Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd
BB is my favorite blend. It's number 1. Period. I don't think I know anyone who would agree with me right away (except for an youtuber whose name I forgot now). But very few would say I'm crazy. It is a stout, full-bodied, great quality, highly satisfying blend. Great taste and aroma (for the experienced smokers and those who prefer the strong blends). It is also the best by far among all the cigar blends. I used to get it tinned, but bulk is as good as. Five stars easily.
Cornell & Diehl - Super Balkan
Great balkan blend. Not as luxurious as more famous counterparts, but extremelly well structured and balanced. Doesn't lose taste as we smoke it. Maybe my favorite balkan.
Cornell & Diehl - Bailey's Front Porch
Good but not outstanding
Good quality, well balanced, mild but not very interesting. Can't complain but expected something more.
Cornell & Diehl - Red Odessa
Not too complex, savory, great flavor and aroma. A relaxing, balkanish, relatively mild, relaxing smoke. One of my favorites.
Cornell & Diehl - Habana Daydream
It is well balanced, has good flavor and body. Virginias and perique are well pronounced, but the latakia and the cigar leaves stay very much in the background. For those looking for a cigar taste, they will hardly find it, but it is good.
Cornell & Diehl - Founding Fathers
I don't like aromatics. Tried many, and didn't like them. But this one is a lovely blend! Tastes natural, has pleasant room note, balanced sweetness, burns well. Delicious! I'm really glad I gave it a try!
Cornell & Diehl - Izmir Turkish
Despite being a spice tobacco, that I only knew as an ingredient of English blends, it is not too strong, and is good on it's own. Of course, not complex, but that exotic aroma is fascinating. Flavor is good too, natural and pleasant. Something different in my rotation.
Cornell & Diehl - Byzantium
Strong, deep, earhty, smoky, full body and extremely satisfying. The lack of Virginia and orientals makes it less subtle, sweet and complex, but, on the other hand, it is more dense, rich and all I need when I crave some serious tobacco.
Cornell & Diehl - Engine #99
I have to re-write my review. When I first tried this blend, I was expecting a lot of latakia. As I couldn't find as much latakia as I expected, gave it 3 stars. But now, already aware that it is not so heavy on the lataia, I enjoyed it much more. It is actually a very good English! One more star!
Cornell & Diehl - Engine #99
Not a bad smoke. It is medium, smooth, elegant and high quality. Good orientals! However, it lacks some personality, and the latakia is almost absent. As a latakia lover, I was a little disappointed.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Top Black Cherry 50g
I don't like aromatics, but I did buy this one twice. It's actually the only aromatic I have in my rotation, and I don't plan on having any other. It is high quality, and the aroma is natural and pleasant to me, which is rare. TPB does taste like black cherry! In the few moments when I want an aromatic, this is the one I ever I reach for.
Samuel Gawith - Navy Flake 50g
This is one of my favorite flakes, and the coolest, sweetest of them all. I really like the fact that it is a navy flake with some latakia, which only adds to the sweetness without making it any heavy or tasting like a English blend. I love English blends, but this one is a break from them (still with some latakia).
Pipe Accessories - Economy Folding Pipe Stand
These little guys are so cheap, and work perfectly! Nothing fancy, just perfect.
Esoterica - Margate 2oz
This is a delicious blend, with great latakia and fabulous orientals. However, considering the proportions and the role they play, and despite what many people say, I call it a Balkan mixture. Anyway, it's great and worthy of the fame.
Balkan Sasieni - Balkan Sasieni 50g
Just got my first tin and what I found is a wonderful smell, when I cracked it open. Then, a taste that is very similar to my favourite latakia English blends, just lighter, more perfumed and relaxing. Absolutely loved it.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
The traditional VaPer formula with a decent body and level of nicotine, very natural tasting, balanced, earthy, smoky, perique-spiced but gentle and with no tongue bite at all. A great choice for a casual smoke.
Samuel Gawith - Black XX 50g
I'm in shock
This is a very tough tobacco, and very different from anything I had smoked before. Tastes like rubber, burnt steak and so on, and it leaves your pipe temporarily smelling like it suffered a short circuit. I think it is very strange to most of us because it has no casing or "spicing" at all. Still, it's not bad, and it is worth trying, if you are in a very adventurous mood.
G. L. Pease - Sextant 2oz
Already one of my top blends. If you like English latakia blends, navy flake and dark fired, why not have all at once? It's not mild and not heavy. Just right to provide a delicious, sophisticated, balanced and relaxing smoke. Right on GL Pease!
Cornell & Diehl - Green River Vanilla 2oz
Good mild aromatic
This is my first all Burley blend, and a new attempt to enjoy aromatics. And I do enjoy this one. The tobacco has a nice mild taste and the vanilla aroma is really suave and balanced - not overwhelming or intoxicating, as it happens so often with aromatic blends. Now I have at least one aromatic blend to enjoy when I want a casual smoke.
G. L. Pease - Key Largo 2oz
Good cigar blend
This is a good cigar blend, and very interesting as it develops as you go through the bowl. Starts gently but gets tougher. Tastes very rich and natural. However, as I am used to Billy Budd, I miss some more latakia here.
Dunhill - Nightcap 50g
To me, Nightcap is the ideal strong English blend. Not to be smoked everyday or at any time, as it is so rich and powerful in every sense. It is delicious, full of flavour, aroma and tradition. One of the most impressive experiences when it comes to pipe smoking. A must-try for those who enjoy rich, full English blends.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 2oz
For those who are used to "classical" English blends, with the latakia-orientals dance in the forefront, this one will taste very different and maybe too heavy and lacking sweetness. Here there's more of a cigar/burley bitterness (in the good sense), and it's high on nicotine. It's very good, full, rich, smoky. I don't smoke it very often because it is very strong, but I love it and it is one of my favorites!
G. L. Pease - Odyssey 2oz
I'm writing this as I smoke my first bowl. I know it's not wise, but I just feel so excited! I was looking for a strong English (even stronger than this one) but I have to say I'm quite pleased. The latakia is strongly there, but at least I don't find it overpowering. Yep, there's plenty of incensy orientals too, and I love the way they interact with the latakia. It takes some time to dry it, but once it's good, smokes cool and nice. And there's no tongue bite! Even though I'll continue looking for even stronger blends, and despite having tried some that I really like, it's the first time I know I'll get more of one of them, right on the first smoke. Right on!
Mac Baren - HH Vintage Syrian 3.5oz
Tastes great however...
I can say this is probably the best Syrian Latakia blend I've ever tried (even though I haven't tried many yet). A very interesting mixture. But I have to agree with David - when it comes to tongue bite, it's just impossible to avoid it.