Mac Baren - Golden Extra
Excellent Morning Burley
This is the perfect morning smoke, it goes great with a cup of strong coffee and it has a delicious tobacco forward, burley profile, just sweet enough to hit the spot without to many flavorings to overpower the blend, it has a little nuttiness, cocoa and fruit and the vitamin N is somewhere in the medium range. I just pack my Peterson pipe, sit back and let it burn away that morning fog. I don't like all burley blends, but I love this one.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Kendal Dark
Good and strong!
This is a fantastic tobacco, creamy, woody, smoky, slightly sweet, slightly spicy. this is a finely cut shag tobacco, so it packs easily. I love it with my morning coffee, it definitely hits the spot. If you're not used to higher nicotine blends, you need to be careful with this one! I recommend drying it a little and then pack it and smoke away!
Sail - Regular (Yellow) 1.5oz
The pouch note is of a much sweeter tobacco than actually translates to the smoke. This is a burley forward blend that is slightly sweet, creamy and has a slightly sour note that appeals to me. Mild nicotine content and smokes effortlessly. it has a coarse cut that I break up a little bit to make it easier to pack and while it's lightly flavored, it's still flavorful and satisfying. I like it because of it's consistency, which is something I look for in a blend.
Mixture No. 79 - Mixture No. 79 1.5oz
A nice mellow burley blend
I know this is a very polarizing blend and I have seen a lot of jokes about it and I get it. This blend is a little different, but I actually love it for what it is. I think it absolutely sings in a cob (as do most Burley blends in my opinion) The toppings are a little stronger than in a lot of the other codger blends, but I find them to be very pleasant in their mixture and without that horrible chemical taste. It's a little nutty, a little sweet, plenty of creamy smoke with just a little floralness, plenty of anise and a little bourbon. it takes a few relights to get it going. but once it's lit, it's an almost effortless smoke, with a fairly consistent burn rate. it's a bit chunky in the cut, but packs easily in spite of that. I smoke this at least once a day, usually in the morning with a hot cup a joe or Earl Grey tea. Keep an open mind and enjoy!
Tabac De La Semois - Reserve du Patron 3.5oz
Wow, this stuff is my new #2, fantastic flavor, savory, earthy, nutty, light sweetness, slightly floral and oodles of creamy smoke, also kind of reminds me of a very tasty cigar. I bought the Reserve du Patron and there is a lot of tobacco in this package, very dry, wants to be packed firmly and smokes like a dream. Beware the nic-hit on this stuff is on the high side, but that's another plus in my opinion. This is different from everything else and I love it! Bravo Mr. Manil! Update: I have found that I like to add this tobacco to other burley aromatic blends to give them a little more body and to add a little more vitamin N.
Mac Baren - Navy Flake 3.5oz
Nice all day smoke!
This is a very tasty flake with a typical burley forward flavor, light sweetness, some stewed fruit with a very light amount of rum, I notice the rum more in the beginning of the bowl though. Perfect moisture level to smoke right out of the tin. I prefer to cube-cut the flake into 3rds or 4ths and give it a light rub, but keeping the texture somewhat coarse. packs and lights easily, I can smoke this all day, the tin was almost gone before I realized it!
Comoy's - Cask No.4
This is a quality tobacco that I cellar deep, because it's pretty much a staple blend for me. I usually just roughly break up a couple of flakes, without actually rubbing them out and then loosely pack my pipe. It usually takes a few re-lights and tamps but once it takes off, it's a fantastic smoke every time, with a dark fruity and slightly citrus flavor that is fairly consistent throughout the entire bowl.
G. L. Pease - Stratford 2oz
This is a very well done, top tier tobacco. For my tastes, it is very similar to the Old Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture, which recently got acquired under the Peterson umbrella and which used to be a regular smoke for me. Stratford is mellow, tangy with some dark fruity-ness to it, slightly sweet, with a decent nicotine hit! I'm a fan!
