DAVE DA DRAGON
About Me:
A piper who finds focus and enlightenment as I enjoy my pipes and tobacco.
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Sutliff - States of Virginia 1.5oz
Sutliff States of Virginia
If you have ever wanted to play around mixing up different varieties of Virginia’s the States of Virginia is for you…even if you haven’t!!! Inside the tin are three separate crumble cakes, one of red, one of bright and one of stoved. You can easily crumble the cakes and blend them anyway you like, or you can smoke them separately. I smoked the straight stoved first and found it a pleasant smoke with some sweetness, deep dark fruit with some tang, raisins, plums, a touch of black currant with some earthy truffle notes. Next I smoked the red which brought out it’s typical flavor profile of even more dark fruit tang, bread, sugar, some spice and a bit of vinegar, overall a nice red in and of itself. The bright Virginia has some nice age to it has that lemony bright tart flavor brights are known for, along with a bit of bread, sugar, hay, some spice and a bit of a flowery note. So with those as a palate I tried a basic blend to just see what one possible blend you can make tasted like. I mixed as close to I could manage by eye 1/3 of each and throughly mixed them, though I didn’t have time to let them mingle, the result was a pleasant blend. With some decent complexity and an overall good mouth feel. There isn’t any added flavors that I can tell and all three seem minimally processed. The stoved is the strongest of the lot in strength, nicotine being past medium on all three but not far past. The other two varieties are basically just about medium on all three counts. No matter the mix it burns cool and relatively dry, I did dry mine for about an hour after rubbing out. I got no bite even when I pushed them a bit and I sometimes will from Virginia’s especially brights. After tastes is pleasant and not overly lasting, same with the room note being pleasant to tolerable depending on the blending. I’m not a huge straight Virginia smoker but the blend I mixed up as well as the stoved and red straight I could smoke all day. Overall it’s a pleasant experiment in blending all in one tin!!! 5 out of 5 stars for me overall. Dave da Dragon Pipes used: Genod Bent Brandy and Stanwell Age when smoked: Fresh

Sutliff - Hill of Slane 1.5oz
Sutliff Tobacco Company - Hill of Slane (Sutliff Private Stock)
Not long ago Sutliff revealed they had sighted a little rascal in and around the factory, turns out it’s Henri a rather rowdy and impish sprite known in the tobacco world to know his leaf. But like most sprites ( the Irish call them Elves and Fairies) he is fond of a drop or two of spirits especially considering he’s been known to hang with the odd Leprechaun…believe me they can be odd…where he picked up a habit for finding fine liquor and for hiding surprises and little treasures here and there. Rumor has it not only did he get his Spritely hands into this blend of leaf and liquor but that he also snuck a special coin into one tine that can be exchanged for a special gift so good luck! He even imposed his image dressed as leprechaun on the label!!! Well Henri and the folks at Sutliff have put some fine stuff in all the tins so really, coin or not, every tin is a treat. They started off with some very good Virginias that give a bit of tang and tart citrus sweetness, hay, bread and a light flowery note. Then they put in some lovely burley to add its nutty robustness along with a loamy, woody flavors and of course being burley it thickens the smoke and adds to the mouth feel which is pretty good. Now when I opened the tin I noticed a few things, one the above tobacco is cut into thin soft fluffy ribbons that pack well and a smell of liquor and at what at first my nose thought was cinnamon but turns out that some fine vanilla to make up the Irish Cream flavor. Now that flavor is a mix of liquor, cream, vanilla, a touch of cocoa or chocolate and sweetness. The topping does vie for the lead with the tobacco but they have decided to cooperate in to a very pleasant tasting balanced blend. Taste is mild to medium, with no chance of a bite. Nicotine wise it is light and much the same in strength. Those soft ribbons pack well and burn cool and smooth yielding a pretty steady creamy, sweet, tangy, nutty and slightly fruitiness and touch of bitterness from the cocoa. The taste lingers a bit and like the room note both are pleasant. In a cob it leaves no noticeable moisture but may in a briar it might. Lights well and relights are needed a bit more often than some blends. It’s a very enjoyable blend and goes really well with a coffee for a sort of Irish coffee mashup and it could easily be enjoyed all day. I am leaning for 4 stars as it’s a nice aromatic. Dave da Dragon

