Peterson - 3 P's Peterson's Perfect Plug 50g
Should perfect be in the name?
… I don’t know and I will say this is the only plug tobacco I’ve ever tried. That being said, this stuff was great while it lasted. I smoked this at the same time as was smoking C&D’s Five O’clock Shadow but let me tell you, this stuff was great. I had been given this tobacco around the same time I had been given a bag of really strong Guatemalan coffee beans. Both the Coffee and the Plug are now gone, but while they lasted, they gave me some of the most sublime smokes I’ve ever had in my 12 years of dabbling with pipes. I smoked it in two different small Stanwell pipes. Both just under 5 inches in length with shorter chambers, about 3/4 of an inch in diameter.
Peterson - Connoisseur's Choice 50g
It smelled great but had no taste.
I ended up giving this away. It smelled fantastic but tasted like hot air. I tried it multiple times in multiple pipes I just got nothing out of it. Full disclosure, I gave up on aromatics after trying this blend. I’ll occasionally smoke English blend but I’m more of a Va/Per, Va/Ber kind of pipesmoker. Some orientals or dark fired Kentucky thrown in don’t hurt either.
Peterson - Flake 50g
Perhaps the best VA Flake I’ve had
I’ve tried a few Virginia Flakes and this one is excellent. A common problem I have with straight VA’s is the tongue bite. This one doesn’t bite me. Most straight Virginia Flakes are also too mild and not satisfying to smoke. This one has a nice nicotine hit, good flavor, and behaves well. My tins say Dunhill on them, not Peterson but from everything I’ve read, the blending and recipe is exactly the same. It’s a keeper to be sure!
Cornell & Diehl - Five O'Clock Shadow 2oz
A bit too strong for me
I’m a big fan of Va/Burs and Va/Pers but this one had just a bit too much burly for my taste. It was also a little too one dimensional. Also, that burley frog jumps right in my throat unless I’m really careful smoking this. The crumble cake is easy to work with, it burns nice and smokes quite well, it’s just a bit too strong and a bit too flat to be higher up on my list.
Cornell & Diehl - Oriental Silk
I don’t regret trying it
… but this one was a miss for me. I like perique, and I like orientals but to me this just had an imbalanced taste. It was all bright, sharp, spicy and pungent flavors. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of those things in a smoke, but I also like a bit of body or roundness, and I just didn’t get that with this blend. I think I have come to the conclusion that I’m a big fan of burleys. If you like spicy peppery tobacco but don’t like burley, this may be more your speed.
Mac Baren - Plumcake 3.5oz
I’m not a fan of aromatics
… but this stuff isn’t bad. I don’t know that I’ll ever order it again. People call it a crossover blend. I don’t know. It’s different. Like most Mac Baren blends for me, this one can bite, but it smells nice and has decent flavor.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Of all the coin tobacco I’ve smoked, this one has the most beautiful looking coins by far. It also smokes well and tastes great. Dunhill Navy Rolls is a fairly close second but this one takes the cake. If you’ve never tried a Va/Per or a coin cut tobacco, you can’t go wrong with this one!
G. L. Pease - Charing Cross 8oz
What Nightcap should be
Back when I was introduced to the YouTube Pipe Community, I saw multiple videos exclaiming how stout and strong Dunhill Nightcap was. When I finally tried it, while I thought it was decent, it seemed pretty middle of the road. Of course, I think my early love affair with Billy Bud had something to do with it. Anyways, I’m supposed to be talking about Charing Cross. I bought an 8oz tin of this stuff and it struck me as an English blend for a man’s man. I cellared two jars of the stuff back in 2014 and just recently cracked one back open. This reminds of GL Pease’s Odyssey but more oriental forward. Like makes your mouth tingle level of orientals. I don’t enjoy Latakia like I did as a novice pipe smoker, but when the mood takes me, I load this up on my biggest stoutest pipe a float off to Neverland.
Cornell & Diehl - Exhausted Rooster 2oz
I bought it for the tin art
I’ll be honest, the tin art was the main reason I bought this but it turns out, I love Va/Pers and this is one of the first Va/Pers I ever tried. I’ve never reordered it but I was quite sad the day I finished the tin. I don’t smoke all that often I have lots of good tobacco on hand that scratch the same itch as this. It’s on my list to reorder once I finish off my Three Nun’s, Billy Bud Blonde, and Haddo’s Delight. If you like any of those blends, I say give this one a shot.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd
The blend that punches your nose in the face
I’ve ordered quite a few bulk blends over the years. This one is by far the strongest smelling. When the box came in from Smoking Pipes, I could smell the cigar leave and Latakia with the box sealed. I was a new pipesmoker at the time (2012 I believe the first time I ordered it?) . Needless to say I was a bit intimidated at the time. The first time I tried it, it wasn’t like anything I had smoked and my tastebuds were overwhelmed. Approaching it a few months later, after trying some other stout blends, and this made a whole lot more sense. It’s not a crowd pleaser due to the room note, but it’s quite satisfying to smoke. Like smoking a cigar, you will taste it the next day so be forewarned. Latakia also doesn’t agree with me as much as it used to, so Billy Budd Blonde is my go to these days. However, it’s not the same and if Latakia ever decides to agree with me again, I’ll add this back into my rotation.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
Dark, Malty, Delicious
I’ve not been able to get my hands on this tobacco for quite some time but boy is it tasty. If I was to compare this to coffee, this would be a french roast. The flavors are so dark and malty. It’s also one of the few flakes that I’ve smoked where there was a noticeable decline in flavor when rubbed out. Give it about half an hour of dry time, and fold and stuff this bad boy for a malty almost molasses smoke. I usually don’t bother to fold and stuff a flake, but this one just isn’t the same rubbed out, at least not to me. Also, it almost needs to be crispy dry, otherwise I have a hard time keeping it lit. It requires a bit of work but the payoff is delightful.
