Solani - Aged Burley Flake - 656 50g
So that "musty" old book flavor, is that must, or is it mold? There is no visible indication of mold, the tin is new and the flakes look pristine. But that is the question I keep asking every time I smoke this. Maybe if I open my other tin I'll know for sure. Every other aspect of this tobacco is fantastic, but there seems to be a flavor here from a life form that isn't tobacco, and it is quite strong.
Esoterica - Penzance 8oz
Don't say Plum Pudding
So I finally got my hands on some, opened the bag, and wow, the smokey mesquite filled the room and ghosted my pipe. There is more smoke here than from pure Latakia, leading me to wonder if they smoke the cakes after they are pressed. In the pipe it is an excellent, balanced English with a nice sense of age. The only thing close is Plum Pudding. Smoking the two back to back (the 2 oz special reserve flat tin with 6 months of age), PP is a Balkan and Penzance a medium English, even so it still has a stronger tin note of smoke. They are both fantastic. They both look and feel similar, smell similar, and smoke similar. PP is punchier with the orientals, sweeter too; Penzance is smoother, with more of a sense of age. One is OG, the other is the new kid, but there is a clear relation. Quiet Nights and Star of the East Flake are both excellent but different experiences. Bengal Slices White is in the same ballpark. Plum Pudding isn't just close, I think I like it a little better. I'll have to get to know Penzance more.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - #7 Broken Flake
Sometimes people say English blends have an incense aroma, and it does sometimes, but this one actually smells like an incense stick, like what wafts about at Venice Beach or a new age book store. I like the smell there, and I like it here too. It's the smell of tie-dye.
Grand Croupier - Boneyard
The house wins
So I got an 8 oz. Package and finished my first bowl. Billed as an English blend, I was expecting a Latakia hit, or a complex interplay of Virginias and Orientals, but this isn't that. It was hard to say what it is, maybe a codger blend? No, its robust flakes (reminding me of wood chips) are much too deep. So I sat back to think of what I might blend with it to bring out some distinction. Most blends have some experience they are trying to craft, but Boneyard is a single bass strumming loudly in the distant background. It kept hammering away with its deafening white noise of tobacco flavor. I've had nothing like it. What message is it trying to send?!? I decided it doesn't need to be mixed with anything, it has it all, sublimated to perfection. I know what I like in tobaccos, but this teaches me what I should like. Well played Boneyard, well played.
Sutliff - Creme Brulee
If I still had my tin of Molto Dolce, I would smoke the two side by side. I wonder if this is the same thing in bulk. If they are the same, it would be better to give them the same name, so if one really likes one they know they like the other... or the reverse. In any case, they are very similar.
War Horse - Green 1.75oz
Red and Green
I bought this because the description says the green tin has a stronger top note. I've smelled the tins and smoked the two side by side, but find the strength of each to be about the same. Red has more tonquin, that is definite. Maybe green has more anise. I prefer red but YMMV.
Brebbia - Latakia Flake 50g
It's a Latakia Flake
...I felt the need to say that, in case one were hoping for something else. It is an excellent presentation of Latakia, more nuanced than more popular lat bombs. Smooth and deep from a new tin, and I could order 25 today if I want. The flakes do stick together so I rub broken flakes off the side.
G. L. Pease - Windjammer 2oz
What Navy Flake, the Navy Deluxes, and Speakeasy are to the age of sail, this one is to a tiki bar. I mean it is good and I like it, but the heavy use of toppings keep it from being a transcendent experience. But if I were smoking in a tiki bar, this is EXACTLY what I would want.
Sutliff - 523 Voodoo Queen
All the right buttons
It is deep and rich, burns easy and cool, creamy and mellow, like a smooth burley perique with hints of latakia. For me it was totally amazing. If you are expecting an aromatic, it is not that, just a smooth mellow blend of the consituent elements.
