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Dubai – Day 1+2 (Wed 15th + Thurs 16th Sept)

Before i set of, i had the plan to only spend 1700dh(UAE) in the Duty free. After looking at how much everything costs over here, i was going to reduce that to 2 boxes. But that wasn’t my first worry, the main issue was me not being able to smoke for 7-8 hours plus. After hearing about others who have had there “E-Cigs” taken from them i had to do something different. 4 Days before i flew out here, Jack from Wilsons came into the shop. He had an interesting new line to show me. “Similar – Smokeless Cigarettes” , so i grabbed 2 packs when they came in(which was JUST IN TIME) and a few sample packs of the Oliver Twist Arctic and Royal (Dutch style chewing/smokeless tobacco).

Similar Smokeless Cigarettes

They cost just over £5 for 10. Each “Cigarette” is made from a hollow foam tube, with a small amount of Liquid Nicotine (0.8mg) on a smaller foam strip inside the outer foam. By inhaling you get a hit of Nicotine vapour, apparently the same as a draw on a regular cigarette. Unlike the E-Cigs there is no artificial smoke, so it just looks like your pretending to smoke an unlit Snout. I did have my doubts about these, so i gave one a whirl in the shop. I had not long had a strong roll up, so lady N was already playing her soothing game in my head. After a few “puffs” i could feel the nicotine, heart started to speed up and i felt lady N really enjoying her self. SO far so good.My first issue with these similar cigarettes, was if anyone at passport/security saw them at either end (E-Cigs are banned in the UAE). But no one battered an eyelid at the battered pack in my personal belongings. By the time the flight took off, i had already wedged a piece of Twist in my gob, so it was a good 2 hours into the flight before i gave one another try.They have an add smell, its like the cartridges form the E-Cigs. A very chemical smell, but the smell isn’t in the taste, heck there is no taste. The lack of flavour makes these a little hard to use, the only way you can tell you are getting a hit is the air on your tongue through the tube. They work, its not the same as a real ciggy, but its no different to the E Cigs. You get the Nicotine and the fingers stay busy with the cigarette. But like the E-Cigs it doesn’t have the taste! Each E-Cig kept the craving at bay(for those who know me, i don’t like Nicotine withdrawal…AT ALL)

Oliver Twist

I have never really been a big fan of “Smokeless/Chewing” tobacco, my first problem was i chewed the stuff rather than leaving it to slowly absorb through my gum. So with the long journey coming up i have been training my self to use the Arctic twist. I can now manage to keep it in there for just over 30 mins before i get sick of the of Nicotine burn. Out of the Oliva twist i had only really given the Arctic a try, so i figured hey the Royal (Liquorice) must be worth a shot. I alternated the use of the Similar Smokeless Cigarette and some twsit. The Arctic is flavoured to be Menthol. As soon as you sick a pellet in front of your gum, you get the strong mentholy/minty chewing gum burn and flavour. This lasts for about 20 minutes, then you need to give it either a poke or a few chews. By this point the Mentholy flavours have gone and you are left with the taste of rich and strong plain twist flavour. I did make the mistake of chewing a little to much at one point…..YUM!!!!…..Thank the gods that i had some soft mints. After being in the air for 4-5 hours i tried the Royal, and you know what…….Its damn nice, the liquorice flavours with the tobacco blend well. The flavour wasn’t really artificial, more like having a stick of liquorice root in your mouth. The flavours lasted longer even after a good 40 mins, i could still taste the liquorice. It did need a little chewing to build it up again, but unlike the arctic remained flavoursome till for the 40 mins.

The effects of the Twist produced more nicotine compared to the Smokless Cigs, but unlike the Smokeless Cigs there’s no sensation of smoking a ciggy(Yes i know its not supposed to be, but im not a chewy kinda guy!). The twist stops the body from from heating up and making you want to slash out and hit the sleeping guy next to you.

After the hell of the 7 hours flight came Dubai’s amazing passport control, which I’m sure took a good hour and a half! Once i was through that it was off to the Duty free. “Oh hells yeah”. There humidor was large, very well kept. It did feel a little to cold and dry in there, but then again it was 30 degrees and about 199% Humidity outside(yeah that high, honest gov!). My plan was to get at least(if i could) a box of Le Hoyo – Des Dieux and hopefully a box of the Punch Royal Selection No 11 (Corona Gorda). I found a box of Punch RS no 12. Smaller than the No11′s but hopefully the same blend. There is only the No11 on the market in the UK and these have now been discontinued at the Factory. As well as those 2 cab boxes, i grabbed a 10 cab of the Hoyo – Epicure Especial. Some rolling, pipe and American style dipping snuff.

