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Ashton--'Rainy Day'

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  • Ashton--'Rainy Day'

    Let me begin by saying that I am not generally a fan of aromatic pipe tobaccos. At all, really. I find that they don't tend to smoke well, are excessively moist even after being left to dry a bit, rarely taste as well as they smell, and many times the underlying tobacco leaf is subpar and very heavy on Burley, making for a pretty bland smoke even when it doesn't scorch my mouth.

    Yet I confess to you, my Briar Brethren, that every now and again I do get sucked in. I usually regret it, but not always. There are a couple of blends that have stood out to me as exceptions. One of them is 'Blue Note' by Dan Tobacco. Another is 'Rainy Day' from Ashton.

    The Ashton blends have been taken over by McClelland here in the US, I believe, and that is certainly not a bad thing. The tin description: 'A savory blend of Virginia and Burley with velvet Black Cavendish. Aged in whiskey barrels for precisely one month, this mixture smokes smooth, and heralds a marvelous aroma of tropical fruit and hickory nuts'.

    And, I have to say, this is an accurate description. The tin aroma is as advertised, and pretty nice. The smoke, of course, doesn't taste quite that way, although the fruit and wood are there in the background, but it really is a pretty mellow and satisfying smoke. It does need a good bit of drying---I left the tin open for most of last evening, and smoked my first bowl in a cob as a precaution, as I do with any aromatic. Even then it was pretty wet. I popped some in a Grabow this morning.....I tend to smoke aromatics in a cheap pipe, just to be safe.....and actually really enjoyed it. It is not sweet, cloying or overdone like so many aromatic blends, and the leaf underneath is actually pretty quality VA/Burley as far as I can tell.

    All in all, I am impressed with this one as a guy who loves matured Virginia, VAPERs, and balls-out English blends. Might even buy it again sometime.