Peterson - Irish Flake 50g
Not as Intimidating as the Hype
First off, I have searched extensively for high nic tobaccos and purchased all of them that I could find. So far, none have lived up to the hype. Having said that, this still is some really good tobacco. The components work really well together with a variety of flavors and room notes that don't compete but compliment each other. The flake is very moist right out of the tin. I've tried a few different ways of loading the bowl... folding, rubbing out, cutting..etc. I personally believe that folding gives the best experience. Back to the nic strength for a moment... I suppose for a novice smoker, this one might be too strong but if you've been around the block a few times, this is just right. I have also learned that the experience should take precedent over the nic and in that respect, this is an amazing blend that I will continue to buy everytime I get an In Stock alert.
Five Brothers - Five Brothers 1.25oz
Strong but Manageable
Five brothers is an affordable straight burley with no top coat. Strong flavor, strong room note and strong nicotine. As advertised, not for the novice pipe smoker. Enjoyable when sipped. Great tobacco to kick up some weaker blends or for smoking alone. Perhaps not an everyday smoke for some but it is for me. Actually, I don't notice the nicotine at all but I know it is there. The pouch is sealed in a plastic wrapper and maintains the tobacco's moisture level. No problem smoking it right out of the bag with minimal relights. Because it is in a pouch, it will dry out quickly unless transferred to an airtight container. Shag cut which makes it easy to pack. Burns hot, fast and down to a fine ash. Flavor is nutty with some earthy tones. Room note is quite strong much like a hand-rolled cigarette. I keep 3 or 4 pouches on hand. Strong but manageable.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Flake Unscented
Strong w/ a Smidge of Lakeland
Yep, this is a strong blend both in flavor/intensity and in nicotine. As a few reviewers have pointed out, this blend is billed as 'unscented'. Not sure what that means to GH&C but it should mean, there's no Lakeland note. Well, there is. It is not as strong as other GH&C blends that purposely have the Lakeland essence but its there nonetheless. Personally, I find it to be minimal and completely tolerable. Also, while the blend is labeled as flake, it came more in a 'ready-rubbed' form which also was fine by me. Its a bit moist coming out of the bag so a tab bit of drying time would prevent relights. The burley is the star here. I can't detect the VA but I'm sure its there. As I side note, the Mrs did NOT like the room note on this one at all. Stated that it smelled too much like cigarettes. Overall, I found this blend to be quite enjoyable but not on an empty stomach and not in large bowls. If you like strong GH&C blends, this one is pretty darn good. ***2019 Edit*** Over a year later, I still buy this in lbs. It is an amazing blend that I keep coming back to for an everyday smoke.
Stands & Pouches - Erik Stokkebye 4th Generation 1 Pipe Combo Pouch Hunter Brown
Lovely handy little pipe pouch
Received as a Christmas gift about two years ago. Still using it. Room for 1 pipe or 2 small pipes but not recommended. Pouch area for the tobacco is roomy and can hold quite a bit. Zipper side pocket for pipe accessories easily holds a pipe tool and a lighter. Larger lighters will fit with the pipe tool but it will be a bit more cramped. The lining inside the zippered side pocket is flimsy. Mine has now torn to bits but it still works. The area where the tobacco is held is lined with a stronger material. The lining will absorb a fair amount of the tobacco's scent. Not really noticeable when smoking but keep this in mind if you're sensitive to mixing blends. The magnetic flap performs well. Keeps everything neat and tidy when transporting. Overall, it is a really handy pouch that looks and performs great.
Cornell & Diehl - Mountain Camp
When I first opened the bag of 4oz of Mountain Camp, I was immediately captivated by the strong aroma of Latakia. Good start. I packed a large bowl into my Luca Vanetti and after one light and a few puffs, I knew I’d found something quite special. I’ve smoked all 4oz of my initial purchase of this magnificent blend and I regret not buying 16oz. This is a wonderfully strong blend. Amazing flavor led by the Latakia and evenly complimented by the orientals, Virginia, perique and burley. Nice cool smoke with no relight. The most important thing, to me anyway, is that this blend is very, very close to Nightcap but I’m going to say that Mountain Camp is even better. Perhaps it’s the inclusion of the burley but whatever it is, I can see how this blend will stay strong in my top 10 rotation for quite sometime.
