Cornell & Diehl - Professor 2oz
Not a Fan
My wife gave me two tins of this as a commemoration of my retirement as a Professor, along with a Peterson Sherlock Holmes Professor pipe. Love the pipe but unfortunately, I'm not a fan of Professor. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice, mild and flavorful blend, and if it's your cup of tea you will likely like it very much. But I am not a big fan of the Latakia and Professor is a little too Latakia forward for me. I'll put the second tin into the cellar and see if I like it better over time.
G. L. Pease - The Virginia Cream 2oz
First bowl I didn't care for this at all. Second bowl it was OK. But in the third, WOW! (and I don't"WOW" easily). I actually found myself thinking of The Virginia Cream when I wasn't smoking it. Subtle and comfortable. I don't get the bourbon, but the vanilla is present in oh, so slight amount. This has now become a favorite, and a daily smoke in my rotation. I went back and ordered the 8oz tin after cleaning out a 2oz tin in less than a week. Smoke it slowly, don't puff like a freight train, and TVC will reward you with a cool, sweet experience.
Cornell & Diehl - Exclusive 2oz
Tasty, but Stronger than it Looks
Exclusive is quite tasty, spicy and leaves just a tiny sweetness on the palate. I bought a couple of ounces in an attempt to broaden my rotation, and it didn't disappoint. But it IS strong, not to be enjoyed first thing in the morning, nor on an empty stomach. I think it is stronger than the 4* given in the description but it's power kind of sneaks up on you when you don't expect it. Half way through a second bowl in a medium-sized pipe and my head was reeling and stomach was doing flip-flops. Compared against "the Beast," my go-to standard for "strong," and Exclusive comes out stronger. I'll certainly get more, but not for everyday.
Tabac De La Semois - Le Petit Robin 100g
Unique is the Word
Others have addressed the cut, so I won't belabor how fine it is. Suffice it to say, it is very finely cut. More so than even I had expected. Like a fine moss, or a dust bunny. And dry, very dry, like a fine tinder for starting a campfire. But I think it would lose something if it was re-hydrated. Resist the urge to humidify. It is spicy, grassy, and has a wonderful flavor that I have not tasted in any other tobacco. Packed tightly it still burns in about half the time of other blends in my bowl, but not hot if "sipped." Fragrant, floral, all of the stuff others have said. I think you'll like it, or reject it, but I cannot see being ambivalent. Put me in the "like very much" category. At the size, and the resulting cost (it's not like you can just pick up an ounce to try), I was reluctant to take the plunge on an unknown, but I am very glad that I did. Now it makes me want to get and try the other cuts of pure Semois while I can. GO FOR IT. If it turns out that you don't find it a favorite you can always gift it to your friend who will!
Amphora - Kentucky Blend 1.75oz
I happened upon Amphora Kentucky through the tobacco finder on this website. I was searching for something for something with a little stronger profile. This blend suited that bill. I'm not a big fan of the "broken cut" cut, it is a little more difficult to get packed properly. It requires a different pack from most other blends I've tried, too easy to pack loosely, but too tightly and it's hard to keep light. Comes from the pouch a little drier than most. It's not "too" strong, certainly not weak, burns slowly - a bowl seems to last about 50% longer than others I use. Full of flavor, slightly sweet, Amphora Kentucky has become a daily favorite. I keep trying others, but I keep coming back to Kentucky Blend