Samuel Gawith - Cabbie's Mixture 50g
My favorite VaPer
I was able to get my hands on two tins of this one with the last round of availability and I'm glad I got a chance at this one. Cabbies Mixture was very wet out of the tin - so much so that I dried it out for 45 minutes and it was still moist but good enough to pack. The tin note is fermented plums and figs along with a note of dark hay. The taste is rich and full - more dense smoke and complex flavors going on here than in my other favorite VaPer Escudo. Burns to a fine white ash with consistent flavor throughout the bowl, the balance of flavors between the spice, the fermented fruit, and the grassy hay are just sublime. I will definitely try to get more of these in the future, just need to keep my e-mail alerts close because they go quick! My new favorite VaPer.
Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake 50g
Better with age
This is a fantastic Virginia flake. Quite a bit moist out of the tin and required longer drying time than most, so prep this one with enough time before your smoke to fully enjoy it. Most Virginia flakes out there have a small percentage of Perique so it's a nice change of pace to have a full Virginia. It's a shame these are so hard to come by because with some age on it this one can really shine. It's just so hard to find enough around for both smoking and cellaring at the same time.
Samuel Gawith - Squadron Leader 50g
This is a solid light/medium English. The ingredients are blended so well together that it is a very smooth pleasant smoke without one component tobacco being too overpowering over another. Very moist out of the tin and requires drying time. I could enjoy this more often if it wasn't so hard to come by. I understand with the FDA regulations and Dunhill closing shop along with McClelland that some are worried others will follow suit...that doesn't mean you need enough tobacco stashed away for three lifetimes - stop being so greedy! If you get a chance pick up a tin or two of this and you won't be disappointed...just don't hog it all from the rest of us!
Solani - Virginia Flake - 633 50g
What a treat
I can see why SP refers to Solani Virginia flake as the "Champagne of Virginias"....the taste on this one is very similar to a bottle of nice Champagne - bready, with citrus notes, hay, and crisp grass. The honey casing on this one is not very present in the taste, but is noticeable in the tin note. The Perique is faint but there with a slight tart plum note and a bit of pepper. Very well balanced and quite rich for a Virginia - burn this one slow and steady to enjoy the most out of the complex flavors going on in here and don't let it dry out too much or you will lose the lighter fruit notes. Buy a few to cellar as well!
Cornell & Diehl - Kelly's Coin 2oz
A different side of Burley
If you're a fan of Burley, if you're a fan of strong tobaccos, you need to try this offering from C&D. This ribbon cut is a perfect moisture content right out of the tin. The tin note is primarily the vanilla/cocoa from the Black Cavendish with some honey/hay notes from the Virginia. The Burley is barely noticeable on the tin note. Taste is not as strong as the nicotine content with the Virginas and Black Cavendish balancing out the powerful Burley to perfection with a slight sweet note up front. As another reviewer noted, this blend is underrated. Give Kelly's Coin a try and you will love it too!
Cornell & Diehl - Night Train 2oz
More people need to try Night Train. This is a fantastic offering from C&D in a well presented crumble cake that breaks apart easily into a fine ribbon. The nicotine content on this one is high but you wouldn't know from tasting it as it's overall a rather light tasting tobacco in my opinion. The addition of the Black Cavendish and Virginia mellow this one out and it's strong without being bold. Nice sweetness going on here with a pinch of pepper from the Perique and just a bit of nuttiness from the Burley. Very well balanced, and quickly becoming one of my favorite high nicotine blends when I need that extra oompf in my smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Star of the East Flake 2oz
Good light English, not Penzance
I don't really get the comparisons to Penzance...to me this is nothing like Penzance. The tobacco here is much less complex. That being said, this is still a decent medium to full English that is very well balanced between the three ingredients, has consistent flavor throughout the bowl, and burns wonderfully. Moisture content out of the tin is a tad on the moist side and requires some drying time. Only reason for 3.5 stars is I don't see what the huge fuss is over this one. Good medium to full English in it's own right, but not comparable to Penzance in my opinion.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired 1.75oz
Great breakfast blend
HH ODF has become my daily breakfast blend. The vitamin N on this one is pretty high and definitely helps wake me up on early mornings with a strong cup of coffee. Tin note is rasins, figs, and BBQ sauce. Dark flakes with tiny ribbons of bright tobacco mixed in require a bit of drying time before folding and stuffing for my liking. The taste is molasses, raisins, and BBQ. Burns evenly with consistent flavor throughout the bowl. Relights required with the fold and stuff method. The steam pressing method used in production really rounds out and melds the flavors together well on this one. Buy a tin you won't be disappointed - this is a must have Burley blend.
