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 New Bengal Slices - a quick review

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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Wed May 25, 2016 10:32 am

New Bengal Slices

Where to begin… Well, I know this tobacco intimately - yes the original version from mid to late 70's. I smoked literally a truckload and no exaggeration. My other daily smoke - and that was truckloads - was the original Balkan Sobranie 759 Black label. That was all I smoked from the 60's onward. Everyone claims that Fusilier's Ration is close and Lancer's Slices is close and even another weird one I forgot blended by a guy in Boston I believe it was ---that one sucked - tainted my good briar with some foo-foo 65 yr. old old lady floral perfume. Disgusting. The fusilier's first batch was an attempt - and fresh and moist unlike the dried out stuff that came out later. still far from the mark - the cavendish didn't belong there. Lancer's that was off mark too. The new Bengal Slices I have to say was the closest thing yet but still needs work to get closer to the real deal. No offense to Russ - he did a spectacular job; but the cavendish again pops up - and the tobacco is dry - needed some moistness for my likes. Not sure why so dry - drying tobacco out removes the volatile oils which make the taste and aroma and the total package. The aroma is getting more close to the real Bengal, but still too floral and not incensey which was the magical quality of Bengal. The deep dark sensuous smell and aroma and taste of that mystical Latakia is missing. There is a medium high note in the New Bengal that is bitey to me and burns my mouth and is out of character along with the cavendish in comparison to the original Bengal. Again why cavendish in this????? Beats me - though I remember Russ telling me why re: fuislier's. Another well-known tobacco master told me the original Bengal was Original Balkan Sobranie White Label with a topping pressed and that was it. He actually told me the name of the topping which I no longer remember. No use to me. So - no cavendish. Those are some weak points to me; however, I have to say this is the closest thing I have ever had to the original. Kudos to Russ!!! In the ballpark - just has to tune it up. He did more than I could ever have attempted so I shouldn't be so critical; but when that was a passion of mine daily for so many years - I miss it so damn much. I would rate this easily 4.5 out of 5 stars. The tin note is interesting as is the room note; but the depth of the latakia is missing and that incense scent is just not quite there. People talk of floral and 'soapy'. Damn???? Maybe on Mars. The real Bengal was incense plain and clear.
This is definitely a very interesting tobacco and as stated earlier - the 'closest thing' you will find to the original. Nice work Russ!

Oh - I went through 1 1/4 tins of it and smoked it in 2 nice Meers. Had it with water, Porter, Pale Ale, good coffees, and Burgundian wine - and smoked it from very early A.M. to later at night.


Despite my love of bengal i do not like flavorings and aromatics. I have been a die-hard Gaslight dude since it first came out and probably went through 15 lbs of it already
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Wed May 25, 2016 10:56 am

Can't wait to pop the one tin I have of the new stuff. I have had the original decades ago, but can't recall what I liked about it. I am not that particular about slight variance in blends, so maybe it will work for me. Thanks for the review.
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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: Re: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Wed May 25, 2016 11:28 am

i do not think you will be let down. Enjoy!
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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: Re: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Thu May 26, 2016 10:27 am

just an update - after the 2nd tin i need to change the 4.5 to just 4. also I decided I will not get anymore of this - Too bad. Just not quite there and too bitey in the mix there.
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:18 pm

Is there anyway to tell if a tin is from the old formula, prior to Russ getting access to the actual recipe? Does the new formula have any different markings, dates, etc?
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: New Bengal Slices - a quick review   Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:46 pm

Well...anyways...

A few pipes in, and I have to say I'm disappointed in the newest version of Bengal Slices.  I know Russ likes a drier tobacco, and while I appreciate it from a buying weight as a customer perspective, which is HUGE to what I consider a pricey habit, I often don't agree with the flavor benefit of it.  Like the OP stated, this needs a bit more moisture.  If you think you're going to crack open a new tin and get full benefit, I don't find that to be the case.  Doesn't rub out very well in its arrived dry state, either.  It wants to crumble into tiny particles, which I do not like.

I do find this to be a nice tobacco.  Good flavor.  Some complexity in the flavor.  In that moderate range of flavor strength.  It is somewhat smokey, too.  So, it falls short in these respects:  1)  flavor strength  2)  smokiness  3)  floral, or incense if you will, signature Bengal flavor  4)  robust English vibe.  If the tin label hadn't said "Bengal Slices", I wouldn't have known this was supposed to be Bengal Slices.  Not really at all.

Soapiness, incense, floral...call it what you will.  One of the unique and great things about original Bengal Slices was how it hit the front 1/3 tip of your tongue (folks who know more about how we experience and process flavors can help here) and the roof of your mouth.  It wasn't quite a numbing effect.  It sparked activity in those taste regions; almost maybe like a buzzing of the buds.  There was the traditional smoke and tasting of tobacco in the back of your mouth and sinuses, but then you had this other thing happening as well.  The combination of the two provided this truly robust experience.  You were getting walloped from all sides.  I didn't get any of that from this tobacco, not the sensation or the flavor.  It was really sort of saddening, because with access to the original recipe and such, I thought this was going to be IT.  Nope.

So far, from what I've experienced, if you want to get as close to Bengal Slices as possible, you have to go to Paul Bonacquisti's Park-Lane Bengal to find it.  He has a great jump on everyone else.
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