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Cornell & Diehl - Byzantium
Will it grow on me?
While smoking this, I kept thinking of others. I believe the tobacco to be of good quality; however, it was just to much of this and zero of that, if ya catch my drift. No, it wont grow on me as a stand alone smoke... but I am gonna try blending this as no more than 25% with a str8 Virginia. I will probably love it as a blender, and have to come back and upgrade my rating - 2.5 is as a standalone smoke.

Newminster - No. 702 Light Burley
Condiment
Smoked (sipped) this in a small bowl. Despite not having a bite, it does have a distinctive peppery taste and palate feel. The retro-hale also feels "peppery" but is not unpleasant. The flavor was somehow familiar - since this is the first time I have smoked Burly on its own, it's familiarity is likely because it is in blends that I have smoked (thinking Billy Budd, GH Dark Flake Unscented, PS Cube Cut). I will not attempt to develop a taste for this on it's own; however, I will try blending this as a condiment (very small quantity) to add complexity. Also, this was relatively mild in the nicotine: no salivating, hiccupping, puking or passing out. I could smoke a small bowl a couple of times a day without leaving mouth sores. Or smoke it all day long as a condiment to other blends.

F & K - Lancer Slices
Value, Process, Pleasure
Value: Not the cheapest, but I feel I got what I paid for. In game theory I believe they call it a "fair" game. Process: Whatever that process was - they could not have done it better. Pleasure: Some tobacco needs a list of both +'s and -'s. Some cause you to recall both pleasure and pain. Some you wish you could find, some you wish the cellar would swallow up. In my view, this stuff has no minuses, it is nothing but pleasure, and I am very happy to have found it. It involves no compromise for me - I am a fan.

Seattle Pipe Club - Plum Pudding 8oz
Thick Slab Cut!!
Review of 8oz tin: I love this thick style of cut (I prefer large deep bowls). These large "slabs" are not pressed densely, thus are very easy to rub out. I find this to be the most satisfying Balkan I have tried thus far.

McClelland - 5100 - Red Cake
Blender
My pallet, olfactory, and taste buds are apparently immune to this tobacco. It was like smoking oxygen. Which, for me, makes it a perfect blender for anything that is too _______. To be clear, the smoke is voluminous and non-descript.

Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
Nuff said!
I just bought 9 pounds. Update 10/21/16 Oh baby!

Samuel Gawith - Black XX 50g
...the bad, and the ugly
I bought a pound of this, blind, back in 2008. Why, you ask? Because I require horrific mistakes against which to view my more modest successes. Fresh, it was like smoking a high tech factory fire, with hints of rubber, toxic resins, and a lingering WTF finish. If I ever work up the courage to try any of the 15.98 ounces that I "cellared"... I will update this review. But me thinks 100 yrs is the appropriate amount of aging for this pile - because to enjoy it, your palet needs to be that non functional. This is not indicative of Samuel Gawith's other offerings many of which (my experience being with the non aromatics) are very fine. Room Note: this is the stuff you smoke when your done with her.

Esoterica - Penzance 8oz
Esoterica developmentally disabled
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?.................................. 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.