G. L. Pease - Regents Flake 2oz
Fit for a King...er Regent!
It's taken me a long time to put up a review of this tobacco, and it's not necessarily because it took me that long to make a decision about it. I bought this and Six Pence in the same order and at first Six Pence was my go to, and in some regard I still like it, but Regents eventually became a good trust worthy friend which has out shined Six Pence. It's a bit wet out of the tin and needs some drying time (no mold in my experience) but once ready to go its a pleasant experience. Initially very spicy on the first true light and down for about the first 1/4 of the bowl, but then everything settles in. I don't know that I can really pull apart the tobaccos, but you can get that bakery taste from the virginias in the background, and the mouth feel of the orientals and perique is ever present but not over powering. It's not sweet, like some of the other Virginia bases I like, such as scottish cake/flake, or solani 663, but it is wonderful regardless. I give high marks to this gem. In the cold rainy season we've had recently the spiciness has been a welcome comfort. Give it a try, you won't regret it!
Peterson - Irish Flake 50g
A familiar friend
Irish flake and I go back to when I first started getting serious about pipe smoking. I had been an aromatic smoker, and the guy who worked at my local brick and mortar swore by the stuff. He had one of the coolest mustaches I'd ever seen, and that was enough to sell me on it. I probably should have started with something tamer, but I guess sometimes you just gotta go with the beast before you. This is for the "experienced" pipe smoker to the degree that it is strong and full flavored, but if you like the taste of tobacco then you'll love this blend. There is an anise topping, but I only barely notice it. I more than anything get a wonderful rich earthiness, and nuttiness. There is also a surprising sweetness that sits below the strength, and a pleasant spiciness. I have set this tobacco aside several times to try other things, but this is always the one I come back to. It's not an all day smoke, at least not for me, but it's something I could smoke daily. It's just a good solid blend. I have a few tins cellaring away, and I've had a preview of a 10 year flake (brick and mortar mustache guy had some) and what happens with 10 years of age? Smoothness. Incredible smoothness. I can't wait! I love this blend, I do. It's just a good, wonderful, honest straight forward tobacco. If you give it a go before being "experienced" you'll certainly be experienced after, and you'll be a better man/woman/person for it!
Fribourg & Treyer - 34th Mixture 50g
So, I think I bought this by mistake. I was actually trying to get a tin of waterloo, but I must have ordered 34th. I was attracted to F&T because...well, Bertrand Russell. I mean Tolkein sold me on Capstan (yes, I realize its not the same blend), so I figured why not let another famed historical giant dictate some words of wisdom about quality leaf. Russell didn't smoke 34th, as far as I know or waterloo, but its the end of Fall and I'm enjoying english blends currently. So, I got an english! Upon first opening I was a bit concerned. I love sweet tobaccos, but this smelled near aromatic sweet and I'm not much of an aromatic guy. However, I figured I might as well give it a go. It takes a bit to get that first light going strong, but once you do it powers through to the end. Also, the "ribbon" cut is pretty darn chunky, but it is what it is. It took me about two bowls to really like this blend--and I do! I like it a lot! It is sweet, wonderfully sweet, but there is also some nice smokiness from the latakia. It is most certainly an english style mixture. There is some virginia grassiness in there as well, and the cavendish just adds some body and sweetness. No harshness, no bite. Just a really pleasant sweet smokiness. It's not super complex, just an all day good light english. Also, the room note is very pleasant, as well. No complaints from the missus. I highly recommend this smoke if you're just looking for a nice friendly smoke, or looking to cross over from aromatics into englishes. I actually don't know if I've smoked much else since it arrived in the mail. Give it a go!
Pipe Tools & Supplies - Adsorba 9mm Filters (30 pack)
Ideal for non-vauen pipes
I'm a filter smoker, and I have quite a few pipes, but the dr. pearl jr. filters don't fit quite as snuggly in my non-vauen ones, like my peterson. These Lorzenzetti filters, however, fit in my petersons, bently, Nielson, and Cristiano pipes really well! They fit snug, and help great with the tongue bite without squelching the flavor. I'll keep getting the dr. pearl jr for my vauen but these will be great for everything else! Thanks to David T below for the insight on these guys.
McConnell - Scottish Flake 50g
Top 3 Favorites
I should tell you that this tobacco is awful, and TERRIBLE, so you won't buy it and leave it all for me! But I must praise this gem for what it is. Sweet, tangy, and creamy--wonderful. I don't know too many ways to describe this wonderful tobacco because I've used many of these words before: fruity, some earth, nutty, and grassy. The perique is present in not only the mouth feel, but also in a nice plumy flavor, the virginas are hay and sweet; and the burley adds some wonderful nuttyness that just rounds out the smoke for an incredible experience. Yes, all words I've used before, so why is this one different? I don't know! It just is! Everything works in the most amazing harmonious way. This is my desert island tobacco. So, though I may regret saying this, do yourself and buy a tin...but maybe just the one!