Mac Baren - HH Pure Virginia 1.75oz
Working it's way to the top of my list
The tin I received already had 4 years of cellar age on it. The tin note is pear, tart apple, and hay. Moist flakes that required a bit of drying time for my liking. Taste is predominantly fruit driven with bright green apple and pear leading the way with the grass and hay more in the background. The more I smoke this PV the more I like it. Will definitely be buying more for the cellar in the future.
Orlik - Golden Sliced 50g
Orlik Golden Sliced is a staple in every smokers collection for a reason. It's just so darn consistently good. A lot of reviewers mention they don't detect the Perique. I can tell it's there but faintly in the background. The tin note is hay, pear, and green apple. The predominant taste is the Virginias which are pleasantly sweet, with notes of vanilla, cocoa, hay, and honey with a slight hint of green apple. Burns great with consistent flavor throughout the bowl. Really nothing bad to say about this tobacco it's just so well done and the epitome of a classic. Every smoker should have this one on hand especially during the summer months.
Peter Stokkebye - PS403 Luxury Bullseye Flake
Best "Bulk Only" I've Tried
Luxury Bullseye Flake is the best tobacco I've tried that's only available in bulk. I wouldn't compare it to Escudo as I don't feel the quality of tobacco or production process is as high, but it's a fraction of the cost, and a tobacco that any VaPer fan should keep in their rotation. The addition of the Black Cavendish "bullseye" really makes this a unique and enjoyable tobacco. I like to fold and stuff a few coins and when the ember reaches the Black Cavendish you are rewarded by intermittent blasts of sweetness.
Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - B. J. Long Regular Pipe Cleaners (56 pack)
Buy a bunch
They do the job, great price, and they get your pipes clean without leaving behind a bunch of fuzz like some of the others. Order a bunch because the count on these is a little smaller, and sometimes adding a few packs to your order can help bump your order up to the free shipping mark. Plus you know you will need them eventually!
Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - B. J. Long Extra Fluffy Pipe Cleaners (32 pack)
Always Have Some Extra Fluffies
BJ Long pipe cleaners are a must have. Great price, and they get your pipes clean without leaving behind a bunch of fuzz like some of the others. Always keep some of these extra fluffies on hand as they make quick work of wicking up larger amounts of moisture.
Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning Flake 2oz
My Go To Morning Flake
I absolutely love this tobacco. As a big fan of Perique, I had to try this one with the advertised 25% Perique content. The tin note upon opening hits you with predominately fermented plums, but also some hay from the Virginias as well. A broken flake, I tend to rub this one out a tad and dry it out just a little before packing. Flavor on this one is plums, pepper, and grass with a touch of honey. I tend to enjoy this with a cup of coffee in the morning...the nicotine hit on this one is a good wake up and the bold flavor of the high Perique content balances well with a bold cup of coffee. Or maybe I'm just being swayed with "morning" being in the name? Currently my favorite tobacco in my rotation, I'm definitely going to stock up on this one.
Cornell & Diehl - Mad Fiddler Flake 2oz
This blend from C&D is very well done. Tin note is kind of like spiced apple cider with clove, cinnamon, and vanilla on the nose. Broken flake that requires a tad amount of dry time for my liking. Taste is very similar to the tin note - the Black Cavendish adds a nice vanilla note, and there is a nice clove and pepper type spice note from the Kasturi and Perique to counter balance the sweet Black Cavendish. A dried fig flavor is predominantly present as well. A decent nicotine hit on this one, I can enjoy this any time of day and it could be an every day smoke for me, but with the sweetness of it I tend to utilize this blend as more of a tobacco dessert when I'm bored of my usual Virginia, Vaper, or English rotation blends. I love this blend and am definitely going to have to try the other blends in "The Old Ones" series as well.
Cornell & Diehl - Pirate Kake 2oz
Good Not Great
Don't get me wrong, this a good tobacco, but I don't understand all the fuss. As a lover of Latakia, I had to give this a try with all the positive reviews and the high Latakia content. It does have a lot of Latakia but the addition of the Burley gives it a bit of a bite that's not exactly my cup of tea. I like Burley tobaccos as well, I just don't think this blend uses it well. Perfect moisture content out of the tin for breaking a piece off the cake and stuffing. I prefer to not rub this one out or it will burn too fast on you. Tastes great up front, but once you get past the half way point of the bowl the flavor changes and not for the better. I wish there was a more consistent taste throughout on this one.
