Sutliff - Uno
Uno the Owl…a very wise bird!!!
Uno is the name of a special and very limited release Blend soon to be available from Sutliff. The Owl will be featured on the label. Recently as some of you maybe noticed on Facebook Jeremy McKenna of Sutliff was looking for some volunteers to come and sample 6 brand new blends. Myself and my CORPS brother Chris Ford were two of the lucky folks being used as taste testers. Those six brand new blends were developed in as many days by Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren. He flew over with a few Mac Baren blending tobaccos to use and came to taste and blend a totally new one to him and the world!!! In a word I can rate all 6 blends, success!!! Unfortunately for you folks trying to explain what is in these blends and how they taste will take many more words so please forgive me for the long read but do know this first to be released one of the six is worth the effort. It should be released soon and again will be called Uno with an owl on the label, all the blends created in those six insane day will feature a bird on the label. In a word this blend is Unique!!! Sometimes that word gets over used but here it’s true for sure as one of the ingredients has only been made this once and likely never will be again. But this blend is more than unique, it’s balanced and delicious and complex and it’s rare…very rare as once it’s gone don’t expect it to come back and there isn’t much of it. I am unsure how to classify this blend so I am not going to try as how does one put Katerini Perique in a pigeon hole? But it sure tastes great in this blend and when stuffed into your pipe bowl!!! Yes Katerini Perique, Katerini Oriental that has gone through the Perique process!!! The resulting leaf is not exactly Oriental or Perique, it’s unique and leads to the name of the blend, Uno as it’s one of a kind and a one time only kind of a thing. Mark Ryan, former owner of D&R Tobaccos, is the mad but smart man behind this as owner and master of L.A. Poche Perique Tobacco Company and the start of this tale. He obtained a sizable batch of Katerini Oriental leaf and decided to try and process it as he does Perique!!! Not knowing what the result might be, or if indeed it would result in anything more than a mess and a waste of good leaf, he proceeded with the months long process. The result is both magnificent and disappointing, magnificent in the part of the batch that created the unique leaf that resulted, but sad as a large portion of the batch also failed and just was a loss. Fortunately the part that successfully fermented has been blended into this truly special blend by Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren here in the USA at Sutliff Tobacco. In the course of six days Per first tasted and assessed this new tobacco and came up with this blend and two others to highlight its unique properties and three others that are unique in their own right. For now we will focus on this blend. Katerini Perique has a dusty grayish green appearance and a scent that is neither oriental nor Perique, again unique. The taste is not peppery like Perique can be but definitely has the dark fruits taste going for it, also a very delicate herbal taste that’s very pleasant. I personally can only handle so much regular Perique as it tingles my tongue and lips even in modest doses and in large doses it becomes a problem. Interestingly the Katerini Perique doesn’t do that to me, for me it’s the perfect Perique that adds sweetness and dark fruitiness without the pepper or the tingles. In Uno it’s added to three different Virginias, one for sure sweet and somewhat bready, another more grassy and a third with a touch of acid or citrus to balance the blend. The Katerini Perique along with some regular Perique that between them add a lot of deep dark fruit, raisins and dried plums to me, with just a hint of spice and I mean a hint. There is some Dark Fired Kentucky for a touch of smoke and depth as well as a touch of nicotine. There is burley for a nice balance and some unflavored Cavendished Burley as well and with the Dark Fired Kentucky they give it a very rich mouth feel and density to the smoke. It makes for a rich and complex smoke that when I first smoked it only hours old was a bit easier to sense and pick out the individual components, again it was literally no more than about 48 hours old. It was pressed into a fairly loose but compact cake and sliced into thick flakes that rub out easily. A decent moisture level as is but I rub it out and allow it to dry a bit and now it’s had a bit of time to age, about 2-3 months, it’s melded a bit. The individual components and flavors have had time to marry and the result is wonderful. Though the individual tastes are harder to pick out they work together in harmony and make for a very enjoyable smoke. Rich, complex, full in body and mouth feel, can’t bite or be harsh. A truly rare and unique treat!!!
Sutliff - Crumble Kake Barrel Aged Series No.1 Limited Edition 50g
Dark sweet Virgina with a hint of apple
This is a winner, aged dark heat pressed Virginia’s give it some sweetness and some dark fruity notes and burns cool and long! The time spent in the cask adds just a hint of apple spirit almost like just a tinge of cider. Definitely worth a go as a treat or even a regular!
Mac Baren - HH Balkan Blend 1.75oz
I had a small sample of this from a friend and I must say its pretty good. A very good balanced English. It came from a very fresh tin, I think 6 months to a year age will greatly enhance it, a few years even better!
Capstan - Ready Rubbed Yellow 1.75oz
I just got a good sample of this 5 year aged Virginia last week and it’s dang good stuff!!! Capstan Gold is basically a very good Virginia but the 5 years in the tin just sweetens the deal. Grab it while you can!!!