Cornell & Diehl - Mad Fiddler Flake 2oz
Interesting Change of Pace
Just cracked a tin of the Fiddler that's been in my cellar for a couple months. The Kasturi is definitely evident carrying the cigar like spicy, earthy, incense like flavors. The Virginias are definitely more of the tangy fruity variety. The Perique adds a bit of that spicy Periquey punch. Not sure where it comes from, but also getting a bit of cinnamon flavor. The tin I got was more of a broken flake as opposed to the fully intact bubblegum stick flakes like Orlik Golden Sliced. The blend gives me a warming feeling, so I think this blend will really sing in the colder months.
Carter Hall - Carter Hall 1.5oz Pouch
Avoid It Like The Plauge
When I had this blend I'd already had HH Old Dark Fired, so I'd had a quality Burley blend. Carter Hall was very bland and mundane compared to ODF. Nowhere near the flavors. Just a boring mundane bowl. If you're looking to get into Burley try ODF, HH Burley Flake, Solani Aged Burley, Wessex Burley Slices etc. ANYTHING but Carter Hall.
Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
Great Va Flake Bulk
If you enjoy Orlik Golden Sliced this is a great bulk blend to give a go. It's very similar in the light grassy hay like notes and just a bit of the citrusy fruity notes of a typical Va flake. It's an excellent bulk to add to your cellar.
Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
Nice Spicey Blend
Just finished a 2oz sample of this and I rather enjoyed it. Very much some light fruity notes from the Virignias and some notes of molasses and brown sugar notes overall. The Dark Fired Ky was noticed very well as a nice spicy flavor. I have finally found my winter blend and this one is it!
Amphora - Virginia 1.75oz
Very Good Va For $
This is pretty similar to Orlik Golden Sliced. Sort of reminds me of HH Pure Virginia. Just a great classic grassy hay fruity Virginia blend. Well worth snagging a few pouches.
Tabac Manil - La Brumeuse 3.5oz
Ah, the ever popular and elusive Semois. It’s a Burley seed planted in the Ardennes river valley. Over the years it’s garnered its own distinct flavor profile. It’s robust, almost cigar like to. Still maintains a bit of nuttiness and cocoa from the Burley it started as. It’s a very fine and dry cut, so you have to pack it tighter than usual. A rather complex flavor profile that takes multiple bowls to start figuring out. Highly recommend trying it once.
War Horse - Ready Cut 50g
Russ has done it again. This blend is a very tasty blend of Burley, Darkfired Ky, Perique, and Virginia. It packs a bit of a punch. Very nice flavor profile that intermingles throughout the bowl.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Plain and simple, this is the benchmark VaPer blend. It has some grassy hay and fruit bites from the Va’s and some peppery and figgy notes from the Perique. The Perique has a solid punch to it. Highly recommend this if you’re getting into VaPers
Cult - Blood Red Moon 50g
One Of The Best Cherry Blends
As stated, it’s one of the best cherry blends on the market. It’s a creamy, sweet blend that has a touch of the cocoa and nuttiness from the Burley. The top dressing comes through at just the right pace. It burns nice and cool to a white ash. Exceptional room note and quality taste as well. This is definitely a blend to please the smoker and others in the room.
Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
Great Bulk Blend
I got a sample of this a few years back and enjoyed it so much hope I have about 2lbs in the cellar aging. It’s solid fresh and I hear gets even better with age. Great navy Flake blend! Highly recommend trying it!
Sutliff - 507C Virginia Slices
Great VA Bulk!
If you’re a fan of Orlik Golden Slices you’ll really enjoy this blend. Very similarly grassy hay and citrus notes. I highly suggest buying 2oz to sample no matter what. At the price it’s a great bulk to get your cellar stocked up.
Peterson - St. Patrick's Day 2016 50g
Great LE Aromatic
The tin note is that of an orange cream soda, very nice. As for the flavor I get a bit of whiskey and a good dose of the Irish cream. The citrus/orange flavor comes in from time to time. The coconut is rather subdued. The leaf is a good quality and peeks it's head out from time to time throughout the bowl. For me it gets creamier as it gets closer to the end. If you like aromatics I'd urge you to grab a tin.
John Cotton's - Number 1 1.75oz
Great English Blend
Sampled this at the West Coast Show. I'm not a fan of English blends, but this one was really good. For me it's a perfect balance of Virginia, Latakia, and Oriental. A nice flavor profile of some sweet fruity notes from the Virginias with a bit of hay, some spice from the Oriental, and a nice smokey earthy flavor from the Latakia. I'd recommend this blend if you're branching out to English blends or if you're looking for a nice all day English blend.
