I was asked by the good folks at Sutliff to review their Private Stock Series. I get six tins a month and there are 36 tins in the series. I'll add the others when I get them.
This has an alcohol casing that's pleasant, almost like a medium-sweet wine. The Golden Virginia adds a honey taste that reminds me a little of Blue Danube. The burley isn't all that noticeable, but I get a slight sweetness from it, and none of the nutty characteristics I usually expect from burley. The black cavendish has the familiar vanilla and light licorice/anise traits, though I also get some tasty plum flavor, and light date notes. I find it a little milder and slightly smoother than Sutliff's Great Outdoors blend with more emphasis on the black cavendish. It's a very comfortable smoke that gets three stars from me because I can't give it two and half, and it deserves more than two stars. I prefer the Great Outdoors blend because it's a little stronger and a little more complex smoke. This blend is almost like what would happen if you mixed Blue Danube with Great Outdoors without being stronger than BD is. It's an easy going, medium sweet mixture with a great room note that makes a nice dessert smoke. Recommended for the smoker who wants a mild, sweet smoke.
I never smoked Field and Stream, so I can't compare the two. What I can say is that this is a very good aro with mild nuttiness, vanilla, light licorice, and plum and honey flavors. It smells great out of the tin and the room note is extremely pleasant. It's sweet but not powerfully so. Burns well with consistent flavor to the end, and the burley is nutty and mildly sweet, and adds a mild nic hit. I smoked this tin faster than any other Sutliff blend I tried recently. I'll need more for the cellar.
Blend #5 :
I think it's slightly stronger than Dunhill 965, and doesn't taste like it at all. The latakia is strong without being a lat-bomb or overwhelming your senses. It's the main player, taste-wise, but the light, nutty and earthy burley and the Virginia rounds out the flavor quite well. It burns well, clean, and even with no bite, no dottle, and no bitterness. It's great in briar and even better in a meer. The room note is not overly strong either. Well worth buying!
A mild to medium English blend with high quality Virginia that is very slightly sweet. The latakia gives the proper bass notes and does not overwhelm, and the Turkish is very mild. I enjoy the flavor of the burley, which adds an earthy, mildly sweet, nutty taste, and at times, is more obvious than the Virginia. It's the kind of English that you can smoke more than once a day, and feel satisfied. Some mild English blends leave a smoker with an empty feeling, but this one doesn't partly due to how the burley enhances the experience. Burns smooth and evenly with no bite, and often leaves you wanting to smoke another bowl right away.
A terrific aro. Smells and tastes a little like sweet honey bread to the smoker, and those around him/her. M'lady wants me to smoke it all the time. Burns very evenly and well. I get a hint of molasses and brown sugar at times, and a hint of vanilla with a very light nut taste. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so, which means you can smoke it all day without getting tongue bite or diabetes. The Virginia component is not that prominent, but has a natural sweetness that adds extra flavor and evenness to how it burns when you smoke it. A delightful smoke for any time of day or night.
A black cavendish smoker's delight. It's crackles as it burns if you don't dry it first, and can leave some goop, too. I prefer to dry it out first. There's a pleasant vanilla, carmel, slightly buttery, molasses, honey taste that is consistent throughout the smoke. The vanilla flavor is the main player here, as is usually the case in this kind of blend, and I detect a light licorice note or two. It's a little sweeter than I prefer, but if you are a BC smoker, you'll become addicted to this and forget most of the other BC blends. As for the room note, well, if you're single, you may not be for long if women smell the wonderful aroma this mixture produces.
Spinnaker is an interesting blend. The reviewer who said it smelled like Ludens Cough Drops is dead right, and it's very intense if you try to smoke it wet. You'll also be faced with goop at the bottom. However, if you dry it out, the cherry taste is still present, but in a lesser form, and you'll have no goop, too. You'll also notice a few burley notes and some fruit taste I can't identify, and when dry, those flavors become more obvious as you smoke it. Wet or dry, it won't bite your tongue, though it may burn hot if you smoke it wet. If you like cherry blends, and are looking for a step up from lighter ones, you'll like this as long as you follow my advice.
This doesn't taste much like Elizabethan to me. As someone else noted, it's like Royal Yacht-light. It also reminds me of Germain's Royal Jersey with perique, though that blend is lighter on the perique than this one is. But the sweet Virginia taste is almost the same. This is lightly sweeter than RJ/wP because the light addition of unsweetened black cavendish. It burns well and even with no goop, no dottle. The perique is slightly plum and peppery, but it's a team player and not necessarily the star component. If you're looking for an all day smoke with a little sweetness and just enough spice to tickle your tongue, this is blend will give you what you need.
