Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2018

Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2018

Top 5 2018 Pic #1

Now that 2018 has officially come to an end, it’s time to reflect, remember, and revel the pipe tobaccos I enjoyed most during the year.  If you follow other pipe smokers through online social media (i.e., Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) you will note several of our pipe smoking friends are sharing their favorite blends from 2018.  I always enjoy seeing and reading these lists as they prompt my own inquire to explore tobaccos others find enjoyable.

On a more negative note, pipe smokers, and the hobby in general, experienced several hardships over 2018.  From the closing of the McClelland Tobacco Company, to the halt of production on Dunhill tobacco, and the addition of ridiculous warning labels to our favorite tins, pipe enthusiast continue to remain optimistic and support the hobby to its fullest.  If anything can be gleaned from these trials, it’s that we need to remain vigilant at all times and never take the market for granted.  If you find a specific tobacco blend or tobacco you like, stock up.  It goes without saying that things can change (and did) in the blink of an eye.  Don’t get caught off guard.  If you like it, buy it.

Now that we’ve covered the negative, let’s examine a more positive topic.  Below I have detailed my five favorite pipe tobaccos from this past year along with my biggest disappointment.  Please note that with any review, or end-of-year list, all information presented reflects an individual opinion.  If you don’t agree, that’s fine.  Every individual’s personal background is subject to their own experiences. Thus, sharing those individual opinions is part of what I find enjoyable with this hobby.  Without further ado, I present my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2018. I hope you enjoy this list and please feel free to leave comments and thoughts regarding your own experience with these blends below.

Tobacco #5 for 2018

Boswell’s Titus

Boswell's Titus.png

Info & Overview

Brand: Boswell’s Pipe & Tobacco

Category: American English

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Burley; Latakia; Perique; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: Bulk

Price: $5.10 USD per ounce

Tasting Notes: Named after the family dog that frequented the Boswell shop, the Titus blend is described as a “gentle giant” in remembrance of the family pup.  Although classified by Boswell’s as a light English blend, I’m not sure I would catalog this tobacco as an English at all, rather, an Aromatic with a spritz of Latakia.  With that being said, I must admit, I agree with the gentle giant description as the blend is certainly mild.  Further, tobaccoreviews.comdoes not list any flavorings for this blend, however, the aroma from the tin, or bag in this case, has a heavy vanilla scent with light campfire undertone in its profile.  When smoked, this tobacco showed tasting notes of nuts, oaky wood, vanilla, cream, and sweet ripe fruits.  Further, although Titus is a gentle giant, when puffed too hard or too fast, this blend tends to leave the smoker with a slight remanence of tongue bite. I found myself enjoying it most in a cob throughout the year and would certainly recommend this blend to any aromatic smoker looking for options to transition into English tobaccos.

 

Tobacco #4 for 2018

G.L. Pease Westminster

G.L. Pease Westminster

Info & Overview

Brand: G. L. Pease

Category: Balkan

Blend Components: Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2 oz tin, 8 oz tin, or 16 oz tin

Price: $10.63 USD (2 oz tin); $35.70 (8 oz tin); $61.63 (16 oz tin)

Tasting Notes:  This tobacco was a pleasant surprise to me during 2018. Being old hat to seasoned pipe and tobacco enthusiast, I first tried this blend on a ‘Pop the Top’ segment for my YouTube channel in March of 2018.  Since that day, I have never looked back.  Westminster is a rich, smooth, medium to full bodied Balkan blend that is enhanced by its sweet red Virginias.  What I find unique about this tobacco is its ability to offer such a diverse smoking experience based upon the pipe I select to enjoy it with. That’s right, depending on the briar, cob, or meerschaum I choose to use, this tobacco offers extraordinary differences in its smoking profile, all of which are very much enjoyable.  This diversity, along with a tasting profile that is woody, campfire smoky, smooth, and toasty are precisely why Westminster has earned the #4 spot on my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2018 list.

