Mac Baren - Stockton 100g
It always puzzles me when I see that a blend is reintroduced to the market in limited amounts especially when it’s a venerable one like Stockton. MacBaren was making this blend years ago and took it off the market only to bring it back in a limited edition which begs the question why stop producing it in the first place. My tin arrived this morning and it’s my first taste of this particular blend and my one disappointment is that I only purchased a single tin. I’m not going to bother with the particular tastes of the components because we all taste these things differently and each individual will have their own opinions and experiences with it but I will say that it’s a master class in tobacco blending. It’s got none of the infamous MacB bite and is a cool and smooth smoke right to the bottom of the bowl, I can’t detect any added flavours just pure tobacco goodness. I’m giving it five stars and if anyone at MacB is reading this I beg you to put it back into production so I can get a decent supply in my cellar. It’s an all day smoke if you managed to get enough of it but for me with my single tin it’ll have to be an occasional treat.
Sutliff - Paradoxical 50g
Sadly the last in the series
I’ve brought all six of the BOAF series and I’m sad this is the last blend they’ll be releasing. I’m a big fan of burley and this doesn’t disappoint, I was a bit trepidatious about the Rustica although I do like the leaf but I thought it might dominate the Va’s and burley. It doesn’t, it’s perfect condiment actually and gives the blend a more complex depth than you’d find in a regular VaBur. I guess this review is kinda moot because this will no longer be available when it’s gone like all the others in the series, it’s a shame because I could easily see myself buying all six on a regular basis. I’m regretting only getting three tins, I’m gonna have to make them last.
Wessex - English Mixture 1.5oz
Bad, very bad!
There’s a reason this is one of the few Wessex blends that is always in stock, it’s foul. I find it hard to believe that the same company that produces Burley Slices can turn out this monstrosity, did no one at the factory smoke this stuff before putting it on the market? Farkas is spot on with the tin aroma and right not to smoke it, I on the other hand thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and regretted it immediately. The unmentioned topping is piled on, there’s no way an unstopped blend could taste like this, as to what the top is I honestly couldn’t say but it doesn’t smell or taste natural and is incredibly overpowering. The tin went in the trash, I wouldn’t pass it on to my enemy. A note to the people at Wessex; do yourselves a favour and totally overhaul this blend, go back to the drawing board and start from the beginning and keep it natural please.
Cornell & Diehl - Folklore 16oz
Darn good stuff
Firstly I want to address the complaints of those who didn’t get to it in time! I live in the UK and set my alarm to 4:50am in order to get my package, if you’re whining about having to stay up til midnight you’re a sad wuss and should probably take up Vaping instead. Now for the tobacco. I got last year’s batch too and at first had a little trouble finding the right pipe for it, my usual VaPer pipes didn’t cut it for some reason so I went for a cob instead and that did the trick right enough. Moving on a year and I am still working on the half of the original brick which I jarred, vacuum sealing the rest to age. I’ve also since then brought a few Tilshead’s and darn it if the two weren’t made for each other. I was suitably impressed enough to buy another brick last week when the second batch was released, again I had no problem getting it in my half asleep state at 5am and am looking forward to doing the same with the first block, jar half and seal the rest. The nose on last year’s is like a good Christmas pudding, sweet with a spicy overtone and fruit lurking in the back, it smokes beautifully and if it’s still available and you’re not buying it you are definitely missing out on perhaps the best small batch that C&D has ever produced. My advice, quit your bellyaching and stump up the cash for this blend, you won’t regret it and if you do there’s going to be someone out there that’ll happily take it off your hands.
Presbyterian - Ordained 50g
Not bloody likely
After the last attempt at a different blend I won’t be ordering this stuff. Even the original isn’t up to much imo. I know people get bent out of shape when people leave reviews before tasting but I wouldn’t trust this stuff if my pipe depended on it.
Sutliff - 507-S Stoved Virginia
This is perhaps the simplest blend you’ll find but boy does it have flavour. I’m generally not a straight Va fan because it bites like a b+++h on my tongue which should be bullet proof by now but I love the natural sweetness in this tobacco. It’s a wild cut and easily packed, ages well. With all those expensive Va blends out there that have been expertly mixed with multiple Va’s I’ve found no Va that smokes as smooth as this. I realise other Va smokers that are more experienced with this type of tobacco might differ in opinion but I love the stuff.
Cornell & Diehl - Jolly Old Saint Nicholas 2oz
Best C&D Xmas blend so far
I accidentally ordered two tins of this and I’m glad I did. Perique and ginger, what a fabulous combination. I’m very picky about aromatic blends but this is beautifully put together with just the right amount of topping, it lets the tobacco shine, accentuating the various leaf with the subtle flavours of the season. I’ll be getting more and won’t stop smoking it when the seasons change.
