About Me:
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.

Romeo y Julieta - Reserva Real Churchill
Romeo y Julieta totally lives up to its reputation! God blessed! This is a fantastic cigar. Consistent flavor profile throughout. Of all the cigars I've reviewed this is my favorite. Construction is impeccable. Little maintenance is needed to get the cigar going and it retains its shape perfectly. Smooth, medium bodied and creamy, with delicious notes of leather, tea, sweet spices, fresh-cut cedar, and toasted sesame seeds dominate throughout the smoke. Supporting notes of cashews and white pepper grow in the last half. Incredibly approachable. This is a glorious morning stick and a wonderful "All Day" smoke.

Ashton - Classic Prime Minister
first impressions
Oh yeah👌! smooth, creamy mild and just awesome stick. Just nailed the perfect mild smoke for me. Everything was just right. Flavor profile was creamy leather, tea, nutty, with a hint of spice, mildly savory and peppery. No bitterness or earthiness. Great Sunday morning stick but really hits every note any time of day. Very lovely.

Solani - Virginia Flake - 633 50g
First impressions
I was really excited to try this. It was an unexpected and interesting smoke. Very mild and soft. For me it falls on the VaPer side of the line, but just barely. Regrettable I'm not much of a VaPer fan. As far as my Virginia rotation this will not be replacing anything, nor will it be added. I prefer Yorktown or my aged FVF, Dunhill Flake and Capstan Blue. From a Virginia point of view (and the flavor profile I enjoy in that varietal) this blend doesn't touch those blends. FYI - I do highly recommend Solani Aged Burley Flake. It may be one of the top 5 pipe blends ever produced.

Peterson - Elizabethan Mixture 50g
first Impressions
VaPer's are hit or miss for me as on occasion Perique taste like spoiled burley... as fermented burley will... lol. It guess I'm sensitive to it. This one didn't connect with me. The after-taste didn't sit well with me at all. I thought I'd like it due to the low percentage of Perique. Nope. Bit of a cigarette taste and the Perique had a cloying aspect for me. It was lengthy and pronounced. Like a sickly sweet port flavor deep in the lining of my mouth.

Camacho - Connecticut Toro
Morning champ
Exstreemly satisfying smoke, especially in the midmorning. Great mouth feel, mild to medium body but creamy and sweet with notes of toast, hay, pine nuts and leather. No bitterness at all. Very satisfying! It's mild in nicotine but don't make the mistake of smoking the whole thing on an early morning empty stomach! Have some toast and coffee with your smoke in the morning. It's a premium cigar! It will take you for a ride on an empty stomach.

Brick House - Double Connecticut Toro
Connected in Connecticut
Wonderful stick! I enjoyed this far more than the Gold Label Tudor I had recently. The DC is mild bodied but complex. The description notes "Boasting notes of cream, hay, espresso, peanuts, and sweet honey, Double Connecticut is a cigar for lovers of Connecticut leaf and one that exemplifies the tobacco's flavor profile for a mild smoke that doesn't disappoint." Personally I found it mildly creamy, nutty, with notes of tea, cocoa, and light sweet espresso in the 2nd third. There was a wonderful honey and vanilla note in the smoke off the foot. Very pleasing room note.

Macanudo - Gold Label Tudor
First impressions
Interesting stick, dominant coffee bean note. Notes of bitterness, mild leather, mild nuttiness and a bit of a strong unflavored soda note in the nasal. It was over the line for me in regards to the bitter note.

La Aroma de Cuba - Edición Especial #1
First impressions
Solid medium bodied stick, earthy, espresso, and woody notes. Savory flavor, slightly leaning into rich, from the Nicaraguan fillers encased in an Ecuadorian Cuban-seed wrapper. Great stick for the late afternoon or evening

Kramer's - Father Dempsey
First impressions
Kind of a lat bomb but still mild to medium bodied. I could smoke this all afternoon but not all day. The Virginias have notes of tangy lemon and citrus, grass, and hay. The Orientals are in third place with a floral and sour, nutty, earthy, pepper note. Ver well balanced. Not a standout smoke for me personally. I have many English blends I prefer over this, but the price in bulk offers a reall value. I'm going to spend more time with it. Pretty cool and smooth smoke. Nic hit is medium.

Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed
First impressions
Nice smoke. Dark, sweet, smokey. Tasty and a good nic hit.

Cornell & Diehl - Pegasus
First impressions
I'm surprised to see all the love here for this old codger style blend. That's pretty cool. It's a pleasing burley forward blend, slightly sweet, nutty, bready, with mild espresso notes. What I really like about Pegasus is the balance in the blend. That classic C&D strong bitter earthy walnut note (young white burley?) that really dominates so many of their burley blends is finally tamed thank God. I find the bitter note really offputting if too strong. This wasn't an issue for Pegasus. The Cavendish, Virginia and topping seem to add enough sweetness to balance Pegasus perfectly. The Virginia also adds a notes of grass and hay. The cavendish smooths out the burleys even more, filling in all gaps with a little dark sugar. Good candidate for an all day smoke. Pace yourself and it won't bite.

Perdomo - Reserve Champagne 10th Anniversary Torpedo
5 Stars - Just Wow!
Wow. I loved this stick! The construction had a few minor flaws, burn was uneven and needed constant attention in the first 1/3. However, the description is right on the mark. From first puff the flavor profile is incredibly satisfying. I was really floored by the mouth feel of what is essentially a mild cigar. It's super creamy, with notes of leather, cashew, Brazil nut, yeast, and wheat with subtle sweetness. In the second half a champagne soda note builds as the cigar lamps up. The a light pepper and yeasty soda note is very noticeable in the retrohale. Don't be fooled by the mild strength branding. In the larger cigar sizes, the Nicaraguan will sneak up on you in the last 1/3. Very lovely cigar! In my top 5 morning smokes.

NUB - Connecticut 460
Short stuff
Nice tight and well constructed cigar. Mild to Medium bodied, soft and approachable with light creamy notes of leather, cold butter, pine nut and in the last third, cedar wood and white pepper. Good 40 minute smoke. Mellow smokers, who crave the popular nub size but always felt left out due to the strength, now have a version to enjoy. A buttery smooth Connecticut wrapper softens the blend to accommodate the palates of cigar enthusiasts who are looking for subtle flavors.

Cornell & Diehl - Big 'n' Burley
Burley Flake #6?
Impressive manly smoke. This blend has some earthy might. It's very much similar to the blends in the C&D Burley Flake series. The nicotine power is noticeable right away in the first 1/4 of the bowl. It comes out and slaps you across the face. The Burley is young and way out front with strong woody, nutty, earthy notes. From the Orientals there's a sweetness and gentle walnut note with a hint of bitter and sour that is ever present. The Perique and Latakia are sparse condiments adding occasional complexity. This is not an all day or a big bowl smoke. There's an occasional harshness and the bitterness sometimes builds to an offputting level, but the nic hit is lovely and ... well let's call it an acquired taste. I always have a blend like this around for the quick 10 minute stress pipe. It would be interesting to smoke this along with the Burley Flake series and see how they stack up.

Peter Stokkebye - PS306 English Oriental Supreme
First impressions
Nice mild and pleasant smoke. Surprising consistency in the flavor with all that's going on here. The Orientals and burley are out front with a combined nutty woody and earthy notes. Theres also a very gentle peppery, faint bitter walnut. The Virginia is citrusy and grassy. The Latakia is a sparse condiment offering herbal, floral, smokiness. The black cavendish offers a lot of sweetness. The topping is mild. Pretty much everything is in the mild to medium range. This could be an all day smoke. It does have a little spice so that might not fit everyone.