While it does taste a bit like pancakes due to the maple flavor, there are other blends that have a more intense flapjack taste. I prefer this to them. The tin note is rum and maple, and I taste a little rum while smoking it, but maple is definitely the predominant flavor. I get a slight pistachio note or two from the white burley, too. Burns darn near perfectly all the way to the bottom.
The room note is great and everybody around me who has smelled it notices the maple and not the rum. The more intense blends I mentioned earlier are too sweet for my personal tastes, but this is medium sweet and doesn't overwhelm, unless you are not used to aromatics. This is more of a three and half star blend for me, but I feel three stars short-changes it, so it gets a four star rating for blends in this genre.
A smooth smoking mixture with a plum, fruit, and vanilla taste. I also sense a slight date note. The Virginia is downplayed by the other flavors, adding a very light hay note, and a slight natural sweetness, but I think it helps smooth out the black cavendish. A mild to medium blend that burns well, and is fairly sweet. It tastes just like it smells, and fills the room with a pleasant aroma. One of the smoother black cavendish blends on the market. It gets three stars because of that.
The rum and vanilla flavors are the predominate tastes of this blend. The Virginia is there to tame potential harshness, because you really can't taste it. The rum is very pleasant, and if I had my choice, I'd decrease the vanilla flavor and let the rum shine through more. However, it's very flavorful, though it does require a little drying fresh out of the tin to avoid goop and make it easier to keep lit. Don't dry it out completely though or you'll risk losing some flavor. I'd give it three and half stars if I was able, but I give it four because I like it too much to give it three.
A very pleasant no frills mild black cavendish blend, though it may need a little drying time. It doesn't have a wide variance of flavors, but it does have an honest vanilla flavor supported by a very light fruit prune note, and the sense of eating sweet baked goods. The room note is so pleasing, your friends might start looking for where you hid the cake. If you want more subtlety of flavors, try Molto Dulce. But if you're looking for a working man's black cavendish blend with a consistent taste that doesn't have the chemical taste of the routine drug store BC's, this is worth trying.
Another black cavendish blend that has a toned down mellow vanilla taste, though I get a light honey note, too. This is one of the mildest bc blends I've ever smoked in terms of flavors and sweetness. It's also drier than your usual bc blend, so you need to take your time smoking it or it may burn hot. It get sweeter as you smoke it down, and near the end, I get a light fruit note. For people looking to smoke a less intense black cavendish.
Having recently smoked Briggs, I can say they have quite a bit in common, but I prefer this blend because the burley is just slightly more earthier. The Virginias are naturally sweet with no cased flavors, and creates a solid base for the burleys to play off of. I do taste a bare hay note, too. The vanilla note is mild with a slight plum note. It's an all day cool smoking mild to medium blend that burns well with a consistent taste. I can see adding this to my smoking rotation.
A Taste of Summer:
I was initially hesitant to smoke this because I'm not usually a fan of fruit flavored tobaccos, although I love peaches. The smell of peaches was very strong when I first opened the tin. However, the peach taste is not as strong as I expected, which is a plus for me. It burns well with no goop or dottle and I found the taste to be consistent, though hardly complex. Of course, this is not meant to be a complex smoke, and the only reason to smoke it is for that flavor. Some prefer a stronger peach taste in their aros, but I do not. This hits the right spot for me because the peach flavoring is light. Any stronger, and I would not like it. You mileage may vary if you're looking for a peach-bomb, otherwise, you'll find this a comfortable all day smoke.
A very pleasant no frills tasting mild to medium English blend. There is a light smokiness from the latakia and a natural Virginia creamy sweetness. The orientals and perique are light players in the game and add a spice note that keeps this from being boring. It's hard to pick out a dominant taste in this well balanced, all day smoking mixture. Burns well, even and consistent with no dottle and very few relights. This is more of a starter English blend. If you don't like this you probably won't like stronger English blends. And for those looking to venture into the world of latakia blends, this is a good place to begin.
A richly flavorful all day smoke. The latakia is present, but not strong and its smokiness is complemented very nicely by the sweetness of Virginias, especially the lemon Va. The Turkish is light, but adds a necessary "oomph" to the mixture. I get a hint of burley in this, too. There is a topping of some kind that mellows the blend. I give it four stars for mild English blends. Like Berkshire, it's a good starting place to beginners to latakia. If you need something stronger, this probably won't work for you, unless you want a change of pace from tobaccos like Blend #5 , which is a tasty, stronger Balkan. But if you're looking for a easy to smoke English with a variety of flavors, you'll enjoy this as much as I do.
A well balanced mild to medium smooth English with every ingredient tastefully present. The Virginia is naturally sweet and the Orientals add nice spicy notes to your palate. The latakia is smokey as you would expect, but it doesn't overpower the other elements. Sutliff knows their English blends and make a number of them with different strength levels. How much you like them depends upon your proclivity for latakia. This is for those who want a decent latakia hit without being bowled over by its presence.