Category Archives: Tobacco Reviews

Trying my hand a blending an English/Oriental Blend

Blog by Steve Laug

I guess it has been a couple of weeks now, maybe more when I had a visit with Alex and he gifted me some dried, uncut Basma leaf that he had purchased. When I got home I decided to try my hand at a blend. I had a tin of McClelland’s Blending Latakia that had been here for a while and some various and sundry Red Virginia and stoved Virginia that was sitting here. Most of those were Sutliffe blends. I emptied 25 grams of the remaining Latakia I had here + 25 grams of Virginia (no toppings) + 10 grams of chopped Basma leaf into a large bowl and mixed them together. Once I had them mixed well I put them in a large bail clasp glass jar and set them in a cool place to let the flavours meld. The photos below show the uncut Basma and a top and side view of the mixture. Now the wait began. I let it meld together for three weeks and decided to load a bowl and fire it up. I wanted to see if I had succeeded or made a mess! I used a Frankenpipe that I had put together for this first bowl. I tamped it down with a Morta and Black Palm tamper that was made for me by the late Ed James when he made a Morta pipe for me. I tamped the tobacco down and fired it up with my Bic lighter. I smoked the bowl while I was working on a restoration of one of Alex’s Malaga pipes.The smell of the tobacco in the bowl was inviting and multidimensional. When I lit the tobacco with the flame the flavour of the tobacco was very good. The blend tasted really fantastic. The sweetness of the Virginias, the smokiness of the Latakia and the sourness of the Oriental Basma combined for a really good smoke. I could only see this one getting better over time. I set the pipe aside that I was working on and just enjoyed the smoke. The flavours swirled in my mouth and left Virginia sweetness on my lips and gums and the Basma’s sourness was tasteful on the sides of my tongues. The smokiness rolled around the roof of my mouth and sides. The combination was a rich, flavourful smoke. I am going to enjoy this one as long as it lasts.

Mystical Magical Latakia: A Journey Back to the Old World

Blog by Norman Skiba

Norman is a new contributor to rebornpipes and I welcome him to the blog. He is a member of the Meerschaum group on Smokers Forum UK and trying to add fresh life to it since the death of Fred Bass. I have enjoyed our emails back and forth over the past week and when he sent this second piece I really appreciated his thoughtful reflection on his favourite blend of tobacco. I invite others of you to write your own and add to the sense of community we have.  Thanks Norman. – Steve

If it were not for Latakia, I never would have stayed with the pipe.  I never liked cigarettes, even the Indonesian Djarum’s and Kretek clove cigarettes.  The Bidi’s of India are just plain nasty!  The Turkish were still not even close.  But there was and still is something about Latakia and the heavy English and even Balkan blends that intrigue me to this very day.  To me, the aroma is just wondrous!

When I first started smoking a pipe it was in my mid-teens.  I tried the (Palladin’s?) Cherry Blend, Borkum Riff, Sail, and two sips of Sir Walter Raleigh – yech!  Then one day I walked into this tiny smokeshop and pipe maker – Smokestacks it was called – which I had been to before and bought a nice natural finish prince he made that was a very nice pipe and my first decent pipe, and I  fell in love with what I smelled.  I asked him what it was that he was smoking, and he said a new Turkish blend he had blended, and it was Latakia that I was smelling.  I knew right there and then THAT was for me.  And to this day it has ever been, although in various manifestations.  Looking back I can say that maybe the first phase of what used to be called drugstore pipe tobaccos lasted a month or two.  I then found Latakia.  So I feel I was fortunate in that case.  I bought an ounce of this stuff to smoke and went through that rather quickly and then bought a 1/4 lb. of it.  I then saw this tin of the White Label Balkan Sobranie and bought that and loved it even more. Within a couple of weeks or so I found the tins of Balkan Sobranie Black Label No. 759 and that was history.

I started to buy really nice pipes that were made by the late Milt Kalnitz using 100 yr. old Grecian briar that he made for me and also some pipes from his personal collection.  I also had gotten a nice meerschaum or two from him.  All this time I was smoking the 759 Mixture and he had the larger round cans of it and not just the thin round tins.  The smoke shop was called Bellezia Tobacco.  They also had Bengal Slices which I also smoked as an adjunct to the 759.  That was all I ever smoked until one day I stopped for reasons I no longer recall.  Then 759 was no longer available.  It still isn’t. This blend was so funky – in a good way – to me – but people around you would wonder if you were smoking your underwear or your socks.

A funny ‘true’ story: In 1972 I used to have to fly a bit for school and also as a professional musician. I had to put up with all that cigarette smoke in the cabins or even next to you – which at that time you could smoke on planes. Well I was smoking Balkan Sobranie Black Label #759 then, I had this huge free-form Danish Preben Holm – I mean a huge bowl. So I lit it up and smoked the whole bowl – people looked at me rather strangely and some thought I was smoking my socks – but no one said a word. But later I thought they must have thought I was nuts and also could not wait for the plane to land!  I still have to laugh!

Anyway, when I got back into my pipes I knew another famous musician from California that I played a concert with and he had some wild Danish free-forms too and I smelled a wonderful sweeter Latakia English blend and he said it was a Dunhill custom blended My Mixture – No. A7859 – soaked in Jamaican rum.  I had Dunhill in New York City auto ship me a pound every month.  It was actually a very nice blend and unlike 759, but Latakia.  Life moves on and I took a hiatus again. When I started again briefly it was impossible to get any of my former favorites so I stopped.  I did try the McClelland’s Oriental Mixture #14, but that was just Ok and had changed from the earlier ones I tried years before. But it never wowed me like 759.  I later found Greg Pease’s Abingdon and found that to be the best at the time and still believe it is a great tobacco, and if I had to – I would smoke it.  However, The Dark Lord came up with Gaslight!  And that was it after all of these years of searching. The Holy Grail! (To me and my likes.) Yes I have tried some others; even a half pound of Penzance was acquired but never finished it because it just didn’t do it.  Gaslight was the Magical Mystical Wondrous blend that is so superb in my Mind that I see no reason to smoke anything else. It IS Special; yet I see no need to have a bowl on a special day and the rest of the time smoke other things.  Every day and every bowl is special so why not smoke it every chance you can in a nice pipe.  I think of it as analogous to a nice bottle of pinot noir which I love – some people say I am going to put this away for a special day.  I have no problem laying stuff down to age and save; however, what I say is that you take a nice bottle of wine and open it and enjoy it and it can take an average day and make it extra special and magical. The day does not make the wine – the wine makes the day Special! That is what Latakia and Gaslight do for me.  Now to sit back and have a bowl in my floral meer.

Addendum – I like Greg and he is a master tobacconist/blender/creator; however, it is not my intention to use this little text piece as a means of offering free or hidden advertisement for his blends. They are mentioned in context to the actual relevant info in this short piece.


Seven “Collectible Tobacco Tins” from the Recent Estate Sale

Blog by Steve Laug

At the recent estate sale that my brother visited, along with the batch of pipes that he purchased he also picked up 7 unopened 100 gram tins of tobacco with some age on them. They are all English/Oriental blends. Six of them are McClellands Tobacco Company blends that I have found are always better with a bit of age on them. On eBay and other venues these unopened tins are marked as collectible tins. The age on these tins lend them to being quite “collectible” to any pipeman.

My brother and I are willing to sell one or all of them to anyone who resides in the US. I apologize that they are not available outside of the US at this point. My brother has them and lives in the US so he will mail them.

