A wonderful complex secret recipe of the finest Virginias, choice Turkish and Orientals and Cyprian Latakia, all hand blended together, hard pressed and broad cut into thick flakes. Long matured and easily crumbled to facilitate pipe filling. This is one of the finest traditional English Flakes available anywhere.
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The hype is sky-high but it's for a good reason. It is other-worldly, and it makes you wonder just what is in there! Although some other blends do come in the same ballpark, they never come very close to the real thing. This is like nothing you'll ev... Read Moreer smoke, and you'll likely never smoke it unless...nope..just move on, there are lots of other good blends out there (just none exactly like this one). I've heard about pipers paying immense amounts of money for just tiny amounts of this blend, and personally I find it a bit ridiculous. Any company in their right mind would make more, export and triple the price, and make a killing. On that note, it seems that maybe this rather small company has run-out of whatever they need to make Penzance; that may explain its disappearance. If it ever comes back, I highly doubt it'll be exactly the same as the originals. The taste is obviously not due to some secret sauce, but rather a mixture of amazing tobaccos. Although everyone is entitled to an opinion, the reviews like the ones titled "Overrated!", and especially the one titled "Penzac" with 1.5 stars—likely are from complete amateurs or non-pipers. Maybe they're trying (in vain) to keep the hype down, or they broke into Daddy's stash one day after running out of shisha or hash and were disappointed, or got ripped-off on eBay. I do wonder how many jerks there are hoarding this stuff in their stashes who don't fully appreciate its beauty and are letting it rot & wither away. My cynicism aside, I was over-the-moon with happiness to have been able to get some—enough to really enjoy it too—but it'll never be enough! Maybe one day another blender will come up with something which is comparable to Penzance, but nothing comes close to the 2010 batch I had—according to 1,000 or more pipers' opinions who say the same. I doubt that many folks' opinions could be wrong. All in all, it's a chimera and an enigma. Also, as I said previously, it's worth looking elsewhere to try other blends to enjoy, as there are hundreds of them and many are wonderful. Read Less
I happened to buy some without realizing what I had bought and it was one of the best tasting tobaccos I've ever had.
I understand the annoyance about it's rarity (I haven't had or seen any in six years)but if found, is worth a try!
I have given up on this and, in fact, all Esoterica products. They are NEVER available ANYWHERE except on ebay where they are sold for prices that can only be described as obscene. Thanks, but no thanks. I will stay with my C & D Pirate Kake whic... Read Moreh makes me perfectly happy. Read Less
I have no idea what today's Penzance is like and with the fact that it is unobtainable, I may never know. I was fortunate enough to recently discover that I had cellared a tin in 1999 (and forgot about it). Rather than sell it for an obscene amount... Read More online, I opened the tin and smoked it during a recent fly fishing trip. I'm down to my last bowl or 2, and that will be it. Hopefully, if it ever returns, it will be the same. It is a heavenly smoke if sipped gently to appreciate all the nuance. I'm sorry there are those who find it acceptable to hoard and sell for profit. I'm so glad I chose to enjoy what I had. Read Less
A magical smoke in the tradition of British tobacco.
Think about a time when tobacco was simple, Virginia, Turkish, Orientals and Latakia. Perfectly proportioned, blended and pressed into easy to crumble (very easy) thick flakes in the traditional British way, slowly and loosely.
The taste and aroma ... Read Moreof vintage book shops, leather, mild spice, and a smokey comforting finish washes across the palette.
J.F Germain's truly are the masters of rare, time consuming and perfect blends. If you can get this for cost, do so immediately here at SP. Read Less
First of all, if you don't like Balkan blends, don't waste your time searching for Penzance. And don't hoard it so the rest of us who do like it can't buy it.
I have never been able to purchase Penzance on SP, but resorted to purchasing it on the se... Read Morecondary market.
