Cornell & Diehl - Engine #611
C&D's Mixture No. 79?
It's like someone in the 1970's took a pouch of Mixture No. 79 to their local tobacconist and said "Give me this but ditch the soap, tone down the frilly stuff until it's next to nothing, and use tobaccos that someone old enough to rent a car can respect."
Peterson - Sherlock Holmes 50g
Not a frilly tobacco. Rather plain, just a little sweet.
Granger - Granger 12oz
It's like Half & Half and Sir Walter Raleigh regular went on a date, fell in love, married, and had Granger nine months later. Then that Granger was raised in a loving household and became a well-rounded adult.
McConnell - Paddington 50g
Royal Yacht clone
Nowhere near as harsh as the Orlik version of Royal Yacht. A good, medium Virginia mixture.
Mac Baren - HH Bold Kentucky 1.75oz
At the end of your rope?
Having trouble finding the rope tobacco you like? This is a good substitute--the strength and taste being quite close to those north English twists that are becoming difficult to get.
Sir Walter Raleigh - Regular 14oz
I've been smoking a lot of this lately. To put it another way, the number of canisters I've gone though could fulfill the role of waste paper baskets for a small business office building. Is it a perfect blend? No. It can get nippy if you smoke it too hard and a slow cadence is more rewarding than steam engine puffing. But it is dependable, with a nice molasses/ coca/ mystery favor hints but, above all of them, a passable burley.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Brown Bogie
And that word is spectacular. Bold, strong, nostalgic. This rope will not fail to deliver a spectacular smoking experience for those who enjoy the stronger tobacco.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
It's a good light Latakia mixture. The oriental in it is a bit more heavy than I would like for all day but if that tickles your palate, then go for this one.
Capstan - Flake Yellow 1.75oz
A neat little light Virginia blend. It won't bite and it'll deliver the flavor. Though it isn't a powerhouse of flavor. It's still worth the occasional tin.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
A wonderful blend of Virginia and Perique. If you are on the fence about trying this, then go ahead. No disappointment ahead.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: No. 22 50g
Such a tasty blend! The Virginias are nice and bright tasting, focusing on the hay/grass flavor. It can nip but only if pushed. A slower smoking pace allows all the flavors to come out. Use a small bowl or have time to smoke because this can last for a while.
Amphora - Original Blend 1.75oz
Original is a tasty blend of tobaccos. The coco note is well done and more dark, baking chocolate than milk chocolate bar.
Amphora - Full Aroma 1.75oz
This is a pretty good blend. The sweetness is nice and sugary. It can get a bit weary on the palate as the day progresses.
Mixture No. 79 - Mixture No. 79 1.5oz
This is quite like the bulk version, except the aromatic flavors are stronger and it's a bit more moist. An excellent blend that pipers should try.
Dunhill - Ye Olde Signe 50g
Not the Worst
This is a pretty good blend BUT there are plenty of other, better Virginia blends out there. It's dark and certainly full bodied and benefits best from sipping or you'll lose the flavor. It burns well and needs a tighter packing because of the thin, almost shag, cut. The nicotine content is a solid medium. Great if all of those are your main criteria, but search for other Virginias to buy bunches of and give a tin of this a shot.
Sutliff - #600 Mixture 79
I tried this before and found it abhorrent. When I ordered a few ounces of bulk out of curiosity I found that it seems like a whole new blend. It now tastes of cream soda, anisette, licorice, and the burley molasses on occasion. Give it another try, you won't be disappointed.
War Horse - Green 1.75oz
The flavoring in this seems to be a delightful combination between tonquin bean and amaretto. There is a pretty heavy hand with the flavoring but the dark fired does shine through, especially near the end of the bowl. Though this does nothing to diminish the strength. The bar is well put together and will maintain its form while not being the most difficult to cut. A solid recommendation.
McConnell - Pure Caribe 50g
I'm not sure what I expected when I bought this. What I didn't expect was Coca Puffs. I'm exaggerating but this blend has a heavy taste of baking chocolate. There is a typically light cigar note below the dominant taste but it is much subdued. It's still quite nice to smoke straight without blending with anything.
Drexel - Drexel VIII 1.5oz
More Than Expected
This is not your grandfather's pouch blend, mainly because it's a flake. Now, is it Orlik Golden Sliced? Short answer, no. Orlik has more of a grassy taste and the Perique is more prominent. But it doesn't have to be. It's sweet, light, and easy to manipulate. The down side is that it wasn't vacuum sealed and the flakes were a bit dry, but there is not much bite to it at all.
Gold Block - Gold Block 1.75oz
All Day Blend Under The Guise of A Premium Blend
Don't let the title fool you, Gold Block is quite good. The only trouble is it's a bit pricy for what it is. It's a nice, light leaf with a bit of a woody-sweet note and the ability to bite if abused (It does have Virginia, that has to be expected). I would smoke it as an all day blend where it not trying to have the expense of something far more complex and higher quality.