The first of these is a 100 gram unopened tin of Frog Morton on the Town, blended by McClellands Tobacco Co. It is marketed as an elegant Oriental blend, fragrant with Basma and smooth and rich with Latakia. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates to 2008. I am asking $20 for this tin. The second unopened tin is from Iwan Ries. It is their 140th Anniversary Gourmet English Blend. I am not sure who tinned it. This blend commemorates the anniversary of the Iwan Ries Tobaaconist shop in Chicago. The shop opened in 1857 and 140 years later would have been 1997. This is a well-balanced blend of naturally aromatic Turkish tobaccos, smoked Latakia and mellow aged Virginia rich in flavor, rich and cool-burning. The date stamp on the tin appears to be from 2000. I am asking $20 for this tin. The third unopened tin is McClelland’s Personal Reserve Blend, British Woods. It is billed as a Medium-Full Mixture. It is a distinguished Oriental mixture, slow burning and cool smoking. Heavy with fragrant Latakia, spiced with Macedonian leaf, lightly softened with Matured Virginia. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates it to 2014. I am asking $20 for this tin. The fourth unopened tin is another McClelland’s Personal Reserve Blend, British Woods. It is billed as a Medium-Full Mixture. It is a distinguished Oriental mixture, slow burning and cool smoking. Heavy with fragrant Latakia, spiced with Macedonian leaf, lightly softened with Matured Virginia. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates it to 2014. I am asking $20 for this tin. The fifth is another unopened tin of McClelland’s Personal Reserve Blend, British Woods. It is billed as a Medium-Full Mixture. It is a distinguished Oriental mixture, slow burning and cool smoking. Heavy with fragrant Latakia, spiced with Macedonian leaf, lightly softened with Matured Virginia. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates it to 2014. I am asking $20 for this tin. The sixth unopened tin is a fourth tin of McClelland’s Personal Reserve Blend, British Woods. It is billed as a Medium-Full Mixture. It is a distinguished Oriental mixture, slow burning and cool smoking. Heavy with fragrant Latakia, spiced with Macedonian leaf, lightly softened with Matured Virginia. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates it to 2011. I am asking $20 for this tin. The seventh unopened tin is McClelland’s Personal Reserve Blend, Bombay Extra. It is a full mixture – a rich, full Oriental Mixture, perfect after dinner. We begin with Bombay Court and enrich it with mellow, Red Virginias, a touch of Perique and Latakia. A satisfying, naturally fragrant evening smoke. The stamping on the bottom of the tin dates it from 2009. I am asking $20 for this tin.

Contact me through my email or through a private message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.


GQ Blends Classic Balkan (Izmir): an oriental delight

If you enjoy Balkan blends (and can get it) this should be on your “list”!

Smoking Jacket Magazine

This is the second blend from GQ Blends that our editor kindly sent to me for review. The last few weeks of fighting a sinus infection have been near torture with this pouch laying in wait for me to be able to try out. I am a big fan of Balkan blends, but not-so-much of Latakia bombs, so I expected I would really enjoy this blend.

I decided to totally “wing it” on this one, opting to not look up the description on Glynn’s website. I figured the name told me all I needed to know to start out. Only after smoking it, making my notes, and then preparing to write this article did I read the description of the blend. What I found explained a lot of what I tasted. I’ll go ahead and share what I found on Glynn’s websight now and I think you’ll see how it…

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Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader: tobacco review 

Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader Flies HighAfter reading more than one post singing the praises of Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader and learning it was more of a Balkan blend, not a Latakia-bomb, and knowing my general fondness for Samuel Gawith’s blends, I began to watch for a chance to pick some up. The description says: “Bright and Dark Virginias blended together with […]

Squadron Leader, Pipe Tobacco, Samuel Gawith, Balkan, pipe

Cerberus: a tobacco review 

Cerberus: The Three-Headed Dog without a BiteI was quite excited when I opened the package from Erin; first I had received a blend that I’d been curious    to try for some time and secondly it was dated 10/18/14, already aged over two years! The tin had traveled quite a distance and was rather cold when I opened the package so […]

Review, tobacco, Cerberus, pipe

Peterson University Flake: a lesson in subjectivity

Just after the first of the year a new tobacconist opened in my area. Though they are primarily a cigar store, the last few months they’ve started really delving into pipes and pipe tobacco, giving me a new choice to shop locally; they are about 20 minutes away so it’s not very often I get […]

Reiner Blend No. 71 Long Golden Flake

A lovely blend any Virginia lover should consider.

