Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Bird's Eye
This is somewhat of a two-fold tobacco. Smoke it fast like I imagine the sailors would have and the Kentucky takes center stage. But slower smoking yields a more elegant, smoother flavor with a delicious note that I can only describe as heavily spiced oatmeal raisin cookies. One of those time-tested blends that you need to buy right now and ask questions later, namely why you hadn't bought it already!
Samuel Gawith - Cabbie's Mixture 50g
The hype is real
This is a wonderful tobacco. Coins are perfect size, and at a good moisture for storing and aging. Tin note is of stewed apricots and plums. Citrus, grass, cinnamon and clove notes hover on a sweet, light Virginia base with a touch of Perique character. Highly, highly recommend for the VaPer lover.
Drew Estate - 7th Avenue Blonde 50g
I tend to think that I hate aromatics. But the tin note of this blend was so buttery and enticing, I decided to give it a try. After drying it considerably, I'm loving it! It's all I've smoked since I bought it. It's very mild, but well balanced. Perfect for early spring.
McClelland - 5100 - Red Cake
I usually buy this from Uptown's, sold under one of their Tennessee-inspired aliases. it's a great Virginia, plenty of sweetness, but also a subtle nutmeg/spice note. It's grassy enough for spring and summer, but toasty enough to smoke in the cooler months as well. One of my favorites!
Pipe Accessories - Peterson Brown Suede Combo 2 Pipe Tobacco Pouch
As it's hard to find a reasonably-priced bag with good quality leather, this is a great compromise. Very well made, the latex liner in the tobacco pouch is thick and actually sewn together with good quality thread. Note: this bag with fit two "traditionally-sized" pipes, but you'll struggle to fit two larger, freehand-style pipes in it. My Nørding freehand takes up the whole pocket.
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 2oz
Dry this out. A lot. Almost all the way. NOW you're talking - the flavors are eclectic and poignant. I even get hints of bananas interspersed with more traditional V/Lat notes. But try to smoke this out-of-tin, and you will be deeply, deeply disappointed - it tastes of dottle all the way through. Treat this blend right, and it will reward you greatly.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired 1.75oz
One of the best
Man oh man, this stuff is incredible. Bought in the MacBaren HH sampler, not a bad blend in the lot but this one shines. Beautiful dark flake, tin note is of dark chocolate and single malt. Stuff, rub, whatever - it's always intensely flavorful. Taste is more of the same with a robust burley underpinning. Notes of sweet tea, roasty coffee and KC-style barbeque also come through. This is a real winner... Always smoke this in a MM Huck Finn for a truly All-American experience.
Cornell & Diehl - Shandygaff
Not too shabby
I'll be honest, at the beginning of the bowl I thought this was going to be a dumper. Overpowering burley with little dimension and a dreadful, coughing room note. Light too hot and you get... Sweaty gym shorts? Yuck. However, once settled in, the per/ori mixture did incorporate a fine spice inflection, which I can understand being interpreted as gingery when combined with the bright florally ash. Saltiness was apparent. Definitely placed me in the headspace of cloudy afternoons on the pier checking the crab traps. Reasonable nic, no bite, and nice moisture out of the jar. Not the best oddball blend I've ever tried, but not the worst either. A nice change up.