Amphora - Kentucky Blend 1.75oz
A good, easy smoke!
This is a really good blend. It's a little sweet, a little smoky, a little spicy and just an all around good, easy smoke. I also got a compliment on the room note. I also like to add this as an occasional condiment to straight Virginia to give it a little depth!
Peterson - Irish Whiskey 50g
No whiskey here!
Is there even whiskey flavoring in this blend? I know it says there is, but I'm doubtful. That aside, this is still a decent smoke and the leaf seems to be of decent quality, but it's not what I was expecting. 2-1/2 stars for effort!
Sutliff - Match Victorian
Different... but very good!
Beware this is not a match made to the current iteration of EM, this is a match to the old Murray's blend. I find it to have a little more flavor in all area's than the current version. It's a little more figgy/fruity and just slightly more citrusy than the current version of EM. All of that being said, I think it is a slightly superior tobacco to the current version and I highly recommend it, but beware... it is a little different. Enjoy! Update: It also seems to be a little lighter on the Vitamin N, which is a point against it, so I lowered the score from 4.5 stars to 4 stars.
Samuel Gawith - Grousemoor 50g
I like it!
This seems to be a fairly polarizing tobacco, most people love it or hate it! Personally, I like it! It does have quite a bit of the Lakeland essence that it is so renowned with British blends, but its not overly done and doesn't mask that natural tobacco flavor. This is actually a pretty good blend if given a chance, and one can get past the floral essence. It seems to be made with quality leaf, easy to keep lit and smokes fairly cool. I enjoy it and will probably keep a few tins on hand.
E. Hoffman Company - Distinguished Gentleman 2.5oz
Good American/English blend
I generally like crossover English blends and this one is no exception. It is pleasantly sweet, rich and lightly smoky. It produces a decent amount of smoke and has a nice mouth feel to it. There is a light topping here but I can't discern what it is, other than lightly sweet and maybe a little fruity, but not over done. Good show E. Hoffman!
Peterson - Sherlock Holmes 50g
Sherlock would be proud!
I am a huge literary fan of Sherlock Holmes, so of course I had to try this blend. At first I taste a decent quality Virginia with a little citrus and some natural sweetness, and a very light and fruity topping. There is just a little burley nuttiness in the background, but it's not a key player. I can't quite put my finger on this topping, apricot maybe. It seems to fade a little halfway through the bowl and never sublimates that fine natural tobacco flavor. I smoked this blend slowly, so it never bit me and it turned out to be a very flavorful and enjoyable smoke. I suspect this will age well, so I'm going to put a few tins back. Mr. Holmes would be proud
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
This is a top notch tobacco; it’s earthy, smoky, spicy and just a little sour. I think it benefits from a hour of drying time, just to let it breathe a bit. This is my go-to blend for a latakia and oriental English blend.
Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
When someone refers to an English tobacco, this is probably the best example of that genre. It is smoky a little sour and a little spicy and the taste is spot on. My only problem with it is that for some reason it doesn’t agree with my body chemistry and always ends up biting the heck out of my tongue, which is unfortunate because I found it to be quite tasty. It is very moist from the tin, which is typical of many SG blends, I would recommend drying it for about an hour prior to smoking.
Samuel Gawith - Celtic Talisman 50g
Decent for an aromatic
This is a decent aromatic, I found it to be too wet right out of the tin, so I dried it for about an hour. Being an aromatic, it needs some moisture to retain its flavor. Smoke it too fast and it will bite you, it wants to be smoked slow and steadily. The cherry flavoring does mute the natural tobacco taste a bit, but you can still taste some of that nutty burley in there. I will probably put this one away for a while and save it for when I’m in one of those aromatic moods.
Samuel Gawith - Bothy Flake 50g
Like a good scotch!
