W. O. Larsen 1864 Perfect Mixture

W. O. Larsen 1864 Perfect Mixture. A wonderfully packaged tobacco from this subsidiary of the Scandinavian Tobacco Group, and the same folks who brought us the most exclusive pipe tobacco in the world. I mean, just look at that tin. It’s marvelous and mysterious and monolithic, and very glossy. Like an Egyptian tomb painted piano black.

1864’s perfect packaging was enough for a sucker like me to click add to cart, and I did, but then I read the reviews. It seems this is one well-regarded pile of leaves we’re dealing with here. I had to find out for myself, of course, so let’s unearth the blend within this treasured tobacco sarcophagus and see what’s what.


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You’ll get no vacuum “hiss” from 1864; inside is a heat sealed bag not unlike those used to preserve coffee. It’s gold, too.

THE BASICS:

1864 Perfect Mixture is a black cavendish/burley/Virginia blend described as:

“The balanced Virginia tobaccos are blended with fermented black cavendish and premium burley from the USA, Malawi and Mexico…A seductive flavor is added to ensure a generous and delicate taste – truely a Perfect Mixture from Larsen.” [1]

A “seductive flavor”? I love seductive flavors. At least, I think I do. Tobacco Reviews elaborates:

“Amaretto, Cocoa / Chocolate, Coffee, Fruit / Citrus, Orange, Whisky”

Wow. “Seductive” may be accurate here, though we could have a case of too many cooks in the kitchen. In either case, I purchased a 100g tin from SmokingPipes.com for $16.09, an absolute steal that defies 1864’s ostentatious presentation. Currently out of stock there, one can find it at PipesAndCigars.com for a few cents extra. As far as I can discern, this mixture is still being produced, so check your favorite retailer should you be so inclined.


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A whiff from this jar is downright mouthwatering.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

The tin (jar?) note rises, bringing with it vanilla and amaretto aromas up front. There’s chocolate too, a creamy but also dark variety. Light and bright citrus pop up near the end of a deep inhale. The tobacco is not completely buried, as Virginia sweetness stitches all the aromas together nicely. I am unable to detect any of the claimed “whisky” incense, though perhaps my senses are too coarse to unlock such treasure.

Out of the tin, I’m remembering, 1864 Perfect Mixture was 95% ready to smoke. After a month in a large flip-top jar, the leaves now emerge 100% prepared for the bowl. Preferably a wide-mouthed bowl to properly capture and distill the mixture to your taste buds. The light, leafy ribbons of Virginia are speckled through and through with dark, chunky strips of cavendish.


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A handsome collection of tobaccos, to be sure.

THE SMOKE:

The first light offers creamy milk chocolate and vanilla with a pleasant sour-citrus flavor near the back of the throat. The retrohales here are more sweet than spicy, very cool and providing a tough-to-describe menagerie of scents. The room becomes incensed with hazelnuts and chocolate, the same sticky aroma that now coats one’s mouth and tongue.

It’s likely that some will say Larsen has gone too far here.

It’s definite, however, that this blend’s cream and citrus notes complement any hot black tea wonderfully. The sweet and sour come together and get along very well, while coffee flavors hide beneath the dark fruit and citrus.

1864 Perfect Mixture will 100% bite the hurried and hot-headed smoker. Small nibbles escort even the most cautious of puffs: admonishments that discipline must be exercised here. If the bite demands discipline, the reward for heeding is without doubt the high-quality Virginia tobacco sweetness and the richly-layered aromatic bouquet.


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A fine looking tobacco tin propping up a fine looking Savinelli Orient.

The second half sees the flavors merging further. Pepper is added to the mix, but it never seems to overcome that creamy sweetness that dominated the first half. Coffee flavors finally come out into the light, and one discovers that they are the dark roasted variety. Very well sorted. Very well blended.

It’s hard not to recommend this blend, particularly for the experienced and patient smoker. For them, the reasonably priced 1864 can be an all day smoke, or even one worthy of special-occasion-only usage. Newbies, on the contrary, may be left with a sore tongue and a bad taste in their mouths. W. O. Larsen’s 1864 Perfect Mixture is not quite perfect, but is among the most pleasantly flavored blends in my collection.

Need pipes, tobacco, and supplies? You might be surprised what Amazon has to offer:

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