Wessex - Burley Broadcut 1.5oz
Quality tobacco. Never had this cut before. My tin has a chunky broken, or actually more of a cut, plug that looks like granola breakfast cereal. It is more akin to "pebbles" of tobacco than to broken ribbons of flake. It is rugged and chunky. The tin note is rich with delicious boozy vanilla. While true to the nature of other German aromatics I have enjoyed, it is fairly dry in the tin. The topping is not visible or evident to the touch, which I like very much. For me, it burns nicely warm, shy of hot. I find it light in strength. I find the taste to start out all vanilla extract, which is delicious in my book. After the alcohol from the extract burns off I can taste both the vanilla and the component tobaccos. While towards the mid to last of the bowl the sweetness caramelizes like the crust of a creme brûlée. This is a quality and delicious vanilla aromatic. I am certainly not distracted by any strong propylene glycol essence, as I am in many other vanilla aromatics I have tried. This is similar to my other favorite German vanilla blends in that respect. And, although I wish it were stronger in nicotine content, it is advertised to be mild. And, it is. So, certainly no fault there. It does not burn to a fine grey ash for me. I am always left with a crusty button of dottle at the bottom of the bowl. Again though, for what it is, no points to be taken off there. In summation, it is not my favorite vanilla aromatic, but no fault in that regard, either. This is a very fine blend. well worth giving a go. I can find nothing empirical to damn in this quality blend.
Sutliff - Cringle Flake 2020 1.5oz
Lump of Coal
Santa: Was I really such a bad boy this year that you gave me this? It may be my own fault, in hindsight. Having previously sworn-off any future purchases from Sutliff, I allowed myself to be dazzled by the copy and presentation for this holiday release. How could I have allowed myself even to imagine for a moment that Sutliff, of all blending houses, that churns out chemically coated, gloopy-gloppy, artificially flavored aromatics, had been holding back and aging a supply of premium Virginias and Perique in anticipation of producing a break-out premium crumble cake for the ages? Let this be another lesson for me to trust my instincts. Yet, when I saw the pretty packaging and read the copy of the glories of the "vintage components," I became immediately willing to suspend my disbelief. And, now, I feel like Ralphie in A CHRISTMAS STORY discovering that the "secret message" revealed by his long-awaited LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE decoder is merely a "stupid commercial" for Ovaltine. I, similarly and stupidly, allowed myself to be duped and went all-in on this stunt by Sutliff. And, as I watched it fly off the shelves at every tobacco site that was carrying it, I hurriedly ordered 5 tins to enjoy in this, and coming, years, fearful of missing out were I not quickly to buy. My bad. Be careful rubbing this cake out. For, you may be stabbed by all of the thick, hard and sharp sticks it contains. And, in the future, I will recall to be wary when a blender extols the partial cavendishing of fine, aged, 10 year-old Virginias... Why would you...? It gets 2 stars from me because it tastes similar to how I remember my favorite cigarette tasting. And, my favorite cigarette used to be American Spirit Black Box, made with Perique. Truly, the cigarettes were the higher quality blend. Oh, and Santa: I promise to be better this year. I've learned my lesson, yet again, on commercial marketing gimmicks.
Cornell & Diehl - Golden Days of Yore 2oz
A Unique Aromatic Mixture
This blend is delicious. It makes my mouth tingle. And, since tingle rhymes with "jingle." I'm gonna "tingle all the way" into the new year on this sleigh.
Dan Tobacco - Choo Choo Train 50g
These aren't the droids you're looking for
Cornell & Diehl - Apricots and Cream 2oz
Reminded Me that Apricots are an Inferior Fruit
This tobacco blend is mealy and lacking in depth of flavor. In that manner, it can be said to be similar to the actual lackluster raw fruit itself, now that I think about it. I cannot imagine that even apricot-lovers will be wowed by this blend. I don't taste apricots or cream or even tobacco, here. I am really quite saddened by this tobacco blend. I tried it on the Youtube recommendation of Chris Tarler, who said it was one of his favorites. Really? Quite puzzling.
