Cornell & Diehl - Atlas Balkan
Simpler is better
A very straight forward blend with good proportions of each ingredient, thus good rich smoke, a little spice and a Latakia background note, no bite, mild, good flavor and aroma. Simpler is indeed better here.
Cornell & Diehl - Winchester
Unexpected and good
Didn’t have any expectations for this one, ordered some to try out and loaded a bowl immediately after opening the package and the pouch, seemed too moist so I did a light pack and lit up. It lit easily and was sweet from the first draw. Plenty of rich thick smoke with a good flavor and sweetness. I’ll keep at it until this 2oz. baggie is gone but I’ll put it on the list of future orders. It’s more retrained than most C& D blends but it does have good strength and a full body. I’ll presume the room note is acceptable. A good and easy smoke for just relaxing with the pipe and taking it easy. Smoke it slowly and for me at least, out of a smaller bowl.
Arango - Balkan Supreme
Arango offers just one blend and it’s the 5th best seller against some very stiff competition. I just opened a fresh bag that came today. It’s a bit moist but that’ll change in time. It lights easily and stays lit . From the tin note to the taste and aroma, they hit the nail on the head. One puff and I was transported back to 1968 and my first taste of Latakia. It was in a blend much like this, offered by Jost in St. Louis...can’t remember what they called it but there’s no mistaking the flavor and aroma. Still on my first bowl and I can tell it’s a winner on all counts. It’s hard to describe the overall aroma and flavor except to say you can tell it’s a Latakia blend. Very smooth rich smoke. Seems like an after dinner or evening relaxation smoke. I defaulted to a favorite Canadian pipe for this one as I’m used to the combination and it still works. Will it color the flavor of the pipe? Yes. Do I care? No. It’s a good flavor and it’s ghost isn’t pesky. I’ve gone through most of 2ounces in a week and really like this stuff. If this is what Balkans are all about, I think I like them. It’s a once or twice a day smoke in a medium size bowl and has no bad habits like bite of excess moisture. The Latakia is in your face but nicely modulated by the orientals and Virginia’s. 👍🏽
G. L. Pease - Windjammer 2oz
Nice tin note, sorta fruity, doesn’t carry over to the lit bowl. Agreeable broken flake presentation that seems moist but packs welll lights easily and stays lit. Medium strength and pleasing room note...I’d call it a mild aromatic. It’s an easy anytime smoke and the overall quality is typical of Pease. I like it but I’m not in love with it. Thus the 4 stars.
Dan Tobacco - The Mallard 50g
Natural and good
Comparable to C&D Carolina Red Flake and just about as rare. Ready to smoke from a freshly opened tin. Tin note is very low key. It’s ready rubbed but can benefit from a little extra rubbing to facilitate an easy burn. As best I can tell, it’s an unadulterated high grade straight Virginia tobacco. Took a bit of extra effort to get it going but once lit, it burned consistently. Nice mild Virginia flavor and pleasant aroma as it’s smoked. I’m trying it first in a Nording Compass to see how a small bowl works and I’m guessing it’ll do better in a larger pipe. No bite and no other obnoxious issues, just a nice clean and easy smoke. Looks like I got the last two tins, I’ll be saving one of them for future use.
John Aylesbury - Virginia Blend 100g
Good English blend
All the right parts except maybe an oriental in this one. Very moist in it’s vault like tin and likely to stay that way unless you make an effort to dry it out just a little. A nice balance of Virginia and Latakia with support from the Black Cavendish. Easy to light but needs a bit of drying time to stay lit. Latakia is evident throughout but not overwhelming. Good quality at a good price...nothing extravagant or extraordinary but an easy everyday smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - Cube Cut Burley
Bulk blender of note...
My 4 oz. bag came in today’s mail with similar amounts of Stoved Virginia and Dark Burley. It’s to be used as an ingredient in a blend I’m doing but I figured I’d better try it out on its own beforehand. The stuff is easy to handle due to its cut and loads instantly with just a light tamping. It lights easily and stays lit very well which is why I’m using it in my blend. It has a good burley flavor and produces a decent volume of mild straight tobacco smoke. I’m trying it in a well broken in Peterson 106, about as average a pipe as can be had. If you enjoy Burley, this is a good one smoked straight up, mild with no bite and easy to keep lit. I have tried the cube cut in tins and I’m not sure this is different. I bought bulk to facilitate blending without having to worry about a parially used open tin. It’s very enjoyable and an easy smoke with good Burley flavor and aroma.
Tampers & Tools - 8deco Bamboo Tamper
Favorite at home
A little long for my pipe bag but excellent for dedicated home use. Functional shape and mice metal work.
Tampers & Tools - 8deco Kokka Tamper
Nice size, useful shape, quality fit and finish, the metal part is a better idea with its concave shape, serrations and perforations. Wouldn’t change a thing.
Cornell & Diehl - Carolina Red Flake 2oz
Ordered three tins and they came today. Tried one bowl and promptly ordered three more. Smoked in a favorite average size Canadian. Opened the tin and sniffed the mild hay like aroma of good tobacco. Nothing earth shattering, just a really fine tobacco smell, I took the edge of some of the medium cut flakes and stuffed the bowl without rubbing out. The moisture content is perfect, given the low density of my packing method, I packed it pretty tightly, smoothed the top and fired it up. After the charring light, I tamped it again and lit up for real. What an instantly pleasurable smoke it is. Moderately strong tobacco flavor with a nice grassy note and good thick smoke. Did the one hour drive to my favorite BBQ place, let the pipe go out and had some excellent hickory smoked wings before my return trip. Tamped the partially smoked bowl and drove into the mountains enjoying every puff for another half hour. Full flavor and a bit of sweetness were right there all the way down. Its easy to keep lit, has no bite and is, in my opinion, the best Virginia I’ve ever smoked. On the way home I decided I’d better order another three more tins as I could see that it will get smoked. My thanks to the farmers that grew it and to Jeremys hard working staff for prepping it into a very nice flake. It needs nothing but a good pipe, a match and an hour or two of relaxed smoking.
Cornell & Diehl - Exclusive 2oz
Tasty and spicy and good
I finally got a tin with a new 2020 Peterson Christmas pipe. I’ll be breaking the Peterson in with my personal Dark Burley/Stoved Virginia mixture but I jut had to try the Exclusive...so here we go. Its not for the fast smoker in my opinion but should be sipped maybe like good Bourbon, take it easy and enjoy it as it could overwhelm if not treated with respect. Its a nicely balanced blend that’s sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy but always flavorful and strong enough to satisfy a craving for nicotine and rich smoke. I’m not a VaPer fan of the first magnitude but I’ve tried more of this combination lately and I sorta like it. The tin note is predominately Perique. It loads, packs and lights easily and stays lit if you want to keep it going continuously. My first try was in a Peterson 1/4 bent bell with the model number worn away from handling but its a trusted and well known pipe in my rotation. It’s a strong but pleasant smoke if you take your time and enjoy the full, rich flavor. No bite or harshness of any sort just a good robust flavor leaning heavily on Perique. Not an all day smoke but maybe best after dinner when you have an hour to contemplate your day. I’ll give it high marks as a daring and masterful blend that deserves trying out. Aptly named, it’s like nothing else I’ve smoked.
