David F.

Mac Baren - Plumcake 100g
Very mild - TOO mild
This stuff is a nice blend, but too mild like most of MacBaren's mixtures.

Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian 1.75oz
Patrick E nailed it
Patrick E nailed it in his review - this is very light on the Latakia. Too light. No taste. A very mild blend that will disappoint anyone looking for the English experience.

Balkan Sasieni - Balkan Sasieni 50g
Ordinary
I received my first tin of Balkan Sasieni a few days ago. Naturally I was eager to give it a try, so I popped the lid to see and smell the contents. I must admit there was nothing much in the smell to make this one stand apart from anything. Not to be deterred, I loaded up my pipe and had my first smoke. The tobacco loaded and lit easily and almost immediately started to produce quite nice volumes of smoke. It was an okay smoke, but I couldn't detect anything that makes this one stand out from any other Balkan style blend. Now, after a few days and a few more smokes I still can't identify anything special or unusual about this tobacco. Yes, it smokes quite well, and I don't have a problem with it. I'll easily smoke my way through this tin. However I'm finding the Sasieni experience just a bit plain ordinary, nothing much else to write about. As others have said, this reminds me of smoking something by Stokkebye and I think it's just a Stokkebye mix put in a tin with a special name. I won't rush to buy it again. Although this all sounds a bit negative, it's really a rather 'neutral' review - it doesn't float my boat, but on the other hand it's an okay decent smoke at a good price and in a nice tin.

Lane Limited - Crown Achievement 1.75oz
Excellent
My recent order included a couple tins of Crown Achievement. Very nice tin quality, unusual clear stiff plastic insert to hold the tobacco firm and retain moisture. Probably the best packaging I have seen. The tobacco comes at just the right dampness for immediate smoking. I wandered off into the garden and loaded up my Grabow Golden Duke. Tobacco took a light straight away and produced very nice clouds of pungent flavorsome smoke. For my first couple of bowls I wondered if this was going to have just a little too much Perique, but as I became accustomed to Crown Achievement I realised that the Perique element is what makes it rather special. It has a background sweetness, a hint of something Oriental, then the Perique on top. The Perique seems to be quite soft - there's a spiciness there which becomes very attractive after repeated smokings, but it doesn't have the big peppery kick that I've experienced in some Perique mixtures. Having opened the first tin yesterday, I'm rather surprised to find the contents dwindling rather rapidly! Already had another couple of smokes of it this morning, and it really is growing on me. The smoking taste and aftertaste are really rather infectious. Something in this reminds me of Dunhill's Aperitif, but I think Crown Achievement is better, more spicey but soft as well. All rather intriguing! In fact I'm going to be rather dramatic and say that this Crown Achievement beats all the Dunhills I've smoked - and that really is rather a big compliment. So: only a couple of days into my first tin, but I think this one is a real winner, and I'm already planning to buy lots of tins for my cupboard. Well done Lane!

Peterson - Nutty Cut 50g
Hot tongue bite
A tin of steamy hot air accompanied by lack of flavor and ferocious tongue bite. Not recommended.

Peterson - Signature Flake 100g
A con
This appears to be just Stokkebye's Luxury Navy Flake put inside a flashy tin and charged at twice the price. Not recommended.

Peterson - Special Reserve Limited Edition 2015 100g
Excellent aromatic in the European style
This is an excellent aromatic tobacco in the European style. Not dominated by black cavendish, but a nice mixture of different tobaccos with a distinct fruity/spicey topping. Similar in style to the Larsen tobaccos and probably made by the same people. High quality for those who like aromatics.

Peterson - University Flake 50g
Nice flake with plum topping
This is very similar to Erinmore Flake, but stronger and with a distinct plum topping. Smokes nicely, deep flavors. A nice flake to have in the cupboard for occasional smokes.

Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian 3.5oz
Needs drying time
I ordered some tins of this based on good reviews. Smoked some straight from a new tin and found it steamy, airy and lacking in any flavor. I then fluffed up the tobacco and left the tin to breathe for several days. When I then smoked it, the steaminess had gone and I found a rather complex smoke with a sweet background, rather like Squadron Leader but with a little more sweetness and depth. So, like most MacBaren tobaccos, this one needs time to breathe and dry to allow the toppings to evaporate a little, then it becomes a most admirable and repeatable smoke.

Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
One of the best
There's a very good reason why this is one of SmokingPipes best sellers - it's a very good deep flavored virginia. However, it is very difficult to smoke. McCelland's Blackwoods is easier to pack and smoke and is preferable to this. However, this FVF is clearly a classic and remains popular amongst pipe smokers.