Sir Walter Raleigh - Regular 1.5oz
OTC Legend
Legendary Codger OTC blend from the 1920's. Super simple and rather tasty. Take your pipe, scoop it through the bag filling up your bowl with this weird granola cut. Tamp a little... and you're ready to smoke. Typically only takes one light. Flavor runs steady through the whole bowl, lightly nutty, with hints of cocoa, coffee and molasses. Pretty well behaved and cool smoking if you keep a good 30 sec between puffs. Not goopy or suffering from harsh spots or chemical taste. Just cool sweet nutty burley. Makes a great companion any time of day. I prefer it in a small cobb like the Missouri Pride. The OTC pouch is pretty sturdy and I like to use it as a poor man's carrying case. It will hold a small pipe (stem and bowl separated), Czech tool, lighter, and several bowls of tobacco and still roll up nice and tight and fit right in your coat or shirt pocket. Very handy! Taking into consideration the blends history, simplicity, great price, wide distribution, pleasing flavor profile and cool smoking all day attributes, I give it 5 stars. Simply lovely!

Oliva - Serie G Cameroon Special G
Too Short
Thought I'd give it a try as a quick morning smoke. Didn't work for me. Too short and flavor was impacted by the hot coal at this length.... meh. Won't buy it again.

Planta - Full English
First impressions
Gold in a jar

Peter Stokkebye - PS41 Cube Cut
First impressions
PS Cube Cut is another bulk blend that's just blowing my mind! It's absolutely delicious. The toasted, mildly nutty, earthy Burley lead and meld with the sweet bready Cavendish pressed red Virginia. Mutted and smoothed notes of honey, dark molasses, cocoa, mild cigar and coffee develop throughout the bowl. If packed loose it can be a light smoke, or if packed more firm, a subtle but wonderful medium bodied edge comes out in the blend. This is like a dark nutty version of Superior Navy Flake. I love the Cavindish note in the retrohale. It has a faint spice if pushed hard. The nic hit is mild in a medium bowl. Rubbing out the cubes makes it easier to light. In the pipe it smolders but burns pretty steady. Lots of tamping and fusing will keep you lit and happily puffing.

Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
First impressions
First impressions: Ooh very sophisticated. This cavendish treatment on a Virginia is very well done. I'm impressed. Very smooth, no bite, wonderful delicious old timey Cavendish retrohale. It's really good. I find myself retrohaling almost every puff. The flavoring is subtle but present on every puff. The grassy citrusy Virginia is in some weird space between sun cured and dark fired. Very interesting. It's great on its own but would work well as a condiment tobacco too.

Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
1 lb Orders
Delicious and cheap. Buy it by the pound while you can

Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
First impressions
First Impression: bready, molasses, hints of toast, buttery, honey and dark Virginias, faint hints of a Cavendish like sweetness and smoothnes on the retrohale. Absolutely delish. Seemed to get a little bit hot and spicy if pushed

Mac Baren - Symphony
First impressions
First impressions: My 1 oz bulk order came a bit on the dry side. Really struggling to get past the bite and enjoy the flavor. Smells great on the light and I get some sweet cocoa and nutty notes. Regrettably I also get a crazy amount of BITE and a weird spicy thing going on all along the edge of my tongue. Not having fun. I've smoked a good amount of OTC blends recently and they were much, much, much more well behaved (in this same pipe) then lady Symphony. I don't know if it's a mouth chemistry issue or what but ... Thumbs down

Mac Baren - Golden Extra
First impressions
First impression: Classic Burley flavor, nutty and earthy. The Virginia is way in the back but its sweetening impact, enhanced by the chocolate flavoring, greatly mutes the burley's more tangy sour notes. Coffee and espresso notes develope midbowl. A few minor harsh spots here and there. In general though very smooth and simple in its burley earthiness. Just sweet enough to be an all day smoke. A little monochromatic in its simple flavor profile. Would blend well. Doesn't seem prone to bite.

G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
Rich, floral, smokey
First impressions: tasty, very interesting, all the normal english stuff, a healthy does of smokey Latakia. Not overpowering though. Not a lat bomb. Virginia are bready and sweet. Mostly in the background compared to the Orientals. The Orientals have a nice woody, herbal, sweet floral note. Very prominent, a real bouquet of floral notes actually. Unusually fragrant in my experience. I quite like it. I find the ingredients fairly balanced. High quality tobacco, more flavor, more complexity and Latakia then a typical medium bodied blend.