There is something about this tobacco that really shines, and I think that it is called Balance. The flavors just meld. There is a tangy, fermented (probably from the Esoterica long aging process, part of why there is so little available at any given time) subtle nuanced flavor in this tobacco that I have not tasted anywhere else. GL Pease Quiet Nights comes close, but just does not quite get there. Quiet Nights just about reaches for that greatness, but gets muddled at the very end.
Penzance can get a little sour in some spots, which is why I can't give it a completely top rating. But it is amazing. No hype. This Balkan lover loves it. Read Less
This is not a bad blend by any means. It is a solid smooth English. However I found the flavor profile to be relatively standard. The tin note was smoky and sweet as well as the smoke with just enough bite to remind you that it is an English without ... Read Morebeing overpowering. A good blend but as with the standard squadron leader I don't think it's worth the attention it receives. Read Less
The hype “ What’s it all about Alfie “! Earlier in the day I had a bowl of Penzance Circa 2014 and what I smoked was just OKAY! Took 3 re-lights and light tamps, but once lit, stayed lit. It burned extremely slow with allot of cool woodsy smoke and s... Read Moreome floral notes with nothing much more to say about this super hyped blend. Just now finished a bowl of Penzance Circa 1991....WOW....the Penzance I truly remembered. The 1991 smoked outstanding after 2 lights and light tamping, stayed lit to the end. The smoke was extremely woodsy from what must be a higher grade Latakia used back then. You were able to pick up some sweetness in the background from the Virginia and the spice was on the spot from the Orientals in the 1991 blend. For both smokes I used the same pipe....a LaStrada Pot style nosewarmer with a wide chamber. My conclusion....the 2014 Penzance I would rate @ 2.5 Stars and the 1991 Penzance a true 4.5 Star blend. Was it the aging that made ALL the difference or in time has the quality of tobacco’s used after the year 2000 changed that drastically?!?!?!
I must add I’ve smoked Penzance 2001-2005 & 2008-2014....all were just what I would consider an okay smoke. Nothing I would truly go back to! Read Less
I just purchased two tins of Penzac this week and it's the first time I've tried it and I don't know what all the hype is about this tobacco there's nothing special or taste about this tobacco seriously Dunhill my mixture is much better anybody that... Read More buys this on eBay has a screw loose but I didn't buy it on eBay I found a supplier on the Internet and it took me a long time to find it but anyways it wasn't a waste of money very weak tobacco I must say Read Less
for the people who can't use a rating system properly...
This is to review the PRODUCT, not the service provided. On that note: Penzance is very unique blend that's worth picking up when you can find it. it always reminds me of BBQ when i smell the tin note.
*Can you guys please delete the absurd "re... Read Moreviews" that have been posted on this day. whining like children should not ruin a product's rating.. Read Less
Was able to get an 8 oz bag after about 4 years of looking. The hype is true. The tobacco is wonderfully smoky and smooth. Definitely one of the best our there and worth the hype. If you have had the pleasure of smoking Germain’s version of The Balka... Read Moren Sobranie you will immediately recognize the flavor as soon as flame meets tobacco. The quality and varieties of tobaccos that Germain uses for their Esoterica blends produce flavors that can be tasted nowhere else. Read Less
Words cannot describe how good this tobacco is. It is utter perfection as far as englishes go, strong yet mellow, the flavors blend perfectly, the latakia isn't too strong or weak. It is simply the best English blend available... Except it never is a... Read Morevailable. I recommend getting on the waitlist que. It may take years, but it is well worth the wait. Otherwise you may have to buy it from a collector for MUCH MORE than retail price. Read Less
