Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe 50g
Jack of All Trades
A jack of all trades, but a master of none...I guess I would akin this blend to a red table wine or a cup of breakfast blend coffee - everything that you expect to be there is there, but there isn't anything that stands out and takes the lead. Is it a good English blend? Sure - plenty of people swear by it. But is it a great English blend? I think that would be a personal distinction. Bowl after bowl I would fire this up looking for something - ANYTHING - to take the center stage, and nothing stepped up. Did that ruin it for me? No - I'll probably keep a jarred tin around for when I run out of another English blend and don't feel like opening something else. In the end, I guess I just wanted something more complex and this just wasn't it - I really can't fault it too hard for that.
Dunhill - Flake 50g
Don't Overthink It
This is not a blend that you should sit down and try to analyse every subtle nuance of flavor - mostly because there isn't much to analyse (at least in my opinion). It's not deeply complex, and that's ok, because it doesn't have to be. I find myself gravitating to this over and over because it is a fantastic, consistent smoke that allows me to deeply contemplate things other than what's in my pipe. If you're at all interested in what a pure Virginia tobacco can be, try this - I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Lighters - Zippo Black Matte Pipe Lighter w/ Pipe Emblem
Just Buy One Already!
Before I bought the Zippo pipe lighter, I did an enormous amount of research (perhaps too much). In my scouring of other people's reviews, I came across two main complaints - 1) the fuel imparted a taste on the tobacco, and/or 2) the flame wouldn't light to the bottom of the bowl. Well, after ordering my own, and testing it the best I could, I can safely say that I never experienced either of these issues - In fact, I actually found it easier to draw the flame to the bottom of my bowl than with my Xikar Pipeline. On top of all this, the design of the insert makes it almost impossible to scorch the rim of your pipe! If you ever smoke outdoors, this is a must own - windproof, reliable and backed by Zippo's lifetime guarantee. Just buy one already, you won't regret it!
Peterson - Sunset Breeze 50g
A Sweet Exception
The sweetness of Amaretto in both aroma and taste; it is a pleasant change from my typical blends. Even though the Amaretto is the front runner, it is not overwhelming or overbearing. Although I am not usually one for sweet tobacco, this is a an exception that I readily keep on hand.
Peterson - Irish Cask 50g
A perfect balanced flavor of lightly sweet vanilla and woody oak. It has quickly become a standard in my rotation. As others have stated, it will bite if smoked too hot or too moist (I have experienced both) - take your time, let it dry out, and enjoy.