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Old 05-19-2015, 06:32 AM   #1
Critiquing Perique
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Default Esoterica Ramsgate

I came across a few in stock Esoterica offerings on Iwan Ries and pulled the trigger on 8oz of Ramsgate.

Licorice/Anise is an interesting flavor that if done right can be quite delicious. I have a tin of Germain's Plumcake that I found enjoyable as a change of pace smoke. With the plumcake, after a bit of dry time, the anise and earthy flavors are there but never punch you in the nose for attention. They hang out in plain view but never in the spotlight.

The darker stoved cousin of Plumcake was just what I had hoped. Ramsgate had the same almost shag cut of leaf but much darker. Moisture level was noticeably lower but not bone dry, it felt just right when the bag was cut open. The aroma was more of that nice licorice and beautiful musty earthiness. Admittedly, letting a bowlful dry for a few minutes before loading was the last thing on my mind and the smoke could have benefited a least a 5-10 minute rest in the open air before heading to it's final destination.

A few charring lights and light tamps were in order before a good burn took hold (again, easily remedied by not being such an eager beaver). The taste was much more full in the mouth with the licorice giving a natural sweetness very near chewing a licorice root. (Side note, every year at the Renaissance Fair, I always grab a couple of those 5 inch long stick to chew on, wonderful stuff. ). The musty, earthy taste was there too and I must admit to being a sucker for that. Overall a very tasty bowl, my only regret was being too short on time to load something a bit larger.
I went through 2 bowls last night, both burned clean into a very fine white ash. No issues with any moisture collecting or need of running a cleaner through the shank. I will update as I get to know this mixture more but initial review gets a 4/5 stars. I'll be interested to see what some aging does. Do stoved VA's age as well as unstoved?
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Esoterica Ramsgate

I really like the Plumcake, so this sounds pretty yummy.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Esoterica Ramsgate

I haven't tried this one yet. Sounds like I need to.
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