Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
This is of the best coin tobacco I’ve smoked. I rubbed mine out but I suppose you could get creative with how to stuff this blend. The Virginia’s are grassy and full of sun soaked hay just like the rest of Stokkebye’s VA’s that I’ve tried. However the perique and cavendish add a layer of dark fruit sweetness that I’ve been missing in their other blends. The perique is just spicy enough to be interesting but isn’t a heavy handed pepper mill. It falls a little flat for my palate. After sampling, I immediately separated mine into a cellar jar and a instant gratification jar. It’s good now but I’ll bet it’s great later.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd
Big Boy Burley
This is a formidable smoke. But nothing too strong for a lat lover or a cigar lover. It’s really quite polite for such a brute of a smoke. I’ve got quite a bit of age on my jar. I bought a pound back in the PipefriendCHS days and I’ll pull a half pint jar’s worth out every year. It’s mellowed and the Virginias have sweetened but not a lot has changed. It’s a robust, cigar leaf blend and it always has been. It’s smoked where the boys and men part ways. But man is it good! When room notes are for sissies and you’re out to conquer the world one briar-full at a time, be glad you had some of this in your arsenal. Smokes well out of any pipe. Big bowl, small bowl... it all burns to an even, perfect, white/gray ash just like a long leaf cigar.
Sutliff - Match 20
Is it 965, no. Is it close enough, yes. This hits all the marks of the former at a more favorable price point. I’m not discriminating enough to nit-pick. If you liked 965, you’ll like this too.
Sutliff - Barbados Plantation 1.5oz
An a-rum-matic worth trying...
If Molte Dolce is a little too much, give this a whirl. It’s a great Sutliff aro. You can pick up the individual tobacco components moreso than you can with MD, but the topping still classifies this as a dessert for me. The room note is pleasing enough for even the most discriminating wife. Nutty burley and rum. I don’t get much from the Virginia, but I usually don’t with an otherwise sweetened aro.
Sutliff - Molto Dolce 1.5oz
Goopy, yes. Delicious, yes.
The description and all previous reviews are accurate. Good or bad, this is exactly as advertised. Impossibly moist, impossibly tasty. To say that this requires dry time is a misrepresentation. I don’t think this stuff can be dried. It’s like how McDonald’s fries never rot. There is so much topping it crackles when you light it. Get past the fact that this smokes differently than anything else you’ve ever smoked, and dive into this dessert of a tobacco. It has to be the best room note out there. I’ve literally converted two cig/cigar friends into pipe smokers just by puffing this within ear shot (nose shot?) of them. I’m primarily a non-aro smoker and feel like a complete glutton that this is in my regular rotation. I’m sorry, I’m not sorry.
Sutliff - Great Outdoors 1.5oz
“Great” is a strong adjective...
I found very little special about this blend. Could make a good hand rolled cigarette but it makes for so-so pipe tobacco. It’s just not very interesting or particularly enjoyable. Not even enough for me to finish this rev...
Solani - Tropical Mango Flake-639 50g
Ready for a smok-cation?
This is a nice aromatic for those that don’t like aros. Smokes like any other VaBur with a very natural flavored topping. The hint of mango, which is more present in the tin than it is in the taste or room, is very natural. Not at all the chemical, false flavoring you get with some other fruit flavored tobaccos. The burley comes through as a little nutty and a little brown sugar. I smoked this in a thinner, deeper bowl as I would a straight Virginia or a folded flake. I think a larger bowl may bite a little. Sip it like a tropical beverage and enjoy. Very palatable in warmer weather where other aro tobaccos can be cumbersome.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 8oz
This is potent stuff. I forced my way through the first few bowls and now I'll periodically long for it and nothing else will do. Its unique for certain. Not sure it benefits much from aging. I have a 6-7 year old jar I pull from on rare occasion and I think a punch in the mouth is a punch in the mouth.
Cornell & Diehl - Night Train 16oz
Fair warning, my supply has been in the cellar for 6-7 years. I liked it right out of the bag though. However now it's outstanding. The VA sweetened and the perique mellowed. The strength did not. This is pretty potent stuff! I’m glad the intense peppery-ness of the perique tamed a bit over the years. It wouldn’t have been a rotation blend otherwise. The virginias have come forward and all are in good balance with the warm, oaty, earthy burley. Worth a try. Buy a little extra and hide it away for a few years.
