Amphora - Virginia Blend 1.75oz
Solid Virginia Blend
Very good all around basic virginia blend. Moisture out of the pouch was perfect for me. If you like your tobacco on the dry side this will only require a couple minuets of dry time. The broken flake format is well done. Can be packed as is for smoking in a wide bowel and rubs out very easily. Takes easily to the flame and does not get to hot or bite. Covers the range of most virginia flavors. Slight notes of citrus and hay, lots of bready sweetness and every now and then a hint of red virginia flavor. There may be a touch of added sweetness to this but it is very slight. Not the most complex but far from boring or one note. Great all day smoke for a virginia fan. I will definitely be buying more to see how it ages.
Cornell & Diehl - Poplar Camp
This isn't bad but doesn't really stand out in any way for me. The virginias are good. A nice balance of brights and reds. I get the spice from the perique but not a lot of perique flavor. Im not a fan of black cavendish so i can pick it out in blends fairly easily and while i do taste it in this blend i actually think it helps. If it was not present i feel like the blend would be a little acrid or ashy tasting. It definitely adds some rounded sweetness which is needed. In the end I am glad i tried it and would not turn it down if offered to me but will not go out of my way to order more.
Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening
One of a kind
I am not an aromatic smoker but this is good stuff. It doesn't taste artificial like most aromatics. You still get plenty of natural virginia flavor and nice sweetness without the addition of black cavendish or flavorings that end with a chemical after taste. One of only 2 aromatics I actually enjoy smoking. Not wet or goopy. Smokes like most virginia blends. Find a pipe to dedicate to this as it will ghost anything it is smoked in.
G. L. Pease - Stonehenge Flake 2oz
Complex and delicious
Great blend! Rich, complex and full flavored. Full bodied so beware. The burley and perique really shine. Deep dark fruit flavors with chocolate are the base. Some bready sweetness from the virgina are in the background. The lakeland essence adds a nice subtle floral quality that really compliments the rest of the flavors. Its definitely noticeable but not super strong and doesn't take over or cover up the tobacco. A true accent. If you don't usually like lakeland tobaccos I would still recommend trying this. I am not a fan of them but love this tobacco. This also ages extremely well and really builds in complexity even after just a year or two.
Solani - Tropical Flake-639 50g
Unique and complex aromatic
This is the best aromatic for non aromatic smokers. I have been trying to find an aromatic that i enjoy or can at least tolerate because my girlfriend loves the smell of aromatics and hates the smell of everything I smoke. I don't like the taste of most aromatics but this is the best i have found so far. Don't be confused, this is definitely an aromatic and has plenty of sweetness but you still get some natural tobacco flavor. The burley really stands out and is very similar in flavor to Solani aged burley flake, not the typical burley you find in most aromatics. You will obviously taste the black cavendish but the virginia helps add natural tobacco sweetness and flavor so you don't just taste cavendish. The mango topping is subtle and after the initial light it really only shows up on the after taste which i really appreciate. It allows you to taste the tobacco then gives you the flavoring after. The chemically aftertaste that i usually find in aromatics is very minimal on this which is another reason why i like this blend. It smokes slow and is not goopy. I also appreciate the fact that it comes as a flake. It allows the flavors to meld and tastes much more rich and full than most other aromatics I have tried. Interestingly enough it also ages well. Just like aged virginias the natural sweetness and complexity builds and it has a nice deep bready flavor. Like a dessert pastry. However the mango flavor completely disappears and natural sweetness is all that is left. If you are a non aromatic smoker in search of an aromatic you can tolerate give this a chance.
Peter Stokkebye - PS84 Turkish Blend
Simple but good
Update....I stand by my previous review but after letting this age for about 6 months to a year the flavor has really matured well. It is deeper and fuller. The spice is still there from the Orientals but the virginia sweetness has come out. I was primarily blending with this when it was fresh but after the age I now really enjoy this by itself and has bumped this up to a 4-4.5 stars. If you smoke bold or heavy blends this may seems a little thin and flat but if you are an oriental fan you will like this. Just enough virginia to give it a touch of sweetness but not enough to smooth out or hide the oriental. Plenty of fragrant spice and sharpness. A little sour but mostly spicy and salty. If you have had blends with orientals and liked them this is a great way to try them by themselves and really see exactly what they add to a blend. This would also be a great blending component for creating your own blends or a great roll your own tobacco. If it is smoked to fast it gets hot and tastes ashy so pack tight and smoke slow.
