Rattray's - Red Rapparee 50g
Rattray's knocks them all out of the park. Their blends are just fantastic. You are in rapture when you get a bowl of this smoking cool in a great pipe.
Rattray's - Old Gowrie 50g
Old but Good!
This is a blend at the top of its genre. Not many can match it. Needs to be dried out before smoking.
Rattray's - Hal O' The Wynd 100g
Amazing smoke. Love this VaPer. It runs right up there with the big dogs in VaPer land. One of the best.
Rattray's - Black Mallory 100g
Fantastic smoke in this genre. Highly recommend this wonderful blend
Esoterica - Stonehaven 8oz
Hyped up blend
Really not superior enough for the hype. C&D, GLP, and Rattray makes many blends as good if not better.
Esoterica - Penzance 2oz
Hyped up blend
I finally had a tin of this legendary blend. I loved the flake cut and the required crumbling. It's a real classic touch to the smoking experience. Esoterica blends have one of the most intriguing tin bouquets. I smell a strong note that I keep identifying as olive. To date, this is the only Esoterica blend that I enjoyed. The smoking flavor is on the medium to full side. It lights up with a very creamy soft flavor but then about mid bowl develops a nice nutty, musky, complex. Almost peppery, as if it had perique in it. The latakia remained ever present. I wouldn't call this a lat bomb as many others have. The lat content is rather well managed compared to several other popular blends. This is a great evening smoke. I have to say that many other blends in this genre are just as good though not as unique in flavor. That strange olive note comes through in the smoke and sets it apart. I wouldn't say it makes it better, just very distinct in taste. I guess that makes for all the fuss. Update: Mr Big - very interesting point you made. Reading the entire forum revealed 7 other iodine call outs, starting with reviewer Loosewatches back in July 2006. I too had a hard time placing that scent. I ended up landing on Olives. Curiously they have a fair amount of Iodine that occurs naturally. I did a smell test and there is a similarity between the antiseptic and the tin. Several other Esoterica blends have that same iodine scent as a noticeable component of the tin bouquet. As I mentioned, this is the only one where it comes through in the smoke for me. That unique taste is what drives the fuss for this blend. It sets it apart in flavor from other blends in the genre.
Borkum Riff - Bourbon Whiskey 1.5oz
Neptune's trousers! this stuff is God awful. If you took your ass and left it out in the hot summer sun for a week, this is what it would taste like. That's just the initial taste. The after taste is worse. It's a slowly dying taste of essence of sun soaked rotten ass and strong copper rod.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 2oz
Top 10 all time smokes
Hello big flavor! Others might say hello nicotine! I say both, and I do enjoy. Whats not to love about this blend? Every time I light this up, I take a big puff and think to myself, oh hell yeah! That's the good stuff. BB has this unique mouth watering flavor of tangy Virginia, nutty Burly, swirls of cigar leaf... and shooting right down the middle like a freight train is this big bold Latakia. The Latakia flavor is dominate and goes so well with the tangy Virginia. The cigar leaf is in the background but always present, showing different faces and creating rich new flavor combinations with the other varietals, sometimes spicy, or earthy, leathery, sweet, harsh, green, woody, cocoa, chestnut, roasted, creamy, and oak. Often stealing the show and providing a refreshing complexity. This blend satisfies in all ways, really bold flavor, surprising complexity, nice nicotine hit, burns great in the pipe, no bite, no gurgle -- Highly recommended! Update 2019: As a long time pipe enthusiast (started back on 2008) I want to add to this review a shoutout to the YTPC legend PipeFriend CHS.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
I was adamant that I didn't like VaPers until I tried Escudo. This is the first VaPer that I have liked. I'm not just saying I like it, as in I can tolerate it, I'm saying this is a fantastic smoke. It does well in pipes of all sizes for me. You defiantly need to sit down and relax when you smoke it or you will miss the complexity of taste. It has a very subtle sweet cooked/buttery fruit finish. No bite at all. I'm going to stock this one in the cellar.
