My New All Day Smoke

Tom Eltang Tobacco at

After smoking not one, but four 2014 Christmas blends consecutively, I was looking for something a little more subdued, something non-aromatic, and just something I could puff on all day. So back to the warehouse I went, eyes all aglow at my surroundings (tons, literally tons, of choices), yet without the faintest idea of what I was going to end up with. I scanned the shelves, found some familiar faces, and picked out several new tins along the way. One of those tins happened to be Tom Eltang Virginia.

I had sampled the English and Mixture blends a while back, but for some reason or another, I just hadn't gotten around to the Virginia yet. I know Sykes, for one, has smoked it fairly regularly since its release, and a few others around the office have mentioned it in passing. Overall though, it seemed largely overlooked. So I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you all my experience and shed some light on this recently introduced blend.

Tom Eltang Tobacco at

The tin note was fairly sweet: raisiny undertones mixed with a tea-like scent. The cut was pretty even for the most part, a nice ribbon cut with a few larger chunks thrown in here and there. The initial light was slightly sweet with just a hint of grassiness from the brights, and the Burley offered some nice nutty tones as well. The main focus, though, was definitely on the reds; rich, earthy flavor that reminded me of Rooibos, especially when paired with those nutty Burley notes. If you're looking to pair this blend with a beverage, that's definitely what I'd suggest. The red root tea just complements the flavor profile well, I think.

These notes persisted throughout the entire bowl, neither building in complexity nor losing any of their charm. The smoke was smooth, with very little bite or harshness even near the bottom of the bowl. From start to finish there was no intrusion by the sour or vinegary tastes you sometimes run into, and the subtle bitterness that was present was something I actually enjoyed (I don't add sugar or cream to my coffee or tea, after all). I'd rate the strength as mild, but fairly satisfying — i.e. I wouldn't mind packing another bowl right after.

Overall, it was just what I was looking for after trying all those more complex and opulent Christmas tobaccos: something I could just smoke all day long, without a lot of thought, yet that would still have =enough flavor to keep me coming back for more. As we recede into winter and break out our heavy English blends, I can definitely see this Virginia blend in my normal rotation — for those occasions when I just want a simple smoke while doing some chores around the house or writing (which I certainly spend a lot of time doing).

Category:   Tobacco Talk
Tagged in:   Reviews Tobacco Tom Eltang


    • Ryan on November 12, 2014
    • Thank you Andrew for the heads up al the all day idea! I also really appreciate the beverage idea to go along with this smoke, extremely helpful! Ryan

    • Kyle P on November 12, 2014
    • I've found rooibos to go quite well with Virginias in general. Glads to hear others have enjoyed the same!

    • Phil on November 12, 2014
    • I enjoyed the Mixture sample quite a bit and ordered a tin. I had just finished some Old Gowrie and thought that Mixture was similar, perhaps a little less sweet, but a similar type of blend. Thanks for your review and the photos which show the blend's "cut" and color.

    • Jeff Shannon on November 23, 2014
    • What do the letters "CCCC" on Cavicchi pipes mean? Thanks.

    • Jim on November 23, 2014
    • Jeff, From the page on Claudio Cavicchi under "New Pipes on "Claudio grades all of his pipes from C to CCCCC according to grain and shape, with the Diamante as his pinnacle (very few have been made)." Here's a link to more info on him in Pipedia: Hope that helps.

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