Larsen - Larsen Limited Edition 150 Year 100g
Solid Danish Aromatic
A nice light flavorful blend. The top dressing comes through at a great rate. Retrohale gives a nice coffee flavor. I will say I disagree with the tin description, to me it burns a bit fast. I'd definitely recommend it if you're into aromatics.
Sutliff - Sutliff 1849 1.5oz
Nice blend. Starts off grassy/hay like from the Virginias with the Perique in the background. Second half of the bowl the Virginias turn more fruity to apricot and raisin like flavors and the Perique comes through with it's peppery flavor a bit more. It's a nice VaPer that could be an all day blend for some. I'm sure it will age wonderfully.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 50g
Good Starter/Palate Cleansing Blend
If you're an aromatic smoker looking to branch out or if you're a heavy English/Balkan/Vaper smoker looking for a change of pace or palate cleanser pick up a tin of this. It's a nice light Virginia with citrus and apricot flavors complimented by hay and grassy notes. The Perique isn't very evident in the flavor profile. It's not too high in nicotine content. A nice any time blend that's not overly complex.
CAO - Bella Vanilla 50g
Probably Won't Order Again
It came rather wet and so the first few bowls weren't quite so flavorful and were a bit harsh. As it dried out it got better. It became smoother and the vanilla become more noticeable. Overall though, there's better vanilla aromatics out there.
McClelland - Premium: Best of Show 50g
This was the first McClelland aro that I had. Loved the nougat flavor. It really comes through in this blend. If you're looking for an aro that tastes like it smells give this one a go.
CAO - Moontrance 50g
This one reminds me a lot of Peterson's Connoisseur's Choice. It's a quality Virginia leaf that lends a bit of flavor to it. The Black Cavendish is nice and sweet. The top dressing comes through at the right pace. It's not overly moist and burns nicely. It doesn't bite. The room note is outstanding. If you're looking for a crowd pleasing aromatic you can enjoy as well give it a try.
CAO - Eileen's Dream 50g
It's not complex at all. The top dressing is rather mild. It's a nice blend though that you could puff on all day long. The room note is very pleasant. This is definitely a crowd pleaser. It hasn't made its way into my permanent rotation, but I have ordered it a number of times.
Mac Baren - Halberg Yellow 100g
I enjoyed this blend. It reminded me a bit of Moontrance by CAO and Connoisseur's Choice by Peterson. A nice fruity aromatic with a bit of rum. The bit of Burley cools the Virginia down and helps keep it from biting. It comes at a nice moisture level. Loads well, takes a light well, and burns nicely. The room note is very pleasant as well. If you're looking for a quality aromatic give this one a try.
Mac Baren - Mixture Flake 100g
This isn't really a strong aromatic. The top dressing that's used isn't extremely noticeable in the flavor. I mostly get a bit of nuttiness from the Burley and some of the hay and sweet citrusy flavors from the Virginias. There are hints of vanilla and berry from time to time, but it's not overwhelming by any means. The tin I opened was six years old and the moisture level was perfectly fine. It loads well and burns well. A bit hot in the bowl, but not in the smoke. Doesn't give tongue bite. It's worth checking out, but it's not something I'll make a point to keep a tin of in my cellar.
McConnell - Scottish Cake 50g
An Okay VaPer
To me this is just a middle of the road VaPer. Not much to write home about. It's worth trying a tin, but it's not one I'll be keeping on hand. It packs well and burns well. You get some sweetness from the Virginias and a bit of peppery flavor from the Perique, but to me it's a bit flat compared to Stokkebye's Luxury Bullseye Flake or Dunhill's De Luxe Navy Mixture.
Mac Baren - Vanilla Flake 1.75oz
For A Great Aromatic Flake Grab This
If you're looking for a nice aromatic flake with a pleasant room note then look no further. The vanilla smell is raved about by those around you. It comes through nicely in the flavor. The wonderful sweet Virginias and Black Cavendish come through nicely. It does need a bit of drying time. After that it does pack well, I fold and stuff. It takes a light nicely and burns cool and evenly. It can bite a bit if you push it. As it's a flake it's meant to be smoked slowly. Overall it's a great blend that I try to keep a tin of around at all times.
