Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2021

Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2021

Another year has come and gone.  It seems as though the older I get, the faster time passes.  Of course, when reflecting on the past 365 days, I am not shocked by the reality of accomplishing less than I set out to accomplish at the start of the year.  Without making excuses, the continued threat of COVID does not always make endeavors easy, however, it appears this virus is here to stay.  Thus, we must now work to live with it, not just around it.    

With all of this being said, I was able to enjoy several pipe tobacco blends this past year and most were excellent in nature.  Below, I have presented my Top 5 favorite Pipe Tobaccos for 2021 along with my top two biggest disappointment blends.  The five tobaccos I selected as my favorites are blends that I not only smoked the most, but tobaccos I worked to cellar more than any other blends during the year.  Each presents a unique and enjoyable experience and if you haven’t had the opportunity to try them, I suggest you do. As always, thank you for taking the time to read and follow The Pipe Professor website.  I can’t guarantee posts will be regular but be assured they content on this page will be of utmost quality now and in the future.  Here’s to a blessed and joyful 2022!  

Tobacco #5 for 2021

Drucquer & Sons First Amendment

Info & Overview

Brand: G.L. Pease  

Category: English

Blend Components: Burley; Latakia; Perique; Virginia

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 100g tin

Price: $21.25 USD

Tobacco Notes:  Admittingly, I very much enjoy G.L. Pease tobaccos and am an even bigger Drucquer & Sons fan.  When I saw the release of a new tobacco to the D&S line this past summer, I did not hesitate and jumped in immediately purchasing three tins blind.  I did do an initial review of First Amendment on the Pipe Professor YouTube channel, but since the filming of that video, I have continued to smoke and enjoy First Amendment more and more.  This tobacco offers a rich flavorful nutty smoke that is savory and hints at rustic, rich tea notes all followed by a natural tobacco sweetness.  The blend is very complex and extremely enjoyable. So much so, that I went back and have now stocked my cellar with this blend for many years to come.  To say I am eager to see if it continues to expand in enjoyment from time-set-aside is a complete understatement.  Drucquer & Sons First Amendment, if you haven’t tried it, I don’t know why you are waiting.  It’s fantastic and available.   

Tobacco #4 for 2021

Boswell’s Honey Roast Pipe Tobacco 

Info & Overview

Brand: J.M. Boswell’s  

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Golden Cavendish; Black and Fire-cured Cavendish; Black Honey Cavendish

Flavorings: Honey 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: per oz

Price: $3.75 USD per oz

Tobacco Notes:  For several years now, I have put aside smoking aromatic pipe tobaccos.  Why?  I have no idea.  However, during 2021, I found myself craving the sweet aromatic offerings that first spurred me into the hobby.  Anyone who is a seasoned pipe smoker knows that if you are looking for the best aromatic pipe tobaccos, your guaranteed option is Boswell’s.  I put in an order on the Boswell’s website earlier this year with several 2oz samples.  Of all the aromatics I tried this year, not just Boswell’s, the Honey Roast found its way into my pipes more than any other.  This tobacco offers an outstanding room note of sweet, dark baked bread, the tastes also come forward offering honey, browned buttered toast, and candied sweetness.  The tobacco has its own unique complexity in that your palate will be satisfied but always wanting more.  Boswell’s Honey Roast is a lasting aromatic pipe tobacco that should be sampled by pipe smokers who enjoy a little honey sweetness in their smoking diet.    

A short video review of me sampling Boswell’s Honey Roast can be found here.

Tobacco #3 for 2021

Orlik Golden Sliced

Info & Overview

Brand: Orlik Tobacco Company

Category: VaPer

Blend Components: Virginia; Perique

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 1.75 oz tin or 3.5 oz tin

Price: $9.58 USD for 1.75 oz; $16.99 USD for 3.5 oz 

Tobacco Notes: The king of Virginia Perique (VaPer) blends, at least that’s my opinion.  There has indeed been some argument in the Pipe Community that Orlik Golden Sliced actually contains no perique and is just a straight Virginia blend, but I do not fall in that camp.  Being the tobacco I have purchased the most of in 2021, Orlik Golden Sliced is a perfect example of not only a Virginia Perique tobacco, but a blend that ages wonderfully.  This past year I finished a tin of OGS from 2015 (it was spectacular and smoked like a dream) and worked my way through two fresh tins.  The aged sample had its own fantastic qualities; however, this tobacco is still amazing when enjoyed fresh.  The best part of it all?  OGS is a very affordable tobacco that is frequently on sale at your local online tobacconists.  Fresh hay, spiced sweetness, and brown sugar, this tobacco, in my opinion, is the best bang for your buck currently available on the market.  And to think, early in my pipe smoking career, I very much disliked this blend.  I’m glad I finally came to my senses!  

