A Long, Cold Winter’s Night (Stanislaw & SG Winter Time Flake in a Falcon Shillelagh with Bulldog Bowl)

003-059-0060I remember that I said in a previous review that I expected this blend to be named something like “Welsh Winter Flake” as the other blends in the series are Irish Spring, English Summer, and Scottish Autumn, but Welsh winters are not known for their beauty.  Oh I am certain that there are some very beautiful winter spots in Wales, only that they are not known for it.  They’re also not known for their mild temperatures, and dry sunny days.  As a matter of fact, if I recall correctly, Wales is known for its very long, very cold, very wet winters.

So, basically, I think that would be a fitting name for this flake; something that reminds me of long miserable nights.

As you’re probably beginning to guess, I really wasn’t very impressed with Stanislaw & SG’s Winter Time Flake.

After I had such a great experience with Irish Spring/Spring Time Flake, didn’t even dislike English Summer Flake and Tad had such a good review of Scottish Autumn Flake, I had high hopes for this fourth in the Four Seasons Series, and like skiing on the Canadian prairies, it was a bitter disappointment.

It started off innocently enough, with a sharp Latakia aroma emanating from the opened container, musty, earthy and promising thick smoky clouds.

Like all those in this series, the flakes are gigantic; not just large, but frigging huge!  So I took out about a third of a flake, and proceeded to rub it out.  Even that was too much for the modest sized chamber of the Falcon Shillelagh on which I’d attached the bulldog bowl, and I ended up putting part of it back into the tin.

That’s when things went downhill, and not much in control.  The first couple of draws tasted roughly like a mouldy old shoe, so much so that I actually looked up what tobacco mould looks like after putting down the pipe.  Being unable to find any real good pictures, but numerous descriptions, I could not find a description that matched the image of my tobacco, so I had to assume that the tobacco is just that bad and continue to smoke it to see if it gets any better.

I decided to try to lose myself in the smoke and see if it improved so while puffing away I looked it up on tobaccoreviews.com and this is what they have a say in the short sentence that they posted;

Winter Time Flake Pipe Tobacco by Samuel Gawith is a blend of pressed Virginia leaves. With a higher sugar content and the spiciness of the Latakia, experience a cool but rich, slow burn tobacco. For the experienced smoker.

For the experienced smoker, is right!  If you get past those first few draws, the rotting leather taste mellows out into a nice Latakia smoke with a hint of spice to it.  The trick is getting past those first few draws.

Once that little molehill was overcome, the rest of the 30 minute smoke really was a cool but rich, slow burning experience.  I can’t say that the tobacco was really sweet, as the ad promised, but it definitely was spicy, and rubbed out, I suppose it smoked a little faster than if I simply folded and stuffed a flake, but it wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t even bad.

The thing about this smoke is, you have to get past the first part.  It’s like drinking whiskey, the first shot is unusually horrid, but after that it’s all smooth.

So, after 30 minutes, the pipe tapped out with no dottle, and the smoke was moderately satisfying.

Forewarned is forearmed, so I think I will finish the tin, but I highly doubt I will buy any more of it.

You can get it at pipesandcigars.com for $11.00 USD or smokingpipes.com for considerably cheaper at $9.33 USD, but I honestly can’t recommend the blend.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!


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