Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening 2oz
Not What I Was Expecting...
After reading reviews of a heavy maple flavoring and delicious pancakes, I decided to give this blend a go. The tin note is amazing! The maple is there and there is plenty of it. It was a bit moist right out of the tin, so I let a bit dry before loading it into a bowl. It took to light well. That, however, is all that this blend has going for it. Once my bowl was lit, I tasted no maple. None. All I tasted was a hint...and I do mean just a hint...of brown sugar. Somewhere in there, there might have been a smidgen of expired and crusty molasses…the type that no one wanted and has sat in the fridge for generations. Instead, I was greeted with puff after puff of fowl, char-tasting smoke. There was nothing pleasant about it and the aftertaste...well...don't even get me started. I figured it was a fluke, so I set about cleaning my pipe, waiting a day and giving it another go. Nope. No improvement whatsoever. Now, it could be I simply got a bad batch (bottom of the tin dated 12/12/2013). But, this will not be a blend I order, nor one I will EVER recommend. As it's my first experience with Cornell & Diehl blends...well...I just hope what I order by them in the future makes a better impression.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton's Cellar 100g
A Great Intro to "English" Blends...
Many smokers have dubbed the Frog Morton line "cross-over" blends for aromatic smokers wanting to test the waters into latakia, or "english" blends. So naturally, after reading so many positive reviews and being suggested multiple times on forums I ordered the 100g tin. Prior trying this particular blend, I was strictly an aromatic smoker myself, mainly because I was afraid of venturing outside of my comfort zone, but I am certainly glad I did! Frog Morton Cellar has enough kick to shock the aromatic smoker's palate with its inclusion of latakia. Enough latakia, in my opinion, for someone to decide if the "English" blends would be something worth delving deeper into. For me, I can't get enough. It was an eye-opening smoke fresh out of the tin! It has that campfire, woodsy smell upon popping the seal, and with FMC, enough of that whiskey aroma to appease an Aro's senses. After several bowls now, I'm ready to try other latakia-laced blends and those fruity, casing-heavy blends are looking to be the occasional 'treat.' If you're wanting for something new as an aro smoker, give it a whirl, you just might enjoy it...I know I did!
CAO - Eileen's Dream 50g
A Pleasant Surprise...
To this day, CAO's cigarillo of Eileen's Dream has and always will be on my may favorite 'tinned' petite cigars. When I saw the company released a version of my favorite in a version I could put in my pipe, I was ecstatic. I admit, I went into loading my first bowl with a certain taste in mind...and this wasn't it. Instead it was a little something familiar, but a totally different take and it was wonderfully surprising! It's almost perfect right out of the tin, but I like my tobacco a little on the dry side, so after 20-25 minutes, in the bowl she went. It took well to flame and I didn't struggle to keep it going like I sometimes do with aromatics. The tobacco burns a little on the warmer side, but not once did it get too hot. It's creamy and unlike most flavored tobaccos, it's a light and airy smoke, rather than heavy and "chewy." It was a cool smoke all the way to the bottom, and not once did I get the dreaded tongue bite. Overall, a great smoke and one I'd recommend to anyone looking to pick up the hobby or just looking for a new delicious aromatic blend to sip!
Peterson - Nutty Cut 50g
An Aromatic Found Wanting
Upon opening the tin, this blend smells amazing. The rum is evident with a nuttiness underneath. After a little dry time and a full bowl, I found it to be lacking. It could have been just the tin purchased, but I found there to be a bit more bite than I would have wanted. Again, the rum can be tasted readily, but very little vanilla is noted. The room note is definitely nutty. It's pleasant with no complaints from the woman of the house. All in all, it wasn't a Peterson blend for me. I found more enjoyment and nuttiness in their 'Gold' blend, as well as in their 'De Luxe Mixture,' and would recommend either over 'Nutty Cut.' It's worth noting that my experience comes from both a fresh tin and having not enjoyed it, letting it sit. I opened the blend back up recently (after aging for over a year) and I have to say my pleasure hasn't increased while the after taste has gotten worse.