Cornell & Diehl - Habana Daydream 2oz
Working through the same 2oz tin from 2010.
This is a good, but not great, blend. It doesn't have any "wow factor" for me. Much in the way that I've never found a cigar as pleasing as a pipe, this is less pleasing than other C&D cigar leaf blends. I pickup more than a "spoonful" of cigar leaf. Would be great for a pipe smoker trying out pipes. Or for someone that really likes the spice of perique and cigar leaf. I prefer the much more Latakia forward C&D cigar leaf blend, Billy Budd. I do find that I enjoy this much more in the warmer months.
Peterson - University Flake 50g
Favorite Peterson Flake
Nice, well rounded VA/Burley flake here. The plum topping is more predominantly in the tin and room notes rather than in taste and is so very pleasing. I have a Bjarne pipe designated to a fold-n-stuff filling of University Flake. It lights well and burns without issue. I forgot about a tin in the back of the cupboard for a few years. Man, this ages well! I just bought a few tins to "lose" again. Don't let it dry out. I prefer to keep it a little damp (as its tinned) and just know that I'll need to sit a flake out for a few hours before smoking. Sit it out with your morning bowl and load this for some afternoon delight. This is in my regular rotation for when I need something a little lighter and a little sweeter.
Dunhill - My Mixture 965 50g
Favorite Dunhill Blend
This is an all around great blend. I can catch all components in this smoke and think it to be well balanced. I seem to enjoy the brown cavendish of "Scottish Blends" and think the inclusion of BC here helps put it over the top for me. This is a mild/medium English in my book in that I could smoke this all day.
McClelland - 815 - Strawberry Daiquiri
Strawberry Cake Batter
I purchased this as a courtesy to my wife. My garage workshop is my domain but the aromas of my stronger English blends can really seem to offend her at times. Thought I'd try his as an occasional courtesy to a very deserving, very accommodating pipe-wife. Strawberry is her favorite flavor of anything/everything. Good news, she found the room note pleasant. Bad news, I felt 2-2.5 stars about it in all respects, at best. I did not find the tin note to be that of strawberry. Maybe strawberry Carmex. Maybe cheap, car wash strawberry air freshener. "Fresh strawberries" is a real stretch. I get no tart berry, no citrus whatsoever. Just over-ripened, over sweetened strawberry cake batter. Maybe it's the rum element but something is proving to be quite acrid. It needs to be brightened a little bit. I've heard lemon VA has an acidic quality, maybe adding some of that would help. The description had me thinking I'd like this now (Spring/Summer) but I'm thinking it may be more favorable in Winter. I will say it does get better as the bowl progresses. Maybe because I've burned off whatever that awful topping is. I'll keep at it for the lady's sake. It certainly is not the worst aro I've had. Might try blending it down a little bit. Not a tongue biter. Update: Its been two weeks since taking this out of the bag it came in and putting it in a jar... Wow, in that short time the rummy-jammy topping has subsided considerably. Upping the rating a skosh.
Cornell & Diehl - Pennington Gap 2oz
Spicy, Sweet Bourbon
I picked this up on a whim because I generally enjoy C&D blends and I wanted something different. This fit the bill. It's an aromatic but not sickeningly so. It's a bourbon topped perique, burley and black cavendish blend in that order. At first light the perique really came through for me. It is quite peppery for the first third of the bowl. Next I caught the nuttiness of the burley. Quite enjoyable. A deep honey sweetness brought up the rear. The tin note was of bourbon (not whiskey but specifically bourbon) and raisins. I would catch hints of both faintly throughout the bowl. Sometimes blends will open up in different ways from bowl to bowl. Each bowl of this was spicy, then nutty, then sweet. I really liked looking forward to the changes. This also burned very well. Not sure if I had a relight the entire tin. I like to have a few aromatics in the rotation for blue moon scenarios and this will become one. A successful perique aromatic blending! I would have loved to give this a slightly higher rating but this smoke had an intense drying effect on my mouth. It didn't burn particularly hot and there was no tongue bite, but it certainly dried the mouth out an odd amount. I always had to have a glass of something cold accompanying Pennington Gap. Make it a Makers rocks and you've got a thematically enjoyable smoke session.