C&D Winchester & Others

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BorealPiper

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 9, 2021
107
1,901
I first tried Winchester only about a year ago, and it's become an almost daily smoke for me. I've yet to have a disappointing bowl. I'd love to try it with some perique added.
 
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f4phantomdriver

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 23, 2019
115
186
I liked it instantly myself. I’ve jarred cellared 6 pounds several years ago.

It’s great fresh. It’ll likely be better after the red Virginia ages.

Almost cigar-like at times yet quite naturally sweet. Like wine.

A real sleeper blend from C&D that I’m glad is finally getting some love.

You know, Pegasus was once such a blend. Jeremy Reeves thought so and look how it’s taken off in popularity.

I suppose it’s true that cream floats to the top.
That is so weird that you mentioned how it has almost cigar notes to it. I thought the very same thing. I can't stop sniffing the jar! It is such a great blend. I've been cellaring Winchester and Pegasus, deep cellaring it. I don't ever want to be without it. I can't say this enough, you were so right about me adding the CB Dark to the Pegasus and jarring it that way. I'm glad I didn't go overboard with it. I have some friends who really enjoy it that way, but I'm finding I'm not reaching for it anymore my friend. I can't get enough of regular Pegasus. I wouldn't dream of adding anything to Winchester, I'm smoking a bowl right now as I type this.
 

f4phantomdriver

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 23, 2019
115
186
I like Winchester too, but I dispute that it is a "pure" tobacco. It has a casing that adds a touch of honey (maybe molasses) and maybe a splash of some sort of liquor to it. It is very subtle, but for a Virginia Burley blend it is a very smooth smoke. Reminds me of a high quality codger blend.
I'm thinking the same thing. I am REALLY digging Winchester. But I believe the red Virginia has a molasses casing and the unsweetened black Cavendish has a liquor flavoring or something it's steamed with. This blend is too smooth like you said to be pure.
 

f4phantomdriver

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 23, 2019
115
186
Burley Flake #2 is a favorite.

Winchester and Pegasus are apples and oranges. Totally different animals.

I didn’t expect to enjoy Red Virginia.
Neither did I Grangerous. Virginia tends to destroy my tongue and the roof of my mouth if I don't smoke it with either a 9mm or 6mm charcoal filter. Winchester on the other hand is smooth as butter on raisin and cinnamon toast. My youngest really likes the smell of it when I smoke it. When he's hanging with me in the living room at night we will watch MASH and The Andy Griffith Show. If I light up my pipe with Winchester he gets really comfortable and falls asleep.
 

Grangerous

Lifer
Dec 8, 2020
3,274
13,190
East Coast USA
Neither did I Grangerous. Virginia tends to destroy my tongue and the roof of my mouth if I don't smoke it with either a 9mm or 6mm charcoal filter. Winchester on the other hand is smooth as butter on raisin and cinnamon toast. My youngest really likes the smell of it when I smoke it. When he's hanging with me in the living room at night we will watch MASH and The Andy Griffith Show. If I light up my pipe with Winchester he gets really comfortable and falls asleep.
It has a very likable room note. I didn’t know that until a friend was smoking some Winchester. It’s a whole different experience being exposed to someone else smoking vs yourself. Amazing how the perception differs when perspective shifts from smoker to bystander.
 

BenMN

Lifer
Jun 21, 2023
1,207
22,487
St. Paul, MN
Got my pound, gave it a day to acclimate, and jarred it up.
Initial observations:
A bit more moist than the Pegasus that also arrived, which was a bit drier than usual. Cavendish is not the chunky type found in Pegasus, but more short ribbon-y.

Clear honey note on the nose. Something like coffee, too.

First light... smooth. Easy
 

LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
1,970
16,911
Oregon
Been slowly smoking through a bowl of the fresh stuff I got as opposed to a 2oz sample bag. Even better than before. I've tasted everything from coconut to coffee. Still haven't drawn a conclusion about the top flavor, if present.
The casing is very subtle and the creamy sweetness of the cavendish makes the casing hard to pick out. I'm almost getting a gentle kiss of vanilla. I'm smoking it now and it is just fantastic. I've almost bought some a few times and now I'm glad I did. It also has a surprisingly substantial amount of nicotine.
 

f4phantomdriver

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 23, 2019
115
186
Picked up a pound of Winchester on sale at SP. Jarred it up tonight so I now have some for ageing experiments. Some will be smoked in the near term, of course.
I have a pound aging. I need to order another pound to smoke. I'm a burley smoker through and through, Prince Albert was my everyday for years and Sir Walter Raleigh regular before that. Red Virginia used to give me the spins, but I started smoking Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake so I think I gained a tolerance to nicotine over the years. Anyway, I think Winchester is a masterpiece of a what a Codger blend is. Even though it's not that old, it does have an aroma that reminds me of being a kid in the late 1970s over my grandparents house.
 

BenMN

Lifer
Jun 21, 2023
1,207
22,487
St. Paul, MN
I'm comfortable stating that this is excellent stuff, and I've not yet smoked through 2oz worth.

I've picked up on something that reminded me of coconut as well, once or twice. Something vaguely tropical?...

Re: cigar notes mentioned...

I reached out to C&D requesting clarification and education. Mr. Jeremy Reeves kindly responded:

I noted that the Cavendish in Winchester is clearly different from that used in Pegasus.

Jeremy clarified that "the Black Cavendish in Winchester differs from the type used in Pegasus.
It is actually made using Dominican Cigar tobacco."

I suspect that this is the same Dominican Cavendish present in today's release of Sansepolcro.

Regarding topping or casing-
"Winchester is not topped but there is a casing used on the Black Cavendish, which serves mainly to produce a smoother mouthfeel to the smoke, as well as aiding in the blackening process during steaming."

I mentioned notes of honey and coffee-

"There is no honey or coffee used in the casing, but both of these flavor notes make sense to me, as descriptions of the flavor that Winchester evokes."

I suspect the coffee note that I and perhaps others have detected is from the Dominican leaf. It may be worth mentioning that coffee is a note common to Dominican cigars.

Thanks, Grangerous and others, for turning me on to this excellent blend. Another flat of Mason jars is clearly needed.
 

Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
408
1,210
North Carolina
Virginia tends to destroy my tongue and the roof of my mouth if I don't smoke it with either a 9mm or 6mm charcoal filter.
I suffer from this same affliction and through a lot of experimenting I've decided it's not actually the acidity, it's the opposite. Everybody's mouth chemistry is a little different and I think a lot of "tongue bite" and overall mouth discomfort is caused by tipping your mouths acidity too far in one direction.

When I tried smoking Virginia heavy blends by themselves, not a good time. Smoking it with something like tea, even worse. However if I drink something relatively acidic alongside it's fantastic and I have little to no discomfort. So my unscientific conclusion is that virginias will make your mouth more alkaline and by drinking something acidic, my choice is a soda, you can offset this effect. Worth a shot anyway.

Back on topic: I really liked Winchester but I'm curious if you guys dry it out at all? Out of the jar it's pretty moist for me but then again I like to dry to a light crisp.
 
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