Currently Working On...

Well, considering the fact that I'm knee-deep in school work, I have actually found time to do a little painting here and there.

Currently I'm working on a 15mm Medieval Army, for use with Piquet, or perhaps a homebrew set. When it's done, I'll have enough figures to run a few games while I await the arrival of its opponent. I hope to post pictures when it's done. For now, here's a picture of his majesty and his champion. Do forgive the limitations of my camera.

Hopefully, battles with immense amounts of figures on the table are in my future.

I picked this one up at my local cut-rate tobacco shop, and I must say I was thrilled to find tobacco of some quality there. $14.69 was the price for a 100g tin. It states that it is a Virginia-Cavendish blend spun, then cut.

I popped it open and a wonderful sort of fruitcake and raisin-like aroma met my nose. The tobacco itself was interestingly presented in small "medallions", with a bit of loose tobacco packed around it. Some of them had a core of darker cavendish, with an outer layer of golden-brown virginia around it.

A quick rub, and the tobacco fell nicely into my pipe of choice, a Militaire briar. Now, I will admit freely that my technique could use a bit of polish, but it took me a few lights to get it going. Much of the sweetness of the tin aroma was imparted to the smoke, but I got quite a bit of tongue bite with it. I backed off a bit, and the tobacco went out. This problem persisted throughout the smoke.

The first pipeful burned down nicely through the first third of so, gaining just a bit of harshness. The flavour was that of pastries and leafiness, very well-balanced, with no one flavour or aroma gaining ground over another, becoming more leafy and slightly smoky as it burned down. It was just a bit too sweet for my tastes. There was quite a bit of gurgling and unsmoked dottle at the bottom.

The second pipeful was, well, wanting. I decided to do as some Virginia flake enthusiasts(myself included) like to do and leave the medallions unbroken--or, as unbroken as possible. This was a mistake. The flavour was sweet, yes, but too sweet; I imagine that taking a hearty swig out of a bottle of molasses would produce the same effect. Also, the tobacco bit me very hard. I will not be doing that again with this particular blend.

The sweetness is just too much. I am not an aromatic smoker by habit, preferring Virginias and English blends, but I will be finishing this tin, after pre-rubbing and drying. At this point, however, I will not be replacing the tin.

My first experience with MacBaren tobacco is off to a bit of a rocky start. I hope this does not remain the case.

What a funny old world this is. After pre-rubbing about 80% of the medallions and drying them, this has become my go-to tobacco. It isn't bone-dry, but I did fluff it up and leave the tin open on my shelf for an hour and a half. It now has a lovely pepperiness when smoked slowly, and has lost much of the bite. I will definitely be switching my go-to, as I have found a new favorite(review to come), but until then I will enjoy this tin. As for the rating, well, I think a bump up is called for. -8/10

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