Seattle Pipe Club - Christmas Spirit 2022 4oz
Sorry to add another non-review
I’m sorry to contribute to the non-review train but it seems like some clarification is needed because people are not reading closely. This tin is double the price of the bourbon barrel aged version for a reason: it contains double the amount of tobacco. Did more people not realize this is a 4oz tin? This tin is not much more expensive than other SPC 4oz products, or I should say “was” since it’s sold out. I’ll let you know how it tastes.
Tampers & Tools - 8deco Kokka Deluxe Silver Tamper
It’s a good tamper, but it’s bigger than the usual 8deco tamper. If you want something closer to the Czech tool size, I would not recommend this one.
Warped - Kings Stride 2oz
In a Category of Its Own
Probably because of the cigar leaf Cavendish, this blend is unlike any other tobacco. It has notes I didn’t know I would want in my tobacco: peanut and a savory sour cream quality. The aged burley adds depth and a density in the mouthfeel, which is very satisfying.
Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust - Sobremesa Short Churchill
What a satisfying smoke. It’s has a nice body with classic wood and coffee notes. I wish it was a regular Churchill so I could smoke more of it and have it evolve more throughout the smoking experience.
Warped - Flor Del Valle Sky Flower Lancero
It’s a great stick. The vitola was chosen wisely. Besides the notes listed in the description, I picked up savory notes of mushroom in the last third. It’s a very well-rounded, complex smoke with a nice dense mouthfeel. I let mine sit in the humidor for about a year before lighting it, which probably added to the complexity and mouthfeel.
Warped - Maestro del Tiempo 6102R
This is a great cigar. It has a lot of very pleasant natural sweetness, probably from the medio tiempo. It has notes of jasmine tea that pop every now and then to complement cedar and sweetbread notes present throughout the smoke. It also has a very subtle note that to me walks a fine line between honey and molasses. I’ve had it a few times, but today I had it after a meal and it’s true to the Mexican saying: after a good taco, a good tobacco—so satisfying.
Warped - El Oso Blanco Papa
This is an impressive cigar. It shares some similarities with la colmena and the maestro del tiempo: natural sweet and floral notes—some honey and some cashew. It’s also very evocative of chamomile and other floral teas. It has wood (cedar) and barnyard notes throughout. It’s bready in a very satisfying way; it has cinnamon notes in the first and final thirds and in the retrohale. The smoke it produces has a pleasant feel. The only downside I found was the draw. It can be a bit tight, even though I let it sit in my humidor for a couple of months. It’s worth the price.
Lighters - Zippo Cornell & Diehl Pipe Lighter 2022
Better in Person
I was on the fence about buying this lighter. I’m glad I did. Smokingpipes has a top-notch photography department and the fact that they take wonderful pictures of every pipe is a testament to that; but the pictures of this lighter do not do justice to the quality of the logo. I suspect that the shine of the lighter proved to be a challenge for the photographer(s).
Caldwell Cigar Company - Anastasia Vintage 2016 LE Corona Clasica
I’ll preface this by saying that it’s not worth the price. The first half has classic cubanesque notes of wood and leather, plus hints of currant. After the half point, it opens up with wonderful dark fruit, especially cherry, and floral notes. I also picked up the floral notes in the retrohale throughout the entire smoke, along with the currant. It’s a very good cigar, but there are better options at a more affordable price. I’ve aged cigars for 6+ years; the aging in this one did not add the depth you would expect from an aged cigar. The draw was somewhat tight.
Samuel Gawith - Cabbie's Mixture 50g
There was a time when it was possible to acquire this tobacco on demand. Then, people realized what they had in their hands and that time passed. Before, this was my tobacco of choice; so much so that I felt the need to share my love of it. So share I did—especially with a close friend who eventually died of a Ewing sarcoma in 2017. A couple of years later, I found his wife had been smoking this tobacco in his memory. At the time, she did not know I had introduced my friend to Cabbie’s Mixture. This incident has led this tobacco to remain close to my heart, even when it’s not readily available.
