After reading this post, I remembered that sometime ago, I had purchased a tin of this blend, but had never sampled it. Looking through the cellar, actually a 4 tier bookcase, I found the tin in question deep at the back on the top shelf and decided now would be a good time for a taste.
The code on the bottom of the tin says "350803", so I am guessing this tin to be from August of 2003. Figuring the age probably dampened the aroma of the tin, I was not suprised that the opening was not accompanied by the aroma you described. I found that there was a very mild spice smell accompanied by a slight astrincency, almost a vinegary smell.
The tobacco was still fairly moist, not wet, mind you, but more moist than I prefer, so I set about 2 bowls worth out on a small dish to dry for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the tobacco was just beginning to take on a slight crispiness on top, so I loaded it into a small cherrywood, about a size3 or 4 bowl, and applied a match.
After the char, the bowl took a good light and smoked to the botton with only a re-light a little pst the 1/2 way mark.
The smoke had a slight sweetness to it with a musty smokiness which I would expect from a va/lat blend. The taste overall was, I felt, more subdued than I get from most virginias and not as complex as I had expected, but none the less, satisfying.
I found that the blend is very easy to sip, which makes it ideal, for me, as I enjoy reading while smoking. As it required so little attention I was able to enjoy it while reading, with subtle occassional notes of the flavor slipping into my concentration.
Though I don't see this blend usurping any of the blends that I usually smoke, it is a nice change of pace. The remainder of the 100 gram tin fit nicely into two small Ball jars and will remain available for future enjoyment.