G. L. Pease - Haddo's Delight 2oz
Wow, what a change with a little age. I Smoked several more bowls over the last week and really enjoyed them. This is how I like my VaPers, with a bit of perique but the main flavor is the Virginia. Bowl size matters on this one. The nic hit can be a whammy. The perique "feel" is strong, in that it definitely tickles the nose and the back of the throat, but the perique flavor is a simple enhancer. The virginias played the lead role to my taste and the perique were backseat drivers. A complex smoke.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
Go to Church!
Presbyterian is another favorite, in my world, for the glorious and vaunted early morning smoke. A happy outdoors adventure on my veranda, with the sunrise and bird songs. It requires, more often than not, sweet and buttery flavors, as morning tastes crave. I like to turn to English blends to satisfy the moment. History (found elsewhere online): This fine tobacco originally had no name. It was blended before the first World War especially for the Very Rev. Dr. John White, sometime minister of the Barony Kirk in Glasgow and Moderator of the General Assembly in Scotland in 1929. He introduced it to Stanley Baldwin, later Earl Baldwin, Prime Minister in 1923, 1924 and 1935. He liked it so much that regular supplies were sent down to him and it was he who suggested that it be called "Presbyterian Mixture". Interesting fact, Latakia is simply a smoke -cured Oriental. Any smoked-cured leaf, can give you the smokey creaminess we associate with Latakia. According to Pipestuds review, there's no Latakia in this mix. This site, and all the online retailers, disagree with this assertion. I've smoked loads of English brands and love the blend genera. It's hard to pinpoint, but Presbyterian has a subtle flavor, though not unique in an English, it still somehow smokes uniquely. It consistently delivers just the right amount, of one particular note from the English taste profile, that appeals to me (the front note of olive/smokey butter). It bites a bit if you are on a short pipe and/or puffing hard. The nicotine is medium and I have it marked as an all day English. I enjoy the fact that it's a classic and if treated right, has a very satisfying taste.
Solani - Silver Label - 660 100g
Not really a Virginia fan to date, but this is a great smoke. No bite. Loads of flavor with a nice fruity after taste on the exhale.
Cornell & Diehl - Opening Night 2oz
Very nice Virginia. No big fireworks for me but clearly a step above many other Virginia blends. Pure and clean grassy tobacco flavor.
G. L. Pease - JackKnife Plug 2oz
Four stars. Will add more later...need to take a nap now after that nice nic hit.
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 2oz
Haunted pipe after this
hmmm...pretty earthy peppery taste with the Burley and Perique. Not sure I like it that much. Kind of taste like old sock and ass-tray...I mean ashtray. Compared to Escudo...this is a wrong turn on the road to a good VaPer. If you're into Perique...you might dig this.
Cornell & Diehl - Pirate Kake 2oz
Neptune's trousers! This is a fantastic Latakia smoke! This was the last of 21 new blends that I recently worked my way through. PK made the top 5 list. C&D managed to hit a very nice flavor note! They have the Latakia and Burly playing so well together in this blend. I find it to have a very rich, flavorful smokey, pleasantly toasty, note. I taste at least three different alternate flavor notes as different sized chunks of tobacco burn. The Krumble Kake cut adds tremendously to this blend. It requires one to slow down and enjoy the ritual and preparation of a great pipe smoke. Without question, the different sized chunks of tobacco, with different blends of leaf, is at the root of the many different sub-flavors that manifest during the bowl. Most other cuts wouldn't work with this much Latakia. I recommend a small bowl with a longish stem for best smoke. Sip, don't puff hard! It lites well and stays lit right down to the end of the bowl. For me, this is my favorite Lat. bomb! Not an everyday smoke, but a great cold weather pleasure, to mix up the rotation.
Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening 2oz
The maple flavoring came through in just the right amount for me. I really enjoyed this. I have to recommend a long stemmed pipe such as a churchwarden. This will help reduce the tongue bite that is so common with the aromatic tobaccos.
