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 Viking Dark vs. Black Magic

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Blackhorse
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Age : 70
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PostSubject: Viking Dark vs. Black Magic   Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:40 pm

Doing a quick google search on one or the other of these excellent, dark, natural, non-menthol blends will likely result in at least one or more threads dealing with the question...are they the same thing.

I won't go through all the history here. Suffice it to say that they are both made by Sam Gawith and as items like this will, I guess they vary a bit from batch to batch. But some guys say they are identical items, others say not...but very close.

To me, they are close, but not the same blend. I have a tin of each open right now... side by side. The Viking Dark has a distinctly smokey aspect that is missing in Black Magic. Black Magic has a distinct sweet barnyard aspect that is missing in Viking Dark. So sez my nose, anyway. Or, maybe it's that the smokey notes in Viking Dark are masking the barnyard-ish-ness. Whatever. In my batches the two are definitely different.

Aside from different, I lean toward Black Magic...just for the flavor, as I prefer non-smokey. Giving a nod to the pipe side, the Viking Black is more like Gawith Dark Flake Unscented. Both are easy to manage, being medium grind and moist-ish. Both have that great SG sealed 50 g tin and let out that a little whoosh of air when first opened...their badge of freshness. Certainly it's easy to see why both have legions of loyal followers out there. For anyone seeking straight dark tobacco flavors It literally doesn't get any better than these. Oh...and they both have a hefty dose of the N factory...definitely satisfying.

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idbowman

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PostSubject: Re: Viking Dark vs. Black Magic   Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:46 am

Blackhorse wrote:
Both are easy to manage, being medium grind and moist-ish..

For me, it's the perfect grind/moisture combo. It took some work, but I'm at the point where I can comfortably manage everything from fine toasts (although ultra-fines like White Elephant still give me trouble) to the very course moist Black Rappe without a hassle - but my very favorite is Viking Dark/Black Magic sort of grind. A lot of Sam Gawith's scented blends come the same way (Black Coffee is another stable in my diet), so I turn that direction more and more often.

I do disagree on one point though - my nose calls 'em the same blend. Then again, I read they were the same blend before I tried the Black Magic, so there's always the power of suggestion.


And on a down note - the names of Viking Dark and Black Magic are supremely unfortunate for forum users. Prone to short-hand and abbreviations as we are, we're almost compelled to type the names in their entirety, lest we carry on a discussion about how much we love our VD and enjoy a nice BM.
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Blackhorse
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PostSubject: Re: Viking Dark vs. Black Magic   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:02 am

Re: the great "same blend" controversy, certainly one of the burning issues of our time...read five reviews and you will get 2 - 3 comments that users have noticed batch to batch variations in the level of smokiness in the VDark. That would make a side by side comparison of V Dark and B Magic sort of 'batch dependent'. I've seen side by side photos where the difference in darkness was really noticeable.

Right now, with the tins I have in hand, the V Dark in more like Gawith Dark Flake and the B Magic is more like a 50/50 blend of Dark Flake and FVF.

Well, whatever...again, both excellent in all regards.

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