Cult - Blood Red Moon 50g
Yes, it is true that BRM doesn't bite. And it has a nice chocolate-cherry flavor. But you have to love Black Cavendish to love this blend. There's no way around that. There is some Burley and Virgina here which definitely helps give it some tobacco flavor and bring the blend into somewhat enjoyable range, but the ratio is still just too tilted to BC to make it great. Thought it might be better if mixed with some straight Virginia - and it is - but still the cherry is totally married to the BC, so the more cherry you get the more BC. It's not bad for an occasional smoke but is likely only lovable for Black Cavendish lovers.
Sutliff - Crumble Kake Red Virginia 1.5oz
It's pretty tart. But also sweet as you would expect from a straight Virginia. I get flavors of hay and old lingering perfume on damp leather. Much more going on with this smoke than I expected. It doesn't have the nic hit I thought it would. I don't love it but it's not bad. I wouldn't say it bites, but it's definitely quite tart on the tongue.
Rattray's - Brown Clunee 100g
Strong, Satisfying Blend
Delicious Virginia and Burley mixture with the Perique showing off its fermented quality without being peppery.This is noticeable first in the tin note (which has hints of beer) and then though the tart tanginess it adds to the earthy burley and sweet Virginias that taste a bit like dates. Strong in both flavor and nicotine while still a super smooth smoke, it's great with a cup of black coffee to get going in the morning.
Rattray's - Professional Mixture 100g
Professional Mixture to me has that old-timey, academic, indoor vibe about it. Like what I would imagine CG Jung or Albert Einstein had in their pipes. It's a bit mild in both flavor and strength and yet is really quite enjoyable. Tasty Virginias dominate the mix here with the bc, lat, and orientals used a bit sparingly just to enhance the experience. The result is amazing and I've grown to love this blend. The aroma is wonderful. At times seems less like an English and more like an mild aromatic, but without the bite. Nonetheless this blend benefits most from being smoked slowly. Best enjoyed while working at your desk or sitting in your favorite chair reading a hardcover.
Peterson - Early Morning Pipe 50g
Mushrooms for breakfast?
It is in fact a fine blend of quality tobaccos and the label is awesome too. That being said, I find the latakia to be rather strong for early mornings, and strangely after half a bowl, I find this blend takes on the flavor of roasted mushrooms/roasted vegetables. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in general as I enjoy earthy blends. Just not first thing in the morning. So Early Morning Pipe for me is a late afternoon smoke.
Brebbia - Latakia Flake 50g
A really unique blend. I anticipated campfire (and feared overpowering stovepipe) but was met with a strange musty, somewhat floral smoke that was extremely captivating. It is definitely creamy as others describe and the Virginias are indeed sweet, but it's the curious musty earthiness, the rose incense and damp leather notes that really gives it its unique character. This is a really funky, dark, alluring smoke here.
Mac Baren - Plumcake 3.5oz
Bright Virginias, Nutty Burley, perfect amount of cavendish without it taking over. Seems like a touch of Latakia to me, but I primarily smoke English blends so maybe it's more present to aromatic smokers. Plum & Rum from start to finish. Smokes great. Burns a bit hot. Feels like it will bite if too eagerly smoked, but not a problem if one takes their time, which you should since it is quite enjoyable.
Cornell & Diehl - Sam's Blend 2oz
Just as it starts to get good...
..it's over. This blend has to be at least 80% BC. The latakia and perique are used somewhat sparingly it kind of leaves you disappointed. Sure it's creamy and produces a billows of smoke but there's just not enough going on here to latch onto and enjoy. If you love Black Cavendish being the star of the show with minor appearances from other tobaccos then this is for you. Those looking for flavor and complexity will be disappointed. That being said, this blend does start to take on some character during the second half of the bowl. Finally, nearing the end, it actually begins becoming somewhat rich, but just as this happens, it's over.
Peterson - Nightcap 50g
Maybe I'm just a sucker for the marketing of this blend - the name, the description, and the tin artwork, but I do really love smoking this tobacco when settling down for the evening and find it very comforting. Most noticeable tasting notes for me are chocolate, raisin, and campfire. It's full flavored, rich, a little spicy and pretty luxurious. I always want a tin on hand to make my nighttimes a soothing ritual.
Ashton - Artisan's Blend 50g
Solid, Full flavored English
If you love tobacco and the nuances of English blends, this one won't disappoint. Each tobacco seems to stand out on its own and yet they all blend in a very harmonious way. Definitely full flavored, leathery and smoky with a good bit spiciness from a healthy dose of perique. A solid English blend. Can't really go wrong with this one.
Lane Limited - Dark Red
Dark Red. Velvet Cake
Half Black Cavendish, Half cake. That's the flavor profile in my experience. A mix of Chocolate, Cherry, Vanilla and other flavors of baked goods over a base of BC. Not really my thing, but kind of a nice smoke, I suppose, every once and a while. Definitely not often. Pleasant room note.
Kramer's - House Aromatic 50g
Not bad, not great.
I like that this aromatic is not so aromatic with any crazy strong artificial-like flavors. The Burley and casing are a nice tobacco flavor albeit mild. Without the proper cadence (and you really need to take your time with this blend) it will bite. That being said, to take the time to slowly sip on a smoke so mild in flavor it approaches weak, especially halfway through, is not quite worth it to this pipe smoker.
Rattray's - Red Rapparee 50g
Best blend ever. Yeah it's that good. Every bowl is a reminder of what it's all about. An absolutely perfect amount of each tobacco. It's like a great Balkan blend with mellow Red Virginias, a nice amount of Latakia without overdoing it, just a touch of Cavendish which is great, and tasty Orientals that really shine here. What's also great is that it gets better and better as it burns down. By the last quarter of the bowl it's just pure bliss. Such a great smoke I always smoke this out of my pipes with the largest bowls. Highly recommended.
Peterson - Royal Yacht 50g
Now I get it...
First smoke out of the tin was a bit underwhelming and I didn't get why it was so popular. Tasted like a Dunhill cigarette to me. Let it sit for a month and went back to it. Yeah... It seemed like a totally different tobacco. Very enjoyable. Now I get it.
Hearth & Home - Heart of Darkness 1.75oz
Great English Blend
Perfect Virginia/Oriental/Latakia blend. Tasty AF and Smooth as shit from a duck's ass.I find it tastes similar to Ashton's Artisan Blend (which I really like), just without the the peppery perique. Good stuff.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
This is a difficult blend for me to describe for some reason, so I'll describe it like this: The best. My favorite. The smoke I was looking for when I picked up a pipe. Earthy, with just enough sweetness (not too much) and an aroma that's increasingly pleasing. Oriental forward, perfect amount of Latakia and Virginia. Maybe a slight Nag Champa incense flavor going on? Again it's difficult to describe other and to say it's amazing.
Brebbia - Balkan 50g
I find this tobacco hits all the right notes for me. There's a lot going on and yet flavors here are perfectly balanced. Campfire and floral notes seem to be most forward, but there's also this savory sweetness of lightly spiced prunes right there and it all just really works well for me. I almost knocked off a star because I was finding that it had a tendency to be rather harsh on the nasal cavity, but after smoking it through one of my favorite pipes (the Vauen Fuji 4242) using a 9mm filter, I was able to fully enjoy it. Burns well (a few lights along the way) and stays flavorful throughout, not losing any of it's qualities towards the end. Really good stuff. It's probably not an all day smoke but is extremely enjoyable nonetheless. Certainly a favorite for this pipe smoker.