This is a fantastic blend – a standard among the Balkan genre.
I note with satisfaction after reviewing Greg’s own comments on this blend that the special sweetness of Abingdon had not escaped me when I did the video review. While maybe the “fullest” in the “Classic Collection,” to my taste, Caravan by Greg Pease comes on a bit stronger. Nonetheless, this is a blend I reserve for times I can focus my attention and enjoy it. I find Abingdon abundantly satisfying in every way – especially for the richness of flavor. This is a benchmark Balkan blend. Great pipe tobacco that shouldn’t be lost among Greg’s more recent achievements.
From Greg Pease’s web site:
Abingdon is the fullest Balkan style blend in the collection. It is rich and robust, powerful and forthright, yet still posessing subtlety and finesse. Dark flavours of wood and leather mingle with delicate undercurrents of sweetness, and deep earthy notes, while the oriental tobaccos provide hints of their verdant, sometimes herbaceous character. A big Balkan blend, reminding us once more of what these blends used to be. Because of the high percentge of dark and oriental tobaccos, it’s recommended to pack Abingdon a little less firmly than you might a lighter blend.
Opulent and intriguing! Rich, smoky Cyprian Latakia and a variety of wonderful Oriental tobaccos set the stage for this blend. Lemon and Red Virginias provide support, while adding a hint of sweetness. Finally, just a touch of air cured leaf is added for a slightly fuller body. Caravan is full and exotic; rich and spicy. A classic Balkan style blend with a special touch.
Richer English and Balkan blends of this type are not a genre that rank among my favorites, but Caravan has the missionary zeal that sparks a conversion experience with every bowl. I believe Caravan contains more Oriental leaf than any of the other Pease blends, and what a remarkable presentation. There’s a mouth-watering rich spiciness up front bound to the brisk smokiness from the Latakia. A combination of Virginias in small measure provide a little moral support.
Sometimes a pipeful of tobacco is a nice accompaniment while I read or write, but Caravan is not the pipe tobacco for that purpose. For me, smoking a bowl of Caravan is the experience. It asks for and receives my undivided attention.
Caravan burns nicely, remaining lit well, and produces generous amounts of smoke to savor. The big flavor does not bring palate fatigue or leave an after-taste.
Caravan has been around since Spring of 2001 and is from the G.L. Pease “Original Mixtures” collection.