon vieux, alors alon zi!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. sparroa

    simenon

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    Ok, so I just tried it.

    That plug is solid as hell. The pocket knife I had handy was not really up to the job, it was like cutting through a knot of wood. Looks like I have to get sharpening - that is a bad sign!

    Anyway I cut off a thin baby flake and shaved off some more shag and then rubbed it all to the same fine consistency because I did not want to freeze to death while smoking it outside...

    It was a nice straightforward blend. I could see it being an all day smoke for me in a different place and time - because the availability is not great for me, though, that probably won't happen.

    Anyway it had a pleasant bittersweet taste and a light earthy character to it.

    My tastebuds are off and I am not picking up on much sweetness overall, but I could sense traces of it here.

    It seemed to me like there was a noticeable quantity of burley in there; it is hard for me to say.

    One thing I will say, though, I did not distinguish any aromatic topping whatsoever. Whatever casing is there has been applied with a light touch, and there is definitely no trace of aromatic toppings - to me it is just a simple casing of sugar or molasses or something barely present.

    I think it is a good old fashioned smoke that would not be out of place at a jobsite or out in the yard. It burns well, is of medium strength, tastes good, yet is not overly complex. It is also very compact and convenient to store, plus like cigrmaster says the plug is quite an enjoyable form of tobacco to play with.

    (If you have a good knife or plug cutter handy, that is!)

    Smoking something like FVF is full and rich and sweet and decadent tasting. To me, this is just a solid and enjoyable tobacco at an okay price but quite unique as it comes in a rare format and unorthodox packaging.

    I also think it is a very good companion to coffee. I would also see if it gets much sweeter with age. I think that would be the icing on the cake.

    On TR.com I'd give it 3/4 stars but an 8/10 rating wouldn't be undeserved...

    (Again that is just one bowl - I may eat my words tomorrow!)

    *As I suspected, I did not taste coffee - as in, an essence/flavouring of coffee - but I can definitely see some roasty burley-like coffee notes in this blend. I am a big fan of Wessex Burley Slices and there could be a small percentage of similar leaf in here as I found some familiar flavours on a much lighter scale. That is my take on the coffee debate.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. uberam3rica

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    Sort of like a plain girl you knew in high school that turned out to be interesting and fun to spend time with.

    I like the analogy.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. mlyvers

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    thanks guys for the reveiw on this plug. i want to try it when i place my next order. i just recd wessex bruley slices, i like it.

    mike.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. sparroa

    simenon

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    Mike I don't think you can go wrong with this one. They are not the same by any means but I get hints of that same burley in the lower half of the bowl. YMMV. It is still a good VA plug, considering they are so rare. Also it is much milder in the nicotine department than the other plugs which would probably take down a mule - it is also notable in that it doesn't have much added flavours...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. olewaylon

    olewaylon

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    I just unwrapped my first plug of this stuff last week. Man I'm loving it! I have been smoking it more than anything else lately. I'm surprised this blend doesn't get more hype.

    Does anybody have any of this stuff with some age on it? I'm curious how this plug ages. I would imagine fantastically.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  18. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    I have 52 bricks put away, and a bunch of those have over a year of age on them from the time I bought them. I haven't tried the aged stuff yet. It's pretty good young.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  19. sothron

    Perique

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    This one has been on my TAD list for awhile but keeps getting pushed back. Perhaps I need to bump it up a few rungs.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  20. beezer

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    I managed to slip in an order on SP two weeks ago and snagged 5 bricks of this stuff. I haven't tried it yet, just added the bricks directly to the cellar. I noticed P&C has these bricks in stock, but they have them priced at $10 more than when they are available on SP. Not sure why the extreme price difference, but noticed a similar trend with some of the other elusive blends as well.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  21. olewaylon

    olewaylon

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    I think youll like it beezer. that $10 extra is part of the savinings we were promised due to the extra buying power of Cigars International buying out P&C

    Posted 5 months ago #

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