Cornell & Diehl - Habana Daydream
Was promised creamy but...
Not so creamy as expected; the tangy taste of latakia too over the top; started to miss the nutty burley taste almost immediately; going back to good ol' Billy Budd after this; still, a good smoke Edit: after a few days it grew on me; the citrus-like finish taste is rather pleasant for the current hot summer weather; bumping it to fair 4-stars!
Lane Limited - 1-Q
Better than CB Royal
Slightly richer than CB Royal, which I like to imagine as the evil/uglier twin of the two. If you like sweet aromatics, I guess 1-Q/CBR is near perfect. For someone who has no sweet tooth whatsoever though, turn around and don't look back.
Cornell & Diehl - Chopped Cigar Leaf
Smooth, calm, and relaxing
My recently de-ghosted briar still has that spicy and soapy lat in it, this one brings down the atmosphere into a chill, relaxed vibe. Might be a bit bland in taste, but that's actually good for me. No surprise, high-tone flavor or taste. Uniform and regular. It's not exactly a cigar, but I like it nonetheless. Will try next morning with hot, strong coffee, think it will pair really well.
G. L. Pease - Key Largo 2oz
Too sweet for me. No earthy cigar taste at all. Lat hint fairly strong. Prefer Billy Budd to this. More sophisticated-ish than BB, also goes to say that BB is more masculine. Very soapy, you get a mild headache if you're not expecting it. Edit: Turns out my cheap briar was too wet the night before. Much better balance the day after, still soapy but not overwhelming, subtle nuances all around, very pleasantly creamy overall. Can taste the cigar leaf and the dark coffee as advertised. BB still the winner of the two due to simplicity, but if you like complex baccy, Key Largo is the one. Better aftertaste too. So delicious that you don't want to let go, no break needed unlike other stronger baccs. Comparison off top of my head: BB = Whiskey, KL = Cocktail. Bottomline, wouldn't order again. It was a nice experience, but the freshness gets rather stale to the end.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd
Not perfect but absolutely loving it
Once or twice you get a whiff of barnyard, but that's it. Salty when wet, smoother when dried. I don't feel the nicotine hit as others say. It's slightly nutty, especially the aftertaste and smell. Not overly strong. Sometimes the latakia jump out of nowhere, but that's a pleasant surprise albeit funky.
Captain Black - Royal 7oz
Full of regrets...
I regret having ordered this. It was pleasant for the first 3 ounces, and now I'm stuck with more than half a tin that I dread to even touch and another 4oz of 1-q stockpiled... With that said, if you're just starting with pipe smoking like I was, just order small amounts of this, enjoy while you can, and move on from there. I don't have a sweet-tooth in general, so the whole taste and smell of this have become unbearable. But if you like cookies and cotton candy, you'll love this baccy.
Starter Kits - Highway Nine Deluxe Smooth Starter Kit Bent
A Beginner's Mistake
Maybe I'm smoking it wrong, but the $20 MM hardwood (says briar, not sure) pipe smokes better than this one. It's actually worse than a $7 MM cob. It's got a large bowl, feels and weighs just right in the hand, and it doesn't get too hot, so it's not without its pros. The cons though. It gets very, very wet and the first 10 bowls or so you get the red coating on the interior seeping all over the pipe cleaner (and probably inside your mouth too). Smells (and tastes) slightly chemical as a result, but I could very well be imagining that. If I could go back in time, I'd pick up the tool, the cleaners, the bag, and a pipe (NOT THIS PIPE) all separately. In fact, I'm considering to stop smoking it altogether once I'm done with the forever-ghosting CB Royal/1-Q I can't seem to ever finish. Still, a nice gesture on the guys here to provide the kit. We all learn from our mistakes, right?