Erin messaged me one afternoon and told me he had ordered a new tobacco and that he wanted me to come over and share it with him. Knowing my enthusiasm for Scotch and Irish Whiskeys he chose well. I had been wanting to try a whiskey cased tobacco for a while, and was delighted at the news. I also promised that I would bring a bottle or two of something special…
The packaging describes its contents as being “a brilliant mixture of flue-cured Virginias, toasted white Burleys, and sweet Black Cavendish spiked with aged Irish Whiskey. Refined and mellow with an inviting aroma.” I was eager to put that to the test.
Upon opening up the pouch I had high hopes. The aroma is a delicious mixture of sweet smelling Virginias and an enticing but vague hint of whiskey. The ribbon cut tobacco is mostly medium brown in colour with a bit of light and dark leaf adding some visual complexity. The moisture was perfect and I quickly loaded and packed my pipe in anticipation.
The pipe lit well from the first strike of the match and there was no need for the cursory charring light. It burned evenly and well through the whole bowl. The tobacco burned quite hot and produced a wispy and sparse smoke. Unfortunately, the flavour profile did not meet my expectations and it lacked the punch and complexity of a quality Virginia. I also found the Burley and Cavendish to be understated and it didn’t add the fullness I was hoping for. The nicotine level was quite low, and after a full bowl there was still no buzz. The whiskey casing should have been the star, but was undercut by a lack luster tobacco leaf mixture. The most striking aspect of Erin Go Bragh is its proclivity towards tongue bite. If you are to extract any enjoyment from this blend, I recommend sipping at it in a churchwarden while actually drinking some whiskey.
I really wanted to love this tobacco, and by all the Gods of Ireland, I tried. I smoked this blend four times in various pipes before attempting to write this review. I searched for a subtle genius and found none other than the lovely pouch note. Whiskey for me should be complex and peaty, and this tobacco is quite the opposite. If I were being polite I would say it is a subtle and mild smoke, If I were being blunt I would say, don’t waste my damn whiskey!
I wouldn’t purchase this tobacco again and I will continue searching for a better whiskey blend that won’t make me scream “liquor abuse!”
Erin Go Bragh!
By: Tad Seymour
Tad has been smoking cigars as a hobby for the past 15 years and took up pipe smoking a little over a year ago, though you would never know it by his large pipe and tobacco collection. His hobbies include golf, soccer, camping, reading, mead making and brewing, a glass of good scotch, and sharing a love of quality tobaccos with his friends.