Well, it’s 1:30 AM and I am up writing a review. Guess you can figure how my sleep is going?
For those of you just turning in, I am a chronic insomniac. It sucks! It sucks bad!
But, I am not going to bore you with the trivialities of my health issues. Instead, I’m going to bore you with this review.
To start, when you have insomnia, you need a strong tobacco or else you’re never going to get going. So fortunately, yesterday my package from Glynn Quelch arrived with a metric 1½ lb. (750 g) of great tobacco in it.
Over 200 g of that, after measuring out the sample that I’m sending to Prince George, was of GQTobaccos’ Okanagan Peach & Apple. And always appreciating a Balkan, I began to research the blend on G Q’s web site.
Erin from the Okanagan Pipe club contacted us and asked if we could make couple of “Club Blends” for them. A Balkan and an Aromatic was the brief and over several weeks we experimented with various ideas. The Aromatic, much to our pleasure was to contain Latakia and almost Perique too (one day we might revisit that idea). Peach & Apple was specified for the topping and we looked about for the right flavours.
The 2013 Christmas Blend and our Rum & Honey are both built on a solid foundation of strong, spicy Virginias. While these tobaccos may be heading towards the stronger end of the Virginia spectrum, they burn slow, smooth and above all else cool. When mixed with “American style” Black Cavendish, from mild white cube burley, that has been steamed and sweetened. This adds a wonderful creamy texture to the smoke and again keeps the blend cool. When Latakia combined with this style of Black Cavendish adds an even thicker and silky texture to the smoke and of course the trade mark “smoky” flavours too.
A gold, fluffy cut Virginia is then added to not only allow the tobacco to burn more freely, but also soak up some of flavourings. Natural extracts of Apple and Peach are added along with a little, almost undetectable dash of Cinnamon for good measures. The resulting tobacco has a rich aroma of musky apples with a sweet, ripe twang of peaches. To smoke the tobacco is silky smooth to smoke, with a highly aromatic room note, not what you would expect for a latakia blend.
Had this blend not been made for the Okanagan Pipe & Cigar club, this would have been an addition to the GQ Blends Aromatic Latakia Series.
A solid foundation of Virginias, to which more Virginia is added, with Latakia? Sounds exactly like what I need!
Also, with my tobacco order comes a Falcon International Bent Stemmed Pipe, with two extra bowls, so I immediately loaded it up with a bulldog bowl, and a chamber full of this tobacco.
The bag note is fantastic, are rich and earthy, slightly soured by the Latakia, and brightly flavoured by the natural peach and apple essences, not overwhelmingly so, but definitely noticeable.
Unfortunately, I suffer a false light as the tobacco is quite moist, but repacking and re-lighting results in a smooth, smoky experience.
Earlier, my hubby tried a bowl, and said it reminded him of walking through an orchard. Adequately flavoured, the tobacco does not overwhelm you with; HEY! HAVE SOME FRUIT!, but rather sweetly enhances the naturally sour palate of the Latakia, and grassy taste of the Virginias.
Then, the bowl started to hit me! Glynn was quite right when he exclaimed that this tobacco has a strong base. The Cavendish does great things for mellowing out the taste, but very little for mediating the strength. I find it’s just what I need on a night filled with insomnia.
The bowl takes 30 minutes to smoke, and by the time it is finished, the nicotine buzz has left me alert enough to do this review, but as I start to come down I realize that I have a pillow, I can go to seek it out resolving to finish the review in the morning.
So, here I am the next day, loading up another chamber and trying to wake up. The worst part about having insomnia, is that on nights when you stimulate yourself into sleeping, you sleep like crap.
However, another 30 minute bowl and I’m feeling bright and alert.
I’m not sure if it’s the pipe or the tobacco, but both bowls smoke down to absolutely no dottle, just a fine ash.
Well done Glynn, finally I have an aromatic tobacco that I can truly enjoy, and it’s even made with Cavendish.
Get this tobacco exclusively from Glynn Quelch at GQTobaccos.com, and even though Royal Mail wants your grandchildren in exchange for shipping, Glynn is really good at working the system and getting you the best deal he can.
Highly recommended, I suggest that you pick some up.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!