Peter Stokkebye - PS41 Cube Cut
I swear Peter Stokkebye could make a lap dog bite. A quality looking beautiful cube cut that smokes hot, has little flavor, and bites like a rabid hound. Never again.
Cornell & Diehl - Crooner
I cannot attest to how close this is to Bing Crosby's personal blend--seems like he would have had it blended at Kramers, very near his home. But it is an exceptional burley blend. The cube cut is perfect and the taste is great--subtle sweetness and solid tobacco flavor. Burns slow with no bite.
Stanwell - Vanilla 50g
Not much going on
It does not bite. There is very little flavor--and what there is is just tobacco. Not bad but it has nothing to do with vanilla. With hundred pretty good vanillas out there (some at really low prices) this stuff is pointless.
St. Bruno - Ready Rubbed 1.75oz
But is it St. Bruno?
This is a very good rubbed flake. Very high quality. It resembles St. Bruno. The flake is completely different, the texture is completely different. The Lakeland cover is all but absent. This is the slowest smoking tobacco I have ever encountered--smoke it a small pipe unless you want a two hour smoke. St. bruno was a paper thin flake with visible sugar crystals--again, here entirely absent. It tastes like St. Bruno did after the floral notes burned off. I need some Condor, I guess. Very good on its own merit but no Cigar.
Daughters & Ryan - Cockstrong 3.5oz
Exceptional in every way
If this tastes like a cigarette, then these people are smoking some excellent cigarettes! This is a generic blend in the very best sense of the word--general, universal, catholic, balanced. It has perfect balance--slightly sweet, very slightly brackish, earthy, nutty. This stuff is amazing at this price. If you want to play with it, it takes flavors very, very well. It could be an RYO if you wanted a killer quality cigarette--though very hard to inhale. This blend will not bite. It is not a blend focused on any one characteristic, but is simply a grand slam for a genuinely delicious, easy, tame, reasonably strong blend. Given how well it accepts toppings, and how well it mixes with almost anything, and how well it stands alone, it may be my favorite blend. Versatility is king.
John Cotton's - Smyrna 1.75oz
Not how I remember it
This is good. But really just another medium English/Balkan blend. The original had a really unique under sweetness that was really amazing--whatever that was it seems missing here. It smokes to the bottom every time. I am going to let it age.
Lane Limited - Punch 1.75oz
It is what it says it is
I have to be careful here not to offer criticism of the blend for being what it claims to be. It has a lot of latakia, but maybe some unflavored black Cavendish as well. For me, it is just too one dimensional. I could see using a pinch to boost smokiness in some other Latakia -anemic blend. Smokes pretty cool and to the bottom of the bowl. It just needs something more.