Jack’s Blind Review #1

Greetings, fellow pipe-guys and ladies. I’m Jack. Some of us know each other already, and to those that don’t, I hope we can become friends.  :-)

And here’s my review of a sack of tobacco that Jason handed me, labeled: Jack’s Blind Review.

When I first looked at the bag and smelled it through the plastic, I was awarded a fantastic aroma. From the look and smell, I immediately thought of Solani’s Sweet Mystery X.

The Mystery Tobacco in question. Post your guess below to win a tin or 4oz sample!

I quickly realized it wasn’t, so I opened the bag and smelled deeply. Light Bourbon, or maybe strong Cognac? Some kind of liquor. Nice. Fruits, not citrus, not apple, certainly not cherry…plum? Maybe. NICE! Nuts? Again, maybe. NICER! All I kept thinking about was Christmas Cookies – which, at my house, equates to Bourbon Balls, Hungarian Butterhorns, Russian Tea Cakes, etc. All saying GOOD!

The Appearance

The appearance was a fairly rough cut, with some bright and darker VA ribbon, what looked like maybe some burley, and a lot of very sweet Black Cavendish. There were also bits of flaked tobacco mixed throughout, and I did notice that the scent of the flake was the same scent as the rest. It felt pretty moist, and I tried squeezing some to see if it would hold as a ball… it didn’t. Nevertheless, I spread some out on a paper to dry a bit (about 10 minutes), and it remained pretty much the same. I also thought it would be sticky, but not really, as I couldn’t clump it. So, it was time to load ‘em up.

The Smoke

I used a Maestro Beraldi pickaxe that I like, with a fairly narrow, but deep bowl. Using the 3 level load (or whatever it’s actually called), I packed it full, and fairly tightly for something that had the potential for turning my mouth into the 2012 version of Towering Inferno (oh, yeah, I’m the tall guy).

The first few dry puffs warned me, again, SMOKE SLOWLY.

My charring light filled my mouth with so much flavor that I did a double take at the bag. But I was good, let it go out, let the tamper have it’s way with the pipe, and then settled into an hour of sheer gustatory and olfactory delight. It must have been all the Black Cavendish, but this smoke never got hot. After 15 minutes, I realized that the bite I was expecting was not going to happen, so I relaxed even more.

So, I’m well into this smoke and I start assessing the flavors… everything I smelled initially was there. However, there were some characteristics I hadn’t anticipated. I was catching an occasional taste of bitterness (though not at all unpleasant) in the back of my mouth. And saltiness. Salty, like you got from eating the bottom of a bag of pretzels! WOW! There was also some vanilla wafting in and out. I was thoroughly enjoying this. A very few sips of unsweetened iced tea worked wonders to allowing the process to start all over again.

Final Thoughts

The burn was excellent. I tamped a few times, and never relit. Then, all too soon, I tamped deep enough to know that it was over. The saltiness abated, and the flavors remained in my mouth for quite a long time. This was perfect, as I enjoyed them so much the first time. It was a clean aftertaste. All I thought about was… I think when everyone’s gone to bed tonight, I need to do this again. And I will, as soon as I hit SEND on this blog post.

Now, Jason, my friend… 2 requests?

What was I smoking?


Where can I get MORE?????

Now it’s up to you. Leave a comment to guess what Jack was smoking. The contest will run for 1 week. The first person to guess correctly will win the tobacco, either a tin or a 4 oz sample. Good Luck and comment as often as you would like. Only 1 guess per comment will be accepted.

This contest has concluded.  Please check the results here.  Thank you to all who participated.

Related posts: