From my last adventure in tobacco flavors, I bought a stupid amount of tobacco from the land of eurotrash.
Latakia continues to be incredibly interesting – everytime I smoke it, it’s something different.
My particular stuff had a heavy “meat” taste fresh from the distributor. It’s been about a month in my various humidor jars, and it’s calmed the meat taste down quite a bit. Reason for that is the jars allow light in, and the light goes a long way towards breaking down the flavors. Just like beer, if anyone was wondering. On cigars the effect isn’t as pronounced since most of the flavor comes from the inside. On pipe tobacco with no casing – any mellowing effect works on the whole bag. Ignoring my pipe set for a month (not by choice) has improved this greatly. The meat has dropped out and the smokeyness comes through.
The best pairing for tobacco is scotch. Bowmore had proved to be absurdly good paired with La Aroma De Cuba cigars. By themselves, Bowmore has almost an offensive peaty taste to it (think Lauphroag without the smoke) but paired with La Aroma De Cuba which tastes like cake batter, and suddenly it’s got raisins, grandma’s cooking, vanilla, icing, nuts and chocolate. I ran out of Bowmore at the beginning of the month (for whatever reason the price went up) and grabbed McClellands speyside. They were out of Islay, and I prefer Islay anything. Speyside is second on the list, then lowland, then highland. But I’m more likely to try a new brand than buy anything but speyside or islay.
The McClellands by itself isn’t impressive. It’s not got the depth of flavor I want, it’s got no oak and no smoke that you can really taste. It’s sort of faded and could comfortably fit into bourbon because it’s not quite as smooth as it could be. However, I grabbed my pouch of “english heavy” (which is heavy on the smoke and meat flavors) and poured a snifter. With ice, if anyone wants to know. Basically the smoke from the tobacco changes the flavor of the scotch (vastly overpowering it) and made the scotch sweet. Honey came through, along with maybe something else sweet (apple? pair? orange?) and fruity. The tobacco, on the other hand, became less smokey the more I had and eventually turned sweet. The lemons normally associated with the end of a pipe were really quite subdued and complimented the scotch well given it’s citrus notes.