Peterson - My Mixture 965 50g
A sweeter incarnation
When comparing the Peterson 965 to the (previous) Dunhill 965, I found the latest version to be just as balanced, flavorful, with very good burning qualities, but sweeter. I like the profile it became with the added Cavendish, as the naturally sweet flavor is a bit more pronounced. There was a little too much mouth residue after smoking this blend, which I would have preferred to be without. Hence, an easy 4 stars for sure.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Plug
An alternative to my n.1
As a long time Burley-blend only smoker, I have basically smoked all burley pipe products around. After a few years of intense seeking of the perfect blend for me, I was able to narrow the search and find my utmost favorites to be... well... one blend. As such, 95+% of the time I smoke C&D Burley Flake #1. That's it. Most other blends eventually disappoint me in some way or another. See, at first, a blend can seem wonderful, but as it dries a bit, its true character can reveal certain (character) flaws, like people (at first). Knowing that I've stayed with C&D BF#1 and have remained mostly if not completely pleased. I won't spend time on the mechanics of Dark Plug and other considerations the honorable friends here have already explained with details and charm. However, I will state that I have finally found an alternative to my favorite smoke.
Mac Baren - HH Bold Kentucky 1.75oz
A Burley winner!
This is a great Burley: one that belongs in the repertoire of any Burley lover, like yours truly. I think it has a similar profile to my favorite C&D Burley Flake #1. It burns steady, right from start. No tongue bite. The various flavors that compose this tobacco - chocolate, cream, nuts, coffee - appear in unison at first. As you smoke through the bowl, each nuance of this savory Burley acquires a more distinct expression. In other words, it becomes "bolder" as you smoke. Not so much in terms of strength, but in the "richness" of taste. There is also an undertone of sweetness that is quite pleasant. Producing a good amount of smoke, yet with a pretty acceptable room note, this is a real winner for the Burley lover.
Amphora - Burley 1.75oz
I only smoke Burley (blends), and without any flavorings, toppings, etc. In fact, I almost exclusively smoke C&D Burley Flake #1 and sometimes, Triple Play. I think I've tried them all, for years in fact. But my very specific taste always leads me back to BF#1. Yet, disheartened as I've become in my Burley adventures expeditions, I do get excited every time I find (or someone recommends) a possibly new pure Burley blend I've not tried. To my total amazement, I am loving this Amphora Burley Blend! The broken flakes are very similar to the C&D Burley Flake #1, the moisture is ideal, the burning perfect and the taste, simply great. It does have a bit of a rather noticeable and quite lingering taste in the mouth, probably from the casing, but that's ok. Burley fans, go try this smoke. Update (07/07/2019): I've been smoking this beautiful tobacco in different pipes, to further appraise it. First, let me say, that the said lingering taste has subsided quite a bit. I think it was just in the first bowl, where it was pronounced. This is truly a bready-chocolaty delicious burley blend. The flakes are just great, as I said, very similar to the C&D Burley Flake #1. I love it. The burning is consistent, even in every respect, including the consistency of the taste profile throughout the bowl. It burns to white ashes all the way, and with very few relights. The natural and sweet chocolaty taste in this burley is nothing short of remarkable, and it comes from the Virginia. I must say that such "focused" sweetness can be a bit too much after the halfway point of the bowl. I would have preferred a tad less of this sweetness. The Kentucky is noticeable too, perfect. The room note is pleasant, truly tolerable. This is a fantastic blend, and it is now part of my very exclusive list of pipe tobaccos. Smaller bowls will let the Virginias more pronounced, bigger bowls will feature the Burleys to a greater extend. No toppings, just pure delight. The last pipe I tried with this blend was a BBB billiard.