Dunhill - Nightcap
Get it while you can
This is one amazing blend from Dunhill. When you're looking for a strong blend with a Latakia forward touch, this is one of the best. There is a lot going on here. The Latakia takes front and center stage but the mix of Orientals, Perique and Virginias drive it to another level. This blend has a strong flavor and, at times, have a nice nicotine kick to it. The blending of the constituent tobaccos is near to perfection. Another aspect that I like about Nightcap is that it is available in both a tin or in bulk. Keep in mind that Dunhill announced that they are going to discontinue their pipe tobacco line which unfortunately would include this gem. If you are looking to cellar away some of this you may want to go for the tin unless you've got a good method for cellaring bulk tobacco. Personally, I buy this in bulk when I can in 8-16oz increments then toss it in a mason jar for safekeeping. At the very least, if you like Latakia blends, don't miss your opportunity to try Nightcap before its gone.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Bird's Eye
Easy to Light, Easy to Smoke
Dark Bird's Eye is cut into a very fine shag that is easy to load and lights with little effort. Little to no relights are required. It is a very strong tobacco blend in flavor and nicotine strength. As with most DFK blends, the DFK takes front stage while the VA comes in with a nice supporting role in sweetening things up a bit. GH&C hit a homerun with this one. Will be purchasing a steady supply of this going forward. As a side note, the Mrs did not like the room note of this blend.
G. L. Pease - JackKnife Ready Rubbed 2oz
Great DFK/Va Blend
After having tried both the plug and the ready-cut, I would say there is very little discernable difference. If you like the work that goes into the plug, go for the plug but if you want the convenience of ready-cut, go for the ready-cut. You won't... be disappointed in either. The tin note is very rich and enticing. I am in agreement with Dr Brandon's assessment that the scent is quite BBQ like. Upon smoking, you will be rewarded with a sweet, flavorful taste where the DFKs and VA compliment each other perfectly. The room note is pleasant. As noted, there is a bit of a nic kick in this little gem but it is very manageable. I'm always looking for great DFK blends and this is one of them. I really love this blend and will be keeping this one in the rotation for a long time.
G. L. Pease - JackKnife Plug 2oz
Excellent DFK/Va Blend
After having tried both the plug and the ready-cut, I would say there is very little discernable difference. If you like the work that goes into the plug, go for the plug but if you want the convenience of ready-cut, go for the ready-cut. You won't be disappointed in either. The tin note is very rich and enticing. I am in agreement with Dr Brandon's assessment that the scent is quite BBQ like. Upon smoking, you will be rewarded with a sweet, flavorful taste where the DFKs and VA compliment each other perfectly. The room note is pleasant. As noted, there is a bit of a nic kick in this little gem but it is very manageable. I'm always looking for great DFK blends and this is one of them. I really love this blend and will be keeping this one in the rotation for a long time.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Dark Plug
STRONG! but Enjoyable
This is one strong tobacco in all departments. Strong bag note, strong room note, strong flavor and strong nic hit. Not for the timid or the newbie. The bag note is quite nice. Very strong in the dark fruits area, very rich. The room note is just plain strong. When I do catch a whiff of it, it smells almost exactly like burning leaves in the fall. Personally, I find this to be quite pleasant but be aware of this when you are smoking it indoors. There is a fairly strong Lakeland essence flavor to this. It actually seems to overpower the DFK and the Virginias until midway through the bowl then the DFK and Virginias come out. If you're unfamiliar with the Lakeland essence, it is a flavoring that GH&C adds to many of their blends. It is a floralesque type flavor that is perfume-like and it is noticeable in most of their tobaccos and especially in this one. Some people like it, some hate it. If you don't like it, you won't like this one. I don't mind it so much but this isn't an everyday smoke for me anyways so once in awhile is ok with me. Do not, I repeat, do not smoke this one on an empty stomach. The nic hit is pretty immediate and it will hit you pretty hard. I like the high nic tobaccos but this is one of the strongest ones I've found thus far. Normally, when I am smoking any of the other high nic blends I like, I can sometimes get the dizzys but that's about it. With this one, wow, it will make you down right sick if you're not careful. Prep for smoking would include some drying time as this 'plug' is quite moist right out of the bag. It will also require a bit more cutting and rubbing out than other plugs I've tried. Overall, this is a pretty good tobacco and did I say that it is strong? It surely is...