G. L. Pease - The Virginia Cream 2oz
Not an aromatic
I am not an aromatic smoker and probably never will be. This poses a problem for me as my girlfriend hates the smell of all of the tobaccos I smoke but loves the smell of every aromatic my father smokes. I bought this with the hope of finding a tobacco that smells like an aromatic but doesn't taste like one. I have seen many reviews claiming that this was the tobacco to finally achieve this. Unfortunately, at least for my girlfriend this was not the case. She said it smells like everything else i smoke...with a touch of sweetness. All is not lost however as this is a pretty good blend. It doesn't really taste like an aromatic to me. I would put it in more of a navy blend category. You taste all the natural tobacco but with a slight alcohol topping. Most people say bourbon but it smells more like a scotch to me. No chemical aftertaste. Just tobacco. The kentucky and perique really show up to me. Much spicier than i anticipated. Can smoke hot and will bite if not careful. A little too much going on for an everyday smoke for me but still pretty good.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 50g
Best everyday virginia
This is the only tobacco I always have open in my rotation. I usually keep around 12 or so tobaccos open at any given time and this is always one of them. Whenever i cant decide what to smoke this is what i reach for and when I am in the mood for this specifically nothing else will suffice. Escudo may be my all time #1 but this is 1b. If you are new to virginias or want to try them this is where you need to start. Nice bright grassy virginia flavor. Lemon zest, sweetness with a little hay. The perique only shows up to me when i sip this really slowly. Great fresh and really changes with some age. Always behaves well in any size pipe and has never given me issues with tongue bite.
A&C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
If you told me I could only have one tobacco for the rest of my life this might be it. I cant really think of any negatives for this. Flavor is fantastic. Dark sweet virginias, just the right amount of perique. Bready sweetness with just a hint of plummy perique spice. Goldilocks on body and strength. Has a mature taste even when fresh and is even better with some age on it. Everyone needs to try this tobacco at least once even if you are not a virginia or va/per person.
Peter Stokkebye - PS41 Cube Cut
This blend definitely needs to be talked about more. Most people pass it off as a blending tobacco or are scared of by the cut. This stuff is excellent by itself and the cut is easy to work with after a little practice. I like to slightly rub it out and gravity fill. Wider more shallow pipes work best as it tends to expand quite a bit. May require a few extra re-lights but nothing cumbersome. Be sure to use a pipe cleaner to block the airway when packing. Nice naturally sweet and nutty flavor. The virginia and burley blend perfectly together. Hints of cocoa and spice from time to time. If you are a virginia smoker that wants something slightly different with a little more body this is it. If you are a burley smoker that wants something with a little more sweetness but still smooth this is it. If you have tried burley blends and they are a little to strong or harsh give this a try. It is much more friendly.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
Go to english
I am normally not an english smoker but i do get in the mood for them from time to time. This is very well balanced with not to much latakia or oriental. I get a very pleasing apricot sweetness from the first light which stays about half way through the bowl then transitions to an earthy and sweet mild english. I really enjoy this in all size bowls and it has become one of the very few english blends that i can smoke anytime and i have recently found myself reaching for this instead of some of my regular va/pers.
G. L. Pease - Cairo 2oz
Oriental lovers dream
Fragrant and spicy. All the classic oriental flavors ranging from spicy to sour. Can burn hot if you are not careful. My only criticism is i wish it had a touch more sweetness. A pinch more red or dark virginia would make this an easy 5 star for me.
Seattle Pipe Club - Deception Pass 2oz
With all the recent SPC hype i was very excited to try this blend as it is one of their only blends without latakia. While the tobacco is of very good quality i was not very impressed. To me there was just to much going on with this blend. I would really enjoy it at certain points during the smoke then it would go off a flavor cliff in another direction. It did not seem to have an identity or particular direction and was often times to sweet for me.
