If you’ve ever been to the Canadian prairies and you know that there’s one thing that dominates the thoughts of Albertans, OK, maybe two things; the first is cows, and the second, more prevalent thought, is oil. As a matter of fact, this preoccupation with oil has placed a serious political rift between the provincial governments of Alberta and British Columbia. So, it should come as no surprise that this custom tobacco blend, blended in-house at Burlington Tobacconist on Whyte, is named Heavy Crude.
What is surprising however is that this tobacco is neither heavy nor crude. In fact, I would describe this blend as “light and refined”.
The bag note is one of light fruit and perhaps a little sugar over the rich earthy nose of the Cuban cigar leaf. I’m told that the topping is one of VSOP brandy, however the note is so mild that the sweet scent is lost in the fragrance of the tobacco.
The presentation of the tobacco is one of coarse-cut monochromatic tobacco leaves that are fairly boring, and the tobacco feels quite moist to the touch, so moist in fact that it raises concerns as to whether or not the tobacco will stay lit.
The tobacco loads easily enough, and packs readily with a finger.
I use my BIC to light the tobacco, and sure as I feared, the tobacco will not stay lit. I’m forced to re-light the pipe several times, and then puff quite furiously to keep the tobacco alight, but after a few moments, well, minutes really, I am rewarded with a very smooth, clean smoking experience.
Once burning, the tobacco provides a fruity, light, red Cuban earth flavour with a hint of sugar, and great volumes of smoke. Unlike the crude oil for which this is named, of the smoke from this tobacco is not dark, or black, but rather a pleasant smoky blue.
Honestly stated, this has to be the smoothest tobacco that I have ever smoked next to smoking Cuban cigars, and only if they are very, very fresh.
The bowl is a pleasant smoke, once it gets going, all the way down to the fine white ash left in the bowl. This fine tobacco smokes without the merest hint of dottle, and though you have to smoke it very hot at first it does not bite.
My suggestion is to let the tobacco air out for about 20 minutes to half an hour before you smoke it. This should handle any excess moisture problems that you might be having with this tobacco.
Aside from the inconvenience of having to re-light the tobacco numerous times, Burlington Tobacconist’s Heavy Crude is worth its weight in black gold. Let it dry out a little and I’m certain you will have a great experience like I did.
If I could make one suggestion that would improve this tobacco it is; on your next batch use dark navy rum instead of brandy. I think it would add a great deal of body to the tobacco, and it just seems right to be used with Cuban cigar leaf.
Now for the bad part.
Due to Canadian tobacco laws, Burlington Tobacconist on Whyte is unable to ship tobacco through the mail, except in Alberta. So if you want to get this great tobacco, you actually have to go and visit them in Edmonton, Alberta on Whyte (82nd) avenue. I’m certain they would ship it out of province if they could.
Anyways, the guys at Burlington are really a great bunch of guys, so if you’re within 100 kilometres of Edmonton, take out an hour and go see them, you won’t be disappointed.
Finally, here’s a shutout to Chris, Aaron, Stephen, and Cody; you guys work too hard, take a break and
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!