Hearth & Home - Black House 1.75oz
A Must Have
This is a must have tobacco in the rotation of any lover of Balkan or English blends. I haven't had the older versions of Balkan Sobranie but I wouldn't compare it to the current version which has much more prominent Orientals than Blackhouse. Perfect moisture content right out of the tin, burns to a fine white ash, and a consistent flavor throughout the bowl. This is one I will definitely be ordering more of - there's a reason it has such a high tin sales rank...it's simply amazing!
Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - B. J. Long Bristle Pipe Cleaners (40 pack)
A few go a long way
Great bristle pipe cleaners that do the trick getting out the yuckies without leaving behind a bunch of fuzzies. The bristles are nice and stiff so you don't need many to do a thorough cleaning job.
Lighters - Zippo Armor High Polish Brass Pipe Lighter
This lighter is a workhorse. Not only do you get the Zippo lifetime warranty, but the brass really takes on a nice patina over time, and the added thickness of the armor really adds to the endurance of this lighter in case of drops, as well as just feeling great in the hand.
Tampers & Tools - Tobacco Pipe Wind Cap
Need a few
Great for a windy day to keep the bowl from burning out. And if you're a pipe smoker on the go and can't take jars of tobacco with you, grab a few of these. Great for packing bowls before heading out for the day and keeping your tobacco in place.
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 2oz
Enjoy sitting down
Gaslight is not a lightweight! Upon opening the tin you are greeted with an almost pitch black dense cake and the aroma of the dark woody Latakia. Needs quite a few relights even with some drying time, but this is more of a sipping tobacco anyways...it is intense! Primarily a Latakia powerhouse, the darker Virginia's and Orientals in this blend do make an appearance throughout the bowl but definitely play second fiddle to the Latakia. If you like lots of dark heavy Latakia, this blend is for you. The quality of tobaccos in this blend are top notch like a lot of the GL Pease blends and the pressing into cakes really melds the flavors of the tobaccos together in exquisite fashion. For me Gaslight is reserved for a special treat, like a thick slice of rich chocolate cake after a big meal, make sure you're sitting down for this one!
G. L. Pease - Haddo's Delight 2oz
This one packs a punch with the vitamin N but it's surprisingly hidden. The tin note is cocoa and vanilla with the perfect moisture content to fill with no drying time. Burns evenly with a consistent flavor throughout, the flavor profile on this is primarily sweet Virginia with cocoa and vanilla notes from the Black Cavendish. The Perique is noticeable with a slight spice note, but blends well into the background without being overpowering. This blend is great in the morning after a big breakfast, or after lunch...strikes me more as a "dessert" style tobacco without being an aromatic. Very well balanced with a deceptively high nicotine content!
G. L. Pease - JackKnife Plug 2oz
Go to breakfast blend
This one will wake you up, literally. I cut my slices a little thicker with a little drying time and don't have any issues with needing many relights. A subtle BBQ flavor, The DFK provides a solid backbone with great flavor and the Virginia's provide some hay like sweetness keeping it from getting too heavy during the wee morning hours. I've enjoyed this many mornings with a strong cup of coffee and the nicotine hit with JackKnife plug is just what I need to get the day started.
G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
My new Nightcap
Something about GL Pease Quiet Nights on a cool evening in front of a fireplace feels like the perfect night for me. Upon opening the tin you are greeted with the smoky, woody Latakia announcing its presence in broken flake form with the perfect moisture content. I didn't rub this out anymore than it already was. The Orientals and Virgina's help balance out the heavy dose of Latakia in this blend. Not as intense as Gaslight, which makes Quiet Nights less of a sipping tobacco and also less "filling" with the vitamin N. This will be my replacement for Dunhill's Nightcap.
G. L. Pease - Stratford 2oz
Where's the Perique?
Tin note is mostly hay with a subtle hint of plum. My tin was a tad on the dry side upon opening and burned hot and quick. Great Virginia's in this blend but the Perique is barely noticeable. Not a substitute for Elizabethan in my opinion.
Seattle Pipe Club - Hood Canal 2oz
Good but inconsistent flavor
The tin note on Hood Canal is heavy on the Latakia, but with a healthy dose of Burley there is more earthiness here. Taste wise, the Perique is not noticeable, but mostly the nuttiness of the Burley in the foreground mixing well with the Orientals and the woody Latakia providing a solid backbone. The flavor tends to change throughout the bowl and during the last 1/3 turns to a muddled mess. A decent nicotine hit, this grew on me when paired with my morning coffee. Just don't smoke this one too far down.