It’s a shame this rich , mellow and creamy fine molted English flake is out of stock all the time pretty much everywhere. I’ve only ever been able to find it from the local B&M. It’s the perfect musty Latakia with the finest sweet Virgina. It’s t... Read Moreruly the best smoke I’ve ever had. Burns all the way down to a fine white ash without a relight. A smooth ,mellow , smoky and creamy mouth feel. Don’t pass it up if you get a chance. Read Less
Sampled from a 2008 vintage tin. The aroma is of a smoky Latakia presence combined with Oriental essence. I did not detect any flavoring from the sniff. I don't know but the majority of reviewers say it contains an extremely mild flavoring...I'll jus... Read Moret go along with the majority on that one. The flakes were packed upright & sideways through the entire length of the tin. They are tender flake strips that crumble more than seperate but the end result provides easy packing and a fantastic burn rate. The main differences I found between this and a quality English/ Balkan mixture is: Penzance isn't as sweet or as flavorful & doesn't pack much of a Vitamin N punch. However, I can see why so many pipers are attracted to this particular blend... because most pipers seem to prefer the milder blends. However, it is very comfortable on the palate because it is almost like stoking your pipe with plain air. It seemed to have lost its flavor & became rather bland after about 1/3 of the bowl is smoked down. To my way of thinking, it's like drinking decaffeinated coffee. What's the use? Since I don't inhale, I prefer a stronger blend & Penzance was wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. My first & last tin. There's much better to be had on a regular basis that is more satisfying. Try some Levant, Arango BS, HH Balkan, Crystal Palace, Blairgowrie, Trafalgar or blend your own Balkan by adding more Oriental to HH Syrian or just start from scratch with a good Cyprian leaf, Oriental Yenidje, Red VA, SG VA flake, Black Cavendish, & a touch of Perique & Burley for a much better result. It's easy & far more rewarding to simply blend your own... try it & see for yourself & save $$! Read Less
I finally had a tin of this legendary blend. I loved the flake cut and the required crumbling. It's a real classic touch to the smoking experience. Esoterica blends have one of the most intriguing tin bouquets. I smell a strong note that I keep ident... Read Moreifying as olive. To date, this is the only Esoterica blend that I enjoyed. The smoking flavor is on the medium to full side. It lights up with a very creamy soft flavor but then about mid bowl develops a nice nutty, musky, complex. Almost peppery, as if it had perique in it. The latakia remained ever present. I wouldn't call this a lat bomb as many others have. The lat content is rather well managed compared to several other popular blends. This is a great evening smoke. I have to say that many other blends in this genre are just as good though not as unique in flavor. That strange olive note comes through in the smoke and sets it apart. I wouldn't say it makes it better, just very distinct in taste. I guess that makes for all the fuss.
Update: Mr Big - very interesting point you made. Reading the entire forum revealed 7 other iodine call outs, starting with reviewer Loosewatches back in July 2006. I too had a hard time placing that scent. I ended up landing on Olives. Curiously they have a fair amount of Iodine that occurs naturally. I did a smell test and there is a similarity between the antiseptic and the tin. Several other Esoterica blends have that same iodine scent as a noticeable component of the tin bouquet. As I mentioned, this is the only one where it comes through in the smoke for me. That unique taste is what drives the fuss for this blend. It sets it apart in flavor from other blends in the genre. Read Less
So, once every hundred years or so, when the moons rays bounce off of a crystal clear lake just right, you get a hold of this mythical creature. Jokes aside, the blend is IMO the best Balkan English out there. Aged is even better.
So, once every hundred years or so, when the moons rays bounce off of a crystal clear lake just right, you get a hold of this mythical creature. Jokes aside, the blend is IMO the best Balkan English out there. Aged is even better.
