Finck Tobacco Company

414 Vera Cruz, P.O. Box 831007
San Antonio, TX 78283-1007

A tobacco company located in San Antonio, Texas which seems to focus a bit more on cigars than pipe tobacco. Thanks to Spiffyng for providing me with these samples!

Cream of Cherries
This appears to be a similar tobacco blend as Danish Vanilla, but with a cherry casing. It seems to be a Virginia cavendish base with a fair amount of light burley added to lighten it up and increase the nicotine content, without overshadowing too much the basic cavendish base. It starts out seeming quite mild, but gets a little tangy as one smokes onward, but then smooths ou t a little later on while the flavour burns off a bit. Given this, I suspect that with prolonged smoking, this might be a bit of a tongue-biter for some folks. It is a fairly dry, natural feeling tobacco, although I do detect a slight oiliness. The cherry casing is prominent, but not overwhelming, nor sticky-sweet, and it strikes a decent balance with the to bacco itself in as much as a cherry aromatic can or should do such a thing. You *can* taste the tobacco through it to a certain degree, but it's not a tobacco with a lot of character by any means. While smoking, I find I taste much of the cherry flavour though I don't smell it all that much. In fact, when smoke rolls off the top of the pipe over to my nose, it smells more like a light tobacco than a fruity scent, perhaps because my taste-buds are running the sensory show at that point. A pretty satisfying smoke, whether or not you like aromatics. As one might expect, the room aroma is a gently sweet cherry and tobacco aroma that I can't imagine any bystander complaining about. '94

Danish Vanilla
Here's a medium-cut medium to dark brown blend with a fairly strong vanilla aroma in the pouch, and which leaves a nice nutty vanilla tobacco aroma in the room when smoked. It appears to contain both Cavendish and burley, so it has a fairly light body and a bit of that burley bite. This isn't an overly sweetened tobacco, which satisfies one criterion for my taste buds, and it smokes reasonably (but not completely) dry. There is something lacking in the depth of its flavour to me, though. After mid-bowl, it begins to progressively lose some of its flavour and become sharper. It's that type of aromatic that easily becomes bitter if smoked at all fast. It's a refreshing, not a heavy tobacco, that I definitely find smokable, but just not interesting. For me, Three Star China Black Vanilla Burley is similar, but far superior. '95

Generic Captain Black
Well... this does remind me a lot of Captain Black, just like it's supposed to I guess, but without the humidity, stickiness and ultra-soft feeling of the tobac on the fingers. And it does burn clean and pretty dry (though not to the fine, dry-ash stage of an English blend), even though I hear the occasional sizzle of moisture as I get further on with my smoke. So, on that level, I would immediately say that it's better. However, not being a Captain Black smoker myself, I feel far from competent in comparing it to the "real thing." Although the flavour here is similar, it strikes me as not quite as strong (and overpowering), nor as rich and creamy. As I've smoked my way through this sample, I've had various impressions of it, sometimes better, sometimes worse. At times I get the impression that the base tobacco (a reddish-brown and black mixture) isn't quite as smooth-smoking as I remembered Captain Black to be, and as some of the smoke flutters up my nose, it seems to be a little stronger at certain moments than I expect. As with many cased cavendishes, some of the flavour seems to disappear after 1/2 bowl or so, leaving a less interesting, slightly stale taste as the dominant flavour. At times, I've detected a bitter note that I didn't particularly care for. I also find it tends to smoke a bit hot toward the bottom of the pipe and leave a small amount of bite, despite its general mildness. I enjoy an occasional aromatic smoke, but this isn't one that I'll be looking for again—not because it's bad, just that I haven't been able to find anything exceptional about it. I know it's very inexpensive, so perhaps any negative observations I have can be justified by the price. It's still a satisfying smoke with a nice sweet taste (at least at first) and that smells absolutely wonderful, even though I don't find the intense vanilla aroma to linger nearly as long as the real Captain Black. I think I preferred the real thing. '95

Imperial Chocolate
A contrasting blend of reddish brown, yellowish brown and black in a medium cut. Upon lighting up, it's apparent that this is a very smooth smoke with good body and that it contains more nicotine than its easy-going character would suggest. Even though I'm not really an aficionado of aromatic blends, I'm attracted to the idea of a good chocolate tobacco. After all, the dark English blends that I enjoy so much are quite chocolate-like at times: rich, dark, full-flavoured and slightly bitter. In comparison, this blend is more like a creamy milk-chocolate. Its rich-sweet balance is about the same as a piece of good milk-chocolate: it's not sweet enough to taste candy-like, which is a plus for me. However, quite frankly, I'm not sure I would have been able to identify the actual flavour as chocolate if I wasn't already aware of what it was. The chocolate flavour seems to come through more in the aroma than in the taste and at times I taste a secondary flavour like vanilla (or is it just the base tobaccos?) coming through that isn't quite as rich, nor as good. As with many aromatics, it loses flavour somewhat toward the bottom of the bowl, but this being an aromatic of reasonable quality, it doesn't get bitter or sour-tasting. Aside from this, it's a pretty consistent smoke from start to end. This tobacco doesn't smoke as dry as my English blends, but at least it doesn't create an unpleasant, major wetness at the bottom of the bowl. It burns well, but not fast, making for pleasant smoking. '95