Peterson - Irish Cask 50g
My Favorite Peterson Blend
This was one of my first experiences with perique and it was a good one. I tried quite a few Peterson blends while most were disappointing, at least for my tastes, this one wasn’t. Lovely tin note, a bright lemony flavor, and just a bit of spice. It’s a solid blend and worth a try. University Flake, and Peterson Irish Flake are the only two blends that top this one, at least from Peterson.
Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
I want to love it.
This flake looks nice, smells nice, is priced nice, packs nice, stays lit, and burns to a clean ash. But it bites me pretty hard. I tried it fresh and it bit like a rattle snake. I let it age for about 6 months and tried it again. It still bit me. I’ve had it in a mason jar for the last 8 years and pretty much forgot about it. It’s mellowed out and sweetened quite a bit but it STILL bites unless I’m super careful to sip it and barely keep it lit. I think I’ve finally made my peace with this blend but it’s just too much work for me to enjoy with any regularity. Some tobaccos just don’t agree with me and this one. If I had reviewed this in December of 2014 when I first ordered it, I’d probably have given it 1 1/2 stars.
Three Nuns - Three Nuns 1.75oz
Three Nuns is one of my Four Loves
Only reason this isn’t 5 stars is because of the price. It’s not cheap and it’s part of why it took me so long to try it. That being said this stuff is excellent. Okay, the coins are bit homely. But that’s literally the only other critique I have. No perique, but it scratches my itch for spiciness all the same. Also no tongue bite for me. Even when I puff aggressively. It’s a bucket list blend for me. I’ll order this again as a treat but sadly, too pricey to smoke all the time.
Peterson - Early Morning Pipe 50g
A blend that needs to introduction
It’s a light Balkan blend in my opinion. This was my first experience with orientals and man, is it well balanced with the Latakia. I wouldn’t know it had Virginias if it didn’t say so in the description. On a first light, I get smoky followed by a pleasant pungency. No sweetness to be had from this blend so if that’s what you’re looking for, look elsewhere. The cut is very fine, almost a shag. Its moisture content is great, lights easily, smokes well. Definitely not too strong (unless I suppose if all you ever have is Lane 1Q, or Captain Black). I could bare for it to be a little stronger or more flavorful, but being intended as an early morning smoke, that’s to be expected. Solid stuff.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired 3.5oz
Smoky, Earthy, BBQ…
… oh my! This was the first blend I ever tried with dark fired Kentucky. It’s such a memorable smoke. The flakes are mouth watering to smell. It’s great rubbed out or as a fold and stuff. I have a small Stanwell pipe that I more or less dedicate to this and a couple other burley blends. It is strong if you’re not used to burley’s and that burley frog will jump in my throat if I’m not careful with this blend. That being said, I think it’s a bucket list blend to try. You might love it or you might hate it, but you won’t forget it.
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop
A blend to keep on hand
Aside from being the go to blend of Matches 860 on YouTube (RIP), this is a blend I’ll always keep on hand. It’s too strong in the nic department for me to reach for it regularly, but when I have the fancy to smoke something that’s down to earth and that knocks me on my rear, this is the one.
Cornell & Diehl - Briar Fox 16oz
Wonderfully satisfying Goldilocks blend
I’ve been smoking pipes for about 12 years now and I’ve tried close to a 100 blends of tobacco over the years. This is one of only a handful that I have reordered. I ordered a 2oz tin of this in 2018. I can’t remember when I opened it and I wasn’t impressed when I did. However by the time I finished the tin, I put it on my short list tobaccos to reorder. That list being 3 Nun’s, Haunted Bookshop, EMP, Dunhill (now Peterson) Flake. I ordered 16oz of this and I just cut into the block this evening. It’s been about a year since I’ve been able to enjoy this tobacco and I love everything about. Cutting the block into a small chunk to place into my old 2oz tin. The smell of hay and figs is delightful. The crumble cake is a joy to break up and load into a pipe and the smoke, while not earth shattering is SO satisfying. Fresh bread, toast, a bit of hay, and just a hint of sweetness is what I get from this blend. The nic hit is just right. I’m not an all day smoker. One bowl a day is often all I’ll have and this one leaves me satisfied. Milder blends like Patriot Flake, or Stokebye’s Bullseye Flake are tasty but so mild that it leaves me wanting to load up another bowl. Stronger blends like Haunted Bookshop or 5 o’clock shadow are so strong they leave me dizzy before I get through half a bowl. This is my Goldilocks blend, just right. It also burns well. Freshly opened I only needed the false light, tamp, relight to get through an entire bowl of this. I’m too impatient with straight Virginias which get sour as I puff on them trying to extract more flavor. This tobacco tolerates my hastiness. It doesn’t require careful attention and doesn’t make me feel like I have a frog in my throat like some heavier Burley blends. Truly a great Va/Bur in my book. Only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is because of the room note which is a bit harsh, and that it has no perique, which I love.