Jim's Latest Wilke Reviews.

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JimInks

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With the exception of Gotham Court, the other four tobaccos in this review thread are reissues of old Wilke and Surbrug blends that John Brandt has now made available.

Gotham Court:
The dark fruity, earthy, Virginias also offer a little citrus and grass as the base of the blend, and they are team players. They have a touch of fermentation and the slightest hint of “vinegar” which doesn’t last long at all. The woody, earthy, spicy, leathery, mildly floral, dry and lightly nutty, buttery sweet Orientals provide a fair amount of support. Due to the confluence of ingredients, the tingly spice seems to have the attributes of nutmeg though none is present. There’s a little sugar from the black cavendish, which is a condiment. The mildly applied sweet vanilla topping lightly sublimates the tobaccos. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium while the taste just reaches the medium threshold. The nic-hit is just past the mild level. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with very consistent sweet, lightly savory and spicy flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

Sailor Jack:
The very smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is the star component, and ventures toward lat-bomb with some nuances. The fermented sugary sweet, leathery, woody, lightly floral, creamy maduro cigar leaf is almost a secondary player. The spicy, raisiny, plumy perique is obvious every puff, and plays just below level of the maduro leaf. The grassy, fairly citrusy Virginia is almost a condiment; more often lurking in the background. The strength is in the center of medium to strong, while the taste is full. The nic-hit is almost medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has no roughness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with deeply rich and very consistent sweet and savory flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but you may find you need it more than once a day.

Surbrugs Crystal Palace:
The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is the lead component as well as a team player. The toasty, nutty, earthy, woody burley is in an important support position. The unsweetened brown sugary black cavendish almost plays a secondary role as does the grassy, citrusy, lightly dark fruity Virginias. The plum is more noticeable than the spice from the perique, which continually lurks in the background. The strength barely reaches the medium level while the taste sits squarely on that mark. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite and has no rough edges or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with very consistent, well balanced mildly sweet and lightly savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste, and is can be all day smoke. The sweetness reminds me a little of Balkan Sobranie 759.

TC Black and Gold:
The nutty, earthy, toasty burley is the lead component. The smoky, musty, woody sweet Cyprian latakia plays an important support role. The citrusy, grassy. lightly bready Virginia is a condiment. The sweet and lightly tart vanilla topping tones down the tobaccos a little, but leaves room for the varietals to speak to your taste buds. The strength is a hair past the mild level, while the taste is just short of the center of mild to medium. Has a very mild nic-hit. Won’t bite, and has no rough edges or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a mostly consistent mildly sweet and slightly savory flavor, though the vanilla weakens a tad toward the finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights, and has a pleasant, slightly lingering after taste. An all day smoke.

Wilke No. 111:
The rather floral, herbal, woody, buttery sweet and lightly sour, earthy, moderately spicy Oriental takes a little of the lead. The very nutty, earthy, woody, toasty sweet burley plays an important support role. The grassy, citrusy Virginia is between being a secondary player and a condiment. The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is almost a condiment, and the flavor push it provides rounds out the experience. The strength is mild while the taste is a step or so past mild. The nic-hit is mild. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with well balanced, nuanced, consistent taste that is a little richer than expected given the strength level. Hardly leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a short lived, pleasant after taste. Those looking for a stronger, more Oriental forward blend may find this to be a little light, but not only is this an all day smoke, it is a good starting point for the novice wondering what Orientals can do in a blend without being overwhelmed by their presence. Three and a half stars.
 

Slowroll

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Very good stuff Jim. Damn you, you'll  have me  buying more tobacco.
 

JimInks

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Blackhorse":llng7ft7 said:
Excellent work as always. We greatly appreciate your posting these here. Many thanks.
You're welcome. I thank you for the encouragement and kind words.
 

Hiram-2011

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As a fan of Wilke tobacco, definitely will give these a try. Always love reading your reviews sir. I’m curious if you have tried their 10 Downing St? Believe Lane once had a blend by that name.
 

JimInks

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Hiram-2011":yudt5kyj said:
As a fan of Wilke tobacco, definitely will give these a try.  Always love reading your reviews sir.  I’m curious if you have tried their 10 Downing St?  Believe Lane once had a blend by that name.
I have tried Lane's version, but not Wilke's.
 