Sutliff - Hill of Slane 1.5oz
Sutliff Tobacco Company - Hill of Slane (Sutliff Private Stock)
Not long ago Sutliff revealed they had sighted a little rascal in and around the factory, turns out it’s Henri a rather rowdy and impish sprite known in the tobacco world to know his leaf. But like most sprites ( the Irish call them Elves and Fairies) he is fond of a drop or two of spirits especially considering he’s been known to hang with the odd Leprechaun…believe me they can be odd…where he picked up a habit for finding fine liquor and for hiding surprises and little treasures here and there. Rumor has it not only did he get his Spritely hands into this blend of leaf and liquor but that he also snuck a special coin into one tine that can be exchanged for a special gift so good luck! He even imposed his image dressed as leprechaun on the label!!! Well Henri and the folks at Sutliff have put some fine stuff in all the tins so really, coin or not, every tin is a treat. They started off with some very good Virginias that give a bit of tang and tart citrus sweetness, hay, bread and a light flowery note. Then they put in some lovely burley to add its nutty robustness along with a loamy, woody flavors and of course being burley it thickens the smoke and adds to the mouth feel which is pretty good. Now when I opened the tin I noticed a few things, one the above tobacco is cut into thin soft fluffy ribbons that pack well and a smell of liquor and at what at first my nose thought was cinnamon but turns out that some fine vanilla to make up the Irish Cream flavor. Now that flavor is a mix of liquor, cream, vanilla, a touch of cocoa or chocolate and sweetness. The topping does vie for the lead with the tobacco but they have decided to cooperate in to a very pleasant tasting balanced blend. Taste is mild to medium, with no chance of a bite. Nicotine wise it is light and much the same in strength. Those soft ribbons pack well and burn cool and smooth yielding a pretty steady creamy, sweet, tangy, nutty and slightly fruitiness and touch of bitterness from the cocoa. The taste lingers a bit and like the room note both are pleasant. In a cob it leaves no noticeable moisture but may in a briar it might. Lights well and relights are needed a bit more often than some blends. It’s a very enjoyable blend and goes really well with a coffee for a sort of Irish coffee mashup and it could easily be enjoyed all day. I am leaning for 4 stars as it’s a nice aromatic. Dave da Dragon

Sutliff - Crumble Kake Barrel Aged Series No.5 Rustica Limited Edition 50g
Bold and flavorful
The name Rustica, as in Nicotiana Rustica, reminds one of the word rustic which in a way sort of describes this blend. When I think rustic I think strong timber built houses or cabins with very robust furnishings and hearty hearth cooked bread and meals, well this blend fits into that vision of rustic. The Rustica adds it’s notes of timber, earthy grassy herby and somewhat flowery scents of a meadow, hearty dark bread, a slightly molasses note, some spice, tangy fruits, black tea, and a leathery smoky cigar. Then burley backs this up with its own rustic charms of similar but complimentary flavors that include wood, toasted bread, touch of brown sugar. The Virginias chosen are of the flue cured variety that add some sweetness balance with the tang of citrus, lemon grass, hay, meadow grasses with herby flowery notes and a very slight vinegar note. The above combination could easily cross from full and robust to downright hard but the blend is balanced and the time it spent in that bourbon barrel proves that a taste of the spirits can mellow one out. It adds it’s own sweetness and complex notes and does help make what could be a bit rough of a blend into a smooth but robust one. The strength is on the upper edge of medium to strong with the nicotine level just slightly behind that. The taste is full and robust but not harsh nor does it bite, it’s balanced but definitely hearty. Like most of the crumble cakes from Sutliff it’s easily rubbed out to a suitable for smoking form with maybe a touch of extra moisture. The pressing also helps meld all the ingredients and smooths them a bit. I smoked it both fresh from the tin and with some drying time, I preferred slightly dryer but your mileage may vary. Now if you aren’t used to a blend with some higher than average nicotine I suggest a full stomach and a good amount of time to relax and enjoy it slowly, believe me you will be rewarded. You get a cool, slow smoke that is very rich and dense with a great mouth feel and very suitably for smoke rings. It’s sweet, smoky, fruits and nuts, a touch of spice that is delightfully full of rustic charm, and just enjoyable. A decent after taste that lasts a bit and the room note is on the strong side but totally agreeable to me…I live alone. Relights will be needed less if you choose to dry it a bit but it leaves only a trace of moisture in the bowl even fresh. Not an all day smoke but one that can be repeated if desired. More than four stars, not quite five but close enough to get five from me. Dave da Dragon

Presbyterian - Ordained 50g
A heavenly smoke indeed
While I am unsure about being Ordained smoking this limited run blend, but I am certainly blessed with a very pleasant tasting blend. I do enjoy all sorts of blends but don’t smoke a lot of straight bright Virginia’s for several reasons including it’s tendency to burn hot and bite, thin smoke…I like to blow smoke rings, and they are typically lacking complexity. Just know non of the above applies to Ordained the blessed blend! These beautiful thin golden brown flakes fold and stuff beautifully and come with a good to go moisture level, though I intend to try it dried just a bit. The Virginia leaf that went into them is well matured and of course pressing into blocks for slicing into flakes helps too. Slice is a good word here as it definitely has some really nice bready notes, from nice fresh bread to darker toastier loaves. Think great lightly toasted bread with a dab of lemon marmalade as there are some nice gentle citrus notes and definitely some sweetness. There are some nice delicate hay flavors as well. It somehow makes a bit denser smoke than I expected with tiny touch of spice, not black pepper but more the slightly herbal floral notes of white pepper, just enough to make this a pretty complex blend for a straight Virginia. No signs at all of the negatives I noted above, cool, sweet, smooth, mellow and bite free. Strength is the mild side of medium, I sense no added flavoring and taste is medium or slightly above. A very pleasant room note and easily an all day smoke. 4 out of 4 for my tastes at least, try it and see what you think. I am far from a saint, but Ordained is heavenly. Dave da Dragon

