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I picked up Grousemoor simply because it was the only Sam Gawith blend available when I put in my last order. Now I know why it's always the last of the Gawith blends to go! When I had finished that first bowl, I threw the tin in my smoking cabinet.
The hoarders had rushed to pick up all the more popular blends and I found myself curious about these hints of "lemongrass" spelled out in the tin description and thrown out there by reviewers. I'm not even sure what the hell it is, but I love to seek out new flavors, and this sounded interesting--especially after reading the very polarizing reviews. I figured, if they ever outlaw tobacco, I'll probably finish that tin. Over the course of a few weeks I'd pull many blends out of that cabinet, and I would grow increasingly drawn to that beautiful tin art and that strange scent.
When I cracked open that tin for the first time, I must admit, the scent was bizarre. It was, to me, the British equivalent of Mixture No. I found myself popping the lid, and taking gentle whiffs of that odd Grousemoor aroma.
It wasn't the same floral note of the more traditional Lakeland tobaccos, Kendal Flake and the like. The tobacco was a beautiful bright golden color, lighter even than many of the golden Virginia blends I have smoked. Those gentle whiffs became greedy gulps of intoxicating air, and that led to the inevitable and more frequent "occasional" smokes.
I was quite excited, actually, because this looked like something I had never seen or imagined, and I was optimistic that the flavor would follow that uncharacteristic path. I started with bowls in my smallest pipe, nothing more than ten minute concentrated smokes.
I said all of these things, liberally spiced with more colorful language.
I swore I wouldn't allow this tobacco to ghost one of my larger pipes.
But as I continued with greater frequency in my experimentation, I found that I required larger bowls--to explore the nuances of Grousemoor, and isolate this "lemongrass" note that people kept mentioning.
That sweet, oddly addicting additive kept me intrigued. Well, this has been an educational experience, and in my budding studies, I learned that the blend was also sold as a plug--an absolutely beautiful brick of bombastic blending!
I didn't even care about the lightness, the lack of nicotine. I wondered what the hell a grouse was, and learned it was a very swift bird, hunted by the British for game. I will hunt this tobacco with the ferocity of a man chasing wild game. I will shoot you with my shotgun if you people turn Grousemoor into an endangered species!
Grouse-Moor is a very often maligned tobacco and this is simply not fair.
It is a carefully produced blend of the finest ingredients and a consistent blending tradition going back over two hundred years.
I would proffer that the reason so many would thumb their noses at it is because it is the sort of blend that we serious pipemen are told to shy away from because it is not laden with manly amounts of Latakia or smoky stoved Virginia.