Samuel Gawith - 1792 Flake 50g
The tin is rich with chocolate/carob notes. A very full flavor on lighting. A bit strong in the nicotine department so be sure to smoke this on a full stomach. This Virginia has a darker, full flavor to it and is quite different than the run of the mill Virginia. Smoke it slowly and enjoy! It will bite if you get in a hurry.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
The description says it all. An excellent straight Virginia. It doesn't bite, smokes well, taste very pleasant in the Virginia hay/grassy arena, with just the faintest toasted/chocolate note on the end of a puff. This is a fine smoke but It doesn't match a true blending masterpiece such as Solani's Silver Flake. Silver flake is a 4 star. This is a 3 star for me.
Cornell & Diehl - Old Joe Krantz 2oz
While smoking this tobacco I concluded that though I do really enjoy a straight Burly, a Burly headliner with condiment amounts of Perique and Virginia, just doesn't work that well for me. I would rather smoke a really good Burly, or a really good VaPer. Having said that OJK was a decent smoke, OJK is a step in the right direction from Haunted Bookshop.
Samuel Gawith - Best Brown Flake 50g
I've got to say that the aged Virginia's really hit the spot for me. I prefer this over the Samuel Gawith FVF and 1792. My tin was perfect. Didn't need to dry it out, smoked great, and no bite. This is one of my top five favorite Virginians.
Samuel Gawith - Grousemoor 50g
Very interesting. The tin has a unique aroma, sweet tomato and zesty lemon,grass, faint fig and floral. It smelled like an English but after the Virginia passes, were the latakia back note would be, there is a subtle flowery/grassy note. My tin didn't have any moisture issues, the tobacco was ready to go. It has a wonderful flavor to the smoke, very smooth and creamy with a decidedly prominent lakeland floral finish. It's really tasty! Not a bad smoke…but it does leave a rather unwelcome taste in ones mouth. The after taste it left in my mouth was an experience all to its self. If you could take the tin smell, mix it with spit and old tobacco ash…that's the taste you would get. It has hints of chemical and lemon. That after taste was strange to experience, it was easily twice as strong as most blends. It's regrettabl, as the smoke is so enjoyable, but I have to give it two stars as there are other blends that are just as tasty but don't leave that nasty after taste.
Seattle Pipe Club - Mississippi River 2oz
This is a great smoke, very flavorful, a worthy addition to the Balkan style blends on the market. It's a perfect example of a nice Balkan. I agree with Steelcowboy, it is best rubbed out and dried a bit. It smokes in a very well balanced manner with the Virginians, Orientals and Latakia on par. The Parique was alive but in the background.
Balkan Sobranie - Balkan Sobranie 50g
Without question this was the most anticipated tin I have ever opened. So it was very perplexing when I got tongue bite, tongue bite, tongue bite. Every bowl. I've never had tongue bite from a Balkan before. Not sure what to make of this. Is anyone else having the same problem? As for flavor...its ok. I find Nightcap, Penzance and Black Mallory to be more complex.
Cornell & Diehl - Orient-Express 2oz
Bulk Buy Gem!
Bulk Blend Smack Down: This is a fantastic bulk buy! What stands out about this is the bang for the buck! The price point is a steal! For roughly 2.50/oz your getting a smoke that rivals many 4.00+/oz tins. Woot! Super tasty! No bite. Great balance of the ingredients. Lots of toasty burly, orientals, light Perique and light buttery Lat.
Cornell & Diehl - Engine #99 2oz
Bulk Blend Smack Down: This is a fantastic bulk buy! What stands out about this is the bang for the buck! The price point is a steal! For roughly 2.10/oz your getting a smoke that rivals many 4.00+/oz tins. Strong nic.hit is a plus right off! Lat was nice and buttery…right up front in the flavor profile. Nice toasty notes in the mid bowl. This might be a serious contender to replace Dunhill Nightcap
Cornell & Diehl - Morley's Best 2oz
Bulk Blend Smack Down: This is a fantastic bulk buy! What stands out about this is the bang for the buck! The price point is a steal! For roughly 2.10/oz your getting a smoke that rivals many 4.00+/oz tins. Yum! Good stuff! This has the best toasty flavor. Nice Nic hit by the end of the bowl. The lat. is there but really faint. A little strong mid bowl but still good mix of parts. All that burly can get a little bit bity mid to late bowl.
Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning 2oz
Not bad at all but you know how it goes with pipe tobacco, subjective lol, sadly it didn't stand out for me as a favorite in its genre. I'm going to try another tin.
Cornell & Diehl - Epiphany 2oz
Great balanced blend. This is a hit. Latakia, burleys and VA's play well. The perique shows itself enough to please. Nice nicotine is favorable. Bulk and cheap!
Cornell & Diehl - Sunday Picnic 2oz
Not bad, not bad at all but still it left me with a need for a bowl of EMP. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. It didn't stand out for me is all.
Solani - Aged Burley Flake - 656 50g
Tin, very chocolaty and slightly earthy. Smoke, all the normal nutty, toasted butter of a burly and then at the end of every puff...a little something else..kind of a sweet little something..very tasty! I really enjoyed this. This is hands down the best Burly I have smoked. I had my first zen pipe moment on a bowl of this as well. The sweet fruity flavor on the exhale brings a wonderful paring with the normal nuttiness of the Burly.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd Blonde 2oz
Well shoot, one always hates to be negative... I will start with a positive. If you are having a really hard time avoiding tongue bite, put this in a big bowled pipe and have at it. It's a hard blend to bite yourself with. More to my review though... I am a huge fan of Habana Daydream and Billy Budd (both must try blends!) so had to try it. BBB wasn't bad, but it wasn't pipe like. It tasted like burly and cheap cigar. It was very one dimensional. I'll try another tin in a few months. Honestly though this first tin...Meh... didn't do anything for me. This was too similar to actually smoking a cigar. Outside of white burly and cigar leaf you can hardly taste any other varietals in this blend. It needs Latakia for some complexity and/or Cavendish to take the edge off the Burly/Cigar leaf. In summary if I want a smoke with this flavor profile, I'd have a cigar. Pipe Used: Old mariner oom paul Age When Smoked: New Purchased From: 82nd Ave. Pipes and cigars Similar Blends: Actual cigars. Outside of the cigar leaf you can hardly taste any other varietals in this blend..
G. L. Pease - Chelsea Morning 2oz
Doing EMP better than EMP does it!
I love a good early morning smoke! Its glorious sitting out on the veranda, at 6:30 am, listening to the multitude of birds singing. While watching smoke rings drift away on a cool morning breeze. I savor puffs of mouth watering Orientals swirling in buttery Latakia. It's a treat on the rare occasion the wife is away and the day is for play. My favorite blend for this glorious morning moment is the complex yet light English. While searching around to replace my brand "et ventum", dunhill EMP, I found my way to G. L. Pease's Chelsea Morning. The old adage that "change is good for you", rings true once again. Chelsea Morning does EMP better than EMP! Even if EMP comes back, I doubt I will return to it. CM is my new champion! The flavors of CM are richer, deeper and more creamy. It's complex and intriguing. Relaxing and thought provoking. I find myself thinking of a more sophisticated Nightcap lite. There's a wonderful saviory and tangy Oriental flavor that is quickly enveloped with creamy Latakia, finishing with a earthy sweet Virginia. The one notable difference between EMP and CM, the Orientals are more pronounced. In my new tin they were savoury, and tended to decidedly dominate if I puffed too hard. Other reviews have identified Izmer Oriental. One can say that it makes things interesting... or one can say it clashes and detracts. I'm of the former. The Latakia is lovely and lightly done. It balances harmoniously with the sweet Virginia. The Perique is plummy and peppery and both show randomly to good effect. CM smokes like a dream, billows of volumous flavorful smoke. you can puff like a freight train and your only punishment will be the domination of Oriental. Utterly relaxing, full of flavor, with a pinch-O-nic to start the day. Five stars! Pipe Used: Caminetto Oom Paul Age When Smoked: New Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com Similar Blends: Early Morning Pipe, Presbyterian , Admiralty.