F & K - Lancer Slices
First impressions: Meaty, sweet and smokey. I get a little bit of a floral or fruity note at the top of each puff. Is that the Virginia? I can't quite place it, reminds me of a Lakeland. According to the description it's not flavored. Maybe that's just the herbs in the Latakia? Having grown up with a lot of campfires and spent a fare amount of time trying to keep the smoke out of my eyes and throat (though it annoyingly seemed to follow me everywhere) I don't mind a bit of the woody smokiness but ive had my share of that taste already and I'm not that enamored with Latakia in general because of it. I need a lot more in a blend to make it interesting. For me, this can be a fantastic winter smoke but not a daily. Update: few more bowls, actually the Latakia seems pretty well balanced with the Virginia. Kind of growing on me.

Carter Hall - Carter Hall 1.5oz Pouch
OTC Legend
The variety of all things pipe, from the tobacco blends to the lighters, drive my pipe enthusiasm. I find my self collecting all of it, pipes, tins, tampers, lighters, ashtrays, pouches and everything related. There's a process of maturity in the research and historical revelation discovered as a collector. You learn to respect and adore the old brands and old codgers. Carter Hall is one of those discoverys. That drugstore pouch is a venerable old blend, in production since 1950, while its current blender, John Middleton, Inc. Has been around since 1895. Generations of pipe smokers have loved and enjoyed the blend. In the pouch it's a rough cut mixture of burley with a little bit of Virginia. The tobacco looks and feels natural, its not goopy, its organic to the touch and its actually the perfect moisture level, its dry enough to smoke when you open it. The pouch note is nutty, almond and sweet. You can smell a flavoring but make no mistake, this is an old school American burley. In the bowl it lights easily and rewards you with rich notes of toasted pine tips, earth, wood and espresso. The burley melds effortlessly with the grassy citrusy and sweet Virginia for a very natural tobacco taste. The Bourbon topping tingles my tongue occasionally and the Cocoa / Chocolate flavor is very subtle. It's delicious and an easy choice for an all day smoke. Quality and value.

Arango - Balkan Supreme
Winning Balkan Bulk Buy
I love finding these bulk blends that totally deliver. Arango's Balkan Supreme gives the best of the tin blends a run for their money. It's delicious, reasonably balanced, and has a really nice creamy full mouth feel from the Black Cavendish's interplay with the smokey herbal Latakia. The Latakia plays a big forward role, but the cavendish is really affective in softening the dark edges of this lat-bomb. Tasty waves of Cavendish and Latakia interplay with a strong note of fine turkish Samsun, with a bit of floral, spicy, nutty sweetness. The Virginia is much harder to detect but offers a touch of grassy citrus. A real meal but not overwhelming, its just right. The nic hit is mild, even in a large bowl. 4 stars for me. Definitely a lat-bomb but its really good and beats the random English blends I have open right now (Artisan Blend, Skiff mixture, Margate).

Amphora - Original Blend 1.75oz
Morning, noon and night
First impressions: The flavoring is really affective. The Cocoa/Chocolate is very subtle but the way it highlights and sets off the kitchen sink of varietals is absolutely delicious. Very smooth. With so much going on here the blend is surprisingly consistent and steady in its note. Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia oh my! I did detect a faint chemical note here and there.

Velvet - Velvet 1.5oz
I love Prince Albert. I thought that meant I would like Velvet as well.... but... it's not for me. I get bit every bowl and the flavor isn't worth the work.

Lighters - Peterson Silver Stripe Pipe Lighter
Long life
1 fluid fill last two months for this everyday pipe smoker. Flint works on a swipe to the left ;)

Prince Albert - Prince Albert 1.5oz
Best All Day Smoke
On my 10 year Brother of the Briar anniversary I decided to come down out of the heavens of luxury pipe tobacco blends and try a couple OTC blends for the first time. Some were as bad as everyone says, couple have been okay, but Prince Albert blew my hair back! I love this blend. It has taken the title belt of best all day smoke in my rotation.