JimInks

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Here's two more new blends:

Wilke Surburg Jackson:
The smoky, woody, musty, sweet Cyprian latakia is the most prominent component. The toasty walnut/pecan, earthy, woody, lightly sweet Tennessee burley is a supporting player. The very spicy, plummy, raisiny perique is an important condiment. The yenidje provides wood, earth, some dry floralness, and an “unflavored soda-like” essence, playing around the same level as the perique in terms of its effect. The grassy, citrusy Virginia takes a back seat to the other varietals. The brown sugary black cavendish smooths out the blend a little. The strength level is medium, while the taste is a step past that mark. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite, has few rough edges, and no harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a well balanced, nuanced, rich sweet and savory campfire flavor that never weakens, and translates to the lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Not quite an all day smoke, but veterans used to this kind of mixture will find repeatable with little trouble. Three and a half stars.


Wilke Surburg West Minster:
The Virginia offers a bit of grass and citrus with a touch of darker fruit. It forms the base of the blend. The smoky, very woody, sweet, lightly musty Cyprian latakia takes a little of the lead. The fairly tingly spicy, plummy, lightly raisiny perique is an important condiment. The sugary black cavendish provides some smoothness. The strength is a step past the center of mild to medium, while the taste level falls just short of medium. The nic-hit is just past the mild mark. Won’t bite, and has few rough edges, and no harshness. Burns fairly cool, and very clean with a well balanced, consistent flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a lingering, spicy campfire after taste. Can be an all day smoke.
 

DrumsAndBeer

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Thanks Jim! Awesome work. It looks like John is doing a great job with the Wilke mixtures. I’ll have to give a few of these a go the next time I am in the market for some new blends to try.
 

JimInks

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Next week, John Brandt will be releasing his latest re-release of an old Surburg blend. Here's my review of it.

Wilke Surburg’s 74th Street:
The toasty, nutty, earthy, woody burley is the star component. The grassy, citrusy Virginia plays a support role. The black cavendish adds some brown sugar and a vanilla note. The rich, toasty nougat topping takes a small lead over the chocolate, and the whiskey is more of a background player. The toppings sublimate the tobaccos to a fair extent, with the burley being the most obvious varietal. The strength is a step past the mild level, while the taste is a step past that, just falling short of the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is fairly mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very toasty sweet and slightly savory, consistent flavor that translates to lightly lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl , and requires an average number of relights. An all day smoke with a little character.
 

JimInks

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Corncobcon":u0hbt47n said:
I enjoy reading your reviews. Just what I need, more tobaccos I haven't tried yet! :)
Thanks for the kind words. I have to admit I've been impressed at John's blending skills, and I figure they deserve the attention.
 

Brewdude

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Always great to read your reviews Jim. I have a couple Wilke blends that need revisiting.

Among them Churchill, #78, and Nut Brown Burley. I am given to understand that Nut Brown Burley was discontinued during Carol's last days. Pity that, as it was one of my faves from that blending house. Hopefully John can revive it sometime in the near future as I have but a small amount left.


Cheers,

RR
 

JimInks

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Brewdude":b2bdna9b said:
Always great to read your reviews Jim. I have a couple Wilke blends that need revisiting.

Among them Churchill, #78, and Nut Brown Burley. I am given to understand that Nut Brown Burley was discontinued during Carol's last days. Pity that, as it was one of my faves from that blending house. Hopefully John can revive it sometime in the near future as I have but a small amount left.


Cheers,

RR
I hope to try the Churchill soon. John has looked into reviving NBB, but finding what he needs to make it is problematic as the source no longer exists.
 

wij

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Really great write-ups. Being so new to the pipe world there are so many tobacco's to try and so few smoking hours in the day.
 

Blackhorse

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I remember smoking Churchill years ago. Cigar leaf blend as I recall. Light on the Latakia. I remember thinking it was pretty good stuff.

More than that though, I remember Nut Brown Burley. I used to think that was the best Burley blend anywhere. Out of all the Wilke blends I’d like to get hold of some more of that.
 