Samuel Gawith - Golden Glow 250g
Yuk!
Very pure golden virginia. Smokes and tastes like wet cigarettes or damp cardboard.

Reiner - Long Golden Flake (Blend No. 71) 100g
Orlik in a different tin
This is just Orlik Golden Sliced in a different tin with twice the price. Same thing for Drew Estates Gatsby Flake - these people just buy the Orlik, perhaps spray it with a slightly different flavor, then charge higher prices.

Erinmore - Erinmore Flake 50g
Everyday smoke
Erinmore is a very nice flake for everyday smoking. Has a slightly fruity topping backed by a flake made of virginia and burley. Erinmore has been a popular smoke for decades and there's a very good reason - it's just a darn good smoke any time of day.

Ashton - Artisan's Blend 50g
Excellent
Wonderful full English tobacco mixture with sweet smokey Syrian Latakia. If only Ashton's other tobaccos were as good as this...

Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
Contents variable
I started off liking Squadron Leader very much. Then I had a tin that was completely different - wispy, thin, difficult to smoke. Since then I've had some tins that were 'good' and some tins that were 'bad'. I appreciate that tobacco is a natural product, but I've stopped buying SQ because I just don't know what I'm going to get in the tin.

Samuel Gawith - Skiff Mixture 250g
Not as good as the tin
I enjoy the tinned version of Skiff and thought I'd same some money by trying the bulk box. Big mistake. Inside the box the tobaaco is just contained in a plastic zip bag, came very dry, smoked badly, and simply wasn't the same as the tin.

G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
Excellent
This is easily the best English style tobacco I smoke. It's easy to pack and light, and produces very nice clouds of smoke. Has an emphasis on smokey Latakia with a hint of sweetness in the background. A delightful smoke any time of day, but particularly in the evenings.

G. L. Pease - Meridian 2oz
Much better than Chelsea Morning
This is in a similar tumbled ribbon style to Chelsea Morning, but has slighty more Latakia and a hint of sour sweetness in the background. Easy to pack and light, and produces very nice volumes of enjoyable smoke.

G. L. Pease - Maltese Falcon 2oz
Excellent
An interesting English style tobacco with a hint of extra sour sweetness provided by a ginger style flavoring that is hinted at rather than being overpowering. Typical Latakia smokiness with a lingering sweet finish. Sounds strange, but is actually rather delightful.

G. L. Pease - Chelsea Morning 2oz
Variable
I've smoked many tins of Chelsea Morning, but I don't buy it any more because of unpredictable variance between tins: some tins contain the nice thick tumbled ribbons and have a slightly sweet undertone to balance out the perique; other tins seem filled with floor sweepings and have a much higher sharp element of peppery perique. Shame, because a good tin of this is a nice smoke.

G. L. Pease - Kensington 2oz
Very light
Another high quality tobacco from Pease, in the style of an early morning smoke. Personally I find this one a little too light in taste, and it doesn't produce the high volume of smoke I prefer.

G. L. Pease - Lagonda 2oz
Excellent
A delightful tobacco for those who prefer a higher emphasis on smokey latakia. Very similar in style to Meridian, but with more latakia and a slightly deeper overall taste. Produces nice volumes of smoke.

G. L. Pease - Sextant 2oz
Excellent
A superb tobacco. Easy to pack and light, produces nice volumes of enjoyable smoke. A hint of sweet rum with proper tobacco tastes in the background. A delightful and satisfying smoke any time of day, but particularly in the evening.

G. L. Pease - Key Largo 2oz
Excellent
Easily my favorite pipe tobacco. Lots of depth, a hint of strong cigar, produces lots of enjoyable smoke, easy to pack and light. A first class smoke from beginning to end.

G. L. Pease - Lagonda 8oz
Complex and satisfying
This is a complex and satisfying smoke. Deep virginias coupled with distinct latakia plus an oriental note in the middle that produces a faint but moreish sweetness. Much more interesting and satisfying than some of the latakia heavy GLP blends like Abingdon and Westminster. Easy to pack, easy to smoke, produces nice volumes of highly attractive smoke.

G. L. Pease - Meridian 8oz
Delicious
This is a delicious smoke. Has deep virginia and a pinch of latakia. In addition there's a sweet/sour oriental in the middle that produces a very moreish combination. Packs and smokes easily, produces nice volumes of flavorsome smoke.

Cornell & Diehl - Rajah's Court 2oz
Excellent
A lovely English Oriental. Background of Virginia with spicey, interesting Oriental tastes and smells. Very nice quality.

