G. L. Pease - Cairo 2oz
Cairo in a Cob
The Perique plays very well with the Virgina and Orientals (Izmir ?). It sweetens it up and takes the edge off the zest of the brighter Virginias. There's a nice spice to the Orientals. Great flavor profile. Its bready, nutty and sweet. The "wisper" of Perique in Cairo is just right for me. It plays in every puff, easily noticeable and really adds a fantastic subtle fruit note, very enjoyable.
G. L. Pease - Kensington 2oz
Smokey & Spicey
Delicious and smokey on the light up, the Cyprian Latakia and Oriental are very prominent but the bright and red Virginia quickly join in with a bready, zesty twang. I get a lot of Oriental spice on the edge of my tongue with this blend. The Oriental and Latakia kick up quite a strong smokey, spicey, woody, espresso note but never reach the smokey blast of a lat bomb. I'd call it a medium/full blend rather than light/medium.
G. L. Pease - Embarcadero 2oz
Perfect with Coffee
Embarcadero... a bowl of this is a journey! At the charing light you set sail from port Virginia, the red's are way out front initially, taking all the attention, sweet, grassy, bready, and mildly zesty. By midbowl a full nutty, earthy flavor from the Izmir reaches parity with the Virginia's. By the end of the bowl you're coming into dock at camp Izmir. The air is musty, deeper and earthy, a burley-esque type affair that is full bodied and satisfying. Perfect on a summer evening and equally apropo on a cold winter morning. Pairs well with coffee. A few relights. No bite.
Cornell & Diehl - Izmir Turkish 2oz
I'll lead with the fact that I'm hugely surprised by Izmir and thoroughly enjoy it. Its a very flavorful yet manageable solo smoke in a loosely packed bowl. It has a nutty, almond sweetness and walnutty sharpness in parallel with a tea like woody, umami, savory note. Though there's sweetness, its rounded and balanced by a subtle sour tartness. A floralness in the first half of the bowl is replaced by cocoa and spice in the second half. Its cool and full. Its very consistent in the flavor profile but the number of different tasting notes provides an enjoyable complexity for me personally. Honestly it's surprising how many different notes present in each bowl from this single tobacco varietal. I find it more complex and enjoyable than my favorite Virginias. One light with No bite! Keep in mind too, Oriental has the lowest amount of problematic chemicals so in relative terms its "healthy". My hat is off!
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 8oz
Something is different...
I've been a Huge fan of this blend since 2010. Its my all time favorite blend. I've smoked a dozen of the 2 oz tins over the years and the bold delicious flavor didn't waver a bit between them. However, last December I ordered an 8 oz tin and to my dismay the flavor is awful. I've tried it in a variety of briars and cobbs. No Bueno. The Latakia has a horrible deep Creosote note like it was smoked over burning tires. Hopefully this was just a bad batch and the blend hasn't changed.
G. L. Pease - Odyssey 2oz
First impressions: wow this was smokey and Full with a capital F. Calls for a big pipe to get the best flavor profile. On par with Nightcap for flavor and nic hit.
G. L. Pease - Robusto 2oz
One of the best
This is a powerhouses in the Cigar blend genre. The base flavor profile, a classic woody and smokey English, is paired with an unmistakably dark, earthy rich, cigar note. Extremely enjoyable, mildly complex and full bodied. The Virginia lays the foundation with notes of nut and wood. The smooth and smokey Cyprian Latakia teams up with the Oriental to produce overtones of smokey, nutty herbalness that combines richely with the espresso note from the Maduro. It's gorgeous! Behaves nicely on all fronts. Goes well after a big meal with a peaty scotch or coffee.
Peterson - University Flake 50g
This Va/bur gets high marks. Consistent, delicious and a nice nic hit. Its smooth but substantial and has a fullness to it from the Burley, which adds a consistent oily cocoa bean and earthy/ espresso note. The earthiness of the Burley is softened by the nutty, dark fruit note of the Virginias and a masterful top note (reportedly plum). For me the flavor profile is a trifecta of chocolate, nuts and cherry. Espresso notes develope midbowl. Fantastic smoke. Very consistent.
Cornell & Diehl - Stratfordshire
Mild Smokey Goodness
First Impressions: Well blended. I'm a fan of the classic flavors of unadulterated tobbaco leaf. I enjoy evening smokes that are Oriental forward with just a condiment level of Latakia. Stratfordshire's Latakia is in the vain of Presbyterian or Skiff Mixture, maybe sharper, but the Cavendish smoothes it out, pulls the punch a little, letting the brilliant C&D Virginia and Oriental play the citrusy, nutty, sweet notes. Just what I was looking for! A decade as a brother of the Briar has instilled appreciation for the adage "too much of a good thing" as applied to Latakia and Perique. I find this to be a brilliant all day blend. Personally I'll enjoy it as an evening smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Yale Mixture
Couple complaints... the cut of the Latakia is rough, kind of wierd and the leaf tastes subpar. I wanted this to be as good or better than Lancer Slices. Its not. It smokes okay. The virgina is aged and offers a terrific tobacco flavor. Better than any OTC burley product. The Latakia isn't constant, or terrific, but pops and shows here and there producing a reasonable effect.
Cornell & Diehl - Red Odessa
Take your time
First impressions: Nice Oriental forward smoke. The red virgina adds a good bit of sweetness and hay to the nutty Oriental. The Latakia is very subtle in some parts of the bowl, to the point where I can sometimes feel it more than you I can taste it. The perique adds a dark fruit note and some pepper, but as a condiment only. The blend is well balanced. It's best early in the morning. The complexity is most notable in those early smokes. However, later in the day, when busy and multi-tasking its a more subtle smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Mountain Camp
Fire on the Mt.
