David M.

McConnell - Barking Road 50g
New Favorite? Maybe
I just ordered a couple more tins of this magic potion recently. Very impressed! (Of course, comparisons can be drawn to University Flake, of which I'm also a fan. However, Barking Road is very different from UV, even though it contains similar component tobaccos.) Just as an aside, I've started rethinking whether flakes are the preferred cut for my taste. With regard to Barking Road, the ribbon cut works welI. No issues with fast burning nor "hot pipe syndrome"! High recommendation, and no worries about the plum topping, as it is very subtle.

Grand Croupier - Double Down
Exceeded Expectations
This is an "all-sorts" blend, comprised of C&D VA/BUR tailings. So there are flakes, ribbons and various bits & pieces. I give this stuff 4 stars, based on the batch I received. Top-shelf tobacco all the way, but quite strong for MY tastes, given that I don't smoke burley blends all that often. Rich and creamy smoke that's exactly the right moisture content. Lights easily, and stays lit. I'm glad I took a chance by ordering this bargain tobacco.

Cornell & Diehl - Red Carpet 2oz
Between fair and good
The tobacco components seem to be too quality. And I enjoy red Virginias. However, it didn't cut the mustard for me. It could be that it just contains too much Perique for my taste, but I found it overly harsh, especially on relight. Nicotine content was also beyond my comfort range.

Cornell & Diehl - Speakeasy Navy Blend 2oz
Surprised!
Well, I've tried a few Navy flakes that I liked (McClelland comes to mind). But THIS was a pleasant surprise. Speakeasy gives a nod to tradition, but then takes it to a creative place that really works. Masterfully blended, the Kentucky wasn't overpowering, and C&D showed restraint with the rum. Tasty stuff!

Planta - Full English
Pleasantly Surprised
To be honest, I haven't smoked English blends regularly in close to 20 years. Normally, I smoke Virginia/Perique blends, sometimes with the addition of turkish or burley. So while I was waiting for this Full English blend to arrive in the mail, I was braced for the worst. Luckily, I was NOT disappointed. Planta uses first-rate tobaccos, expertly blended, with a rich sumptious quality. Burns very cool and even. However, you get the nuances of the smoke when you sip at a relaxed pace. The Syrian latakia is excellent, and the Java leaf is present just in the right amount, without overpowering. Definitely a keeper!

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