Cornell & Diehl - Repose 2oz
Very tasty stuff
A very rewarding smoke if done slowly. The aromatic aspect is subtle but there. It stays lit easily due to the cube cut but should be smoked slowly to eliminate possible bite. Seems at its best in a more open bowl like a 606 Peterson or similar pot shape. The tin note is definitely rummy but this translates into something different when lit. Hard to describe. It’ll smoke all the way down and has character changes on the way but is overall a very good smoke. Decent strength and a pleasant experience with the components complimenting one another rather than each standing out. Tried it in a favorite Canadian first, then in a pot bowl and the pot won.
Amphora - Amphora Sampler
The perfect gift
For the newly started pipe smoker or for a “what do I give” type of gift this is a winner. The quality of the tobaccos is excellent and the packaging is about perfect. I trust the blender based on previous taste tests and won’t hesitate to suggest this as an accompaniment to a new pipe gift or just because you like the pipe smoker in question. The selection covers much ground and well represents the pouch names. A winner from Amphora for sure.
Cornell & Diehl - Comfort 2oz
This has to be the friendliest VaPer around. Tasty, easy to smoke and with good flavor. Could be a number one choice for the new pipe smoker as it’s bite free and easy to load, light and keep going. Jeremy comes up with good stuff and I’m never hesitant to try it out. This one I can see will be one of my future favorites. It’s a well balanced blend that in my opinion has all the right characteristics for an enduring friendship. Written descriptions of pleasurable experiences can be quite a challenge so I’ll just say that this one is worth trying as it’s really good.
Grand Croupier - Double Down
Turned out to be a good blind date so to speak. Not sure what’s in the mix but it tastes good, smokes cool and stays lit well. Torture testing it as a break in tobacco in a new Cannonball from Moonshine Pipes. Even under those circumstances, it’s a good mild smoke with no bad habits. It looks as if I purchased the last they had so I’ll hope for something similar on my next order of it. There will be a next order too.
Cornell & Diehl - Gates of Light: Sha'are Orah 2oz
A little sweet throughout with a bit of pepper and spice. Burley strength with subtle Burley flavor. Stays lit well and for me a very satisfying smoke. Didn’t like it at first but after letting the tin sit for a few days, it smoothed out nicely. Feels dry but smokes just right...there’s some moisture hiding in the Burley I suspect. I want to compare it to Daylight, another good blend and recently acquired but it’s different...spicier And not quite as strong. I’ll want to try all the blends in this series as the first two are generally satisfying and tasty. I like it.
Cornell & Diehl - Adagio 2oz
A little Latakia
A Latakia forward blend with Burley whispering at you. A nice slow smoke requiring an occasional relight. Good to the bottom of the bowl with no excess moisture. Easy light and tasty from the first puff to the last. Not picking up the Turkish or Perique but I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same without them, the Latakia is dominant but the Burley occasionally asserts itself in a surprising way. Good strength, not overwhelming but definitely not a mild blend. I like it.
Cornell & Diehl - Daylight: Or L'yom 2oz
A bit of spice, a bit of muscle, a rich smoky flavor. Good to the bottom of the bowl. Just ordered three more tins so I won't be running out so soon. Best smoked in a Peterson 606 or something with a wide bowl. Can't find a bad thing to say about it. It's truly a masterful blend with a subtle fruity tin note, easy to pack and light cut and a slow burn. All this with a new pipe during break in. I'm amazed!
Sutliff - Duke Albert
A nice, sweet, slow burning blend of coarse and ribbon cut components. Regardless it's namesake, it's a good smoke and maybe better than the other Albert. Pleasurably sweet and tasty without bite and plenty of rich smoke, it's a fine all around blend, unpretentious, and easy to like. I've only smoked three large bowls in a Peterson B42 but I was taken by it immediately. If you enjoyed PA, you should be right at home with this one but may like it better. Good moisture content, easy lighting, slow burning and very enjoyable
Cornell & Diehl - Dark Burley
Sharp with strength
Big smoke, sharp edge, tasty. A big fan of Burleys in general. This one is a bit stronger than my usual Burley ribbon cut but it's a nice smoke. Flavorful and with a sort of sharp edged character. Smoked slowly it's just a nice rich smoke with a sort of dry character...moisture level is good right out of the bag but the mouth feel is dry. Clouds of rich smoke. Essy yo get going with an average fill and pack and easy to keep lit. I like smoking it straight as it seems to have zero additives. I'm certain it's a good blender if body and strength is what you're after. Likely a good mixer with straight Virginia of another sweet tobacco. I'll go through this quarter pound and occasionally add it to whatever I'm smoking just for fun. If you enjoy a good high strength unblended Burley this one is a fine choice. This is my second review on it and it's about the same as my first.
Cornell & Diehl - Orion's Arrow
A little sweet, a little spicy, a little strong, a little different...most of the other reviews touch on theses bits and I'll agree with all of them. It's assertive but not overwhelming. I keep thinking, as I smoke it, that this is what a good pipe tobacco should be like. I bought it as my curiosity was piqued by the reviews. Probably not a good choice for newcomers as it's pretty stout but it's also indicative of fine blending technique and good choices for the components...sorta like a good band, everyone playing together and making it sound good. After one bowl in a favorite Peterson 105, I'm hooked...shoulda bought more the first time but I definitely will the second time.
Savinelli - 140th Anniversary 100g
Smooth and easy
Wonderful tin note; high grade tobacco and flowers but subtle. Moisture level just about perfect. Lightly packed in an average size bent billiard by Luxor. Easy charring light, one tamp to settle it down, great aroma. A bit sharp but to be expected as it's not a month old yet. I'll let it go out and do a relight to see how it is after resting a bit as I usually like it that way. Not a robust flavor on the tongue but a wonderful aroma for the nose. Overall a light flavor with satisfactory strength. Very pleasant and well blended with nothing grabbing at you suddenly. I like it and will probably finish the generous tin quickly. Sipping or very light puffing seems the best. I'm normally a Burley fan but on occasion I find a good blend with little Burley that's enjoyable. This is one of them. Thanks Jeremy. Tin date 2/18/20. Good taste on the relight, not strong but stronger than when first lit, flavors seem to have developed during the rest. Bowl doesn't heat up. I suspect the moisture level may be higher than it seems at first touch. It'll dry in the open tin with the lid on and it'll change but from a freshly opened tin it's wonderful.
