First word, STICKY.
The Sutliffe Creme Brulee is a ribbon cut aromatic. Virginia, Burley, and Black Cavendish make up this blend and supposedly flavors of Vanilla, Caramel, and Honey. Oh, and just in case you forgot STICKY.
Ok, now that the biggest problem has been identified let’s smoke. Today we will go largest to smallest so the cob is up first. Obviously the blend is moist so make sure to dry it well. I suggest drying in an open cigar tube. Place however much you are going to smoke in the tube overnight and wake up to a wonderful aroma in the morning. Ok, drying times very, in Houston, this statement is true.
Creme Brulee, is thin on the smoke unless you dry it. If however you prefer to have a gurgling/sizzling pipe, load it fresh. It smokes very slow and cool with zero tongue bite. Flavor? It is mostly Vanilla. There are a few indistinguishable flavors in the background. Normally I can pick something out and really dial in on it, but the Vanilla is just strong enough to overcome my ability. Most Vanilla aromatic blends are mind numbingly vanilla. This blend is more of a just enough to make sure you know it’s there. As for a room note, just more vanilla. Truth be told, the bag note is stronger than the room note.
The ash as you can see is light in color and texture. While this is from a gigantic bowl, there is far less ash than I would have expected.
Next, the Ugly Briar. I would like to note that the strength is light even though the flavor is satisfying. I’m already wanting more and the Cob is not even cold yet.
As to be expected Creme Brulee is a little less sweet in a briar compared to a cob. I’m also noticing a little more gurgling and sizzling. It does not in any way take away from the enjoyment of smoking this blend. I am already convinced that this blend is an all day smoke. The only actual issue is the pre-planning needed to dry out the tobacco adequately. A very slight issue if it can even be termed an issue is the lack of strength. Finding myself wanting to smoke more even before the bowl is cold is a slight disappointment. I am already looking forward to the Clay.
I will admit, I was a little worried about the sticky nature. Clay pipes and sticky tobacco can become an issue quickly. Just watch the crumbs and pack lightly until just before lighting and you should be fine.
I find myself really enjoying the blend. The clay however is bringing more of the vanilla to the front. While it was pleasant in the cob and briar, it is just a little bit stronger than I would prefer in clay. It is not as strong a vanilla as say French Vanilla but the clay brings it near to that level. On to the Meerschaum.
By this point I already knew what to expect. A creamy, smooth, rich flavor that will remind you of dessert. To be honest, the only better Creme Brulee I have ever had is from the Centennial Speakeasy Club in McAllen Texas.
If you are a fan of Vanilla aromatic blends, this should definitely be in your cellar.
Some suggestions, get a large to huge bowl pipe. Buy this blend in bulk. One of the strongest points in its favor is the ability to make what I call pipe lasagna. Use small pinches of Creme Brule and some other pipe tobacco, try to tamp flat each layer. The stickiness of Creme Brulee will help with this technique. Each layer will get you a short burst of flavor and then change to the next flavor. I suggest King Cake and not using a vanilla blend for this. Surprisingly for how sticky this blend is, it does not tar up a pipe and makes for an easily tapped out ash.
In the Binary, this is a 1. From the excellent smoke to the superb flavor there is just about nothing to complain about. Sure it is sticky, but almost all vanilla blends are so it was expected.
Long Lives, Big Bowls, and Long Ashes