BALKAN SOBRANIE MIXTURE AND SAMUEL GAWITH'S 'GOLDEN GLOW' BROKEN VIRGINIA FLAKES
Yesterday evening at the monthly meeting of the Golden Gate Pipe Club, we smoked some Balkan Sobranie with quite a bit of age on it.
Brian from Telford's brought a fifty gramme sample from the early nineties, I cracked a 100 gramme tin that I had been hoarding since 1980 or 1981, when I first started stockpiling.
A vertical sampling, in other words.
AGED BALKAN SOBRANIE
Both tobaccos were fairly dry, both were like drifting through an Ottoman haze because of the years. While it would be hard to distinguish the component leaf in either batch after the passage of so much time, the Latakia was more forward and more noticeable in the older tobacco, though the younger product had a more wine-like tongue, possibly due to changes in the composition (refer to Greg Pease's article on Balkan Sobranie).
Being, as you are probably aware, quite the giddy maniac about this famous smoking mixture, I was in hog-heaven. Both were excellent experiences, and I am grateful that Brian brought the two-decade old stuff.
I had not purchased any Sobranie since the early eighties, and had been rather unaware that any was commonly available from around 1985 onward.
Yes, the Gallaher product and what I had in my hundred gramme tin were not quite the same.
But they were very recognizably close relatives.
I suspect that Gallaher had a heavier hand with the heat, in order to maximize the melding of Latakia into the whole.
Still, it would have been fun to have smoked this stuff during my North Beach years and afterwards. Gallaher may have dicked around the proportions, but they produced a decent product.
Again, I enjoyed myself silly.
Mike-the-chef brought along an ancient tin of Three Nuns (haven't smoked the sample he gave me yet), and a mighty fine peach cobbler, Mike-the-host provided goulash with matzoh balls, both from family held recipes.
We ate well. We ate very well.
We smoked perhaps a wee bit too much.
We are all waking up this morning with the feeling that an angry camel crawled into our mouths armed with a chainsaw and committed messy suicide therein.
GOLDEN GLOW BY SAMUEL GAWITH
Described as broken flake, and consisting of moist and reasonably high quality flue-cured leaf.
As the name indicates, golden Virginia tobacco, pressed to meld.
This tobacco should be approached like a dewey young miss with bright eyes and great curiosity, albeit little actual experience of depravity.
Please imagine creamy skin and happy innocence.
It's a very mild product, with a front of the tongue sweetness. It should not be smoked fast, and never hot-boxed. Instead, calmness and gentleness are recommended. Let it do its own thing, and enjoy the gradual unfolding of its charms. Like all pale Virgins it has goodness, but bites when provoked.
I started yesterday's indulgence with this delightful blonde, reached my peak with the zesty Levantine twins, and finished in the arms of the blonde again.
The last bowl of the night just would not stay lit.
The poor girl kept falling asleep.
Before going to bed, I had a small cigarillo and some coffee.
Yes, utterly depraved, I know.
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Labels: Pipes and tobacco