I had heard about this blend a few times, each of them mostly positive. Never mentioned the cut, or if they did I didn't think too much of it. First things first, its a good price at full price (10.00 USD) its 3.5 ounces, and you get it for what you ... Read Moreget half that for in other tinned tobacco.
So I opened this up, and was quite surprised, staring up at me was what I can only describe as "cigarette tobacco" Oh My, did smoking pipes accidentally stock up on some RYO disguised as pipe tobacco? Well long answer short, no. Although this cut is rarely used now, because of it being used for cigarettes, it is still a totally valid cut of tobacco.
I would recommend that no matter what you do with it, when you take it out of its container, do it inside, over a platter.
The tobacco is light, and stringy, it grabs on to eachother, and doesnt want to let go. So just taking a clump out to stick in your pipe, or put in a jar, will lead to tobacco going everywhere if you're not careful.
The cut of to the tobacco lets it all intertwine and touch, so it will likely not need any relights.
So as I was saying, I opened up the "tin" and I load up my pipe getting small amounts of tobacco everywhere (don't worry about wasting it, there's a lot there) light it up and, its Virginia. Its a good Virginia, but I'm a new smoker, so I cant pull out liquor flavors from a pipe full of strait burley.
Its a bit hard to load because of its cut, but taking a few clumps out and stuffing them in your bowl, then twisting the top one a bit to get them all intertwined worked great for the couple of bowls I smoked before jarring it up.
It takes easily to flame. The cut is small enough that it pretty much immediately catches. After tamping and relighting I was off to the races. You could theoretically not even tamp this. With the thin cut, and how intertwined the tobacco is, it would likely not be a problem till you reach the bottom of the bowl. Though if you tamp, you will likely not have to relight, at least not much, and get the holy grail of smoking the "Fine white ash" (which I often get from an old pouch of carter hall, but ignore that) So you get to the bottom of the bowl. Whats down there? A puddle of nicotine infused water? Soaked tobacco that can hydrate children in Africa? Nope, nothing, its pretty much perfect to smoke out of the tin, due to the cut, even if it was a bit wetter, you probably could smoke the whole bowl without much trouble.
In case I haven't mentioned above, because of the cut, it will likely smoke a tad hot, and will be a quicker bowl than other tobaccos. Though this may be due to the way I packed it. Read Less
I think that D & R gets a bad rap. They started out as a RYO company and some of their tobaccos still look like RYO but they add few additives to their blends, if any. This blend is good Virginia. Unlike a lot of Virginia (McB's), this don't bite... Read More me like a mad dog. I keep coming back to this blend. It is good unadulterated tobacco. Read Less
Across the web the reviews for Three Sails tend to fall in the love it or hate it category so I wasn't sure what to expect. I am a beginning pipe smoker and have not really developed much of a pipe tobacco palate yet but that said, I really liked th... Read Moreis blend.
I smoked it in a Missouri Meerschaum Missouri Pride corn cob pipe with a Savinelli balsa filter in place of the usual Medico filter. When I ordered this blend I expected that I would need to open it up and put a Boveda packet in for a few days to bring the moisture content up as many reviews said that Three Sails usually arrives bone dry or pretty close and that combined with the shag cut makes people think that this blend is a stealth RYO tobacco. When I broke the seal I was surprised to find that the moisture content appeared to be almost perfect. I did the "pinch test" and felt that it was pretty close to ideal but since shag tobaccos feel fairly soft to the touch unless they are crunchy dry I am going to leave the moisture pack in for awhile and check it every day until I get the moisture level up just a tad to be safe. I normally just spritz distilled water directly on the tobacco and then seal it for a few days before checking it and adding more if necessary. However, I have found that shag and other fine cuts can get overloaded and clumpy real quick making it difficult to separate and "fluff up" in preparation for packing. So I decided to try a fresh 8 gram Boveda 69 packet instead. I could have used a lower RH but since 69 is what I use for cigars and it is only temporary until I get the moisture up slightly I didn't see the point of wasting money on lower RH packets that I might not need to use as much.
Because the moisture level was so close to ideal I decided to smoke a bowl to see how it would perform "as is." I have had a hard time learning how to pack a pipe properly and lately I seem to have arrived at a method that works for me. I like a loose pack to start and then use the tamper during the smoke to tighten it up if need be. I was a little hesitant to try that with this blend as I have heard that you need to pack shag cut tobaccos much tighter than the typical ribbon or rough cut. Since I was afraid to end up with a too tight pack that has frustrated me in the past I went ahead with my loose method. I added a touch more tobacco to the bowl than I have so far with other blends because when I checked to draw there was virtually no resistance. After I got the last bit in the draw still seemed easy like I prefer so I left it at that.
