It is said that any technology suitably advanced is indistinguishable from magic.
I say, “so what? Magic is wonderful all on its own, and sorcery is a great answer for why your computer did anything!”
So given that pipe smoking technology is hundreds of years old, and hardly magical, you may ask, what does this have to do with pipe smoking?
In answer to that question, let me tell you about a man named Antonio Norberto Petti.
Antonio, or Toni, is a master blender and tobacco exporter in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the man behind Tabaco Sentimiento Nacional (National Feeling Tobaccos). Check out Tabaco SN at their website; http://www.tabacosn.com.ar Where you can order this Republica blend for $13.00 USD for a 50 gram sealed pouch.
Anyway, I first met Toni when I was spamming my contacts on Linked In with a business proposition to sponsor my magazine.
Toni wrote me a reply, with the help of a translator, to explain that he was interested in having me review his products, but that he did not speak English.
So, I dug out Google Translate and composed a letter, in Spanish, asking him to forgive my poor Spanish skills, and bad grammar, but assuring him that I was capable of translating the letters out of Spanish.
His next letter to me assured me that my grammar actually wasn’t incredibly bad, but since I know about a dozen words in Spanish, I have to thank the technology that translated it for me. Magic!
So, a few letters later, and a very busy Toni confirmed that four samples were on their way from Argentina to Canada.
They arrived yesterday! The samples were mailed in four vacuum-sealed packages of 50 g each in a bubble mailer. And as soon as I opened the cellophane wrapper, I was immediately struck by the scent of Ceylon cinnamon. More on that aromatic later.
Being a fan of English mixes, I was told in a letter this was, “3 Virgíneas madurados de mas de 4 año cada uno, orientales, turcos y Latakia de Siria en buena proporción.” Or for those of you who do not speak Spanish (thanks to google translate), “3 Virginias matured more than four years each, Oriental, Turkish and Syrian Latakia in good proportion.”
Personally, I thought it sounded delicious, and I was so right!
The note in the bag is incredible! One of pure tobacco, untainted by any sort of casing. It was packaged and sealed with the perfect amount of moisture in order to load directly into your pipe, and lit with the ease of a fine English blend.
The taste was delicious, nutty and sweet from the Burley and Virginias and smoky and slightly sour from the generous quantities of Latakia. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire bowl, finishing it some 40 minutes later with negligible dottle.
As far as taste goes, Toni has created a masterpiece; there simply is no better English blend out there.
Being a classic English, the room note of this tobacco is not going to win friends or influence people, but if you like the Latakia smoke, you’ll love this one.
So, what, if any, drawbacks does this tobacco have? Well, I would say that it is simply the best English blend on the market, and it’s only drawback; shipping! Unfortunately, the only way to get this tobacco in Canada with reasonable shipping, is to order it in bulk, and then you are going to get hit with the duty.
I am uncertain how importing it into the U.S. would work, but I encourage you to pick some up and try it. If you like English, you’ll love this!
I will probably try to get more of it, I even at the high shipping costs, it is just that good!
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!