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Old 02-25-2014, 09:14 PM   #1
Col. Kurtz
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First Name: Jerry
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Default Col. & Rev.Views - Rattray's Hal O' the Wynd4/2013

Second review in the Rev/Col series. I had to take a break due to a nasty head cold. I jumped back in with a few bowls of Squadron Leader to make sure I had my taste buds back. I think I'm ready to go; so I stuffed a bowl of this classic tonight. Here are my thoughts:

Nice appearance.

Loaded up and ready to go in a trusty Kaywoodie.

0.0 - 2.0 = poor/inferior quality
2.1 - 2.9 = fair
3.0 - 3.5 = good
3.5 - 4.5 = excellent
4.6 - 5.0 = superior

1) Aesthetics: the look of the tobacco - Rough short ribbons. Reminds me of the "little sticks: you get by splitting a flake. Mostly medium and darks. No light orientals or bright Virginias noted. No artificial darks.
Score for aesthetics:4.0 - I prefer the looks of longer looser ribbons.

2) Pre-light Construction:not cased or topped that I can tell. Very natural smelling tobacco. The odor from the bag reminds me of a freshly opened bag of Fig Newtons. The tobacco is easy to load and has a perfect moisture content. One match, even char, tamp, relight and off to the races. Very easy so far.

Score for Pre-light construction:5.0 - Nowhere I'd change this one.

3) Post-light Construction/How it smoked: This bowl smokes great. It smokes as cool as you like depending on your puffing cadence. The even burn to start is nice and related to the ease of loading. The ash is more pepper than salt, and falls into the voids of the "little sticks." I later got some gurgle, but nothing big. I had to dig around at one point, but that was due to my OCD. See, I tamped down one too many times trying to keep a uniform ash cap. It's probably best to respect the structure of this tobacco and let the ash and unburned fall where it may. Don't over-tamp. Respect the little sticks

Score for post-light construction:3.75 - partially my fault

4) Flavor and strength: No orientals, or latika that I can detect. I'm fairly certain this is a VaPer based on the light sweet flavors and the figgy aromas. I think I'm getting the sweet stewed fruit contribution that Perique can make. My prior Perique experiences were more of a spicy/peppery encounter. There were no big changes in flavor. Sweet stewed apples or stone fruit. Medium body, slightly nuanced flavors. This tobacco reminds me of the "old school" slightly musty Partagas CC flavors. (Think PDP#1 from the sales.) The flavors can be fleeting. I'm picking up a few different notes with different sips.

Score for flavor and strength:4.5 - could be a bit stronger

5) Aftertaste/Finish: aftertaste is the sensation &/or flavor on you palate after each puff, not the taste left after you finish the bowl. Light pleasant aftertaste. Not a blowtorch of one flavor. Some mild spice. Mildly fruity, think plum, stewed apple, some graham cracker. More frequent puffs bring on the spice. Clean aftertaste. Nothing that smacks your senses and ruins the subsequent smoke.

Score for aftertaste:4.5 - perhaps more consistency to improve?

6) Aroma: What does it smell like? Good aged tobacco. Mildly pungent and tangy. Nothing remarkable.

Score for aroma:3.5 - not memorable

7) General Comments This is a nice tobacco to savor. Devote a little time here. This is not a mindless smoke. There seems to be a nice lightness with the Virginias and a spicy, fruity contribution from the perique. This compares favorably to Escudo. I need to go fire up some Escudo to decide which one I prefer. I'd recommend this as a counterpoint to a spicy Vaper like Elizabethan mixture. IIRC this comes in a rather large tin, so try to sample it to decide for yourself before committing to a lifetime of this stuff. I like it. Not on the short list for a tin purchase here. I have A LOT more tobaccos to try first.

Overall score: 4.2
Artillery Lends Dignity to What Would Otherwise Be a Vulgar Brawl

Last edited by Col. Kurtz; 02-25-2014 at 09:21 PM.
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