Many begin pipe smoking with Aromatics and later begin smoking English blends.
There comes a point with some pipe smokers when Aromatic tobacco is simply not as satisfying as an English blend. There seems to be an evolution of the palate making English blends preferable over Aromatics.
While this happens naturally with some smokers, many find themselves struggling to acquire a taste for Latakia, Perique, and Orientals (primary English tobaccos). They want to have a more distinguished appreciation and taste for the tobacco’s, but they just seem to be too harsh. People need a way to transition from light to heavy smoking that will not destroy their mouth, palate, and nose.
The Savinelli English Mixture is the perfect stepping stone for the aromatic smoker to take into the English universe.
Instantly, this tin lets off a very subtle, yet complex aroma.
The hints of burning cedar are very strong, some very light hints of pine, and this is all represented with a background of mellow sweetness, almost like dark chocolate.
I also noticed that the oil content was very high. This tobacco was pressed upon being stored in the tin, and there was large amount of oil residue on the paper inside the tin. This acts as a warning to smokers with sensitive palates to the possibility of tongue bite.
The Savinelli English Mixture (SEM) runs 30% Latakia, 60% Burley, and 10% Virginia tobacco (by my own estimation). This make-up will give the SEM the deep taste of English, while it is kept accountable to the sweet burley that is twice as prevalent.
SEM is a course cut tobacco, which happens to be my favorite cut.
This tobacco is incredibly easy to pack and light. However, I did notice that a large amount of stems were present in my tin. That is a little annoying to deal with, but in the bigger picture of the quality of SEM, it is no big deal.
There were no prevalent flavors detectable in this blend.
The strongest note (not that strong at all) was of burning cedar on a backdrop of subtle sweetness. I have read other reviews of this tobacco and some seem to detect a scotch flavor. I could not. I suspect that these people are just connecting the taste of cedar in SEM to the taste of barrels that you find in finer scotches.
SEM had an incredibly smooth ribbon. The flow of smoke over the tongue was so smooth for an English blend, I had to stop and remind myself that I was smoking some Latakia!
One thing that caught my attention with this blend was the fact that I experienced no bite! With all the oil residue in the packaging, I expected to really feel the tobacco after the smoke. The conclusion I arrived at is this: for young English smokers, you may very well get some bite; but for those used to the heavy blends, I doubt it will have a serious effect.
Overall, the smoking experience was fantastic!
If you happened to live in a log cabin, or a house that has a large functional fireplace, then you will not be able to detect the room note, because it smells exactly like burning cedar.
Personally, I do not recommend smoking this blend indoors, unless you just prefer your living space to smell like a fire. The aroma is just too distinguished and tends to absorb itself well in your surroundings.
The note is tolerable, but not desirable.
One of the more bizarre comments I read about SEM is that it smells like cupcakes.
To be honest, this is absurd, there is no hint of cupcakes or icing.
In order to be fair, I tried this blend with a vanilla cupcake and homemade buttercream icing. And to my surprise, the combination made complete sense and worked wonderfully.
A warm cupcake with perfectly made smooth icing seems to bring a strong sweetness out of the tobacco, but at the same time the bold smokey flavor is not diminished.
This blend is tricky to rate in terms of strength. For the new English smokers it will seem medium and full flavored. While for everyday English smoker it will seems very light to mild with a small amount of flavor.
The Savinelli English Mixture is a Mild/Mild-Medium smoke.
This may seem too specific, but there is no better way to rate it. I believe that this blend will have a different strength for almost everyone that smokes it.
I loved this blend, I truly did.
Not only do I believe this blend is the perfect blend for the Aromatic smoker who wants to enjoy English, but it is the perfect tobacco for the English smoker who wants a break from strong overpowering blends.
Overall I give this blend a 7 out of 10.
Sure this blend may have a few minor flaws, such as too many stems or strong tongue bite for the beginner, but there is nothing bad about this tobacco.
I will buy it again and will always have a tin in the cellar.
Tobacco provided by Tobacco Pipes for the purpose of an un-bias review.