Very nice full English. Love the flavor. But its a lat bomb and that's not my thing. Still appreciate it though and its a bulk!
Sutliff - 515 RC-1
Pickling time! Wait...what?
Sour bomb! What in the Heinze pickling vinegar is going on with this blend? The reds aren't that citrusy are they??? Its like the Blender spritzed Yorktown with apple vinegar. Seriously weird and STRONG vinegar odder in the tin and pipe. When the reds are this raw it will make your throat catch. Having said all that... I kind of like the after-taste. Not sure how to rate this? Its very unusual but like sour candy, enjoyable.
Sutliff - Ready Rubbed Match
Not making my rotation. Failed to impress in several ways.
Pipe Tools & Supplies - Joseph Rodgers Gentleman's Smokers Knife with Greenwood Inlay
Very solid pipe tool. Mechanically the tool has solid design and manufacturing. The bolster pin pivot is smooth and tight for both the reamer and pick blade. Its light and compact. The pick is long but not delicate. Huge improvement over a Czech tool. One comment, the nail mark on the reamer blade could be deeper and longer for better us. It has that old scouts pocket knife vibe and it looks good in many environments. Ascetically its not fancy but one wouldn't look out of place using this tool in a sport coat and tie, or any other business casual setting.
Sutliff - 150 Mark Twain
To put it mildly...
This would be a great starter blend for someone new to pipes. The flavoring and casing aren't over done. The tobacco quality is good. No goopyness or mess. Won't bite your tongue unless you puff like a frieght train. It does require some drying time for the best smoke. Personally this blend is too mild for my taste and has no place in my rotation. I find it far more mild than any of the classic OTC blends.
Cornell & Diehl - Orion's Arrow
Guide the way!
First impressions: A well crafted blend! It has a solid body with a wonderful taste. Exstreemly satisfying full bodied smoke. Lots of sweetness, zest, grass and hay notes from the virgina mix in perfection with the nutty, woody, earthy, and peppery notes of the Oriental and Perique. Pops of tart and sour flit by. The Perique is matched perfectly with the VA. I believe OA just knocked a blend or two out of my rotation. Love it!
Cornell & Diehl - Dark Burley
I'm a fan. This is delightful. It smokes a little hot but without tongue bite. Nice strong nutty woodiness, not sour or tart. Subtle Cavendish quality to it, a smoothness that is not sweet but kind if creamy. It does have some subtle sweetness, chocolate like note, in the same manner as a good cigar.
Cornell & Diehl - Good Morning 2oz
This a lovely mellow blend. My smoking technique is really important to get the most out of it. I loosely pack the pipe. This is key and fundamental to enjoy the taste profile (it asks for a fairly open draw). If I can smoke slowly, avoiding any overheating of the leaf with excessive frequent hard draws, I find a lovely consistent blend. Subtly complex, switching between Oriental and Virginia forward. The natural leaf flavors, typical of Virginia and Orientals, dominate with notes of hay, earth, nuts, wood, and mild citrus. Just a kiss of latakia smokiness sits in the background. A very mellow and mild tartness will develope occasionally throughout the bowl but is infrequent. The after taste is mature Virginia with a touch of the Oriental nutty/woodsyness. I enjoy Turkish tobacco and I could smoke this as an all day blend.
Cornell & Diehl - Snug Harbor
Another Bob Runowski subtle wonder! Snug Harbor is the first new English/Aro I've tried in years. Totally love this blend. Its light, its delicious and packs a nice punch. This is going on my all day smoke list. You can light it and forget it. The topping is mildly noticeable at the start of a bowl but dwindles off to let the natural tobacco flavors take the staring role. The Burley and Oriental seem to dominate, teaming up for a consistent nutty, mild tart/sour note. That base is spiced up a notch with smokey note of Latakia, always on stage but way in the back. The perique, which is subtle, adds dark fruit and sweetness. The classic Runowski robust earthy C&D burley flavor is obvious, the topping and blending has it singing a slightly sweeter note than usual. If you're a fan of Bob's Pegasus blend, Haunted Bookshop or OJK, you will find familiar, but much lighter and sweet notes here. Highly recommend.
Sutliff - Balkan Sobranie Original Mix Match
First Impressions: decent quality tobacco, well blended. Latakia doesn't over power. Delicious. As good as any of the expensive lat bombs you can buy in the tin. Smokey, yet Nice and creamy
Warped - Kings Stride 2oz
Hmmm... the Tin note was very interesting...a strong barnyard funk at the head, familiar cigar smells, and ending with an olive/iodine note. The tobacco was in great shape right out of the tin and lit right up. Wonderful voluminous meaty smoke. The Burley plays a strong role, with a mildly bitter walnut notes. The Cavendish cigar leaf plays a strong supporting role along with the Perique. I came to this for the cigar leaf, the Cavendish treatment and its place in this blend just doesn't give me the profile I was looking for. Good meaty smoke though. I hope it's a hit!
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
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
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
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.Yeah I really didn't like this.
Camacho - Connecticut Toro
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
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
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
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
Nice smoke. Dark, sweet, smokey. Tasty and a good nic hit.
Cornell & Diehl - Pegasus
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
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
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
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
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
Gold in a jar
Peter Stokkebye - PS41 Cube Cut
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: 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 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: 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 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
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
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 - Haddo's Delight 2oz
Weird but good
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 - 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 nutty Virginia, woody Burly, espresso cigar leaf... and shooting right down the middle, like a freight train, BIG bold Latakia. The Latakia flavor dominates and pairs so well with the profile. 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, delicious bold flavor, surprising consistent, mildly complex, nice nicotine hit, burns great in the pipe, no bite, no gurgle -- Highly recommended!
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.