Tampers & Tools - 8deco Penner Tamper
I could not be happier with this pipe tool. It has a nice weight to it for tamping, excellent dottle scraper, sturdy and functional design. I also like that all the parts witch come in contact with ash can be sealed away to keep my pockets clean.
Pipe Accessories - 2 Pipe Bag Black Vinyl
I love this case. It fits most of my largest bowled pipes and leaves just enough room for accessories/tobacco. The price was excellent and it did not smell like a chemical factory (my primary worry with cheap and synthetic). People who knew what they were doing built this for people who appreciate it's function as pipe luggage, as opposed to a pretty pipe purse (nothing against pretty pipe purses or their owners).
Lighters - Vertigo Briar Black
My favorite lighter.
Solid construction, dependable flame, easy to use and classic design. I was worried that the cost was not much and, thus, it would be a shoddy copy of a Corona. My fears were unfounded. Sure, its not a $100 lighter; but I don't need a $100 lighter. Too many great $100 pipes for sale here.
La Aroma de Cuba - Mi Amor Belicoso
Believe the hype. Wonderful cigar in the dark, full range. If you don't like dark and full, then this will not be good for you. It's especially great after a spicy and heavy meal involving pork (random, but true).
San Cristobal - Guajiro
I was quite pleasantly surprised by this very good looking cigar. It is everything it's billed as in the above description. I prefer it to any of Ashton's core line. They have done very well by creating this cigar.
E.P. Carrillo - Core Natural Line Regalias Real
Better than his previous work.
I grudgingly smoked this cigar, feeling that I had to. I did not like the La Gloria Cubana line. I felt they were inconsistently constructed and over hyped (just my opinion). Mr. Carillo's work has improved greatly with age and experience. I was very impressed with a cigar that I was trying hard not to like, these were what La Gloria Cubana should have been. Of course, these are not coming out in the middle of a cigar boom with a rush to a market ready to throw fistfuls of cash. I feel compelled to mention that his maduro (cardinal) line is one of the best of it's kind I have ever smoked.
Avo - Classic Robusto
Solid, dependable, consistent and old fashioned in lavor profile.
Arturo Fuente - Hemingway Signature
If you are a fan of the wrapper type or have never tried it before; look no further. This is the king.
Aging Room - Core Habano Major
Oh, so tasty.
I usually tend toward maduros, but this is one good cigar. I love the complexity and slight mintyness/pine wood that weaves in and out. Good strength, good construction and a very complex medium body. Highly recommended.
Perdomo - Champagne Noir Epicure
Great value/good taste.
If you like maduro (or think you might), this is a fantastic buy. Not overly complex, but satisfying and well constructed.
Brick House - Brick House Ashtray Combo
Good buy for a cigar fan.
I received this gift set at Christmas from my Father in law. The ash tray is of good construction and size. The cigars are solidly constructed and tasty (medium strength and woody). Well worth the money.
Books - Confessions of a Pipeman, Second Edition - Gary B. Schrier
To short :)
I did greatly enjoy this one sided conversation with Mr. Schrier. The book was very enjoyable and, at times informative. I found much to agree with the author on, but much more to disagree with. If you are someone who is put off by strong opinions based purely on personal preference and conjecture; do not buy this book. If, however, you enjoy differing opinions that are artfully presented in a passionate fashion; then BUY IT! I sometimes wondered if this work was more of a caricature of the authors real life personality or if he comes a crossed like a strong, black, french roast face to face. I suspect he is lots of fun to have a (somewhat) two sided conversation with over a pipe.
Rattray's - Red Rapparee 100g
I am referring to the product description with the title. I had a few really great experiences with this blend and a few bad ones (sometimes in the same bowl). I assume that if the right pipe/packing method/smoking cadence was found, it could be consistently good. I just did not have a love for this blend that lends itself to that level of experimentation. One thing that really did stand out very nicely was a sort of spicy, fresh bread flavor that I have never found else ware.
G. L. Pease - Westminster 16oz
Westminster has never failed to produce a good, solid, English smoke for me. I have yet to experience a truly GREAT pipe full of it, but I have never had a less than a pleasing one. To me, that is worth 4 stars; just not a consistently GREAT 5.
G. L. Pease - Odyssey 2oz
This will take some getting used to for me. Loaded with Cyprian Latakia. When I think of G.L. Pease's nick name "The Dark Lord" this blend comes to mind. Good stuff, but HOLY LATAKIA! -Best Regards, Dave Ray
McClelland - Syrian Latakia: Rose of Latakia 50g
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping for a substantial and refined Syrian Latakia forward blend. It was none of that. Don't get me wrong, it was pleasant enough; but so is vanilla ice cream. I tried to coax out the Latakia through various pipe sizes and dry times, but it just wasn't there beyond a whiff. -Best Regards, Dave Ray
McClelland - Club Blends: CPCC Samovar 50g
I am a fan of McClelland and a huge fan of Syrian Latakia. I enjoy this blend like I enjoy spicy Texas pit bar-b-que ribs (smell and taste). As a matter of fact, I seem to crave good ribs when I smoke this. The tin description is another way to look at this blend and is also dead on. I liked it best in a larger bowl and needed to dry it out significantly. The flavor seems consistent, to some degree, from start to finish and did not bite. -Best Regards, Dave Ray.
Stands & Pouches - Economy Folding Pipe Stand
Pipe Lawn Furniture.
Much like a lawn chair, This is a simple and effective rest for what is intended to plop into it. None of my pipes a designed to be "sitters", I just don't appreciate the esthetics of them. This is a must have for me in order to preserve my pipes chamber environment if I have to set it down mid smoke. -Best Regards, Dave Ray.
Filters & Adaptors - Vauen Filters (40 pack)
I don't always smoke filter pipes, but when I do I prefer this filter (read it with an aristocratic Spanish Accent :). Good value, large volume and effective in all the 9mm filter pipes I own. -Best Regards, Dave Ray
Pipe Tools & Supplies - Gloredo Churchwarden Pipe Cleaners (75 pack)
This is a must have Item for cleaning my longer stemmed pipes. Very sturdy, flexible and a joy to use. Worth the price to me. -Best Regards, Dave Ray
Books - In Search of Pipe Dreams - Rick Newcombe
I've never met the Author, but I feel as if I could pick him out of a room by his conversational mannerisms. His absolute enthusiasm for Pipes shines through each chapter. It is not a textbook of technical knowledge, so much as a homage to how Pipes have touched his life. I enjoyed the insight he has on the subject as well as the stories he tells. A very enjoyable read for any fan of the Pipe. -Best Regards, Dave Ray
Pipe Accessories - 6 Pipe Round Stand
Actually, excellent deal for the price. It's sturdy, utilitarian and not too unfortunate looking. It is also indispensable for racking my largest pipes, they simply don't fit in a standard side by side display. -Best Regards, Dave Ray
Tampers & Tools - Brigham Wood Grain Pipe Tool
The head of the tamper separated from the rest of it within 2 months of purchase. I hope my experience was an anomaly. -Best Regards, Dave Ray