Cyndi Dollins, Photos by Paul Arms
The tin says this blend is a mix of Broken Virginia, Black Cavendish, and Golden Virginia with orange, chocolate, and honey flavors.
When I opened the package, the aroma smells really sweet. It’s made of mostly broken leaf with dark ribbons threading throughout. It has a pleasant moisture ratio—it’s moist enough to feel spongy without being soaked like many aromatics are when you first open the can; however it’s dry enough to smoke right away.
Before lighting, it has a faintly sweet and totally natural Virginia flavor. The first light has a faint spicy flavor through the sweetness but I was never able to pinpoint the spice. In a different pipe, the top notes included chocolate, coconut, and a sweet candy-like taste.
On the true light, the honey flavor was at the forefront. It has some decadence to it but I can picture myself smoking it around a campfire and being comfortable. After a few puffs, I can taste the Cavendish and a dark chocolate flavor. It’s not quite the taste of American dark chocolates which often use sugar as a sweetener, but the organic dark chocolates that use agave or honey as a sweetener. I don’t taste the orange yet.
During the first quarter of the bowl, there is a LOT of smoke. Lots and lots of white fog but it settled down after a few minutes.
Halfway through the bowl, I noticed a sudden and light flavor, but then I got an unexpected sip of dottle. It wasn’t nasty, but rather a clean and sweet flavor. My lips tasted of honey and tobacco. I had not noticed a gurgle before my little sip but there was a definite wetness in the pipe.
The taste at this point was very light. I tasted butter and yeasty bread with a taste of honey in the back of my throat. The tobacco flavor took up the rest of my mouth, which I found very interesting. Most tobaccos don’t provide that full of an experience.
The last part of the bowl was not too hot—like a lot of tobaccos can get as the heat gets to the bottom of the bowl. The flavor was consistent and not ashy.
During the entire smoke, I only had to light the tobacco twice. It burns very well. When smoked Maricoxi in my Oscar pipe, it wasn’t until the final moments of the bowl that I finally tasted a hint of citrus. In my Rinaldo pipe, the citrus flavor showed up much earlier, but quickly went back to sweet, then cascaded into the Virginia.
The nicotine level seemed moderate to light and the room note is mild. The ash is white and clean with a few black chunks. There was no need to scrape the bowl, it just shook out into the ashtray.
Overall: This is an excellent quality tobacco but not quite something to my personal tastes. I can’t see adding this to my rotation but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone else that enjoys a light aromatic.
Flavors: Honey, dark chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, baker’s yeast, citrus, and soft cream.
Texture: The broken leaves give the tobacco a very interesting texture when loading the bowl and caused bursts of flavor throughout the smoke.
The Total Experience: This tobacco stays lit extremely well even without any drying time. The Virginia and Cavendish are very smooth. There was no bite, no heat problems, and one bowl was satisfying.