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J F Jermains – Penzance

I tend to not do much research on a new tobacco someoen sends me, it kinda takes the fun out of it. Esoterica Penzance is produced by Germains over in Jersey. It is sold in the UK as Krumble Kake.  Astroman2112 sent me this tin in an exchange we did and i only got to try it the other day.

Blended in : Jersey
Contains : Virginia, Orientals, Turkish & Latakia
Cased/Top : None

Pipe : Gauntleys (Dunhill Made) Curved Prince

I was at Stansted Airport  for my trip to meet Pierre Morel.With a few hours to kill & before i was assumed to be drug smuggler i had a quick bowl. When Astroman sent me this one he warned me to dry it out a  little bit. Planning to take this blend i left the tin open a good 30 hours, which in my slightly damp (cheap) rented house isn’t a problem. Looks mouldy and smells it. Got the same fusty aroma as RJ perique with some fire cured hints.Packing easy just crumble in bowl. Light took a few goes with tamps.

Smooth and creamy some coffee notes. Smoky but less than aroma lets on. Sweetness is very nice, the Virginias and the latakia work in perfect harmony. Has a lingering sour cream note especially on finish, the Turkish works very well. The burn while being ridiculously smooth and cool, tended to go out a few times. With a few gentle tamps, relights and air control techniques i got it going eventually. The coffee notes subsided a little and the sour cream grew to become a bigger component to the mix.

Becomes a little more spicier in the second half, with hints of coffee bean, cinnamon among others. The sweetness from the Virginias and Latakia is carrying it own. The sourness seems to teetering over the edge of a bitter abyss, never falls until the (bitter) end.  Carries a decent amount of Nicotine, enough for a cigarette smoker like me. I also inhaled a few draws and it bearable, for a while im guessing! As the bowl came to it climax the smoke became a little more complex, the strong smoky aroma of Latakia came through, more brighter virginia lemons & hay. The sour Turkish became a little bitter but a small fraction. Then i went a bit Hot and nasty, mainly due to my dribbling and curved stem.

I really did enjoy this first smoke, it has some great flavours. I love the mixture and its sweet & sour taste, smooth and cool. In most respects i cant really find fault with it. It burns well and really, REALLY tastes good. Isnt so rich or strong  you can’t smoke it all day long. So is it a perfect tobacco?? In one respect it isn’t, i can only say its needs a little more Latakia. I dont care for it in small does, i love the full blown fire cured taste ( a little to much sometimes). But thats all i can say i would change with the blend. Even so its still going way up there in my favourites list.


Posted in Pipe Tobacco Reviews


  • Hi, Can you help? I am looking to buy Esoterica Tobacciana, Pembroke, and Cherry Bomb.

  • As far as i know you can only buy those in the states, i have no idea who there stock them though.

  • Germains Esoterica blends are notoriously difficult to find here in the States, as the production is quite small and the demand quite high. However, you can keep an eye out at these websites: iwanries.com, 4noggins.com, smokingpipes.com, cupojoes.com, and lilbrown.com- where they’re listed under the Butera brand. When a website posts some for sale, they’re usually gone in a matter of hours, if not minutes, and the shops usually limit the amount you can purchase, so stock up if you catch them being offered! Conversely, you could make a friend in the States who likes St. Bruno or Condor or, God forbid, Clan.

  • Thanks Shane, I got mine trading tea & tobacco for it. very glad I did

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