War Horse - Bar 1.75oz
Plug Shape, Crumble Cake Prep
Upon opening the tin, you will first note that it looks like a plug but unlike most plugs, the prep for smoking is much, much easier as this 'plug' crumbles very easily. In fact, it is very easy to just pinch off a chunk and with very minimal rubbing, it turns into a nice pile of flaked tobacco that is easy to load and easy to smoke. If you just gotta have that genuine plug prep and experience that requires getting a knife to cut off a slice and then rubbing it out, my recommendation is to try Jackknife Plug. The tin note is mild. I can smell both the DFK and the Virginia. In my opinion, this is a very straightforward smoke. Not overly complex but VERY enjoyable. The DFK lends the smokiness and the usual cocoa like note while the Virginias add a nice sweetness and the Burley follows-up nicely with a bit of a punch. It is strong but at the same time it is a mild smoke. The room note is very nice. The Mrs liked it so that's a plus. For me, it easily is an all day smoke. The nic hit is there but if smoked slowly and with a bit of food in the belly, it is easily manageable. Overall, this is one amazing blend that I most definitely will keep buying and keep in my rotation. If you like DFK, this one won't disappoint.
Cornell & Diehl - Super Balkan
Blend that will grow on you...
When I first got my 4oz of Super Balkan, I'll have to admit that I was not impressed. Nothing really grabbed me except that there was a slight flavor that I hadn't previously encountered. I'm going to assume it was the Turkish Leaf. I let it sit for about a month before I tried it again but this time in a different pipe. I caught many different nuances in the blend on this try. There are some interesting competing notes here but none of them overpower the other. Very well balanced blend with a terrific smoothness. For me, I detected a nice little nic kick with this one but it was not overpowering. I even tried mixing this one with a few other blends (Nightcap mostly) and the results were very pleasing. I blew through the 4oz very quickly and I will definitely be ordering more... a lot more.
Newminster - No.403 Superior Round Slices
Interesting but not my cup of tea....
VA in this one make for a sweet, grassy smoke. The coins dried up pretty quick. Ended up giving the lot to a friend. Won't buy again. Not that it was horrible, it's just not my cup of tea...
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Brown Irish X
Potent but Enjoyable
Without a doubt, this is some strong tobacco. Strong in flavor and very strong in the nic department. If you're looking for a very strong (nic) tobacco and aren't too concerned about flavor or room note, this is the one for you. The rope is a fairly large diameter. The circumference of this rope completely fills my cigar cutter I use for cutting. The tobacco in the rope is fairly dense. It takes a little drying and a little prep before packing a bowl. Drying time will vary. It will need a lot of relights if smoked right away. Also, this rope gunks up the pipe pretty quick. Drying seems to reduce the gunk build-up. Keep this in mind if you aren't planning on using a dedicated pipe for these ropes. The key here is pacing yourself while smoking. A small bowl helps but most importantly, take it slow. The faster your puffing cadence, the higher the odds that Miss nic is going to visit you in a bad way. Slow it down and she becomes a pleasant guest that leaves a good feeling when she's gone. After smoking a bunch of this one and a bunch of Happy Brown Bogie, my opinion is that these are not the same. Not just in diameter but also possibly in the constituent tobacco and processing. HBB was much more mellow no matter how big a bowl I used and no matter how much I puffed away. Both are great ropes in my opinion but Brown Irish X takes the prize for strength. Personally, I really love the prep and smoking of this as it adds to the tradition. *Update*: I've now smoked through about 16oz of this delightful rope. The last batch I bought seems a bit weaker in strength than the previous batches. This doesn't diminish the enjoyment, just a point of observation.
Arturo Fuente - Chateau Fuente Maduro
Great Smoke, Great Price
I am relatively new to cigar smoking so my exposure to quality cigars has been quite limited. Having said that, I very much enjoyed this cigar. It is a nice, long lasting smoke. My buddy and I smoked a few of these while fishing. He has smoked many more cigars than I have and he said it was a really good cigar. I enjoyed how the flavor changed while smoking it. The maduro wrapper added a nice sweetness. There was plenty of spice in the beginning as expected but it gave way to the sweetness about half-way through. Loved it. Will be buying many more.
Tampers & Tools - Czech Pipe Tool
Cheap. That's a pretty good description of this handy little tool. Keep in mind that even though the description says that it is made out of 'heavy-gauge sheet steel', it is a very cheap quality of steel as the pick broke off mine about a month after I bought it. Mind you, I'm not prying out staples with it, just using it to stir the bowl. The two remaining tools work as they were intended to; however, the tamper is made in such a way that when you lightly tamp down your ash, a little bit of it will accumulate on the top surface of the tamper. Once you pull it back out, if you don't notice the ash, it will get everywhere. The scoop is useful as a reamer when nothing else is available. For the price and the utility, it gets a 3 but it gets only a .5 for the quality of material used.
