- $16.99 / 2 oz. jar
- Purchased at Burns Tobacconist
After discovering Briarworks pipe tobaccos in a store all the way out on the west coast last autumn, I was able to get them into Burns Tobacconist, the shop where I work, just in time for Christmas. So far, Briarworks brands have sold very briskly and I’m sure that the Mason-jar-packaging has had something to do with it.
In case you missed my previous reviews, Briarworks is a Nashville-based pipe brand that has turned to Cornell & Diehl (of South Carolina) to produce pipe tobaccos. The Mason jars that Briarworks’ leaf ships in is basically ready for cellaring (the pipe tobacco version of long-term aging) right from the store.
We got several blends in from Briarworks, but the one that intrigued me the most was something called Bacon Old Fashioned. With that name and the porker picture on the front of the jar, it stood to reason that this was a bacon-infused blend. Turns out that it’s more of a “bourbon cocktail” flavor…an Old Fashioned with bacon.
In the jar, the tobacco had an interesting look, mixing golden and reddish leaf with some milk chocolate brown. Most of the leaf was ribbon cut but there was a little rough cut in the mix, as well.
When I first bought this tobacco I smoked it at the shop and again somewhere else after smoking other tobacco in the same day. When I opened the jar for the review, the aroma was much more intense and complex than I had noticed before, arguing that my nose (and probably palate, too) was contaminated earlier. This time I definitely still got the bourbon notes up front and a nice, sweet orange aroma, but for the first time I could really detect the smell of bacon in the mix. And not just a trace in the mix, but fairly prominently.
I fired up the tobacco and the dominant flavor was the orange citrus riding on a light, mild-bodied smoke. A light mix of bourbon and oak notes came in behind that and finally the smoked greasiness of bacon on the finish.
One of my pipe-smoking customers bought a jar of this and suggested that the colder you were able to smoke this the more the bacon flavor would come through. I found that to be definitely true. I packed loosely and puffed less frequently, still able to keep the burn going without hot-boxing it. Sure enough, the porkier qualities came through more clearly.
Bacon Old Fashioned is a nice, light aromatic tobacco. It doesn’t have an in-your-face quality to the flavoring added, instead letting it just lightly play across your palate. I would call it a well-crafted, subtle aromatic blend of tobacco for the more discriminating pipe enthusiast.