Après la Bouche (Hearth & Home Signature Grandma’s Kitchen)

pt-hsr0042I am not the sort of person to bore you with YABO, but I was delighted to find 18-2 ounce bags of Hearth & Home tobacco in my latest order from pipesandcigars.com.  So after inventorying them into my cellar, I was looking forward to trying a few of the new blends.  And so as to properly categorize them in my inventory, I looked up descriptions of the tobacco online at both tobaccoreviews.com and pipesandcigars.com and was reading them out to my family;

Grandma’s Kitchen is a blend for those who want real tobacco flavor and a smooth aroma.  Nutty sweet Burleys are combined with the mild spice of red Virginia, two natural toasted black Cavendishes, and a bit of a vanilla-based steamed Black Cavendish. This mild, cool blend delivers real tobacco flavor with a hint of sweetness, and a pleasant, unobtrusive aroma.

That’s basically it from both websites.

The websites disagree as to whether or not the tobacco is aromatic, however.  Tobaccoreviews.com claims it is a vanilla aromatic, and pipesandcigars.com claims it is not aromatic, but is topped with vanilla.  If I had to choose, I would go with pipesandcigars.com as they make the stuff.

In any event, hearing the description from pipesandcigars.com, my hubby immediately wanted to try it, even before I finished my inventory.  So, we loaded up a bowl each and proceeded to get puffing.

Immediately we were struck with a rich nutty taste of the tobacco, presumably the Burleys, and a sweet undertone that was mild and grassy.  As is typical of Burley tobaccos, my tongue went numb, but I found the smoke enjoyable anyway.

A few minutes later, we took the pipes out of our mouths to continue our conversation and were slapped with a taste in the mouth that was rich, and earthy, and organic.

This sparked up a whole new conversation; what do you call that?  If you’re like me brought up in the seventies and eighties, you were taught that there were four tastes; sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.  Then, sometime after I left school a fifth taste was added; umami.  Why umami?  Because, there’s simply no word in the English language to describe that taste.

So what do you call that?  The taste in your mouth that isn’t exactly an aftertaste?  Aftertaste has some negative connotations to it, “bitter aftertaste”, etc.

In French, the taste of wine in your mouth is called the “Bouche” or “mouth” of the wine.  This is not describing the taste of the smoke in your mouth, but rather the “after mouth”, so whether or not the phrase exists, we invented “Après La Bouche” to describe this positive aftertaste.

So that rich, earthy and organic taste we call the Après La Bouche, and it continues on throughout the entirety of the bowl.

I guess I should describe the rest of the tobacco before I start closing up this review; I was just excited over the concept of Après La Bouche.

The bag note is both sweet and nutty with the vanilla casing hinting at the sugary goodness, while allowing the natural tobacco aromas to dominate.

The taste of the vanilla when smoking tobacco is mild as well and the fragrance in the room note is one of subtlety; which leads me to deduce that this tobacco is not an aromatic, but rather a lightly cased VaBur with Cavendish added for smoothness.

When I finished the smoke, about 45 minutes later, all that was left in the bowl was some fine white ash and a small amount of dottle.

In the immediate palate, as opposed to the Après La Bouche, everybody in the room who was trying the tobacco said it reminded them of wood fire stoves; the flavour of very dry wood burning.

So, thanks to the magic of Canadian bilingualism, you get to go away with a review and some bad French grammar.

If you’re a VaBur fan, I suggest you pick some of this up at pipesandcigars.com for $7.49 USD for the 1.5 ounce can, $17.99 USD for the 8 ounce can, or in bulk.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!

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