I’ve been a fan of Black Label Trading Company for quite a while since the first time I smoked a BLTC Salvation. I’ve tried to keep up with them since, yet somehow their formation of Black Works Studio flew completely under my radar.
Black Works Studio launched in December for the experimental blends of founder James Brown (Watch me!) and they came out swinging.
Black Works Studio NBK- First Impressions
On First glance, the NBK is visually unique and appealing. The firm medium-brown body has a soft box press and a closed foot. Seams? What seams? This thing is flawlessly constructed. Topping it all off is a pleasant woody espresso aroma.
In this video, James walks us through the rolling process at his factory:
Black Works Studio NBK- First Third
Cayenne pepper, Molasses, Chocolate, Toasted Nuts, Gingerbread
I’ll go ahead and warn you now that the first half inch or so is not for the faint of heart! Lighting the closed foot sums up this beauty perfectly. As the foot lights up with an excellent draw and impressive fireball, I’m instantly hit with a blast of pepper. Think crushed red pepper flakes that really open your sinuses and get the party started.
Once the pepper mellows out, a wide range of flavors start coming out of the woodwork. Molasses, espresso, cedar, and a mild nuttiness singing a perfect harmony. Unfortunately, retrohaling is out of the question though. It feels like attempting to snort a line of cayenne.
After about an inch, the pepper mellows and starts transitioning to a creamy mix of chocolate, toasted nuts, and gingerbread. Color me impressed! All these flavors just come rushing out and ramping up as we get into the second third.
Black Works Studio NBK- Second Third
Nutty Sweetness, Toasted Pecan, Roasted Marshmallow
The nutty sweetness really comes into its own in the second third. The profile seems to mature to a more distinct toasted pecan reminiscent of pecan sandies with intermittent bursts of roasted marshmallow. I can’t help but take my time and savor each and every puff while wishing I were enjoying it by a campfire.
Black Works Studio NBK- Final Third
Roasted Marshmallow, Pepper
The final third of the NBK sends it out on a high note. The roasted marshmallow ramps up into full swing while the pepper sneaks back in to say its last goodbye with a firecracker burst here and there. The NBK is absolutely delicious to the final puff.
Black Works Studio NBK- Final Thoughts
From design to flavor profile, the NBK hit nothing but high notes from beginning to end for me. James Brown and the Black Works crew came out swinging and really set the bar high for their future releases, and I, personally, cannot wait to see what creation those mad scientists release next.