Necessity is the mother of invention. So it came to be that when McClelland sadly closed its doors, I began a search for a blend-match to their unusual smoking mixture called Balkan Beauty. Mountain Mystic was born.
I woke up this morning with a craving for a bit of that Syrian leaf. As far as blends that are currently produced, there aren’t many who still have Syrian Latakia in them. The vanishing crop has caused the numbers to dwindle to a trickle, unfortunately.
Luckily Brebbia still has some in the warehouse, and I happily snagged some tins of their Brebbia Latakia Flake no 9.
It’s 5 in the morning on a Wednesday, and I just woke up. I reach for my pipe, wondering already what I am going to smoke. I want something that will wake me up and warm my core. Something citrusy, with a springtime feel, is looming in my future. I reach for an aged can of Wessex Gold Virginia Flake.
I step off the stagecoach and find myself back in front of the old bookshop I’d left so far in the past. Catching my reflection in a rippled rain puddle I see that everything about me has changed over the years, everything but one. I pull my grandfather’s pipe from my breast pocket and wedge it in my teeth.
J.F. Germain & Son’s Medium Flake is a tobacco you’ve likely seen around, but I’m often surprised at how few people I’ve met have tried it.
Upon opening the tin, I’m greeted with a beautiful presentation. A nice stack of shuffled yellow-brown flakes, slightly moist to the touch. I set a bowl-full aside to dry for an hour.
The tin note is sweet and citrusy with a hint of scattered hay, sliced oranges, and lemons. A light note of dried tea leaf meanders in and out as well. My mouth begins to water at the beautiful aroma.