Friday, November 9, 2012

Hearth & Home -- Egg Nog

Brand: Hearth & Home
Blend: Egg Nog
Style: Aromatic
Pipe Used: Savinelli Oscar Natural # 313
Price: $6.59/1.5oz.
Appearance: 8
Taste: 5
Room Note: 7
Value: 7
Overall: 6

Unlike many pipesters who look down their noses at aromatic tobaccos I've always enjoyed and appreciated the various flavors and aromas that can only be found in this type of blend.  Sometimes you just want to smoke and smell sweet cherries, butterscotch candy, and perhaps some holiday egg nog.

As much as I like aromatics I'm even more smitten by seasonal, AKA Christmas, blends and look forward to each year's new offerings as well as regular favorites.  While placing an order for Hearth & Home's Fusilier's Ration (run, don't walk, and order some tins right now...I'll wait) I decided to give their tasty-sounding Egg Nog blend a try.

The tobacco in the tin was a nice looking ribbon cut blend of black and brown tobaccos and had a pleasant, but not overpowering, aroma of cinnamon and other holiday spices.  I quickly loaded up my dedicated aromatic pipe, lit the bowl, and was off and smoking.

On the positive side the blend smoked cleanly and coolly all the way to the bottom of the bowl and never once bit or gurgled even with my usual overzealous pipe smoking.  The room aroma was also nice though a bit subdued for my taste.

As for the taste it was, in a word, forgetful.  Advertised as having rum, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors all I got out of this blend was some very light tobacco topped with just a hint of vanilla and the barest dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I was expecting a real "Ho-ho-ho here comes Santa!" over-the-top aromatic experience like that found in McClelland's superb Holiday Spirit.  Instead I found myself smoking bowl after bowl of well-behaved, yet ultimately bland, tobacco.

Hearth & Home's Egg Nog features great smoking characteristics and has a nice aroma but it just doesn't pack enough flavor to break into my aromatics rotation. I didn't dislike it but there are so many more enjoyable offerings out there that I can't see myself bothering with Egg Nog in the future.

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