Sutliff - Whimsical 50g
I’m kicking myself for only buying one tin of this, like Uno it’s a beautifully put together blend and imo these two are the best things that Sutliff have produced to date. They’re really missing out on a trick by making these blends in a limited run, I’m actually quite angry about it, when you can make something this good why on earth would you limit it in this manner. I’m going to have to ration this Whimsical and my last tin of Uno because of this ridiculous trend in limited runs, I want to be smoking these every day with the knowledge that I can easily order more, not sit here smoking a delicious blend and being depressed that I might never see another tin. 4 1/2 stars for the blend, one star for Sutliff making it in limited quantity.
Presbyterian - Reformation 50g
Save your money,
I can’t actually believe that whoever put this foul concoction together actually thought it fit for a pipe! The tin says‘Danish flavourings are added to…’, if by that they mean a tin note like a two day old diaper and a taste like said diaper in a chemical fire they were spot on but any claim to cocoa and mocha is a downright lie. I can’t even finish my first bowl, it’s going in the trash where it belongs.
Cornell & Diehl - Tuggle Hall
He’s right, American English
I gotta agree with Dave Keny here that this isn’t a 965 clone, not even close and I just finished a tin of 80’s 965 so I’m pretty sure. A Burley forward English… who’d a thunk it? And it works too. I wasn’t looking for a 965 substitute so I’m a little more satisfied with it than Dave was but if you’re a Burley fan and a Latakiafan then you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Drucquer & Sons - Loch Ness 100g
A masterpiece of the art of blending
It arrived in the mail about two hours ago and I’m starting my second bowl now. It might be a bit presumptuous to give a blend five stars after just one bowl but I’m struggling to think of another blend that was this good straight out of a freshly opened tin. It’s perfectly balanced and beautifully complex with the orientals, Latakia and different Va’s vying for attention and the Perique popping it’s head up to remind you it’s there. Sweet, sour, smoky and a little spicy, everything in this blend comes through as it should.
Cornell & Diehl - Palmetto Balkan 8oz
I think if this has proved anything it’s that you can’t just replicate Syrian Latakia at will, I only received my tin this morning and just finished my second bowl so this review might change later down the road. My first impression is that it’s a little too sour and astringent, it improves through the bowl but that’s not saying much at the moment. Personally I’d have liked it a little sweeter, I think if Cypriot Latakia had been used it would have been an improvement, perhaps a little more Va too. These are just my first impressions though and I might just need to find the right pipe. That said I’m a bit pissed that I have eight ounces of a blend I’m not particularly keen on so far. Update: It’s a month later and I’ve found this blend is better in a cob, particularly my MM Legend. Much less astringent and sour but still not the best Balkan I’ve had by a long shot. I’ve also found that a little more Latakia, a splash of brandy and a week to meld does wonders for it. Upgraded to 3.5 stars.
Cornell & Diehl - Folklore 16oz
Only a one bowl opinion
I was bit worried about a whole pound arriving to the uk without a hitch but it got here this morning safe and sound. I love the fact that it’s minimally packaged and I wasn’t really sure whether to open it or stick it at the back of the shelf. I opened it! I sliced off enough to fill a fairly small bowled Dr Grabow Commodore and went at it. My first impression was that it had a much stronger flavour than I expected, the Kentucky came through more than the Perique initially closely followed by the Kasturi, a leaf I was only familiar with in clove cigarettes. I wasn’t overly keen on that particular flavour if I’m honest but taken as a whole it did work, sort of. Anyway one bowl out of a freshly opened bag is no basis for judgement so it is going to the back of the shelf for a little while and I’ll revise this after I revisit it. Not very helpful I know but it’s full of promise so hopefully I’ll be smitten when I try my next bowl.
Peterson - Standard Mixture 50g
Not for me
I love Latakia, I love orientals, I love coffee and chocolate but I don’t know why I can’t get into this blend. I’ve tried it in my best Briars, clays and two different Meerschaums but all I get is bitterness. I wouldn’t mind if it was the beautiful bitter flavour that comes with hops in a good IPA but this is unpleasant for me in every way. I’m at the last quarter in a small meer poker of what will be my last ever bowl of this blend, I meant to leave 1 1/2 stars but in all honesty it’s a zero from me. I don’t like to be negative and wish I could get the flavour so many of the other reviewers do but even more I’d like to know the reason I dislike a blend, that on paper at least, should be a favourite.
Cornell & Diehl - Folklore 16oz
Stop the blubbering
I haven’t even received it yet but I live in the UK and set my alarm for 4:50 am to make sure I got a look in. As Paul M said SP give us plenty of time to figure it out and if I can get it anyone can. It was in my cart and at checkout in seconds because I knew it would be gone quickly. I’ve missed out before but handled it like an adult, how about you whining smokers do the same.