“In a hole in a tin there lived an aromatic tobacco…it was a Vauen-tin, and that means comfort”
I apologize. I’ll try to keep the Tolkien memes to a minimum here.
In any case, Vauen’s Auenland: The Shire. A relatively obscure and possibly limited production pipe tobacco inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and commissioned by…well, someone i’m sure. The tin has a perfectly round lid like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass….#%!& I did it again.
Before journeying on, let’s break the seal and hunker down into this German aromatic.
Vauen Auenland: The Shire is described as:
“Virginia Tobacco with various hues and cuts, delicately rounded with black cavendish and a hint of burley. Fruity aromas include juicy oranges and sweet peaches”
If you’ve read my Mail Calls post you’ll know that it was the juicy oranges and sweet peaches that caused me to reach for my wallet here. Speaking of wallets, this stuff was sort of expensive. At least compared to what I normally buy. I bought this 50g tin from SmokingPipes.com for $15.22 USD.
I have read, but cannot confirm, that this is a limited production tobacco, and so maybe that explains the price tag. That said, you can also purchase a shire inspired morning mixture and an evening mixture for the same price.
It could just be really high quality and delicious tobacco. Time will tell.
The tin opening reveals a very pleasant and quite strong cocktail of orange, fig, and raisins. There’s this wonderful, light, peachy aroma upholding the more pronounced fruit-punch. Deep inhales remind me of some variety of scented candle I can never quite put my finger to. Hints of cream infuse the bouquet nicely and offer structure to the mixture. I’m suddenly thirsty for iced tea.
Hay-colored and multifaceted morsels of Virginia, punctuated sparsely by dark flakes of black cavendish, make up the composition here. The (mostly) ribbon material is medium wet and remains slightly sticky even after drying. It feels light and fluffy and loose. An agreeable pinch-and-stuff from the tin, for the pipe smoker on the go.
The first light heralds peaches and cream flavors attended by a mellow, almost vanilla room note. There’s a sharp, orange-citrus tang in the back of the throat and on the tip of the tongue; dual warnings to use a slow cadence and caution ahead if you want to escape unbitten. This top half of the bowl features svelte wisps of smoke and a medium bodied mouthfeel, not unlike a Black-&-Mild cigar.
Out of my Dr. Grabow Westbrook Straight Billiard, The Shire’s manners seem improved after setting aside the pipe’s metal “stinger.”
So far, this tobacco positions itself well into aromatic territory, with only the faintest hint of its Virginia/burley/cavendish underpinning coming up through the incense. The room note has transformed into full-on peach and fruit cocktail.
Very well-sorted aromas going on here.
The second half of the bowl exposes more of the foundation leaves, with the aromatics going murky and falling slightly out of focus. Each sip of my warm “Irish Breakfast” tea brings out the remaining citrus with a complimentary minerality in the back of the throat. A combo I personally recommend for this blend.
The retrohales from this end of the bowl are perfumed nicely, and creamy, like plain chap-stick. Switching off with my companion, I learn that the Savinelli Orient straight brandy shape allows a fruitier and less sharp experience than that offered by the narrow-bowled Dr. Grabow. Though The Shire may chomp out of any pipe should you be too hasty, thoughtful smoking provides a rich experience and keeps any dragons at bay. Very cozy stuff indeed.
Need pipes, tobacco, and supplies? You might be surprised what Amazon has to offer: