The second of the Old Ones I decided to try was Amphora original. There are numerous flavors of Amphora, but this is the original blend and probably the one I remember from the 70s.
The aroma from the bag is absolutely wonderful, if you love tobacco. My wife doesn’t think much of it in comparison to something like BCA or 1-Q, but it’s got a lot less topping than those. I suppose technically it’s an aromatic, but mostly it’s tobacco, and lots of it.
I let this air out for an hour or so – maybe less – before loading up the Savinelli Bing’s Favorite and lightning up. The flavor is definitely stronger than the Half & Half, not too strong, and with virtually no bite on the tongue or in the nose. Now, I’m not experienced enough to know which flavor is burley and which is Virginia and which is Oriental, but the flavor is nothing at all like the H&H. It’s a little more “exotic”, I suppose you’d say. I like it, but I also noted that it seems to have a higher nicotine content than most blends I’ve been smoking. I could feel the nicotine a bit, though nothing like Bayou Morning (thank heaven).
I also noted that it stays lit better, I think, than anything else I’ve tried so far. I was fully halfway through the bowl before I needed to relight. The ash is quite fine and the smell of it reminds me of a fine Cuban cigar. Just the ash, not the smoke. It seems to burn evenly and not too hot.
Will Amphora be my new best friend and daily smoke? Probably not. Will I keep some on hand and enjoy it fairly regularly? Probably, yes. I can see it as one to enjoy when I’ve got the time to sit down and really enjoy a pipe.
As I write this, the pipe is sitting on the table a little over half smoked. I’ll finish it off in the morning and see how it does then. It’s really quite nice and I’m looking forward to it.
Update: The rest of the bowl didn’t disappoint. I tried another bowl a couple of days later in the Paterson Kildare, and it was quite nice as well. It burned to the bottom of the bowl with no excess moisture and not too many relights. It likes to be tamped a little tight to burn well.