Peterson - My Mixture 965 50g
A medium bodied, full flavor English. Needs a little drying out the tin. Tin note has a medicinal quality to it that is at first a bit odd putting. But that translates to a peaty sweetness in the bowl. Pumpernickel rye notes dominate with a bit of mushroom and spice on the finish. Will likely purchase again.
Lighters - Kiribi Kabuto Short Black Nickel
High class! High quality!
I don't know why I've never owned a lighter like this before. Always been a Zippo guy. This craftsman ship on this lighter is great. It feels so hefty and refined in the hand. Love the adjustable flame. So far, works great. I've read that it needs the screws tightened every once and I while, no issue, I love maintaining things.
Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - Brigham Regular Pipe Cleaners (75 pack)
They work for what they are designed to do. Out complaint is that they are a bit linty.
Missouri Meerschaum - American Patriot 1.5oz
Fills the FMC void
Been searching endlessly for something to fill the void of Frog Morton Cellar. To date, this is the closest blend I've come across. Very similar tin/pouch notes between the too. I'd say FMC is a little smokier and sweeter and smoother, but only by a little bit. They categorize this as an English Aromatic, I suppose because of the whisky casing, but it is very subtle and really only detectable in the pouch note. Latakia component is balanced and doesn't upstage any of the other tobaccos. Will definitely be keeping this in the cellar.
Cornell & Diehl - Miskatonic Mixture 2oz
Dark, rich, complex
This would be a great blend to smoke on a cold and drizzly night with a good stiff whisky or hot toddy. Each few puffs is something different. The ribbon cut mixture allows for each leaf to play a quick solo. There is a sweet top note that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Though it doesn't list any cigar leaf in the blend, that was the first thing I smelled when I opened the tin, and it was always in the background through the smoke. For this reason, probably not going to be grabbing for this tin often, but will definitely keep it around when in the mood for something dark, rich, and contemplative.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 50g
This is one VA/PER that delivers exactly what the tin note suggests on the palate: white tea, orange, and alfalfa. It has a silky creaminess and a sweetness that reminds of something between cashew and rice milk. Actually reminds me of a semi-soft chew candy I used to get from the Asia Market with white rabbits on the label. It was made from sweetened rice milk I believe. The flakes are cut very thin and a delicate. I think would take a great candidate for fold and stuff, though haven't tried yet. Moisture is perfect out of the tin, no need to dry it out. Smokes cool and evenly, smoked all the way down off one light.
Arango - Balkan Supreme
Grows on you
Didnt too much care for it the first smoke. Gave it a couple of weeks and came back to it and find quite pleasing. Not much of a tin note, smoky mostly. This blend is more heavy on the Latakia than the other Oriental leaves I think. I've been steering more towards English blends that feature less Latakia lately, but this is a nice change of pace. Smoky with a mellow sweetness that hits your mid o back palate. Probably won't be winning any points with my wife, as it is quite a Latakia heavy room note. I'd say if mellow, smoky, and slightly spicy is your thing, try this.
Lane Limited - LL-7
I bought this after trying and enjoying LL's q-1, which is a rather enjoyable smoke. LL-7 is a similar flavor, but perhaps a bit sweeter, and therefore a somewhat single-noted smoke. I grew kind of tired of the sweetness midway through the bowl, it kinda sticks to your palate, whereas q-1 was lighter and less accumulating. I had a thought to just blend the two, as I purchased only an oz each to sample, but I think I'll leave the q-1 as is and toss this stuff. Not a bad smoke by any means, just not my cup of tea.
Sutliff - Crumble Kake Red Virginia 1.5oz
Very well done.
The product description above does an apt job at describing this tobacco. I'm new to the world of straight VAs and still getting used to the flavor profile. I never did get to try any McClelland VAs, but if they were close to this one here, I can see why so many people loved them. This will certainly find it's place in my cellar.
Cornell & Diehl - Bijou 2oz
Found my VA Blend
Been exploring VAs and VaPers recently. I must confess many have been a little too strong for my liking. Often biting, but I'm still perfecting the way I prepare, pack, and smoke them, getting better with each bowl. I think I've finally landed on one that suits my taste. Bijou is a delicious VA Oriental blend that offers a smooth yet very flavorful and complex smoke with no bite. The oriental leaf adds a perfumy top note and I don't know if it's the honey of the aged VA that lends the sweetness, but it's definitely has a nice sweetness that lingers on the tongue. Will definitely be buying more and stashing away a few tins in the cellar.
Lane Limited - 1-Q
Light, Sweet, Creamy
After 20 years of off and one smoking, starting with the aromatic bulk blends in my local pipe shop, to moving onto English Blends, to discovering Frog Morton blends just before McClelland was no longer and weeping in despair when I went to go buy another tin and there was none to be had, to exploring high quality straight VAs and VaPers, I've come full circle. I purchased this after reading the good reviews and was not disappointed in the least. Delivers exactly what I was looking for, a nice light smoke that doesn't linger in your palate like VaPers do. Not a fan of tasting yesterday's pipe today. 1-Q has smokes rich and cool with a creamy smoke. It tastes like sipping on a mug of hot cocoa. Might very well become my very day blend. Looking forward to trying LL-7, as folks say it tastes like 1-Q, but more flavorful. We'll see.
Sutliff - Eastfarthing 1.5oz
I'm updating my initial review. I had originally made a comparison to Frog Morton Cellar, but this having a vanilla topping I would say it's not quite the best comparison. For those looking for something closer to FMC I would suggest MMC American Patriot. SP categorizes this an aromatic, I would categorize it as an English Aromatic. If you are an aromatic smoker that is looking to explore English blends, I think this would be a great crossover. The top of the bowl smokes very cool, sweet, and light. The stoves burley creates a cool, dense, and creamy smoke, much like a Cavendish. Flavors of whisky, vanilla, and something like raisin coat your tongue with every puff. Not a Latakia bomb in the least, very balanced and light. As you get towards the middle of the bowl out comes a brown spice note that complements the sweet whisky and vanilla notes very well. Towards the end of the bow the spice note turns a bit more peppery and tingles the tongue a bit, though not in a biting way. The whisky note becomes more of a sweet cereal flavor towards the end of the bowl. Overall an extremely pleasant smoke.