Smoking Jacket Magazine

12000106_1027662030598270_1103618288_nBy Greg Wolford

I picked up a tin of this at a B&M in South Carolina on vacation last month. It was dented but still sealed well and marked half off; I figured I couldn’t go wrong with 3.5 ounces of mostly-Virginia flakes for under $15 so I picked it up.

The paint can style tin had been opened a week or so ago by my son but both the metal and plastic lids had been replaced he told me a few days ago. I know these types of tins are supposed to hold moisture well after opening but, still, I wanted to get it jarred up properly.

When I opened the tin I saw these huge, beautiful flakes that smelled of pure hay; a very nice Virginia tin note. Though it had been opened the tin did its job; I found the tobacco to be at the perfect moisture…

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Tobacco Review – Burlington on Whyte’s Montego Bay Blend

The website, describes this great tasting tobacco as a unique earthy but sweet, herbal tobacco. While in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada I visited the shop and was able to open various jars of house tobacco and get a feel for the aromas and look of the tobacco. I spoke with the house blender, Chris and described the kind of tobaccos that I like, particularly Virginias and Virginia Perique blends. At the price of Canadian tobacco I did not want to make a mistake and pick up a blend that I would hate.

I opened the jar of Montego Bay and sniffed the aroma. The look was of a mottled light and darker brown ribbon cut tobaccos blended together. The smell was of a sweet, pungent Virginia, the grassy undertones but on top of that there was a subtle sweetness in the smell. I asked Chris if the tobacco had any topping and he assured me that it did not. The aroma was from the blend itself not from toppings.


I purchased 50 grams of the blend and left the shop. Over the rest of my trip I smoked the blend in an old bent pipe that I always use when I travel. It is a Virginia pipe and it always delivers a good smoke for me. The sweetness was subtle and the good Virginias – both red and yellow came through beautifully. I liked that aspect of the blend a lot but there were two unidentifiable tastes that haunted me with each smoke. In my hotel room I looked at the blend in a bright light and I could see flecks of green in the blend. I separated a few of them out and put them on my tongue. Ah, I knew what I tasted – it was an herb called Deer’s Tongue. It has been repeatedly spoken of on the pipe and tobacco forums and blogs as adding a very earthy, sweet almost minty vanilla flavor to the blend. I would not describe it as minty vanilla but rather as a very herbal taste, not bitter or sweet but with a taste like vanilla bean or mint leaves. It is not an overpowering taste but it is very evident. There was another taste there that I could not quite get to but I was guessing it was some Oriental tobacco that was used as a condiment in the Virginias.


I smoked it for the remainder of my trip and quite a bit more in the month and a half since the trip. I really like the multidimensional flavor of the blend. The mixture and layers of flavor added to the Virginias by the Deer’s Tongue and the Oriental make this a thoroughly enjoyable smoke regardless of the time of day. Its flavor stays with you after you smoke it on the insides of your lips and mouth and gives a reminder of the fullness of the smoke.

After smoking most of the 50 gram bag I emailed Chris at Burlington and asked him to confirm what I tasted in the blend. He responded with a prompt email. I was right about the Deer’s Tongue it was there as a condiment. I was also correct in tasting an Oriental. This particular one was Dubec. It had just a bit of astringency to the taste which is what I have come to expect from Orientals. It is not bitter or tangy but has a definite taste and effect on the tastebuds toward the back edges of the tongue. I like the taste of Dubec and I really liked the addition of it in the Montego Bay Blend.

I have just enough left for a few more bowls and then I will have to either give them a call and order some more or visit again when I am there in September. We shall see. It is a great blend and one that is worth a try if you can stomach the high prices that the tax structures have added to tobacco in Canada.

