I've been searching for an English or Balkan blend with more oomph - both in flavor and nicotine potency, and I think I may have finally found what I was looking for in a "cigar blend" of all places.A selection of fine, ripe Virginia tobaccos is enhanced with the perfect measure of Maduro cigar leaf to provide an alluring spice, the suggestion of the richness of a great cigar, and a creamy smoke. A little Cyprian Latakia adds roundness and smoothes the edges, while fine Oriental tobaccos fill in the gaps. Complex and full flavored, yet very gentle on the tongue, Robusto is perfect with afternoon coffee, as a delicious finish to a wonderful meal, or as a stout and stalwart companion throughout the day.
This makes sense though, as you can see from the description, Robusto is a Virginian-heavy English that just happens to have cigar tobacco as another spice in addition to latakia and orientals. I was a cigar smoker first. I like the taste, and that taste is here - but it's more of a hint and aftertaste. Again, I came to this blend looking for a truly stout English. The cigar leaf is just an interesting bonus, and I think anyone looking for a "cigar from a pipe" experience is going to walk away dissapointed. If Englishes and Balkans are your gotos, but you think you'd prefer something about eight times more tasty and potent than airy ole Squadron Leader, I think you'll like this a lot.
Nicotine-meter-wise, I've felt zilch from Westminster, a tiny bit from Abingdon, and an unmissable wallop from Hal O The Wynd. Robusto is close to Wynd here. I was functally buzzed - meaning I didn't have to sit.
Taste-wise this ranks below Westminster and Abingdon in complexity. The VA backbone is solid and really comes through, pile on the English spice tobaccos, and then the hint of cigar and... you're thinking that sounds complex - but the sum of these different flavors is not the stiched together Frankenstein you might imagine -- rather, they meld so well that it's diffucult to distinguish individual notes in this fugue of flavor.
Finally, I should mention that the burning characteristics are nearly flawless - well above par for other Pease offerings (with the exception of his broken flake blends).
I'm looking forward to a Robusto and Abingdon parfait to see if I can coax a little more complexity back into this robust juggernaught. But as is, this is a blend I will be smoking for years, and I'm thrilled to have finally found a latakia blend with strength equal to VAs and va/pers.