Upon opening the tin, the peaty scent of scotch and just a little latakia waft up to me, not an unpleasant experience. The first few puffs are a little sweet and peaty, further down the bowl, the sweetness fades and the natural tobacco flavor married with the peaty-ness of the topping is prevalent and the latakia is just present in the background, coming and going. I enjoy tobaccos that are not overwhelmed by a casing or topping and allow that natural flavor to shine through. The latakia is a minor player in Bothy Flake, staying in the background throughout the smoke. The flakes are a bit moist and will require a little dry time. I enjoyed this tobacco, like a dram of fine scotch and will definitely be buying some more.
Mac Baren - Club Blend 3.5oz
This is a nice easy smoking tasty tobacco, the black Cavendish seems to be nicely dispersed throughout each coin and the Virginia is there too of course. This is a cousin to Dark Twist, except is seems to have less of the dark fired leaf in it. it's quite tasty, not spicy at all and burns well. I rubbed about 4 coins out and let them dry for about 20 mins. before loading up my pipe, I find that doing this with most Mac Baren blends staves off that dreaded tongue bite. I'm going to cellar this to see what a little age does to it.
Capstan - Ready Rubbed Blue 1.75oz
Kind of boring, actually.
I not going to lie, I bought a tin of this just because JRR Tolkien smoked it... however I'm not a fan. I am not normally a straight Virginia smoker and I found this to be kind of boring and bland and tasted to much like cigarettes. The whole time I'm smoking it, I'm thinking "This could sure use some perique, or maybe some DFK to kick it up a notch". It is obviously made with some good quality leaf (which is why I gave it 2.5 stars instead of 2), but I guess my preferences lean more towards a stronger flavor profile.
Mac Baren - Dark Twist 3.5oz
Flavorful and satisfying!
I purchased this because I like the coin type tobaccos and I'm also a fan of dark fired leaf. I found the best way to smoke it is to choose 4 to 5 coins and rub them out. I usually let them dry for 10 - 15 minutes and then pack my pipe. Some coins have more black Cavendish and are easily discerned by their darker color, I like to get at least 2 of them in a bowl. You have to pay attention to this blend and slow your cadence a little to get the most flavor and to avoid being bit, but the reward is well worth it, with creamy, sweet maple and molasses/brown sugar flavors that are sublime, combined with the slight spicy-ness of the dark fired leaf. Leaves a nice after taste and the room note isn't terrible.
Mixture No. 79 - Mixture No. 79 1.5oz
Nice change of pace!
I like OTC's, not necessarily all of them, or all of the time mind you, but I smoke them occasionally just to switch things up a little. Upon first light I was intrigued, this burley blend has a nice aroma and a sweet taste of anise, with a very slight floral-ness. It is not complex nor particularly strong, but its one of those blends that you can smoke easily with out thinking about it, whilst doing other things. The taste is pretty consistent and doesn't change throughout the bowl, but I enjoy it for what it is. Don't overthink it and you may enjoy it as well! Beware this may need a little dry time and can bite a little bit if pushed to hard or not dried out enough.
Amphora - Full Aroma 1.75oz
This tobacco didn't change my life or anything, but it is a fairly decent smoke. I am a fan of the Original Blend, and this is very similar with the exception that it is a little sweeter that the Original and it has that definite chocolate topping and maybe some fruitiness to it. I would say that for a pouched blend, this tobacco sets the bar just under its counter part, Original Blend. I am a fan of Dark Fired Kentucky, so this is a fairly decent smoke for me, I will probably keep a couple pouches on hand.
Half and Half - Half and Half 1.5oz
Good all day smoke!
