Captain Black - Royal 1.5oz
Good, simple aromatic
Tastes good and gets plenty of compliments from those around me. Burns well with no bite. Reasonable price. My favorite OTC blend of those I've tried so far.
Cornell & Diehl - Autumn Evening 2oz
This is one of the few aromatic blends I've tried where the tin note comes through strongly in the taste of the smoke. The red Virginia is also very present, so it's not just the maple. If you like maple and are looking for a blend that pleases both the smoker and those around, it's hard to do better than Autumn Evening.
Partagas - 1845 Extra Fuerte Gigante
I really enjoyed the complex mix of flavors. It seemed like every puff was a different combination, with different notes taking center stage. Draw was tight but still acceptable, and the burn was good.
Peterson - Early Morning Pipe 50g
Classic for a reason
Other reviewers have described this blend far better than I could, so I will just say that this is a great choice for those just starting to explore the variety of English blends. It's a reference point that many other English/Oriental blends are compared to, so knowing what you think of EMP will help you pick other tins. Personally, I love it and while it's not my absolute favorite blend of its type, it's right up there.
Peterson - My Mixture 965 50g
Quality tobacco, but not my favorite
It's a classic that I feel like you have to try if you're exploring the world of pipe tobacco - if only because so many blends are compared to it. This is a well-made, middle-of-the-road English blend. I like it, and every once in a while it hits the spot. But far more often I wish I had gone for something with lighter Latakia and more Oriental, like EMP, or else something more dark and rich like Nightcap.
Ashton - VSG Pegasus
Full, rich, complex flavor that developed throughout the smoke. Great burn and draw. One of those smokes that I didn't want to end. Definitely a cigar that I want to explore further.
Padron - Serie 1926 Natural #2 Belicoso
I may still be too new to cigars to really tell what sets this apart from a $10 stick. I really enjoyed it - great, smooth, complex flavor, and impeccable burn and draw. But did I really enjoy it 50% more than, say, a Padron 5000? I don't think I did.
La Gloria Cubana - Serie S Robusto Gordo
I'm a huge fan of the Serie R, so I thought I'd give this a try. It's a very good, strong smoke with less sweetness and more spice than I get from the R. I still prefer the R, but will probably get a couple more of these for a change of pace.
Alec Bradley - Black Market Esteli Gordo
Very good, but...
I enjoyed the one I got from a sample pack. Good, complex flavor and solid construction. I'm glad I tried it, and I'd be happy to pick up more at the right price, but there wasn't anything outstanding about it to make want to seek them out in the future - I'd rather try something new and continue my quest for great smokes.
Camacho - Triple Maduro Robusto
Powerful flavor, but different from anything I've smoked before. Very toothy wrapper. Great draw and burn.
Punch - Signature Torpedo
I got a lot of different flavors throughout the smoke. My palate isn't good enough to really identify them, but they could change from puff to puff. Good draw and burn.
Rocky Patel - Vintage 1992 Robusto
I definitely picked up the coffee notes mentioned in the description. Overall nice balance and great construction.
Padron - Natural 4000
Deep, rich flavor. Great construction. It's hard to go wrong with a Padron.
Macanudo - Gold Label Tudor
Solid, well-constructed, enjoyable mild cigar.
La Gloria Cubana - Wavell Natural
Nice quality smoke. Well balanced flavor, and a good value
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
Great intro to English blends
I started pipe smoking with aromatics, and the first couple of times I dipped my toes into English blends (Nightcap & Magnum Opus), I wasn't a huge fan. In retrospect, it was too much Latakia, too soon. Then I tried Presbyterian and loved it. The Latakia here blends perfectly with the Orientals and Virginias, instead of being the most pronounced flavor. I've since revisited those first couple blends and several other bolder English mixtures, and now I can much better appreciate the Latakia. The stronger stuff is still not my preferred style, but I do really enjoy them when I'm in the right mood. But I could happily smoke Presbyterian all day every day. It's a favorite that I find myself reaching for several times a week.
Regius - Black Label Gran Toro
Really enjoyable smoke. The flavor that stood out the most to me was roasted nuts. Also very creamy, especially in the 2nd half. Great burn and draw. I could see this becoming a new favorite.
Captain Black - Original 1.5oz
Good for on-the-go
I picked up a pouch at a local shop when I ran out of my usual RLP-6 on a trip. Very similar taste, but the CB has a harshness to it - maybe extra humectant? - and the cut is different. But still a very nice, mild aromatic and I found the pouch super convenient. So much so that I ordered more just to have a grab-and-go pouch around for when I need one.
