Monday, October 18, 2010

This One Goes to Eleven

I have a deep appreciation for the work and comedy of Christopher Guest (though I know Rob Reiner did the original Spinal Tap), however, this is not about a guitar amp. This is about tobacco. Good tobacco - tobacco that goes to eleven. To fully appreciate the wonder of this tobacco experience I must lay the back drop.

Autumn is here. In my world Autumn is when the year is perfected. Pushkin wrote of Autumn:
The latter days of fall are often cursed, 
But as for me, kind reader, she is precious 
In all her quiet beauty, mellow glow. 
Thus might a child, disfavored in its family, 
Draw my regard. To tell you honestly, 
Of all the times of year, I cherish her alone. 
She's full of worth; and I, a humble lover, 
Have found in her peculiar charms.

You can find the rest of that poem here, it is worth your time.  To celebrate Autumn, and my day off I decided to rake leaves with my children.  Colorado Autumns are such that this task can be done in no shoes, making it at least twice as enjoy
able.  So I raked and the children ran through what I had just raked.  Kicking through carefully rakes piles is, of course, the perennial right of children and I dared not interfere.  However, I did choose to commemorate this wonderful Autumnal occasion with the tobacco that goes to 11, every time.  So I packed my pipe with Rattray's Black Mallory Tobacco, and smiled as my leaves went from disorder, to order, and back to disorder.
I generally give good reviews for tobacco, and I only tend to write about the tobaccos that I enjoy. This is mostly because it seems unfair and rather useless to spend time criticizing something that I simply "didn't get." So when I am unimpressed with a tobacco I will generally keep it to myself. However, this tobacco is glorious. This is one of those consistent smoking experiences that makes me want to go to every other tobacco I have rated and bring it down one point because this is the tobacco that deserves top honors. I will say that Dunhill's London Mixture was absolutely of this character and quality, and nothing else I've ever had. Both of those tobaccos have something extra. There is something about them that cries out to you. They are like a little bowl of art that you get to set fire to.

It sounds strange that I like the idea of setting fire to art, but I am a musician, so I hope you can understand. Pipe tobacco, like music is destroyed in the consumption. When listening to a symphony you should never stand up in the middle and ask to do the last movement again as your thoughts drifted away from the art before you. Poetry is the same way, always best read, and listened to with a focused desire to hear and be blessed. Of course this is only a parallel and is not intended to depreciate the value of the visual arts. Yet the similarities are almost unending, aren't they?

Rather than spell it all out from my view I would ask you if you see other similarities between pipe tobacco and art? As for the masterpiece of Black Mallory, if you like full flavored, English tobacco. Cool smoking and delicious. If you ever wanted to know what is "nearly perfect" to my humble mouth, the tobacco I would stain my last white tooth for - Go and buy a tin of this.

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