This is probably common knowledge, but did you know that a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses with six full moons in between and no intervening partial lunar eclipses is called a tetrad? Were you aware that there will be eight tetrads this century alone, but there were none at all in the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries? And which of you can tell me how many times in the past twenty-one centuries these tetrads fell on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles? Eight, you say? That’s right!
Very suspicious if you ask me, especially given the blood red hue our moon reflects during these eclipses.
Digging deeper, the Book of Joel is perhaps useful here, where chapter 2 verse 31 elaborates:
“The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”
If you’ve connected the dots as some Christian ministers have, you might right now be very worried that something terrible will happen on the next blood moon. Indeed, the 2014-2015 tetrad was one of the eight described above (those which also coincide with religious holidays), and anticipation brought with it gloomy prognostications and apocalyptic prophesies. Luckily, and unless we are living in an alternate timeline, there was no doomsday in 2015. Which is good, because now we can enjoy this very interesting looking pipe tobacco together.
Cult Blood Red Moon; just look at that tin art. The only thing this tin of tobacco is prophesying to me right now is that I’d better open it and pack a bowl before I scare away any more of my readers. So let’s sit down, have a smoke, and try not to let our expectations get in the way of reality.
Cult Blood Red Moon is a fire-cured Cavendish, Bright Virginia, and Burley blend with:
“the delicious aromas of natural Royal Ann cherry and dark chocolate”
The tin goes on to tout its flavors:
“A bit sweet, extremely rich, and unquestionably smooth.”
Sounds good to me, though the description leaves some ambiguity as to just how much cherry flavor will be within. We know things will be rich, smooth, and a bit sweet, but those descriptions apply to Cavendish and Virginia tobaccos as well.
Anyway, I bought this 50g tin from SmokingPipes.com for $9.25. However, the blend is currently out of stock at both SmokingPipes and PipesAndCigars.com. I am unable to confirm if it is still in production.
After a month in a jar, Cult Blood Red Moon smells just as strong as it did right from the tin. The cherry aroma is sharp and really dominates the initial experience. There is also a sort of artificial quality to the cherry, which may serve as a bad omen to some. Nevertheless, cocoa and a dark chocolate become apparent once senses adapt to the pointy cherry-tart overtone. Deep inhales provide light vanilla tones that are deliciously enticing. The tobaccos are all but eclipsed under the shadow of heavy flavorings, with a penumbra of generic fig-raisin sweetness emerging from the container.
This is very dark and provocative stuff we’re dealing with here.
Moisture levels are now 90% ready for the bowl, owing much to the month spent jarred outside of its balmy tin. I’m particularly taken with the coarse cut and very dark black Cavendish on display here. Just gorgeous. The mixture feels loose and is not overly sticky, creating a pleasurable handling experience.
The first light surprises by bringing more cream and cocoa than cherry. That mild Cavendish sweetness, hinted at by the jar note, arrives early and is very easy on the tongue. Soon after, chocolate covered cherries come out and they are admittedly delicious and round. Where I once held my fears of a sharp, sickly, artificial cherry flavor, there is now only a desire to smoke on.
Hazelnut and a milder sweetness develop near mid bowl, perhaps originating from both the Burley/Virginia content, as well as the added flavorings. This is not entirely unlike Mac Baren’s ubiquitous Original Choice, with its mild, umami-laden, classic aromatic essence and mild tobacco flavors. Just at the halfway point, one can discover vanilla and wafers, both washed down with a cherry cola fizz retrohale.
The second half sees the sweetness darken to caramel. Cherries become more sour at this point, losing their chocolate coverings, but at no point do they present themselves as artificial or too heavily candied. Earthy toffee and coffee balance things and pair wonderfully with Florence tea. The Burley at this end of the pot gets hotter and more dry, but never becomes sooty.
This entire bowl has burned beautifully, evenly, and without any hint of bite. No relights needed, minimal ash management, truly a fantastic smoke. Without a doubt, Cult Blood Red Moon is an easy-to-smoke and delicious blend whose strong aroma and rich appearance offer a (thankfully) false premonition of goopiness.
So when is the next tetrad, you might ask? You’ll have to wait until the 2032-2033 season for that. We’re at least safe until then. Just remember this and you’ll be fine:
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
Or you know, just relax, light up, and wait for whatever will be.
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