Captain Black - Grape 1.5oz
Captain Black Grape: The Smell of Disappointment
The smell of this tobacco in the packaging is outstanding. Smoking it, however, presents an empty, flat cavendish flavor with a barely perceptible hint of grape. Smell in package: 20/10, Taste/Smell when smoking: 1/10. Extremely disappointing given how awesome it smells. It works well as a vehicle air freshener for a short time, however.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Cherry Cream Flake
Great Virginia Meets a Subtle Cherry Aromatic
When you're not fully invested in having a bowl of Escudo, but you want something more substantial than a cherry aromatic, this is the go to. G&H has a quality Virginia mixed with a subtle and enjoyable cherry casing. It's not a blast of cherry, but a subtle, background cherry flavor. If you enjoy cherry aromatics, and you enjoy Virginias/VaPers, you'll enjoy this flake.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Rich, smooth and sweet
A consistently rich, smooth and sweet smoke. Highly recommend you use a longer pipe, or a Meerschaum for a slightly cooler smoke. Really good with sweet coffee or tea. Since it's such a rich smoke, I've found that I tend to have fewer bowls in general if I smoke a bowl of Escudo; it's akin to a dessert tobacco.
Seattle Pipe Club - Plum Pudding Special Reserve 4oz
Rich, tangy and consistent
My favorite tobacco. It is consistently good in a variety of weather temperatures/conditions and pipes. Strong flavor of latakia and orientals that provides a solid, tangy smoke throughout the mid to late portion of the bowl. Flavor has not suffered or changed with dryness of tobacco. I had been looking for a balkan/oriental to replace my previous favorite, Frog Morton on the Bayou. This seems do fit that role nicely.
Cornell & Diehl - Black Frigate 2oz
A Muted English
Occasional hints of latakia. A flat, largely tasteless smoke. I threw the tin away after my 3rd bowl.
Lighters - Zippo Armor High Polish Brass Pipe Lighter
Best Defense Against Wind
Forget the IM Corona Old Boys if you're an outdoors smoker. This zippo (or any like it) are what you need for windy conditions. Good weight, reliable - but the finish is subject to scratching easily. I prefer this to the fancier lighters.
Stands & Pouches - 1790 English Tobacco Box Brass
Heavier than expected. And that's a good thing. High quality and beautiful. And yes, it's safe to store tobacco inside of it. Tobacco directly on the tin will cause discoloration over time. If you're worried about it not looking as shiny, bag your tabak before placing inside.
Pipe Accessories - Columbus 2 Pipe Travel Case Black
Great for home use
Perfect accessory to bundle a lighter, pipe cleaners and a pipe or two together. I took the internal tobacco pouch out and dedicated it to my vehicle. Trying to stuff the separate pouch inside with two pipes makes for an annoying, rough fit. The shell is used every time I smoke outside and it works well to bundle everything together with a simple, bifold zipper. I recommend adding paracord, or other tassel to the zipper; it makes for easier more enjoyable use when opening and closing.
Seattle Pipe Club - Plum Pudding 2oz
Serious English Balkan
Good flavor, but pales in comparison to its Special Reserve sibling. The perique gets harsh toward the end of the bowl which overloads my mouth with spice which becomes unpleasant.
G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
Good Intro to English Blends
This would be a great candidate for someone looking to try out English blends for the first time. It provides a medium-bodied flavor, low nicotine hit. The perique spiciness is perfect in that it doesn't overpower or fry your mouth (especially toward the end of the bowl). That being said, I suspect one will transition to stronger English/Orientals if they enjoy them, but this is a reliable option for a less in your face English experience.
Carter Hall - Carter Hall 1.5oz Pouch
Great Starter Tobacco
Weak on the nicotine and burns rather quickly. A great introductory tobacco that has remained my favorite over the years. Provides a smooth, slightly sweet burley and cavendish tobacco flavor that doesn't overwhelm or overpower. Great candidate for an "all day smoke". Pairs great with coffee in the morning or evening.
Brick House - Mighty Mighty
Previously my favorite. Either my tastes changed, or the quality of the cigars have diminished. These are now harsh, dry and lacking depth of flavor that they used to have. Even placed in a humidor and "brought back to life" they are but a shadow of their former self. Can no longer recommend. Oliva Flor de Oliva is a much better alternative if you enjoy a smooth, medum-bodied smoke with good flavor.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton on the Bayou 100g
Tangy, Invigorating Smoke
My favorite English/Oriental to date. Consistently good, it provides a tangy, slightly smoked-wood taste that is invigorating and pairs really well with an apple-flavored beer. My go to smoke when I'm looking to increase my energy levels. If you find you enjoy orientals in general, you shouldn't be disappointed by this one. Highly recommended.
Dunhill - Flake 50g
Sweet, Smooth, Light Smoke
My favorite Virginia for a few years now. It provides a somewhat light, honeyed smoke with a medium nicotine hit. Exceptional with a cup of coffee that's sweetened. A relaxing smoke, that is pretty consistent from start to finish. The flavor could be a little stronger, hence the 4.5 star rating, but this isn't really a detractor. Better than FVF, hands down.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
I've tried this tobacco a number of times. I've tried it fresh/moist, I've dried it out, I've aged it and I've smoked it in a number of different pipes. The tobacco does not provide an easy, enjoyable smoking experience. The tobacco itself has a stronger nicotine hit, but the flavor is, in my opinion, inferior to other Virginia flakes I've enjoyed over the years. I actually have unopened tins in my collection still and am strongly considering selling them, or simply giving them away to others. This tobacco is not worth the time, and effort, to smoke. Not recommended.