RUNESTONE
About Me:
Pipe smoker for many years. I'm a tobacco "gypsy" who wanders from one blend type to another with no particular preference.
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Cornell & Diehl - Sea Dog 2oz
Truly Excellent Americanized English
I’m very surprised that Sea Dog has gotten only two reviews—one in 2017 and the other in 2018. I certainly believe that it deserves more attention. This might be an especially worthwhile blend for the C&D Burley/Latakia crowd and I think it's been overlooked. This is what I would classify as an Americanized English blend with the more dominant flavor features arriving from the Dark Burley and Latakia. (For my taste Dark Burley is not as piquant and sharp as White Burley—it’s deeper tasting and a little richer. And while the Latakia in this blend is quite apparent, it’s not an overload.) It’s just a guess, but I suspect that the Black Cavendish and Turkish are blended at somewhere near the condiment level, more or less, while the Virginia Flake could be just a little more than that. This is a medium powered blend, so less forceful than some other C&D Americanized English blends, e.g., Tuggle Hall and Bayou Night—somewhat closer to Epiphany in strength, but more flavorful. Sea Dog displays some complexity from the sweet/sour interplay of the Black Cavendish, Virginia, and Turkish while the Burley and Latakia provide most of the body, strength, and taste. This is not a love at first pipe kind of blend—it requires a little time and more than a few bowlfuls. I’ve gone through about three-fourths of a 2-ounce tin and it just seems to get better and better.

Cornell & Diehl - Easy Times 2oz
Stout and Predictable
Easy to smoke and easy to like, but with some strength. It’s uncomplicated and straight-forward. I'm guessing, but I think it uses C&D’s “Burley Ribbon Cut” blend as its base along with some additional dark-fired for a bit more depth. There’s some Latakia in the mix, but really not much—the Latakia is primarily just a spice element. And I believe that the Red Virginia is there primarily to smooth out the rougher edges and bring it all together. The Burley and Latakia combination are unlike what you find in things like Tuggle Hall and Bayou Nights and some of the more powerful C&D Burley/Latakia mixes--the Latakia component in Easy Times is much more subdued and the Burley qualities are not quite so forceful and rustic. I believe the Burley qualities in Easy Times are more comparable to those found in Purple Cow. Easy Times is not what I would suggest as a morning smoke--it is above medium in power and body approaching medium-full. It reveals a relatively neutral character, neither bitter nor sweet, and a taste driven more from the blend of Burleys. The Latakia is there, but it’s a minor component and very hit-or-miss in the flavor. Overall, this blend is nothing fancy or intricate; it’s actually relatively simple, but it’s not exactly lackluster and plain tasting. There’s nothing much to think about—just light it up. It’s a very consistent, vigorous, and satisfying smoker from top to bottom.

Cornell & Diehl - Tuggle Hall
Simple, but Potent
The flavor/taste profile is simplicity itself, White Burley supported by Latakia. (The small amount of Perique in the blend doesn't really make much of an appearance until near the end of the smoke.) This is a potent blend, but not overly strong or too rustic. But if you crave a shot of nicotine, this will remove the edge. It's a straight-forward blend driven by the taste of Burley with enough Latakia to taste on every puff, but not enough to smother the blend, There's nothing whatsoever subtle or nuanced about it. Certainly reminiscent of old-fashioned Burley blends.

Drucquer & Sons - Trafalgar 100g
Truly Excellent Medium English
Slightly Turkish Oriental forward with Latakia just a step behind—very flavorful, rich, and smooth. Its strength is left of center, but its flavor is definitely a few steps to the right. Trafalgar may represent a refinement of the recipe for Samarra (which is a little more Latakia forward), but for my tastes they seem like first cousins. Trafalgar provides a very clean and complex taste profile and leaves behind a very pleasant, lingering aftertaste. This one is a real keeper.

G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
Congenial Smoker
This is an excellent example of a medium English—this one strikes the middle of the middle. 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 easy to smoke and predictable. It’s quite civilized and interesting enough 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 the finest in my experience—it certainly matches my tastes. The combination of tobacco ingredients is indeed classic—Virginias, Turkish Orientals, Latakia and Perique with the emphasis on the Turkish Orientals and Virginias. The Latakia and Perique are in support here as condiment and spice elements. Although the Latakia and Perique are more restrained than some other Scottish-style blends, the blend overall is nevertheless very flavorful, rich, and complex with multiple layers—but the tone is merely not quite as deep and dark as others. I find the strength, body, and flavor intensity here to be just beyond the mid-level—nearly medium-full. Extremely worthwhile!

Drucquer & Sons - Red Lion 100g
All the Time or Anytime Light English
A classy blend in the light English style. The strength of the blend reaches just above the middle of the light-to-medium range, but the flavor intensity is a bit above that without cracking the medium threshold. The Latakia is apparent, but restrained--this blend is more about the other tobaccos and how they all cooperate. As an English-style blend, Red Lion is more for those who prefer a softer touch of Latakia and a sweeter taste overall. I notice more the combination of Virginia, Burley, and Black Cavendish tobaccos. Taken all together this is an easy-going, very pleasant smoke that can be smoked 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 tobaccos and their proportions done right. Don't be confused, Country Lawyer is a true pipe blend--it's not a cigar. The cigar leaf works like any other tobacco component in a blend--it expands and enhances the other tobaccos. And though the cigar leaf provides its own distinct flavor, it's not over-powering or dominant. 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 Smooth
This is a light-to-medium English blend that is properly proportioned and very well-balanced. Produces a creamy, smooth and refined smoke. Easy blend to get lit and keep lit to the bottom of the bowl and it ends with a disappointing surprise when there’s nothing left in the bowl. Not the most complex, but who needs complexity? Very worthwhile!

Cornell & Diehl - Miskatonic Mixture 2oz
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.

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