Ashton - Artisan's Blend 50g
Excellent English
I've tried lots of English style blends and this Artisan's Blend stands out above most others. Has a slightly sweet/sour note in the background that is distinctive and attractive. An excellent pipe tobacco. In my opinion it is better than the current editions of Dunhill blends. A very nice smoke in the evenings.

Lane Limited - BS-005
Nice light English
This is a very nice lighter English, comparable to many 'breakfast' blends. Just enough Latakia, nicely balanced, a pleasant smoke at an attractive price.

Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
Excellent
Excellent flake tobacco at a great price. Lots of enjoyable, flavorsome smoke, deep grassy hay flavors from the virginia, and a very nice sweet virginia aftertaste. Smoke a few bowls of this and it becomes obvious why it is always on the bestseller list. Great flake tobacco at a bargain price.

Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
Pack upside down!
My experience of this tobacco depends on how it is stuffed into one's pipe - it's possible to get two completely different experiences. When I first received my order I folded a coin into quarters and then inserted into my pipe with the center of the coin first - so the edges of the coin were in effect sticking upwards towards the top of the bowl. This also meant (with hindsight) that all of the center Cavendish part of the coin went to the bottom of the bowl and would be the last part smoked. Big mistake. This produced a smoke heavy with Perique and was too peppery for my taste. The Perique drowned everything else and was too much for me to smoke. I put aside my 4oz delivery, disappointed. A few days later I tried again, this time with the idea of putting the folded coin 'edges first' into my pipe, with the center of the coin pointing upwards. This meant that the center Cavendish became the FIRST part of the smoke. This produced a completely different smoking experience - nice Virginia tastes and smells, a little creamy, hay and manure. Young Virginia, as others have noted, but pleasant nonetheless, and with quite a lot of deep flavor. As I smoked my bowl the Perique lower down then joined in the experience but was now blended with the Virginias and Cavendish giving a much more balanced and enjoyable smoke, much nearer to the Escudo experience. Now I sat there thinking "hey - this is a nice smoke, I might buy more of this", whereas after my first attempt I certainly wouldn't have ordered more. So - an interesting experience. Can be a very nice smoke, very satisfying, and very close to Escudo, but only if packed in a certain way. I'm glad I discovered the difference. Many people will be buying this hoping that it's 'as good as Escudo for half the price'. No, it's not Escudo, as many others have noted. It's close, if packed 'upside down', but it's three stars whereas Escudo is a clear four. I'm glad I tried this tobacco. I'll be able to enjoy the rest of my order using the 'upside down' packing method. But it's also made me realise just how exceptionally good Escudo is, and I'd rather pay extra money and have the real thing.

Tom Eltang - English 2oz
Soft and creamy
I enjoyed smoking my sample and was rather sad when it ran out. Now I'm going to have to buy a couple of tins to see if this wants wants to become a regular smoke. It's meant to be English, but the Latakia isn't very dominant and seems to disappear during the smoke. There's a soft creamy texture to the virginias and a slight spiciness from something else. Overall I've enjoyed this tobacco and want to try more of it.

Peterson - Irish Oak 16oz
Spicey and peppery
I'm a relatively new pipe smoker, so please bear that in mind. When I smoke my pipe I'm looking for a period of relaxation and contentment - a enjoyable experience. This pipe tobacco doesn't give me that. For newer smokers not aware of different pipe tobaccos, please be warned that this Irish Oak contains a lot of Perique tobacco which has a peppery, spicy flavor. Smoking Irish Oak is rather like trying to smoke a pepper pot - a fair amount of hot, spicy, fiery and peppery smoke mingled with other flavors. I don't particularly like it - to me, it's like going through a slow drawn out torture - so much spice that my tongue becomes hot (not tongue bite - spice bite) and there's an astringency that can be felt in inner cheeks. I feel the name of this tobacco is misleading. It should be called Petersons Hot Spicy Peppery Tobacco - Irish Oaks doesn't describe it and nowhere on the tin is there any warning of its peppery flavor. I mean, why is it called Irish Oaks at all? Okay, apparently it's aged in oak casks or something, but the more important aspect is the peppery overtone to the taste. I'm aware that there are many pipe smokers who love this peppery Perique tobacco, and for them this might be a 'go to' smoke. But for me it's only a one star rating for being overly spicy and peppery, which for my taste amounts to an unpleasant experience.

