By Rod Ellis
Shiloh, a dark and bloody day during a dark and bloody period in US history.
Brother killing brother, kinsmen firing on kinsmen, the fate of the nation and the fate of an entire group of oppressed people hanging in the balance. Union soldiers ultimately won a two-day battle in western Tennessee, one of several turning points in the Civil War.
Shiloh, a blend named for that battle, is created in the spirit of that battle’s aftermath. Old Virginia says of it, “rum and maple, with cured Virginia pipe tobacco were fondly enjoyed by soldiers of both the Blue and the Gray.” Indeed, although I am grateful to have seen no muskets fired today, I must say that I find it a comfort and a cause for contemplation after a day in the battlefields of life.
Aromatics are not my first choice. I like a few, but I find that a very few make it to my list of possible dailies. After several bowls, todays in a church warden Rhodesian crafted from morta wood and dedicated to aromatics, I have added Shiloh to that list.
I find the tin note delightful. It reminds me, gently, of both grandma’s kitchen and granddad’s liquor cabinet. Both forbidden places, yet both a source of stolen moments and secret delights. It is full and flavorful to the sniff, yet kind to the senses.
The room note is equally fine. I’ve tried it in the presence of several others with all saying that they at least liked it and most reporting that they loved it. A couple even asked that I fire up a second bowl.
The taste is delightful to me. The rum and maple are there in distinct portions, but nowhere near dominant. The Virginias provide a sweet backdrop, pleasing corners of my palate that the rum and maple left untouched.
The blend burns well, leaving only a pile of ash at the end of the smoke. I’ve enjoyed it in briar, ceramic, and morta, with the same results in each case. Not once have I noticed any significant bite. If you like rum, maple, and Virginias, and even if you aren’t a fan of aromatics, I commend it to your attention.
Old Virginia Tobacco Company has seven stores operating in the Washington, DC area. You can find them online at www.ovtc.com.
Old Virginia Tobacco Company