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Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

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  #1  
Old January 23rd, 2010, 09:55 AM
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Default Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

My Local Lebanese market, in addition to making hideously awesome Falafel and Kebabs and stocking some of the weirdest pickled fruits/vegetables I've ever seen, sells a fairly decent variety of Moassel of the Nakhla/Hennawy persuasion, as well as several knockoff KM and Mya hookahs. (I've spoken to the co-owner, and as soon as they sell the clones off, they're getting the real deal. Can't wait!) On my last occasion to stop by, for small talk and a couple bottles of Aloe Vera King, I noticed they had gotten a new shipment of tobacco in. As my friends here always sell 250 grams for a paltry six dollars, I decided to restock my NDA, as well as buy a box of Nakhla Mint, since I use that as a mixer in almost all my fruity shisha bowls. I noticed a rather unadorned Nakhla box on the shelf, and thought to myself, "That's the Zaghloul Light. Madwolf and the crew made that stuff sound tasty, I'll pick up a box as well." Twenty bucks lighter and 750 grams of tobacco heavier, I made my way to my boyfriend's house, where the Hookah lives.

A day passes, a couple of bowls are smoked, many online matches of Modern Warefare 2 are played. I finally look over at the Gladware container of the black, mildly sticky smokable, and decide to follow Gothkid's Zaghloul prep, in order to try it. For me, personally, adding honey, glycerin, et. al. for any reason except to rejuvenate older shisha is kind of defeating the purpose, so the concept of just packing it and burning it appealed to me. I'm a mellow, let-it-slide kind of guy, and if it was blah after a bowl or four, I'd chuck it out and chalk it up to experience.

Putting the shisha into my chocolate brown Egyptian bowl in the method outlined in the video (http://www.hookahpro.com/forum/video...s&videoid=2115), I took the petite little red Mya clone out on the balcony, and fired up a trio of my Starlight Coconut coals on the burner. (http://www.starlightcharcoal.com)

After said coals were blazin' hot, I dropped them into my coal carrier, a cute little 3-inch Lodge cast iron skillet, and took them outside. The weather is still a bit chilly at night, but not so that you have to wear a coat. One of the virtues of living on the beach, I suppose, but in any case, I applied coals, sans foil, to the mound of black tobacco. Pressing them down into the Zaghloul until I hear a crispy cooking sound, I begin to Hoover the almighty hell out of it, to get it going.

The first thing I notice is that the flavour is very similar to English-style pipe tobacco, especially those with Latakia. Any pipe smoker knows of what I speak, but it was a lot...subtler. I was actually surprised at how smooth it was, considering all the build-up I'd heard about the unflavored shishas.
The second thing I found to be true is that it does not produce much smoke. I've always been of the belief that flavor is of paramount importance in tobacco, even before I began the noble art, and so this didn't distress me. Being fond of the flavor made it doubly good.
The heat management of the uncovered moassel was blissfully simple. You could essentially throw the coals at the stuff and get a good result. As a hookah smoker that isn't fond of finicky, easily burnt brands, it makes me wonder why people would willfully choose to smoke something that has to be constantly tended to and coddled, when more traditional brands just take the heat offered and give smoke and flavor back.

After this nice late-night bowl, taken with a cup of hot Assam tea and Arabic music on the stereo, Zaghloul struck me as a shisha that someone would enjoy with intimate friends, perhaps in front of a fire, or while reading a classic book by one's self. As of late, I've been...growing up, in my shisha wants, shunning fruity flavours for spicy and/or more complex ones. I think this would be a fine blender for something like Cinnamon, Vanilla, or even Apple/DA, as its subtle spiciness would complement more, heh, adult palates.

All in all, I will be enjoying this Nakhla 'flavor' again. Next bowl I think I'll blend 50/50 with NDA, and foil it up, to see how it goes. I see no reason why anyone who likes Nakhla in general, or even smoking a pipe, shouldn't give this blend a try.

Postscript: I didn't really intend this as a review, merely my own personal experience with Zaghloul, but yet it seems to have the tone of one. Nevertheless, I'm posting it in the Discussions board, because it doesn't follow the review format.
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  #2  
Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

This was Zaghloul Light? Try the regular Zag. If your after more traditional tastes, go for Desi Murli, I think you will find it to be just what your after.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

That is why I love Zaghloul. It is something to relax and enjoy.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Excellent write up! Really liked how you told everything from beginning to end. It really made the whole experience interesting and entices the reader to to want to try Zaghloul.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Wow, that was a great writeup. I admit I haven't given Zag much of a chance. My local place usually has a 250 in stock, I'm defiantly going to pick one up. In fact I think I'll head over there today!
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  #6  
Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

I highly suggest it Dee, we wouldn't steer you wrong.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

I've seen that video and although I am a huge fan of puckx & company I don't find the method used in that video a good one. Partly I say that because I simply have never seen anyone in the Arab/Persian/Turkish nations smoke black moassel without a screen or a foil but also because I've found a better way to smoke black style moassel for those of use that can't get fresh product. You can read about that here:

http://www.hookah-life.com/blog/cat/...sel-03-26-2008

The only changes I recommend from what I wrote then is to use a lighter molasses and avoid blackstrap. Although I have found that the recommended amount of glycerin provides more smoke and meets with Western expectations leaving it out will give you a more authentic type smoke.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

I returned from the store about an hour ago and I'm smoking a bowl right now with the coals directly on the tobacco. It's smoking very nicely in my opinion. The tobacco seems to be pretty fresh, nice and soft with a noticeable amount of moisture. Not a DA level of moisture to be sure, but enough that there is a shine on the product. I don't think it's enough to smoke it with foil as is. I will likely give Hajo's method a try. I only have blackstrap molasses though.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Whoohoo, lol, another Zag. convert. Now we just need to get you to try Tombac Dee, lol.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Having smoked both ways, Hajo's is the way to go. Both are rewarding, but taking the time and care to properly prepare it is very rewarding. It unlocks a lot of complexity in the flavor, as well as making it a lot smoother on the palate.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyotero View Post
Having smoked both ways, Hajo's is the way to go. Both are rewarding, but taking the time and care to properly prepare it is very rewarding. It unlocks a lot of complexity in the flavor, as well as making it a lot smoother on the palate.
One thing I noticed is that it took the bowl awhile to "settle down". Once I rotated the coals, getting the crust on top evened out and the coals got a bit smaller it became somewhat smoother. I'm thinking Hajo's method would produce a smoother smoke from the start.

I also noticed one of the biggest nicotine kicks I've ever felt! If you've seen my videos you know I always sit on the floor. Standing and walking became slightly challenging! LOL!
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Zag is pretty awsome I prefere the spicyness of khan but both are great alone and awsome mixed 50/50 with a good juicy batch of nakhla and smoked regular with foil and a little extra heat.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

Excellent post! Well written and informative. My unbriddled love affair with Zahgloul is no secret. I smoke it daily. Glad to see others enjoying the experience.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

I decided to add a bit of glycerin to a bowls worth. Not sure how much I used, I just added a few drops, mixed it, added a few more etc. until it looked nicely coated. I'm smoking it now with foil and I have to admit I like this better. It's much smoother from the get go and produces better smoke. I can see this becoming a regular part of my stash for sure!
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Reflections on Zaghloul, Post-Burn

zag, sounds weird enough. i want to consume!!!!
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