Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
It's Okay. Topping is nice.
Luxury Twist Flake is okay. The flake is very attractive and the "tin" note is very nice; like sweetened pastries or orange glaze. The topping is perhaps my favorite aspect of this flake. Rubs out and packs well. Lights and burns easily and evenly. The topping is noticeable until the later portions of the bowl. Again, the topping is my favorite part. The virginia's are smooth, but lacking a lot of flavor. I like this flake much better fresh when the topping is prominent. When aged, and the topping aroma and flavor dissipates. After about a year of storage, without more of the topping flavor, I feel like something is missing. Nothing is bad, but nothing is particularly exciting either. Personally, I won't choose this over Erinmore or University Flake. Maybe some burley is missing for my tastes.
Mac Baren - Plumcake 3.5oz
Plumcake is excellent. The mix is very attractive with its fine ribbons and uniformity. My tin was cellared for a year. It was the right moisture, but drying time could be beneficial. The tin aroma is prominent and smells like real rum. Most aromatics with "rum" flavor do not smell like rum to me -- this one does. I cannot pick out the individual notes, but it's very pleasant. The latakia is subdued, but still ads complexity to the tin-note. The fine cut packs very well. I Frank-packed it with success. It lights and burns easily even with humid weather. There was slight gurgle, but that's expected with balmy weather and an aromatic. Straight stem and pipe cleaner, so no problem. I do not have experience with older codger blends or OTC blends. But Plumcake tastes old school to me. Solid flavor throughout. The topping and rum is subtle. The burley and virginia's blend together for me. But the latakia and cavendish routinely surface though the bowl. It's frequent, yet unassuming. Consistent through the whole bowl, but never boring. Absolutely solid. No bite for me, even with some vigorous puffing. Aging may alleviate bite. Great hybrid. I think there is something in this blend for everyone. Highly recommended.
Tampers & Tools - 8deco Bamboo Tamper
Love this tamper. I bought one of these after using an 8deco one from the Little River B&M store. I really like the air holes that allow you to puff and tamp at the same time so you do not snuff out your pipe. The bamboo is smooth and I like the curved point. The point can be used in a pinch to scoop out doddle, though the bamboo may stain. The flat point also slightly helps it from rolling off a table when compared to the other 8deco tampers. Plus, they are inexpensive if you are prone to breaking or losing tampers.
G. L. Pease - Union Square 2oz
Give it time, a lot of time.
When I initially bought this it was okay. Fresh cut hay aroma and taste. Mild to medium body. Smoked a little hot and left your shirt smelling like a cigarette. I let it age a couple of weeks and it improved to a slightly sweeter and deeper Virginia flavor. I set this tin aside for others in my stash. Three years later I decided to uncover it from my stack of tins. Wow. It's awesome. Medium bodied with more deep Virginia sweetness. Pleasant aroma with occasional citrus flavors. Very complex. If puffed vigorously the nicotine spice tingle increases. No bite and burns very cool despite my poor packing that caused me to draw more heavily. I would highly recommend this blend but give it time, like, a lot of time. Buy it, open it, and forget about it in your cellar for a while.
Joya de Nicaragua - Antano 1970 Machito
Awesome stick at a great price!
Go ahead and order one with whatever you are buying. These are great! Especially for the price. Full bodied but not overwhelming. Razor sharp burn and great plumes of smoke. I've never enjoyed a cigar enough that I would want to purchase a whole box until trying these.