Roma Craft - Intemperance EC XVIII Brotherly Kindness
Nice creamy smoke
Good flavor for a milder cigar. Had some interesting toasty notes about halfway through. Draw was good, but the burn was super uneven. That may have been user error since my lighter was running out of fuel, but even several touch ups couldn’t get it straightened out. I have a few more in the humidor so I’ll update if it was just a one-off issue (Update: my others burned fine, but slightly uneven toward the end). Also, a minor annoyance, but the little band was tough to remove.
Oliva - Serie G Cameroon Toro
Good intro to stronger cigars
This is a good transition from milder cigars to the more full bodied sticks. I taste a lot of the flavor notes that are common in stronger cigars, but in a more subtle way.
My Father - The Judge Toro Fino BP
Not for me
I generally like full bodied cigars, but this one was dominated by a flavor (I think many refer to it as "earthy-ness"?) that was too powerful for my taste. I've liked that flavor note in other cigars when it's in the background, but with The Judge, it was front and center and basically all I could taste. Good quality construction, burn, and draw, but the flavor just doesn't appeal to me.
La Flor Dominicana - Ligero Cabinet L-400 Oscuro (Toro)
Tasty, creamy smoke. Before lighting, the wrapper was really spicy, but didn't get much spice once lit. Good draw, and a nice slow burn.
Herrera Esteli - Habano Robusto Grande
Cedar & Leather...
...were the 2 notes that really stood out to me. Good complexity for a medium cigar. Great burn and draw.
Lane Limited - RLP-6
Great, easy-to-smoke aromatic
I smoked basically nothing but this for years. I've since branched out and have a cellar stocked with all different types and brands of tobacco, but RLP-6 is still my old reliable. It's in my pipe while working in the home office, driving, or pulling weeds. When I can't decide what to smoke, I reach for this. Easy to pack, stays lit, doesn't bite. Good flavor and doesn't scare away non-smokers. Couldn't ask for much more from a blend.
Oliva - Connecticut Reserve Robusto
If you're in the mood for a lighter smoke, this one is hard to beat for the price. Good draw and burn. A nice change of pace from the stronger stuff I normally prefer.
Oliva - Serie O Habano Robusto
Nice and smooth
Not a flavor bomb, but a good, smooth, reliable smoke. I like these when I'm working in the yard or talking with friends. Great to share with folks who don't smoke much. Really good value, especially when they're on sale.
La Gloria Cubana - Serie R #6 Natural
Big and tasty
When I want a big, bold smoke, this is my favorite. Lots of deep, rich flavors, plus a cocoa-like sweetness from the wrapper that I love. I make sure I always have a few of these stocked in my humidor.
Oliva - Master Blends 3 Liga Maestra Robusto
Decent amount of flavor and good construction. I got a few of these from Oliva sampler packs and they were pretty good for the $4 per stick price, but I wouldn't pay full price for them.
Oliva - Serie V Melanio Maduro Double Toro
Really tasty, but not quite up to expectations
I've read a lot of folks say they love the Serie V Melanio blend, so I wanted to see for myself. It is really good with a lot of flavor, but I don't quite get the hype. Might have to try a couple more or different vitolas to see if I find one that's the mind-blowing experience others have described.
Padron - 5000 Natural
I don't know what it is about Padrons, but they hit all the right notes for me. Had a lot of puffs that made me think "hmm, that's nice" to myself although I can't pinpoint what made me think that. The size is right in my Goldilocks zone: between robusto and toro in length, nice and fat without getting to 60 rg. Great burn and draw. Will definitely get more. Might even think about a box.
Cohiba - Blue Toro
Not bad, not great
This was a nice creamy smoke, but a little on the mild side for my taste. I'd never claim to have a sophisticated palate, but I didn't pick up any particular flavors. The draw was a little tighter than I like, but not an issue. The burn got uneven in the 2nd half, but not to a dramatic extent. I won't be getting more, but wouldn't turn it down if a friend offered me one.
Warped - Serie Gran Reserva 1988
Solid, but nothing special
I had a few puffs near the beginning with some deep earthy/leathery flavors, but mostly it was typical mid-strong flavor profile. Good burn throughout. The draw was a little tighter than I prefer, but not a problem. Nothing bad to say, but there wasn't anything to make me want to get more of these instead of trying something new.
Hoyo de Monterrey - Excalibur No. 3 English Claro
This was my first "real" cigar back in the mid 90s, and the only cigar I had a chance to smoke with my grandpa, so it has a special place in my heart. It's my go-to for a mild-medium smoke. Not super complex, but consistently good burn and draw