Reiner - Blend No. 71 100g
A Gold Standard in Virginia Tobaccos
The Reiner is absolutely fantastic. I love the paint-can tin - I found it helps preserve the moisture better than the typical twist-lid. You could consider this a high-grade Orlik. It maybe has less Perique. The Reiner is a fuller smoke, burns cooler, and has less bite. Where Orlik has "hay-like citrus" sweetness, the Reiner has the floral notes of honey and sweetness/tang of orange. It's also overall just sweeter than the Orlik. Perhaps another close relative/reference point is the Ashton Gold Rush , and the flavour tends more on lemon rather than orange. Absolutely worth the extra money for when you want a better-than-average all-day smoke.
Daughters & Ryan - Windsail Platinum
Tastes like low-grade tobacco
Spend a little more, and get yourself a can of Orlik. I found this stuff tasted like windsails alright: sun-bleached, wind-brined tatters bereft of any character or flavour. This stuff is poison, and it's already tobacco. Maybe the bulk effect? I don't think so...
Erik Stokkebye 4th Generation - Evening Flake
Very good! Strong flavour, but without that gross roomnote
I'm still exploring my tastes in tobaccos and I gave this flake a whirl. While it didn't stick to me like some others have, I didn't find it bad at all! I found the room note and strength of smoke to be good. The flavour is pretty strong. It's like a more "cigarry" version of an Orlik Golden Sliced, maybe? Definitely worth a try!
Ashton - Gold Rush 50g
Gold Rush, Orlik, and Reiner - The Trifecta
I took a gamble on Ashton's Gold Rush. I have to say, what a lovely tobacco! An honest new favourite. I smoke little rollies instead of out of a pipe, and I found this tobacco absolutely PERFECT. It's light but flavourful. The citrusy lemon is definitely there. Sweet, but not "hay" sweet. Sometimes even comes off as literally having the "essence of a lemon drop" in your mouth. Orlik and Reiner's golden sliced tobaccos are the only comparable products that come close to the Gold Rush. But, Orlik has the perique bite, and really just isn't as pleasant. And I'd say the Reiner is as nice, more full-bodied, and has more of an orange thing going on. Pro-Tip: mix the Gold Rush and Reiner together for something of a Five-Alive effect. It's REALLY nice. Update: I found my tastebuds evolved a bit in the last months. It has a cigary taste that I'm not sure I like any longer. Still a great smoke, though. Don't overlook it.
Vauen - Auenland 50g
Get this over the Morning Mixture, for sure!
Opening Review: The tin's label is cute, and definitely sets an expectation. There should be no disappointment when you crack open that tin, as the note is so inviting, it's honestly mindblowing. It awakens your senses from the get-go. I don't get any artificial character sometimes associated to aromatic tobacco. I can see the cherries others mentioned, but it's more profound than that. Some nuttiness, a small vanilla note, both most notable in the room after simply opening and closing the tin. Overall, yes, it's sweet, but in a way like ripe tart fruit, there's an acidity here that gives this blend "air and stage". Out of the tin, I would say it was the right moisture. Smoking this stuff is an absolute pleasure, start to finish. I smoked it in small pinches, small shallow bowl. It left a nice ash and didn't gum up my pipe (small reside maybe?). It's a light smoker overall, no heavier say than Peterson's Sweet Kilarney. At a broad stroke, it's perhaps close to Larsen's Signature Series - Vintage Mixture. But, still, this is a whole different ball game. You don't smoke that Vintage Mixture and think "I'm in Lord of the Rings." No, The Shire makes you think you might be Merry and Pippin, striking it rich on Longbottom Leaf. Post Tin Review: I have to say, while it's fun to know I have a spare tin, I'm ok with sitting on it. The last of what I got is good. However, like most aromatics, it's a little much on the regular. That being said, I still had tons of wows and oous from my friends about this one. It's definitely one to try.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 100g
Roll Your Own with Orlik
Almost a year ago, I switched from regular cigarettes to rolling my own using premium tobaccos, beginning with Orlik's Golden Sliced. I'm likely preaching to the choir, but I have to say WOW what a nice transition. I smoke less, the room-note is much lighter, I spend less, it tastes better, and I breathe better. I sincerely enjoy smoking now - cigarettes are garbage. I've gone through a number of tins, and as tobaccos go, it's a very good staple to have on hand for RYO smoking. I find an Orlik rollie bests any off-the-shelf cigarette. Compared to other brands, Orlik's Golden Sliced sets a reliable standard by which you can measure others. There's a simple sweetness, a citrusy tangy note, and a small Perique nibble on the palate. In comparison, the Reiner's Long Golden Flake (Blend No. 71) is a tastier, richer smoke with distinct notes of honey and orange. Similarly, for very wordy different reasons, I also find Savinelli's Brunello Flake better than Orlik. But, all that said, Orlik makes for a lighter smoke than either of these, and still puts to shame any commercial cigarette... Update: Still amazing a year later - it's a real staple tobacco to have in your collection. And in spades, for that matter - it's just too easy a smoke.
Vauen - Auenland The Shire Morning Mixture 50g
Morning Mixture is not The "Real" Shire
I bought this in error, actually. I thought I was getting the "Real Shire". (product 003-448-0011) I found this blend alright. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, coffee, nutty, bready tones. This blend, however, actually manages to be alright. In a lot of respects, I find it comes off as a Black Forest Cake, which ain't all that bad! The taste is basically dessert-like, and would go well with a standard cup of Earl Grey or a nice coffee. The room note isn't bad, but not enamouring - it's like burning a Black Forest Cake made with tobacco. Out of the tin, it wasn't too wet, and smoked well with a quick 2-minute dry. Comparable products in mind, I think I prefer the Sweet Killarney by Peterson for the room note and flavour; it succeeds better "overall". The "Real" Shire also succeeds better in flavour and roomnote by leaving the chocolate and breadiness behind, and focusing on the fruit and more acidic notes.