Tobacco #2 for 2021

Mac Baren Modern Virginia Flake

Info & Overview

Brand: Mac Baren 

Category: VaBur

Blend Components: Virginia; Burley; Cavendish

Flavorings: Apricot; Pineapple

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 1.75 oz tin

Price: No longer in production

Tobacco Notes:  It seems like I always find a tobacco I really love and shortly afterwards, it’s pulled from production.  Mac Baren’s Modern Virginia Flake Cut is one of those tobaccos and unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to stock up as I did with other blends that are now forever removed from our pipe tobacco portfolios.  This tobacco has aged into a wonderfully dark, crystalized flake.  The fruit toping has settled just enough to present an exceptionally pleasant room note while not taking away from the fruit sweetness, rich natural honey, and mild nutty flavors presented in the tastes.  This tobacco burns cool and smokes under the medium body, mild strength profile.  Completely perfect when I’m looking to interrupt my regularly scheduled smoking rotation.  If you have been able to cellar or find Mac Baren’s Modern Virginia Flake, good for you. I suggest going ahead and opening those tins to enjoy.  You will be glad you did and experience something that should have never left the market.        

Tobacco #1 for 2021

McClelland Frog Morton on the Town

Info & Overview

Brand: McClelland Tobacco Company

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Virginia 

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin or 100g tin

Price: No longer in production

Tobacco Notes:  I’ve smoked my share of regular Frog Morton (Frog-on-a-log) and Frog Morton Cellar.  Both are highly enjoyable tobaccos but neither have come close to uprooting my favorite McClelland tobacco, 40thAnniversary.  It wasn’t until late summer/early fall this year that I decided to pop open a tin of Frog Morton on the Town to see where it stood in comparison to its Frog friends.  Wow!  I was, and continue to be, blow away by how much I enjoy this tobacco.  I never smoked this blend when still available on the market, therefore, I don’t know if it’s the age or if the blend has always been spectacular, but I do know it’s worth every penny I have paid and will continue to pay for it.  The smoking experience offers a damp, earthy room note and tastes that is offset by floral/herbal notes, forest pines, and black tea creaminess.  The smoke is rich and smooth with the tobacco burning slowly down to a white ash of wonder in each bowl.  My palate could, and would, enjoy this tobacco all day every day is possible.  If you haven’t been able to sample McClelland’s Frog Morton on the Town, it would be worth your hard-earned coin to find some and splurge.  Every pipe smoker should have the opportunity to enjoy this heavenly bliss at least once.   

Top Two Tobacco Disappointments of 2021

Disappointment #1 for 2021

Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake

Info & Overview

Brand: Former

Category: VaPer

Blend Components: Perique; Virginia 

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $10.63 USD

Tasting Notes: This was the first Former’s blend I have ever smoked and without standing, very well could be my last.  I did a first impressions video of this tobacco here, but as I sampled it a few times after this initial impressions video, I found the tobacco did not improve.  Dry, simplistic, and bland with an overall ‘dusty’ quality, this tobacco did not find enjoyment with my smoking palate.  It’s possible that this blend will age wonderfully but I’m not willing to dedicate my time, money, or cellar space to find out.  With so many fantastic Virginia tobaccos on the market, Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake is an easy pass for me.  

Disappointment #2 for 2021

Sir Walter Raleigh Original (Pouch)

Info & Overview

Brand: Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)

Category: Burley

Blend Components: Burley

Flavorings: Anisette; Sweet/Sugar 

Cut Type: Corse Cut

Available Packaging: 1.5oz pouch (or) 14oz can

Price: $4.13 USD per pouch (or) $38.18 per can

Tasting Notes: I started a segment on my YouTube channel (which I do intend to continue forward with in 2022) called A Study in OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouches.  In this study, I am sampling several of the most common and available ‘codger’ drug store pouch tobaccos in search of any real gems.  Sir Walter Raleigh original was the first pouch I sampled in the series (video here) and going into the review, I had very high hopes.  I mean, let’s be real.  This blend has supposedly stood the test of time being around more than a century.  Surely, there is something amazing that folks have flocked to generation after generation.  Without going into the details (those can be found at my original post here) this blend has absolutely nothing to offer.  Completely flavorless and bland.  It baffles me to think that folks have continued to smoke this blend entire lifetimes.  I just don’t understand why.  No flavor, no real room note, just bland nothingness.  My current plan is to give the remainder of this pouch to anyone who wants it and never purchase another Sir Walter Raleigh pouch again. To be very bold, if this were the only pipe tobacco available on the market, I wouldn’t smoke a pipe.     

Again, thank you for visiting The Pipe Professor website.  I hope you have enjoyed my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2021 and please stay tuned for more reviews and exciting content including My Favorite Things of 2021.  As always, I hope each of you have a blessed new year and until next time, cheers!

* All tobacco/tin pictures and blend information (excluding tobacco notes) were taken from tobaccoreviews.com, boswellpipes.com, pipesandcigars.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. 

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