Cornell & Diehl - Byzantium
A worthy blend
The absence of virginias, I think, is an appealing factor with this blend, which makes it fairly unique in comparison to most English style blends. Nothing inadequate, just different and quite good. I'll give it some time and if it improves even slightly, I'm ordering more and adding it to my favorites.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed
For the price, I doubt it can be beat, if it's your thing. This is amongst my favorites and something I'd like to always have on hand.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired 3.5oz
This makes my favorites list. Nothing inextricable -- just a fine and rewarding smoke. Highly recommended.
McClelland - Grand Orientals: Drama Reserve 50g
Topped, topped, topped
...or cased to high heavens. If this stuff isn't an aromatic, then it must be either heavily topped or cased with something strange ... strange and regretfully enjoyable. If this stuff is natural, it defies every bit of experience I have with tobacco. As a strict adversary of aromatics, I will be donating the remains of my tin to a friend, though reluctantly. I want to call this a "luxury blend", but can't call it anything because I have no clue what's really in the stuff. I can say little more than: Drama Reserve; "artificial" done exceedingly well. Effortless and very pleasant, but inauthentic -- 3 stars overall and 5 stars for candy blends.
Solani - Aged Burley Flake - 656 50g
Pinnacle o' Burley
This is a rare and super fine smoke. It is consistent, fulfilling and untainted with any obvious casing. It rubs, packs and burns well. If I could choose only two blends, it could easily be this and a stout English. If you are searching for the best of burley, look no further and expect no funny stuff.
G. L. Pease - Robusto 8oz
The first few smokes left me in doubt, but this stuff grew on me quickly and strongly, leaving it on my favorites list to stay. For me it is a well-balanced blend offering most of the essential elements in a good English style smoke, plus the hint of cigar. As said by Ed T. above, aging does seem to compliment it.
Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
Sodden sop of a good tin o' baccy
I like this blend. It's a great medium English and one I'd like to keep around. Unfortunately, though, not unless I've a separate container to stow it in. It's, say... very generously moistened, which aside from needing a bit of drying, can rust the tin and impart a foulness to the remaining supply. I certainly recommend SL, but transfer it if you plan on taking your time with it.
Cornell & Diehl - Opening Night 2oz
Straight VA is not my first choice, but this is good stuff. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good, no-nonsense tobacco. If C&D ever reduces their voluminous offerings, I suspect they'll be keeping this one on the shelves.
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #3 2oz
Partially concur with the Freddy c.
I had high hopes and opened the tin like a tyke on Christmas morning and was no less excited by the look and scent. When I packed the first pipe it was a disappointment. Simply seems too much abuse for very little reward. Nothing particularly or even subtly enjoyable balances what to me seems acridity. Usually ash is the byproduct at the end of a smoke, but with this blend it is the characteristic from inception. However, my reverence for C&D is steadfast.