Bourbon Barrel Aged … fill-in-the-blank … but fill it in with Seattle Pipe Club’s Plum Pudding Tobacco … Holy Shit Dude!
Sorry, but that’s what I say. That’s my uncontrollable blurt out for “Wow!”.
That was my initial reaction to just the idea, and also my reaction after smoking it.
You know that feeling you get when you hear of something new, and you’re like, “Yeah!” “Exactly!” “This is perfect!” “Why wasn’t this done before?”
Well, it kind of actually was, just not with awesome pipe tobacco.
There’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Bones Coffee, 1,000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Boulevard Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Quad Ale, and Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.’s Bourbon Barrel Ale to name a few of my favorites.
Now I can add Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged to that list.
It comes in a large tin for the 2 oz. of tobacco. There’s plenty of extra room, and when you shake it, you can hear and feel the chunk of charred oak from the Kentucky bourbon barrel inside the tin.
Upon opening, you can see the thick slices, a little more than a quarter of an inch thick, in varying widths of 2½ to 1¼ inches.
You see mostly dark tobaccos with a few bits of lighter colors interspersed. There’s mostly black, then dark browns, followed by light brown, tan, and beige.
It’s a little bit moist, so I crumbled it onto a napkin to sit out for a few hours to dry. The second time, I let it sit out for 6-hours as I got distracted with things popping up that required my attention, and I was concerned as it felt too dry, but it actually smoked just fine.
The rich tin aroma wafts effortlessly. Yes, there is the smokiness of the latakia, but it is also chocolatey- dark chocolate, espresso beans, hot chocolate, and a creamy sweetness.
The cut of the tobacco is a crumble cake, or “Crumble Kake” – the spelling with the “K”, I first saw over 10-years ago by Cornell & Diehl, and I think everybody just fell in line with it, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
The tobaccos – Latakia, Turkish Orientals, Virginias, Cavendish, and Perique – are blended, and then packed into charred oak Kentucky bourbon barrels for 30-days.
Then they are pressed with an extreme 30 tons of pressure for 48-hours, and then cut into slices.
From Jeremy McKenna, President of Sutliff, (which makes the Seattle Pipe Club Blends): “Aging of tobacco can happen in various ways: time, heat or pressure. Using the pressure it ages/matures the tobaccos bringing out the natural sugars and flavors of the tobacco, without having to cellar it for several years. There is no way to know how much “age” pressing adds to tobaccos, we just know it enhances them. So can you continue to cellar them, but you do not need to for that well-matured taste.”
The slices are quite easy to crumble, hence the name, crumble cake. They break apart so easily that they already have started to do so in their travels in the tin, which is why there are varying sizes when you open the tin. The little chunk of wood from the bourbon barrel, and me shaking the tin probably helped too.
The tobacco packs easily into the pipe. Some of it stays in pieces, and some rubs out into a fine powder, which is perfect for “kindling” on top to help the lighting.
It’s a cool, rich, complex, and pillowy smoke that’s creamy and smooth.
It smokes quite cool too, which is good for me. I have to admit that I sometimes tend to smoke a little fast when I have a tobacco that tastes so good. I keep pulling in more and more like a kid eating chocolate cake, and then I pay the price by burning my tongue and mouth … but not with Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged. You can puff like a chimney and the smoke stays cool. (I don’t suggest doing this on purpose, though.)
Tin Aroma: Figs, Leather, Smokiness
Flavors: Dried spiced fruit, coffee with cream, cocoa.
It coats the tongue like a bourbon does when you take that first sip. The smoke feels creamy as well.
After a couple of relights in the beginning, it stayed lit through the rest of the bowl. I know it’s a total cliché at this point, but it actually did burn down to a fine white ash.
When you first light, it’s too hot to retrohale, but after it settles in and cools down, you can get more flavors from a retrohale as the smoke is smooth and soft.
In the evening, I liked it accompanied with Bulleit Bourbon, and Bulleit Rye. In the morning, a double latte did the trick. For reviewing, the first couple of bowls were had with room temperature water.
Brand: Seattle Pipe Club (Made by Sutliff)
Blender: Joe Lankford
Tin Description: Plum Pudding BOURBON BARREL AGED ~ How to improve upon perfection? Sipping his favorite bourbon gave Master Blender Joe Lankford an idea. World famous original Plum Pudding packed into charred oak Kentucky bourbon barrels, aged 30 days, pressed into cakes and crumble kake cut. The result? Heavenly marriage of spirits & the best Balkan blend ever made. A chunk of bourbon barrel rests in every tin. Complex, smoky, spicy and still positively addictive. Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged is Joe’s dream come true. Enjoy the ingredients: Latakia, Turkish Orientals, Virginias, Cavendish and Perique.
Contents: Latakia, Turkish Orientals, Virginias, Cavendish and Perique
Cut: Crumble Cake
Packaging: 2oz. tin
Strength: Mild to Medium
Flavoring: Aging in bourbon barrels, and pressing imparts richness, and smoothness
Taste: Rich, Full-bodied, Dried spiced fruit, coffee with cream, cocoa
Room Note: Surprisingly Tolerable
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- Review: Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged by Seattle Pipe Club
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Bourbon barrel aging and pressing along with the distinct blend make this a rich, creamy and smooth pipe tobacco.