A Few Brief Tobacco Reviews

I am posting a few tobacco reviews that I have put together. I am fully aware that tobacco tastes are as varied as those of us who smoke pipes. However, I thought I would post these anyway as most of them are either mixtures that I have come to like or are some Irish Tobaccos that I can no longer find.

McClellands Dominican Glory + something to rescue it

The tin label says – a satisfying blend of Dominican cigar leaf and Virginias. For me this does not say it at all. It is anything but satisfying. It is a very bland blend indeed. Not enough cigar leaf to do anything for me – no taste of the cigar coming through at all. And not enough Virginia flavour to make it sweet and tangy. I just about pitched this tin awhile back. But on a whim I had an old Romeo Y Julieta Cuban Cigar here that was just a bit dry – to dry to my liking. So I crumbled it up in the tin of McClellands Dominican Glory and viola – Cuban Glory! It is a good smoke. It has been aging for almost a year now. I had forgotten about it. I took it out this afternoon and cracked the sealed Mason Jar. The sweet tang of the Virginias came through with the earthy smell of Cuban cigar just over the top of the other smells. It was the perfect moisture. I packed a bowl and lit it – no charring light necessary at all.

The first smokes in the little Argyle Bulldog were full of flavours. The Virginias came through loud and clear and the cigar leaf was very spicy and earthy throughout the smoke. The flavour seemed to careen from a nice Cuban taste to a good Virginia and back again. Then as the bowl progressed they blended together for a really nice cigary taste. This is really good. I am going to have to get some more and do it again!

Midbowl and to the end the flavours danced back and forth. The residual taste on the lips is a cigar like flavour with just a bit of Virginia Tang coming through. The smoke was good and I was ready to hit the first relight when the bowl seemed light and empty! Smoke over. The ash was a powdery white and gray. Very tasty smoke.

Garry Owen Plug 

Just finished a bowl of Garry Owen Plug from PJ Carroll of Ireland. Wow what a strong tobacco. It packs a nicotine punch that is pretty strong. Certainly one to be smoked on a full stomach after a meal. The tobacco upon opening the pouch is a cube of tightly packed nature. It is a hard block of tobacco. I scraped a bit off with my pick and filled the bowl of my pipe. The smell of the cube and the scrapings was very nice – a kind of raisiny molasses like smell. I gradually slivered enough tobacco to fill the bowl of my pipe. I was going for a walk in the rain so I fill the bowl about 3/4 full with the mixture. I fired it with a lighter and began my walk. It took two other lights to get a good burn going. The 3/4 bowl was about an hour smoke. The flavour was multidimensional and strong and dark. The vas came through with force and clarity but no bite. The tang and the sweetness of va was dominant. The nicotine sang from the get go. The burn was even and smooth. The ash was greyish white as it worked down the bowl. The taste did not change as it progressed until the bottom 1/4 of the bowl where it had a richness and smoothness that was really nice. For me this was a good smoke. I was glad I had just finished my meal though as I could feel it. No sweats or dizziness (like there could have been) just a pleasant rush. If you can find this one and you like a heavy smoke with a punch give Garry Owen a go. Thanks to Joyce at Tobacco Supermarket for the sample of yet another Irish Tobacco.

McClellands 5100 + Royal Cajun Special

A friend in the Vancouver Pipe Club gave me a small tin of a blend he put together that has as its elements two of my favourite tobaccos. The first is Mc 5100 bulk Red Virginia (very sweet and tangy and a favourite on its own) and the secone Royal Cajun Special. They are mixed 2:1 ratio. The result has been aging for awhile. Upon opening the tin, the aroma is a tangy dark smelling mix of reds and black ribbons of tobacco. The tang and sweetness of both parts is a bit like the smell in a tin of St. James Flake – tang with a bit of spice. It packs nicely in the bowl with no problems. Upon igniting the first bowl, the taste was mild, sweet and tangy. The combination of flavours assaults the tongue and mouth with full taste. I really like the fullness of taste in this one. At the back of the tongue one feels the bite of a perique like taste. That kind of peppery flavour that teases the back of the mouth. The combination of flavours and rich smoke are very good. As the smoke continues to mid bowl the taste does not lessen or reduce in its pungency and flavour. The smoke is clean and dry. The end of the bowl ends the same for me. The fine white/grey ash at the bottom of the bowl is very light and feathery. Good smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

