Drucquer & Sons - Inns of Court 100g
This blend is driven by the handshake friendliness between the Virginias and the Burleys, expertly blended for harmony and balance. There's a distinct nuttiness from the Burleys and a semi-rich sweetness from the Virginias, but neither feature is dominant over the other--they just go together. The little bit of Perique and Latakia in the blend seem to act as flavor enhancers (though they can be tasted vaguely from time-to-time) and the Black Cavendish probably smooths the edges a bit and binds everything together. This is a blend that strives for the medium threshold, but never quite reaches it. I would conclude that there's definitely more flavor than power in this one. Overall though, very smooth. If you want a similar tasting blend that is both richer and stronger there is "The Devil's Own" which amps up the Bright Virginia and Latakia content. In doing this however, some that lovely Virginia/Burley synchronicity found in Inns of Court is overshadowed. I tend to smoke about twice as much Inns of Court as I do The Devil's Own largely because I find Inns of Court to be a more congenial and easy smoke at any time. I think this blend is at its best in a wide-brimmed, more shallow bowled pipe like a pot or a tomato.
Drucquer & Sons - Prince's Blend 100g
Virginia Centered English
Undoubtedly classified as an English blend more for its adherence to the English purity codes than its Latakia content, this is a more Virginia-centric blend with just a whisper of Latakia--the least Latakia in the D&S line. (Based on the Latakia content alone, this is hardly an English.) I detect a Burley-like presence throughout the bowl, undoubtedly the air-cured, but it's not a driving force. I suspect that the Perique is there for effect and the Black Cavendish probably smooths the edges and binds the other tobaccos together. I anticipated that this blend would be stronger, hotter and sharper than it actually is, but it's a bit more than I would describe as simply mellow. Pleasant, clean, and tasty overall. .
Cornell & Diehl - Sea Dog 2oz
Excellent Americanized English
I am a bit surprised that this excellent blend hasn't attracted more attention--it's really much more than just merely pleasant. This is a very well-developed, balanced, cohesive, and harmonious blend that provides an interesting medley of flavors. While Sea Dog may be just short of what I consider to be great and wonderful, it is nevertheless very, very good. In strength it hits at about that happy medium level. And as for Latakia content I would suggest that while Latakia is certainly there, it's presence is somewhat restrained, but its proportionality in this blend works well in concert with the other component tobaccos. For some reason I seem to be attracted to C&D blends that incorporate both Burley and Virginia, especially their broken Virginia Flake. In addition I seem to appreciate Americanized English blends that incorporate Latakia more as a flavoring rather than as a dominant feature. Another such C&D blend is Epiphany and though the component parts are different I strongly suspect that if you enjoy Epiphany you will more than likely enjoy Sea Dog.
Cornell & Diehl - Easy Times 2oz
Easy-Going and Predictable
Easy to smoke and easy to like. The flavor is relatively uncomplicated, straight-forward, and all tobacco. A Burley base--I think it uses C&D’s “Burley Ribbon Cut” blend--enhanced with Red Virginia, a bit of dark-fired, and a dash or maybe two of Latakia. The Latakia impact is there, but rather subdued. About medium or a step more in strength and body. Displays a neutral character, neither bitter nor sweet, and a taste driven more from the blend of Burleys. Overall, this blend is nothing fancy or intricate; but it’s not exactly lackluster and plain tasting. There’s nothing much to think about—just light it up and off you go. It’s a very consistent, vigorous, and satisfying smoker from top to bottom.
Cornell & Diehl - Tuggle Hall
Potent and Rustic
Rustic, rough, rather strong, dark, and earthy. I can smoke it, but it's a very poor match for my palate. I think that this blend will appeal to the truly devoted, old-time Burley smoker who enjoys a straight-forward, in-your-face smoke. It displays the personality of a brawler. But if you crave a quick shot of nicotine, this will certainly do the job. There's really nothing subtle or nuanced about this blend whatsoever.
Drucquer & Sons - Trafalgar 100g
Truly Excellent Medium English
Slightly Turkish Oriental forward with Latakia just a step behind—very flavorful, rich, and smooth. Its overall strength is about medium, but the potency of the flavor is definitely more intense. Trafalgar provides a very clean and complex taste profile and leaves behind a very pleasant and lingering aftertaste. This one is a real keeper and one of the finest medium English blends in existence. Trafalgar may represent a variation of the recipe for Samarra with the proportions of Turkish and Latakia reversed--for my tastes they are certainly close kin.