JimInks

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Here are my latest Wilke reviews:

Wilke Champlain:
The main component is black cavendish, which is moderately brown sugar sweet, and rather toasty. The grassy, mildly citrusy, bready, lightly honey-like Virginia cavendish is in the background. The vanilla topping has a little richness, but it is lightly applied, and doesn’t sublimate the tobaccos much. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a consistently, mildly toasty sweet flavor. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and needs just a few relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. An all day work and play smoke.

Wilke Churchill:
The smoky, woody, lightly floral, semi-sweet rich Connecticut cigar leaf is the base of the blend, and most obvious component. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is an important secondary player. Competing with it is the nutty, earthy, woody, molasses sweet burley. Sometimes, the two swap positions. The lightly floral, dry, woody, slightly buttery sweet Oriental is a condiment. The grassy, citrusy Virginia is essentially in the background, A few dabs of sugary black cavendish smoothes out potential rough edges. The strength is medium, while the taste just passes that mark. Both start out at little lesser levels, and each gain a couple steps as you go along. The nic-hit is closer to medium than it is to mild. Won’t bite, and has no harsh notes. Well blended with a little nuance, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a fairly consistent flavor that translates to the lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke depending on your proclivity for cigar blends. Three and a half stars.

Wilke Commander:
The nutty, molasses and sugary sweet, earthy, woody Tennessee burley has some richness and is the lead component, but barely so. The brown sugary, lightly toasty black cavendish is a close second. The grassy, citrusy, lightly dark fruity and earthy Virginia is a secondary player. The smoky, woody, sweet Cyprian latakia is just above being a condiment. The strength is just past the mild level, while the taste is a tad stronger. The nic-hit is mild. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no roughness. Well balanced, it burns cool and clean at a slightly more than moderate pace with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. An all day, comfortable smoke.

Wilke Royal Cherry:
The cherry is a little mild, but had a little depth. The lightly grassy, citrusy, dark fruity, earthy Virginia cavendish is more obvious than the sugary black cavendish, but both are in the background due to the cherry topping. The strength is mild, while the taste is a couple steps past that level as it falls short of the center of mild to medium. The nicotine is very mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean, and slightly slow as the tobacco is a tad moist, but I felt no need to dry it. Has a very sweetly consistent flavor all the way to the end. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs a few more than an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. An all day smoke that will hold the attention of cherry aro smokers.

Wilke 8th:
The nutty, earthy, woody, molasses sweet burley is the lead component. The sugary, vanilla black cavendish also has a light toasted quality to it in a strong support role. The vanilla is very light. The grassy, citrus Virginia is way in the background. The raspberry is very mild, but has a little richness just the same. It mildly tones down the tobaccos. The strength is a step past the mild level, while the taste is a step past that. The nic-hit is very mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a regular rate with a very consistent flavor that extended to pleasantly mildly sweet, short lived after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. An all day smoke.

Wilke No. 24:
The very nutty, earthy, woody, molasses sweet, slightly spicy matured burley is the lead component. The granulated and cavendish style Virginias offer a bit of citrus, some grass, and a little dark fruit and earth as a secondary player. The smoky, woody, musty sweet Cyprian latakia is a tad more obvious than the Virginias. The raisiny, plumy spicy perique is an important condiment. The hint of the aromatic Royal Scot does not tone down the tobaccos; it compliments them. The strength is around the center of mild to medium, while the taste barely reaches the medium threshold. The nic-hit is a step past mild. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no rough edges. A fairly well balanced blend that burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a sweet and slightly campfire spicy and savory, mostly consistent flavor that translates to the lightly lingering after taste. Requires an average number of relights. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. An all day smoke.

Wilke No.192:
The burleys provide a bit of nuttiness, wood, earth, some molasses, and hints of floral, spice, and cocoa. They dominate the blend. The toasty aromatic black cavendish has a light touch of vanilla along with a little sugar and and a toasty quality. The strength is mild, while the taste and nic-hit are a step past that level. Won’t bite, but it does have a small rough edge here and there, which aged burleys often do. Burns cool and clean at slightly less than a moderate pace with very consistent flavor all the way to the finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly, short lived after taste. An easy dealt with all day smoke.

