Tobacco & Tomes

A review of Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake & the book Later by Stephen King

I filmed a first impressions, “Pop-the-Top”, tobacco review of Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake last weekend, in which, I found the blend to be “just ok”.  The video for my first impressions, and review of the book Later by Stephen King, can be found here (FYI, watch the video until the end for a special surprise).  

I must confess, I failed to acknowledge, mention, or even purposefully detect the perique in the Former’s Bird’s Eye blend during my initial impression.  The only indication I found during my first smoke experience was the deep, rich fruit notes I detected on the nose when smelling the freshly opened tin.  Now that I have been able to smoke this blend over the course of a full week, I am much more “in-tune” to what the blend has to offer and will discuss my final score below. 

Info & Overview

Brand: Former’s 

Category: VaPer 

Blend Components: Virginia; Perique

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Broken Flake

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $10.50 USD

On to the review…

From the Tin: From the tin, the tobacco is presented as broken flakes.  Understandably, the manufacturer sells this tobacco as a flake tobacco; however, the flakes I encountered were broken, not full flakes like that of Orlik Golden Sliced or Dunhill Flake.  The tobacco is very, very dry upon opening the tin, almost overly dry.  This is a bit concerning, as the tobacco will not only burn hotter while smoking but may be too dry to age well in the cellar.  The broken flakes are light golden and yellow in color.  The perique is not evident unless you purposefully look for it.  The smell from the tin is a straight up hay barn, no qualms about it.  Due to the dryness of the flakes, the tobacco required no dry time.  To be completely honest, I almost considered re-hydrating some of the tobacco but did not do so.   

Tasting Notes:  I always find it interesting how a blend changes from the first bowl to the lasting crumbs of an empty tin.  We all hear it said, and it is absolutely true, if you don’t like a blend at first, give it some time and see how either it or your tastes change.  My initial tasting impressions of Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake was not bad by any stretch of the imagination; however, after giving the blend my full attention over the past week, the tastes really became clear.  Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake offers the smoker tastes of grass, hay, spicey black pepper, wheat/grain, and dry cereal, similar to bran flakes.  Initially, I thought I was tasting a leather quality but after smoking almost the entire tin, I realize it wasn’t leather, but an earthy, dried fruit note found from the perique.  Side note, I only found this taste to be present a few times.  In fact, it was so random I’m not completely comfortable listing it as a given taste you will experience while smoking this blend.    

Overall Impression:  First and foremost, quick cadence smokers be warned!  If you pull hard or fast on this tobacco, it WILL give you tongue bite.  Maybe it’s due to the dryness, maybe it’s the sparce perique…  Either way, this is a tobacco to be slowly sipped and enjoyed.  As I scored this tobacco “just ok” in my initial impression, I continue to hold strong to that thought.  The tobacco is a good quality and I’m glad I had the opportunity to smoke it; however, there is really nothing special about this blend.  It’s a pretty standard Virginia flake (with a sprinkle of perique) and with all the various options on the market, there are much better choices I can put my time and money into.  For me, the major drawback of the blend is its extreme dry character.  I feel this probably hurts the quality of the tobacco more than it helps.  Is it worth a try?  Sure!  Will I be filling voids in my cellar with tins of Former’s Bird’s Eye Flake?  No.  Score from my initial impressions to the end of the tin, not changed.        

Tobacco Initial Impression Score: 3 out of 5 pipes

Tobacco End of Tin Overall Score: 3 out of 5 pipes


by: Stephen King

A new novel by Stephen King, I couldn’t resist giving it a read.  Not to mention, I am a sucker for the cover art on a book and Later, screamed interesting read.  I know, I know, “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but let’s be real people.  All of us do it, whether intentional or not.  So, coming out of the pandemic and having the chance to read the new King novel, I took total advantage.  I will say, I was hesitant to purchase the book as the last few King novels have been less than satisfying, thus, not warranting a second read.  Therefore, I took advantage of my local library’s online e-book option called Libby.  Not only was I able to read the novel for free, but the book is also automatically returned on its due date.  I’m typically terrible about returning books to the library on time, so this is a welcomed change for me.      