Cornell & Diehl - Yorktown 2oz
Best all day
No question, this is a 5 star straight virginia blend. Delicious in a Cob or briar. I find it complex and very refreshing in this genre. Even in a rather dry state, it smokes very well. Based on the uniform blond crimp cut, I was expecting a young grassy smoke. Not the case however. This is a Burley lovers Virginia. The stoved Reds lead with dark fruit, walnuts, and a sweet medium bodied espresso note. The blend tips to the "Bakery" or "fall harvest" flavors, with notes of hearty crusty bread, bailed hay, earthy fresh cut fields and cedar. Coming in as supporting actress to that lead is the bright virginia with a grassiness, citrus, tang and a wee bit of honey. The flavors are right in my preferred goldilock zone between bright and dark Virginia. I've smoked loads of top Virginia blends, FVF and Dunhill Flake for example and they take considerable aging to hit the kind of deep flavor profile that Yorktown is producing fresh out of the tin. Truly unique balance in my experience. I love it! All day smoke. Blending potential. Great bang for the buck! Yorktown takes my #1 Virginia spot... and I can get it in bulk! Simply gorgeous.

G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
Delicious Oriental dominated blend. Tangy, smokey, nutty, delicious

Seattle Pipe Club - Plum Pudding 2oz
Amazing smoke very delicious and satisfying

St. Bruno - Flake 1.75oz
Lovely Virginia flake with a light topping. Tin note has a bit of pickling or vinegar smell over the sweet figgy Virginia. In the bowl it smokes well and is very well behaved. Bright and dark flake are represented in the flavor profile but it seems the dark dominates with an earthy, baked bread and toasted walnut note. Smokes a bit dry. Flakes were ready to go right out of the tin and didn't require drying. I found it very enjoyable but need to look up the toppings. Its unclear if it still has tonquin. That stuff is banned where this product is made. Along with FVF and Peterson Dunhill Flake the price per oz is in the $8.00 range and that's really high. If your penny pinching Bulk blends are a much smarter route. There are several amazing bulk Virginia blends in the $3.00/oz range.

Peterson - Elizabethan Mixture 50g
Classic VaPer wonderful play with the Perique and Virginia.

Peterson - Early Morning Pipe 50g
This is the good stuff
God it's good to have this tasty smoke back in the saddle again. Pipe of this and a black coffee is the best start of a day. Early Morning Pipe has a pedigree that's pretty hard to match. Its origins began in the "My Mixture" book started by legendary bespoke blender and businessman Alfred Dunhill in 1907. True to its name, it's a great day starter. It's smooth, pleasant, delicious and its toasted barley sweetness pairs wonderfully with that morning coffee. The flavor and nicotine are in the goldilock zone for a brilliant all day smoke. The tin note is something of a signature for the Dunhill blends. Like a fine scotch it has a toasted barley and fired peat note. It always reminds me of Laphroaig. The star of this ribbon cut show is the tangy, nutty, earthy Orientals. The Virginias, lightly pressed and lightly stoved add a note of hay, barely, and bread with a good amount of sweetness and theres a touch of smokey/earthy Latakia that is absolutely lovely and well done. Perfect on an otherwise empty stomach (mild nicotine hit). The blend is a marvelous and delicious wonder that six generations of pipe enthusiasts have fallen in love with. Thank you Alfred!

Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 8oz
The best
Billy budd and Nightcap are my hero English blends. I don't need anything else.

Warped - Kings Stride 2oz
Strong & Earthy
Perique deep, complex notes of dark fruit and chocolate envelop the palate. fine Virginia leaf and alluring, matured Burley enhance the Perique's lavish character. cigar leaf, pressed and steamed into an exquisite Cavendish, bestows unsurpassed delicacy and mystique

Robert Lewis - 123 Mixture 50g
Wonderful english with cigar notes. Very smooth with the Cavendish. Melds and mellows the cigar and Latakia. Very relaxing.

Peterson - Flake 50g
King of Virginia tobacco for me. Delicious dark fruit, toasted and nutty. Super satisfying.

Murray's - 1A Linfield 1.75oz
Well balanced mild english. Wonderful smoke.

