Amphora - Virginia 1.75oz
Superb Value for Money
Broken flake? Perhaps. I find it awfully close to ready-rubbed, which is fine with me, I rub out all my flakes. Didn't find it needed drying. A good, solid, flavorful virginia comparing quite favorably to tobaccos coming in a higher price points. If you like OGS or HH Pure Virginia, I think you will like this. An excellent bargain.
Lighters - Kiribi Takara Brass
Seems okay, so far...
Pluses: it works just fine, and holds boodles of fuel. Minuses: it just doesn't feel as solidly built as my old Corona Old Boy which, after more than four years and much abuse, is still functional if not quite the same. It's lighter, giving the perhaps superficial impression that it's less durable, and a screw securing the arm is either working its way out or was never fully seated in the first place. I'm not sure which; it's position out of the box escaped my notice. At any rate, the arm no longer sits quite levelly in the closed position. Still, it has to be said that it works well. If it breaks, I'll contact SmokingPipes about a repair. UPDATE: The screw that was working its way loose responded well to nimble fingers and a tiny screwdriver. No problems since. UPDATE THE SECOND: Whilst refilling the beast for the second time--the thing holds a prodigious amount of fuel, I'll give it that--I decided to replace the flint. Much to my surprise, the knurled knob on the spring assembly fell off! I didn't pull it off; it FELL OFF the spring. Is it likely to be a big issue? Probably not, but of course, on reassembly it is necessary to put the spring under a bit of pressure. Should your fingers slip--bye-bye knob! I will be very careful. Overall, the lighter continues to perform well, but I wouldn't say it's equal in manufacturing quality to an Old Boy. UPDATE THE THIRD: The little screw that came loose once before started working its way loose again. Looks fine after tightening. Again, not a bad little lighter, but had I the opportunity to do things over again, I would have spent a little more and gotten another Old Boy. I should note that this update is several months after the last. UPDATE THE FOURTH: I don't think I've had this thing a year and bluntly, that ever-loosening screw comes close to ruining it for me. Seems like I have to tighten it ever more frequently and despite my use of a properly-fitting tiny screwdriver, the screw is a bit dinged up and I am sure it will one day strip or fail. I don't know what I am going to do at that point. I would think I might be able to get a tiny screw somewhere, but I bet getting it in straight would be the dickens. Most likely, I'll end up chucking the lighter and chalking it up to experience. My advice: save a little more money up and spring for a Corona Old Boy. I think they're better built. I have downgraded my rating to reflect the totality of my experience with the lighter so far.
Cornell & Diehl - Mad Fiddler Flake 2oz
Loads of Tobacco-ey Goodness
I like it right out of the tin. First bowl was excellent. Sweet, spicy, a little fruity, all at the same time. Didn't need to dry it at all. Rubbed it out and smoked in a Tilshead bent bulldog which I would characterize as about a group three. Good stuff.
Peter Stokkebye - PS83 Amsterdam
Not awful. I didn't find it strong at all, nor overly spicy. Burned fast--i burned two and a half bowls in a Tilshead Dublin in the time it ordinarily takes to smoke one bowl of anything else. Didn't burn hot, just fast. Not awful stuff, but I think someone seeking dark fired Kentucky flavor would be much better off with MacBaren's Old Dark Fired.