OK, I tried it again. My first experience with Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey didn’t end well. Tonight I loaded up my MM Country Gentleman cob with another bowl, no filter, and gave it a smoke. It was fine, all the way to the end.
Next time I’ll dry it a little less, and load a little bigger bowl. It is, in my humble opinion, pretty unremarkable. I didn’t get anything resembling a Bourbon flavor to it, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that either my palate is utterly undeveloped (or just unrefined) or I just can’t taste anything. People post tasting notes on tobacco and booze like they’re wine connoisseurs. I see claims of getting notes of chocolate, citrus, figs, plums, and so on. To me it tastes like pipe tobacco. There was a time many many years ago when I sometimes smoked Sobranie Black & Gold cigarettes; in those I could taste chocolate and spice. In pipe tobaccos… whiskeys… nope. Well, except for certain Islay Scotch. Iodine, Band-Aids, rusted sea anchors, for sure. And there’s a Latakia blend that I can taste some resinous Mediterranean or Middle Eastern woods. The more subtle points, though, escape me. Maybe I just need to be clubbed over the head to notice a flavor.
Late October 2022 update: The more I smoke of this stuff, the less I like it. I’ve got at least an ounce left, so I’ll try a few different approaches before writing it off completely, but of all the aromatics I’ve tried, this one keep disappointing me. It seems really easy to get a “scorched” taste that is really unpleasant. I don’t know if it’s too much topping that burns too hot, or what. I’ll try it in different pipes, and see if I can slow down my cadence enough to enjoy it, but so far it’s not been worth the effort. There’s no hint of Bourbon taste or anything close to it, and if it’s not going to live up to its name I’d rather be smoking 1-Q or something reliable.