James J. Fox - Banker's 50g
Run on bank
Nice medium bodied english with a splash of cigar leaf. Very well balanced and satisfying.

Hearth & Home - Magnum Opus 1.75oz
Opus 1
Fine rich buttery nutty smokey and well balanced. Delicious

Hearth & Home - BlackHouse 1.75oz
Need to smoke a lot more of this to get a good review. Smokey and deep. This one is robust.

Cornell & Diehl - Purple Cow 2oz
Holy Cow
Delicious smoke. Very full bodied and smokey. Cigar leaf is perfect.

Tabac Manil - Reserve du Patron 3.5oz
Dry as dust mess. I'm talking so dry it had turned to stone. It was hard as rock. I don't know what's going on with this stuff and I'm not smoking it.

Tabac Manil - La Brumeuse 3.5oz
Dry as dust
My tobacco arrived a brutally dry mess. Looked disgusting.

Arturo Fuente - Hemingway Masterpiece
Gran Corona style
Fine cigar with excellent construction. This is a very mild stick with a hint of sweetness. It would go well as a morning or brunch smoke. The draw produced a nice cloud of smoke, that felt good in the mouth, with some body. Yet the flavor profile was complex but light. Primarily exstreemly gentle, light notes of black tea, cream, white pepper, cedar, and leather. An Arturo Fuente cigar is more than just the finest smoking enjoyment a cigar lover can experience, it represents Four Generations of family tradition, that include love, pride, and personal sacrifices. Every A-Fuente cigar carries the personal family touch that makes it one of the world's finest.

Foundation Cigar Company - The Wise Man Maduro Robusto
Wonderful smoke. Delicious. The Wise Man boasts rich flavors of dark coffee, black pepper, and subtle cocoa, presented here in the Robusto vitola

H. Upmann - Vintage Cameroon Corona
Impressed. This stick starts off oily, spicy and earthy but then about 1/4 into the smoke settles down to a smooth herbal, leathery smoke. Little sweet at times. Wonderful.

My Father - El Centurion H-2K-CT Corona
Medium to full bodied. Delicious and complex. Full bodied flavor profile but gentle on the spice, it can be retrohaled without leaving you in tears. This was my favorite cigar out of my last large tobacco order. There are several strong delicious flavors that lead the show,

Oliva - Serie V Melanio Churchill
Wonderful medium to full bodied stick. Delicious!

Cornell & Diehl - Pirate Kake 2oz
Yeah this is what I wanted for a good old Latakia BBQ.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #5 2oz
Controlled Power
Burley Flake #5 is a smooth full bodied natural earthy tobacco. It's consistent, not overly complex, but rewarding in its competency. The tin note is really interesting with the red Virginia and dark fired tricking the senses to smell something close to sweet, nutty chocolate covered cherries. It smokes wonderfully! The burleys are manly with dominant notes of espresso, carob, nutty bitter cocoa and cigar. The carob, cocoa note strengthens in the later half of the bowl. The dark fired doesn't offer much smokiness but plays that consistent cigar note and spice on the retrohale. The bright and red Virginia add a noticeable grassy hay note throughout the bowl, sweetening and balancing the earthiness of the burley. The mechanics are solid, lights easily, stays lit and produces volumes of smoke. Smokes well even with low moisture content. For me, Burley Flake # 5 occupies a unique spot between cigars and pipes. It's not a half breed cigar blend, it's burley, a foundation pipe tobacco, but it satisfies my cigar cravings as well as pipe. Some reviews say it's not as strong as the other #s in the series but believe me the nic hit is strong. This is a meaty, savory blend. In the cigar world this would be considered full bodied and robust.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #4 2oz
Rough and tumble
Deep natural flavor from the burley and Virginia, nutty, dark fruity hay, espresso notes and smokey Latakia.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #2 2oz
A mans smoke
Wow...this blend is Manly and as strong as a rope. The tin note is woody and musky with a hint of cocoa. The mechanics are perfect, loose set flakes ready to smoke. And let me tell you, it smokes like a dream. Powerful walnutty burley, with brilliant notes of bitter coffee, espresso, cigar and leather. The virginia offers just enough sweetness to balance it all... but not consistently. There's an occasional flit of harshness that gets more frequent as the bowl progresses. It's kind of forgivable as in the last half of the bowl, notes of dark chocolate develop, the bitter espresso cigar note goes nuclear and the nicotine punches you in the back of the throat. A howling wind couldn't drown out the flavor or the ember. As for the nicotine, gentleman, this is a strong tobacco. Even on a full stomach the nic hit slaps you across the face in the first 1/4 bowl. This stuff is badass