Cornell & Diehl - Redburn 2oz
Do you love smoking slowly?
Like, super slowly? Like, barely smoking at all, even? If you enjoy taking a very long time on a bowl, and, if you have a couple of hours to sit and softly hit on it, then this is for you. Because, if you do take forever on it, then it is delicious. I rarely smoke slowly. I hit burley at a very rigorous pace, like, a MATCHES860 pace... And, if you do that with this tobacco, if you take it quickly, it turns hot and acrid and bitter. Yet, taken at a literal snail's pace... Damn, it is good.
Lighters - Corona Lighter Flints (5 pack)
Truly Best for Old Boy
My Old Boy Lighter was giving me problems. Then I read that IM Corona recommends the use of Corona flints with their lighters, expressly to alleviate this problem of "inferior" flints gunking up the gas discharge. I thought, "Well, of course they are going to recommend their own product." And, not thinking it would truly help, yet knowing it couldn't hurt, I ordered some. The difference was instantaneous. It just lights better. Which is difficult to explain. Yet, I know it when I feel it. Please, use Corona flints with your Corona lighters.
Kramer's - Father Dempsey 50g
Hooray for Hollywood
I purchased a Merchant Service pipe and wanted to fill it with something Bing may have liked, other than Crooner. So, thinking that he may very well have packed a bowl with this original blend from his neighborhood store, Kramer's, I decided to give Father Dempsey a try. This was a worthy choice. I can taste Old Hollywood in every puff. Love it.
Cult - Blood Red Moon 50g
Bloody Good Tobacco
I have dedicated a Peterson Dracula to this tobacco. It is delicious. I have read complaints that it tastes like cough drops. Yet, I love cherry cough drops. And, to me, it does taste like the Royal Ann chocolate covered cherries with syrup that I adored as a child. It's dreadfully delicious. And it has great mechanics: burns like a vampire in the sunlight, to a clean and dry white ash.
Peter Heinrichs - Curly Block 275g
Received a fresh rod and had to trim it down a bit to allow it to fit into mason jars for cellaring. So, I've not tried it properly aged. Yet, I smoked the trimmings and they were delicious. I want to say juicy. Not juicy in the bowl. The mechanics were great and it burned all the way to a fine white ash. The mouth feel and flavors, though, I will describe as stone-fruit juicy.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - American Delite 50g
I Pledge Allegiance
Delicious. And, I'm proud to be an American.
Carter Hall - Carter Hall 1.5oz Pouch
Wonderful All-Day Smoke
I keep pouches of this stuff everywhere. Never want to be caught without it. I smoke fancy stuff, too. But, never a day goes by without a few bowls of Carter Hall.
Pipe Tools & Supplies - Low Country Reamer
Great for use on my Meerschaums
This is a perfect tool for keeping the walls of my meerschaums cake-free. Works very well.
Cornell & Diehl - Corn Cob Pipe and A Button Nose 2oz
First of all: It's delicious. It truly is reminiscent of a mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows. What makes it wonderful is its mechanics. It's a cube cut, a tiny cube cut, that lends itself well to a gravity feed. Burns cool and dry to the bottom of the bowl. I wish all aromatics could be such a pleasure. No chemical taste. No goop. Just a great smoke.
Daughters & Ryan - Ryback 16oz
Burley, Dark Fired Kentucky, Virginia
Burley, Dark Fired Kentucky, Virginia at $1.31 an ounce. And, folks are writing reviews to complain? What are you? kiddin me? Fuhgedaboudit.
Lighters - Zippo Vintage Brushed Chrome Pipe Lighter
From the trenches of World War to my Easy Chair, and every place in between, this lighter is the classic. "Ka-chink" to "clink" it makes itself known. Perhaps, after the sound of a match being struck, there comes no more well recognized sound of lighting tobacco than the sounds of a Zippo lighter. Nothing in between is nearly as easily recognizable. The best.
