Cornell & Diehl - Stratfordshire
A well-balanced winner
When I lit my first bowl of this tobacco, I thought, "Oh, this is great, but it won't stay this good. Past the half-bowl mark, it'll turn bitter and dreadful." Most really well-balanced English/Scottish mixtures I've tried did fall apart towards the end of the bowl-- even the oft-praised and memorialized Balkan Sobranie and 759. Gawith's Skiff can turn bitter, as will Dunhill's EMP and 965, and various Rattray's. Not this one. The balance and interplay between the sweetness of the Cavendish and Virginias with the smoky bitterness of the Latakia stays interesting and enjoyable all the way to the bottom of the bowl, and the Orientals accentuate the deliciousness without being too heavy-handed. After trying it in a couple of pipes to make sure it wasn't a one-off experience, I ordered multiple pounds to put away. This is top-notch stuff!
Low Country - Natural Virginia & Burley
After avoiding Burleys for most of my life, I finally got around to trying some of the old drugstore brands like Carter Hall and Prince Albert. Turns out I like Burley after all. When I was shopping around for more VA/Burleys to try out, I saw this one and thought it couldn't be much good at that price. I was wrong about that, too. This lights easily, burns well, is tasty without being complex, and is quite satisfying. I'm going to sock a quantity of this away as a mainstay for when I just want a simple smoke.