Mac Baren - Modern Virginia Flake 50g
A Favorite Of Mine
I sampled this at the West Coast Pipe Show and I absolutely love it. The folks at Mac Baren mentioned it was a blend made to give a nice natural Virginia flavor with a more pleasing room note, hence the light fruit top dressing. Personally I think they've pulled this off nicely. It's 70% Virginia which comes through nicely with notes of hay and fruity flavors like raisins and figs etc. Black Cavendish makes up 20% of the blend and takes the top dressing nicely and adds a bit of sweetness to it. Burley brings in the final 10% of the blend and helps round it out. It cools the blend down a bit and helps prevent tongue bite. It packs easily and burns wonderfully. With the light top dressing it does have a pleasant room note. If you're looking for a good Virginia to enjoy in the company of others give this one a try.
Peterson - St. Patrick's Day 2015 50g
Grab Yourself A Tin
Another solid limited edition aromatic from Peterson. It's a cube cut blend which I've never had before. Loading it is a bit awkward and it takes a few char lights to get the ember going well. Once it does though the blend seems to smoke itself almost. The leaf mixture is nice. I will say I don't notice the Orientals much at all. It's mostly the sweet Virignias and Black Cavendish with an occasional hint of nuttiness from the Burley. The top dressing comes across mostly as rum and mango with the vanilla being a background flavor. I haven't gotten tongue bite from it. The room note is very pleasant. I loaded a bowl at a B&M with a few pipe friends and one asked if he could have a bowl just from smelling the room note.
Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
Great VaPer Intro
If you mostly smoke aromatics and are looking to branch out into other blending styles then pick up an ounce of this. It's a high quality VaPer that has a bit of sweetness added with the Black Cavendish bullseye. It's a rather creamy and sweet flavor. The hay and grassy notes of the Virginias are there as well as the natural fruit like flavors of raisins or figs. There's a bit of peppery flavor from the Perique. It comes pretty close to the right moisture level. Loads and lights well. It's a nice smooth even cool burning blend. Doesn't give any tongue bite. I'd say it's a medium to strong blend as far as the nicotine goes. If you're a nic wimp like myself make sure you've snacked on something before firing up a bowl. Overall a great blend that's very affordable.
Dunhill - Navy Rolls 50g
A Marque VaPer
A solid staple of the Virginia-Perique blending style. It has some lovely hay and grassy and natural fruity flavors from the Virginia and a nice peppery flavor from the Perique. It's a bit on the moist side, so a bit of drying time is perfect. It loads well and burns well. No tongue bite at all. It is a bit on the stronger side, so if you're vulnerable to lady N then make sure you have a bite to eat before sitting down to enjoy a bowl. If you're looking for a solid VaPer, give this a go!
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Ennerdale Flake 50g
Soap In Your Pipe
I gave this one a go because of all the talk about it. Worst decision I've ever made in my entire life. The flavor is purely of soap. If you were a foul mouthed child you'll probably have flashbacks. What's worse is the soapy flavor stays on your palate for quite some time afterwards no matter what you eat or drink. On top of that it will horrendously ghost whatever pipe you smoke it in. If you really dig the taste of soap I strongly suggest using a corncob you can just throw away afterwards.
Lane Limited - Black Raspberry
I got a sample of this blend by accident. It was one of the best accidents I've encountered. A typical Lane Limited aromatic blend consisting of Virginia and a good dose of Black Cavendish capped off by a bit of Burley. As usual with Lane, the blend comes a bit on the moist side and most will want to give it some drying time. The raspberry flavoring is apparent in the pouch, or in this case zip-lock bag. I also got a hint of cream from the pouch as well which showed up in the smoke too. After a bit of drying time it packs nicely and takes a char and true light well. The quality leaf burns nice and evenly to a white ash. The flavor is prominent on the light up, but evens out as the smoke goes on. It settles nicely into a pairing of creamy raspberry and natural tobacco flavors. The taste has been consistent through the whole bowl for just about the whole two ounce sample. It's a blend that leaves wonderful billowy plumes of smoke with little effort. Definitely good for trying smoke rings. I haven't gotten tongue bite from this blend, and it hasn't gooped up the bowl or made the pipe gurgle. I'm guessing this is due to the drying time I've allowed it. Overall a solid aromatic and definitely one someone new to pipe smoking and interested in aromatics should try. I'll definitely be ordering it again sometime.