Heine's - Heine's Blend 14oz
Looks like I may have the last tub, I hope not as it's a really good smoke. Here's the true story: I recently took advantage of a sale on both pipes and tobacco choosing one of my favorites, a 106 Peterson Aran and a tub of this tobacco. Opened the package and found a beautifully grained pipe in top notch condition and this large plastic tub of Heine's. The pipe was good as new and I'd never tried the tobacco so what else to do but load a bowl and try them both. Not the first time I've indulged in this insanity and likely not the last but why not. As is my habit, I dampened they pipes chamber with my little finger wiping on some water to help cool things. The tobacco is a coarse cut of some cube and broken flake, some yellow, some brown and some very dark brown. The moisture level is acceptable and the tin note sort of powdery fruity and nutty. It's not hard to load and pack. I kept it a bit loose to avoid overpacking a relatively moist blend that would swell and keep the pipe from drawing well. The charring light was easy enough and after about three tries, got it going so it could be smoked. Very rich, tasty smoke and given every chance, no bite. It's mild, smooth, flavorful and doesn't bite even in a new pipe. It's more complex than many of the other all American blends, sweet enough but not too much, a little tangy but not bitey and fairly easy to keep lit. I suspect a bit of drying wouldn't hurt and that will happen over time even though the tub is a well sealed all plastic thing. I've tried many Sutlif blends and this one gets my approval while many others really didn't. I'll keep working on the pipe until it's broken in and may do it with only this blend as it's pretty friendly. I hope they order more as I'm sure I'll want more in the future, meanwhile I have 14 ounces to go through.
Drew Estate - Kentucky Fire Cured Ponies
If you like dark fired Kentucky...
I live about ten miles south of the city limits, fifteen miles from the food store. Traffic is usually light and in the thirty minute trip to or from from town, I rarely have time to smoke a bowl of my favorite dark fired Kentucky, even in my smallest pipe. These gems are just the thing for that drive. At other times, my front porch sitting must be curtailed sooner than I wish. Both situations beg for a tasty quick smoke and these are the best answer I’ve found. Rich mild smoke, not too small, not too large, budget friendly and nicely packaged. A cigar cutter is a necessity unless you have very sharp teeth. I was hesitant to try them at first but it really only took one to make a fan of me. Good for at least a half hour each. They don’t require humidor storage either. Another good idea from Drew Estates.
G. L. Pease - Haddo's Delight 2oz
Don’t be a hasty judge...
Friday evenings pipe gathering found me with only enough Burley to get through about half the festivities so I snagged a tin of Haddos Delight popped it open, sniffed the very unusual tin note and loaded a bowl. I smoked it but wasn’t very pleased. It seemed a bit harsh and flavorless. I put it in my pipe bag and proceeded to finish my Burley. Later, after I got home, I sniffed it again...very fruity and much different than my regular smoke. The cut looked good, a mix of ribbon and coarse cut with vestiges of unrubbed flake. It seemed a bit moist so as is my habit, I let the tin sit undisturbed for a few days before trying it again...still didn’t like it much but it wasn’t so bad the second time...I let it sit covered for a week and then on one of my excursions, I left my Burley at home and took only the Haddos. An hour or so and a bowlful later. I figured out how to smoke it, slowly and with small puffs, it wasn’t so bad after all. It became an exclusive in my bag for a few days and I began to enjoy it. My opinion...don’t hurry this one, it’s acrtually quite a tasty and satisfying smoke if it’s dried out a bit and you don’t force the issue. Mr. Pease is rarely wrong with his blends and this one is no exception but you have to give it a chance as it’s a pretty complex blend employing some unspoken technique in its manufacture. Turns out to be a really good blend if given a chance. My initial take wasn’t good but patience will out and in this case patience definitely paid off. It’s not likely to be become part of my regular rotation but then it’ll take time to see. I like it as a change of pace from my occasionally boring Burley. In addition, reading on the history of the name Haddo was enlightening. Oddly, my favorite part is the bottom half of the bowl.
Edward G. Robinson - Edward G. Robinson's Pipe Blend 1.5oz
No date on the tin so no idea when it was blended or packaged but it was too moist on the first try, sort of bites when it’s that moist. I let it sit open overnight and tried it again after breakfast...still too moist so I gave it another few hours to dry. It was better after that much drying. The topping or casing possibly the cavendish flavoring was quite dominant even when dried a bit. It’s a very nice aroma with some Burley strength. I have yet to taste the Latakia but then it’s said to be a condimental addition. It has a very mild flavor and wonderful aroma so I suppose it’s a true aromatic. It’s different and not unpleasant but as a Burley lover, it was a bit mild for me. It should be smoked slowly or it will get too hot but it’s easy to keep lit so smoking it slowly is pretty easy. I’ll finish the tin but it’s likely the only time I’ll buy it as it just doesn’t punch my buttons. It’s a nice large ribbon cut and has a persistent fruity aroma in the tin. Edward G. And I have different taste in tobaccos. His story and the story of the tobacco blend was what prompted my purchase. I’m glad I did so that I can honestly say I’ve tried it but I’ll stick to Jackknife for my favorite smoke.
Cornell & Diehl - White Burley
Tasty and mild
I’d waited for a bit until it became available again...glad I did. Good Burley flavor and very mild, packs and lights easily but MUST be smoked slowly as the slightly fine ribbon can burn hot if forced. Just fine by itself but I can see how it may be a good blender. I’ll try some of that later as I figure out what it would be good with. As is, just a really tasty, mild Burley...likable.
Peter Stokkebye - PS41 Cube Cut
Easy does it
Gravity feed, light tamp, dont overfill the bowl. Takes a couple of try’s to get it going but after that, an easy pleasant smoke to the bottom. Cube Cut is an old favorite of mine and this one met my expectations for taste, aroma and physical character. Drying a bit doesn’t hurt it at all but isn’t needed. Take your time with it. No bite but can heat the bowl a bit if puffed too hard. A really fine change of pace and easy to like. A good balance of Burley strength and Virginia sweetness.
Cornell & Diehl - Virginia Gentleman
Smooth and easy
Sweet Virginia with modest participation from Burley and orientals. Easy loading, packing, lighting and bite free if sipped and not pushed. It’s a very pleasant smoke, good flavor and aroma, quite agreeable. I like it and will add it to my regular Burley selection for when a change is in order. I’ll keep my mason jar handy as I do with Burley Ribbon Cut and Cube Cut Burley, preferring straight up tobacco flavors in favor of many other possible choices. Regardless your personal preferences in an everyday smoke, you should give this a try as it’s a good friendly smoke and amazingly underrated. I’ll look forward to trying it in pipes other than my favorite briars but so far I’m perfectly satisfied with the pipe/tobacco combination.
