Friday, November 16, 2007

My review of Peterson Special Reserve 2007 tobacco

This tobacco comes in a beautiful burgundy collector tin with the actual tobacco inside of a sealed cellophane bag. The leaves are light and fluffy and range in color from light tan to black. The moisture content is more towards the dry side and it is not sticky. The leaves do not stick together when pinched. The cut is a mixture of ribbon, crimp and broken flake. The tin description is that this tobacco is a Virginia, Burley and cavendish blend with a top flavor of rum, macadamia nuts and coconut. The smell in the bag is more of a cinnamon/allspice motif, however, it is not overwhelmingly strong.

Packing was very easy and I used the "three-level" method. In keeping with the theme, I smoked this in a Peterson Irish Whiskey billiard that is kept for plain and sweetened burleys. It was nice to be able to pack an aromatic blend into a pipe and not have sticky fingers afterwards.

At the first match I tasted a harsh "burning lettuce" flavor and almost instant tongue bite. The smoke mellowed a bit and I started to taste a little bit of the casings. This blend starts off tasteless and builds as the bowl progresses. I consider this characteristic a positive since you are able to ease into the flavors as opposed to being blasted with it from the first puff.

This blend thrives on a slow puffing cadence where the flavors can come alive slowly and cleanly. It does not produce a lot of large smoke clouds but instead you get just what you take. The flavors build and I taste something similar to one of those cherry cordial candies with the dark chocolate shells. I also taste a spirit of some kind but it leans more towards a whiskey rather than a rum. The real treat is in the nose exhalations where you can taste a slight sweet/nutty flavor mixed with the spirits. I did not taste or smell any coconut but perhaps a more distinguished palate will pick up on that. The casings enhance the tobacco but never become overwhelming at all. The room note is very pleasant.

The flavors remain consistent throughout the bowl and it ends in a sweet farewell. There was no moisture in this smoke at all and when I ran a cleaner through the pipe it came out dry. All that was left in the pipe was a fine light grey ash. The pipe walls were clean and there was no residual smell left in the pipe. There was no harshness that usually accompanies many other blends as they wind down to the end.

I would highly recommend Peterson Special Reserve 2007 for anyone who enjoys a top-quality aromatic blend. Just remember to smoke it slowly or it will bite you big time.

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