Sillem's - Black 100g
Rich & Meaty!
This one got me from the first bowl! The tin note was great, but the tone of the first few puffs sunk its teeth deep into my nostalgia bone and settled in for a good nibble. It has all the bark of a good English bulldog, but the caressing ‘bite’ is as pleasing as a Carnivale kiss. From the first puff to the last whiff, it was complex, dynamic, and alluring. My only complaint being that the sweet notes of the Aromatic side of this Witchers coin faded out early…but, they leave you with the sweet comfortable warmth of a quintessential English. The Latakia notes were peppery and rich, complimented perfectly by the tangy virginias, and rounded off by mellow burley vitamin-N brain-chill. Toss me a coin for this one, because I’m stocking up!
Mac Baren - Black Ambrosia 3.5oz
Alright, who did this?
I’m no expert, being a noob and all, but I feel like there’s some wizardry happening here. At first blush it has a very ‘Monte Cristo’ vibe about the aroma and taste. There was a notable thick and creamy oiliness to the smoke. Not having much of an experienced pallet, I have a hard time comparing this to anything else. First bowl; enjoyed it. Second bowl a few weeks later, even more so. Subsequent bowls have settled this treat from Mac Baren nicely into the, “…will buy again,” category.
Mac Baren - HH Pure Virginia 1.75oz
Ummm…maybe: (revised 11/22)
I’ve been a Mac-B loyalist since the early days of my pipe shenanigans….a whopping 8 months ago; and I’ve also loved VAs from the start. This one fell a little flat for me right out of the gate. Maybe it’s my inexperience, but I couldn’t get a cool or consistent smoke out of it. I freaking love the tin though! Big sucker for tins: so I bought a few to cellar and try again after they age and I grow up a bit. 😜 Revision: after a few months of cellaring, and some palate/technique maturation I’ve found this to be one of my favorite straight Virginias. It’s a pleasant afternoon smoke, with just the right amount of N-chill, and a wonderful beard aroma (beard-roma). This is going to be a deep and constant staple for my cellar. Blockade Runner got bumped over a bit on the shelf….not far, but down a peg! 😜
Cornell & Diehl - Blockade Runner 2oz
This was one of my earliest trues with a rum soaked Va, and only took about half a bowl before I started looking for my wallet to order more. It’s subtle, creamy, smooth and soothing in all aspects. Very little, if any, bite. And I’m a freight-train style smoker sometimes. There was a mellow tangy earthiness to the whole experience and I’ve been enthusiastically working my way through my first plug all week. No question about it, this is a cellar staple. Easily 4.5 out of 5 ‘Beards’ in overall approval!