Cornell & Diehl - MMIII: The Curse of Mixture Monster (The Vampyra) 3oz
Aromatics are definitely not in my rotation, but I thought I would give this one a shot. In the right corn cobb pipe it is a true pleasure. Not so great in a briar. Does it smell specifically like apples? No, but the aroma definitely evokes memories of Halloween in some strange way. Difficult to describe. Try it in a cobb Norman!
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Bright CR Flake
Bright is Right!
Bright, sharp, grassy and a very light application of Lakeland essence(think bobs' choc flake). While I do find this a solid effort and a very natural tobacco overall, it simply did not grab my attention enough to become a regular smoke. But very respectable solid flake imo. Worth a try.
F & K - Sterling Balkan
Average at best
Nice strong english smell in the bag with some sort of berry topping. The topping does not dominant this blend in any way. It is more complimentary. I found this blend to be mild in the flavor dept and med in the nicotine dept. Unfortunately it always seemed to turn ashy and muddy half way through the bowl for me. Will finish my 1 oz, but will not purchase again.
Germain - Brown Flake 50g
Like No Other
This flake has zero similarities to any other Virginia flake I have smoked. Very rich and robust with an almost cigar leaf like quality. Not at all what I was expecting. It is also on the high side of the nicotine spectrum(think ODF). The tin note was dreadful imo. It was a smell I could only compare to that of a bottle of dried fish flake food. Very peculiar to say the least. While I have a ton of respect and appreciation for Germains blends in general this one is not suited to my personal taste. Very serious and robust blend.
G. L. Pease - Odyssey 2oz
While I agree this is a quality blend, it is not a blend that suites me. Latakia is definitely the star in this blend while the oriental and Virginia provide supporting roles. Lat bomb if you will, with spice and incense from the oriental and a hair of sweetness from the Virginia. My star rating reflects the quality of this blend and not my personal taste.
Ashton - Winding Road 50g
Winding Road to Tongue Bite
There is nothing "English " about this blend. And I certainly would not call it a cross over blend either. It's 100% aromatic and a terrible one at that. Bites the hell out of the smoker and leaves a bad chemical aftertaste. The one star is for the tin art and the somewhat pleasant room note. There are some great tobaccos out there, but this is definitely not one of them.
Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning
C&D Disappoints Again!!
If you want to know what a cigar, cigarette and pipe tobacco taste like all at once, than this blend is for you!! This is my 3rd C&D blend and all taste more like cigarette tobacco than pipe tobacco imo. Very rough around the edges and unrefined. The only redeeming factor for me was the perique which was in the background. Had to quit mid bowl due to the wallop of nicotine delivered.
Samuel Gawith - St. James Flake 50g
After my first smoke of this flake I was left wondering why it was in such short supply and loved by many. A fellow pipe smoker told me to jar it up and forget about it. It ages like it's on "steroids" so he claims. After only 3 months of properly jarring/aging it he was absolutely right. This will become a main stay for me and well stocked in my cellar. I can't even imagine what this will taste like 1,2,3,4,5 years from now. Like candy I'm sure. Pure bliss for me.
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 2oz
Chasing Winter Blues Away
Upon opening the tin I was greeted with massive and funky smells(in a good way). A bit overwhelming. These aromas also make their presence known upon smoking. It may be a bit much to smoke in an indoor setting for some. To me this was a full blown English blend with the latakia and Turkish being in the forefront. A little creamy and spicy, but very complex, satisfying and balanced. I also see this really rounding out with age and believe it to be cellar worthy. Don't expect Frog Morton here. This blend is big. Love it!!!
McClelland - Blakeney Toasted: Bayou Slices 50g
I am a VAPER lover at heart so it should come as no surprise that I love this broken flake. The tin aroma is unsettling. It has the ketchup thing going but with some other VERY funky notes. My tin was about 1 year old. Very little dry time to smoke this. Very rich and deep notes for the first half. Sweet, sour(in a good way), a deep berry jam note, slight perique spice, no bite and fairly easy to keep it lit. I'd liken it to a very rich sweet/savory meal. While the flavor tends to go flat in the last 1/3 of the bowl I found this to be a VERY enjoyable flake indeed. Decent nic levelwhich never passes the medium threshold. If you enjoyed Christmas cheer 2012 then you should love this one. Similar but much more depth and richness. Highly recommend!!
Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
Comfort in a tin
To me this is an English mixture to be enjoyed by all. Or if you have not tried an ENGLISH blend then this is a good place to start. It won't knock your socks of flavor or nic wise, but it provides great comfort with a consistent flavor that never sours at any point. My only complaint is that I find it very difficult to keep lit.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired 3.5oz
Almost Perfection in a Flake
Upon opening the tin you are immediately greeted with green olive, meat, hickory and deep earth notes. Very thinly sliced and narrowly cut. I believe they are presented in this fashion due to the high nicotine content. Your average piper/hobbyist would not survive this flake if cut any larger. Smoking delivers a very pleasant and complex multi dimensional experience with none of the flavors or room noted dominating the mix. Slight sweetness, hickory and earth. Due be warned that this is a very POTENT flake. I have to really pace myself with this one and I am a regular pipe smoker(1-2 bowls per day).
Capstan - Flake Yellow 1.75oz
If you enjoy orlik golden sliced then this is for you. While def different I find them to have similar characteristics. I definitely rec drying this flake out a bit as it comes fairly moist. Bright fruity flavors and delicious. Pretty decent nic hit. My only complaint is the price for a 50g tin.
Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
Aeromatic For Sure!
Burns hot and is strongly cased.The appearance of the flake is beautiful,but the casing over rides any natural tobacco flavor imo.Will also ghost your pipe so be careful. This is most certainly an areo. I'll stick with the navy or bullseye flake.
G. L. Pease - Maltese Falcon 2oz
A bit on the mild side
I found this to be a rather good latakia blend best smoked in my savinelli sistina poker.The sav poker really brought out the sweetness in this blend. I simply found it too subtle in the flavor department for my taste.Very difficult to keep lit.Would have enjoyed this more if not for the constant relighting.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Bob's Chocolate Flake
Not for me
Found this flake to exhibit a rather dark taste and musty room note. The chocolate is very subtle. If this is an example of the "Lakeland Aroma" then it is definitely not my thing.Glad I only bought an ounce to try.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
After trying many bowls in 3-4 different pipes I must chalk this tin up to a loss.Purchased after reading many positive reviews. Comes dry,difficult to keep lit and borders on cigarette like flavor.Very similar to dunhill standard mixture which I don't care for either.Average at best at a high price point for what it is.Shame since I am Presbyterian.