Quickie Pipe Tobacco Review: Stanwell Vanilla

Stanwell Vanilla picStanwell Vanilla is a lightly cased aromatic tobacco that provides an enjoyably subtle vanilla flavor and sidestream aroma.

The tin holds an attractive array of light golden tans to deep browns in this blend of Dark Cavendish, Burley, Virginia and Turkish. To me, the tin note has a sharp vanilla scent, and something about it “stung” my nostrils at my first whiff. My example is not at all sticky and seems  just right for loading. I set aside a bowl’s worth to air for a good 15 minutes before filling my Stanwell #118 (with filter) and lighting up.

The vanilla makes its first muted presence known with the charring light and sticks around, drifting in and out from start to finish. I find it takes me a couple of false lights before getting the pipe going, but once going, it burns easily. The gentle “breathing with the pipe” technique, letting the smolders set their own pace, is to me the most satisfying way to coax flavor from this blend.

The nice, not too sweet, vanilla comes into its fullest beginning around mid-bowl, along with some other sweeter taste — maybe the Virginias? The sour of the Turkish provides a smoothing balance to the flavor profile. About the final third of the bowl, the Burley comes through with its toasty nuttiness. Stanwell Vanilla smokes down to a generally grey ash and leaves a dry bowl. With Vanilla, I do not experience that “candle-wax” sensation in smell or taste as I do with Stanwell Melange. Vanilla also leaves less of an aftertaste than does its apricot sibling.

Stanwell Vanilla is a light smoke in its flavor, nicotine, and in its room note. As I’m currently looking for an aromatic that fits certain criteria, Vanilla would fit the bill if only it had a bit more”oomph” in its flavor. Granted, I’ve been smoking it with a 9mm charcoal filter, which is bound to subdue its tastiness, but I choose to smoke aromatics with a filter, so in the smoke I’m looking for, the flavor essences must get through.

I recommend Stanwell Vanilla to someone who would enjoy a light, natural vanilla tasting tobacco. At its price point, it offers good value.

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