G. L. Pease - The Virginia Cream 8oz
In a Class of Its Own
As far as I know, this is a singular blend. And, a perfect blend, at that. There is nothing with which to compare it. And, it is an aromatic that does exceedingly well with age. I don't know why I wish there were more similar blends to try? When this blend has it all to perfection.
Peterson - My Mixture 965 50g
WAS a Great Smoke - Perhaps, Better with Age and Drying
I opened a tin of the new Peterson 965. And, I was disappointed. Then, a friend argued with me that it is EXACTLY the same as the Dunhill in every way, except in the name. It was then, I realized that he may be correct. And, perhaps, I was making a false comparison. I was judging fresh new Peterson 965 against very well-aged and, actually, rather dry Dunhill. To be sure there was no comparison. The aged and dried Dunhill was, for my taste, exceedingly superior to the fresh batch of Peterson. Did the Dunhill, when fresh, taste the same as the Peterson? And, am I simply judging fresh versus aged tobacco? I'll have to come back to this in a few of years, God willing, in order to know the truth. In the meantime, I hesitate to stock up. Dunhill MM 965 was my first foray into English blends, back in the early 90's in the lobby of the Barclay Rex store across from Grand Central Terminal in NYC. That store is long gone, now. It would be a shame if the pleasure of experiencing delicious MM 965 were now gone, as well.
Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
Solid 4 Stars
I have experienced no issues with mechanics or bite. This tastes like excellent tobacco. And, it satisfies in nicotine, smoke and mouth feel. This is a solid choice in smoking tobacco pleasure.
Hearth & Home - BlackHouse 1.75oz
So, this is Balkan?
So, this is Balkan? Okay. I'm all in. Tin note and flavor is Latakia/Dark Fired forward. Flavor is latakia, dark-fired and Oriental. It can bite me if I'm not careful. It is delicious. I like it a great deal better with a little age and drying.
Solani - Aged Burley Flake - 656 50g
I could smoke this, and only this, forever. Rich chocolatey burley perfection in flake form. It's hard not to eat this stuff, honestly.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Fresh, this is a benchmark VaPer. Aged, it transcends.
G. L. Pease - Haddo's Delight 16oz
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 8oz
If I could give it 6 Stars, I would
Amen! Hallelujah! Just Google how Greg Pease recommends smoking this Heavenly blend. And, do it exactly like he does it. You will be eternally rewarded. This its another Desert Island Blend for me. Perfection in pipe tobacco, actually.
Mac Baren - HH Rustica Flake 3.5oz
Ketchup Flavored Beef Jerky
TIN NOTE: Vinegary, Ketchupy, Beef Jerky - in a good way. APPEARANCE: Again, beef jerky comes to mind. These "flakes" are more like dense strips of leather. They look like strips of leather or jerky. And, they handle like a belt. It takes a good deal of time and effort to rub them out. Even then, you have to work pretty hard to seperate the strands, which is the only way I have found to be able to smoke this tobacco. I tried fold and stuff in every different way I know how. And, it was disastrous every time. By my second tin, I was spending a good 10 minutes a flake in rub-out. And, then letting the result dry for literal hours. And, it has finally become smokeable in this manner. FLAVOR: Fantastic. Deep. Vinegar and ketchup and leather and soy sauce - totally umami. Love it. Like no other I have ever known. Delicious. SMOKING: It its a job keeping the bowl lit, almost a chore. And, have to be careful with the tamping that you don't turn it back into a leather plug. But, it is worth the effort. Burns all the way to a white powdery ash. Perhaps a little hot. Have to be careful. NICOTINE: Praise the Lord! This gives me the hiccups. Love it. But, back-to-back bowls moves beyond the Nic-hics into full blown heartburn. I keep Rolaids around when I smoke this stuff. SUMMARY: This tobacco is a lot of work. Yet, I keep doing it. Because, I love it. Do I wish it were easier to handle? Yes. Is it too much trouble to be worth the while? A vehement no. It's worth the gargantuan effort.