Tabac De La Semois - Reserve du Patron 3.5oz
There will come a time, you’ll see, when Smokingpipes customers will lament the scarcity of this tobacco.
Cornell & Diehl - Palmetto Balkan 8oz
Hoisted by your own petard
Next time I have to explain the concept of performative contradiction to my students, I will show them Brennan C’s “review”.
Cornell & Diehl - Carolina Red Flake with Perique 2oz
The 2021 batch is stellar. With just a month in the tin, it already has the body or density of a blend with several years of age. I’ve only had one bowl, but it has great notes of dark fruits, mostly cranberry. I’m also getting a nice zesty note and some subtle chocolate that pops in now and then. The 2020 batch is great, but this one is substantially superior. My only problem is that it’s very wet off the tin. It needs about 30 minutes of drying for my taste. I dried it for 20 and had some trouble with it.
CAO - Pilon Corona
One of My Favorites
I really enjoy the fermented leaf in this cigar, especially in this vitola and the Churchill. These two sizes bring out some sweet notes you don’t usually get in the Robusto, for example, such as a subtle licorice note that complements the more dominant wood and pepper.
Cornell & Diehl - Speakeasy Navy Blend 2oz
An Excellent Blend
There was a time when this blend included the grade of Virginias found in 2019 tins of Carolina Red Flake, which is a superb tobacco. I imagine they found a suitable substitute when they ran out of that grade. It is no surprise then that this is such a satisfying smoke for Virginia fans.
Stands & Pouches - Brigham 1 Pipe Bag Combo Pouch Vintage
A good pouch—it’s quality leather with a nice look and a good pocket for one average-sized pipe. The only problem I have with it is that the side pocket is too small for storing pipe cleaners without bending them a little.
Warped - Cabinet Selección de Warped: Lirio Rojo
Good Medium to Full Cigar
This is a quality cigar, with a good construction and draw. You can tell this has been aged. I have had an unaged lirio rojo in a different vitola, and this one has richer smoke and more complexity. It has a Cuban-style profile with wood and black pepper notes.
Warped - La Colmena No. 44
One of My Favorite Sticks
This is an excellent medium cigar. It tends to have a flawless construction and good draw. It has notes of cedar, black pepper, and honey, and the last time I smoked it I got a nice floral note in the retrohale.
Tampers & Tools - 8deco Club Tamper Redwood
This is an elegant but affordable option if you want an upgrade from the classic Czech tool. It is slightly darker than it appears in the pictures--a quality that suits my preference. My only issue is that the tamper is too wide for some of my narrower, tapering bowls, which as an avid VA and VA/Per smoker are the bowls I use the most.
Rocky Patel - Edge Limited Edition Corojo
Excellent flavor, awful construction
I bought two of this. The flavor was excellent— complex notes that remain accessible to the palate throughout. The construction left much to be desired. One of the cigars came apart in transit so I decided to use it as cigar leaf for pipe tobacco blends. I was able to smoke the other stick, until it too started to fall apart. If it was due to the size, it is no surprise the cigar was discontinued. It proved to be too ambitious a vitola.
Cornell & Diehl - Oak Alley 2oz
It took me a while to get to this blend in the Cellar Series. I smoked Bourbon Bleu and Bijou when they came out and I loved them, especially Bijou; but Oak Alley is even better, and I think it has to do with the harmony Reeves achieved blending the components. This is the kind of blend you can smoke without paying much attention to it and still enjoy; but you can also sit down and smoke it slowly to appreciate the dark fruit notes of the perique and red Virginias, which are also satisfyingly bready. The Virginias play off the nutty flavors of the burley. The burley provides the blend with a nice body and depth. Every now and then the Katerini pops with floral notes that complement the rest of the tobaccos very well. I like to smoke a variety of blends, especially of VA/pers, but if I had to only smoke one tobacco, I would be glad to smoke this one for the rest of my pipe-smoking life. It pairs well with coffee, lagers and lighter IPAs.
Tampers & Tools - Rubber Pipe Bits (2 pack)
They are comfortable and easy to fit. If you have teeth like Dracula's and you keep damaging your pipe stems, you won't regret buying these bits.
