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The progression between the stages of this stuff was very slow for me last time, so I'll get through as much of it as I can today. Initially, I'd call it soda plus chocolate, with a vein of something fruit-based that provides a streak of coolness across the warm sweetness, at least for the first few minutes. I think there's both coffee and caramel, a slight nuttiness, and of course tobacco, and I actually like this phase quite a bit because I find there's enough earthiness and dust to cut the sweetness. It's a surprisingly masculine gourmand, and the soda/cola connotations here are OK by my standards because they're more like the cola-flavored Bottle Caps candy, sort of a toned down reference to cola. The overall smoothness of the mixture is rather remarkable, with nothing sticking out and the individual notes blurring into one another. Even the extreme sweetness, which might normally be suffocatingly heavy, stays restrained by the other components for now; it comes across as more of a liqueur sweetness (frangelico, kahlua, and bailey's?) than a candy sweetness. It risks being very potpourri-ish, and as much as I like potpourri, I worry that it would call to mind too many associations with your prim and proper aunt Georgina's elaborate Christmas decorations. Ultimately, the vanilla gets stronger and more insistent very slowly over many hours, and eventually ends up being a bit much for me as the earthier notes fade. A very interesting blend, but I agree that the first hour or two is what's worthwhile.
14th May, 2012