Let me start by saying that many will tell you that PA Choice Blend and the reg PA are the exact same thing, the only difference being the packaging. Well, having smoked a LOT of both blends, I'm going to set the record straight, here and now.
Both are ribbon or crimp cut, air dried, and are a burley smoker's delight. Both are produced by John Middleton. Both shine in a cob pipe and would do any briar justice as well. Both load and smoke effortlessly in any pipe, cob and briar alike. Both have "Prince Albert" in their name.... The similarities end there.
Prince Albert Choice Blend is NOT the same thing as regular Prince Albert. Here's a few notable differences...
- PA Choice Blend lacks the "wine" aroma that the reg PA blend has. It is a more straight-forward, earthy tobacco note which leads me to believe the casing of the reg PA is either much lighter or lacking altogether in the Choice Blend.
- PA Choice Blend smokes smoother and is more mellow and lacks the "bite" that can sometimes accompany the reg PA as it nears the bottom of the bowl.
- PA Choice Blend is dryer and requires no dry-time to smoke whereas reg PA can be a tad moist straight from the tub or pouch at times.
- A side-by-side comparison shows PA Choice Blend has a slightly smaller cut than the reg PA does and also has a fresher look about it.
These are but a few of the differences that I have observed in having partaken of both blends on many occasions.
Many of you know that I'm an avid Prince Albert smoker, and see no change to that anytime soon. Having said that fact, Prince Albert Choice Blend in still a part of my smoking pleasure and will remain in my tobacco rotation as long as it continues to be manufactured. If you haven't tried PA Choice Blend or have tried the reg PA blend and found it not to your liking, give some PA Choice Blend a try. At the very least I think you'll find them to be the same in namesake alone.