I am hiking the bright Kentucky hinterlands, walking with camera in hand, pipe in my teeth and dogs at my side as the cold dew clings to the cuffs of my jeans and the smell of thick forests sweep past my olfactory senses. There is a blank slate in the clarity of winter air that allows the coppice space to make magic.
The sun is just starting to change again, throwing a red and purple light over everything on the horizon. The stage has been set for a nice lunt into the Kentucky wilderness.
Sometime later, I find a suitable place to rest against an old tree, black fingers reaching out to the heavens. I can smell the ancient life of its bark like an old book, only alive. I lean against the tree and pull out my tobacco bag because, like my mind, it is in a meditative empty state and is ready to be filled.
I open the bag to find Esoterica Brighton. It is a shag cut blend of six Virginia Tobaccos which lives up to its name. Smooth and light in color, this fantastic combination will make your mouth water.
I pull the bag up to my face and breath. It is a warm scent. Rewinds the mind to waking up camping in an apple orchard. I think of the way the lightning bugs glow here in the summer. I imagine a glass of wine and fresh-cut bluegrass. Flowers. I smell the telling notes of an old produce patch selling ripe fruits in the hot sun. Oranges and apples and green pears fill my mind as I breathe in. It’s the kind of air that is pregnant with nourishment, even nourishing to the soul because it offers peace.
I run my fingers through the tobacco. It’s somewhat complex for a pure Virginia blend. It feels silky to the touch. Slightly moist. I pinch some between my fingers. It is humid but not too wet to smoke immediately, so I fill the bowl of this goldilocks blend.
The false light gives me more of that beautiful greengrocery stand smell that I crave, mixed with the honeysuckles that grew near the Trailer Park I grew up in as a child. I remember plucking them off and skinning them the way my grandpa taught me so that I could lick the sweet spot. Memory through experience.
The day blooms and the smoke plumes. It is refreshing and wakes me up immediately. I pull my coffee canister from my backpack as the tobacco settles and grab a swig of the magical dark drink.
I tamp, then fuzzy the top of the bowl a little to set it up.
Now it’s time to give it the true burn. Upon lighting, I taste a soft citrus flavor, young oranges, a touch of honey, sunkissed hay, slightly fermented, like walking on a well-lived, old farm during a light rain. A bit of earth and dew float in as I draw. More nectar from the sweet, mysterious flowers near the train tracks. A slight tea flavor and a fruity tang plays with me. I even get a touch of spice in there as I smoke it. A lick of peperoncini? Where does it come from? I honestly don’t know.
I continue the bowl as my eyes rest on the rising sun. The burn is perfect. The smoke is smooth and inviting. It doesn’t bite you, which is excellent for a Virginia. The room note is pleasant and passes the “company test.” If you have company, it is my experience that they invite the aroma.
What an experience! All in all, it takes your expectations for a Virginia blend and exceeds them in spades!
I quietly finish the bowl in peace as my dogs play and the sun inches across the sky. It has been a good day. Time well spent.
Other Tobacco Notes:
Pipe Used: Savinelli Noce 320 (no filter). I find that this blend burns well in a large bowl so long as it has thick walls to take the extra heat from the natural sugars.
Age When Smoked: Fresh From Tin, Dried in a tobacco bag while I walked. If you scoop it into a pouch and go for a lunt, more than likely, it will be ready to smoke when you are.
J.F. Germain & Son Esoterica Brighton Purchased From: Straus Tobacconist
Similar Pipe Tobacco: Germain’s Medium Flake
4/4 Stars. It will Brighten Your Day.
Can’t Find Esoterica Brighton? Try Erinmore Mixture Pipe Tobacco for a similar experience.
|Manufactured By||J.F. Germain & Son|
|Blend Type||Straight Virginia|
|Where to Buy||TobaccoPipes.com|