The Latakia-forward English mixture offers plenty of smoky flavor from the fire-cured leaf, which is artfully harmonized with floral, earthy Stoved Rustica. A mixture of high-grade Virginias imparts a natural sweetness. Katerini, the sole Oriental component, offers herb and spice notes bringing complexity and nuance to the flavor profile.
Stoved—or Cavendish—tobaccos are often thought of as the vehicle for top flavoring. Though this is certainly a fine attribute, the wonderful characteristics imparted from the stoving process can easily be overlooked. Pipe Force illustrates just that with the stoving of two varietals for the first time, Rustica and Katerini.
Pipe Force, a series that celebrates pipe smoking by showing innovation isn’t a thing of the past, there are still frontiers to explore.
Model: Pipe Force - Major O'Meara
Tobacco Type: Rustica, Katerini, Latakia, Virginias
Cut: Plug Cut
Blend Type: English
Strength: 4 of 5
Room Note: Strong
Amount: 1.75 oz.
- Plug Cut
- Room Note:
This is a good English blend alittle stronger than a Chelsea morning. It's got a great flavor as you'd expect from a high quality english
This review is going to be a little different from my normal review. The first part I actually wrote shortly after first tasting this blend shortly after my session with Sutliff when myself and others were invited to sample and taste these for the blender Per Georg Jensen. He was supposed to join us here in Richmond but unfortunately fell very ill for an extended period. Even I’ll his curiosity and desire to know what we thought of the new blends was high. He asked that I send him what I had experienced and this first part is exactly what I messaged him. I will add some updates and observations after: “Latakia forward but not a bomb, well balanced with the other leaf while it gives that great smoky flavor, not too much though. The Stoving of the Rustica brings out a much more earthy almost truffle like side of it and smooths out any rough edges. In this blend it acts like a mahogany burly in a way and adds a bit of floweriness here and there as well as filling out the mouth feel nicely as well as making for a nice dense rich smoke. Also I think the stoving may have lowered the nicotine slightly. Being stoved also has had a slight “aging effect “. The Virginias add sweetness and a touch of grass and fruit and lemon as I believe it’s both reds and some lighter Virginia’s combined. The Katerini adds a slight dryness in the dry wine vs sweet vein. Very herbal and some mild spice to add depth and complexity and helps draw out the overall flavor and balance. The initial light was a bit moist as I didn’t get to dry it much. Normally I dry it some. Still it smokes well and once lit and the bowl warmed a bit the flavors settled and started coming through, the initial few puffs were a bit strong in all the blends but I put that down to being so fresh. I’ve since had another bowl at home after drying and the first puffs were improved as well as the overall smoke. A very well balanced and smooth smoke that could maybe be an all day smoke for an English smoker. For my particular tastes, a 4.5 out of 5 for sure. “ Overall the above still applies and is very valid. It is a well balanced blend of a somewhat familiar but uniquely nuanced form. The Rustica makes for a robust and rich denseness but without the powerful punch of vitamin N as the stoving reduces some of that punch and brings out some hidden nuances. The stoving of the Katerini seems to have brought the flavor profile to something between natural Katerini and the Perique processed Katerini, again bringing out a different nature that suits this blend so well. It will not bite, if smoked hard it may have a slight rough edge, but smoked at any reasonable pace yields a very cool rich smoke. The mouth feel is amazing, it briefly coats the mouth and tongue in its delicious presence, and yet does not linger long on the pallet. Flavor and taste are pretty much full with the nic trailing slightly behind. Not an all day smoke and I recommend a smaller narrower bowl especially for your first few bowls until you find your nic comfort zone. 5 out of 5 stars for my taste buds and I am sure anyone appreciative of English blends will find this a treat!!! Dave da Dragon