Mystery Review: February 2020

Welcome back to another episode of The Mystery Tobacco Review, a pipe smoking, blind-taste-testing video series full of captivating pauses, stalling stammers, and last minute Hail Mary guesses. For February's installment, our lead copywriter Truett Smith once again took to the Inquisitor's Chair, selecting an unknown blend for Jeff, Shane, and me to test our palates against in the red room arena. From the first light, it seemed like an easy challenge, but quickly the thick plottened, revealing trickery at foot. Did we correctly guess the blend in question despite it all? Or did we fail horribly and sully our hard-earned reputations? Watch the full video to find out.

What did you think of the review? Did you guess it right? Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments below.

What is The Mystery Review?

For those of you unfamiliar with this little game, each month one member of our team selects a tobacco for us to review in a blind taste-test. Then we gather around the camera, scratch our heads, and smoke, all while attempting to guess the mysterious mixture's components, origins, and name. There's only one rule: There are no rules.

Category:   Tobacco Talk
Tagged in:   Mystery Tobacco Reviews Tobacco Video


    • Mark S on February 27, 2020
    • Teasing out the differences among those three blends would take a grandmaster-level of nuance detection in a blind tasting.

      The Virginia No. 1 has a warming-spice note that's distinctive, somewhat like what you taste (or smell) in a buttered slice of crispy toast that has a microscopic trace of cinnamon sugar. But in a blind tasting it's perfectly possible to confuse that with one of the hundreds of aromatic volatile compounds contained in perique.

      There are all sorts of tricks for distinguishing these nuances in a blind tasting (pinching the nostrils, differing styles of nasal exhalation, rapid intakes of cool air through the mouth, valsalva maneuvers) but fortunately we don't have to resort to such ridiculous things when we're just enjoying a bowl of pipe tobacco.

      You have to hand it to MB for their consistency though. I first experienced that spice note back in 1968 when I first tried Virginia No. 1. And it hasn't deviated one bit in the 52 years since. Whatever it is, it's magical. And it doesn't seem to exist in any other of the myriad Virginia mixtures on the market. Whether it's a barely detectable casing note, or a property of one of the Virginia varietals they use is still a complete mystery to me.

    • Daniel Johnston on March 1, 2020
    • You should do a pipe/ tobacco advent calendar, ending with the Savinelli Saint Nicholas

    • G. Harding Warren on March 7, 2020
    • If I may, I offer a suggestion: give the boys a G&H blend and let them guess if it is:

      It might be fun.

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