G. L. Pease - Gaslight 2oz
Nice but difficult
I really wanted to like this tobacco, I really did. I had heard so many good reviews that I had to give it a go. That said, when I got the mechanics down it was a pretty nice smoke, but that seemed few and far between for me. The plug came pretty darn wet, and I tried to dry it out but perhaps the weather at the time wasn't allowing the brick to lose its moisture. That said, cutting it was a bit frustrating, even with a sharp knife. The pressed leaves would easily come lose and rip off with just a bit of pressure, so I'm not even entirely sure what a good cross section of sample of the plug would taste like. I had trouble keeping it lit, and eventually I passed it on to a friend who was willing to take on the responsibility to care for it. This is, of course, just my experience and it could have been a mechanical fluke. Oh well, there is always Quiet Nights!
Solani - Virginia Flake - 633 50g
Deep, Rich, Slightly Sweet
For some reason this tobacco didn't come up on my radar for some time. I love va/pers and when I saw several positive review on the "champagne" of virginias I had to give it a go--and I was NOT disappointed. 633 has deep, rich, wonderful flavors. Some hay, stewed fruits, and malty dark chocolate. There is also just a nice sweetness in there that rounds out the richness, like a semi-sweet chocolate (I do enjoy sweeter tobaccos). Interestingly enough, and maybe its just because "champagne" has been embedded in my mind, but it does almost have that very slight bitter after taste of a dry champagne. Maybe its just me? I give it about 30 minutes drying time out of the tin, and sip on it. Do so, and enjoy this rich and sumptuous flake.
A & C Petersen - Escudo Navy Deluxe 50g
Sweet and Spicy Bread
I am a huge va/per fan. Elizabethan, Scottish flake, Regency flake, Telegraph hill (I realize a couple of those aren't pure va/pers), and others are all well represented in my cellar. So how on EARTH did it take me so long to get to Escudo? Stupidity? Arrogance? Falling into a dimensional gateway that led to a world without access to smokingpipes.com? I don't know! This is the first blend that I have ever had where I tasted the 'bready', 'bakery' virginas! The smoke is subtle, not like some of the others I mentioned, but if not pressed too hard you can find some deep, and rich flavors. Bready, sweet, and of course spice! I cannot stop smoking this blend. Do yourself a favor and buy a tin.
Capstan - Ready Rubbed Blue 1.75oz
Grassy and straight forward
So, I happen to get a tin from 2013--looks like they still have them in stock!--so I can't speak in reference to a fresh tin. The initial tin aroma was a deep, sweet, fermented hay. The smoke it self is pretty straight forward, but there is some really nice spice in there and it is astonishingly sweet! Lots of grass and hay notes, easily an all day smoke. I'm keeping a few tins of this one around for sure.
Drucquer & Sons - Blairgowrie 100g
Peaty and Sweet!
The first couple of bowls left me a bit unsure. However, whether I came to my senses or I just hit the right cadence, this blend came to life! It is wonderful! On first light you get a strong earthy, peaty taste right up front, and about a 1/3 of the way down the virginias come forward with a wonderful sweet taste! I really couldn't believe it. Shane Ireland in his review had suggested leaving the broken bits of flake as is for a greater sweetness and he was right! Its fantastic! And by about 1/2 way down a wonderful bit of spice finds its way into the mix which I take to be the perique. A really wonderful blend. I highly recommend it
Samuel Gawith - Bothy Flake 50g
Cider and Smoke
A surprising blend. I was a bit turned off on my first bowl, but after giving it sometime to breathe in the tin some new flavors arose. This may sound crazy, but I taste apple cider. The tin note, as well, has a cider smell to it! Perhaps its the way the topping and tobaccos have combined but I do in fact taste a cider note. It has become a favorite. Not too strong, and could easily be an all day smoke. Love it.
G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
A contemplative blend
I've heard tell that this is somewhat close to penzance, one of my most beloved smokes, but I would have to disagree. IMO it is MUCH fuller in flavor with a bit more spice, and quiet a bit heavier. A great evening blend to be sure. Very rich, and savory, some spice and bellows of thick smoke. After a long day of smoking penzance this is a great blend to sit on the porch with.
G. L. Pease - Westminster 2oz
Smokey and Amazing!
Smokey, rich, and everything you want a on a brisk fall night. I was given a sample of this from a friend, and once finished I immediately ordered some and brought it into my rotation. Heavier on the Latikia side than I would have thought, but still those orientals find their way into the mix. I've heard this could be an all day smoke, but I usually like to end my day with it. The strength of the nic isn't going to push you over however, if you're looking for that I'd go with nightcap. This is my "sit by the fire and contemplate writing the great american (or english, I guess?) novel" blend. Full flavored, and feels like you're sinking your teeth into a rich, and savory treat.