Peterson - Irish Oak 50g
Spicey and peppery
I'm a relatively new pipe smoker, so please bear that in mind. When I smoke my pipe I'm looking for a period of relaxation and contentment - a enjoyable experience. This pipe tobacco doesn't give me that. For newer smokers not aware of different pipe tobaccos, please be warned that this Irish Oak contains a lot of Perique tobacco which has a peppery, spicy flavor. Smoking Irish Oak is rather like trying to smoke a pepper pot - a fair amount of hot, spicy, fiery and peppery smoke mingled with other flavors. I don't particularly like it - to me, it's like going through a slow drawn out torture - so much spice that my tongue becomes hot (not tongue bite - spice bite) and there's an astringency that can be felt in inner cheeks. I feel the name of this tobacco is misleading. It should be called Petersons Hot Spicy Peppery Tobacco - Irish Oak doesn't describe it and nowhere on the tin is there any warning of its peppery flavor. I mean, why is it called Irish Oaks at all? Okay, apparently it's aged in oak casks or something, but the more important aspect is the peppery overtone to the taste. I'm aware that there are many pipe smokers who love this peppery Perique tobacco, and for them this might be a 'go to' smoke. But for me it's only a one star rating for being overly spicy and peppery, which for my taste amounts to an unpleasant experience.

Rattray's - Marlin Flake 100g
Hot, spicy and peppery
I'm a relatively new pipe smoker, so please bear that in mind. When I smoke my pipe I'm looking for a period of relaxation and contentment - a enjoyable experience. This pipe tobacco doesn't give me that. For newer smokers not aware of different pipe tobaccos, please be warned that this Marlin Flake contains a lot of Perique tobacco which has a peppery, spicy flavor. Smoking Marlin Flake is rather like trying to smoke a pepper pot - lots of hot, spicy, fiery and peppery smoke. I don't like it at all - to me, it's like going through a slow drawn out torture - so much spice that my tongue becomes hot (not tongue bite - spice bite) and there's an astringency that can be felt in inner cheeks. I feel the name of this tobacco is misleading. It should be called Rattray's Hot Spicy Peppery Tobacco - Marlin's Flake doesn't describe it and nowhere on the tin is there any warning of its peppery flavor. I'm aware that there are many pipe smokers who love this peppery Perique tobacco, and for them this might be a 'go to' smoke. But for me it's only a one star rating for being overly spicy and peppery, which for my taste amounts to an unpleasant experience.

Peter Stokkebye - PS6 Sweet Vanilla
Sweet sickly mess
I received my 4oz order of this today and was keen to try it out. Wow, what a huge disappointment. This is just a sweet sickly mess. To call it pipe tobacco would be insulting to tobacco. It is covered in a sweet casing that produces a wet sickly sweet smoke. No taste or smell of tobacco. Hardly any vanilla taste or smell. There's some sort of chemical added that makes the mouth water and generates a sweet flow of saliva. It's like trying to smoke a fruity hard boiled sweet. I smoked one pipeful then threw the rest of my pack away.

McClelland - Special: Christmas Cheer 2014 100g
Revised opinion
I tried smoking this one again, intrigued by the fact that all these Christmas Cheer issues seem to get high votes and are highly regarded. I loaded my pipe straight with the flakes (no rubbing or anything) then I smoked it slowly. New to virginias, I didn't realise that they have to be smoked very slowly to get the full range of tastes. Smoke too quickly and many of them become just tasteless and hot. So I took this one very slowly. And I mean VERY slowly, just sipping the pipe once the stuff was fully lit. Using this slow technique I got a different result - I could taste and enjoy the subtle flavors of fermented hay and horse manure. I'm looking forward to trying this one again now that I've found the proper technique.

Larsen - Signature: Vintage Mixture 100g
Pot Pourri
I bought a 100g tin of this Larsen Signature based on good reviews. What a disappointment. The packaging is impressive, leading to the impression of a quality product. On opening the tin one is greeted by a flowery smell of dried oranges and rose petals - rather like an air freshener or a pot pourri. No tobacco smell. Not what I expected. I filled a pipe and on first light was given a smell and taste just like a toilet air freshener, probably rose flavor. The tobacco was very difficult to keep alight and the entire smoke was a struggle. After half a bowl of air freshener some light tobacco tastes start to emerge - very mild and light, accompanied by bite and a very hot pipe. The bowl of my Big Ben became too hot to touch. I don't know why this is called 'Signature Vintage Mixture'. Flowery Pot Pourri with Tongue Bite would be a more accurate name. I certainly won't be buying any more of this concoction.