Iwan Ries - Three Star Blue 1.5oz
My pouch arrived rather dry but it was no worse for that. The first few pipes were not anything spectacular but the blend grew on me. The Latakia was extremely subdued in both the taste and the smell, only wafting in and out. The topping was more prominent, which was a warm, citrus-y type of taste/aroma. The biggest stars are the Burly and Virginia. I'm finding that I'm liking it the more I smoke it. Give it a try, it's not an expensive blend to take a risk on.
Peterson - Irish Whiskey 50g
Not Much of Much
To give credit where it's due, this is the only Peterson blend I've tried that doesn't bite me. On the downside, the scant amount of flavor disappears quickly and leaves a harsh leaf in your pipe.
Dunhill - Three Year Matured 50g
Run of the Mill
I'm part of the way through of a tin and the only word I can think of is "mundane". It smells of apples in the tin, is a nice Virginia taste, but which fades rather quickly in the last third of the bowl where it turns cigarette-y. Worth being in the rotation, but probably won't join too many top tens.
G. L. Pease - Temple Bar 2oz
Not What I Thought
It was not as I had thought it would be. It was somewhat one dimensional and flavorless near the end. Though not at all bad, I probably would not buy another.
Astley's - No. 44 Dark Virginia Flake 50g
The Secret Virginia
This was an excellent flake and I'm wondering why I haven't heard much from it. The Virginia is wonderful and nearly bite free. The only problem I had with this flake is that the tin emptied too soon.
Cornell & Diehl - The Beast 2oz
Small Batch Beauty
This is a delightful blend. The tin note is unmistakably of rum with a strong note of Perique. Opening the tin finds small, generally square pieces of a black or dark brown tobacco. The tobacco is pretty damp and man need some drying time for some, but you can also put it right into your pipe and light it up, albeit using a few more matches than you usually would. The taste is strong, consistent, and very much like a spicy cigar with a rum chaser. When you have a chance to pick up a tin, go for it and you will not be disappointed.
Amphora - Full Aroma 1.75oz
This blend is wonderful. The scent from the pouch is that of a confectionary sweet. The taste is predominantly tobacco with a hint of fruits and sweets. The price at time of writing isn't bad either.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Rum Twist
This is a fantastic twist. A little sweet and a lot of strong, it is sure to please the palate of those liking blends with strong cigar notes.
Peterson - University Flake 50g
I've revisited this blend after trying it several years ago. The fruit topping is most notable on the initial light. It takes a more or less prominent role throughout, partially muting the tobaccos more or less. The after taste is the most memorable part, which is a tart, almost sour taste. It is a good blend but don't be expecting a powerhouse in either topping or tobacco taste.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 250g
Wonderful Stuff In the Box
The box version of Full Virginia Flake is excellent. The taste is somewhat strong but smooth. The taste will benefit from slow puffing but it doesn't bite if you freight train your pipe. It needs a little drying time like every Samuel Gawith product. What becomes irksome are the flakes themselves. They come in dark strips, much like beef jerky, and they don't rub out easily. The best method I've found is to tear little bits off and gravity fill it. Even though it's an inconvenience it doesn't detract from my recommendation of the blend itself.
St. Bruno - Flake 1.75oz
I have waited to try this blend for a long time now. Being in the United States, it isn't easy to get ahold of. The tin note is pleasant, if unusual. The flakes are easy to break down of fold and stuff. It is at an optimal moisture to smoke immediately. The smoke itself is smooth as silk. The only problem I find is that it is pretty light. I don't think I have had a lighter flake. I would get more of it more often but the price (at time of writing is $16.15) is too prohibitive for something so light. Even so, it's a good choice if you like the softer blends and don't smoke that often.
Samuel Gawith - Cabbie's Mixture 50g
This blend is excellent. The tin note is that of tea and tonquin. The coins are small and easy to manage. It could use some drying time, but not much. The blend does not bite unless really abused but it's a Virginia blend so is that really a surprise? The only bad thing is that it loses it's taste rapidly in the last third of the bowl. Still, it's a highly recommended blend.
Half and Half - Half and Half 1.5oz
A no-nonsense American blend. It's granulated for easy and speedy packing. The taste is slightly nutty, a little fruity (perhaps cherry), and not prone to biting. There are blends that are complex beyond the words of pipe enthusiast, then there are blends like Half and Half: just to pleasantly smoke. Also, best in a corn cob. Go over to the Missouri Meerschaum section and grab one before you get a pouch of this stuff.
Davidoff - Flake Medallions 50g
The nicotine content is decent and the taste stays fairly constant, but there are better VA/PER blends out there and for cheaper.
Borkum Riff - Bourbon Whiskey 1.5oz
I could not get past the bite on this one.
Sutliff - Molto Dolce 1.5oz
I know Walt Disney on occasion smoked a pipe and, at one point, tobacco was sold in the park. This would be the blend that I could see both having. It is sweet, but not overly so. If you like aromatics, this is perfect.
Captain Black - Dark 1.5oz
McDonald's Hot Cakes and Syrup.