This is one of those good, dependable all day smokes that your grandfather probably enjoyed. I think people over estimate this tobacco and then end up dissappointed. This is a decent OTC burley blend, it is not complex, nor is it very strong, but if you want a burley blend, that smokes easily, cool and has a nice anise taste, this is a solid and dependable, OTC tobacco. I like to dump the package out in a bowl and let it dry for a couple of days, which seems to subdue the topping a little and bring out more of the natural burley flavor. Update: After smoking 1/2 a pouch of this, I decided the topping was a little too strong and cut it 50/50 with some Carter Hall, I like it much better that way. Because the topping is so strong, I'm lowering my rating from 3.5 to 3.0.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Louisiana Flake
This is good quality leaf, typical of G&H blends. This is my favorite G&H flake, the perique is fruity and slightly sweet and subtle. This has a good tobacco forward taste with just a hair of the usual lakeland essence that you find in most G&H blends, so beware if you're sensitive to that. It also has a slight chocolate flavor to it that i love. This flake behaves much better when dried out and I suspect it will improve from aging as well. Nicotine content is about medium. I rubbed it out and it was delicious. I think this will age quite well. Update: I have been smoking this for a couple of weeks now and it reminds me of Dunhill Elizabethan Mix., but with a hint of Lakeland essance. It's still very good to me and I am a huge fan of Elizabethan Mix. so I'm going to change my rating to 4 stars.
Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
My new favorite
This flake is of excellent quality, sweet virginia with a coconut and caramel top dressing. The flavoring is gently applied and accents the tobacco perfectly. I rub out enough of the flakes to smoke all day and I'm a happy man. Edit: This has the ability to be a little bitey if not dried out properly prior to smoking and is best if not pushed to hard.
Amphora - Original Blend 1.75oz
From the pouch I smelled a little cocoa, vanilla and a nice natural tobacco aroma. once my pipe was packed and lit, I was pleaseantly surprised that the pouch aroma actually translated to the smoke. I can taste both the cocoa and vanilla, but not so strong as to sublimate the taste of other tobacco's. It has a light, pleasant spicyness to it (probably from the dark fired Kentucky leaf) that melds well with the rest of the blend. This seems to be made with some quality leaf and I'm liking this more as I progress through the bowl. I am happily impressed with this little pouch blend. My pouch was a little wet, I recommend drying it a while before smoking. Edit: I write this only a few months after my original review and I am bumping my rating up to 5 stars, just because this has become my regular smoking blend and the more I smoke it the more I like it. I find that completely drying it out, improves it even more. Amphora Original is my new mainstay.
Newminster - No.17 English Luxus
I enjoy a lot of English cross-over blends and this one rates right up there with the best of them. This seems to be an exact duplicate of Lane's HGL (which I also enjoy). The Latakia is perfectly applied, not to strong and melds nicely with the constituent tobacco's to make a tasty, well balanced smoke.
Lane Limited - HGL
I received a sample of this from my local tobacco shop and to be honest I wasn't really expecting much. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised. I do enjoy cross-over type English blends and I found this to be a very nice, well balanced smoke. A little sweet from the Cavendish, a little nutty from the burley, A little tangy from the Virginia's and a little smoky from the Latakia. I find that some blends with Latakia tend to have too much and it overpowers the rest of the tobacco's, but not so with this blend, as the Latakia seems to be perfectly applied.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Rich Dark Honeydew
Rich, sweet and strong!
This is a very nice tobacco from G&H, it's made with some quality leaf , It's nutty from the burley, rich and sweet from the honey. The maple really comes through in the pouch note but it's a kind of in the background of the actual smoke, which I like, so it doesn't mask the natural tobacco flavor and that makes this a tasty blend. The Lakeland essence is there as with many G&H blends, but it imparts a nice floral note to the flavor profile. It also has a pretty decent hit of vitamin N to it, so I would have a little something on the stomach prior to smoking.
Comoy's - Cask No.2 3.5oz
Very Nice Aromatic
When I first opened the tin, the smell of port was strong along with the possibility of a little vanilla and chocolate in the background. The port really didn't translate much to the smoke though. It's a nice smooth, rich and sweet smoke with a taste of vanilla and cocoa. You can tell this is made with some quality leaf. I think this will benefit from a little blending latakia added to give it some smokiness. I don't usually smoke aro's, but this is so good its going into my regular rotation.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Coniston Cut Plug
Good and strong.
