By Kevin Godbee
The Seattle Pipe Club’s Seattle Evening blend is not only a wonderful pipe tobacco which is in a class all it’s own, but it is also a great way of conjuring up a little bit of Seattle back home. If you haven’t been to Seattle, I highly recommend it. It is a magnificent city with a beautiful modern skyline of glass skyscrapers, a friendly charm, and plenty of fun coffeehouses, good restaurants, and engaging clubs. The snowy peak of Mount Rainier in the distance, the world famous Pike Place Market where they throw salmon like fast balls, and of course the iconic Space Needle, amongst many other things all give Seattle a unique ambiance and charm. I had a wonderful visit there this past January for the Seattle Pipe Club’s 10th Anniversary. Now, smoking Seattle Evening here in hot, humid, sun-blistering Florida has me fondly recollecting cool, misty downtown Seattle. I am smoking this great tobacco and letting it take me back there.
The tin aroma is smoky and tangy at first, which is the Latakia and Orientals making their presence known. I find it typical that any blend with Latakia, no matter how small or great an amount, usually has the initial aroma dominated by its’ smokiness. In this case, once you get used to the Latakia fragrance, then it falls back and lets the sweetness from the Virginias come through. There are definitely whiffs of fermented fruit here as well.
The tobaccos in Seattle Evening form an attractive mostly dark blend with strands of black, dark brown and medium browns. The tobacco just has a look to it that exudes richness and fine tobacco. For some reason, it just looks like it’s high quality tobacco. The tin bouquet is delicious, the tobacco looks promising, so I am anticipating good things to come.
To the touch, the tobaccos are mostly soft with just a little bit of firmness to them. The moisture level feels perfect for smoking. The tobacco doesn’t crumble or crackle when squeezed, and it doesn’t stick together, or feel sticky or wet.
Seattle Evening was blended by the club’s official blender, Joe Lankford, in honor of the club’s annual dinner in 2008. After the club saw how popular it was, McClelland Tobacco was contracted to make the blend so the entire world market could enjoy this unique tobacco. The front of the tin describes the blend as; "Beguiling blend of Latakia, Exotic Orientals, BTR and Red Virginias". I couldn’t figure out what BTR stood for, so I checked with Seattle Pipe Club President, Matt Guss, and he informed me that it is Blended Turkish Ribbon. Mystery solved, and you heard it here first.
For my first time smoking Seattle Evening I thought it would be appropriate to smoke it in my Kirsten Pipe, since these quite unique pipes are made in Seattle. We will have a future article about the company and their products. I’ve been smoking Seattle Evening in several different pipes all week.
I didn’t rub out the ribbon cut tobaccos as it doesn’t need to be. I used the 3-step method to fill my pipe. The pre-light taste is smoky, woodsy, earthy and forest-like. Seattle Evening has a unique taste. While the tin aroma was similar to many other blends, the flavor profile at the start is rather unique.
I haven’t smoked every pipe tobacco in the world, so this might be similar to another tobacco blend, but it is not like any other I have tasted. The false light was smoky, and the true light delivered the woodsy, forest taste of the pre-light draw. Then the Virginias deliver a subtle, mellow sweetness. On some puffs in the beginning, the wood-like flavors reminded me of a mild cigar with a Connecticut-Shade wrapper.
The Latakia seems to be used as a condiment as the smokiness is there, but it is in the background. The Orientals provide a nice tanginess.
As the bowl progresses the smoke becomes more rich. The smoke is full and heavy, producing thick large plumes of smoke. The combination of sweet and tang is reminiscent of a California plum that is ripe enough to eat, but not yet fully ripe to the point of it being all sweetness.
The tobacco burns wonderfully. Thirty minutes in and I’m still on the first light. I’m enjoying the thick clouds of smoke as the flavor profile mostly maintains with an occasional mild spice popping up. There is a fermented fruitiness present as well.
The predominant taste throughout is a tart sweetness that is immensely enjoyable. Even though the blend is named Seattle Evening, I think if you smoke a pipe on a regular basis, that you will enjoy this blend any time of day. The flavor is superb and the thick smoke is a joy.
Kevin Godbee is the Operating Manager of Right Click Media, LLC, which is the the owner & publisher of PipesMagazine.com. Kevin started smoking pipes and cigars in 1998 and started the online magazine & community site, Cigar-Review.com in 2005. The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists. PipesMagazine.com was launched in 2009.
In the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the hobby and specialty toy business for 16 years in sales, marketing, advertising and product development for three different manufacturers, and with his own company.
Over the last 10 years working in the online business, he has become an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. Kevin is also a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT) through Tobacconist University. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and takes long walks on the beach. (Seriously.)