Seattle Pipe Club: Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged

Eulogy

Well-known member
#1
This was suppose to be my first review and I told myself that I would do it next time... then it would be my third review... ummm fourth? Missed that one too. I wanted to review Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged (wow that's a long name) first because Plum Pudding was the first pipe tobacco I ever smoked. I thought I'd break out the first pipe I ever owned, an old Alpha that I never seem to reach for. The pipe and the tobacco were both gifts from my twin brother, but I think he was gifted the Alpha and then gave it to me. While I didn't take up pipe smoking when first gifted the pipe, might have had a little to do with I didn't know you had to clean them, it did provide me a vessel for when I did pick up my ah-ha moment tobacco. Still, Plum Pudding and Plum Pudding Special Reserve both have a special place in my heart and a few pounds worth in my cellar.

Club: Plum Pudding Bourbon Barrel Aged
Price: 17.59
Availability: Standard Release
I received this blend as part of a trade with @Stubble

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Aroma
There's quite a bit of smokey Latakia that is present in both the bag and on my mat while drying. The boozy Bourbon note is far more prevalent before I took it out of the bag but still has a light touch in full flake form. Overall, expect a bit of sweet Bourbon, smokey Latakia, cedar, and mild spice.

Appearance
Listed as a Krumble kake it is certainly a thick slab of tobacco, thick cut bacon could learn a thing or two from this cut. There's a a full spectrum of browns mixed perfectly ranging from golden and medium brown to blackened Perique and Latakia. It crumbles easily, fairly uniformly, with a good moisture but the cake hides the fact that when crumbled it's mainly a dark Latakia mixture.
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First Half
It's a little hard to get lit at first but after several false lights I finally get it going. First thing I notice is a super creamy smoke with an almost luxurious mouth feel. I'm getting a nice mix of sweet and smokey from the draw and a boozy Bourbon note from the retrohale. I have to be careful because I can see myself smoking this like a freight train if I'm not paying attention. Grass, an herbal quality, spice, and leather all start to develop from the draw. The only clear note of Bourbon I find is from the retrohale but I think it might be adding to the sweetness level on the draw. The flavors are pretty consistent and complex through the first half and the only drifting flavor seems to be a hint of citrus that comes and goes as it pleases.

Second Half
Surprisingly, the Bourbon note is slightly more distinguishable in the second half on the draw. Still very similar in profile to the first with a smokey sweet, woody, herbal, spiced, and occasionally citrus draw. There's a lot more Latakia flavor on the draw but the boozy sweetness still holds its own.
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Final Thoughts
There's not a whole lot of progression through the bowl but the flavors start so dynamic and bold it's hard not to enjoy it. The smoke was creamy, a few well placed tamps after I actually got it lit was all it needed to stay smokey, and it burned to a fine white to the bottom of the bowl. There's a fair amount of moisture at the bottom of the bowl but I'm not sure if that's not just my Alpha being an Alpha. I pushed the blend a few times and it didn't bite or get harsh but the boozy note and sweetness would back off quite a bit when I did. It's very similar to the room notes of the other Plum Puddings so if people enjoy that scent they'll like this; I've had people enjoy the scent of both of the other Plum Puddings and a few that did not hate it. I find all three mixtures burn very slow so carve yourself out some time if you're planning to smoke this. I still find the Special Reserve to be the best out of the three but they are all worth having in your cellar. Also if anyone is wondering why I have the pipe leaning on the tobacco in every picture it's because even though it's shaped like a sitter it will not sit. Empty, loaded, or half full it falls over like a drunk at the bar.