This reminds me of Bosun Cut Plug, but there are some differences. First of all, the broken flakes seem to be a little thinner and it rubs out pretty easily, so be careful to not rub it out to much. There are some cloves in here as well as the typical G&H Lakeland floral toppings (which I like) and it's a little less sweet with plenty of good, natural tobacco flavor, very tasty!. It burns good and did not require any drying time. G&H uses good quality tobacco in this, just like in all of their blends. Take note, this is a strong tobacco, so you'll want to sip it and have something on your stomach when you smoke it.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Burley and Bright
Burley and Bright reminded me of a OTC blend, except made with better quality tobacco. The cut seems to be a fine ribbon and the burn rate (kind of fast), are what reminded me of an OTC blend. The flavor is a little sweet and with a hint of the Lakeland topping that is typical of G&H blends. I enjoyed it and I may use it in the future to mix with other tobacco's. Overall it's a pretty decent smoke.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Bosun Cut Plug
This is a top notch, full flavored tobacco indicative of what G&H regularly produces. The cut plug is more like a broken flake to me and it rubs out easily enough. This has a nice Anise topping and it has the typical Lakeland toppings as well, so anyone with an aversion to either of those may want to steer around it, I find it downright tasty though. This tobacco is strong too, so I recommend smoking it with some food in your belly. This makes for a perfect after dinner smoke for me, so I enjoy smoking it as a regular part of my rotation.
Peterson - Irish Dew 40g
When I first opened the pouch, it smelled great, a little cocoa, whiskey and good virginia/burley tobacco. However the pouch note didn't really translate to the smoke. It bit me a little and I found it to be kind of bland and boring. I'm going to add a touch perique to this tobacco and jar it up for a while, to revisit in a year or 2. I'll give it 2 stars, just because I have had worse!
Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
This is a good, solid smoke every time. This tobacco never fails to deliver! I like to gently rub it out and let it dry for about a 1/2 hour. It is very well balanced, the amount of perique is perfectly done and that little core of Black Cavendish provides a nice sweet note.This tobacco ages beautifully, so don't be afraid to put some back for a rainy day.
Three Nuns - Three Nuns 1.75oz
Better with age
I have never had the original Three Nuns, so I have no basis for comparison, however I can tell you this is a superb tobacco that has a lot going for it. Would it be better if it actually had Perique in it? Probably... but it is still very good. I put away a tin of this for about a year and it mellowed a little bit and got a little sweeter, this blend is definitely worth your time. I like to smoke it slow and easy for more flavor, enjoy!
Cornell & Diehl - Three Friars 2oz
I've never had the old Three Nuns, but this is a good solid tobacco in it's own right. I can taste the nutty burleys, the grassy Virginia's and the sweet/spicy perique, sometimes with one more pronounced than the others and they just kind of trade places coming to the fore and then fading into the background. It's a very flavorful blend with a satisfying nic hit to it. I'm sure I will buy more.
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 2oz
Needs more perique
This is a good but not a great blend. I know it's very popular and it has a nice nic hit to it, but it's a little to bland and hrsh for my tastes and it seemed to get a little bitter towards the last 3rd of the bowl. It needs a little more perique in my opinion as well.
Cornell & Diehl - Black Frigate 2oz
Pleasant and consistant
Do you like rum and latakia? then you will love this! I get the same delicious smoke from this little crumble cake every time and it's a very nice after dinner smoke. It's rich, smoky, sweet and very satisfying.
Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning 8oz
My go to morning smoke
I love this blend, the perique content is perfect and it's balanced perfectly, not to spicy or to sweet and it's got a decent nicotine content for a morning smoke. It pairs nicely with a cup of coffee and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. It's probably an excellent smoke for anytime of day, but I prefer it in the morning.