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #1 2oz
This is the best seller of the 5 at one time, not my favorite though. Too harsh. I prefer 2, 3, and 5.

Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening 2oz
Smell the magic
The red Virginia Cavendish is delightful. Take your time and taste the love that went into this blend. It has its place in the pipe world. The topping fades over time if too strong for your taste initially.

Carter Hall - Carter Hall 14oz
Not bad
Burley good! The OTC that can get it done. Smokes clean and neat if you go easy. The toasted nutty burley melds wonderfully with the sweet hay Virginias.

Balkan Sasieni - Balkan Sasieni 50g
Like so many other reviewers, I was happy with this blend. Sweet fall prairy Virginias. Herbal, woody, smokey Latakia. Nutty, tart, sour Orientals. With notes of spice, prunes, and toasted nuts. Absolutely delicious!

Capstan - Flake Blue 1.75oz
Very subtle blend. Great early morning smoke. Summer prairie notes of grass and honey hay. I love to contemplate Tolkien smoking this on the daily. It makes me feel one with western culture.

Ashton - Artisan's Blend 50g
Smokey peaty blend with a strong latika presence riding high and strong in every puff. The rest is conflicting giving the confusion in varietals in the description. Theres a dry sweetness from either the Latakia or Black Cavendish, it's not subtle here and works to dull/smooth the Virginia and Orientals. I was unable to detect the Perique, even in the retrohale. Occassionally I taste a soda note and a brightness to the latika that I attribute to the presence of Oriental. The Virginia comes in mildly in an occasional dark fruit at the forefront of a puff. AB has one toe breaking the full body line. Mostly this is a smokey, toasty, lat bomb. Delicious and relaxing.

My Father - Le Bijou 1922 Churchill
Strong & Good
Simply saying this was a step past the medium bodied cigar I usually like. Its robust, full bodied, oily, creamy with deep notes of leather, must, cedar and espresso. Lots of espresso notes. Hints of caramel, dark cocoa, spice and black pepper. It was lightly woody and deeply earthy, with a nice lingering finish, complex enough that I notice a change in the flavors as I savor the smoke.

Padron - Family Reserve 44th Natural
Strong & Earthy
I smoked a stick during the Super Bowl. It was very robust, full bodied, oily and creamy with deep notes of espresso, old oily leather and must. Also hints of spice, pepper, caramel, and dark cocoa intermixed. It was earthy and woody with a nice lingering complex finish. I was impressed with the terrific change in flavors and aroma as I savor the smoke. By the time the cigar was finished, I was too. Nice nic hit. Almost took me over the falls but the ride got over just in time.

H. Upmann - By AJ Fernandez Churchill
This was a lovely cigar and a solid medium bodied experience for me personally. It was well built, mildly oily but creamy with medium notes of natural musty leather, dried cedar and cappachino. True to the description, faint hints of chocolate, toasted nuts and an occasional hint of pepper intermixed. It wasn't too earthy or woody, rather it was leathery, like a deep nose of natural leather on a prairy evening or sweet desert morning as the finish. It was pleasant and steady in its complexity with subtle change in flavors and aroma as I savored it.

Rattray's - Red Rapparee 50g
Red Goddess
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
Howl!!! Great!!!
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
Latakia greatness
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
Perique mouth
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
Grassy Dreams
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
Nic Slap!
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 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
Bite me
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
Dark D!
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
Good stuff
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
Nice Smoke
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
Best Flake!
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
Bite me
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
Indeed 99
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
Best buy
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
Nice Blend!
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
Nice Blend!
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, 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
Didn't take
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..

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