Here are the specific details on the novel:            

Info & Overview

Title:  Later

Author:  Stephen King

Publisher:  Hard Case Crime

Publication Year:  March 2021  

Genre:  Fiction/Crime/Horror

Number of Pages:  272

Price:  $9.56 USD (mass-market paperback); $9.99 (Kindle e-version) 

On to the review…

As discussed in my video review of the book on YouTube, I am using a new review system similar to what I use when tasting wines.  I will be breaking my thoughts into the following categories: Successes, Struggles, Suggested Audience, and Score.  With that being said, let’s dive right in. 


  1. It was easy to relate to the characters in the book, especially the main character and narrator of the story, Jamie Conklin.  Maybe it was the modern-day era that made the connection to characters smoother, or maybe King just did an overall better job at bringing out the details of each person.  Either way, the characters in the book were well done and helped make for a good story.  
  2. Building off of Success #1, King does a really nice job of having characters appear and reappear throughout the story (hints the book title Later).  I especially found an interest in the reappearances of Jamie’s mom’s NYPD detective ex-girlfriend Liz.  The way King manipulates her relationship and personal desire to other characters was very well done. 
  3. The final success complement’s King’s persuasive writing.  Even though this was a fictional story, the manner in which it is written and delivered makes it highly believable and realistic.  The setting for the story is modern day in New York City (or just on the outskirts of the city itself).  King continuously pulls the reader out of reality then expertly pushes us back in.  The set-up is so good one may think something similar to this story could indeed happen in real life.  


  1. There were editing issues within the kindle (e-book) version of the publication.  Simple things such as “s” on the end of words that would never have needed them or made sense for them to have a plural or possessive plural function.  Also, there were random symbols and letters in some of the words and sentences.  For example, “As I wal%ked up the 3tepes, I noticed the door slightly ajars”.  I’m sorry but at the level Stephen King is publishing, there should be zero editing errors, no exceptions.  I hope these errors were not found in hard copies of the book and am allowing the benefit of the doubt that it had to do with some kind of electronic upload/formatting failure when pushed to kindle.  
  2. If you follow King on any type of social media, you undoubtably know his philosophy and moral stance when it comes to politics.  The same can be said for reading his books.  There were a few parts in the story where King used his writing platform to make stabs at individuals in today’s current political world.  Whether you agree with his stance or not (I am NOT opening that can of worms on this website.  Visit your friendly local news organization to find all the political gossip you can handle), the jabs and snide remarks toward those he agrees and disagrees with are unnecessary and do not help push the story plot forward in any way, shape, or form.  The book would be just as effective and enjoyable without bringing the political rhetoric into the story.  After all, I read to escape the bull crap of this world (such as politics), therefore, when it follows me into my pastime, I begin to look for other authors to satisfy my storytelling needs, who understand, fictional stories can do without real-life horror.  
  3. The final struggle of the book is two-fold as the first part is somewhat the cause of the second.  As mentioned above, the main character is a young boy named Jamie Conklin, and Jamie can see dead people.  Yes, this theme has already been successfully achieved by M. Night Shyamalan in the 1990’s blockbuster hit The Sixth Sense.  Although a touch different than the Bruce Willis film, as dead people only last three days and must tell the truth when asked a question, King did do a nice job of using Jamie’s unique skill to bend the plot into an enjoyable rat-race (read the book and you’ll better understand what I mean).  With that being said, the second part of struggle three is related to this special ability.  King uses it to abruptly end the book causing the entire story to fall flat and just end in a “happily-ever-after” sort of manner.  A very tense moment at the end just kind of stops and literally, “walks out the door.”  Really!?  We had all this major build-up and were staged for the grand finale and what do we get?  A moldy bologna sandwich.  I don’t know if deadlines were tight, ideas had run dry, or he was just looking for a sequel opportunity (mark my words now…See You Later by Stephen King, set to debut December 2022).  No matter what the case, this is becoming characteristic of King’s writing.  He just doesn’t finish strong anymore.  That was one of the reasons I started reading his work 20+ years ago.  He wrote a great story with a very satisfying ending.  No, it may not have been a happy ending, but it was satisfying.  King has lost his touch when it comes to a solid finish.  Period.  Best word to describe it, unfulfilling.                    

