I know this is slightly unusual on the blog but thought it would be easier to post this here so you can add your own comments as you try it:
Thanks to Rob Young of Gawith Hoggarth for the sample tin he provided.
"Hyde Park is a traditional English blend of bright and dark fired Virginias, sun cured Indian and Burley tobaccos. This luxurious smoking experience is achieved by the addition of rum and maple sugars to pressed mahogany tobacco."
First surprise was the packaging: a plastic liner in the tin...it doesn't open out as much as the traditional pleated paper but it is quite deep so easy to load a bowl straight from the tin (as long as your hands aren't too big).
Inside was a very densely packed block of tobacco, I would describe it as "broken flake" as there's a definite mix of lengths and widths. Nice attractive mix of colours as well from almost golden to dark mahogany.
The block breaks up easily with your fingertips for ease of packing. The tobacco initially felt very moist but not sticky.
Tin note is full of rum and (to me) fruit cake. The underlying aroma is definitely Virginia in character...not the "smokiness" I would expect from an "English" blend.
Pack this quite lightly in your bowl, especially if you use some of the longer, thicker strands otherwise they will expand like a flake reducing the draw.
Despite the initial moistness, this baccy lights very easily, I also found it burnt very well and evenly throughout the bowl.
I did get the sweetness from the rum and maple but it wasn't overpowering or excessive, the predominant flavour was the citrus grassy note of nice Virginia tobacco. Personally, I would say it's medium strength...nicotine is noticeable but not enough to make you light headed! I did get an occasional hint of Orientals but nowhere near as much as a blend like Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe.
It was hard to detect a distinctive room note as we were smoking outside (I will try some at home later) but again I wouldn't call this an "English" blend...lovers of Latakia might be disappointed but as someone who prefers straight Virginias I will definitely be adding this to my rotation.