Invariably the most demanding and hardest to satisfy smokers are connoisseurs of English blends. As a rule of thumb a blend with a dominant note of Latakia and a secondary note of Virginia succinctly describes an English blend. Characteristically English blends offer a rich natural taste and smoky aroma. However defined, this incredibly cool smoking and rich tasting tobacco fills the bill in spades. Latakia provides a base note and ballast; whereas, Virginia provides constant sweetness. Try Sutliff's Blend No. 5 to see if you agree.
I was looking for a nice, not too stout English blend for my “winter stash”. My taste in pipe tobacco is fairly ecclectic, but these days I am definitely a Va/Per and straight Virginia guy. Still, I also regularly smoke the milder burley-based blends... Read More, particularly the so-called “old codger” or otc blends. But for this winter, I really wanted to try some new blends, particularly those from companies I'm not familiar with or have limited experoience with. Plus, I wanted to get some “heavier” blends like English/Balkan blends and some more or less straight burley blends. So, I came across Sutliff's Private Stock series, and Blend No. 5 sounded like a promising cold weather blend. The 1.5 ounces came in a rather large tin. Upon opening, the tin note was largely latakia with maybe a hint of the nutty burley. My tin/pouch/baggie note sniffing abilities are not all that keen. Others may discern more. Tobacco Reviews indicates burley, latakia and Virginia as the component tobacco. The cut is your basic ribbon mixture. It looks like tobacco. The moisture content was fine. I didn't need to dry it at all. It loaded and lit up easily enough with plenty of smoke from the latakia. The first taste I got was certainly the latakia. The latakia has the driver's seat in this blend, in my opinion, but it is not a reckless driver. I don't care for “lat bombs”. I mean, Pirate Kake is just too much for my tastes. I'd say the most latakia-forward blend that I really enjoy is GLP Quiet Nights. Love the stuff! It's so well balanced. Blend No. 5 probably has less latakia than Quiet Nights, and as the bowl progresses I was able to taste the nutty burley and a bit of sweetness and maybe some hay from the Virginia. All three components show up and the blend is pretty well balanced. But the latakia is the primary player here, I think. All in all, this is a good blend that is mild enough to be an all day smoke for some, and perhaps a good introductory blend to those looking to try out English style blends. I think Blend No. 5 is good and is worth giving a try. I recommend it and may very well buy more. Read Less
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