Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Gold

Truthfully, I don't know if I would ever have tried this tobacco had it not come so highly recommended to me! When thinking of the words "black gold" I would have happily applied it to coffee, or to oil, even to a Blackberry telephone (never really got into it as the trackball always seemed to get messed up), but a tobacco that could be defined by its mere monochrome coloring doesn't seem to promise quite enough to draw my attention. This tobacco, available in bulk from Hiland Cigars (, is described as: "Medium to full aromatic cavendish. Rare Green River Burley is the only tobacco used in this blend. The process is top secret!" Of course there is a challenge given in this description, and while I have some guesses, I wouldn't want to make them public, as they are bordering on the ridiculous! But onto the tobacco review.

This tobacco was recommended by PipePastor, (Youtube channel page - Finally, I put in my order and waited. First thing's first I must say the gentlemen at Hilands Cigars were helpful and shipped quickly, even responding personally to my questions. Before going on with my appreciation of the tobacco I have to share (with permission) PipePastor's instructions to me before I packed my first bowl (which was, consequently, a total success):

"Open it carefully. Take your time. Smell the box, feel the moist weed in your hands. Squeeze it and feel it stick together like chocolate cake crumbs. Rub it and smell it as it releases the "love". Pack it classically, holding your pipe bowl so that your first finger and thumb overlap the top of the bowl a little. Gravity fill it to the top of your finger and thumb. pac it gently down till it's almost half way down the bowl. Repeat but this time pac it a little harder till it's almost at the same level as the first. Repeat one more time and pac it a little harder till its just below or level with the pipe bowl. Then char it good, around 10 - 15 puffs making sure the flame hits the tobacco evenly. It will expand alot and some will spill over the edge of the bowl. Not to worry, they are behaving themselves Christianly, gladly giving their lives so that you can get an excellent first light. Now tamp rather hard, while puffing around 5 times. Tamp again, and do the same. One more time and do the same. Now you're ready to enjoy the whole bowl without it going out with frequent tamping due to the moistness and expansiveness of the tobacco. Take your time, breath a little through your nose and see if you can pick up all the glorious nuances of taste and smell."

I would hope that the care with which this introduction was written helps explain just how much a tobacco can mean to us. It was written with the care of someone introducing an old friend to a new friend, knowing that the mutual acquaintance will enrich everyone involved. So, in case you were wondering, I had absolutely no chance of giving this tobacco an objective review. But since I don't believe there is much value in objective reviewing in the realm of pipe tobacco (movies, books, coffee or any other matters of taste) I won't hesitate to move forward!

This is an aromatic to beat all aromatics. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have no bias against aromatics, and don't even suffer from the the tongue bite that so many report when smoking aromatics (and I thank the Lord for the tongue that I have!), so this comes from a lover of non-goopy aromatics as a preset preference. This tobacco is an absolute delight. There is a wonderful fullness of taste that simply coats the mouth beautifully. The aroma as it burns, and is breathed out the nose has the decadent and rich flavors of chocolate and vanilla together (my two favorite aromatic flavors), combined with a great tobacco flavor in the burley.

This will probably not become the only tobacco I will ever smoke (as stated in previous posts, I am too much of a tobacco whore, and I'm not looking to commit!) however, I can firmly say that I have no intention of ever being caught without this tobacco, henceforth. This has become (in only a few short weeks) my "go to" tobacco for parties, smoking groups, Bible studies. This has become the tobacco that my pouch has been full a few weekend trips and long drives, and when I do bring it to groups with other pipe smokers I find the people I smoke with emptying out their bowls of whatever else they are used to to get another bowl of this in.

I wouldn't want to oversell this tobacco, but I must share one more note. When tobaccos are rated words like "room-note", "flavor", "strength", and "flavoring" are used (as seen at "") however there is another category that I would like to add. The name "aftertaste" has such a nasty connotation, however I would prefer to call it the "echo." The Echo of this Tobacco is miraculous. The taste of frosted chocolate stays on the tongue and permeates the mouth. I came in from a nice bowl of this tobacco and my wife offered me a brownie and I declined feeling like I had already had too much desert today, because the taste was still so vivid from 30 minutes ago. Then I realized that tobacco was calorie free and had my brownie with all the more pleasure! (how did I get so chubby again?) I actually even detect a note of this a day after often times (this is two toothbrushings and 3&1/2 meals later, mind you!) and the taste is simply delightful.

I am excited to know that there is yet more "gold" at the end of this rainbow as there is also a "Black Gold Plus" which, evidently, has some Virginia flake in it. So that means that there is yet another adventure ahead when I am finished with the half pound of "Black Gold" that I am enjoying! I will, of course, update when I make the leap!

Both of these tobaccos are available from Hiland's Cigars (as mentioned above) and are available in half pound increments and up, and well worth it! Here are the links:

Deepest thanks to PipePastor for his fellowship, thoughtful words and great recommendation! And a happy Thanksgiving to every pipe smoker, cigar smoker, and then to everyone after that in alphabetical order!