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Old 12-01-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
mugwump
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Default 4noggins -- Essence of Vermont

Since I enjoyed Cornell & Diehl's Autumn Evening so much I decided to try out the bulk blend Essence of Vermont from 4noggins since I was placing an order with them anyways. This is billed as a Burley blend with hints of maple and a dash of St. James Parish Perique.

The blend is a rich, dark color and gives off a typical nutty Burley aroma with only a very faint scent of maple syrup. I loaded up my Savinelli natural and headed out to the porch with a book in hand.

The pipe lit right up and once it got going it was pretty much hassle free with only a few tampers required to keep things burning nicely which was much appreciated since I was trying to read while smoking. Toward the end of the bowl I did have to run a pipe cleaner down the stem to stop a bit of gurgling but that's par for the course with most aromatics.

The initial flavor was that of a traditional, mellow Burley -- nuttiness cut with a bit of dried fruit. Burleys are among my favorite tobaccos and Essence of Vermont is at its core a very solid Burley blend.

As for the maple flavoring, I was having a hard time detecting it until I started exhaling more through my nose. After that I could easily taste the sweetness of the maple and found it to be both a bit more natural in flavor than the Autumn Blend as well as more muted. I never really picked up the Perique in this blend save for a slightly spicy finish.

4noggins' Essence of Vermont is a great, two-headed blend. If you're just merrily puffing along it offers up a hearty Burley flavor with nary a tongue bite to be had. But if you slow down and sip at your pipe you'll be rewarded with a rich, cool, maple taste that lingers on the palate long after you're done. This would make for a perfect all day smoke since you can easily change the flavor profile at will.

While the taste of this tobacco was top-notch, the room aroma was surprisingly muted. What faint whiffs I did catch were very pleasant but not on par with the full on maple assault of the Autumn Evening blend.

In a head-to-head competition with Cornell & Diehl's offering for best maple-flavored tobacco the slight edge goes to Autumn Evening. But while that blend features all the sweetness one would expect from a maple aromatic, Essence of Vermont offers up a solid burley that can be enjoyed in its own right with the maple flavoring adding just a bit of icing on the cake.

Essence of Vermont is a great tobacco available exclusively in bulk from 4noggins and is a real bargain to boot. I can see this blend competing with Butternut Burley for primacy in my current rotation (can you tell I like Burleys?) since it's such a carefree smoke.
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