Mac Baren - 7 Seas Red 100g
Favorite Cherry Blend
Typically cherry blends are a nice sweet maraschino flavoring. This one however has a nice tart wild cherry flavor to it. A good change up from the usual cherry blends. The casing is done well as it is noticeable in the smoke but not overpowering. The leaf is of a good quality and burns evenly and cool. It doesn't goop up the bowl either. If you're searching for a cherry blend definitely give this one a try.
Peterson - Sunset Breeze 50g
Great Summertime Aromatic
This one goes great on a warm summer evening with a nice cold drink. The Amaretto flavor comes through nicely and plays off of the leaf very well. It burns evenly and cool. Definitely an aromatic worth trying.
Peterson - De Luxe Mixture 50g
Great Holiday Smoke
After having my first tin of this I've made it a habit to order a tin every winter. The nutty walnut flavor comes out very well in this blend and is nicely complimented by the vanilla and honey. The room note and taste just brings about feelings of sitting infront of a fireplace and relaxing on a cold day with a pipe and a good movie. The flavors transfer at nice medium and it doesn't burn hot or goop up the bowl. If you're looking for a new aromatic to try, especially around the holiday season, pick up a tin.
Peterson - Connoisseur's Choice 50g
This was my favorite until I got hooked on 1Q. It's a quality leaf combination with a wonderful top dressing that comes through in the smoke. The tin note is a wonderful marrying of rum, fruit, maple, and vanilla. It comes pretty well in moisture level, meaning it doesn't need drying time. It lights well and burns nice and evenly. Flavor transfer is wonderful. You can pick out most of the top dressings. Overall a great smoke. If you're looking for a good aro pick up a tin.
Peterson - Nutty Cut 50g
It's a usual aromatic combination of Va/Burley/Black Cavendish leaf. The top dressing is done wonderfully. A nice noticeable compliment to the leaf. You do get the flavors of the rum and Macadamia nuts with a hint of the coconut from time to time. The nutty flavors of the Burley come through well and the sweetness of the Va is noticeable as well. It lights well and burns very well also. Doesn't get hot or goopy. Overall a quality aromatic. If you're looking for a change of pace pick up a tin.
Lighters - Peterson Pipe Lighter Grey
I picked one of these up last week. It has a very generous fuel tank and is rather light weight for its size. It's not overly bulky or cumbersome by any means. It lights very consistently as well. Peterson did a great job on this lighter. If you love Peterson and are looking for a good reliable lighter definitely consider this one.
Lighters - IM Corona Old Boy Black Matte
I picked up one of these last week. It has a very solid construction. The lighter has a bit of heft to it for being so slim. The fill port is protected from debris with a screw which I found to be rather ingenious. It lights very consistently and has a decent fuel tank to it. You can't go wrong with an IM Corona Old Boy or this wonderful matte black finish.
Peterson - Christmas Blend 2012 100g
A Little Bit Of Heaven
I sampled this blend at the West Coast Pipe Show and loved it! Another great holiday offering from Peterson. It has a nice apple cider like aroma and taste to it. Burns wonderfully and the tin note transfers nicely into the smoke. All around great aromatic for the holiday season. Pick up a tin while they still have 'em.
Lighters - Vertigo Briar Blue
Good Lighter For The Price
Picked one of these up with my last TAD. I was needing a new lighter and really wanted to give the Old Boy style a try. I have to say it's a good lighter. It lights consistantly and has a good flame. The only downsides I've come acrossed so far are that it's kind of difficult to light the dottle sometimes and if it's windy outside it gets blown out rather easily. Overall a good lighter for the price though.
Lane Limited - 1-Q
Looking For A Go-To Aro? Try This Blend
The famous if not infamous Lane Limited 1Q. It has many different names, but regardless of what you call it this is a great blend. It's very simple and smokes really well. Takes a light great and burns nice and even. The flavour to me was a vanilla custard and coco mixture. If you're starting out or looking for a go to aro, definitely give this blend a try. At $5.39 for a 2oz sample how can you say no?
Mac Baren - 7 Seas Regular
Great Anytime Aromatic
This is probably my favorite blend right now. It has a great vanilla/coco dressing on a wonderful Black Cavendish and Golden Burley leaf combination. What's great about it is the flavors intermingle and intertwine with the Burley and Black Cavendish taking center stage from time to time. It's very smooth and doesn't give tongue burn/bite at all as long as you sip on it. If you're an English smoker looking for an aro to try give this one a go.