Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tobacco Review: Vauen Black Pepper

When I was at Just For Him, I actually tried to blend a black pepper pipe tobacco but I just could not get the flavor to unfold. I could get spicy, hot, and even a greenish kind of sweet pepper once (I never could replicate it, however) but I never could nail down the black pepper taste. So when I spied Vauen Black Pepper, I immediately placed an order and started counting off days on the calendar until the UPS guy showed. I don't know too much about Vauen Pipe Co. other than it is German and is purported to have been in the pipe business since 1848. I do not know who makes these tobaccos for Vauen or if they manufacture it themselves (I doubt it). Still, this blend is tasty, it is made in Germany, and does not disappoint. The tin has no manufacturer's description, but here is what SmokingPipes.com says about it:

The double-fermented Black Cavendish based on Virginia and Burley tobaccos delivers a unique smooth smoking experience with a distinct aroma of black pepper. MSRP: $14.10; 50gm tin.

The tobacco is black Cavendish and stoved ribbons that burns well into a mottled gray and white ash--a hint that different kinds of tobacco are blended here. Perhaps it is a Virginia (maybe Red Virginia?) and Burley mixture. Certainly, one notices a distinct black pepper aroma as the tin is cracked and I definitely enjoyed this flavor throughout the smoke which is accompanied by a subtle sweetness, although it does fade a bit in the heel. This tobacco is not moist--maybe a shade drier than I like--nor does it feel oily. The room note seems woodsy rather than sweet and I swear I can still smell the black paper 15 minutes after the smoke.

This is a good, smooth aromatic that has some complexity in the smoke and certainly delivers a black pepper flavor without the bite. For some reason, it reminds me quite a bit of C&D Autumn Evening but with a different flavor. Interestingly, Autumn Evening is a cased Red Virgina; perhaps this is why Vauen Black Pepper reminds me of it so. I thoroughly enjoy this blend and am working on my second tin. If you like Lane's BCA, you might find it a little dry, but overall this is a great all-day blend with an unusual flavor.

Rating: 4 Puffs out of 5

-Safari Bob

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