Long, long ago, in a pipe smoking universe far, far away, Flying Dutchman burned a swath of destruction across pipe smokers far and wide. I know. I was there.
It was an extremely thin gauge Cavendish. I really don't know the kinds of tobacco that comprised it without looking it up, because I had no idea then. No Latakia or perique. It was a beautiful yellow -- sunlight yellow. Say, Acapulco gold, if that helps. It tasted sweet, especially early on, like light vanilla toffee, but it didn't cloy the palate.
Absolutely had to be fresh, which bore it's own burden, because if packed tight enough to combust without a fireworks, it burned wet. The beginner (like me at the time) would now have to puff harder and harder as the bowl progressed, just to keep it lit, and having gone out, one would have to fire it to molten kryptonite incandescence to get the wet blob going again. "Bite" doesn't quite do justice to resulting tissue damage.
With obstinate perseverance, I eventually learned how it could be done. The ticket was to relight it before it went out and between relights ALMOST let it go out by DRAWING slow and very easy. Do not puff the Flying Dutchman or he will cut a swath across the inside of your mouth worthy of a Jedi laser sword. It was like keeping Dr. Frankenstein's monster at bay by continually striking the next match in the box. Luckily I used a Zippo at the time.
As long as you didn't let the ember actually die, that low key candy like flavor came back to life with every relight. The monster kept its distance while you DREW the smoke from the bowl. Done right, it was almost like drinking smoke. It was a difficult piece of music, almost unplayable; not suitable for a garage band.
Its most astounding feature was its room note. Nonpareil. It never invaded the ambiance, rather pervaded it as honeysuckle sweetens a garden. You could smoke it in an ER and no one would complain.
I miss Flying Dutchman, but I know he has sailed away. I dare not stain his memory with modern imitations. Nor will I take seriously the complaints of those who failed to master the technical difficulties presented in that perilous aquamarine tin with those sinister golden strands, telling us of their terrors at sea. They never learned to sail.
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing;Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,And drinking largely sobers us again.Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,While from the bounded level of our mindShort views we take, nor see the lengths behind;But more advanc'd, behold with strange surpriseNew distant scenes of endless science rise!" -- Alexander Pope