I liken the initial experience to just walking in to a room and someone punching you right in the mouth. There was a lot of pepper and spice that welcomed you, but in the end you say thank you for that punch. After the intense welcome mellowed out, really good flavors followed. The strength is really sneaky. It’s not in your face the whole time, but there are moments when you just know that it’s hitting you. Overall, a nice experience in both flavor and strength. No way would I recommend this to a new smoker as they would set it right down and say they can’t take it. For the experienced smoker that likes full strength and flavor, it might be something that they fall in love with. I’d say it’s an evening smoke after a full meal that you plan to pair with something that also has strength to it. You might want to keep something sweet nearby just in case.