Velvet Pipe Tobacco has been around, well, forever. Ok, maybe not forever, but for as long as I can remember, and yes, that is quite a long time! You have probably seen it at your local drugstore or corner shop a million times, sitting there in it's can, but have not tried it. The same was true for me, but today that changes, as I have just received my order by mail.
The container itself is underwhelming, understated and simple. Much like the stigma of the brand, and of most pipe tobaccos from a long forgotten era where men were men, smoked pipes, and didn't have to talk about their feelings, there is nothing outgoing or flashy about it. That is just fine with me, as I don't care for anything flashy.
Velvet Pipe Tobacco is a Kentucky sun-ripened burley with a mellow smoke and a complex, yet subtle flavor. Opening the container you immediately notice the smell of black licorice (however it is nearly non-existent in the flavor of the smoke, oddly enough) and a faint hint of hickory. It is a crimp-cut burley blend that is reminiscent of it's era.
Upon lighting you notice a slight sweetness, complex character, but a very mild smoke that made it all seem toned down to me. Too mild in my opinion (I prefer some boldness in my smoke, I want to know I am smoking!), but the flavors of almond, hickory and a sweet fruit flavor are really nice. It lights well, and did not burn too hot. It didn't "bite" me, but your mileage may vary (based on what kind of pipe you prefer).
All in all, I have to say, not bad. For such an old and well-known brand to have a price as low as value brand pipe tobacco, it is hard not to recommend giving it a try.