RIARTIST

Mac Baren - Plumcake 100g
Don’t be scared of Plumcake
It’s a classic blend. I’m sure you’ve read and seen videos saying it bites like a great white shark. I’ve not found this. Granted, it’s always a great idea to puff slowly on not matter what you smoke. Pipe smoking isn’t a race. It’s relaxing, and a time to slow things down and enjoy the moment. But this blend is a great tasting tobacco. It’s rich, slightly smoky and slightly sweet, and keeps it’s rum flavor throughout. It’s excellent aged, too. Much recommended. Cheers!

Mac Baren - Plumcake 100g
Don’t be scared of Plumcake
It’s a classic blend. I’m sure you’ve read and seen videos saying it bites like a great white shark. I’ve not found this. Granted, it’s always a great idea to puff slowly on not matter what you smoke. Pipe smoking isn’t a race. It’s relaxing, and a time to slow things down and enjoy the moment. But this blend is a great tasting tobacco. It’s rich, slightly smoky and slightly sweet, and keeps it’s rum flavor throughout. It’s excellent aged, too. Much recommended. Cheers!

Gold Block - Gold Block 1.75oz
Not much there
Well, I was hoping this Mac Baren version might at least be close to the older versions, but it’s far from it. The old recipe had a very distinct vanilla caramel... slightly maple tin note, and had a nice level of nicotine, too. For an aromatic, it actually had some complexity. This new version has the slightest whiff of a topping aroma, but it’s barely detectable. The ribbon cut is a bit too long, and the moisture is fairly high, so it needs to be dried and it’s not as easy to load as say... a typical Dunhill ribbon. Over all, it was a bland and rather tasteless blend. I decided to play with it, and added a few aromatic components to it, and it helped. But for the price, I shouldn’t have to do anything but smoke it and enjoy it. If Mac Baren is able to create something as nice as the older version from England, they’d give a nice gift to the pipe smoking world (although the US market might not be seeing many new offerings with their new deeming regulations). Unfortunate. But as much as I hoped this blend would be enjoyable, I can’t give it much praise. It does not do the name justice.