Wilke No.622:
The smoky, woody, musty, leathery, sweet Cyprian latakia is the star component and ventures toward lat-bomb territory without hitting that mark. The citrusy, tangy dark fruity, earthy, grassy Virginias play a secondary role. The raisiny, plummy, spicy perique is a lightly more obvious than the Virginias. The strength level is medium, while the taste is in the center of medium and full. The nic-hit is almost medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a rough edge or two, which is not atypical of blends with this much latakia. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deeply rich, very consistent, creamy sweet, campfire flavor that extends to the lingering after taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Not an all day smoke, but it’s repeatable. Not for the novice.
 

JimInks

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Here's my latest Wilke reviews:

Wilke Belmont:
The very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet Tennessee burley is the main component. The smoky, woody, earthy sweet Cyprian latakia is an important condiment. The brown sugary black cavendish also has a touch of toast, and plays just below the level of the latakia. The strength is a step past the mild level,while the taste falls just short of the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is mild, No chance of bite or harshness, and has a light rough edge here and there. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with very consistent nutty sweet and mildly smoky, campfire flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. An easily repeatable all day smoke.

Wilke No. 1:
The brown sugary, lightly toasty black cavendish is the major component. The nutty, earthy, mildly woody, bready burley black and royal scot toppings are mostly condiments. The strength is mild, while the taste is just a step past that level. Has a very mild nic-hit. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a mostly consistent flavor all the way to the finish line. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. An all day, easy going work and play smoke.

Wilke No. 178:
The very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet Tennessee burley is the star here. The brown sugary black cavendish is a background player. The strength is a step past the center of mild to medium, while the taste is just short of the medium threshold. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite, but has a couple rough edges. Burns fairly cool and clean at a moderate rate with a very consistent, mostly one dimensional, no-nonsense flavor. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. An all day smoke.

Wilke Safari:
The smoky, woody, earthy, mildly musty, floral. sweet Cyprian latakia takes the lead with able assistance from the other tobaccos. The very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet, lightly dry and sharp burleys are supporting players. The grassy, citrusy, hay-like Virginia plays just below the level of the burleys. The strength and taste levels are a step or so below medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, but has a rough edge at times, though not enough to be off-putting. That mainly comes from the burleys.Burns fairly cool and clean at the modernte pace with a very consistent, nutty, woody, smoky, campfire flavor that translates to lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and certainly repeatable any time of day for smokers.
 

JimInks

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Here's three more Wilke reviews:

Black Raspberry:
The nutty, toasty, earthy, lightly sweet burley is the lead component. The grassy, citrusy Virginia is a supporting player. The sugary black cavendish is a step below the Virginia. The rich, slightly tart black raspberry topping sublimates the tobaccos quite a bit without drowning them out. It does weaken a tad in the last third of the bowl. The strength is almost in the center of mild to medium, while the taste level is a little closer to medium than it is to mild. The nic-hit is mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a deeply sweet flavor to the end. Leaves little domains in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste and room note. An all day smoke.

No. 172:
The mildly nutty, earthy, woody, lightly sweet burley is a team player, and competes for attention with the very citrusy, grassy, lightly earthy Maryland and Virginia. At times, the burley does beat out the other tobaccos by a slim margin The varietals are processed in the cavendish style. The strength and nic-hit are mild, while the taste level is a hair past that level. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a slightly fast pace with a mostly consistent, mildly sweet flavor. It doesn’t take much work to burn it to ashes. Hardly leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a short lived, pleasant after taste and room note. An all day work and play smoke.

Royal Scot:
The nutty, earthy, woody, toasty burley takes a little of the lead over the grassy, citrusy, mildly dark fruity Virginia. The Carolina doesn’t add anything that is noticeable. The sugary cavendish works with the toasty burley to create a light aromatic pastry note, which some mistake for a topping. I do notice a touch of caramel, though. The strength and nic-hit are mild, and the taste is almost in the center of mild to medium. Won’t bite, and has no rough edges. Burns cool, clean and a little fast with a consistent, mildly sweet flavor to the finish. Hardly leaves any moisture in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. A very easy going all day smoke that also works as a mixer.
 
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