Peter Stokkebye - PS400 Luxury Navy Flake
A Great Bulk
The comparisons to Orlik Golden Sliced are inevitable, and this is like the blend in the red tin but it's not as sweet and has a bit fuller body. Nor does this bite as strongly as Orlik can. Make no mistake, this will nip you if abused but it's more tolerant. Without the comparison it's a really good flake that Virginia and Navy Flake fans will quite enjoy.
Fribourg & Treyer - Golden Mixture 50g
Bought for its association
I admit I picked up a tin of Golden Mixture because if its affiliation with Bertrand Russell. It was a light blend that could bite when pushed and got a bit hot and ashy near the end. Not a bad blend but not worth the price, when it is even in stock.
Dunhill - Royal Yacht 50g
This blend is a bit harsh, quite the departure from Dunhill's usual. I couldn't taste any flavoring. It has a darker tobacco taste, which is good, but it can bite pretty badly, which is bad.
Dunhill - Durbar 50g
I found this blend to be a nice Latakia blend. It's rounded off quite well, but nothing really springs out and fan dances for your attention.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Lived Up to the Hype
Read all of the rest, they do it justice. This is the apex of VaPer blends, along with the bite warning for puffing too fast. The coins are very manageable and will remain in disks for stuffing or easily shred into ribbons. Give it a try.
Wessex - Gold Brick Virginia Plug 100g
The taste of the plug itself was pretty good, a nice standard Virginia. The issue comes when the plug starts to get small: it becomes pretty difficult to cut a slice, even with a sharp knife, without ripping the remainder to pieces.
Erik Stokkebye 4th Generation - 1855 3.5oz
Basic is Good
It is true that this is a basic Virginia blend, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a good blend. This hits all the points of an excellent straight Virginia.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 50g
You Can Judge With This One
This is one of the two definitive Virginia/Perique on the market. It is light enough to smoke repeatedly during the but with enough strength to know that you're puffing on more than hot air.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Ennerdale Flake 50g
To an American palate, this certainly is something different. That doesn't mean that it isn't unpleasant. Opening one's mind to new tastes can pay off sometimes and this is a situation where it would. Floral, almond, and vanilla is something that is delicious together. There is a soapy taste in the background, but it does become less noticeable as you acclimate to it. Ennerdale has become one of my firm favorites.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
A classic blend
A wonderful tin of tobacco to have on hand. A light blend that reminds me of Dunhill's Standard Mixture, but less spicy and a lighter taste.
Mac Baren - Virginia No. 1
This is an excellent Virginia from Mac Baren. Like many Virginia blends, a slow cadence will reveal the best of this blend. If you puff fast then this will tingle the tongue, but that's nothing to what you'll lose in flavor. Too hot, the blend will lose the hay/sugary taste that will stay throughout most of the bowl. Nearer the dottle it will lose its taste, but the economy of the bulk blend will not cause pain in the wallet if you have a little extra dottle at the end of a smoke.
Dunhill - My Mixture 965 50g
A most excellent, full bodied latakia blend. It is for a latakia smoker, certainly, but it wouldn't put off those who want to foray into blends that contain the woody leaf.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
All Day Virginia
This is a Virginia flake, shorn of all other tobacco additives, that one could certainly enjoy bowl after bowl. That taken into account, the taste strength is mild, something that would be unsatisfying to those looking to enjoy a complex blend. The nicotine is the typical of Gawith, meaning somewhat strong as compared to others. Being a straight Virginia, without any blended or condiment tobacco, it allows for the hay-and-grass-like flavors to shine. The cut of the flakes can be erratic but it doesn't seem to detract from the flavor or the burn qualities. Let dry first, as they come rather damp. Otherwise, enjoy.
Rattray's - Old Gowrie 50g
This blend is an excellent, mild Virginia. Very pleasant an well behaved in the pipe. There is no bite and a faint sweet taste. There is also a cedar taste that weaves in and out. Those who are used to stronger mixtures may find the taste too faint, however. Even so it is well worth the price of admission and I believe that this would do well with aging.
Dunhill - Ready Rubbed 50g
Good But Not What Was Expected
The fruity topping must be very subtle indeed, because I was unable to taste it at all. It came across in the room note, albeit very faintly. What you're left with is a nice, mild Virginia. Buttery in the first light then develops into a Virginia sweetness, then it ends with a tangy sort of spice. Puffing to hard brings out an ashy taste. An excellent addition all-in-all to the Dunhill line.
Samuel Gawith - Brown No. 4 250g
A wonderful blend. Like the plethora of people before me, this blend is strong and with a higher than usual dose of nicotine. It has a great flavor profile and produces a masculine, tobacco room note. If you want your beard to grow a beard, for anyone around you to know that you are the type of guy who eats red meat and drinks brandy by the gallon, all the while enjoying a delightful pipefull, then this is the tobacco for you.
Grand Croupier - Double Down
I have bought pounds of this stuff so far, when it is available. Which brings me to my only complaint that the reliablity of this blend isn't what one is used to, but unavoidable due to its nature. The burley is top quality and the pricing can't be beat. It is an easy smoke, if an uncomplex one, but complexity isn't what someone should look for when purchasing this. This is about quality and quantity in a one pound thick plastic bag.