Tasting Notes: Wintertime Reserve 2023


elcome to another episode of Tasting Notes, with the one and only Santa Claus, straight from the north pole. Taking my place once more this year, Santa walks us through the three special blends available from the Wintertime Reserve from Cornell & Diehl this year, free with the purchase of any new Peterson pipe. Jolly old Saint Nicholas is eager to share his takes on these holiday blends and can't wait for you to enjoy them this holiday season.

Note: The following transcription has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Ho, ho, ho, boys and girls ... boys and girls over the legal smoking age, that is. Santa here, and I'm excited to tell you about a very special holiday promotion. Santa's friends at Cornell and Diehl have concocted three very special Wintertime Reserve mixtures, and from now until the end of the year — that's the months of November and December — any boy or girl who is on the nice list with a purchase of any new Peterson pipe can select which of these three blends they'd like to have included for free.

For this year's Wintertime Reserve lineup, Santa, his elves, Jeremy Reeves, and the good folks at Cornell and Diehl have decided to revive three very special Wintertime Reserve blends that have not been made since 2019. We have Wintertime Reserve Evergreen, Hearthside, and Nutcracker. This year, Santa decided to start off with Evergreen.

Evergreen Flake: A Virginia/Perique Blend

Tasting Notes: Wintertime Reserve -Evergreen at Smokingpipes.com

Evergreen is a very special Virginia/Perique flake. On paper, it's right up Santa's alley. What makes this one particularly special is that the Red Virginia component, which is a Grade DH-17 with 9.5% sugar, has been added to this in both stoved and unstoved formats. To that, a little bit of unsweetened Black Cavendish and a little bit of genuine St. James Parish Perique from 31 Farms is added, pressed, and sliced into delicate flakes.

This is a really rich, really comforting Virginia/Perique flake. It is a little less on the spicy side and a little more on the sweet and the bready side. The addition of both stoved and unstoved versions of that DH-17, 9.5% sugar Red Virginia give this a lot of balance. You have a creamier profile than I'm used to with a Virginia/Perique flake, with baked goods and semi-sweet bread flavors. There's also a little bit of a tingle through the nose. This blend has a ton of body thanks to the stoved Virginia and the Black Cavendish. It's an all-day Virginia/Perique flake for anybody who's a fan of the genre and will also go very well with a glass of milk at the end of a long night.

Hearthside Flake: Featuring Turkish-Made Latakia

Tasting Notes: Wintertime Reserve - Hearthside at Smokingpipes.com

Santa was particularly excited about the return of this next blend — Hearthside Flake. Hearthside Flake is a super interesting crossover. It is basically an English Aromatic. So what you have is two different grades of Virginia: a Bright Virginia 2019 Canadian crop, 28% sugar, and a Red Virginia, DH-17, 9.5% sugar, which is the same Red Virginia used in Evergreen. To this, a very special Turkish-made Latakia is added. Santa brought back a little bit of that for his friend Jeremy Reeves when he was returning from Istanbul last year, and it is an extremely consistent and high-quality production of Latakia. What you end up with is something that, in Santa's opinion, even surpasses the quality of the legendary Syrian Latakia of years past. It is soft and oily; yes, you get the smokiness, yes, you get a little bit of that campfire/mesquite character, but mostly you get a ton of beautiful aromatics ranging from floral to incense. It's deep, it's rich, it's caramelized, a little bit sweet, and it goes extremely well with the topping on Hearthside Flake, which is chocolate and vanilla.

Something about the addition of chocolate and vanilla to a Latakia mixture, particularly one with this soft and complex Turkish-made Latakia ... it works, it just works. This is a crossover that I think could bring many people to a seat at the Latakia table. I also think for English smokers and aficionados of Latakia leaf and mixtures, they would really appreciate the comforting and maybe more appealing room note that Hearthside brings. It is really awesome. It's got a lot of sweetness. That creamy texture from the Latakia and the woodiness plays beautifully with the vanilla and chocolate notes. The Virginia base adds enough sweetness and body, but really what shines here is the Turkish Latakia and the topping.

In Santa's opinion, this is maybe the ultimate holiday mixture. It combines everything that's warm and cozy about a campfire: The Yule log, roasted chestnuts, all of these beautiful floral and incense-like flavors and notes from the Latakia with a good amount of sweetness, some bready character, and the chocolate and vanilla really play well with the more rustic and smoky Latakia flavors. This one is comforting. It'll be equally good with a cup of hot cocoa outside by the fire, or I think you can probably get away with this one in mixed company — Mrs. Claus and the elves don't seem to mind.

Nutcracker Flake: Approachable and Balanced for All Palates

Tasting Notes: Wintertime Reserve - Nutcracker at Smokingpipes.com

Last but not least, Santa's trying Nutcracker Flake, a Burley-based flake that combines dark and cube-cut Burley grades with a very special aged White Burley from 2014. To this, a little bit of Red Virginia, DH-17, 9.5% sugar is also added and some genuine St. James Parish Perique from 31 Farms in Louisiana. Nutcracker Flake is one that the Burley fans are going to go absolutely crazy for. It's definitely approachable and balanced for those of us that maybe don't smoke Burley blends on a regular basis.

Santa really appreciates the addition of the Red Virginia and the Perique. It really ties the whole thing together. It gives the base of dark cube-cut and vintage 2014 White Burley a little something to play off of. There's the natural sweetness of the Virginias, a little bit of the spice and fruitiness from the Perique, and that really nice dry cocoa kind of a flavor from the combination of Burleys. This one is stout. It's rustic. It has all of the classic pipe tobacco flavors that the traditionalists are going to love. Santa thinks that this one is absolutely perfect as a nightcap after a long night of work. Alternatively, it would be a very nice way to kick off Christmas morning next to a cup of joe.

Enjoy Wintertime Reserve Blends, Free with a New Peterson Pipe Purchase

Santa would like to thank his friends Jeremy Reeves and the crew at Cornell and Diehl for helping him out with this special holiday promotion. All you good boys and girls can pick from any of these three blends with the purchase of any new Peterson Pipe. If you're like Santa, you might have a hard time choosing, which means you might have to be a little bit more generous to yourself this holiday season. Ho, ho, ho, happy holidays. Santa will see everybody next year.

Tasting Notes: Wintertime Reserve at Smokingpipes.com


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