G. L. Pease - Fillmore 2oz
Despite its wonderful flavor, recently I decided Escudo was out of my rotation. I'm going to blow most readers minds and brand myself a hack by making proclamations like that but the truth is that Esoterica tobacco's aren't my favorite. Its good tobacco for sure, but I prefer the freshness of the leaf used in blends like G.L.P. or C&D tobacco. What precipitate this event was the fact that the Perique had stuck in my mouth far, far, too long after the last few smokes of an aged Escudo tin (7 years). When I say far too long... honestly at this writing it kind of turns my stomach at the thought. At any rate, I did a little data crunching and keyed in on G.L. Pease's Fillmore as a must try VaPer. Opening my first tin I was very pleased at the fresh quality of the leaf and the wonderful tin aroma of sweet Virginia and fragrant raisin Perique. Prior to lighting up I left a bowl worth of the blend laying on my desk for 72 hours. When I came back to it, I found it was mostly dehydrated, not good for a smoke. I mixed it back in the tin and left it for 8 hours. Whatever it did was just right as it seemed to balance the whole tin out. The first bowl I packed lit right up on the char and didn't go out until I had smoked 2/3 of it. I was rewarded with a wonderful smoke of nutty grassy sweet Virginia wrapped up in a peppery plummy Perique. The perique was very forward and peppery but not overwhelming. It didn't want to bite, even when puffed hard, and burned down to a fine ash with low level of moisture left in the bowl. All in all it was a very fine tin that left a nice aftertaste that quickly dissipated and left me craving my next bowl. Very satisfying and If you're a VaPer fan, I recommend. Pipe Used: Bjarne apple Age When Smoked: New Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com Similar Blends: Escudo.
Cornell & Diehl - Habana Daydream 2oz
Hello Cigar Pipe!
Gentleman, you can stop searching for underrated great blends right here. Habana Daydream is such a fantastic smoke! Even if you aren't searching for cigar blends, if you're a pipe smoker, this is a must try. It's a cleverly crafted bit of cigar leaf based tobacco. Personally, HD is one of the few blends I order in the 8 oz tin. If I had to cut back to just two blends, it would be cigar leaf based and a straight Virginia. One might say the yin and yang of pipe tobacco. The flavor is robust, complex with main notes of cigar leaf, Virginia, Latakia and Perique, complimented by faint nutty, earthy and sugary molasses notes. You taste the bit of soft cigar leaf in every puff, along with the main component of sweet Virginia. The creamy and smokey Latakia flavor is farther in the background but steady and present, the perique shows up randomly with a bit of pepper. I must be tasting the Cavendish in there as well but can't tell where. After reading it only has a spoonful of cigar leaf I was surprised how upfront and at attention the cigar leaf tastes. I keep going back and forth on whether I think this, or Billy Budd, is more robust. In the end, with the perique peppery flavor, this ends up being slightly more robust in taste. It has loads of flavor without tongue bite no matter how hardily puffed. This is a blend with some balls. The nicotine is medium/strong, which I love. If the vitamin N has you in its grasp, you enjoy a little cigar leaf and you're needing a stress pipe, this flavorful smoke will really hit the spot and leave you extremely satisfied. --- Four Stars! Good job, C&D! Pipe Used: Bari Giant Age When Smoked: New Purchased From: Various Similar Blends: Billy budd, Key Largo, Robusto.
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #3 2oz
I see 2 star reviews and I have to set the record straight! I had my first bowl of this mighty tobacco back in 2012 and took to it immediately. It's one of my favorite blends. It has a nutty, bready, sourdough tin note. The smoke comes with a strong nicotine content and robust fantastic nutty, cocoa flavor. The Virginia comes in under the burley in every puff and dominates the end with a grassy sweet and plummy finish. Frequently even cigar type notes swirl around the dominant nutty, earthy burley, with just the far out faintest note of something I associate with Nightcap or Billybudd. It's a very full bodied smoke that can hit pretty hard. Make sure you have some food in your system. Smoke with a reasonable moderate cadence (because of nic not the bite). The best part of Burley Flake #3 is so little of this tobacco offers so much. In 5 minutes one can have a fantastic smoke in the smallest bowled pipe. It has a special place in my rotation because of that.