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 Dunhill Durbar

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: Dunhill Durbar   Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:19 am

A couple of weeks ago I received a couple of tins of Durbar, considered to be an Oriental. Thought I would try my hand at a review. Here goes...

The tin: The tin is round with a much appreciated screw top. It was definitely well sealed with slight depression on the top of the tin. The label is pretty non-descript in an old fashioned way. A muted yellow with Durbar in blue outline. Simple and straightforward...I wondered if that was a foreshadowing of things to come.

Tin note: After the opening the lid you find the tobacco well packaged inside a paper insert with a card paper on top. On the card paper is a sepia colored sketch of a tobacco leaf. The smell of the tobacco in the tin is a pungent burst of smokey and peaty latakia. It very much reminded me of the first time I opened a tin of Squadron Leader. Whew...I thought. This is something rich.

Tobacco consistency: The tobacco cut is a shag cut and for those of you familiar with Dunhill I would say that this one of the more rustic of their offerings. The lengths and widths of the shag pieces vary considerably with a few rather large pieces here and there.
The colour of the tobacco tends towards the darker side of things. Black and tan shades dominate with strands here and there of a beige colour which I presume is the orientals.
Digging in I was surprised to find the tobacco is quite moist. The most moist I have ever found a Dunhill to be upon opening the tin. I dug out an amount for a medium sized bowl and set it aside for some drying. 20 minutes later I still found it quite moist.

The smoke: Loading up the pipe, the tobacco was considerably moist so it was pretty tight when the packing was done. After a charring light I gave it a good scorching and off we went.
The first 1/3rd of the bowl was a steamy affair due to the moisture. However, it was tasty. From the get go it was a real mouthful of latakia, dark and spicy. As things progressed, it remained spicy. While 965 has a forward lat note with a background of sweetness, Durbar has a forward lat note with a background of spice brought on by the orientals. Nothing cool about this one, it is strong and assertive with every puff.
The second 1/3rd of the bowl remained the same. By then I had begun to acquaint myself with this new tobacco. But I still wasn't sure whether I was enjoying it or not. I love EMP and while there were some similarities between the two, this Durbar was much more of a mouthful.
The last 1/3rd of the bowl was when the flavor of this tobacco reached full force. For any of you that have enjoyed Skiff you may have found like me that at the end of the bowl the tobaccos seem to have melded into a harmony producing something akin to incense. This was in no way like that, instead the tobaccos seemed to be competing with one another...at least that is how it felt on my tongue. What an experience, i thought.

Finish: 20 minutes after finishing my bowl of Durbar, I have a strong residual flavor lurking in my mouth. I might say that the flavor in my mouth is akin to the smell of the tobacco itself in the tin...peaty, smoky and dark. I like that, because some tobaccos, as wonderful as they are can leave your mouth 20 minutes later like that of an ashtray. Durbar is not like that, long after you have finished your bowl a good 20 to 30 minutes of enjoyment remains.

Conclusion: Dunhill always like to describe their tobaccos as being for "the experienced smoker". I always shrug that off and dive in. With Durbar though I would say that there is some merit in that description. It is a meaty and hearty mixture of rich latakia and spicy orientals that definitely takes some getting used to. I have now smoked about 4 bowls of it and the experience continues to differ. Sometimes it sends me running for the tameness of EMP and sometimes I'm totally at one one with its heaviness.

Would I recommend it? If you enjoyed Squadron Leader then you should definitely check out Durbar. I won't say they taste the same because they don't. However they are certainly in the same realm so to smoke both would give you a deeper realization of each of them individually.

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Age : 72
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Dunhill Durbar   Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:33 pm

Durbar is one of my favorite blends. I have several tins, covering the gamut from original Dunhill to Murray's to Orlik, etc. I haven't smoked it in quite a while, as I am mainly "attacking" a whole bunch of well-aged jarred tobacco. I just may have to try a little after reading your fine review. cheers FTRPLT
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Age : 73
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Dunhill Durbar   Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:40 pm

Durbar was a blend of Dunhill's which I only had when it was made by McConell, then Murray's and have to say that Orlik/STG has done a GREAT job of re-creating the overall properties of this wonderful mid-range Balkan that I remember. I have several tins in the closet so to speak and usually have at least 2 bowls of it a week. I use the term "mid-range" as my fave Balkan from years ago was 759 which was MUCH stronger than Durbar, mainly in the Latakia area! Twisted Evil Your review was spot on and I hope it will inspire others to give this EXCELENT offering from Orlik/STG a try !! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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