Mac Baren - 7 Seas Regular 3.5oz
If you like CapBlackOriginal You’ll Like This
I got this because it’s pretty obvious that it is Mac B’s version of Scandinavian Tobacco’s Captain Black Original, which is my favorite OTC Tobak and one of only two blends that I actually have full pouches of (other blends are in single serve containers). I decided to do the Bremen Piper Comparison: I put the tobaks side by side: the CBO has lighter flakes of tobak, the Seven Seas’ light tobak is more reddish, and it’s darker flakes are more prevalent and a slightly deeper brown. Where CBO smells wonderfully prune-y, the Seven Seas has an even stronger prune like fragrance AND a strong scent of actual vanilla. I loaded two pipes, one with CapBlackWhite and one with Seven Seas Regular and proceeded to smoke both of them, alternating pipes as they went out, not relighting ever. I started with the Seven Seas and was very delighted with it: it’s fragrance notes are more pronounced than the CBO. They both have burning notes and actual tongue taste of chocolate, but the CBO has a slight tang to it that the Seven Seas does not. My conclusion was thus: CBO was the cute, fit, fun, and slightly feisty brunette that I had been hanging out with; and then she invited me home and I met her older sister, Seven Seas Regular, also a brunette, who was a little taller, more full of figure, more elegant, slightly more refined with just a touch of unconscious glamour: and just when I felt like I was tottering on the edge of an irrevocable choice, they spoke in unison, almost in harmony “You don’t have to chose between us. We don’t mind sharing your time if you don’t.”
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
This was unique! The tin note smells like smoke-cured ham or really high quality smoked jerky. Now, if smoking meats in your pipe sounds off-putting, don’t let it! The room note and the burning note are pure campfire or hearth fire, but imagine a Thomas Kincade painting of a hearth fire, because that is what this blend is like! I see why it’s a favorite! Definite going to cellar some tins!
Stanwell - Vanilla 50g
Stanwell Melange is my most favorite Aromatic, it reminds me of being twelve again and the Apricot tree that we had right outside the fence gate. As soon as I saw that Stanwell had another flavor, I knew I had to try it. I’m conflicted: and I know it’s a Conflict of Expectation. The tin note does not make me think of Vanilla at all, because I am quite familiar with the smell of pure vanilla extract used in baking. Neither does the room note. Maybe I was expecting to smell cookies, and it’s not, it’s Tobak! That being said, it’s a good, solid, inoffensive aromatic that is quite enjoyable. It didn’t jump out at me, and unlike the Melange, I doubt I will be buying any to cellar. I was going to say that I would buy it again, but I just opened some Briarworks “Sweet Tea”, that Tobak smells more like “Vanilla” to me.
Mac Baren - HH Burley Flake 1.75oz
Ultimate Chill Blend
Thanks to Alan Harrelson I am focussing my Tobacco Tourism on specific blends other than Aros, for the first time: I made my first online order and from that order, I selected this Burley to start that new “holiday” with: The first thing that blew me away was after I popped the vacuum: I was expecting the regular coffee filter paper liner. I was not prepared for the Gold Brick. My beer budget ego got a serious stroking by the champaign class packaging!Timeless and classy! I so love the presentation, that I loathed to cellar the flakes into a canning jar. I got a spring top, sealed jar that has a square top and readily accepts the whole tin within. This was my first experience with Flake Tobak; I folded and rolled a single flake into my reclaimed pipe, and found it to pack well and light just as easily. It seems like the perfect moisture level. The best way to sum up this “blend”, is…Mellow. Extraordinarily, deliciously mellow. I see myself looking forward to this Tobak after a long hard day, with some chocolate milk, and Nora Jones, windows rolled down, dash lights virtually off, and a speedometer reluctantly filling to the speed limit.
Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
This is my first knowing experience with a pure Virginia blend. The first thing I noticed about this Tobak is how little I could smell of it. I had no expectation of flavor notes. What happened is that I left my shop for a brief moment, and upon returning to it, was instantly embraced by the room note of this Tobak. I literally said “Wow!” in surprise and delight. I do not enjoy nor encourage the consumption of cigarettes: the 200+ additives, the highly addictive nature of the consumption, BUT that first puff, the initial light up, I find incredibly pleasant to the nose: that is what this Tobak smells like: that first light, but for the entire bowl, never descending into the acrid unpleasantness of a modern cigarette. This Tobak also confirms what I have heard: that pure Virginia blends can smell too much like cigarettes and can therefore suffer some stigma by association. Don’t let that daunt you: add two ounces to your cellar.
Vauen - Auenland 50g
I Think I Found Jahre
Upon opening this, the tin note made me instantly think of Stanwell Melange but then I also thought of the 160 Jahre that I have. Upon comparison, it does not smell like the Melange, but it does smell like a lighter version of the Jahre, prune-y, hints of cocoa, mild citrus, and a very mild floral note. So, definitely, inoffensively “fruity”. The burning note is Jahre: I think this is the non-celebratory version of that, and I am happy, because I like the prune-y fragrance of Jahre. I will get some tins of this for my cellar.
Borkum Riff - Bourbon Whiskey 1.5oz
Only if All Else is Gone
I cracked the jar I had this cellaring in, for 2/3 years now, and discovered that it was not as bad as I remembered. I have no local tobacconist to me, so I got it from the local Cigarette and Cigar Outlet when I was attempting to find an enjoyable OTC Pipe Tobac. It has definitely mellowed with age: not as unpleasantly tangy as I remembered…and instead of the smoke always smelling like a dead cigarette butt, now only the unlit bowl smells like a dead cigarette butt. I suspect that that is the Virginia’s fault…BUT the more I smoked of this one bowl, the less I enjoyed it, and the more unpleasant it became. I dumped the bottom of the bowl. I laughed out loud reading the most approved reviews: they are all so right! I am just adding mine because it’s now 2022 and not 2017! I am NOT a tobac snob, Captian Black White is a fantastic smoke, Lane 1-Q is delightful and Sutliff Medium English gives me serious Frog Morton vibes (I literally still have some FM) but the guys who think this is a Five Star smoke, I cry a single tear for you! This goes back into the cellar. I’ll write another review of it in 2-3 years!