G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
This is a great example of a medium English striking precisely in the middle of the middle of the range. The Latakia and Turkish Orientals seem to merge into a single taste element and the semi-sweet Virginias provide ample structure. The flavor is consistent and uniform from top-to-bottom—not the most complex, but exceedingly easy to smoke and very predictable. It’s quite civilized and sophisticated and sufficiently interesting to smoke all day if you are so inclined. No detractors
Drucquer & Sons - Blairgowrie 100g
Highly Refined Scottish Blend!
A masterful interpretation of the Scottish style and one of the finest in my experience—it's certainly a great match for my tastes. True to the Scottish tradition, the emphasis is on the interplay between the Virginias and the Turkish Orientals with a little more kick provided by the Perique. The Latakia and Perique are condiment and spice elements in this blend and I find them to be a little more reserved than in some other Scottish-style blends. The blend overall is quite rich and complex displaying multiple flavor layers. This is a smooth Scottish that provides a tone that is not overly deep, dark, or intense. The strength, body, and flavor intensity are just beyond the mid-level, but at times approach medium-full. Extremely worthwhile!
Drucquer & Sons - Red Lion 100g
All the Time/Anytime English
A classy English blend that displays more Latakia character than Prince's Blend (the lightest in Latakia content in the D&S line), Inns of Court, and The Devil's Own to the point that you can taste Latakia throughout a bowl of Red Lion (and not so much the other three). These four blends contain no Turkish Oriental tobaccos and I believe that that separates them from Blairgowrie, Trafalgar, and Levant Mixture which do. Red Lion displays a somewhat darker flavor profile at just shy of a medium intensity. The Latakia is apparent, but just a little restrained. This is a Virginia forward blend with the other tobaccos rounding out the field. I find the expression of the Black Cavendish to be just a little more than I am normally accustomed in an English blend. Overall this is an easy-going, very pleasant smoke that can be enjoyed at anytime and anywhere. .
G. L. Pease - Spark Plug 2oz
Rich, Potent & Rewarding!
WOW! A bold, full, in-your-face, no apologies English blend--I haven't tasted anything else quite like it! As the label reads, “deep and dark…powerful and refined...smoky and leathery...incense-like spice”...not much more to add except distinctly creamy. (That’s more than enough adjectives!) The depth and potency of the blend have been substantially increased by the steaming and pressing processes, especially the Virginia component. I am not normally attracted to such dense Latakia blends, but you can most certainly taste both the Turkish and Virginia tobaccos and not just Latakia—that’s a key for me.
BriarWorks - Country Lawyer 2oz
One of the Better Cigar Leaf Blends
This is an extremely harmonious blend with the various component tobaccos working in a well-orchestrated concert. Country Lawyer is a true pipe blend--it doesn't pretend to be a cigar replacement--the cigar leaf merely works like any other tobacco component in a blend to provide its own individual spark and/or expand and enhance the other tobaccos. And though the cigar leaf provides its own distinct flavor, it's not an over-powering or dominant feature. I believe that there's a particularly good chance that you can enjoy this blend even if you don't care much for either the flavor or aroma of a cigar.
Cornell & Diehl - Rajah's Court 2oz
Well-Balanced and Exceedingly Smooth
I've seen this described as a Balkan blend and perhaps if there is a need to specifically pigeon-hole it, Balkan works fine. In any event, the Turkish qualities are certainly more prominent than the Latakia. This blend produces a decidedly creamy, smooth and refined smoke--the flavor is nearly homogenous. It's an easy blend to get lit and keep lit all the way to the bottom of the bowl where you're met with a disappointing surprise when you discover there’s nothing more to smoke. Not the most complex, but who needs complexity when you have something this good? I discovered this blend almost 25 years ago and I've been enjoying it ever since. Extremely worthwhile smoke!
Cornell & Diehl - Miskatonic Mixture 2oz
Curious Turkish/Virginia Blend
An interesting and slightly curious blend that highlights the exotic personality of the Katerini varietal. This squarely targets those who favor Turkish/Virginia blends that place a greater emphasis on the Turkish element. There’s only a dash or so of Perique and Black Cavendish and they hardly intrude or alter the basic Turkish/Virginia nature of the blend. Smokes very smoothly providing a bright and clean taste with some subtle spice notes and a soft sweetness.