The tobacco lit easier than any other I have tried to far and while I tend to have to do tons of relights in an average bowl of other blends, I was able to get by with about half or less of my usual relights. While others have said Three Sails is a super fast smoke, it lasted me almost an hour which was longer than the other blends I have smoked lately in the same size pipe (IRC Private Blend, 4 Noggins' Killington, Sparrow Mild). I tried to keep track of relights during that time and I think it was around 10 give or take a couple. Three Sails, like many D&R blends, has a reputation of being hot and bite prone but I didn't have any problem. The bowl got hotter than with my other blends so I took it easy just in case but I never had any bite or irritation.
I don't know if I was overzealous with my tamping but about halfway through the bowl the draw started getting progressively tighter. I was worried that it would start to bite or be hard to keep lit or relight but it wasn't a problem. If anything the smoke volume increased and the flavor became more pronounced.
Now I am not a great judge of flavor as most blends (other than English mixtures) tend to taste the same to me. Perhaps I smoke too fast because I hate having to relight causing delicate flavors to get lost or masked or maybe my palate isn't refined. I found the taste to be that of a smooth basic tobacco flavor. The aftertaste was mild, similar to a Garcia Y Vega English Corona cigar. I didn't detect any sweetness but there was never any bitter hints that I could tell. Near the end of the bowl I couldn't tell whether I was getting to close to the wooden part of the cob bowl so I stirred around the ash a bit to make sure. When I saw there was still some unburned tobacco there I tamped the ash level and did a careful relight. The draw was tighter but there was massive amounts of smoke and the flavor became somewhat creamy. This really surprised me and I puffed contentedly until I guessed that I had pretty much finished it. I set the pipe aside to cool and then scooped out/dumped out the ash and there was only a few shreds of tobacco left. They were quite wet so I am glad I didn't push it.
One final note: the weather was super muggy out and I wonder if the moisture from the air was keeping the tobacco from burning too fast. I'm not sure how much air humidity affects your smoking but I do know that when I smoke cigars outdoors on humid days they can take longer to burn and the flavor profile will change.
All in all I think this would be an all day blend. If you like value and enjoy shag cut tobacco you should give Three Sails a try. Read Less
If you’ve ever tried flue cured ‘brights’ right out of the stove house, you’ll recognize this one. I don’t think this has even been cased... it’s alkaline and will bite your tongue if not sipped - typical of uncased VA. It’s grassy, bright and citr... Read Moreusy sweet. This is the 5 brothers Virginia version and the shag/crimp cut demands you pack it properly. It’ll burn fast. A very natural tasting Virginia with a mild to medium flavor, mild nicotine and body. Read Less
Smooth and Even - Excellent for adding to other Tobaccos
I find the taste smooth and "generic" without the harshness. What makes this blend outstanding is when you add it to your other tobaccos that you absolutely love the taste but it's "harsh" Adding this tobacco keeps the taste yet... Read More mellows the harshness. You'll need to experiment for the right mix but generally a 2 to 1 of this tobacco is a good starting point. It's still good on it's own though. Read Less
Very pleasant citrus notes. If you’re looking for a tub of Virginia at a good price, Three Sails will do the trick. Smoking it in small sips is recommended as it does get quite hot if you continuously take larger puffs.
As with most D&R offerings I pretty much only use this for blending. It's a pure, unadulterated and high grade bright Virginia in a fine shag cut. Clearly dual-purpose, making it one of the best RYO/MYO bright virginias in the world. I actually l... Read Moreove a fine cut like this in a pipe, as it can be compressed a little more, helps the burn enormously and also gives a slightly smoother smoke. This one has just a little more strength to it than the Windsail. Read Less
For a budget tobacco it wasn't the worst but it's not worth the time in my opinion. I found it to not have a very pure flavor. I picked up hints of metallic tastes I really didn't care for and I'm a regular shag smoker so I know how to work with them... Read More. The flavor I did get wasn't really anything special. Just not worth it to me. Read Less
This isn't too bad, this particular shag cut is very fine and brittle but for the price I can't take away from the rating for that. It tasted like a virginia, but a bit more harsh than I expected. For the price though, it's a good deal
i roll my cigarettes after putting them through a metal herb grinder, and keep them in a sealed jar with a 62% boveda "humidipak". took a week and a half to become of moisture content. it's got a deeper smokier taste than the virginias that... Read More I like. comparing to a coarse shag cut kendal gold from gawith and hoggarth, this one is more smoky (in flavor and plumes) and oily. it tends to irritate my throat, and is why it gets 3 stars. I am hocking up stuff the next morning after a day's worth of this. i really wanted to like it. maybe i got a bad batch. the cut is like peter stokkebye norweigan shag. Read Less
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