Mac Baren - HH Rustica Flake 3.5oz
H. H. Rustica
I found H. H. RUSTICA to be a full flavored slightly strong smoke. The flavor starts out like burnt toast with a touch of jalapeno jam. The mouth tingle stays throughout the bowl but the toast flavor fades as the bowl progresses. The burley leaf is very noticeable but is not harsh like some Samuel Gawith ropes can be. The Nic hit is strong but less than a Gawith rope. If you like Burley with spice and are used to nicotine this is a wonderful smoke. I like this better than the old Irish Flake.
Dan Tobacco - Hamborger Veermaster 250g
Bite free Virginia
This is a review of the 250g bag. The smell out of the bag is sweet hay. There are 4 stacks of fat flakes. The smoke is less sweet than the bag smell. There are some citrus flavors to the smoke and a little honey. The nic hit is just shy of medium. This is not a complex smoke but keeps the flavor to the bottom of the bowl. An all day smoke. Did not get tounge bite even when pushed. Recommend to any pipe smoker except those who only smoke ropes. A second bag had mold and excessive moisture but Nick at smokingpipes.com took care of that problem asap...great customer service.
Peter Heinrichs - Curly Block 275g
King of Va/Pers
This comes as one log about 2.25 inches in dia.. The bag smell is of sweet hay and dried plums. You will need a butcher's knife to cut into coins because of the large diameter of the log. I did not air out the coin on the first smoke. I half way rubbed out the coin. First light is like inhaling a sugared plum. Second light continued the sweet plum with pepper sprinkled on top. I got a creamy mouth feel with a pepper nose tingle. This stayed consistent till near the last quarter of the bowl where the nicotine kicked into overdrive. Compared to Escudo I found Curly Block to be much more superior. Did not tounge bite. Well worth the price. Nicotine on par with a fresh can of NightCap.
McConnell - Covent Garden 50g
Medium English Delicious
The tin note is Plums and Brown Va.. The tobacco is an even mix of brown and black ribbons with a sprinkle of small green leaves. The moisture out of the tin is fine but is better with 5 minutes drying. Covent Garden takes easy to the flame and requires no relights. The smoke starts with a blast of sweet/floral taste with the spicy pepper quickly jumping in. The bowl stays this way till the last 1/3 where the sweet drops back a bit. The nicotine level just below medium. This is like a more refined NightCap. The Latakia is rounded off and smooth, more creamy than charcoal. Would be an all day English. Will cellar some for early Spring but the weaker nicotine knocks Covent Garden from my personal rotation.
Cornell & Diehl - Bow-Legged Bear 8oz
Bear one step short
This crumble cake has a slightly sweet nutty smell with a hint of smokiness out of the tin. The false light gives a plesant sweet english taste. The true light is burley strong with the VA and LAT taking a supporting role by giving a hint of sweet smoke. This is how the tobacco stays till the last 1/4 of the bowl where the sweetness disappears and the Burley becomes harsh and ashy. The nic-hit is between medium and strong. Not a morning smoke. Leaves no moisture in bowl. After taste quickly leaves the mouth when sipping water. This is not a bad smoke just do not like how it finishes. This is an excellent before bed smoke for those who like to Dose up before turning in.
Drexel - Drexel VI 1.5oz
Drexel VI comes in a roll pouch like OTC tobacco. The tobacco moisture is just right to smoke right away. The smoke is slightly peppery with the sweetness of the Virginia melding throughout. There is also a suttle sourness as a constant undertone that can be felt on the sides and under the tounge. The smoke ends up leaving my mouth feeling...cool and clean. The Nicotine is firmly in the medium range. The Latakia is also in the medium range as far as the smoke tasting like a camp fire. I enjoyed this smoke very much. Not as stronge as Night Cap but a better taste. Would make a wonderful morning bowl. Worth every penny I spent.