Sutliff - Uno 50g
Uno the Owl…a very wise bird!!!
Uno is the name of a special and very limited release Blend soon to be available from Sutliff. The Owl will be featured on the label. Recently as some of you maybe noticed on Facebook Jeremy McKenna of Sutliff was looking for some volunteers to come and sample 6 brand new blends. Myself and my CORPS brother Chris Ford were two of the lucky folks being used as taste testers. Those six brand new blends were developed in as many days by Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren. He flew over with a few Mac Baren blending tobaccos to use and came to taste and blend a totally new one to him and the world!!! In a word I can rate all 6 blends, success!!! Unfortunately for you folks trying to explain what is in these blends and how they taste will take many more words so please forgive me for the long read but do know this first to be released one of the six is worth the effort. It should be released soon and again will be called Uno with an owl on the label, all the blends created in those six insane day will feature a bird on the label. In a word this blend is Unique!!! Sometimes that word gets over used but here it’s true for sure as one of the ingredients has only been made this once and likely never will be again. But this blend is more than unique, it’s balanced and delicious and complex and it’s rare…very rare as once it’s gone don’t expect it to come back and there isn’t much of it. I am unsure how to classify this blend so I am not going to try as how does one put Katerini Perique in a pigeon hole? But it sure tastes great in this blend and when stuffed into your pipe bowl!!! Yes Katerini Perique, Katerini Oriental that has gone through the Perique process!!! The resulting leaf is not exactly Oriental or Perique, it’s unique and leads to the name of the blend, Uno as it’s one of a kind and a one time only kind of a thing. Mark Ryan, former owner of D&R Tobaccos, is the mad but smart man behind this as owner and master of L.A. Poche Perique Tobacco Company and the start of this tale. He obtained a sizable batch of Katerini Oriental leaf and decided to try and process it as he does Perique!!! Not knowing what the result might be, or if indeed it would result in anything more than a mess and a waste of good leaf, he proceeded with the months long process. The result is both magnificent and disappointing, magnificent in the part of the batch that created the unique leaf that resulted, but sad as a large portion of the batch also failed and just was a loss. Fortunately the part that successfully fermented has been blended into this truly special blend by Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren here in the USA at Sutliff Tobacco. In the course of six days Per first tasted and assessed this new tobacco and came up with this blend and two others to highlight its unique properties and three others that are unique in their own right. For now we will focus on this blend. Katerini Perique has a dusty grayish green appearance and a scent that is neither oriental nor Perique, again unique. The taste is not peppery like Perique can be but definitely has the dark fruits taste going for it, also a very delicate herbal taste that’s very pleasant. I personally can only handle so much regular Perique as it tingles my tongue and lips even in modest doses and in large doses it becomes a problem. Interestingly the Katerini Perique doesn’t do that to me, for me it’s the perfect Perique that adds sweetness and dark fruitiness without the pepper or the tingles. In Uno it’s added to three different Virginias, one for sure sweet and somewhat bready, another more grassy and a third with a touch of acid or citrus to balance the blend. The Katerini Perique along with some regular Perique that between them add a lot of deep dark fruit, raisins and dried plums to me, with just a hint of spice and I mean a hint. There is some Dark Fired Kentucky for a touch of smoke and depth as well as a touch of nicotine. There is burley for a nice balance and some unflavored Cavendished Burley as well and with the Dark Fired Kentucky they give it a very rich mouth feel and density to the smoke. It makes for a rich and complex smoke that when I first smoked it only hours old was a bit easier to sense and pick out the individual components, again it was literally no more than about 48 hours old. It was pressed into a fairly loose but compact cake and sliced into thick flakes that rub out easily. A decent moisture level as is but I rub it out and allow it to dry a bit and now it’s had a bit of time to age, about 2-3 months, it’s melded a bit. The individual components and flavors have had time to marry and the result is wonderful. Though the individual tastes are harder to pick out they work together in harmony and make for a very enjoyable smoke. Rich, complex, full in body and mouth feel, can’t bite or be harsh. A truly rare and unique treat!!!

Sutliff - Crumble Kake Barrel Aged Series No.1 Limited Edition 50g
Dark sweet Virgina with a hint of apple
This is a winner, aged dark heat pressed Virginia’s give it some sweetness and some dark fruity notes and burns cool and long! The time spent in the cask adds just a hint of apple spirit almost like just a tinge of cider. Definitely worth a go as a treat or even a regular!

Mac Baren - HH Balkan Blend 1.75oz
Very Nice!
I had a small sample of this from a friend and I must say its pretty good. A very good balanced English. It came from a very fresh tin, I think 6 months to a year age will greatly enhance it, a few years even better!

Capstan - Ready Rubbed Yellow 1.75oz
Dang good
I just got a good sample of this 5 year aged Virginia last week and it’s dang good stuff!!! Capstan Gold is basically a very good Virginia but the 5 years in the tin just sweetens the deal. Grab it while you can!!!

Sutliff
Ready Rubbed Match

Based on Qty Ordered
005-443-0071

Sutliff
D64 Queen Anne's Revenge

Based on Qty Ordered
005-443-0049