Cornell & Diehl - Derringer 2oz
VERY underrated. I dont understand how this is not talked about more. This is an amazing virginia blend. So many different flavors. All the classic light virginia sweetness, citrus and hay flavors but has the deeper bready flavors of a darker aged virginia as well. I also really enjoy the cut of this. It is a very wide cut broken flake that i have just been packing straight without rubbing out and it burns fantastic. Burns slow and smokes cool and dry. My tin was two years old when i smoked it. I plan on trying some fresh if i can and i will def be aging several tins. I feel like this could also scratch the itch of anyone missing their Mcclelland virginias. Dont get me wrong it is not a replacement but it does remind me of Mcclelland at certain times during the smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Father the Flame (Straight Up English) 2oz
Perfect light english
Absolutely love this blend. I am not a very big latakia fan. I primarily smoke virginias or va/pers but occasionally i want an english. Especially during the fall and winter. This has just enough latakia to let you know it is there but doesnt take over. It is much more virginia and burley forward. Very nutty. Slightly sweet and just a touch of leather and smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Old Grove 2oz
Not your grandpa's aromatic
This is a very interesting tobacco. The base is not like a typical aromatic. It has much more body and flavor. Very oriental forward. Lots of spice with steady sweetness from the Virginia's. The pomegranate topping is pretty strong. You definitely smell it in the tin the flavor stays just in the background through the entire smoke but doesnt steal the show. Being a non aromatic smoker I wish there was a little less of the topping but it's not enough to make me not want to smoke it. I actually really like this tobacco every now and then when I want something a little different. If you have ever had Mac Baren HH Acadian Perique this tastes very similar to that but with a pomegranate topping. If you like oriental blends without latakia and want something with some sweetness or a better room note definitely give this a try. If you are an aromatic smoker and want to branch out to non aromatic blends give this a try but be mindful of the spiciness. My tin had about a year and a half of age on it. It was a little moist but smokeable. 5 to 10 minuets of dry time is perfect. I would be very curious to see how this ages since it is in the cellar series. This has easily made it into my rotation as one of the few aromatics I ever reach for on occasion.
Sutliff - 507C Virginia Slices
Wait for best results
This is a decent Virginia when fresh but definitely needs some age to really shine. When its fresh it just tastes a little green and immature. Has some decent sweetness and hay flavors. Very earthy for a bright straight Virginia. I usually let mine sit for a few months before i am really able to fully enjoy it. Very excited to see how this is after a few years.
Hearth & Home - Black House 1.75oz
To much cavendish
Somewhat disappointed with this blend. The component tobaccos are very good but there is to much cavendish in this blend for my personal taste. Can burn to hot if you are not careful and left that bad mouth coat that comes from heavy cavendish blends. If you do not mind heavy cavendish blends then you will probably love this tobacco. The virg and orientals are very flavorful and the latakia is bold but not overpowering.
Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
This is a must try if you are a Virginia smoker. Falls somewhere between FVF and OGS. Bag note is very sweet with toasted cereal and honey notes. Has some hay and citrus notes as well. The bag note is exactly what you get during the smoke. There is something about this that gives it a slightly unique taste that i havn't found in any other straight Virginia but I cant put my finger on it. I am very excited to see how this ages but it is excellent fresh and has found its way very quickly into my normal rotation. Definitely a must try for any Virginia smoker and especially if you like Orlik Golden Sliced.
Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
Almost but not yet
Very good blend. Maybe a touch too much Cavendish but still very good. Tastes a bit immature when fresh but will definitely improve with age. I can't wait to try this in a couple years and I'm guessing it will up my opinion another star.
Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
Personally I don't see what all the hype is about. Don't get me wrong these are quality tobaccos and def worth buying but i didn't find it that great. It was far more aromatic than I was expecting and while the topping is pleasant don't fool yourself into thinking that this is a straight virginia blend. It is not a typical aromatic and will not ghost a pipe but it is also not a straight virginia. That all being said my biggest problem is the fact that it tastes a little green or immature. I feel like this will be very good after a couple of years of age once the virginas have time to age and the topping has faded a bit. This is would be a perfect choice for an aro smoking looking to branch out or for someone who likes virginia and doesn't mind a bit of flavor. Personally it was just a bit too much topping for me. I look forward to trying it in a few years.
Cornell & Diehl - Yorktown
Fantastic virginia blend. Should be talked about more often. Especially since it is available in bulk. Can't wait to try this after it has some age on it. This is a perfect mix of bright and red Virginia's. Plenty of grass and hay and just a touch of that ketchupy red virginia flavor you get from Mcclelland but not nearly as strong. Definitely worth a try for any virginia smoker. Quickly found a spot in my rotation.