An Evening Alone With My Thoughts (Tabaco SN – Mezcla Oriental in an Antique West German FreeHand)

2014-08-06 02.44.18

Well, it was just after midnight and my wife and my hubby had gone off to bed, leaving me alone, and in a contemplative mood.  Having messed up my pills for the day, I knew sleep wasn’t going to come easily, so I decided to do a review, and having only one tobacco left to review, the choice was obvious.  What wasn’t so obvious was a fresh pipe with which to do the review.

So, I contemplated my pipes.  An Oriental blend with its Turkish leaf seems like just the thing that Sherlock Holmes would’ve smoked if, the great Basil Rathbone aside, Holmes had smoked a pipe.  However, I had recently done a review in my vintage gourd calabash, so that was out.

On the other hand, Syrian Latakia could call for a smoke in a meerschaum but again, I just did a review in my meerschaum.

OK, at this point I need some inspiration, so I spend time on Wikipedia looking up the Orient Express to try to get a little stimulus.

I discover, that the first stop on the Orient Express outside of France (I don’t own a French pipe either) was Munich, Germany.  Well, I do own a German pipe, an antique FreeHand that was made in West Germany before the tearing down of the Berlin wall.  Just about perfect, I think to myself.

The West German FreeHand has the added benefit of an extra-large chamber, and thick walls for a long, cool smoke.

The bag note of the Mezcla Oriental is one of pure tobacco, strongly scented by the Syrian Latakia.  It is a quite attractive, mottled arrangement that is not too wet, and loads easily with the three layer method, and an aluminum tamper.

While smoking it, I look it up at and find they have this to say about it;

Una combinación de selectos tabacos Virginia y Burley, y una adecuada cantidad de tabaco Latakia puro, procedente de Siria, sumados a un toque mágico y sutil de nuez, hacen de esta mezcla el deleite de los paladares de quienes prefieren el gusto inglés. La homogénea mixtura agrada al fumador y no molesta al entorno social. Sabor ahumado suave y aroma marcadamente masculino. Exquisito.

Again, blessed by google translate we get;

A combination of selected Virginia and Burley tobaccos, and an adequate amount of Latakia tobacco pure, from Syria, together with a magical touch and subtle nutty, make this mixture delight the palates of those who prefer the English taste. The homogeneous mixture pleases the smoker and do not mind the social environment. Soft smoky flavor and markedly masculine scent. Exquisite.

Sounds delicious to me!  And smoking it, I find that be a correct statement.

Toni tells me in a letter, “Tipo inglesa. Virginia, curado a la chimenea de 6 años de añejado, burley en pequeña proporción y latakia Siria no en exceso.”

Which I translate as, “English type. Virginia, curing the fireplace [flue-cured] 6 years of aged, burley and Syrian latakia small proportion not in excess.”

Interestingly enough, half these words in Spanish are starting to make sense to me.

I also find in the translation it at that they added “a note of natural nut flavor” to “enlighten the mixture.”

Enlighten is perhaps the best word for that, as the casing is so mild as to be almost nonexistent, the nutty flavour simply enhances the Burleys.  The Latakia is indeed not done in excess, but generously enough portioned to markedly flavour the tobacco, while the six-year aged flue-cured Virginias add a grassy tone, and a distinct kick.

The deep bowl takes me over an hour to smoke, and leaves me feeling completely buzzed, it now being 2:30 AM and I am definitely not sleeping soon.  However, the bowl cleans up with no dottle, and only a fine white ash as a reminder to the pipe full.

In the end, this makes a fine Oriental mix, and not the best I’ve ever had, but ranking up there. has the Mezcla Oriental for $9.00 USD for a 50 gram bag, and it comes recommended by me.

Another win for Tabaco SN, un abrazo Toni!

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!

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