Perdomo - Reserve Champagne 10th Anniversary Torpedo
Bland and overrated
Being predominantly a smoker of habanos and trying as many new world cigars as I can, I got a couple of these to try due to the high praise as being a bit richer than most Connecticut shades, the apparent dedication to quality at Perdomo and my enjoyment of lighter cigars and often torpedos. I found this little different to any other Connecticut shade cigars I've ever tried - bland, overly light on flavour and not a hint of any progression throughout the length of the cigar. Even the burn went a bit askew despite the raving about high construction standards at Perdomo. Beautiful presentation and a very pleasant unlit aroma, but beyond that I wouldn't even recommend these to a beginner as they're such a large format. All style over substance.
Padron - 1964 Anniversary Series Natural Monarca
I really enjoy the 1964 series and this format is just perfect. I get a bit tired of the endless enormous ring gauges and very short format cigars saturating the market now. I adore a longer, slimmer format. I find a 40-48 ring gauge to be optimal for getting the most flavor out of a cigar blend. Very thick gauges just have more and more volado packed into it, which waters down the flavor too much for my taste. Unlike some other Padróns I prefer the natural wrappers on these. Rich but mellow flavors of fairly complex woods, dry earth and cocoa, hints of caramel sweetness, a little saltiness and a bit of that peppery bite which softens up in the middle third.
Daughters & Ryan - Ramback Gold 16oz
Clean Turkish/Flue Cured Virginia Blend
This is clearly dual purpose, but it's just a 60/40 mix of high grade Turkish and flue cured Virginia tobaccos. No additives, flavorings or casings. It can be used for blending your own pipe mixtures, but the straight Ramback Turkish is the best for that. I also use tubes occasionally still and this is one of the best MYO Turkish blends in the world. The only shame is that they didn't just leave the cut as a slightly finer ribbon. Three Sails and Ryback are a very fine shag and have remained so, and a finer cut in a pipe I actually prefer as well! It helps it burn better in the bowl and I think slightly improves the flavor.
Daughters & Ryan - Three Sails 3.5oz
High Quality Bright Virginia
As with most D&R offerings I pretty much only use this for blending. It's a pure, unadulterated and high grade bright Virginia in a fine shag cut. Clearly dual-purpose, making it one of the best RYO/MYO bright virginias in the world. I actually love a fine cut like this in a pipe, as it can be compressed a little more, helps the burn enormously and also gives a slightly smoother smoke. This one has just a little more strength to it than the Windsail.
Daughters & Ryan - Two Timer 3.5oz
This is a blending tobacco, like many D&R offerings, and it's probably the finest double toasted Burley in the world right now. Pure and unadulterated, which is why it's not as moist as most pipe tobaccos, but this also means you get more leaf for your money as it's not full of water and casings.
Daughters & Ryan - Windsail 40g
A Pure Blending Tobacco
I love D&R's tobaccos. This is just a clean, unadulterated and straight flue cured Virginia. Along with the Windsail Platinum it's perfect for just mellowing down any blend and adding a subtle sweetness.
Daughters & Ryan - Ramback 3.5oz
High Grade Turkish
This is not a typical pipe blend, it's a pure Turkish mixture, meant for blending with, consisting of a few oriental leaf varieties - heavy on the Izmir and with no additives, casings or flavourings. It's therefore more dry than most pipe tobaccos and so also you are getting more leaf for your money. It is also, being a pure and unadulterated thinner ribbon cut Turkish tobacco, multi-purpose and an incredible RYO also. Along with Daughter's & Ryan Ramback Balkan blend this is probably the best oriental tobacco to use in replicating the old world Turkish/Egyptian blends. I love this stuff for blending. It makes any tobacco(s) smoother, more creamy and offers a soft and tingly Turkish spice and sweetness with delicate yet rich woodiness, a little earth and stewed fruit and some exotic spice and floral overtones.