Cornell & Diehl - Bijou 2oz
I prefer it fresh
Since this blend already comes with some age (some of the Virginias are from 2003), and since the honey contrasts the sour and tangy notes from the Katerini very nicely, I prefer to smoke this one fresh or with no more than 6 months in the tin. With age, the note of honey fades and that balance between sweet and sour goes away. Of course, I cannot speak to its quality with 10 to 15 years of age yet.
Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - B. J. Long Regular Pipe Cleaners (100 pack)
The quality of these cleaners declined in recent years. They leave lint everywhere. However, I have found that pressing the cleaner between your thumb and index finger, running your fingers down, and repeating in the opposite directions helps reduce the lint problem.
Cornell & Diehl - Chenet's Cake 2oz
More than the peppery spice common in blends with lower amounts of perique, in this blend, the high amount of the component produces notes of fig and other dark fruits, like plum. Age it for at least a year. If you are a devout vaper smoker, you will not be disappointed.
Solani - Virginia Flake - 633 100g
This is a marvelous vaper. Complex notes of dried fruits from the perique playing off the sweetness of the Virginia. If you can, let it age for three years. You will find a tobacco with a very satisfying mouth feel/body.
Cornell & Diehl - Kajun Kake 2oz
Do your future self a favor
If you have the option, age it for at least a year. You will find a blend with flavors across the spectrum: mustiness, dry red wine, mushroom, but also natural sweetness and orange rind. Smoke it slowly; it's a Va/per.
G. L. Pease - Penny Farthing 2oz
Worth trying if you like Pease’s VaPers
If smoked in a smaller and narrower bowl, this blend is worth trying. It demands the smoking technique of any Virginia, or VaPer mixture. My first smoke opened with sweet and bread-like notes. The sweetness comes as a hint of molasses. You also get the grassiness you would expect from bright VAs. What interested me the most is that during the final third of the bowl, I picked up pleasant nutty and savory notes (probably from the dark fired KY) that contrasted nicely with the sweetness. UPDATE: I let a tin age for more than three years. The blend is sweeter now, which combined with the savory and smoky notes of the dark-fired Kentucky makes for a very complex mixture. I get nice notes of black and jasmine teas that weren’t there when the tobacco was fresh. I would give the three-year-old tin a 4.6 out of 5.
Drucquer & Sons - Blairgowrie 200g
Nuanced, Dried Fruit
I let a tin age for two years and it resulted in a profoundly satisfying smoke. The perique and Virginia complemented each other in a way that produced rich notes of figs, apricots, and plum, with a mild and subtle sweetness proper of high grade Virginias.
Sutliff - 515 RC-1
People have compared this to McClelland’s 5100, also known as red cake, because of a supposed similar profile that combines a tangy flavor with sweetness. I have only smoked this once, but the taste of artificially produced acidity overpowered all the flavors and subtle notes this tobacco may have. I will leave this in the cellar for a year then revisit and reevaluate. For now, I agree with Cosmic’s review above. There is something wrong with this tobacco’s acidity. UPDATE: After four years of aging, this tobacco is still an affront to humanity.
Cabbie's Mixture 50g
Cornell & Diehl
Carolina Red Flake with Perique 2oz
Cornell & Diehl
Sun Bear 2oz
Cornell & Diehl
Smokingpipes 20th Anniversary Blend: XX Flake Dark 2oz
Cornell & Diehl
Carolina Red Flake 2oz
Blog's Commented on
Mystery Tobacco Review: October 2022
- ► I imagine YouTube’s restrictions on tobacco content led Smoking Pipes to jump ship. It’s a shame they took down their videos. They were a valuable resource. I hope they create some kind of archive for consultation on this site.
- ► @Andy Wike Thanks for your reply—and the great content. I’m glad to read about the migration. It would be a shame to lose such a valuable video archive.
Mystery Cigar Review: November 2022
- ► So why did he cut the cap?! Did he give you an answer? We also want to know.
- ► That is a very funny coincidence, Samuel. Thank you and your colleagues for a great mystery review.