Sunday, March 20, 2005

My first time with 965

Yesterday I bought my very first tin of Dunhill's "My Mixture 965". After smoking a pipe since age 15, I thought that it was about time I made this milestone in my hobby.

I was a bit apprehensive at first as I had some bad experiences with English blends. To this day I still despise Dunhill's "Early Morning Pipe" and the other similar blends I tried seemed foul. It wasn't until I had tried some of the G.L. Pease latakia blends that I finally "got it". I even got brave and tried Pease's fullest balkan, "Abingdon", and now that is one of my favorites.

Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a beautiful scent of high quality tobaccos nestled together in a well-married blend that seemed to cry out "Smooooooooooke meeeeee..." The moisture content was a bit higher than I had expected as the strands of tobacco were very pliable. It did very well using the Frank method of packing.

At first light I received the initial greeting from the latakia and smelled the sweetest perfume from the first burning strands of leaf. After the charring light and tamp it was a nice long slow smoke that got increasingly sweeter the further down the bowl it got. This was certainly not the harsh charcoal-like smoke that I had feared.

One of the things that surprised me about 965 is how slow it burns. Right now I am smoking it in a large Neerup freehand that I first lit up at 1:30 p.m. and it is now 4:15 p.m. and it is about 75% finished. This is without any breaks in smoking with the exceptions for the occasional tamping and relights. I think it should be finished by 5:00 p.m. which would make this a nice 3.5 hour smoke. Very nice.

"My Mixture 965" will definitely be a staple in my tobacco stock. It is the benchmark English blend and for good reason. I would not recommend this to a beginner smoker but as a reward after some years of experience and refining of tastes. It is truly a sophisticated blend that should be appreciated as such. 965 is great as a nocturnal ritual to clear the mind and soul of stress. It produces a tranquilizing effect causing the lucky smoker to hear the call of blissful slumber while drifting into a meditative state of "Tobacciana Nirvana".

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