The tin description:
The confluence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers create Charleston Harbor, the most important port in the antebellum South. Following trade winds, goods flowed to points north and, especially, across the Atlantic to the great British ports of call. Commemorating the Cooper River’s contribution to world trade, we have selected choice Orientals and Cyprian Latakia to accent a base of fine Bright Leaf and Red Virginias to create this exceptional medium English Flake.
Inside a Tin of Low Country Cooper
Low Country Cooper is an English Flake consisting of the standard Virginia, Latakia, and Oriental leaf pressed and sliced. Cornell and Diehl provide the component tobaccos and manufacturing. The recipe itself is the creation of the folks behind Smokingpipes.com and its sister store Low Country Pipe & Cigar in South Carolina.
This English blend is brilliant for its balance as much as anything. When it comes to English blends there is really nothing new under the sun as we talk about ingredients. The blender’s expertise shines when he can balance those ingredients to create complexity and showcase the strengths of the component tobaccos and the interplay between them. That’s exactly what happened with Low Country Cooper and makes this a remarkable blend.
The “Choice Orientals” in combination with a harmonious balance of Latakia and Virginia launched Low Country Cooper to the top echelon of my list of favorite English blends. The Orientals here are amazingly delicious. There’s a certain saltiness that makes my mouth water along with leather and herbal notes. The Cyprian Latakia is obvious but not overdone and the Virginias linger between tart and sweet.
The blend has body and substance without being heavy. I can and do smoke this all day or any time of day. There’s enough complexity for devoted attention to a meditative smoke while also being well behaved enough to share my focus with a book, movie, or work on the computer. This blend works well for me in a variety of roles.
The nicotine strength is, again, moderate and satisfying. I experience no tongue bite and the burning characteristics are superb straight from the tin. I have experimented with various filling methods such as folding the flake, air pocket, etc but find rubbing the flakes out works best to my personal tastes. This is the case for me with any flake tobacco so I suspect pipe smokers who prefer folding and stuffing other flakes will prefer Cooper prepared that way.
I imagine a few years age will be good for Low Country Cooper but I must stress that I have not had any older than a few months and can say a fresh tin is not to be missed. Buy some for now and buy some to cellar.
Be sure to pick up several tins – a couple to age and you’ll want to pop one right now. Cooper is available at Smokingpipes.com. Reviews on the rest of the Low Country tobaccos are coming soon. Maybe you’ll want to add those to your order as well. Spoiler: I found them all superb!
Have you smoked this blend? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments.