Old Ted Award Winner
The very spicy, earthy, woody, tartly plumy, very sour perique is one of the leading players whose spice and plum content surpasses that of Kentucky by a couple of steps. It has virtually no sweetness despite the presence of the tart plum. The double fermented, very fragrantly floral, peaty, smoky, slightly sweet dark fired Kentucky provides plenty of earth, wood, herbs, some spice, nuts, vegetation, and sourness along with a mild essence of barbecue, and slight cigar and bitter cocoa notes. The Kentucky leads the other varietals with the exception of the aforementioned stand out attributes of the perique. The fermented, matured red Virginia offers a lot of tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, vegetation, bread, light sugar and vinegar along with a couple pinches of spice. It’s a couple of notches above the condiment level. The properties of the matured bright Virginia are tart and tangy citrus, grass, bread, some sour lemon, floralness, light sugar and acidity in a condimental role. The strength and nic-hit are a slot short of the center of medium to strong. The taste threshold is in that center. It won’t bite, but it does sport a few rugged edges. The loosely held together cake easily breaks apart to suit your packing preference, and requires no dry time. Deeply rich and well balanced with nuanced complexity, it burns cool, clean, and slightly slow with a very consistent spicy, floral, mildly smoky sweet and rather dryly sour, savory, punchy flavor that translates to the pleasantly long lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a couple more than an average number of relights. The room note has a little potency, but not enough to scare away the neighbors. Not an all day smoke, and is more for the repeatable for the veteran than it is to those less experienced in blends of this genre. Four stars.