Cornell and Diehl’s Five O’Clock Shadow, part of their “Working Man” series, take something I like very much, the Virginia/Perique Blend, and kicks it up a notch by adding a pinch of dark-fired Kentucky. The results are surprisingly astounding!
When you first open the tin, your nose is greeted with the delicious smokey bark aroma of the dark-fired Kentucky, the tangy, spicy fermented fruit twist of the perique and the sweet and floral grass notes of the Virginia.
The presentation is excellent. Five O’clock shadow comes in the form of a dark, mottled Krumble Kake. The kake itself crumbles with little effort into a shagged cut that is very convenient to load into your pipe. I like how crumbling the kake released the aroma of the blend as I prepared my tobacco.
This blend comes in the can ready to smoke. I didn’t have to dry it or anything before I prepared it, which I appreciate. It’s little things like that which put one blend above another.
After loading the pipe, the false light gave away the heavy body that this smoke was going to have. If you don’t appreciate a heaviness in your smoke, you may want to skip this one. As a result of the strength and the longer burning time, I would say this tobacco is best enjoyed in a smaller bowl unless you like a long, intense burn.
After the true light, I noticed how the Virginia’s (both red and regular) acted as a base for the rest of the smoke, steadily propping it all up. They have a sweet, mildly tangy and citrusy taste that makes the mouth water, giving off a grassy, barnyard flavor that tantalizes the senses.
The perique comes in next with a spicy, raisin-like aftertaste that reminds me of stewed figs that have had time to ferment a bit. Any fan of VaPers will tell you how addictive and fun perique can be in a blend like this. The spiciness wakes you up and works in tandem with the sweetness of the Virginias to create an amazing smoke profile.
The real star of the show, the MVP, and the tobacco which makes this blend markedly different from other VaPers is the dark-fired Kentucky. It comes in high with the earthy, campfire taste that signifies its namesake.
WOW! I can’t believe what a little DFK can do to an already fantastic blend family. Also, I should mention that the Dark Fired Kentucky puts this blend on the higher end of an already high nicotine scale, so those who are sensitive to high nicotine content may want to be careful or at least have a meal before smoking.
I finish the bowl and my mind is buzzing, both from the high nicotine and the thrill of an amazing smoke!
The Room note is quite strong and may be unappealing to those sensitive to spicy smoke. You mostly smell the dark-fired Kentucky in the Room note. It overpowers the Virginia. So it smells camp-fiery like burning wood and straight tobacco. The perique comes into the Room note nearly as strong with wisps of white pepper and a hint of fermented fruit. Overall I would say that it may be a pleasing smoke to people who enjoy heavy, acrid notes, but some people, especially non-smokers, will find this assaulting to the nose.
In the end, reflecting on this smoke, I believe I will be buying a few of the 8oz tins of this blend. I want to age one for a few years and smoke the other one as soon as I get it!
Also, it’s surprising what a little addition of Dark Fired Kentucky can do. I think even people who are initially turned off by Virginia/Perique blends should have a go at this one because the most common complaint I hear about VaPers is that they lack a certain depth. Well, the dark-fired Kentucky added to Five O’clock shadow may offer that depth you were looking for! This blend could act as a bridge to introduce someone who is wary of VaPers to a world of tobacco they’ve been overlooking.
Other Tobacco Notes:
Pipe Used: I would suggest a pipe with a small bowl due to the strength and long burning time. The Savinelli 320 I used on my first smoke was too large. I went with a Savinelli 645 on my second smoke.
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin, although I think this tobacco will age particularly well so I am putting some in my cellar.
Score: 4/4 Stars. This will become a part of my regular rotation!
|Brand||Cornell & Diehl|
|Manufactured By||Cornell & Diehl|
|Blend Type||Virginia Based|
|Contents||Kentucky, Perique, Virginia|
|Packaging||2 oz. & 8 oz. Tin|