Pipe Accessories - Smokingpipes Tobacco Jar
Looks nice, spacious, seals well
All around good tobacco jar. The only edge I'll give to a mason jar (besides the superior long term seal), is the thickness. This jar is fairly thin glass. Not a big caveat, considering it stays put.
Low Country - Waccamaw 2oz
This blend deserves more love
Really good, solid vaper. I won't go into depth, but the VA's are fruity and the perique isn't too strong, but there. All around good smoke, I'm surprised I don't see or hear more about this blend.
Smokingpipes Gear - Smokingpipes Baseball Cap (with Pockets)
Good quality, fits small
I like the hat a good bit. Feels quality, pockets are neat and not too intrusive, just fits a little small on me even when fully adjusted. I don't have a particularly large head.
McClelland - GKCPC: Beacon Extra 50g
If you're looking for a quick opinion, I have one for you, this tobacco is really good. Deep, rich, and enough perique to satisfy.
Lighters - IM Corona Old Boy Chrome Pinstripe
After owning this lighter and using it fairly frequently for a few months, I can certainly recommend it to any pipe smoker. The price seems high before you own one, but after holding and using one, it makes complete sense all of a sudden. Precision little lighter, nice and hefty, lights every time, generally well made.
Balkan Sobranie - Balkan Sobranie 50g
Good English, definitely nowhere near the top.
Medium bodied smoke, you get enough lat, but it's not really an extraordinary English. Lots of better choices out there, consider some of the more readily available gawith and pease Englishes before you scramble to buy this harder to get blend - which after all is not worth it.
Samuel Gawith - Balkan Flake 250g
In my top 5
The tin note is heavenly. It doesn't smell like penzance tin note, but it does smell like penzance tastes, very rich and creamy, obviously accompanied by the latakia, it is symphonic. It is blooming! Sugar crystals like you wouldn't believe. Tastes just as good too, creamy "balkan", just enough latakia to make it pop but sweet and creamy with the virginia's. If you're an english/balkan fan, try this one out. Much better than commonwealth. Looks, feels, and tastes luxurious.
Esoterica - Penzance 8oz
Extra creamy smoke, latakia is very present but does not over-dominate the VA's. I wouldn't care if this blend wasn't hyped, it would still be my favorite, regardless of "rarity" and "brand name". If you can somehow get your hands on some, don't lose the opportunity.
Savinelli - Essenza Cipriota 100g
Good all day smoke. Middle ground for aro/english smokers.
Tin note: Grapes (an aromatic type of smell, not fake or cloying, and not “raisiny”) and campfire/bonfire (latakia of course, but quite faint). Pleasant. Color and consistency: Not too moist, and not dry either. Seems well hydrated, but not too much that it needs drying. Mostly a light golden assortment of ribbons, wouldn’t have guessed it was an english without smelling it. Pipe(s): Savinelli POTY ‘13 straight billiard - rusticated, Eric Klodt Freehand Dublin - smooth. Times smoked: Once from each pipe, seems very little, but very similar experiences from both pipes and I don’t expect my opinion to change. After a decent meal. Lighting methods: Bic lighter and matches. Room note: Surprisingly more aromatic than smokey. I got a bit of cocoa and marshmallow in the smoke. I took some notes, and I’ll write a bit about those here. The charring light showed no signs of bite, nor did the second light, and throughout the bowl. For an english/aromatic, very little bite if any at all. Immediately noticed how light this blend was, in flavor, that is. Super mellow, not very smokey - just mild. Stayed lit very well, I’d have to say it’s good to smoke right out of the tin, although it lived in a mason jar for a short while before smoking. First five minutes of the bowl is a tinge smokey, no nuttiness, fruitiness, sweetness, or the like. After that, the latakia is met with some sweet. A light taste of sugar through the smoke, but more-so on the nose. I wrote in big letters, “MELLOW”, to remind myself how this stands up to my simple palate. I tasted some natural tobacco, a bit of smoke, and a slight sweetness. This persisted until about half the bowl was smoked, and then I was hit some leathery tastes and a bit of spice. The leather wasn’t barnyard or hay, but more of a new leather smell. This was coming through only on the tongue, as sometimes smells turn into tastes when reviewing pipe tobacco… No bitterness anywhere in the smoke, nearing the end of the bowl, there is however, more spiciness as the sweetness dwindles. In a part-VA blend like this, especially considering the “grape” tin note, I was expecting some fruitiness, but was met by none - which is more than acceptable for me. The very end of the bowl, just before you’re smoking ash, I noted some toasted bread flavor, maybe just like burnt toast, but still retaining some wheat-y flavor. I’m not a huge fan of / nor am I terribly knowledgeablel on burleys, but I have had burley dominant blends, and this blend didn’t seem to feature the burleys in the smoke, maybe on the room note a little. Now to address and respond to the tin description - fairly accurate. This blend is certainly not full-bodied, more like medium leaning to light. Cool burning burleys, well I can’t speak to the burleys as I’ve said, but the smoke delivered zero bite, all the way through. Enjoyable to puff on slowly or quickly. Nuanced, indeed. A bit smokey, a bit sweet, rich and pleasant room note. Throw in some spice and some leathery depth halfway through, and I’d say it has lived up to its’ description I don’t care for nasal exhaling or retrohaling, but I tried both, and enjoyed neither, as with any tobacco, but the nasal sting on the exhale was not as bad as most - that is - for me. This isn’t really comparable to frog morton english aromatics, as those are more oaky and smokey (I’ve tried a couple of them, forget which though). More of a mellow tobacco flavored smoke with a shadow of latakia. Conclusion. As someone who seeks latakia heavy blends, this meets some requirements, and falls short on others. Yes, it has that smokey flavor that I like, but not a lot. Easy to smoke, to say an “all day smoke” is cliche but I think it suits this blend. This would be good on your way to work at the crack of dawn, to an after-dinner/dessert smoke. I have a relatively low tolerance for nicotine, as in I can’t make it through an entire cigar without having issues, and this didn’t hit me as a really stout blend in that manner. No sweating, no upset stomach - peachy. Speaking of stout, this blend is the opposite, flavor-wise. As I noted, it is incredibly mellow, not bland by any means, but a nice balance of flavors that I found satisfying. None of the tobacco’s I found were pronounced. Symphonic, if you will. Rating: 7/10. Could have used more latakia, maybe some more VA’s as I found the burley muddled those a tad. A very decent, any-time, smoke. Would I recommend it to someone who likes strong latakia bombs, maybe not. Who I would recommend try this blend are - burley smokers, english/balkan/oriental smokers (other than heavy lat), and aromatic smokers. I know plenty of people who really dig the straight VA’s and VaPers - this is not for you. If this blend sounds like something you’re into, don’t take any notice of my rating, that is purely according to my tastes, give it a try, it may be just what you’re looking for. All said and done, well-rounded smoke, certainly something I’d smoke again.
Sutliff - Molto Dolce 1.5oz
To be fair, I'm not a fan of aromatics
As far as aromatics go, I can sometimes taste the intended flavor, but most of the time I don't. I did not taste any creamy vanilla or caramel flavors in this tobacco. If you're not an aromatic guy, and you're looking for a flavorful aromatic, I personally would not recommend this.