I previously wrote a review that made it sound like the folks that own the esoterica brand were business morons for not finding some way to satisfy the strong demand for their products. Having had years now to consider this lack of kindness, I would... Read More like to apologize to all of the worlds business morons for lumping the owners of esoterica in with you... please forgive me. Read Less
I got my hands on this first in early 2010 and I just didn’t get along with it. It had a very distinct quality to it that I can only describe as diesel fuel. It wasn’t an aversion to Latakia as I loved and smoke a number of f heavy Lat blends in thos... Read Moree days. Anyway, I took it as a loss and traded it off. Fast forward two years and here I am, really enjoying this stuff. This is a nice, full bodied blend very similar to Smokers Haven Krumble Kake and both are made by Germain so there ya go. Great, complex and smooth as velvet. I can think of several blends I would reach for before this but it is absolutely worthy of a four star rating. If you can find the stuff give er a whirl, ya might like it but try not to harbor any unrealistic expectations of it, it’s just a very nice, expertly blended crumble cake. The nicotine is in about the mild range. Great all day smoke and I tend to enjoy it while reading a good book. Be sure to give it a good half an hour of dry time, gravity fill your pipe and enjoy! Read Less
It’s probably futile to write this review, since, it’s pretty much unavailabe and likely to stay that way. I got lucky and managed to acquire enough that my heirs will still be smoking it. I think the base flavor is something like bittersweet chocol... Read Moreate with a faint pepperiness. But hold on — that’s in this pipe, today. Tomorrow, same pipe, different taste. Diifferent pipe, yet another taste. As this pipe gets smoked the pepper rises and falls, then sweetness begins to build. One can see (well, taste) why this tobacco is legendary. Is it the best tobacco ever? Probably not, but if you like dark, dark Balkan/oriental blends, don’t pass up a chance to try it. Read Less
This English is really good. There’s a lot of hype with this tobacco and is hard to find. Quality always seems top notch, it’s just super hard to find. Not sure it’s worth the price on the second hand market, but I keep coming back to it. The all... Read Moreure and rarity makes it a special time smoke for me. Read Less
If ever there was an overrated tobacco in the market, the grand old Penzance is one. I nabbed an 8oz. bag a while back so had plenty of room for experimentation with different bowls, climes, and moods. No matter where and when I smoked this, the tast... Read Moree remained harsh, slightly sour, and generally uninteresting. As far as my palate is concerned, Esoterica has nothing whatsoever on the likes of McClelland or Russ Oulette's creations. Read Less
I revisited this blend after 4 months of it resting in a mason jar... it made a difference to me.. i still get a traditional english smell, leather , raisin, hay, latakia... but with a smoothe and slightly refined pungent quality... smoking it i get ... Read Morethe same taste especially the smoothness and that weird almost day old porkchop fat like smell, if that makes sense to anybody, but nevertheless this is a unique smoke and i give it a 4 star and i would buy it again... Read Less
It's frustrating to be informed that something is in stock i.e. Balkan Sobranie and now Penzance to log in and get a whammy Sold Out - Out of Stock. Maybe Smoking Pipes should order a real big amount that would stay in stock for at least a month, kn... Read Moreowing it sells like hot Cornish pasties.
Andrew Read Less
After a 25 yr. hiatus, I started smoking a pipe again. In the old days I fell in love with Penzance. It was a LOT easier o get in those days. Again, it's still my favorite. It is a hell of a lot harder to get now.
I got lucky last time. In between ... Read Moreclasses I checked my email and saw the notice. I called immediately and was able to get a bag. The customer service guy told me that they had received a small shipment. He also told me that they expected to run out in 1/2 hour. Good timing; I got very lucky. Nobody else has it at all. Read Less
As others have said, why send an alert if there is no possibility to actually order the product?
After pondering, and getting over my initial annoyance, I'm revising. Penzance is a quality English, whose reputation is well deserved.
Why some are giving bad reviews based on their inability to buy it, I'll never understand. It's a tobacco worthy of your time to seek it out. I get an email and respond immediately and always get it. Win some, lose others.
That said, it's a brilliant... Read More tobacco and is hard to find for a reason. When it comes to the finest, in any product, it's supposed to be hard to find. It's a silky smooth flavorful mottled flake that ages like a very fine Bordeaux. If I was comparing to wine, I'd say that Penzance is Chateaux Petrus. It's a worthy comparison, earthy, a wine like character. A hall of fame blend if ever there was one. Read Less
What's the point in emailing me alerts if you do not have it in Stock? If you send me an alert saying it's in then it better be in. It's only been a few minutes since i got the email. Now, have some integrity and make this right, no more LIES smok... Read Moreing pipes! As it is lately you've lost my business and you're not working to earn it back by lying! Read Less
I received a couple of oz from a friend who didn't like Penzance, in my turn i felt that this tobacco isn't mine. Very bad after taste. Not English and not American . Doesnt bite.
