Golden Blend is a pipe tobacco that is quite similar to MacBaren Harmony, which I really like. The characteristic taste is a bit weaker, but it is still dark and venerable. If you smoke a lot of any tobacco with a strong characteristic taste in a short period of time you get fed up with it, so milder characteristic tastes have their place. Golden Blend is a ready rubbed flake, which, nevertheless comes in such huge pieces that a cigarette smoker must rub them smaller before smoking.
For an everyday cigarette, Bonus Red is a good enough rolling tobacco.
Black Ambrosia is again one of those so aromatic pipe tobaccos that they are almost candylike. It is very, very sweet. It is a bit more refined than Sweet Killarney, but definitely very candylike. I would not want to smoke this kind of tobacco all the time, but it is nice now and then.
Back in the old days when I was too young to smoke legally, I used to smoke Marlboro Red cigarettes. Almost every guy in our class did. Later I tried Smart cigarettes, which had a much softer taste and changed brands immediately. Then I switched back and forth between factory-made Smart cigarettes and RYO Smart until I found my current smoking habits. When I saw Marlboro Red rolling tobacco in a tobacco store, I decided to refresh memories. It tasted just as I remembered the cigarettes tasted, dry and stingy. It has a too strong stingy taste to be mixed with most pipe tobaccos, but Black Ambrosia is aromatic enough so that the Marlboro flavour does not taste under it. So I do not have to throw the Marlboro pouch away.
Hamiltons is a pipe tobacco that has a dark, if quite basic taste. There’s no sweetness, and at least my modest taste buds could find no other flavourings than tobacco. It’s of the style I like, although I think that it is not as good in this style as Westmorland Mixture. It lacks character to make it very special. It’s Danish, and it’s the first pipe tobacco I have encountered that I could not find in Tobaccoreviews.com.
For a weekend cigarette I chose a bit better rolling tobacco, Smart.
A good smoke, but not excellent.
Warning for Americans! This blog post contains irony.
The Finnish government intends to eradicate tobacco smoking altogether in a couple of decades. Thus far the government has introduced a law that prohibits the shops from openly displaying tobacco products. The customer must ask for a specific product, and the salesperson takes it from a closed cupboard and sells it. (Americans, this is actually true. The irony will follow.) Unfortunately, this law has not prevented the people from smoking. In the following I propose new laws that help the government to achieve their noble goal.
My propositions are as follows:
* The customer must ask for a tobacco product using its proper name. If the customer says “White Mallu”, the store is not allowed to sell the product. The customer must say “Marlboro Gold”. The customer must also not say “Malporo”. (That’s how most of the Finns pronounce Marlboro.)
* Whenever a salesperson sells a tobacco product (s)he must say to the customer: “Tobacco is very harmful for health.”
* The government must hire theater students to patrol grocery stores. Whenever they see someone buy a tobacco product, they must disapprove in a loud and theatrical manner.
* Whenever a salesperson opens the cupboard to take a tobacco product to sell, the customer must turn their back on the cupboard. Closing one’s eyes is not enough, since it is possible to peek between the closed eyelids.
* The contents of the warning label of a tobacco product must be given with the product to the customer as a 1m x 1m poster. Every smoker must have at least three of these posters on the walls of his/her bedroom.
* Since the salespeople of the grocery stores open the tobacco cupboard a lot, they see a lot of tobacco packages. They must be required to participate in a course that educates them how not to fall victims of hidden advertising.
* The government must find an ink that is poisonous to inhale. Every cigarette must have a text printed with this ink stating: “Warning! This ink is poisonous when inhaled.”
English Mixture pipe tobacco has a quite basic and mild flavour. I tried it first in a cigarette with 50% English Mixture and 50% Manitou Gold, rolled like an ordinary hand-rolled cigarette. It tasted simply of nothing. So I had to tweak the proportions of the tobaccos a little, and roll a thicker and a tighter cigarette. Then I could get a nice, if quite ordinary pipe tobacco taste. There’s nothing wrong with English Mixture, but given its high price I expected something more.
Manitou Gold is simply the best rolling tobacco to mix with pipe tobaccos. It is additive free Virginian tobacco, and it tastes simply of nothing. Were it not so damn expensive, I’d use it exclusively. Its use in this cigarette was justified, since with other rolling tobaccos, there is a serious risk of masking the aroma of the pipe tobacco.
I did not have high expectations with this one, but I was positively surprised. I used Brown Sugar Cognac & Honey flavoured rolling paper. I guess Brown Sugar is the brand, and cognac and honey are what it is supposed to taste. Honey tasted clearly, cognac less so, but you could sense some booze-related aroma. With these papers you basically get the same effect as with 50% cheap booze-flavoured pipe tobacco, such as Caravelle. I could be nice to try these papers with 50% some extremely neutral pipe tobacco such as Peterson Sherlock Holmes. There’s no point using these papers with any pipe tobacco that has a dominating aroma in itself.
The downside of these papers is that they are so thick that they are difficult to manipulate. It is practically impossible to roll a tight cigarette with them. Also, due to the thickness of the paper and the weakness of the glue, getting the glue stick was quite difficult. The papers are also a bit pricey. In this cigarette, the paper costed a bit more than the tobacco itself.
Since we are not expecting any gourmet smoking experience, Bonus Red is a good enough rolling tobacco.
This time I blog about an extremely handy feature of some smoking paper brands. It’s extremely difficult to estimate how many papers there are left in a pack of rolling papers and when it is the time to buy a new pack. Some brands have found a solution to this problem. The eleventh-last paper of the pack is a special warning paper stating that there are only ten papers left. Unfortunately not all brands have these warning papers. Rizla has them, and if I remember correctly, Smoking has them. OCB does not have them, which is a pity.
Unfortunately, rolls do not have any kinds of warnings of running low. In principle you could look at the roll and try to see how much there is left, but at least I am not able to estimate it without unwinding the roll. The situation would be improved if the manufacturers printed on the roll every half a meter how many meters there are left. It is hard for me to imagine that one could not find an ink that did not taste.
The obvious solution to missing warnings would be to have always two packages of papers. One unopened and one that you are using. When the one you’re using runs out of paper, it is time to open the other one and buy a new “unopened” pack. Unfortunately, I am so lazy that I could not ever get this system work. In practice I would not bother go shopping until the last package was running low.
In the picture there is a cigarette of the optimal size, in a cigarette holder. Note that the cigarette goes a centimeter or so inside the holder. The paper used was a roll of Smoking Black. The paper is so thin that the tobacco can be seen through the paper. Standard Rizla paper pack is added for scale.
Unfortunately no-one manufactures ready-cut papers of the optimal size. All papers are either too short or too long. Hence, a roll, where you can cut the length of paper you want, is the best alternative.
I have tried a new rolling tobacco, Bonus Gold. It is supposed to be a milder version of Bonus Red, a rolling tobacco I use a lot, but it really does not taste milder at all. It has a very strong rolling tobacco taste that masks the aroma of pipe tobacco very effectively. In my cigarettes, the rolling tobacco is not meant to be tasted. I won’t be buying this one again.
OK, this was an excellent cigarette. Smoking it was like smoking a cigar in the cigarette format. Harmony pipe tobacco has a dark and mysterious flavour. It brings to mind blue cheese; the package says that it has been matured long, maybe that explains the association. It is easy for me to imagine gentlemen in the 1950s in a fine club, playing skruuvi (an old Finnish bridge-like card game) and enjoying this taste.
Since the aroma of the pipe tobacco dominates, inexpensive rolling tobacco Bonus is good enough with it.