Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - "Kendal Dark"

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deathmetal

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Jul 21, 2015
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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.
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/569#review97314
Tasty dark Virginias. Burns well for hours. Easy to load and smoke. Loading another bowl now.

 

paulie66scandinavian

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Jul 28, 2016
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Finland-Scandinavia-EU
I love all these good old fashioned central european and English dark shag cut blends,usually prefer smoking them in smallish size bowl when I'm in deed for strong full and quick smoke, I doubt if I could handle nicotine in them were I using bigger bowl sized pipe.

 

deathmetal

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Jul 21, 2015
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From memory, the Dark Bird's Eye was a bit stronger and had more of the smoked leaf flavor. Both are Virginia/Burley mixes, if I recall correctly, but the "Kentucky" flavor was stronger in the Dark Bird's Eye. I'll haul some out and compare.

 

hawky454

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Feb 11, 2016
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Good review , DM. I’m a big fan of both Kendal Dark & Dark Birds Eye. Lately I’ve really been enjoying the Kendal Dark Vanilla. It’s just got a whisper of vanilla but it works well with the base blend. These style blends are my go to morning smokes paired with a cup of black coffee.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
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That sounds delicious, too. I have only recently come to "trust" the UK aromatics of this sort, but I enjoy them, even if occasionally I stagger back gagging from Lakeland Essence.

 
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