Virginia and Latakia are the players. Oriental are not detectable. Pr... Read Moreetty much similar to C&D constellation. Still Constellation is more smoky and finer taste.
Not my plate
Reputation to this tobacco is fake Read Less
There is a tobacconist here in the Houston area that gets this stuff a few months out of the year.. its sporadic and so I'll call periodically to check in; in a sporadic fashion.
I became an avid hobby smoker about 3 1/2 years ago and admit that ... Read Morethis blend was a waste on my then virginal tasters.
Not the case. Though I am firstly a VA smoker I will always reserve a spot in my bosoms for Penzance. In its case the hype is justified.
The mouthfeel, creamy.. oily even. Sweet Virginias/Orientals announce themselves often and evenly throughout the bowl with the latakia countering them in such a way as to prepare the palette anew for another exchange of those quality VA/Oriental leaves.
This blend was the first to pique my curiosity concerning Oriental leaf.
Believe the hype. I've tried several other English/Balkan mixtures that don't hold a candle to Penzance. It is sought after with good reason Read Less
Update 10/14/16 I Have continued to look for something similarly satisfying and failed. But I am tired of "stalking" Esoterica, she has made it clear that she does not want my attentions... no means NO... Umm...Right?................................... Read More..
For the business challenged - in business you keep score with money... Esoterica has little to none of yours, and way less of mine than I was willing to part with.
08/01/15 Come on guys, the problem is the lack of business sense of esoterica. They have a winning product and can never seem to be able to ramp up production. For those of you that are trying to make me feel better about it by saying it ain't that great... Thanks for trying but it will never work - some of us like it... A lot.
I have not seen one recommendation as an alternative - just assurances that this is one of many - thanx fer nothin.
I've got about five or six ounces from a pouch I snagged back in 2000, most of it has crumbled up but still tastes fantastic especially the bits with crystallized sugar on them. Delicious crumble kake flakes. Hope to score another pouch sooner or lat... Read Moreer. Read Less
Responded in less than 30 seconds of 8 oz Penzance in stock email notification only to find item out of stock.
I was actually sitting in front of my computer and immediately responded.
Sounds a little fishy to me it would all sell out so fast, like... Read More maybe other "customers" had a notification first............. Read Less
There must be a better way to allocate Penzance. I'll bet its the same people who are able to respond within 30 seconds of the email alert. Rest of us have to work.
More and more Smoking Pipes is demonstrating to me that it has lost its touch with... Read More customer service.
A better approach might be stack ranking those that consistently sign up for alerts only to be disappointed by sold out, giving the rest of us a chance to purchase. Lots of hoarders out there.
Oh yeah-its good tobacco however there are many other nice tobacco's out there. Read Less
Extra creamy smoke, latakia is very present but does not over-dominate the VA's. I wouldn't care if this blend wasn't hyped, it would still be my favorite, regardless of "rarity" and "brand name". If you can somehow get your hands... Read More on some, don't lose the opportunity. Read Less
I would recommend this blend to people who (as I do) tend to stay primarily with Virginia flakes. Most Latakia blends call to my mind what it might be like to lick the bottom of an ashtray and, further, to dislike the experience. Penzance, however,... Read More offers a pleasant flavor for an occasional departure from my customary favorites. Read Less
picked up a tin on ebay. it was worth the wait to find it. smooth from start to finish. gets better and stronger as you smoke it down.was so good that i picked up 2 more tins on ebay. going to wait a year before trying a new tin to see how it ages.
Yes, it's hard to come by. But it's almost as good as it's reputation promises. Dark, full-flavored, slightly sweet, though savory, this is certainly the best Germain has to offer in their Esoterica line.
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