Gold Block - Gold Block 1.75oz
Not much there
Well, I was hoping this Mac Baren version might at least be close to the older versions, but it’s far from it. The old recipe had a very distinct vanilla caramel... slightly maple tin note, and had a nice level of nicotine, too. For an aromatic, it actually had some complexity. This new version has the slightest whiff of a topping aroma, but it’s barely detectable. The ribbon cut is a bit too long, and the moisture is fairly high, so it needs to be dried and it’s not as easy to load as say... a typical Dunhill ribbon. Over all, it was a bland and rather tasteless blend. I decided to play with it, and added a few aromatic components to it, and it helped. But for the price, I shouldn’t have to do anything but smoke it and enjoy it. If Mac Baren is able to create something as nice as the older version from England, they’d give a nice gift to the pipe smoking world (although the US market might not be seeing many new offerings with their new deeming regulations). Unfortunate. But as much as I hoped this blend would be enjoyable, I can’t give it much praise. It does not do the name justice.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Plug
Best plug, hands down
My preferred type of tobacco is plug (or sliced flakes), and this one takes the prize. It is strong, deep, and rich in flavor and nicotine content. It is earthy, and very much says, “High quality leaf,” when smoked. The mixture of DFK and Virginia gives you a bbq and smoky flavor that is mellowed out by the natural sweetness from the Virginias. In fact, the plug cuts I received already had a lot of crystallized sugar veins running throughout the plug. That sweetness is balanced by the DFK’s meaty qualities. The dark brown leafs are oily and moist, but once rubbed out, is not too wet, as many Gawith flakes tend to be. It is a very dense plug, and I’ve found the best method to prepare this tobacco for smoking is to cut off a chunk, put it into an electric spice grinder, and give it a few pulses and shakes, which grinds it into medium sized flakes that are easy to dry (if you want) and pack. The oils keep the leaf burning well, and you’ll end up with a thick, creamy smoke with tons of tobacco flavors. If you are also a cigar lover, you’ll probably find Dark Plug to be incredibly satisfying. Gawith produces some of the finest blends in the world, using old school methods, on machinery from the late 1700s, using some of the highest quality leaf available. And Dark Plug is a perfect example to of how a master blender can take something that is seemingly simple, and turn it into something very special.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Plug
Best plug, hands down
My preferred type of tobacco is plug (or sliced flakes), and this one takes the prize. It is strong, deep, and rich in flavor and nicotine content. It is earthy, and very much says, “High quality leaf,” when smoked. The mixture of DFK and Virginia gives you a bbq and smoky flavor that is mellowed out by the natural sweetness from the Virginias. In fact, the plug cuts I received already had a lot of crystallized sugar veins running throughout the plug. That sweetness is balanced by the DFK’s meaty qualities. The dark brown leafs are oily and moist, but once rubbed out, is not too wet, as many Gawith flakes tend to be. It is a very dense plug, and I’ve found the best method to prepare this tobacco for smoking is to cut off a chunk, put it into an electric spice grinder, and give it a few pulses and shakes, which grinds it into medium sized flakes that are easy to dry (if you want) and pack. The oils keep the leaf burning well, and you’ll end up with a thick, creamy smoke with tons of tobacco flavors. If you are also a cigar lover, you’ll probably find Dark Plug to be incredibly satisfying. Gawith produces some of the finest blends in the world, using old school methods, on machinery from the late 1700s, using some of the highest quality leaf available. And Dark Plug is a perfect example to of how a master blender can take something that is seemingly simple, and turn it into something very special.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Plug
Best plug, hands down
My preferred type of tobacco is plug (or sliced flakes), and this one takes the prize. It is strong, deep, and rich in flavor and nicotine content. It is earthy, and very much says, “High quality leaf,” when smoked. The mixture of DFK and Virginia gives you a bbq and smoky flavor that is mellowed out by the natural sweetness from the Virginias. In fact, the plug cuts I received already had a lot of crystallized sugar veins running throughout the plug. That sweetness is balanced by the DFK’s meaty qualities. The dark brown leafs are oily and moist, but once rubbed out, is not too wet, as many Gawith flakes tend to be. It is a very dense plug, and I’ve found the best method to prepare this tobacco for smoking is to cut off a chunk, put it into an electric spice grinder, and give it a few pulses and shakes, which grinds it into medium sized flakes that are easy to dry (if you want) and pack. The oils keep the leaf burning well, and you’ll end up with a thick, creamy smoke with tons of tobacco flavors. If you are also a cigar lover, you’ll probably find Dark Plug to be incredibly satisfying. Gawith produces some of the finest blends in the world, using old school methods, on machinery from the late 1700s, using some of the highest quality leaf available. And Dark Plug is a perfect example to of how a master blender can take something that is seemingly simple, and turn it into something very special.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Flake Scented
Excellent Flake
Strong in vitamin N, a rich tobacco flavor just as you’d expect from a GH flake. The Lakeland essence I sent overpowering. There is a slight floral note, which I would love more of. Deep and tasty blend. The balance of essence and natural tobacco flavors is excellent. When I’m out of Coniston Cut Plug, Dark Flake takes over on my daily tobacco rotation. It stinks that Dunhill and McClelland are out of the tobacco business, but if G&H or SG every stop making their wonderful blends, then that would be a real tragedy.

Cornell & Diehl - Founding Fathers
Excellent aromatic
This is not a heavily flavored aromatic, which I really appreciate. The subtle smell of pomegranate makes this blend very enjoyable, without overpowering the tobaccos. It’s a great change of pace in the rotation. Well worth giving this a try if you’re not a big aromatic fan, but would like to change things up from time to time.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Grasmere Flake
More than floral
Another excellent blend from Gawith & Hoggarth. The Lakeland essence on this is sweet, and has a floral note, however there is a definite touch of some kind of melon or fruit in the “tin” note. The subtle sweetness remains even after being lit, but it doesn’t overpower the blend and does not have the heavy odor of an aromatic. A tasty flake to keep in rotation if you’re into Lakeland blends.

Samuel Gawith - 1792 Flake 250g
One of the best
I LOVE this Flake. The tonquin essence makes this Lakeland one of the most pleasant blends out there. The aroma is sweet, with a smell somewhere between vanilla and chocolate, but it is subtle enough to allow the pressed burley to shine through. It is a hair moist, so a little drying time might be needed. Absolutely, an incredible smoke.

Samuel Gawith - Lakeland Dark 50g
Solid flavor
This SG offering is outstanding. It has a deep flavor, with rich, thick smoke. One of my favorite go to tobaccos. It seems like it’s the base blend used in their scented blends, but without any essence added.

Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Coniston Cut Plug
Flavorful
Top notch Lakeland essence blend. Floral, deep, strong, and a wonderful every day smoke. The sweetness of the essence isn’t overpowering and plays well with the dark pressed tobacco.

G. L. Pease - Stonehenge Flake 2oz
Wonderful
This blend really sold me on the complexity of a good Lakeland essence blend. The tin note is a rich, yeasty, bread aroma. Smoking it, however, it became something quite special. The Lakeland essence comes forward and the bread smells turned into a dark toasted yeast. The two aromas play well off one another. I can’t get enough of this blend.

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