G. L. Pease - Stonehenge Flake 2oz
I have one thing to add to the nursing home comment. I was surprised to see it, and surprised to see so many approvals, since I didn't notice it at all. Then one day I had to set down my pipe, and couldn't return until hours later, and then... that smell! I'm not sure it was exactly nursing home but it was a cloying sickly aroma of a kind that one might use to cover unpleasant odors. So, don't dry it out I guess? Maybe it needs more age. Otherwise I really like it, but it leaves me unsure how many more tins I want to get. Actually, I am sure... once tasted, now I can't un-taste it. I'll just get Penny Farthing when I want a Pease vaper.
Vauen - Auenland 50g
Wow this ghosts my pipe something fierce with sour notes, and leaves a very distasteful, acrid bitterness. It took me a little while to place it, since it is nothing like the Fruity Pebbles flavored topping. I will not be finishing this.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - American Delite 50g
Like 7 Seas but with less flavor and burns hot. I might say the C-word but that might offend some people.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Ennerdale Flake 50g
I will often get an aromatic out of curiosity, but then after I've tried it, it is usually a chore to finish the tin. Not this one, it is smooth and rich and I look forward to each bowl, and it will be gone pretty soon. The aroma is not strong but does ghost the pipe. I don't mind.
Cornell & Diehl Tins - St. Patrick's Day Reserve 2022 2oz
You know those after-dinner mints from restaurants that have been around forever that you go to with your parents--the ones with a thin sandwich of mint between two layers of chocolate? The aroma in the tin and while smoking is like that. The tobacco base resembles Autumn Evening. It is kind of oily and goopy but is a nice smoke. Only thing is, the topping fades quickly, after a month it is nearly gone, versus Autumn Evening which lasts for months.
Cornell & Diehl - Speakeasy Navy Blend 2oz
No need to wait
Works great with no aging. If you like navy flakes, this is right up there with some of the best and maybe even better.
Mac Baren - Plumcake 3.5oz
I love Navy Flake and Old Dark Fired, and 7 Seas is one of my favorites as well, so if you take all that and add some plum and Latakia, well, you have a candidate for the most perfect tobacco I could imagine. But that is not what I got. Tin note to final puff was 90% cavendish with occasional hints of Virginia and Burley, and NO Latakia at all or anything else. There was no tongue bite at all so maybe they changed the recipe? Tin was from June of 2021. Okay it is May now, and I smoked it a second time. I taste something lemony like izmir? I detect no latakia and no burley, no aromatic or topping, and not really anything about the Virginia stands out. Maybe it is slightly better but it still falls flat, and still no tongue bite, at all. Did I get the same tobacco as everyone else?
Sail - Aromatic (Green) 1.5oz
Anise... kind of
When I did a search for anise, this is what came up. So I lit it up and started laughing... this is the codger version of Plum Pudding!! It is nice to know such a thing exists I guess. Wish the anise flavor were stronger, since it claims to be an aromatic.
Cornell & Diehl - Visions of Celephaïs 2oz
What Autumn Evening is to pancakes, Visions of Celephais is to grape flavored bubble gum. If you are curious what that would be like, hit the order button. If you would rather smoke grape gum than chew it, here you go. I don't hate it, but I am not going back to it either.
Ashton - Smooth Sailing 50g
Maybe 3 knots of wind has its place in sailing, like when taking out friends who get seasick easily, but even then you wish it were closer to 10 knots, at least 7. The tin note resembles 7 Seas without chocolate, but in the pipe the sails luff. Tobacco is nothing special and burns hot.
Cult - Blood Red Moon 50g
If you buy just one cherry aromatic, and this will probably be the only one for me, it's a good choice. The strong syrup tin note had me worried, but in the pipe the flavors are mild, rich, and smooth, and it is a lot like Eileen's Dream, which I really like. Maybe I should get another.
CAO - Eileen's Dream 50g
The aroma is warm and pleasant, like hot chocolate, with a soft silky smoke. My only criticism is that it burns hot, everything else is good.