Balkan Sasieni - Balkan Sasieni 50g
When I need Latakia
This is one of the most consistent heavy latakia tobaccos on the market. Which is great! Many other english blends don't offer a uniform distribution of latakia throughout each bowl. As I introduce newbie friends to english/balkan blends I usually start with something light on latakia, and I almost always end on this blend. Just about everyone I've introduced to English/Balkan blends prefers the latakia heavy Sasieni after trying various mixtures. As for me personally, I love this blend! I find its actually great for clearning my sinuses on a cold day. Its always available and at a great price too. You really can't go wrong! It's not my favorite by any means, but It serves a purpose in my rotation for both personal enjoyment, and introductions for new comers to the world of pipe smoking. Balkan Saseini is a uniquely uniformed heavy latakia blend that I can count on to be consistent from start to finish of every bowl. If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favor amd pick some up. I may return in a few months/years to update this review and let you know how it ages.
Peterson - Early Morning Pipe 50g
Perfect way to start the day!
The English have a way of smoking their tobacco through the day. Part of that ritual involves little to no latakia in the first pipe of the day. The Dunhill version of this seemed to have almost no latakia, which is strange because the recipe peterson is using is supposed to be identical... The peterson still has very little latakia as an early morning English should, but it has enough to where I can discern it unlike its predecessor. It's a very pleasant blend and it goes great with a hazelnut light roast coffee, nice and mellow for a perfect first pipe of the day.
Peterson - Nightcap 50g
It's not the best, but it's damn good!
I am so happy peterson picked up this label. I never tried the dunhill version but from what I understand it is the exact same down to the molecule. Its mellow but still packs a punch. Latakia is dominate but not overwhelming. The virginias stand out a bit more than in most English blends, the earthiness of the virginia blends with the smoky latakia and sour orientales in a way where it has a slightly nutty aroma and taste. So good even my wife takes a few puffs when I light it up. I recommend getting your hands on some! I couldn't help but compare it to esotericas "And so to bed" given that they are both bedtime english blends, I'd say it holds its own but Esoterica is still king thus the 4.5 stars. It's not the best, but its damn good.
Esoterica - Penzance 8oz
Best English Period
Words cannot describe how good this tobacco is. It is utter perfection as far as englishes go, strong yet mellow, the flavors blend perfectly, the latakia isn't too strong or weak. It is simply the best English blend available... Except it never is available. I recommend getting on the waitlist que. It may take years, but it is well worth the wait. Otherwise you may have to buy it from a collector for MUCH MORE than retail price.
Balkan Sobranie - Balkan Sobranie 50g
Upon opening the tin I am greeted by the usual smokiness of a latakia heavy english blend. The latakia is definitely the meat, while the Virginia and Oriental are the potatoes. The first 1/3ed of the bowl was a latakia bomb, made my nose tingle a little uncomfortably. But as I got down to the 2/3ed of the bowl I started noticing the earthiness of the Virginia a bit more. The combination of smokey latakia and earthy taste of the Virginia merged very nicely. It's certainly a robust and enjoyable smoke. But the bottom got a little sour on me. Cant really account for why that is, its almost a hay like taste but certainly a bit more sour. Overall It was a fine smoke for the most part. I've had better, and this blend seems a little over hyped. But its robust, but also smooth and enjoyable. Update: I turned the bottom of my bowl with my spade and relit... Another latakia bomb! My eyes are watering and my nose tingles lol. I still have a sour hay aftertaste.
Cornell & Diehl - Visions of Celephaïs 2oz
Celephaïs is beautiful!
Upon opening the Tin you are first greeted with pleasant grape scent. I ordered a fresh tin, and found it dry enough to smoke after letting sit for about 45 minutes. My first puff was a blast of flavor, sweet, and spicy with a strong grape aftertaste, the virginias were mild, but the Dark Fired Leaf and Kasturi gives it a fantastic bit of spice and a great room note! It burns very cool for a fresh aromatic, and I didnt have to relight it once. As I burn through my bowl I find it gets a bit more spicy the more I smoke it. The taste remains pleasant from start to finish. This is by far the best aromatic I've ever had. (Though may it be noted, I'm not typically an aromatic smoker.) Although the taste is pleasant I could best compare it to a grape swisher sweet, with a bit more spice. Ultimately this leaves me feeling as though a 3 is as high as I can rate it. *UPDATE* After just 3 days of jarring it, I went back. Another chap in the reviews recomend dedicating a pipe to it. I decided to use a Missouri Meerschaum Cherrywood, that had been seldom used. The swisher sweet taste was totally gone. It was much more spice, and sweetness with the grape taste being mild in the background. A very enjoyable smoke! It's such a unique aromatic that its hard to describe, all I can say is pick up a tin and try it! (Upping my review to 3.5) Will update after 1 month of aging. Lastly, The Tin is a solid Ten! Love the art, very lovecraftian. As a fan I am happy to have this in my tobacco on my shelf..................................................................................... Ïa Ïa Cthulhu fhtagn Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!