Cornell & Diehl - Dark Burley 2oz
Smokable as is but a bit on the strong side. Good flavor and no bite if smoked slowly. I sorta liked it straight up but considered how to use it in a blend...what I’ve been smoking for the last couple of weeks started as a big pinch of Burley Ribbon cut, a big pinch of this and a small pinch of Yorktown. That morphed into two big pinches of Ribbon Cut, one big pinch of this and a small pinch of Yorktown. The result was what I’ve been smoking for the last couple of weeks. It has good Burley strength with some Burley sweetness and the added flavor and sweetness of a little Virginia. I didn’t quantify beyond what I’ve mentioned...a pinch of this and a pinch of that but it may be an adequate starting point for a homestyle blend adjusted to your personal taste. The parts blended well and after sitting for a couple of days in a 4 ounce canning jar the blend had smoothed out well enough to be a nice smoke. I like it as is but it’s got some serious Burley muscle and for my taste it’s best used as a blender.
G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
Redefining the English blend
I’ve yet to run across a Pease blend that I didn’t enjoy. Westminster is no exception. It’s sweet, smoky, and laden with Latakia. Not too sweet and not too much Latakia though. As with all the Pease blends I’ve tried, it’s taken right to the edge. It’s not my favorite Latakia blend but it could be my favorite English style. Easy to smoke and very enjoyable. Sort of like a bowl of really good soup, overall yummy but biting into any component let’s it be recognized. My everyday smokes are all Burleys. This offers a nice change of pace while letting Pease’ expertise shine through.
McConnell - Barking Road 50g
And I concur
Stanley N. Review sums it up very well. I will add that I had to let my tin dry for about four hours as it was a bit moist when first opened. After drying, it’s a winner. A well balanced blend that’s easy to smoke and very tasty. When it’s back in stock I’ll get a bit more.
E. Hoffman Company - Spilman Mixture 2.5oz
Upon opening the tin, I was greeted by the strong smell of Rum? The tobacco was too wet to smoke so I let it dry for several hours and it was still to wet to smoke. A couple of days later, I tried again and it was still to wet to smoke so I let it air dry some more then put the lid back on and waited a week. The Rum smell was still there but it had dried to the point that it could be smoked. Still moist enough to steam my tongue though. More drying in a closed tin and finally this morning I was able to keep it lit and actually smoke a bit of it. Definitely has a bit of Latakia and also produces a good cloud of smoke. Can’t really detect different components but it’s not all Latakia and makes for a tasty but nondescript flavor with mostly Latakia aroma. Mild but full flavor. I’m hoping it’ll settle down soon so I can give it a better taste test. It’s got a bit of spicieness and decent strength. I’m still waiting for an optimum moisture level to really make relevant comments. To be fair, I’m trying it in a long stemmed Meerschaum that has no ghosting...honest flavors will prevail. Overall impression was not great but there appears to be potential after getting the moisture under control...I may update after bit.
Cornell & Diehl - Billy Budd 2oz
Excellent Latakia blend
Broke down and bought a 2oz. tin at my local tobacconist, Stag in Albuquerque. Got it home, noted the year old packaging date, popped the tin and loaded a vintage squashed bulldog ‘Turners Choice’. A typical pipe from the past, cleaned up, broken in and a good smoker. No ghosts, if there were any. The tin note is odd, a combination of indistinguishable fruit and oily Latakia. I’m sure it will settle down now that’s it’s getting some air. My experience with these 2oz. Tins is that if allowed to sit, closed, the moisture level remains good and the taste and aroma improve. It’s a hodgepodge of broken flake and dark leaf bits, some ribbon too. Loads and Packs easily and after a quick charring, lights and burns well. The Latakia stands out initially but not overwhelmingly. The cigar leaf adds richness and lotsa smoke without any noticeable cigar flavor. It’s a rather dry smoke and seems to enjoy a slow smoking approach. I’ll update this as I go through the tin and it evolves. So far I like it. Here it is January of 2020 and I’m back into this tin that was opened in October 2019. I smoked a little of it as noted above and then sat it aside, tightly lidded, in its original tin. My experiences with these tins has led me to believe that opening them and letting them sit for a while has a beneficial effect on flavor, moisture and burning quality. This one is no exception. Fundamentally, it allows the tobacco to air out a bit...the tins, once opened aren't airtight but neither are they a ready source of too much fresh air. In the end, the blend is improved by this approach, thus I’m enjoying a late evening bowl full in a Peterson X220. Good stuff.
Cornell & Diehl - Opening Night 2oz
Presented as a broken flake, this wonderful blend of Virginia’s desperately needs to be rubbed out otherwise it’s hard to light and hard to keep going. It’s definitely worth the effort though as it’s the embodiment of Red and Bright Virginia’s with all the characteristics that Virginia tobacco is noted for. It’s pressed and sliced with some wait time in between so the flavors are well combined and in harmony. Initially, I didn’t like it. Folding and stuffing wasn’t the right approach. Further rubbing to get the particle size down resulted in an easy to load, light and smoke blend that is quite tasty, sweet and grassy as you might expect. I’m giving it four stars because of the extra hassle in rubbing it out. On the plus side though, leaving it as broken flake helps it maintain a very good moisture level. Looking fir a good Virginia, you might just give this a try...as a diehard Burley smoker, that’s quite a leap.
Cornell & Diehl - Old Joe Krantz Blue Label 8oz
What I hoped for as a Burley lover. Freshly opened tin and first bowl vastly exceeded my expectations. Cool smoking, mild, tasty and a little sweet. Opened the package, popped the tin and loaded a Peterson 150 that was handy. It’s perfect for my taste. Several weeks later, after it sat in a tightly closed tin, it’s even better. I think I’m a long term fan of this one. The subtle sweetness takes hold about mid bowl and persists until the end. Strength remains about the same. It’s at its best smoked slowly although no bite was detected. In an average bowl shape and size, it may need one relight. Overall, a good, tasty, easy smoke.
Amphora - Kentucky Blend 1.75oz
God bless Kentucky tobacco growers, their hard work is the foundation of this excellent no holds barred blend. Opened the mail earlier and here it was. I thought about waiting a while to open the pouch then realized I had an undisturbed hour before bedtime so, throwing caution to the wind, I opened the pouch and filled a favorite large Peterson Bulldog folding stuffing and packing til it was just right. It’s typical of Amphora, a broken flake with large pieces of very dark tobacco...moisture content seemed about perfect. It took a bit of effort to get it going but once it was, I was entertained with thick, rich Burley smoke. It stayed lit very well. A rich dark flavor with just enough Virginia to sweeten things up a bit. I’m a Burley lover and this is a good one. I’ll be planning an order for more as I go through this pouch having not finished the first bowl as yet. It hits all the right buttons for a rich, sweet smoke. Not a hint of bite or steamed tongue here, just good solid tobacco flavor and easy smoking. Three cheers to Amphora for another winner. As a matter of fact, I’m ordering more right now.