McConnell - Folded Flake 50g
With the beautiful tin and presentation, I expected greatness here. I opened the gold foil and the first surprise was that there was no real discernible aroma, only "something" very faint. The flakes are very nice, thin and with perfect humidity. Folding easily, I loaded my pipe and I was ready to experience this tobacco. It lighted easily, few relights really. At first, it was too mild for me to taste anything. It picked up with time, showing off the Virginia and additional components, particularly Kentucky. When it hit the half bowl, the flavors became substantially more pronounced. That was a good thing indeed. Yet, I was hoping for more. However, it did not have what to give. It stayed at that mid-level, rather one dimensional. Am I being too hard? The problem is that this tobacco's profile is much like G.L. Pease's Triple Play, except the latter is the former elevated to a higher potency in terms of experience, strength and good flavor. The taste in the mouth was not too great either, but acceptable. By the way, no bite. After having been smoking Triple Play, this seems like an inferior contender of this class and profile. It is nice, simple and without much oomph, but smokable on certain moods. I stay with Triple Play, nevertheless.
G. L. Pease - Triple Play 2oz
Being a die-hard Burley lover, and one who basically smokes only C&D blends (Burley Flake #1 in particular), it was joyous for me to find Triple Play. Smoking it I detected a similar profile to C&D Burley Flake #1, which is a blend of dark Burley and red Virginia with just a splash of Perique. Triple Play uses the same configuration, but with dark-fired Kentucky. The real difference is the tanginess of Triple Play, while Burley Flake #1 has not. While I don't particularly care for this tangy taste, by focusing on the other aspects of the blend, it turns out to be a very enjoyable and burley blend for me, with a very similar profile to my favorite C&D blend. When you are a one-blend (or so) smoker, it is very important to try to find alternatives, just in case. Market fluctuations in availability is a constant concern, which in this case is mitigated. Being savory, medium-strong, with a fair amount of vitamin-N, it is surely a great blend, standing on par with other great Burley "pillars" readily found in the market. It leaves a sweet and delicate flavor in the mouth, and it is the type of blend that once you finished a bowl, you soon enough will be thinking when should you smoke another!
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Happy (Brown) Bogie Unsliced
What a smoke!
I am a Burley lover, and in fact, only smoke (strong) Burley blends. Years back I used to smoke all strictly non-aromatic ropes from Gawith Hoggarth, however, gave up after a while as I found the Burley Flakes (1 and 4) which became my favorites. Still, once in a while I try new blends, and I was decided to try again "the Bogie". What a surprise! Such a wonderful smoke, rich, flavourful, exiting to the end. It needs drying out for about 30 minutes, but it pays off immensely. Highly recommended for the lovers of full Burley tobacco blends or who just are tired of wimpy smokes! Warning: smoke on a full stomach, because the vitamin "N" will leave your head spinning. Enjoy!
Cornell & Diehl - Easy Times 2oz
This is a spectacular blend because it brings the best of C&D burley blends on an easy and pleasant smoke. It is purely harmonious, burns perfectly and has all the nuances one expects from an American-English blend. It is medium+ in strength with no tongue bite at all. It burns very cool and always flavorful. It also comes with perfect moisture level. I think it is a lighter version of C&D Burley Flake #4, another stellar blend, but in a loose tobacco form. It is a winner in every possible aspect. Try it out!
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #4 2oz
Extraordinary and then some!
I think one is very lucky to find a perfect tobacco for one's taste. I have found two! Burley Flake #1 and this jewel called Burley Flake #4. They are equal in my scale of perfect Burley blends. From the strength, nutiness, packing and burning qualities, and sweetness level, this American-English pinnacle is just extraordinary and then some!
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #5 2oz
Truly nice... but
I am a burley lover, and I consider C&D Burley Flake #1 (Burley, Kentucky, Perique, Virginia) my top most favored blend, followed closed by Burley Flake #4 (Burley, Kentucky, Latakia, Virginia). Yet, I do not care much for Burley Flake #2 & #3. As such, I was truly excited about the real possibility of adding a third top blend to my rotation, now a Burley, Kentucky, Virginia. In terms of the "mechanics" of the blend, the soft flakes in this one are much like the others of this real tobacco series: simply great and beautiful, packs, lights and burns well (even if a bit wet, which I enjoy), and I must also add, with a tantalizing tin note. Having said all this, I admit being somewhat disappointed with this newest edition of the Burley Flakes' series. First, it is weaker in overall taste and Vitamin-N than its predecessors. Next, although there is a pervasive sweetness I do enjoy, it lacks "complexity" for the most part (i.e., the different phases of the burning tobacco in the bowl), even though you know absolutely you are smoking a C&D Burley Flake. I think the issue is that being a rather mild blend, it lacks oomph, especially if compared with Burley Flake #1 & #4. Hence, only two stars. Still, a good and pleasant smoke from the best tobacco blenders in the world. Update (15/02/2018): I have given further chances to this blend. As it dried out a bit, I have found it to be more enjoyable, albeit no change in complexity. Its strength has grown as well with the drying out, and as such, it actually deserves a notch up in this review to a "third star".
