elcome to another episode of Tasting Notes, where I am continuing my journey through the latest releases from Missouri Meerschaum MM&Co Elite Blends, manufactured in the Carolinas by Cornell & Diehl, and blended in collaboration with Cornell & Diehl. Today I am smoking Party Line.
Party Line: Representing A Historic Contribution To Washington, Missouri.
Like Luminaire and Drawdown before it, Party Line celebrates a historic contribution that the founders of Missouri Meerschaum pipes made to the town of Washington, Missouri. Party Line is inspired by the 1883 addition of telephone lines to the town of Washington, Mo.. Again, a super cool, super historically significant brand that had a big impact on the town of Washington.
Crumble Cake & Intriguing Components
Party Line is a crumble cake, mostly made of Burley, Perique, and a little bit of Cavendish with some very interesting top notes added to it. So, like I said, a really lovely and easy to work with crumble cake of Burley, Cavendish, and genuine St. James Parish Perique from 31 Farms, the exclusive supplier of genuine St. James Parish Perique, from seed to finished product for Cornell & Diehl. That does come through in the tin note, but mostly what I get right away is the toasted, nutty, Burley tones. There's an earthiness there, a sweetness, and definitely a boozy quality. The reason that there's a boozy quality is because this blend is dressed with scotch and cocoa. It's a really intriguing tin note.
Complex Tin Note
And again, for something that might sound on paper like it's an odd combination, scotch and cocoa, the result is really interesting. It's two traditional tobacco flavorings, booze and cocoa, brought together and married by this lovely Burley and spiced up with a little bit of the Perique. So you have a tiny bit of that spice, a tiny bit of those darker, maybe even fruity notes, but mostly it's this really lovely earthy, air-cured Burley that's simultaneously made a little bit more chocolatey because it's naturally got that cocoa vibe going on. So adding a little bit of cocoa to it amplifies that. And the scotch itself, this boozy quality, tends to bring all the flavors together and, in my opinion, makes the perceived sweetness a little bit stronger. The complexity is a lot higher and it gives these really lovely vanilla-like flavors that compliment that cocoa really well. This is something I associate with certain scotches; a little bit of this really intriguing, maybe even medicinal type of a flavor. So it's a really complex tin note.
Preparing Party Line For Your Pipe
And on the light, before I get to that really quickly, again, this is a beautiful pressed cake here. Crumble cake is easy to pry apart with your fingers. You can slice it if you prefer. I do recommend giving this one a tiny bit of drying time. For me, that ranged no more than 10 minutes, but mostly from 5 to 10 minutes. And a lot of it I accomplish by actually aerating the tobacco when I break it up. So break it up, fluff it up a little bit, give it a few minutes of drying time, and then it packs really lovely and takes to the flame really easily.
First Light: Comforting Bread & Earthy Notes from the Burley
First light is really comforting and has a familiar Burley quality. The cocoa does come through immediately as does the earthier flavors and a little bit of nuttiness, maybe even a grainy quality. I typically associate bread-like notes more with Red Virginias than I do with Burley, but in this case, I get a little bit of that too. It's not as sweet as pie crust, but it is a little bit more like a biscuit dough, if that makes sense. Some warming spices on the retrohale. Again, nutty quality that honestly reminds me at some points of hazelnut specifically.
Richly Elegant Flavoring, With A Twist
The flavoring is, in my opinion, subdued. It's elegant and it fades into the background. I think if I was smoking this blindly, I would struggle to identify right off the bat what this was flavored with. It does have a very obvious boozy quality. The cocoa is light because, again, it's amplifying what is naturally already present in this Burley leaf. And what I end up with is an interesting and modern twist on what we would consider traditional Americana-type blends that were primarily Burley, lightly flavored with things like chocolate or anis or whatever.
The twist on this one is the combination of the cocoa and the scotch and a woody addition to the flavor profile. I'm presuming that's coming from the scotch. It's almost like an oaky influence on a whiskey that's been well-aged. And with that comes yeasty notes and even vanilla-like tones. And that balances super well with the naturally occurring chocolate flavor that Burley has. And the addition of the actual cocoa flavoring here that amplifies that results in something that's not overly sweet, but has a lot of subtle, baked goods kind of flavors, right? You've got this light vanilla, light cocoa, and these yeasty notes. And like I said, this doughy-like quality. Have you ever had waffle batter with cinnamon added to it? It's a little bit of this warming spice added to rich and yeasty dough or batter kind of a deal. I actually feel like this is very subtle on the flavoring point.
Perfect Aromatic Burley Smoke Post-Dinner
The natural quality of the tobaccos comes through and as the bowl progresses, you have the body that the Cavendish is providing that amplifies the experience in a really dense smoke on the palate. And you also have that Perique that starts to add intrigue and add spice. The addition of the scotch flavoring and the addition of the genuine St. James Parish Perique adds some refinement and some complexity to what I would otherwise consider to be a really traditional and rustic American Burley-style mixture. I actually think that this also has a fair bit of strength. So again, when compared to flavored tobaccos, typically the seasoned pipe smoker is going to find that this has enough strength and enough intrigue to keep their attention and keep their focus. I think this is an absolutely excellent post-dinner smoke. I think that the room note is inviting enough that in mixed company you're going to get some thumbs ups, you know? But this is an American Burley hybrid Aromatic for the seasoned pipe smoker who wants a little more complexity, a little more strength, and a ton more body.
Party Line: Classic, Robust Combination of Burley and Flavorings of Scotch & Cocoa
Today I'm smoking Missouri Meerschaum MM&Co Elite Party Line in a collaboration Cornell & Diehl and Missouri Meerschaum Southport Ferryman. This lovat-style, faux bamboo design is one of my favorites that Cornell & Diehl and Missouri Meerschaum have come out with. And yeah, I actually think I might dedicate this pipe to this blend. Party Line is a rich and robust take on a classic combination of Burley and flavorings. This is not at all what I would associate with the average Aromatic tobacco. It does have the added bonus of a lovely room note and enough intrigue and complexity in the blend that the flavorings are complementary to the natural tobaccos. But this is a rich mixture. Relatively strong, I would say, and I think a lot of smokers, particularly fans of Burleys, are going to enjoy it. See you guys next time.