Cornell & Diehl - Yorktown 2oz
This smells like my grandads hay loft, a really nice friendly smell from decades past. A lovely orange and brown ribbon that seems dry in the tin but smokes beautifully. It’s sweet, mild, tasty and is easy to smoke as it stays lit with little effort. A perfect match for an MM General. It burns slowly enough to provide a solid hour of happy pipe smoking time. No bite, cool burn, mild but with a definite character. A straight up tobacco that can stand on its own with no trickery or treachery. Every description I’ve ever read regarding Virginia blends is right there...hay or fresh cut grass tin note, sweet from the first puff to the bottom of the bowl and a flavorful smoke that got an OK for aroma from she who will complain. The ribbon cut could burn hot but if you take it easy it’s a cool mellow smoke. As a die hard Burley smoker, I’ll place this one atop my list of Virginia’s worth smoking and fit it in to my tobacco rotation. It’s a winner. Smoked in a well used Missouri Meerschaum General from a freshly opened tin dated 5/6/19...pipe had a fresh filter.
Cornell & Diehl - Opening Night 2oz
This is Virginia...
Opening night, starring a lady named Virginia was a big hit in my just cleaned Peterson 106. Nothing like a clean pipe to reveal the true taste of good tobacco. Every descriptive comment I’ve ever read about Virginia tobacco is clearly evident with this one. Every nuance ascribed to Virginia is literally right on the tip of your tongue. I love Burley but if I were to chose a Virginia as a regular indulgence, this would be the one. The guys at C&D really did it on this one. I now own three more tins and have suggested it as a must have to my closest local tobacconist...be sure and start with a truly clean pipe. I did fold and stuff for my first bowl using shards on top to start things up. The flavor is obvious and right now. It holds together well and makes for a really enjoyable light puffing experience. I also cleaned up 4 other Petersons so I’d have some back ups...then there’s the newish Estate 264 with a nickel band and a view of Opening Night after breakfast tomorrow, front porch beckoning in the cool morning air.
Cornell & Diehl - Old Joe Krantz 2oz
Sipping on the porch...
Burley; robust. Virginia; sweet. Perique; spicy. And apparent in that order. Freshly opened tin from 8/14/18 and an XL 307 Peterson system pipe (clean). Good Burley strength and flavor, a touch of Virginia sweetness and the spicy tang of Perique artfully blended. Pretty good nicotine hit about half way down. A nice dry smoke with some muscle. Is at its best sipped in a pretty ordinary size bowl. Could bite if pushed. My usual freshly opened tin approach to trying it out. Very likable blend and defies comparison to other Burley blends I’ve tried. I’ll probably update my review as I progress through the tin but for a fresh start up, I like it. Good nose tingle too. Update: OJK Blue beats this one for my taste...it’s simpler.
G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
Love at first puff...
61 of the previous 63 reviews are spot on. Little left to say except that it’s best I’ve ever smoked in my XL307 Peterson. The blend is so complete that the components are essentially invisible. On lighting, there’s a brief hint of Latakia that quickly fades into a rich sweet smoke. It’s a slow burner and seems to be bite proof. I tried breaking up a few flakes in one pipe and folding and stuffing another. It didn’t seem to matter. It’s fresh with a tin date of /3/7/19 and possibly a bit moist but regardless, it’s a thoroughly pleasurable smoke. Congrats to Mr. Pease and the folks at C&D for doing a superb job on all counts. Just after bowl number three, I put a large tin in my shopping cart. Lucky me, I had initially ordered two small tins to tide me over not knowing how good it was. It’s good anytime smoke too...could be called Quiet Times.
Cornell & Diehl - Da Vinci 2oz
Fear not, it’s terrific
Had a wild craving for Latakia after lunch today and stopped at my favorite Albuquerque Tobacconist to see what they had. This blend by my favorite C&D, was suggested as the most intensive Latakia blend they had on hand. I drove it home, popped the tin, loaded my favorite old Savinelli billiard and lit up. If the tin note wasn’t convincing enough, the first few puffs certainly were. Interestingly smooth and comparatively mild given its major, 75%, Latakia content. Still smoking my first bowl but I can see this becoming a regular anytime I’m in the mood for some serious Latakia smoking. An interesting combination of brown and black ribbon with broken yellow flake. Tangy but no bite, flavorful but not strong, great aroma without being an aromatic. Whomever is responsible for the blend is courageous and smart, paying close attention to details. The tin date of 11/18/18 says that it’s fairly fresh. It’s a nice smooth smoke that took care of my Latakia craving and introduced me to yet another top notch C&D blend. I’ll certainly keep a tin or two on hand. I’d consider it to be a good introduction to Latakia for those that haven’t explored this interesting flavor. Leonardo would probably happily admit that this is a good idea for the advanced thinker. Update: Trying it as a post breakfast smoke in a Savinelli 611 KS Extra, average capacity bent Dublin. Very good after breakfast smoke for Latakia lovers. Tarler is the reported blender and he did a fine job. It’s an assertive but mild smoke.
Amphora - Burley 1.75oz
First impression and update
Good Burley. Trying my first bowl ten minutes after my order came in. Smoking it in a well broken in bent Comoy. Good strength, good flavor, good aroma, no bite. Very nice smoke. More after I get through the pouch and the other two...I was counting on Mac Baren and their quality control. Looks like they’ve got a winner. Would love it in large tins. Update: Tried it in large and small MM cobs. Tried it in a brand new Nording freehand. It’s at its best in a well broken in pipe but tolerable in a brand new one. Good strength with no harshness. Likes to be smoked slowly for best flavor. I’m a fan. Update: the tobacco is presented as a broken flake. It’s possible to smoke it just as it comes out of the pouch, pretty easy to load and pack but...Trying it as a more completely rubbed out flake resulted in better loading and packing with a more uniform burn. I went ahead and rubbed out about half a pouch having smoked the first half unrubbed. It made a positive difference as far as uniformity of burning and smoked all the way to the bottom if the bowl. For me, rubbing it out is a better prep. method.
Cornell & Diehl - Consolation 2oz
Just a good smoke
A well balanced blend that reveals its components gently but without reservation. An enjoyable companion and likely a good intro to Latakia blends. The Burley and Latakia are up front with all the rest playing a harmonious role. Good in most of my go-to briars but outstanding in an MM General. A recent purchase smoked from a freshly opened tin. Likely a long term favorite
Cornell & Diehl - Kelly's Coin 2oz
Burley smokers unite!