 

Tobacco #3 for 2018

Dunhill Flake

Dunhill Flake Picture

Info & Overview

Brand: Dunhill

Category: Virginia

Blend Components: Straight Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 50 g tin

Price: No longer in production

Tasting Notes:  As I discussed in the opening of this post, production on Dunhill tobacco blends was halted earlier this year.  Anticipating the market would quickly sell out of specific Dunhill pipe tobaccos, I managed to pick up a few tins of Dunhill Flake before its disappearance in late summer.  Being a gorgeous, thinly sliced, medium brown flake, this tobacco is absolutely top-notch offering the smoker notes of lemon zest, fresh hay/grass (yes, William Serad of Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine, we all know you hate this description…get over it), yeasty bread, and sweet tea.  Dunhill Flake will be greatly missed by many pipe smokers as it was a true quality pure Virginia tobacco.  If you are able to find this blend for a reasonable price (let me reiterate reasonable) be sure to pick some up and enjoy a tobacco that is soon to be, up in smoke.

 

Tobacco #2 for 2018

Cornell & Diehl Star of the East Flake

C&D Star of the East Flake

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2 oz or 8 oz tin

Price: $9.78 USD (2 oz); $29.33 (8 oz)

Tasting Notes:  If you are a frequent follower of The Pipe Professor webpage, it will come as no shock that Cornell & Diehl’s Star of the East Flake is my #2 tobacco of 2018.  This tobacco is said to be a replacement for the highly sought-after Esoterica Penzance, however, in my opinion, Star of the East Flake not only outperforms Penzance, it is an all-around better smoke (and readily available).  Offering a bold, latakia forward experience, Star of the East Flake provides the smoker with a thick, creamy, rustic smoking experience. Tastes of dark fruits, fig, and earth accompany a cool, dry smoke allowing you to be transferred to a state of euphoria.  You can read my full, in-depth review of this blend here.  If you are a lover of latakia and have not tried this blend, I highly recommend you do so. This is one you don’t want to miss out on.

 

Tobacco #1 for 2018

Cornell & Diehl Professor

C&D Professor Picture

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: English

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

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2 oz tin

Price: $9.78 USD

Tasting Notes:  Before progressing any further into this review, I want to note that this selection has nothing to do with the fact that my website is known as The Pipe Professor. In fact, it was through unintentional means that I found this beautiful blend.  Let me explain.  Like many of you, I shop at online tobacconist who offer free shipping on orders of $95 or more.  It never seems to fail that I will have selected an online cart full of glorious tobaccos that totals $88 and well, it just seems silly to pay $8.99 in shipping when you can just throw in one more $10 tin of tobacco to reach the free shipping offer…. right?  That was precisely the case for me with Cornell & Diehl Professor.  I added this tobacco to an online purchase in order to qualify for free shipping in April of this past year.  Low and behold, it is an absolute diamond in the rough. Providing tasting notes of sweet and sour Orientals, woody earth, dried grass, spicy fruits, and a lingering musty room note that is remanence of an old library or book store, Cornell & Diehl’s Professor has earned my #1 spot for 2018.  Although it started the year as a free shipping add on, Professor has now become the crux of my online ordering.

 

Top Tobacco Disappointment of 2018

Cornell & Diehl Mad Fiddler Flake

C&D Mad Fiddler Flake

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: Virginia

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Cigar Leaf; Perique; Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2 oz tin

Price: $9.78 USD

Tasting Notes: I find it somewhat funny that my top two tobacco of the year are produced by the same company that makes what I found to be the worst tobacco I smoked in 2018 (in fact, it may be the worst tobacco I’ve ever smoked).  I’ve always enjoyed a creepy H. P. Lovecraft story and find his writing to reflect a genre currently overrun with zombies and zombie apocalypses.  Being a part of the ‘Great Old One’ series, which is a direct link to Lovecraft’s fictional work, I figured I would pick a tin of this blend up and give it a go.  After all, the ratings and reviews I had read online all suggested Mad Fiddler Flake to be something special.  As it turns out, this tobacco and me, don’t pair well.  Point blank, I find this blend to be absolutely disgusting. Straight out of the tin I endured an aroma similar to that of dried dog food.  Yes, dried dog food…weird.  Granted, the flakes all look wonderful, however, upon smoking the tobacco not only performed and tasted horrific (maybe that’s why it’s part of the Lovecraft line…. horror), it leaves a lasting, penny-like metallic taste in my mouth. No offense, I have never enjoyed eating basic coinage.  Yes, I understand that many people find this blend to be enjoyable, but not this guy. Those of you who like this one have nothing to fear (no pun intended), I won’t be attempting to cellar any of it in the future.

Thank you for visiting The Pipe Professor website.  I hope you have enjoyed my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2018 and please stay tuned for more reviews and exciting content in the upcoming year.  As always, I hope each of you have a blessed 2019 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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