War Horse - Ready Cut 50g
Strong yet smoooth
I ordered this after reading the reviews on it, thinking it was right up my alley. Boy was I right, Warhorse is on the high side of medium in the vitamin N dept. but oh so smooth. It seems to have just the right amount of perique in it and the perique is a perfect balance between spicy and sweet. The burley gives a nutty flavor that melds perfectly with the musky smokiness of the DFK. It is a flawless smoke for me and I always keep a tin in my rotation.
St. Bruno - Ready Rubbed 1.75oz
I love the ready rubbed and tin both. The RR is more convenient though. I like to take St. Bruno with me when I travel because it's dependable, I get a good smoke every time. It is slightly floral, but not in the same way Lakeland type blends are. British tobacco's all tend to be more hearty, meaty, earthy and this is no exception. The RR is ready to smoke right out of the pouch, but you may want to let it dry for a little while from the tin.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Ennerdale Flake
If you dislike the Lakeland floral essences, then I would recommend that you steer clear of this flake. However, if you are the adventurous type, there is a tasty reward to be gained by smoking this tobacco. Like all G&H blends, I find this one to be made with premium quality tobaccos. I find it to have a floral, yet fruity taste with a nice creamy mouth feel. I usually smoke this flake a couple times a week for a nice change of pace.
Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
If you are a fan of dark fired Kentucky leaf, then this should be on your list to try. It's earthy, nutty, a little spicy and quite strong with a nice tobacco flavor. I could be wrong but I swear I taste a touch perique in this. I like to add a pinch of blending perique to the bowl to give it a little more character, but it's still quite good on it's own. This can be harsh if pushed, so a nice easy cadence produces a fine smoke. A little aging improves this blend as well.
Peterson - Irish Flake 50g
Dependable everyday smoke!
This is an everyday smoke for me, it's very unique in it's flavoring (anise maybe?) which is applied perfectly along with a very slightly floral topping. It's earthy, nutty and a little sweet with a strong nicotine hit. I usually smoke this in an after dinner pipe, it's very satisfying.
Bengal Slices - Bengal Slices 1.75oz
This is my favorite tobacco, it's absolutely perfect. It's perfectly balanced, lightly smoky, slightly sweet, nutty creamy, and a little incense like from the orientals. It smokes cool with no bite whatsoever and has a wonderful aftertaste, I'm stocking up on this.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed
This is a real winner and a go-to tobacco for me, I reach for this more than any other blend to smoke. It's earthy, nutty, spicy, slightly sweet and perfectly balanced. This is almost my favorite tobacco right now.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Bob's Chocolate Flake
This flake is absolutely delicious, sweet, creamy with the cocoa and just a hint of smoky latakia and maybe a very slight amount of floral essence makes this a very tasty smoke for me. Edit: This flake is quite moist, I suggest rubbing out this flake and letting it dry for an hour or more, I usually rub out enough at a time for 2 or 3 bowls. I think it is best when packed loosely and smoked slowly, enjoy.
Samuel Gawith - Cabbie's Mixture 50g
Cabbie's Mix is truly an excellent blend. the Virginia's are a little sweet and hay-like, the perique is a little spicy and sweet, very well balanced and tasty. These tasty little coins definitely benefit from a little drying time, I let it dry for about an hour after rubbing out and it made for a very nice smoke.
Peterson - Irish Cask 50g
Better with age!
Irish Oak is very good, but if you let it age for about a year, it is great. The Perique is peppery and a little spicy and also a little sweet. The Virginia's impart a little sweetness with some hay. I found it to be a little harsh though if pushed or smoked too fast. Some age mellows this tobacco out and sweetens that perique nicely. This is a really good cellar blend.
G. L. Pease - Sixpence 2oz
This is a go-to tobacco for me, a good smoke every time. I am a huge fan of Dark Fired Kentucky and in Sixpence it is applied perfectly. It is fruity, earthy, nutty and a little spicy. It's in the top 5 of my rotation.