Old Virginia Flake 

Got a sample of Old Virginia Flake from a friend and fired up my first bowl this afternoon. It is a very good tobacco. Kind of reminds me of McClellands Classic Va. or Stokebye’s VA Flake that I got from Old Morris. The tobacco is a broken flake VA. Tin aroma is sweet and tangy with a hint of some kind of topping on it. Not sure what that is – may be just an added sugar topping but it is definitely present in the tin. I did not bother rubbing out the broken flakes – I tend to just stuff and light this kind of baccy. So I filled an old BBB billiard that I have and put the fire to it. I decided to catch some fleeting sunshine here in Vancouver so I sat outside the local coffee shop and smoked the bowl. From the first match the smoke was tasty. Took a few lights to get it going as it seems a bit damp. Once the fire took the smoke was very nice. After the first bit the topping disappeared from the taste and what was there was a tangy and sweet Va. The aroma from the smoke got a few positive comments from passersby. I could even smell it a bit myself and liked the aroma. The flavor was full, sweet and rich. As the smoke progress down the bowl, I was left with the richness of a good Va, no topping taste at all. The bottom half of the bowl was just as flavorful and when it was over I was sad to see it end. The remnant was a fine white ash and no real dottle to speak of.

PJ Carroll’s Maltan Rich Dark Flake

One of the tobaccos that I got in Atlanta from Joyce at the tobacco supermarket was a 25gram pouch of Maltan. It is an Irish Tobacco. The pouch aroma is a bit floral – kind of a Lakeland type scent, oddly like perfume of some sort. Generally I find this off putting, but in this case persevered. The cut is a fine ribbon cut that the package identifies as Ready Rubbed. To me it is just finally cut very similar in cut to G&H Dark Birds Eye. Tobacco Reviews notes the following: A traditional finer cut Irish Virginia ready rubbed flake. A mixture of mahogany leaf selected for richness of flavour and taste. Slowly pressed to harmonise the natural flavours of matured tobacco grades. Cut, steamed and dried to give a long-stranded, soft and warm coloured appearance. Full aroma with a medium burning rate ideal for small bowled pipes.

The description is what made me press on. It packs very easily into the bowl and lights without problems. It burns evenly and cleanly with no clinging goopiness of wetness. The ash left is soft grey and light. Burned to the bottom of the bowl with no problem. For me the test would be to see if that floral lakeland flavour clung to the tobacco all the way through. Thankfully it did not. Within the first few moments of the smoke that was gone and a rich flavourful Virginia taste was in its place. As the tobacco burned down the bowl the taste intensified in its richness and fulness. Steaming process used in this one does what I have found always happens with Vas and that is that the flavorful is deeper and fuller. It is also a bit muddier and melded. The usual multidimensional flavours of Vas. was not as distinguishable. If you can get ahold of some of this go for it. Ignore the floral scent and fire a bowl up. It is quickly gone and you will get a rich tasting virgina!

MacBaren’s HH Vintage Syrian

MacBarens says this about it on the package write up: A little under half of the volume is a smooth, and yet powerful Latakia from Syria. This tobacco gives the blend the overall “smoky” taste. To add a spicy note to the blend, Turkish Oriental has been added. Different Virginia tobaccos from three continents add a sweet natural taste. To complete the taste with depth and body we added some Dark Fired Kentucky from the USA.