CAO - Moontrance 50g
Cigar tobacco
Sometimes I wonder what other people are smoking when they write reviews, because my experience is often just completely different. It makes me suspect that manufacturers plant great reviews themselves just to sell more product. This Moontrance is a case in point. Where other reviewers get the result of 'great aromatic' etc I really don't know. What this is is basically cigar leaf stuck in a tin and called pipe tobacco. When I opened the tin I was greeted with a strange chemical smell. Some people describe it as 'oaky' or 'mossy'. I didn't get any of that, just a strange chemically laden smell with no particular identification. It was wet so I left it a day to dry out. On smoking it smells and tastes just like a cigar. No aromatic qualities at all. Okay, perhaps the slightest hint of vanilla which disappeared in a couple of minutes. The smoke is like cigar smoke, the smell and taste are cigar, and even the ash is like cigar ash. I didn't know anything about CAO - I bought this tobacco based on reviews. I'm not surprised at all to now find that CAO is a cigar maker, because that's basically what this tobacco is. I feel cheated because if I want to smoke a cigar I'll buy one. This tin should really say 'crushed cigar tobacco in a tin' because that appears to be what it is. When I smoke my pipe I'm looking for a 'pipe experience' not a cigar.

Sutliff - Molto Dolce 1.5oz
Terrible. Horrible stuff.
This is horrible stuff. It's not pipe tobacco - someone has found some old dark fruit cakes, crumbled them up, mixed them with oily flavors, then added a dose of lighter fluid for combustion. Put all this in a tin and write 'pipe tobacco' on the lid. It's absolutely smothered with flavorings and preservatives - sticks to the fingers and won't dry out. Somewhere in the tin there must be some tobacco, but I'm blowed if I can find it amongst all the raisins, currants and orange peel. Smoked one pipeful then threw the rest away. Half a star for the rather nice presentation tin and plastic lid.

Drew Estate - Central Park Stroll 50g
Great quality but too mild
This is obviously a product of very high quality. On opening the tin the smell is very attractive. The tobacco is a pressed sea of dense shiny black. Presumably it's 100% steamed mild Cavendish. Lovely smell, no stickiness to the touch. A very high quality mild tobacco. But that's the problem - it's mild. Did I say Mild? We're taking MILD. Very very mild. Like smoking fresh air lightly flavored with chocolate and vanilla. I've smoked half a tin and enjoyed the experience, but after each pipeful I wanted to fill my pipe with something else so I could have a decent smoke. I've given this four stars because the quality is clearly very high indeed, but only suitable for those who want a very very mild smoke.

McClelland - Special: Christmas Cheer 2014 100g
Disappointing
I bought a tin of this based on all the rave reviews. On opening the tin I was greeted by a smell almost identical to Escudo. Nice tin, nice presentation, and an attractive smell. However the broken flakes are very stiff. I found it difficult to fill my pipe. It's also difficult to light, taking three or four attempts with lighting and tamping. When I finally got it going it smokes with attractive white clouds and lasts a very long time. But the flavor is missing. Smells like Escudo but lacking the taste. When I finished I felt I'd smoked half a dozen cigarettes instead of a quality pipe tobacco.

Mac Baren - Mixture: Scottish Blend 100g
Flavors disappeared
The flavors gradually disappeared as I worked my way through the tin. As the tobacco dried so the flavors experienced at the beginning gradually disappeared. The last few smokes from the bottom of the tin were bland, uninteresting and disappointing. I won't be buying any more of this.

Mac Baren - Black Ambrosia 100g
Horrible - like smoking old cardboard
Well I finished my 50g tin. It started off okay, but over a two week period the tobacco gradually dried out, and as it dried the flavors gradually disappeared. Towards the bottom of the tin it started to taste like smoking old cardboard - just a blackened musty smell and taste. I'm rather glad to be rid of it and I won't be buying any more.

Captain Black - Gold 1.5oz
Average, leaves bad taste
I'm new to pipe smoking and have tried a few different tobaccos. This one from Captain Black smokes slowly and evenly. Burns down to a soft white ash, no liquid residues. I can smell and taste some vanilla and caramel. But overall it doesn't give me a satisfying smoke, and I'm left disappointed. After smoking I'm left with a slightly bad taste in my mouth, something I haven't experienced with other tobaccos.

Mac Baren - Black Ambrosia 100g
Not what I expected
Not what I might have expected or hoped for. Burns consistently well, leaves neat white ash. But smell and taste are rather bland and uninteresting.

Mac Baren - Mixture: Scottish Blend 100g
Not what I expected
I'm new to pipe smoking. I tried this blend and it wasn't what I was expecting. No typical pipe aroma and a fairly bland taste. It burns quite well and leaves a neat white ash. No liquid deposited in my pipe. It also doesn't give 'bite' even when smoked hard. However after smoking a pipe full I'm left unsatisfied and really wanting something else.

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