Solani - Red Label - 131 50g
pleasant smoke, great room note
I tend to smoke Scottish blends, heavy Oriental blends, Burleys, and VaPers. This was a pleasant and pleasing surprise. It's tasty, of moderate strength, and won the praise of several non-smokers. I think I've found my new "pipe ambassador" tobacco.
Cornell & Diehl - Miskatonic Mixture 2oz
Turkish Not Forward Enough
Like Jarrod P. I'm a longtime fan of Lovecraft, so I could not resist C&D's The Old Ones series. Turkish and Perique blends are my favorites. This blend is certainly smooth, bright, and well-balanced, but I wish the Katerini were more pronounced. q.v. McClelland's Katerini Classic. The leaf is definitely here, but somewhat homogenized. As it is, this is a pleasant smoke one can enjoy all day long and its room note won't have others heading for the door. Still it's not enough for me to stock up on this.
Cornell & Diehl - Bluegrass 2oz
A great natural aromatic
....that tastes great, too! The room note is burnt caramel and vanilla, but the taste is only mildly sweet. The dark-fired and Perique really give this a tanginess, but I only pick up the cigar leaf (?) on the aftertaste. It's a quite strong at the start, but soon settles to a pleasurable smoke. AZ Mountain nailed it. This is a spicy and complex blend. I hope 8 oz. containers are coming as I'd like cellar this. update: I've now enjoyed several bowls of this and found that it smokes well in briar, olive, and morta bowls of medium-size. Meerschaum seems to magnify the strength. This blend benefits from DGT due to the virginia content.
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #5 2oz
robust, savory, and rich
This is not for beginners. The tin note, canned in 2018, was redolent of aged, mature VAs which I found unusual, but pleasant. Not much nicotine, but definitely a robust, spicy smoke from the dark-fired KY. Perique would have been redundant. I'm buying several tins as I believe this will only improve with age.
Peter Stokkebye - PS301 Natural Dutch Cavendish
I enjoy the Stokkebye non-aromatics for the clean, natural tobacco flavors. This blend presents a very mild sweetness and a smooth, nutty burley taste. It burns well and its a great value for the price. The room note is pleasant and I have literally smoked this all day, especially in public settings.
Lighters - Kiribi Kabuto Short Black Matte
Great utility in a compact package
I bought this as a backup for an older Kiribi Tomo*. It's smaller size makes it more portable and a weight comparable to a standard Zippo. I like the reliablity, quality construction, and impressive gas capacity. This lighter exudes mechanical quality, from the comfortable density in hand to the palpable "thunk" you receive when levering the cap. It's not the metallic "ching" of a Zippo, but one can easily perceive the solidity of this mechanism. I'm anticipating many years of service from this lighter. *a birthday present with sentimental value.
Peter Stokkebye - PS80 Norwegian Blend
Wonderful all day smoke
I was a little suprised by the fine, cigarettish cut. (it looks coarser on the monitor) The bag aroma reminded me of the old Drum cigarette tobaccos, with a slight anise scent, which fortunately does not appear on smoking. Properly packed this burned evenly and cooly, not hot like many pipe-smoked cigarette cuts. It is a tasty blend I smoke in public (we are ambassadors for the pipe community) and have received nothing but positive feedback. It smoked slightly hot on the light (virginias) but soon settles to a mild, tasty, and pleasant smoke which won't piss anybody off , i.e. periques and latakias. I'm going to order a bunch of this to cellar.
Lighters - Kiribi Tomo Gold
great price and features
I bought the older model (single-flame) about 6 years ago with birthday money. It's still works without a hiccup. In a side-by-side comparison with similar lighters this one beats IM Corona and Dunhill for price, quality construction, and reliability. It's also got full-size tools,i.e.a usable tamper and pick. The IM Corona and Dunhill have what can only be called an oversized thumb-tack. Two caveats: use Loctite on the screws and occasionally clean it with high-proof alcohol and an old toothbrush.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Red Style
Not Amphora Red, but close
The biggest detractor is the persistent, mild floral scent. Not quite a full Lakeland taint, but it's there. Otherwise this is a mild but tasty burley//VA. Aside from the scent this is a good approximation of the old Amphora Red
Esoterica - Stonehaven 8oz
Dense and rich
Smoking Stonehaven s l o w l y will produce a rich, creamy, rewarding experience. It is Virginia beautifully married wih Burley through pressing and steaming. Beware of the stout nicotine level. This easily rubs out to a coarse chunk, with a pinch of finer "duff" on top as tinder. I cannot give this five stars because it is so darn scarce.