Jim's P&W 515 Review

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JimInks

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I'm posting my review of what is becoming a favorite tobacco of mine. Pipeworks and Wilke's #515 is the blend Basil Rathbone smoked. The more I smoke it, the more I like it.
Here's my review: This blend took me a little time to figure out how I felt about it. It's not as sweet as I expected, and has a floral essence that may not suit some smokers. There's a light vanilla note that plays well with the spicy rum flavor, which is moderate in strength. I suspect a touch of coumarin or deer tongue is present, too, which would account for the floral notes and vanilla, though black cavendish also accounts for the vanilla. The Virginia is hay-like, grassy, lightly sweet, and as another reviewer suspected, is of the flue cured variety. It may bite if puffed at a fast rate, but it does burn well, even, and leaves no moisture. The room note is sweet and floral.

Having smoked a bit of it now, I'm reminded a little of Germain's Plum Cake. Both must use a similar type of dark spice rum. An interesting change of pace smoke for me, though I have found myself wanting to smoke a bowl a day since I started smoking it. I consider this to be a blend one has to work one's way into to enjoy. If you get used to the floral flavor -which isn't very strong - you'll like it. If you don't, well, you probably won't.
 

RobJ

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Thanks for another well written and informative review Jim!

This blend sounds like it might be right in my wheel house with Autumn coming on. I'll order up 8 oz. So far your reviews have not led me astray and I thank you for that sir.

Interesting that in these modern times they don't offer online purchases though there are security advantages to doing business over the phone.

http://vtpipes.com/tobacco.html
 

DrumsAndBeer

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I recently placed an order with Carole at P&W and it's a pleasure to do business with her. I'll have to order a sample of this blend the next time around.
 

RobJ

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I just got off the phone with Carol, ordered up The No. 515 and a little Rumcake for the Holidays. What a pleasant person to order from and chat with. If her blends are anywhere near as nice as she is I will not be disappointed. :D

I also told her about BoB and Jim's review; I suspect she'll drop by when she has time.

RJ
 

Wet Dottle

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No. 515 is ok, but Rumcake is the one I really like. It's my favorite aromatic blend. You made a good choice, RJ.
 

motie2

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Can someone educate me on the difference between Wilke Rumcake and Wilke #515?
Both are described as Basil Rathbone's blend....
 

JimInks

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Can someone educate me on the difference between Wilke Rumcake and Wilke #515?
Both are described as Basil Rathbone's blend....
Rumcake is based on #515, which is the blend Rathbone smoked. Rumcake has less nuance and a deeper rum flavor.
 

JimInks

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@JimInks when you say "floral" do you mean lakeland, or more like the traditional floral like Ernie did in his recent Elf Dandruff blend?
Traditional, but not like Elf Dandruff, which has rose geranium. Btw, I revised that review three or four years ago, so go by the current version, and not the older one.

The lightly spicy, richly sweet, slightly floral Jamaican rum topping, which is moderate in strength, sublimates the tobaccos quite a bit, though it doesn’t totally drown them out. The flue cured Virginia is hay-like, grassy, floral, and lightly tart and tangy citrusy, with a touch of tangy dark fruit. It takes a bare lead over the sugary, vanilla-ish black cavendish. The strength is a couple of steps past the mild mark, while the taste is just past the center of mild to medium. Has a very mild nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh, and has no rough edges. Well blended, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves almost no moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. The lightly lingering, pleasant after taste and room note are sweet. An all day smoke, one which was favored by actor Basil Rathbone.
 
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