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Brown Bogie
Prep and Enjoy
This rope is a smaller diameter than the usual ropes from GH&C so the results coins cut off are very easy to prep and pack in the bowl. A sharp knife will work but a cheap cigar cutter works even better. Cut off a few coins, let them dry a little then rub out a few or add the whole coin to the bowl. Either way works. This rope does indeed have a strong nic hit. Take it slow and you'll still feel it but you'll survive. The flavor, for me anyway, is almost non-descript. It's just strong but I really like it. Layer-caking this one produced mixed results. Overall, this is a great rope.
Arturo Fuente - Brevas Royale Natural
As this was my first cigar purchase, I can only base my review on my own experience with it. The initial flavor was very nice. A sort of sweet and slightly spicy. It burned nicely to the end which surprised me since this was my first cigar. For the price, it was a great purchase and I'll be buying more of these in the future. *Update: After smoking about a dozen of these, I doubt I'll buy anymore. They're okay in a pinch but there is nothing that stands out either good or bad... just the price.
Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired Ready Rubbed
5 Star Dark Fired Blend
EDIT: 06/20/2019-2 years on and this is still one of my favorite blends. The DFK keeps drawing me back. Mixed this with some Five Brothers recently... wow, just wow. What can be said that hasn't already been said about this amazing blend?! Not much. I will just add my own two cents by saying that this is probably one of the most satisfyingly pleasant blends I have smoked to date. Really rich, wonderful flavor that gets only better as you work your way through the bowl. The flavor that it ends with is the highlight for me. There is a cocoa like flavor that comes through about halfway down. There is a bit of a nic-kick here to, so if you're a lightweight, smoke it on a full stomach and take your time. Another thing about this blend, it ages REALLY well. Buy yourself enough to enjoy right away and enough to squirrel away in your cellar. If you like Dark Fired Kentucky, this is one of the best I have tried thus far and it has been holding steady in 1st place of my tobacco rotation.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton 100g
One of the BEST!
Frog Morton blend is probably one of the very best English blends I have ever tried, but, I love English blends. This one is my 'all-day' English blend smoke. There are flavors here not found in very many other English blends I've tried. McClelland's 5110 - Dark English Full is pretty close. The latakia and the Virginia work very well together to produce a smooth, flavorful, full smoke. Highly recommended for the English lovers or for anyone looking to try a one for the first time.
McClelland - 5110 - Dark English Full
Close Enough to FM Cellar for Me!
Edited Review: After smoking this wonderful blend for about a month, I felt a need to revise my original review and to increase my rating from 4.5 to 5.0. Originally I had made the assertion that 5110 wasn't quite as good as FM Cellar (which is what I was looking for.) I now believe that 5110 is just as good (if not better) than FM Cellar. The flavor is quite good. Sweet but not sickly sweet. The fragrance is very close to FM Cellar and the tin note is absolutely lovely. This is an all day smoke for me. Cool for the most part and very satisfying. Lastly, 5110 is sold in bulk while FM Cellar is not. This one will stay in my top 3 for awhile (providing it was created prior to 2007). Original Review: As the draconian FDA regulation looms that will require blends created after 2007 to go through FDA approval, I have been searching for a replacement for my beloved Frog Morton's Cellar. Many others have drawn comparisons between 5110 and one of the FM blends. FM Cellar it ain't BUT, it is a very fine blend that is more reminiscent of the standard Frog Morton blend which is perfectly fine by me. 5110 lacks that extra bit of flavor and sweetness that FM Cellar delivers. Standing alone, 5110 is a really nice English blend with all of the expected nuances one would want. Some have said that it doesn't have much too it but it may be that they were looking for something that wasn't there to begin with, misplaced expectations. If you are looking for a nice, full, English blend in bulk, 5110 Dark English Full is the blend for you!
Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Whisky Twist
This was a blind purchase based on the reviews at TobaccoReviews.com. VERY good! The first thing I must say is that it does require some prep time. At the very least, you're going to need to cut it into some coins then rub it out. I cut 3 coins off, rubbed 1 out and left them out for about 30 minutes to dry. Probably could use a little more drying time for the coins you are going to smoke. At any rate, the first bowl was the rubbed out coin. On the first puff, you get a nice sweet whisky flavor which really was a nice change from my usual English blend rotation. It burns cool and it is quite relaxing. The nic hit will punch you in the teeth if you're not ready for it. Eat first and have a glass of water nearby. It does take some work keeping it lit and tamping it down, but that was probably because it was still a bit wet. Later, I folded one coin in and had the same wonderful smoke but it was even more difficult for me to keep lit. None of this is the tobacco's fault, just my inexperience with this tobacco. In summation, if you really are looking for something different that has a great flavor and a pretty good nic hit, this is the one you want. Ordering 4 oz next time. 5 stars! Also, SmokingPipes.com = BEST service and BEST Customer Service!!!
Dunhill - Nightcap
Latakia Heavy Hitter
Top 3 all time favorites. Really deep blend with a nice Vit-N hit. Pleasant late in the day smoke. Stock up while its still available.
Lane Limited - Medal of Valor
A previous reviewer hit on the same thing I noticed upon smoking my first bowl. There is a distinct but light 'perfume' taste to this tobacco. Others said it had a soapy taste which might be the case when you consider that many soaps contain a certain amount of fragrance but I digress. I do like this tobacco but I like others much more that have essentially the same tobacco components. Will I buy more? Not sure really.
McClelland - Craftsbury: Frog Morton's Cellar 100g
Despite the Hype, This is #1 for Me!
My intro to Frog Morton came via a sampler of all 5 tins for the FM series. As I worked my way through the tins, I became more in love with the English blends. Then I got to FM Cellar and the whole world turned upside down. FM Cellar is by far my favorite of all English tobaccos I've ever tried. There is a unique richness and sweetness in this tobacco that I haven't found in any of the other FM series nor in any other English blend. There are the right amounts of Virginia and Latakia in this blend. As expected the Virginia brings in a nice mellow sweetness and, of course, the Latakia brings in the smoky flavor that one would expect. What sets this blend above the others may be the inclusion of a square cut of a whisky barrel that is added to each can of FM Cellar. The whisky seems to permeate the blend and add another level of sweetness that isn't coming from any of the tobaccos. The room note is a big highlight as well. The Mrs loves it and actually enjoys it when I smoke this one inside. But.. alas, as the FDA's draconian 'nanny-state' regulations loom in the distance, it is unlikely that McClelland will pay the ransom to save this treasure so stock up!
Lane Limited - BS-005
Enjoyable Bulk Tobacco
I am a big fan of "lat bombs". BS-005 does not disappoint but its not as big a hitter as other "lat bombs" out there. At first smoke, it doesn't seem to be a very complex blend but you will see, as I did, that there is a lot going on in this blend. Obviously the Latakia brings in it's smoky, heavy flavor but the Turkish and Virginias in the blend are where it gets interesting. Virginia is high in sugar and burns hot. This sets off why the Turkish (think oriental) is important in this blend as it tends to burn cooler. All of these components together reward the smoker with a very fine and enjoyable smoke. Also, as other reviewers have stated, bulk quantities can be quite dry when they arrive at your doorstep. Have a reliable, working method to re-hydrate your tobacco and you're good-to-go!
Blog's Commented on
5 Facts about Gawith, Hoggarth and Co.
- ► Seems like there is a shortage of all Gawith & Hoggarth tobaccos these days. Out of stock for months.
An Introduction to Cellaring Pipe Tobacco
- ► Great article. Thank you for the tips! I will be putting them into use when my next order arrives.
- ► Great article! I will be putting this into practice as soon as my next order arrives! Thank you!
Barling Blog Redux
- ► Really great story to read. Thank you for the detective work and the great story. It brought it all to life.
How To Care For Your New Kiribi Lighter
- ► I have a Kiribi Takara Black that no longer lights. Do you still do inhouse repairs on them?
Kiribi Kenshi: Every Pipesmoker's Everyday Lighter
- ► Love the look of this lighter but after having shelled out $92.00 for a Kiribi Takara lighter that doesn't work anymore, I don't think I'll be buying another Kiribi. No idea how to contact Kiribi to see if I can get mine fixed.
Top 11 Best-Selling Aromatic Tobaccos
- ► Terrific information. I haven't yet stepped into the Aromatic realm as I am hopelessly in love with the English blends at the moment. I see a few in the list that I think I will order shortly. Thanks!
Top 11 Best-Selling English Blends
- ► Great list. I have tried many of them and agree with your synopsis of each. There are a few that I have added to my 'To Try' list. Thanks!