Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos

Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2017

Happy New Year 2017

I must admit that 2017 was full of many great bowls of pipe tobacco and for the first time in my life, I smoked my pipe more than cigars.  In previous years, I have wholeheartedly been a cigar smoker who also smoked a pipe.  Well it is now official, I am a pipe smoker who still dabbles in cigars.  But let’s not be too quick to celebrate.  During 2017 we also experienced several major political shifts and finally received more insight into the deeming FDA regulations.  With this being said, I feel the tobacco industry has a strong foothold regarding deeming legislation, but there is still much more to come in 2018.  Fingers crossed for hopeful outcomes in the new year.

In this post, you will find my top 5 pipe tobaccos along with my top 2 disappointments for 2017.  Similar to years past, if you follow my YouTube channel, these two blends either didn’t hold up to the quality level I find appropriate or just didn’t mend well with my own palate.  I do however understand, that with any natural product, the future may hold different outcomes as my own taste desires shift and tobacco changes over time.  In all, I am excited to share with you the full scope of my enjoyments and disappointments for 2017.  I hope you enjoy the following list and stay tuned for my Top 5 Cigars of 2017.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Tobacco #5 for 2017

4 Noggins Bald Headed Teacher

Bald Headed Teacher Pic

Info & Overview

Brand: 4 Noggins

Category: Burley

Blend Components: Burley; Latakia; Virginia

Flavorings: Unknown

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: Bulk

Price: $4.10 USD per ounce

Tasting Notes: Although I have smoked this blend consistently over the past 3 years, it has never made an appearance on any of my Top 5 lists.  Today, that all changes.  Bald Headed Teacher by 4 Noggins is what I classify as a Burley based crossover blend.  Nutty and sweet with tasting notes of vanilla, wood, cinnamon, and earthy richness, this is an excellent blend for someone looking to make the switch from Aromatics to English or vice versa.

 

Tobacco #4 for 2017

W.O. Larsen 2017 Craftsman Edition

WO Larsen Craftsman Edition Pic

Info & Overview

Brand: W.O. Larsen

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Burley; Virginia

Flavorings: Almond

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 100g tin

Price: $16.85 USD

Tasting Notes: There are times when you can just taste the quality in the base tobaccos used within a blend.  W.O. Larsen 2017 Craftsman Edition is certainly one of those examples.  This blend has a soft, mild characteristic to its smoke and yields a very pleasant room note.  Tasting notes of graham cracker, nuts, and creamy milk are part of this tobacco’s profile.  I would certainly advise you to pick a tin up, if you can still find it.

 

Tobacco #3 for 2017

John Aylesbury Dragon Flake

Dragon Flake Pic

Info & Overview

Brand: John Aylesbury

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Burley; Virginia

Flavorings: Caramel; Maple; Vanilla

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $13.50 USD

Tasting Notes: Sometimes you encounter a tobacco that has a perfect presentation in the tin.  John Ayelsbury’s Dragon Flake is without a doubt one of those tobaccos (to see pictures of the tobacco fresh out of the tin visit my review of Dragon Flake from earlier this year).  This tobacco showed tastes of sweet fruits, vanilla, chocolate, and wood.  The room note is absolutely wonderful and the tobacco performed well after having a little dry time.  I highly recommend John Aylesbury Dragon Flake to those seeking a quality, satisfying, sweet smoke.

 

Tobacco #2 for 2017

Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding

Plum Pudding Pic

Info & Overview

Brand: Seattle Pipe Club

Category: Balkan

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Cavendish; Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Perique; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Krumble Kake

Available Packaging: 2oz or 8oz tin

Price: $13.00 USD (2oz); $37.50 (8oz)

Tasting Notes:  Being a running contender for the #1 spot this year, Seattle Pipe Club’s Plum Pudding is a Balkan blend you don’t want to pass up.  Presented in large, thickly sliced flakes, this krumble kake is easily rubbed out and packaged at a ready to smoke moisture level.  The Latakia gives this blend a nice smoky characteristic while the Virginia and Black Cavendish tobaccos partner to provide a grassy, molasses sweetness.  Pipe smokers will note the creamy, spicy, fruity sweetness this blend offers while providing a wonderful room note that can be enjoyed by smoker and non-smoker alike.  Although, on the pricier side, this tobacco is well worth the extra coin.  Pick a tin up and enjoy everything this blend has to offer.

 

Tobacco #1 for 2017

John Cotton’s Number 1

John Cotton's Number 1 picture

Info & Overview

Brand: Standard Tobacco Company (Lane, Ltd.)

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 1.75oz tin

Price: $12.00 USD

Tasting Notes: I must thank the Pipes and Tobaccos magazine’s Trial by Fire column for peaking my interest in this blend.  Similar to Dunhill’s Early Morning Pipe (in my own opinion), John Cotton’s Number 1 produces a thick, creamy smoke that gives way to a well-balanced tasting profile of cedar, grassy sweetness, vanilla, and a mild spice wrapped around a campfire smokiness.  This blend is ready to smoke out of the tin and will certainly provide a consistent smoke to be enjoyed year-round.

 

Top Two Tobacco Disappointments of 2017

Cornell & Diehl Father the Flame

Father the Flame Pic

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: English

Blend Components: Burley; Latakia; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Mixture

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $10.63 USD

Tasting Notes: This very well could be an example of what happens when someone (me) sets their expectations too high.  The producers of this blend, Cornell & Diehl (C&D), describe it as a “Straight Up English”, which sounded like something I may enjoy.  To this point I have purchased, cellared, and enjoyed several of C&D’s Small Batch series tobaccos.  Father the Flame is the change in this trend.  Let me be fair by saying there is nothing ‘wrong’ with this blend.  In fact, the presentation, moisture level, and performance of the tobacco were all good.  However, my overall experience with the tobacco was just, meh….  I smoked through ½ a tin and have no desire to finish the remaining half or purchase more.  At best, I can summarize my enjoyment with this tobacco as just mediocre.  I am certain there will be several of you who will enjoy this tobacco, and rightly so, but it’s just not for me.

 

W.O. Larsen 1864 Perfect Mixture

WO Larsen 1864 pic

Info & Overview

Brand: W. O. Larsen

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Burley; Virginia

Flavorings: Amaretto; Cocoa; Chocolate; Coffee; Fruit; Citrus; Orange; Whiskey

Cut Type: Coarse Cut

Available Packaging: 100g tin

Price: $16.25 USD

Tasting Notes: As I purchased several W. O. Larsen blends this year, some of them I enjoyed, others I did not.  The W. O. Larsen 1864 Perfect Mixture is one of the blends that earned its way to my short list.  Maybe due to the extreme number of flavorings added to the tobacco, yes, it’s a lengthy list – see above, or maybe the tobacco quality was poor?  Either way, this blend was a soggy, wet mess out of the tin.  When smoked, the tastes reminded me of a damp moss/floral flavor.  I attempted to smoke this blend in several different pipes, and no matter the size or material of the tool, the outcome remained the same.  For me, this tobacco is just plain gross and I will not be purchasing more in the future.  Not recommended to those seeking enjoyment in their pipe.

 

Again, thank you for visiting The Pipe Professor website.  I hope you have enjoyed my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2017 and please stay tuned for more reviews and exciting content in the upcoming year.  As always, I hope each of you have a blessed 2018 and until next time, cheers!

* All tobacco/tin pictures and blend information (excluding tasting notes) were taken from tobaccoreviews.com and smokingpipes.com.  The writer of this post is not the owner of the above photos/blend information related to each tobacco and does not take credit for their creation.

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

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