Wow! Straight up Burley, no holds barred, take no prisoners. Wanted something different to smoke on a one hour drive so I loaded a favorite Peterson 106 and set out. This was from a freshly opened tin dated 1/15/19 and just received recently. At first I was put off by the strength and heat but when I figured out to take it easy, it became an instant favorite. I have a Cob full going as I write this. It’s strong, smoky and tasty. Gets better through the bowl and is only disappointing when you realize that you just smoked it all. Seems to be at its best in a briar but OK in a cob...both well broken in. Relighted are easy and I found myself doing that as I had to stop occasionally until I learned to take it easy with this one. It’s a pretty small ribbon and lights easily, smokes fast if pushed but pushing it isn’t right for the character of this one. There’s a definite sweetness here that improves as it’s smoked. Overall a very good tobacco. It’s real Burley. Could be a blender but I’m happy with it straight up.
Cornell & Diehl - Easy Times 2oz
What I was hoping for
A masterful melding of three top notch tobaccos. Smoking the first bowl full in a mid size Cob and loving every puff. Each of the components is there...the strength of Kentucky Dark Fired. The smoky flavor of Latakia and the subtle sweetness of Red Virginia. All proportioned expertly to create a truly delicious blend that’s easy on the palette and tongue. This blend would do Dunhill proud if it were theirs. Neither American nor English in its nature, it has nuances of both and is absolutely one of the best blends I’ve ever smoked. The tin date is my wife’s January birthday of this year so it’s pretty fresh as we’re now only into early May. The tin was open for a few minutes before I loaded the MM Cob. First taste was just perfect and it’s only getting better...I’ll drag out that trusty Canadian before bedtime and try it in a briar...I’m sure it will be just as good.
Cornell & Diehl - Sansepolcro 2oz
Seemed dry on opening the tin. It’s a partially rubbed out blend that loads easily with no further work. Lights easily, stays lit. Smoked in a favorite and well known briar Canadian. Good strength, good flavor, subtle sweetness. Finishes dry. It has a unique flavor and aroma. It’s pleasant and I will update my review as I smoke more. This is based on a first try from a freshly opened tin dated 4/11/19 and purchased at Stag in Albuquerque. Update: overnight humidifying in the tin with a moisturizing button improved the tin note but made it harder to light. Evidently, it’s moist enough in spite of feeling dry to the touch. Flavor and aroma were unchanged. Still stayed lit well. It has good strength and gets sweeter towards the bottom of the bowl. Finishes clean with no excess moisture. Update: Would recommend a deep bowl, large pipe like a 616 Savinelli. Thick walls help keep it cool and the deep bowl allows the flavor to develop as it becomes sweeter towards the bottom of the bowl. For me, it likes to be sipped and not puffed. Still enjoyable but after a dozen bowls I’m convinced that it’s a pretty strong smoke that needs to be enjoyed slowly. I ordered more and read the history of it...pretty interesting.
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Ribbon Cut 2oz
Burley Lovers take note...
Good straight up Burley blend. No pretensions, no excuses, nothing fancy. I was concerned about the finer ribbon cut and the possibility it would burn too hot or too quickly but it doesn’t. I will suggest that sipping it is better than puffing and I might add that it has a familiar Burley tang...not bite. Seems at ease in a larger bowl of typical depth to diameter ratio. Could work as a blender too but I haven’t thought of ‘with what’ or ‘why’ just yet. Smoking it in a large Stanwell 1/2 bent billiard and a saddle bit billiard with a buffed out name...two old favorites. Best in the bent. One way or another, it’s a good Burley for those that like Burley’s. In my rotation, it’s a Parallel to OJK Blue....different but quite satisfying.
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 8oz
Needs only smoking
Tangy, tasty, smoky...a well balanced blend of three American classics. Burley for body and strength, Virginia for sweetness, Perique for sharpness. I wasn’t sure I’d like this as I smoked the first bowl...figured I’d try it again. Second bowl was better as I learned to slow down with it...third and subsequent bowls are telling me to order more. I’m bad for grabbing what’s on top of the stack of tins and a favorite pipe as I head out for my almost daily mountain drive. This tin kept getting grabbed along with a favorite 50 year old Jost Canadian. What a fine combo for my taste. Moisture level in the tin was just right but needs to be maintained or it will smoke a bit dry and hot. Otherwise, a near perfect blend for American tobacco lovers. Not like anything else I’ve smoked. Runowski’s loss was a big loss. His legacy is noteworthy.
Cornell & Diehl - Cube Cut Burley 2oz
Perfect Burley Blender
I was introduced to Cube Cut Burley back in the 70’s at Jon’s Pipe Shop in Clayton, MO...love at first puff. His was from southeast Missouri and I’ve never had any since that came close to its character. I smoked it straight and enjoyed it every time. The C&D equivalent is a good smoke if taken slowly but lacks the mysterious flavor of my first encounter. Having said that, I regularly use this one as a blender with PA. Both benefit in my opinion when blended about 50/50. It smokes cooler than either and adds some missing taste to both. It’s a go to smoke for when I’m bored with the others or just want an easy experience. It’s a bit dry in the tin but picks up needed moisture from the PA after a few days getting to know each other. On its own, it’s OK, lights easily, burns well and has no bad habits...if smoked slowly. It’s straight up Burley for those who enjoy that sort of thing...me amongst them.
Cornell & Diehl - Dark Fired Kentucky 2oz
Opened the carton, opened the tin, loaded a bowl, lit up. Just right moisture for smoking but will likely hydrate a bit just to observe the change. Clouds of rich fat smoke with one light. A bit sharp...no bite but a definite edge. Very tasty stuff! Should be a good blender too if you’re looking to add some strength and body. Stays lit well and I’m still SLOWLY puffing away on my first bowl. I suspect it could bite if pushed but it’s an easy slow smoke. Nice dark, short ribbons. Half way down, I can feel the nicotine, not unpleasant but definitely there. I had waited for quite a while for this to show up and I prefer tins as they’re more portable, hold moisture well and keep the tobacco from getting crushed and broken. I think it’s a winner. Just don’t smoke it fast. My Savinelli 616 hasn’t had anything like this since it was made...a good pipe for this tobacco.
G. L. Pease - JackKnife Ready Rubbed 2oz
Not for the faint of heart, this is a full strength blend of finest components managing to hit you with a powerful, strong flavor that has persistent light sweetness. As I write, I have a cob full going. It’s a very satisfying smoke that pulls no punches with dark fired strength but has the finesse of quality Virginia’s contributing to its flavor. It’s a slow burner that is at ease when being sipped and a medium size bowl will easily go for at least an hour with no changee in taste or residual moisture at the end. I’ve tried both the plug and the ready rubbed but enjoy the ready rubbed for its ease of use...they both taste the same to me. It’s easy to get going and require no real effort to keep it lit and smoking. Pease really knows his stuff and this is a finest example in my opinion. I’ve been through several tins before writing this. Not necessarily an every day smoke but great for a change of pace and as a reminder that there are really fine unadulterated pipe tobaccos out there. This tin was opened by me in the store and smoked immediately. It’s date code says 060718, less than a year but great right out of a freshly opened tin. Relights aren’t harsh, just more of the same after a half hour pause. Seems like there may be a little Perique in there too...sort of a peppery nose.
Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #5 2oz
Good full strength blend
First try from a freshly opened tin wasn’t that great...too strong, hard to keep lit, a little steamy. 36 hours later, it had settled down to a manageable smoke. I didn’t let it air dry, simply closed the tin back up and let nature take its course. For me, prepping the slightly leathery flakes involves tearing them in half and rubbing the shortened bits into a better size for loading and packing. About 1 1/2 flakes loads an average size bowl well and taking some of the smaller pieces for topping provides an easy light. It’s a full strength Burley blend that is tasty and with a good aroma. Room note didn’t draw complaints from the wife. It’s a slow burner, thus good for an extended smoke doing my favorite thing...a low stress one hour mountain drive. The flakes allow good melding of the various components so that individual flavors are subdued. Very likeable blend with no bad habits. I’ll give it 5 stars as another winner from C&D. Update: finished the tin today and am sorry I don’t have a backup. Last two bowls were in an MM general and an XL 307 Peterson. Both really good with it. Both have comparatively deep narrow bowls and both are well seasoned vets. A rich and enjoyable smoke with no bad habits. Must order more.
Low Country - Natural Virginia & Burley
After trying this in several pipes, all briars, all broken in and known to be good smokers, I have concluded that it’s best in a smaller bowl. It’s a good high strength quick smoke. Well blended combination but with a finer cut than I normally smoke. In a larger bowl, it can be a bit hot but it does stay lit and needs little tending. I like it, wish it were a coarser Cut, but it is what it is and that’s not bad. Because of its limited range of pipe sizes, I’ll give it 4 stars and keep smoking the generous bag that I received.
Cornell & Diehl - Crooner
A decent cube cut burley blend mild smoking, tasty but...would benefit from more deer tongue. This flavoring agent isn’t apparent to my nose or taste buds...maybe that’s the intent. I was hoping for a more apparent taste or smell. The blend is OK as is but in my opinion lacking the extra that should be there with the deer tongue. Maybe Bing’s taste was more sensitive or refined. I like his music and his tobacco taste is admirable but just a bit weak for me.
Sutliff - 150 Mark Twain
If only Mark were here...
He posed for ads for Players Navy Cut and Prince Albert. Sadly, he’s not here to pose for a Sutliff ad. I’ll bet he’d be flattered and not admit it. I’ll bet he’d like this tobacco blend too. It looks great in the pouch, packs well in a favorite St. Louis pipe and delivers a tasty smoke with good aroma and strength. Seems like a good choice for those times when you’re not sure about the next bowlfull. A little sweet, a little smoky. Easy to deal with. Could become an old friend pretty quickly. Tried in a MM General and a Jost billiard. Seems happy either way.
Sutliff - Frosty Mint
Stuffy head antidote
The Burley and Virginia look great, the ribbon cut is large, bag note is...peppermint Schnapps! The tobacco flavor is hiding behind the mint. Agreeably moist and ready to smoke but I swear my test cob is asking me what I’m smoking. Straight up, it’s instantly cooling and soothing to nose and throat. My curiosity is satisfied and the next time I have a stuffy nose or raw throat, it’ll be a first resort. It has a minty nip but is otherwise mild. Stays lit well and makes a nice cloud of smoke. I’ll figure it out as a blender but it’s oddly satisfying as it is. I usually smoke Burley in one form or another so this is a major departure. It will most definitely ghost whatever you smoke it through. Probably not a permanent ghost but certainly there after smoking and letting the empty pipe rest for a few days.
Cornell & Diehl - Epiphany 2oz
It’s all relative
Got a freebie tin with a new Peterson Army bit Dublin. I decided to use it as my break in tobacco. I can’t imagine a riskier trial of either pipe or tobacco. Turns out that Peterson’s are pretty good from the beginning and the Epiphany was a complete surprise. I’m a Burley lover and well aware that some of it can really bite. This isn’t one of the biters and in a new pipe, it would reveal itself immediately if it were. Having laid the foundation here, I compounded the situation by purchasing another Peterson Army bit, this one their largest billiard. Given a patient approach to smoking the first few bowls, I was rewarded with easy to break in pipes and little displeasure. As a matter of fact, the tobacco is great and I consider it to be an excellent choice for break in. It lights easily, burns cool and produces a plethora of warm rich flavor top to bottom. Not into dissecting the flavor based on components just en enjoyable rich smoke that’s easy on the tongue and friendly to the nose. Wife even likes it. Moisture level was just right on a fresh tin and the occasional presence of unrubbed chunks was sort of fun to deal with. There’s a subtle sweetness here along with the rich smoke. In my opinion, a masterful blend. I ordered a tin wth second pipe too so I have enough on hand to firmly establish or reject this in time...think I’ll like it as it’s an easy enjoyable smoke. Even though I’ve been a pipe smoker for over fifty years, I’ve never smoked Revelation so I’m not fit to compare and contrast the two. As an opinion though I’ll suggest that Albert would’ve approved as this in my opinion is a fine blend and definitely worth trying...might even help you earn that degree in physics...who knows?
Blog's Commented on
A Closer Look At Aromatic Pipe Tobacco
- ► Tons of good information. Some suspicions confirmed. Some personally discovered aversions clarified. Some veils lifted. I’ll be re-reading this one for a bit as there’s lots to learn but it sure helps explain my attraction to both C&D and G.L. Pease blends in general as well some some English mixtures. Many thanks to Chuck and Jeremy.
All Pipes Considered: Peterson St. Patrick's Day 2020
- ► At first I was a little put off by the intensity of the green color but then as I looked through the selection, I found an XL90 that was a bit more subdued and with a fine blast job. I hesitated buying it as my taste in pipes is pretty conventional...alas, my hesitation was to someone else' advantage and I had to go looking for another. I found one that satisfied me and pretty quickly bought it so's to avoid a repeat. I added some favorite tobacco to make up the order, Petersons Irish Flake and within two days I had my new 2020 St. Patrick's day pipe. It's a favorite shape but I was still a bit skeptical about the color. Throwing caution to the wind, I loaded the bowl and lit up...presto, an estate pipe...but it smoked well and over the next couple of days I put a few bowls through it and it quickly improved. Friday evening I took it to our casual weekly pipe gathering for show and tell. Somewhat to my surprise, it was a big hit, my best compliment was from the lady in the group who's always liked Petersons green pipes...I thought I might have to hand it over but she returned it with a grin and said it was a real beauty. The guys all thought it was pretty cool and we had a brief spirited discussion about these pipes. I expressed my dismay about hesitating too long on the commemorative edition...sold out in hours...they were wonderful too. I'll try to avoid hesitation in the future. As long as there's a 106, 107, XL90 or 220 available I'm probably gonna take the bait. They're my favorites although I have quite a few Petersons besides those.