Mac Baren - Dark Twist 16oz
Desert Island Blend
Like Per Jensen says, if you wake up on a Monday Morning and you are feeling a bit off, just smoke the ones with with the dark center, and you will feel alright again. There are two full Virginia coins to every Dark-fired center coin in each package. So, you can learn their flavors and strength, and self-regulate accordingly, I've never known any one container to contain so many different flavor and strength options. I love changing it up with every bowl. I can choose to pack a Dark Fired centric bowl or a Virginia centric bowl. And, I am constantly experimenting with layering this tobacco to switch things up mid-bowl and even switch them back again. If I were on a Desert Island, this might be the only tobacco I would need. And, it has that unmistakable Mac Baren natural flavor of, to me, brown sugar or whatever they use to case it. It is fantastic. Almost as good as candied bacon. And, better than candied bacon for breakfast, actually. Love this tobacco!
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 2oz
It is with thanks to John Harden, Matches860, that I picked up my first 2 ounce tin of this heavenly burley blend. I now purchase it by the pound. It checks off all the right boxes for flavor, mechanics and Nic hit. Thanks, John. Although, I certainly miss your presence in the YTPC (Youtube Pipe Community), I think of you every single day when I smoke this fantastic blend.
Pipe Tools & Supplies - Brigham Extra Absorbent Pipe Cleaners (42 pack)
"Extra absorbent" just like it says on the package. Will not leave any moisture behind. Get you some.
Cornell & Diehl - Crooner
Just Let Gravity Do Its Job
No hassle here. Just perfect tobacco pipe mechanics when you gravity pack and put it to the torch. Flavor is all Deertongue all the way. I smoke for nicotine, mostly. It has to taste good, though. And, this one does that. Mechanics - check. Flavor - check. Nic-hit - check. Good stuff.
Five Brothers - Five Brothers 1.25oz
All Day Every Day
I am a working class guy with a working class job. I work outdoors, often. And, I am thus enabled to smoke during the day. I often smoke pipes for nicotine. So, this is my go-to, non-fuss tobacco. Mechanics of it are great for working with your hands. Just light it and smoke it - all day, every day. I save my contemplative smokes with fancy tobacco for when I'm at home in the evenings. Also, this tobacco has perfect mechanics for breaking-in new pipes: burns cool, dry and clean to the very bottom. Pack this stuff tightly for best results. It is perfect for what it is - a pocket tobacco.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Bird's Eye
Does the Trick
It's a hat trick in: 1.) mechanics, 2.) flavor, and 3.) N-factor. This tobacco smokes completely to the bottom of the bowl while remaining optimally dry. In that factor, its mechanics are similar to Five Brothers, which makes this a fine candidate for breaking-in new pipes without the worry of scorching around the draft-hole. In a well broken pipe, it is a hassle-free pleasure. I'm not very good at being able to describe flavor profiles. But, I know what I like. It is not as complex as Mac Baren Dark Twist, which I love, but it hits some of the same dark fired flavor receptors for me. And, like MB Dark Twist, it has a nice bit of sweetness to accompany the deep flavor of the dark fired Kentucky. But, unlike MBDT, it does not require a learning curve. Although, it is not the same distinct sweet flavor that I love that the Mac Baren line offers. It is delicious. It is a distinct GH&C flavor which makes it stand head and shoulders above others in its class. Finally, in Nic content it is perfect for me. Which I can only describe as such - one bowl will not give me hiccups. But, two bowls, back-to-back might. I should say that I am one of those who actually does smoke my pipe to get nicotine. And, I smoke as many bowls a day as I can fit, probably around 8 to 10 bowls a day. I would actually like to know how many bowls I smoke per day. But, I can never remember to count. This is a consistent and superior quality tobacco. And, it is one of which I strive to maintain a healthy supply. Even still, I'm afraid I cannot comment as to how it ages. It has the hallmarks to be a good ageing tobacco. I can simply never keep it around long enough.