Monday, October 26, 2009

And the Chocolate has it...


It seems like all of the snobby smokers smoke English Tobacco. I can understand why. It is so exciting and tasteful. The reality is that aromatics taste like what they are supposed to taste like (if you are lucky) and don't have a whole bunch else to boast of. Often times they employ good virginias and burleys but more often they do not. The aromatic smoker enjoys the sweetness and the flavor of his smoke. The taste of vanilla without the ice cream is attractive.
I really have enjoyed the English tobaccos that I have been able to try (some latakia's and far fewer periques). I love Frog Morton and really enjoy Special Balkan and Halverstein Trail from Edwards Pipe and Tobacco. But sometimes I just want to taste something sweet. The risk for today? Chocolate!
I am not a Choco-holic, and sweets aren't on my long list of vices. However, I heard a review of a chocolate tobacco and thought that the idea sounded intriguing. The idea of a nice pleasant chocolate taste that doesn't overpower was pretty enticing. So on my next trip to Edwards I picked up a can of Frog and a nice "Coco Creme" house tobacco. It was nice.
The first bowl made me wonder. The first few puffs yielded very little, and the bag aroma was more of a hint than a real chocolate smell. I was about half way through the bowl before anything really "happened". Just as I had resigned myself to having had bought a nice mild cavendish blend (not altogether disappointing) the topping kicked in. It was a beautiful moment when all of the sudden I felt as if I had been subtly bathed in chocolate from the inside out. Through my nose and down the front of my shirt the chocolate aroma and taste coursed through me. For the remainder of the evening I had a wonderful lingering taste of Coco in my mouth that went very well with a nice cup of peppermint tea!
The second bowl today was spread out over a couple of smoking sessions (smoke, work, smoke, work, etc.) and kept my day bathed in a sweet, not overpowering dark chocolate scent and taste. I would hate to oversell something that is simply what it is. But this is it. It doesn't have the complexity and character of a half a dozen different tobaccos in it, but it has chocolate flavor. I'm thankful that I'm getting to the point where I can appreciate a bit of flippancy for what it is.
So much of my pipe smoking life has been a sham. I went after the more "manly" looking tobaccos at the expense of the more feminine flavors. Only to find out (rather recently) that my "manly" tobaccos were mellow, light burleys with little to challenge and that no "butch" smoker would be interested in. Now that I see a bit clearer and am enjoying some more variety I have found that I can also open myself up to experience of some of the other things I was wrongly condescending about. Another bowl of Coco? Oh yes, I'm sure there will be several!

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