Dark Birdseye by Gawith and Hoggarth

Blender’s description:

Manufactured from dark leaf ‘whole leaf’, rather than strips the mid rib (or stem) gives the “birds eye” effect. A strong smoke which was particularly favoured by the fishermen, as the finer cut mean the tobacco was easier to light and to keep in on board ship.

While I am not a stranger to the Lakeland tobaccos, most of what I’ve smoked has been the perfumed stuff. Dark Birdseye has none of the added scent allowing unadulterated exposure to these fabulous dark tobaccos.

The description says “strong smoke.” Believe it. I have a pretty substantial tolerance for nicotine but I can feel the effects before I’ve smoked a third of the bowl. Dark Birdseye is best smoked on a full stomach.

The taste is out of this world. For some reason, pipe tobacco of this type hasn’t seen a lot of popularity in America. This will be an unfamiliar experience for those who haven’t tried Lakeland tobaccos. It comes on strong from first match and holds its dimensions of flavor throughout the bowl.

I pick up something along the lines of cedar wood with cigarish notes atop a body that is very earthy and full. The room note is probably not pleasant for others, but I pick up a lot of the fragrant nuances in the side stream smoke as I puff and the bowl smolders.

There is no tongue bite whatsoever. The strength of the blend deters a heavy smoking cadence anyway. The shag cut, also rare among pipe tobacco commonly smoked in the U.S. takes a bit of getting used to. This is a good candidate for the air pocket method of filling the pipe. You may also want to try it in a smaller bowl.

If you have smoked this, please leave your thoughts on this blend in the comments below.