Brad Pohlmann's Long and Winding Road
- ► The preamble to a more in depth biography. I dot know of any biographies on pipe makers. It’s fertile ground. As it stands, a well written piece about the life adventures of a craftsman highly skilled in a rare discipline...deserving elaboration. Marks pipes are indeed things of beauty.
Jean Nicot: The Diplomat and Scholar Who Brought Tobacco to France
- ► Brief but interesting account of Nicot's life and influence. It would be interesting to see a credible timeline for tobaccos dispersal after its discovery by Western Civilization. I've read more than a few pieces detailing specific people, places and events but never a "whole piece of cloth". I'll add Nicot's accounting to my ever increasing pile of facts. Thanks for including it.
Lighters Need Cleaning Too
- ► I will likely be despised for this but I’m convinced that my approach has merit, thus my commentary.I carry a “pipe bag”. It has ample room for two or three favorite pipes, a tin of today’s choice, spare lighter, spare tamper, cigar tube full of tapered pipe cleaners and a small microfiber cloth. It zips shut and at 7” X 10”, is small enough to be easily managed. My favorite bag started life as a cloth lined, soft leather woman’s clutch made in past times by Anne Klein...they have a separate zippered pocket inside to retain the spare lighter, tamper and cloth. Fairly easy to find on eBay for under $20. No worries about things inadvertently ending up in the clothes washer, getting misplaced in the car or anywhere else. I prize my Petersons and only wish them the best in care, thus my lighter of choice is the ubiquitous BIC. Not classy at all but for $2 it gets the job done well with no danger of charring the rim and if lost or exhausted, replacement is no further away than the nearest convenience store...no cleaning needed.I travel by car good bit and the convenience of this arrangement is perfect for me, it’s simple and effective, a twenty first century approach to smoking my nineteenth century pipes and tobacco blends.
On the Closing of Pipes and tobaccos Magazine
- ► I hope you have rights of republication, you’re a good writer. Sad to see the periodical go but I think it must be the “last man out” so I guess it was the best. In my opinion, you’re now with the best pipe and tobacco company in the USA. I hope we hear more from you...maybe an in depth on blending for the adventurous spirits amongst us.
- ► Worthwhile piece of sad news.
Shane's Top Five Pipe Cleaners
- ► I keep BJ Long tapered in my smoking bag and at home. They’re good all ‘rounders for everyday. I recently discovered the Blitz cleaners you mentioned and their gentler taper is an improvement. I’ll be stocking up as I like to run a cleaner through any of my pipes after every smoke. The Petersons deserve a try too since most of my pipes are Peterson's, they may be just the thing.
Smokingpipes 20th Anniversary Peterson Pipes
- ► They sure were pretty. Sorry I missed my opportunity to grab one but I waited 24 hours and that was too long. Maybe some more will surface...maybe not.
The History of Matches
- ► Interesting piece on matches. I'm almost out of my favorite Ohio Blue Tips, hoarded some a while back. Always liked the colors. Something not mentioned in the piece was the biodegradable nature of wooden matches, much better than many other means of lighting a pipe. More on the current state of the match industry would be appreciated. Still, a very interesting and thought provoking piece.
The History of Meerschaum Pipes
- ► My comments disappeared after submission and entering the security code correctly. They span 60 years of Meerschaum ownership.
- ► About 60 years ago, as a 14 year old, I bought a beautiful calabash in Hot Springs, Arkansas after a successful day at the Horse races. I still have it. My first real pipe. It went unsmoked for a long time. My next was picked up in Malta by a neighbor and good friend while he was with the Navy. Subsequently I've acquired a number of meerschaums leaning heavily towards traditional shapes and styles. I spent my afternoon today puffing away with an almost new Pioneer Dublin with real amber stem. There are perhaps a dozen others. I prefer the more durable briars in my collection as they may be smoked and handled fearlessly. My favorites are a couple of African crude blocks with short churchwarden stems...plug ugly but good smokers. I don't worry about them like the others as they're pretty homely and not subject to further disfigurement. I've seen a few impressively carved meerschaums and am always awestruck by their carefully preserved beauty and wonderful coloration. Truthfully, all of mine smoke well and deliver the true taste of what's in the bowl. Oddly, it seems like all good pipe materials come from below ground, excepting Cobs and Cherry woods.
The Two Best Pipes in the World
- ► My very first real pipe is still a favorite. I gifted myself on my 23rd birthday with a trip downtown to Jost, St. Louis oldest and most highly regarded pipe shop. At that time, Harvey Raspberry was in charge of the store and to him I revealed my thoughts about becoming a dedicated pipe smoker. This was November of 1968, I was 23 years old and notably not wealthy. Harvey understood everything I said and after some deliberation, helped me chose a very nice looking Canadian, likely by Comoy's, as they were a major supplier to Jost. After we'd consummated the purchase, he showed me how to properly load the pipe and sat me down in a comfortable chair in the corner but visible to him. I don't recall which tobacco we used but am certain that it was one of Jost's blends and likely a light English. We went through proper lighting and tamping and easy gentle puffing. I don't recall much else about this trial but as I smoked the pipe over a period of weeks while breaking it in, I became attached to it. I purchased others from Jost over time and they were all good pipes. I still have them all. But smoke them rarely, except that first Canadian. Over time I've acquired other similar pipes, many more Jost Canadians, but my first is till my favorite. After all those years it finally acquired the common shank crack at the stem end. I sent it to my favorite repair guys at Briarville with a lengthy explanation about the pipe. They did an amazing restoration which included a silver reinforcing band at the stem end and I had my pride and joy back in good time for reasonable money. It looked better than new but still smoked like my favorite. I suppose it'll be a lifelong treasure. It's still a good smoker although I've relegated it to occasional use to preserve it. Could it speak, it would tell many interesting stories from its 52 years in my collection.
Top 11 Best-Selling Burley Tobaccos
- ► As a diehard Burley smoker, I felt compelled to comment about a recent discovery. Barking Road was recently offered and after reading the accompanying commentary I decided to buy a tin and try it out. Before I could order more it was sold out. I was abandoned by my own conservative frugality. Turns out, the stuff is excellent with just the right combination of Burley and other components presented as a medium ribbon cut. I’m currently waiting for a new shipment, fully intending to stock up so I won’t run out in the immediate future. It’s the first McConnell blend I’ve smoked and I’m very impressed. Thus far, for me, it has no negative aspects. Looks good, smells good, tastes good, burns well, etc. it has good strength and a reasonable room note. I’m sorry that it wasn’t included in today’s list...maybe none of the contributors has tried it. For Burley smokers, it’s a must in my opinion. There are only two reviews at this time, one by a fellow Burley lover that summed it up well and another by me in agreement. I’ll bet there’ll be more good reviews.