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 so sparingly it 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 very 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 guess, 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 but very very 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
Yeah it;s that good. Every bowl is a reminder of what it's all about. The perfect amount of each tobacco. Smokes beautifully from start to finish. I'm not a big fan of Black Cavendish as a main component, and this blend illustrates how its use as a condiment can be amazing. 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. 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
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.