The pouch aroma is complex – I can smell the Latakias, the pungent Oriental, and the sweet Virginia. I cannot smell any of the “usual MacBarens topping”. That is good! The blend is the right moisture content and packs very easily. It lights with one burn- no charring light necessary. The flavour from the beginning is a nice mouthful of flavours that all come out through out the taste. The smoke in the room note is not too bad (maybe a Latakia that I can smoke in the house with the women in my life). The flavour is complex and enjoyable. It shifts and changes as the bowl progresses. One minute the Latakia is dominant, then I feel the dry tang of the Oriental come through at the edges of the tongue. The sweet Virginia tang is underneath and the Kentucky burley adds a nuttiness and body to the taste. This is a good smoke.

The last half of the bowl is equally good. The flavours shift back and forth just as they did in the first half of the bowl. I like this one. I think it is one I will go back to again and again. I am primarily a Virginia and Va/Per smoker so this is a great transition blend to me. Pungent yet sweet! I like this far better than the HH Vintage Virgina which I found monochromatic in flavour.

C&D After Hours Flake

Just finished a full bowl of this flake. It is a blend of Red and Bright Virginias pressed with spiced rum and sliced into flakes. The smell is that of sweet Red Virginias and the taste is full and hearty. I smoked it in the new Howell Handmade Acorn which has a great bowl for flakes. It gives a sweet and flavourful smoke to the bottom of the bowl with no dottle. Clean light grey ash. On first light the Va flavour is there and the sweetness hits the lips and tongue. Even after the bowl that sweetness carries on in the mouth. The room note is pleasant and sweet. The flake is not one dimensional but quite varied throughout the bowl. I for one cannot taste the spiced rum (it is different in taste say than a Navy Flake). I usually find C&D tobacs a bit green to my liking but this one is a keeper. It is just enough different from my other usual Vas that it is to my liking.

Bell’s Three Nuns

I picked up an old tin of this on one of my roamings through antique shops. It was in nice shape and unopened… or so I thought when I bought it for $10 or so. Well earlier I opened the tin and it was the original coins or tobacco with the perique in the middle. The tobacco was absolutely bone dry. It smelled dry and dusty. In comparison to the sample of this old timer I got to try from a friend, this one looked anemic. I removed it from the tin and slowly rehydrated it over two weeks with distilled water. Today it was absolutely perfect for smoking. The moisture level was perfect and the tobacco had a nice tin aroma once more. Whew — I thought this one was going to be toast.

I stuffed a stack of coins in the bowl of the old BBB Own Make 1919 pipe I just finished up. The smell of the tobacco in the tin was good aged Virginia with a bit of perique tang in the nose as I smelled it. It fired quickly and easily and the first tastes of this old tobacco was wonderful. From my guess it is about a 60’s vintage tin. The virginias were mellow and sweet with the characteristic Va tang in the taste. There was absolutely no bite in this one. The peppery overtones of perique hit the back of my mouth with its spice. Very smooth and mellow as the bowl progressed to mid bowl. Very even smoke – tastes the same through the bowl. The flavour deepens and the perique spice becomes a bit more prominent as it moves toward the bottom of the bowl. The room note was also a nice soft Va smell. Though even there you smell a bit of perique. The bowl was smooth to the end. No bite no problems – bowl just came to and end to soon. The ash was light grey and dry. Great smoke.

GLP Key Largo

Key Largo is a blend of Red Virginia, Izmir, Cyprus, Latakia, and Cigar leaf. It is a smokey and spicy smelling tobacco in the bag. It is a flake that by the time the airport security was finished with it at Ohare is now broken flake. I put it to flame and it burned very easily. The smoke was thick and cloudy but tasted good from first light. I can definitely taste the sweetness of the Red Virginia coming out through out the smoke. The Izmir gives an oriental dryness in the mouth (I don’t know how to describe it other than that. Kind of like a bit of tartar on the tongue). The latakia is there and predominant throughout the smoke but tasty and smokey. I am assuming that the latakia is Cyprian. It is a nice smoke. I will have to get some more of this one. The bowl burned clean and dry to the bottom. The ash was a light grey and left no dottle. Very tasty. I smoked in a Jack Howell Acorn.