Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Brown Bogie
Good quality but far too strong
Stupid strong. I don't know how I used to smoke rope tobaccos. I wish they made mild and medium rope tobacco. Love the cut but nicotine is at the chain smoker level!
Cornell & Diehl - King Cake 2oz
I'm not a big aromatic smoker other than navy blends. This is similar to that with some extra flavorings. Quality tobacco. It's nice to find a milder C&D blend. Usually they hit you over the head with nicotine. This blend is mild but has substance. I wish they would do more interesting mild blends. As I've grown as a pipe smoker I lean more toward milder relaxing blends.
McClelland - 40th Anniversary 100g
What can you say? It's a McClelland special offering which is always an occasion. I'm a big McClelland fan. My cellar is stocked with Christmas Cheer, black, brown label, and more. The best VA available. I wish there were more info on exactly how this differs from the VAs used in their main blends. McClelland consistency and quality is second to none. It's straight red VA (and maybe some orange?) so if that's your thing get some while it's available. I'm stocking some for the long haul.
Samuel Gawith - Best Brown Flake 50g
Best Brown for sure
Great stuff. Rich and dark side of VA tobacco. I think my tin wasn't sealed because I was surprised to find fairly dried out tobacco inside. I was wondering what the sweet smell was among my tin stash (others are all American style round tins and I'm sure they're all sealed). Not as much sweet topping as with Saint James Flake maybe? It's a worthy VA flake. I mostly smoke McC VAs and this is a good treat but don't know if it will be a regular for me.
McClelland - 2035 - Dark Navy Flake
Dark star is a favorite. This is may be the same flake but less aged. If you can't get it to burn rub it out. Maybe it's because I started out smoking a lot of Dark Fragrant and Black Virginia but I don't really have too much trouble getting it to burn like people seem to in their reviews. I love the rich sweetness of dark stoved leaf. This is very good and only surpassed by Dark Star for me. It's nice to add a touch of perique.
McClelland - Collector: Tudor Castle 50g
This is a great tobacco. It's a little heavy on the yellow virginia for me. I'd prefer more red virginia flavor but it's a very good blend. The oriental and perique give a nice flavor to the virginia leaf.
McClelland - Ashton Revival: Pebblecut 50g
This is a excellent vaper with the extra sour, spice from the orientals. Carolina leaf is very special. When McClelland uses Carolina leaf take notice because it's special occasion. Top notch. People should be flocking to this like they are to temple bar and regent flake. This is much better.
McClelland - GKCPC: Boston 1776 50g
Best Virginia. Just try some. Stock up on this. Put lots in the cellar for the future. This is what Pease's Union Square is trying to be. McClelland makes the best VA available.
Rattray's - Hal O' The Wynd 100g
This is a favorite of a good friend who usually prefers cigars. When I'm smoking my pipe this is what we smoke together. It's very good. I love it too and always have some on hand. I don't see how you will not enjoy it unless you don't like Virginias. Personally all I smoke are Virginias/Vapers and this is always excellent.
Rattray's - Old Gowrie 100g
One of the first blends that I smoked when starting out pipe smoking thanks to the recommendation of my excellent B&M in Boston. Top rate. I've since moved on from Euro blends to mostly McClelland but I always have a tin or two around of Old Gowrie in the cellar. The only way it could be any better is if it came in a big flake like Marlin Flake.
McClelland - Stave-Aged 35 50g
Top 5 blend for the piper who's looking for a superlative mild all day VA with a bit of sweetness. The stave cube imparts a light burbon flavor and aroma that isn't overbearing or harsh. I find that alcohol blends can burn hot and be harsh. This is smoother. I still love McC's Navy Cavendish but this is smoother. The VAs are a mix of red, bright and stoved. It's a good balance and offers a full range of VA flavor with nice complexity and rich VA flavor. This should be up there with Frog Cellar but for the piper who doesn't care for Latakia like myself. I think it's the same thing hold the latakia. I'm filling the cellar with this stuff along with McC's black and brown label blends.
Cornell & Diehl - Bourbon Bleu 2oz
Pretty good but too much bright VA for me
This is quality tobacco. Lots of golden virginia with small proportions of red virginia, kentucky and perique plus a touch of bourdon. The bourdon is so light it only comes through as a little boost of sweetness, similar to a touch of honey or a very faint alcohol taste. I prefer the darker end of the virginia spectrum. I like blends with a lot of red virginia. This one is saved a little for me by the condiment tobaccos which give the golden virginias more substance. I really don't like dark fired though. I think C&D use it far too often (esp. in GLP blends). I got this as a free sample and otherwise probably wouldn't have bought any of this. I'm glad that I tried it but just too much golden virginia for my tastes. It does make a good summer smoke though but I don't think it's going to replace Beacon for me in that regard. Give it a try for yourself.
Peter Stokkebye - PS400 Luxury Navy Flake
Good but I prefer McClelland's 2015. Good starter Vaper for beginners. It will also stay in your rotation over the years. For my taste I prefer the others mostly McC Vapers and GLP Telegraph hill. This is good stuff and it's nice go to because it's a bulk. Would be a great all day because of price, mild-medium strength and availability.
Cornell & Diehl - Briar Fox 2oz
Simple, good stuff
Almost the body and mouthfeel of a light cigar. Rich VA flavor, not sweet with nutty burley. Good quality tobacco. C&D and GLP always taste too green to me. This of course has that going on too.
G. L. Pease - Telegraph Hill 2oz
Great Vaper. I prefer McC's Saint James Woods & 2015, my staples but this blend has grown on me a great deal. I like Kajun Kake but find it too strong in nicotine. Telegraph Hill has a great flavor but mild-medium nicotine so is better for me.
