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Smithdale Shade Breva

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Last August, I salted away some stix I scored at the 150 year old FX Smith factory in McSherrystown PA. I was convinced they would be improved by age. I was right. I am pulling them out now and smoking them attentively, one by one, with the intention of wrapping one or two varieties in Habano leaves from the seeds goldy threw into Rain's pros versus joes pass. I handed the seeds today to the green thumb who will raise them in her garden.

Today I sparked the Smithdale Shade Breva. It;s a pale milk chocolate colored stick, about 4 1/2 by 46, I estimate. Here's a pic:

Unlit, it has a pleasant earthy tobacco odor. Slight salty leather taste. Not too veiny mottled wrap. Tight construction. These come with a punch hole in the business end; but this one would not draw through the hole. When I cut the end, I encountered a atemmy shard that was plugging the hole. Tight draw.

Tough to light. But the draw loosened up once I bit into the head. Smoke was plentiful, mild, earthy, and aromatic, with a super clean finish. Burn was very patient. I was busy in the garage and playing with the woodpile, so I would put it down for three or four minutes at a time, and no problem. It gave me a clean honest Connecticut flavor with a fine aroma and good manners. The ash fell short. Being as I am a dumb a$$, I set it down on a stump while I was splitting wood, and I sent a split hunk of firewood right onto it, whacking the cherry off. But it re-lit and burnt evenly. Despite the small size and wasted cherry, I got a good hour out of it -- not bad for a breva. I am still enjoying a pleasant stink finger now.

Was it a special experience? No. But you know what? If this thing cost six bucks and came with a fancy band and a fine clean wrapper, you would think this was a real decent Conny. For a breva which costs just five bits, I think it would make a real good candidate for a re-wrap. You would have to suppose that a tasty habano wrapper would have full opportunity to shine and not get overpowered. It's a clean and honest smoke deserving of a make-over.

I give it three stars.

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


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