My treats! (prices done at 5 dh to the £1, its better than that but 5-1 is easy innit)

10 x Hoyo – Epicure Especial (£75 = 378dh)
25 x Punch Royal Selection NO 12  (£94 = 473dh)
25 x La Hoyo – Des Dieux  (£141 = 707dh)
5 x Flor De Cano – Petit Corona  (£8 = 40dh)
5 x 50g Amphora Red  (£8.80 = 378dh)
5 x Skoal Long Cut (£6.80 = 34dh)
1 x Don Antonio ‘Red Edition’ – Churchill (£2.00 = 10dh)
1 x 40g Rolon – Mango Rolling Tobacco (£1.20 = 6dh)
1 x 40g Rolon - Full Flavour Rolling Tobacco (£1.20 = 6dh)

All this came to 1698.00 Dh, which on a budget of 1700 is damn good, considering i though it had gone over by a fair few hundred. All ther cigars and now open baccy are being kept in a large humidified bag, fingers crossed they work as well as the smaller ones do.

Now i say this is day 1, but to be honest we didn’t sleep on the plane so Wednesday and Thursday are just one day ;)

Rolon – Mango

The pack reminds me of some of the Mac Baren pipe tobccos(cant recall which as its not one I stock). On opening the pouch I was greeted with a rich and very sweet Mango scent, as much aroma as you would expect from a pipe counterpart. The cut is very fine, a few little bits of stem. On the whole it looks like a Pure Virginia blend, very light in colour. Rolls very easily, although the packing is pants. For £1.20 for 40g I want it to be prefect!!!! But the real treat was the smoke it self, the light blend made for a an easy smoke! The added flavours really are sweet, it just goes to show how the UK’s anti additives have ruined the flavoured tobacco market. I think this tobacco is as light as Pueblo/American Spirit but as flavoursome as the Bagpipers Dream I cant stop raving about! Going to try the Full Flavour blend soon, but I am expecting a cross between Old Holbourn and AK Dark. Not my normal cup of tea! But i do like some dark tobacco from time to time

All in all the Rolon tobacco really took me back! I was expecting something like the Domingo you find in Europe, but no its a smooth as a mouse, with added flavour! Sorry everyone in the UK i havnt found a tobacco that is as flavoursome as this.

I did also smoke a Flor Da Cano – Petit Corona, but due to me lighting up about 10 mins before we left to go have a few to many beers. I then made the same mistake of relighting out side, only to put it out 3 mins later as we came to the bar next door. I will have to smoke another now to find out if the final 2/3 taste as good smoked straight through without relighting twice in a 5 min period.

Amphora – Full Aroma

Now i never tried Amphora before we lost it a good 4-5 years ago. I have smoked Kendals Red, which was blended with help from the guys/gals from the PCoL(Pipe Club of London). So when i saw them in the Duty Free i figured, well here’s your chance. I dont mind aromatics, just a shame i brought my Parker sand blast full bent which i normally use for Latakia and Perique blends. OH WELL. So after too much beer and the enjoyment of smoking INSIDE an English sport bar. The pouch aroma reminds me of a fruity cake with a hint of either liquorice or a some typical Dutch RYO (Drum or Samson). The cut is typical shag, long thick strands. The packs says “Full bodied with a fruit blossom, subtle Vanilla undertones compliment the Chocolatey burley while the Kentucky, Oriental and Virginia grade leaves combine for a fruity and well rounded smoke” Looking at this tobacco, that a lot of people would give there first born son for it looks a lot darker compared to the Red.  I filled my new favourite pipe (bargain at £24.95) and lit the bad boy up. I was first greeted with a rich and fruity smoke that seemed to be cool and smooth. She did take a little faffing about ( i didn’t bring a pipe tool….me=tool) i managed to pack it a little tighter and away she went. The bowl did get VERY hot quickly but again the smoke remained cool, i do like that pipe (can you tell??) after about 1/2 the bowl the tobacco became bitter but still witha  hint of fruit. The Kentucky’s came through in the flavour, i couldn’t really detect the Orientals.

Its not a bad tobacco, but i dont think its one for me! I do like Aromatics but i found this got far to bitter, much like some flavoured cigars do. Still it wouldn’t turn down a bowl if i was offered.  (you will have to forgive the short review, i was drunk!).

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