Spring time is finally stirring in its cave after a long hibernation. So, for me, that means putting away my Englishes. Sorry, Old Dog; ta-ta, Westminster; see you soon, Penzance.
But, there’s an upside! I get to dust of my Virginia blends. One of the blends that I am looking forward to trying this Spring is Rattray’s Marlin Flake.
This is blend that is smooth, but makes its presence known. Categorized as a “VaPer”, it is very similar to its cousin, Old Gowrie, albeit stronger and darker. The Perique and Cavendish blend seamlessly alongside the red Virginia in this woodsy, slightly sweet blend.
Be sure to check out “cortezattic”‘s review of Rattray’s Marlin Flake and pick yourself up a tin. After all — to turn a Stark phrase on its head — Spring is coming!
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon and, if you’re anything like me, you might already be contemplating what ‘baccy will accompany your Guinness and Jameson and overall revelry.
If I might make the humble suggestion that you check out Peterson’s Irish Flake, if you have not already done so. Not only does it have the benefit of having “Irish” right in the name, along with being made by the best known Irish name in the world of pipes, but it is also one heck of a blend.
It is a strong, rich, and creamy blend, one that needs to be treated with respect, much like a bonnie Irish lass. If you treat her right, however, she will do the same. You will get hints of coffee, leather, chocolate, and nutty flavors, perfect flavors to compliment your celebration.
To find out more about this stellar smoke, check out the review of Peterson’s Irish Flake. In fact, just because we like you so much, we have two great reviews there! One is by “Schmitz Bitz” and the other is by “bobt”; I am sure that both will seal the deal for this being your St. Patty’s Day smoke!
Last night, I heard a radio interview with the author of a new book entirely devoted to Leonardo da Vinci. It really isn’t surprising that a figure such a da Vinci continues to infatuate us: he was the exemplar of what it means to be a Renaissance Man. He was an artist, a biologist, an engineer, a thinker, and always trying to better himself and his understanding of the world.
Perhaps it was the dedication to such a great man that made me initially hesitant to try any blend bearing his name. After reading Adam J. Smith’s recent review of “da Vinci”, by Cornell & Diehl, however, I am going to be ordering myself a tin or five of this stout English blend.
Check out his review of this blend that he describes as “simple, yet complex; varied and never monochromatic” and you might just be adding this to your daily rotation, too!
I have spoken a lot about names of blends in the few blog posts I have done. Maybe this comes from the English major with a creative writing focus; maybe it comes from my love of music; maybe it is because I have a habit of over-thinking things. No matter what the reason is, I am returning to that topic once more!
Titles can be very helpful, as I have said, and can often let you know what you will find inside the tin. Aromatics are the perfect example of this: a blend called Cherry and Chocolate probably won’t taste like coffee and rum. With this in mind, I pose a question to you: What do you expect from a blend dubbed “Bow-Legged Bear”?
Well, by flipping the tin around, we learn that this creation from Cornell & Diehl is a full-English blend, complete with a little Perique, and serve up as a crumble cake. According to “marmal4de”, you can also expect a complex, knock-you-on-your-butt, fantastic smoke. Check out his full review of Cornell & Diehl’s “Bow-Legged Bear” and get ready to rumble!
It’s a risky business giving your creation a title such as Masterpiece or Perfection. There are a number of reasons: people will be even more critical of your creation, to be sure, and if the piece is, in fact, not perfect, you set yourself up for ridicule. It’s like naming one’s daughter Angel, only to have her grow up to be a demon.
Surely Russ Ouellette of Hearth & Home knew this when he created and named his blend “Magnum Opus”, which means Great Work and is meant to represent a particular artist’s greatest achievement. Wisely, Mr. Ouellette saved such a title for a true masterpiece.
This Balkan blend is deep and intense, complex and rewarding. For a full and meticulously written description, check out “Baron Samedi”‘s review of Hearth & Home’s “Magnum Opus”.
Truly, this is a blend deserving of its title. Bravo!
Whether you’ve been smoking a pipe for decades or you’re relatively new to the hobby, nostalgia is major factor of the appeal of pipes.
From the moment I saw the image on the tin of Cornell & Diehl’s “After Hours”, I was swept up by thoughts of the era of the speak-easy, with guards, passwords, and smoke-filled basements, back rooms, and cellars.
Without intending to get on a rant, smoke-shops and cigar-lounges are now approaching the level of speak-easies, having to be more and more wary of their activities offending the hyper-critical populace and ever aware of the jaws of fear snapping shut on their civil liberties.
Thankfully, there are many places that still welcome the humble pipe smoker and a great deal of fantastic blends that allow us to fully appreciate the beauty and joy of pipes.
One of these blends is Cornell & Diehl’s “After Hours”, a loose Virginia flake lightly flavored with Dark Rum. I highly recommend checking out this review of Cornell & Diehl’s “After Hours” by “rbull77″ and snatching up this blend!
I’ll admit it, I like any blend inspired by Lord of the Rings before I’ve even tasted it. Just the allusion itself is enough to get my literary geek-senses tingling.
In the case of Frog Morton, blended by McClelland Tobacco Company, the mixture is great on its own merits. The blend is earthy and spicy, much like the town that inspired the title. Frog Morton has a reputation for being one of the “stinkier” of Englishes for those sitting in the room. For the person smoking the blend, however, it is nothing short of perfection.
To get a better idea of the all wonderful qualities of this blend, check out “themightypen”‘s very well written review of McClelland’s Frog Morton. As he says: “This is one you will crave”!
One of the most overlooked challenges when it comes to creating a new pipe blend is the process of naming it. While it’s true that a ‘baccy by any other name would smoke just as sweet, the title can set up your expectation and can create a new experience. In some cases, a name can even recommend when to enjoy the tobacco.
Such is the case with G.L Pease’s Quiet Nights. As it says on the tin, it is “rich, deep, contemplative”, perfect for those relaxing evenings with a book, a drink, a loved one, or all of the above.
For blends as complex as this Oriental composition, it is sometimes best left up to those with the necessary experience to provide an apt description. Michael J. Glukler, under the name “briarblues”, has that experience and uses it to provide an excellent and informative review of Mr. Pease’s Quiet Nights.
Dan Milonga Pipe Tobacco
The fan-base of aromatic pipe tobaccos is not insignificant. Aromatics still outsell non-aromatics. The semantics of defining aromatic pipe tobaccos can be tricky at times, and I won’t get into that here. Many of us might agree that there are different quality levels that can be experienced within the aromatic genre … and again, that is of course highly subjective as well.
Suffice it to say that I think Milonga pipe tobacco from Dan Tobacco of Germany is a high quality aromatic. It provides a nice flavor and aroma, and I experienced no tongue bite, and couldn’t detect any low quality humectants. Milonga provides a pleasant, relaxing smoke with a nice aroma and flavor.
Find out more in this Review of Dan Milonga.