- Jul 21, 2015
Tasty dark Virginias. Burns well for hours. Easy to load and smoke. Loading another bowl now.Many of us retain an affection for the old shag cut blends that were meant to be rolled or smoked in a pipe, but in the old world cigarette way, something you had after a meal or when work was done for the day. Shag cuts pack easily and burn well, and "Kendal Dark" is no exception. It begins with a spicy flavor of dark smoke after being crammed in the bowl, then deepens to a honey-molasses type flavor as the Virginias caramelize, and finally ends up as a kind of tangy sweetness that is very pleasurable to sip for hours.
Like other old school blends, "Kendal Dark" was not designed for the hobby smoker but the working smoker, or the fellow who had a couple minutes to dip his hand into a pouch, cram a pipe full and then spend the next two hours nursing it while he did something else. It is designed to be a constant series of little rewards, like sipping a sweet and spicy drink, to not distract but smooth the work process. If that is how you smoke, this blend is a great all-day smoke, but for the more sedentary and hobbyist types, it may be a bit strong, as it starts with medium-to-strong Nicotine levels and ramps it up from there, so that by the end of the bowl you may be coated in a fine, cold sweat.
For me, this is tobacco at its best. It loads and burns like an OTC, has only a tiny hint of the incense-like flavorings that the UK tobacco makers use to cure and refine their blends, and delivers enough Nicotine to be a good friend and joy throughout the day, but not enough to put you on the floor. I mix it with "Five Brothers" sometimes to cut the smokiness and broaden the sweetness into a full harvest flavor.