Al Barudi Blend Smoking Impressions & Setup
Having smoking this amazing product several times I am finally able to give some impressions how it smokes and how to set it up.
The Al Barudi Blend is a old fashioned spiced moassel and like so many of such products the best way to describe it is complicated and nuanced. Ones first impression is the aroma of mints and spices and that the Al Barudi Blend is a good deal wetter then what I am used to as far as traditional moassels go. As a result, I decided to pack it in a vortex bowl and let it acclimate a bit before smoking and discovered that the aroma became both more subtle and complicated after 30 minutes with vanilla/tobacco/honey elements becoming noticeable but far from assertive.
Smoking the Al Barudi blend is a sublime exercise for one’s palate with a wide range of flavors present with nothing dominating the profile. Along with the numerous tobacco flavours I detected a myriad of spices, mints, vanilla, something coffee like, cedar, honey and molasses. Very complicated, very rich and extremely heavy, this Spring Seasonal is like nothing else.
As mentioned earlier the Al Barudi Blend is very moist and when I let it acclimate for 30 minutes the aroma profile changed for the better. I don’t know if it’s necessary to do this but I feel it added something to the session so I’d recommend it.
In terms of bowls I’ve found that traditional brands like Shooting Star don’t work well at all in Egyptian or mod type bowls. Instead, I’d recommend that these sorts of products be used in a funnel or vortex. As an aside, I always use a scali mod with my funnel as it reduces the bowl volume and, more importantly, improves air flow and vaporization making for a more flavorful smoke. When packing the bowl I suggest doing so loosely and “fluffing” the moassel leaving about 3 or 4mm of space from the rim empty.
In terms of hole patterns I suggest columns consisting of 4 small, pin holes evenly spaced once every 3/8" U.S.
A product as fine as this deserves top quality coals so I use a natural finger coal broken into 4 even sized pieces. Heat management is a fairly simply matter of moving the coals about every 5-7 minutes.
Like all Shooting Star products the Al Barduri blend is much stronger then the typical American style candy/fruit/yuppie drink type product and if you do a Hoover imitation when smoking it you’ll wind up flat on back and hating life. Smoke this stuff as if it was a prized cigar to be enjoyed at the end of a demanding yet rewarding day. Since this is a very nuanced product you’ll miss a lot of what it has to offer if you smoke it when distracted. Smoke when you have some time alone and on a full stomach with out the distractions of phones, computers, music, sex, booze, friends, family etc. if you want to really get the maximum out of it.