Cornell & Diehl - Golden Ash
Magnam Auream Cinis (The Great Golden Ash)
This is a great and classic smoke. In my quest of trying to find new (bulk) "companions" for my favorite C&D Burley Flake #1 & #4, I came across C&D's Golden Ash. It has a similar profile, save the fact that the sweetness of Flake #4 is somewhat attenuated in Golden Ash. Still, it is flavorful, complex, and often surprising. I find it smokes particularly well in the greater sized bowls, which I prefer anyway. Highly recommended!
G. L. Pease - Jackknife Ready Rubbed 8oz
I love American-English blends, most of them found in the great Cornell and Diehl blenders. Still, I decided to buy JackKnife once more (this time ready rubbed), for I had not smoked it in years. I loved the Ready Rubbed JK in most respects. The reviews on this page describe very well its rich and intense character. However, something was missing for me. I went to bed, and at around 3:30 AM I woke up and I had the solution. The next day, I added a pinch of C&D's Latakia to my JK bowl, and this became a heavenly smoke!
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #1 2oz
Top of the top
I have tasted hundreds of tobaccos, and I am a Burley man all the way. For me, a pipe blend without Burley is not a pipe tobacco (ouch! I am sure that hurts on some ears...). Having said that, I admit the top pipe tobacco on my list, tried in all kinds of pipes, is by far Burley Flake #1. As the colleague Grant B. said, year after year, I just cannot put this stuff down. Can I give 6 stars?
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Ribbon Cut
This is an amazing Burley, with a rich and satisfying taste and aroma. It has become a staple for me above many tobaccos that had this position before. At is known, this is combination of Burleys used in many C&D blends. However, it is more direct, plain and focused, since it only pure combined burley. My only complaint is that it burns a little bit fast. So smoke very slowly. If I want a more lasting burley experience (with equal strength), I usually go for the C&D's Burley Flake #1.
Cornell & Diehl - Riverboat Gambler 2oz
I saw the light
When I first tried “Riverboat Gambler”, I immediately noticed it was a great smoke, but for me there was still something missing. Not in terms of taste mind you - for it is nearly perfect - but in strength. “Ah, if it were the same, only stronger!”. Then, it daunt on me I might have just the right thing to boost this tobacco power. It was then when “I saw the light”: A perfect match, with very similar texture, cut, and an integral part of the composition Riverboat Gambler, albeit toned down somewhat. So I blended “Old Joe Krantz” for a totally outstanding new “Old Joe Gambler”, or if you prefer, “Riverboat Krantz”. Great product in whichever way you enjoy it, even my own way...
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Brown Irish Twist
Previously, I made clear of my intense appreciation of Samuel Gawith’s “Brown No. 4” and “Black XX”. However, I must say that these two exceptionally rich smokes are set apart in the ineffable continuum of tobaccos. One (Brown No. 4) being “Habanero” spicy and intensely rich in flavor (and nicotine), while the other (Black XX), sweet and quite strong with much character and charm. Now, Gawith’s “Brown Irish X Unsliced” represents the point of complete and lasting equilibrium between the two earlier mentioned tobaccos. What more can I say? Enjoy.
Samuel Gawith - Brown No. 4 50g
Goodbye old tobaccos
For me, the great problem with this rope tobacco, as well as with the "Black XX Rope" (and a few others), is that once you smoke these "true and essential" tobaccos, the rest of your cellar will be left bereft of your eyes and companionship. It will create "tobacco jealousy" with unknown consequences on your "old loves". What else can I say? Try it, but slow and not on an empty stomach!
Samuel Gawith - Black XX 50g
This is a stellar smoke. Perfectly balanced - strong, yet mild after a while. Tremendous flavor with great class. This is the Havana's "Davidoff Dom Perignon" of the Virginia world.