Cornell & Diehl - Blockade Runner 2oz
Green and brash at first. It grows on you. Not my number one rum smoke but I always have some around. C&D tobacco is down to earth and honest. It's always top quality though could use some age. Blockade Runner has a strong wonderful rum sweetness. It feels like you got in a time machine, hopped on a navy ship and stole their tobacco.
McClelland - Collector: Beacon 50g
Top lighter VA Per
McClelland make the best Vapers, in my humble opinion (not to mention straight Va's). This one is light on the perique. It is made up of the lighter side of Virginias- yellow and orange. I prefer the darker side of Virginias, my favorites being Saint James Woods and bulk 2015. My cellar is stocked with Beacon, however, because it's stellar on a hot summer day when I find my favorite red Va's too rich. Beacon is simply excellent if you like golden Va's with a touch of well aged perique. A sublime blend.
Samuel Gawith - St. James Flake 50g
Hold the frosting
Wow, does this have a lot of sugar casing. I bet it's great tobacco underneath but I can't tell. Also one of the wettest flakes that I've encountered. Maybe my tin got too much mountain dew sauce at the factory. All that said, Sam G makes excellent tobacco. I must be of a different school of thought on tobacco. I prefer american VA Pers... hold the frosting.
McClelland - Christmas Cheer 2015 100g
The finest, natural red virginia available. I've bought a pound the last two years for the cellar plus a tin or two to smoke right away. Soon I'll be able to pop a year old tin of the 2014 vintage. I'm enjoying smoking the 2015 now. It's a fun tradition. If you love virginia leaf as much as I do don't miss out.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: No. 24 50g
I don't have too much experience with oriental tobaccos and don't like latakia so I thought I'd try this as an intro to orientals. It's excellent. It's sweet and has a wonderful incense aroma from the Drama. I think it's the same base red and orange VAs as 2015 and Navy Cavendish two of my favorites. That puts it on the darker, richer end of the VA spectrum. I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. Now I smoke regularly for a change of pace. Very very nice.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: Navy Cavendish 100g
Maybe my favorite VA flake. A little harsh in the beginning like most booze blends but after it settles down so rich and flavorful. A cellar staple for me. Like all McC VA's gets somehow better with age. Can't say enough good things about it.
McClelland - 2010 - Classic Virginia
Good light bodied VA
Typical McClelland quality. For bulk it's just as good as out of a tin which I find surprising. I tend to like richer red virginia but this is great for what it is. If you like lemon - orange range VA flavor it'll be great for you. I've heard the flavor gets richer with age. It won't make my rotation but it's great stuff. Just too light bodied for me.
McClelland - 2015 Virginia-Perique Flake
An excellent perique flake. The flavor of the red virginia is up front. Perique level at medium to low. Strength comes in at medium- the regular McClelland strength level. St. James Woods is still my favorite but 2015 is excellent. 2015 is more of an all day smoke because of the lower perique level. There's just enough body and spice to keep it interesting without over powering. In general, it's sweet and tangy. This should be the number 1 bulk blend. Stands up to all the best VA Pers whether tinned or bulk. Get a bunch and jar it up. There is a light, natural cocoa taste. No sugar casing or flavorings like the Gawith blends, Dunhill or Rattrays. Bulk McC flakes seem to come in larger, more durable flakes than the tinned version. At least this blend did. This excited me as I was able to do more folding an stuffing producing a slow, rich smoke. Very highly recommended.
McClelland - Personal Reserve: Blackwoods Flake 50g
One of my favorite straight virginia flakes. The red virginias are rich and smooth. The black stoved adds sweet cream. This has got to be one of the best virginias ever. I always have many tins of this in the cellar and add some more with every order. It's funny that there are so many first class blends made by McC but somehow everyone is fixated on Blackwoods. BW deserves it's accoladed but people need to try more black label blends and others by McC!
McClelland - Personal Reserve: St James Woods 50g
#1 in my rotation
Best blend on earth for me (though McC's bulk 2015 is a close second). This is the special occasion smoke. My favorite Sunday morning relaxation smoke. Tastes like rich mature virginia with a good amount of perique. Perique is one of my favorite things and this delivers along with deep red and sweet virginia flavors. Very smooth. It will have a special place in my cellar. I can't understand why this isn't in the top 10 for best selling tin blends. If you prefer unsweetened, more natural blends give this a try. It's amazing with some age on it. It gets richer and smoother though like all McClelland blends it's excellent right away.
McClelland - Personal Reserve: Dark Star 50g
Great evening winter smoke. Relaxing. Very nice dark, rich and smooth. Dark but still nice deep virginia flavor. A little hard to rub into ribbons. Also wet like most mcclellands but id rather a little drying time than too dry. This stuff is fantastic and is top of my rotation with dark fragrant and black virginia. It will probably win after i get to smoke more
McClelland - Personal Reserve: Blackwoods Flake 50g
Rich and smooth
Great rich virginia flavor. Very smooth. Wonderful stuff. Would be nice with a little perique but fantastic.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: Navy Cavendish 50g
My favorite rum flake. It's typical McC quality (top quality) with just a little rum flavor. The rum enhances the red and orange virginia flavor without overpowering it. I have a ton of this in the cellar for the future. McC's red and orange flake is one of my favorite combinations. It's probably tied with their red and stoved black flakes. What I like about this one is that its just virginia and rum. There are no other flavors added. It's simple and wonderful. People complain about harshness at the top of the bowl. They may be rushing things.