February 22, 2018, 11:22 am
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G.L. Pease Montgomery

This tobacco is a hard right turn for Greg Pease. It contains nothing but Virginias - no Latakia, no Perique, and no Burley. It's a blend that could be called (wrongly so) 'simple'. Without the Latakia, I was afraid I would end up with a bland, one dimensional smoke.

Treating this like a heavily cased tobacco will backfire (literally!) and create a scorched area on your tongue. Expecting the in-your-face personality of Latakia will leave you feeling emtpy. Stop, slow down, and enjoy the tobacco - it may take a few bowls to start to realize the character of this blend. Those used to Latakia especially must slow down in order to get the full experience. Remember, this is a Virginia blend, and it will bite back if puffed too hard. Once you've got the rythm down (try breath smoking this blend, it's sublime) the sweetness and character really come through.

The tin aroma is, in a word, flat. You can detect some sweetness, and there's a slight smell of hay, but not much more than that. For a lot of folks, this is scary - smells like that scream "tongue bite without flavor". Luckily, the fears disappeared at first light. Initially, you get an immediate taste of sweetness. Not a lot of sweetness, mind you, but enough to make you think this won't be so bad. After the charring light, tamping, and lighting again, there's the briefest hint of toasted marshmallows, but it doesn't last long, and you soon forget it was there.

As you smoke the bowl, the sweetness stays with you. It's never overpowering, and it doesn't leave an aftertaste of sugar - this is, after all, an uncased blend. The sweetness is fairly consistent, right down to the bottom, never giving out, but weakening somewhat right at the end. Being a devotee of Latakia, this sweetness is new and interesting, and a refreshing change of pace from some of the stronger English blends that I'm such a fan of.

The room note is, I've been told, not entirely pleasant. It seems to have a biting and harsh smell that makes my wife's nose itch. This is in contrast to tobaccos like Penzance, which send my wife running out of the workshop to escape the smell. Despite not driving others to scatter like dogs after a skunk attack, I've been told that the smoke is unpleasant, and reminiscent of cigarette smoke - flat, acrid, and with no dimensionality.

Overall, my experience with this blend of Virginias is good. I like it as it is, but I feel that it could stand at least 6 months of age, and would benefit greatly from a couple years. Age should make the room note more acceptable, and the depth of flavors will likely improve as well. I've started buying tins to cellar away, just in case I'm right, and I intend to smoke one at the 6-month mark and add to this review.

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