Suggested Audience

Obviously, this story is written for a mature audience (adults), however, this would be an acceptable novel for a mature young adult or teen.  Also, if you are looking to dive into Stephen King’s work, this would be a good novel to start with for two reasons. First, there are no characters linked to a previous story/book and secondly, it is a horror novel, but it’s not demented horror like we find in several of his other stories (i.e., you will be able to sleep at night).   

Overall Book Score: 3 out of 5 books

So, there you have it, a Tobacco and a Tome.  Thank you again for visiting The Pipe Professor webpage.  Stay tuned, both here and on The Pipe Professor YouTube channel, for more literature, tobacco, pipes, cigars, and timeless treasure content.  I hope to post bi-weekly (alternating) Sundays on both platforms.      

Until next time, thanks for reading.  Cheers!  

Padron Family Reserve 50 Years Maduro

Padron Family Reserve 50 Years Maduro   

Happy 2021!  I am excited that the first cigar I am blessed to smoke and review this year is the Padron Family Reserve 50-years Maduro No.50.  I purchased a 10-count box of these cigars back in 2015 and yes, am just now opening them for enjoyment.  Before getting to the review, lets discuss a little about this cigar and its significance in the Padron portfolio.  

In celebration of their 50th year in the cigar production business, the Padron family chose to celebrate the milestone with the creation of a regular production cigar line, Family Reserve.  Finding their beginnings in 1964 by patriarch Jose O. Padron, immigrant to the United States from Cuba, the Padron cigar company is currently based in Miami, Florida with crop growth and production occurring in Estelí, Nicaragua.  It goes without saying that Padron cigars started as a family endeavor and continuous as such to this day.  Although 2018 saw the passing of founder Jose O. Padron, the company continues its forward motion and success under Jorge Padron, son of the late Jose O. Padron.  The following are the six lines in the Padron portfolio, all of which encompass various shapes, sizes, and wrapper leaves (natural or maduro).  

  • Padron Series
  • Padron Damaso
  • Padron 1964 Anniversary
  • Padron 1926 Serie
  • Padron Family Reserve
  • Padron 50th Anniversary

For more information of the Padron family story visit their website at:        

On to the review….

Padron Family Reserve 50-years Maduro Attributes

Size: Robusto

Length: 5  

Ring Gauge: 54

Wrapper: Nicaragua 

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Country: Nicaragua

Price: $25.00 USD ea.; $250 USD 10ct. Box

Pre-light Inspection: The Padron Family Reserve 50-year sports a gorgeous box press, similar to most cigars in the Padron line.  The deep, dark, smooth wrapper leaf has minimal veins and provides an unlit aroma of sweet cocoa and rich earth.  The bands are extravagant and easily accent the specialness of the cigar.  The upper, main band is a deep wine red embossed with gold lettering depicting the Padron name and Family Reserve label.  Underneath the main band we are presented with a number ID band typically of Padron’s 1964 and 1926 lines.  These secondary ID bands help prevent counterfeiting of the cigars and personalize the smoker’s experience with the stick.  The second band is cream colored with gold lettering displaying 50 years.  The cap of the cigar is smooth, round, and well-applied.  The solid roll showed a jam-packed foot with no soft spots detected on the pinch throughout the cigar’s body.  Upon cold, pre-light draw I was presented with an effortless resistance, typical of most Padron cigars.  Cold tastes showed hopeful notes of earth and leather (similar to a new leather belt). 

Tasting Notes and Performance:  Throughout the smoking experience the cigar never required a touch up and the burn was suburb and straight the entire time.  The cigar produced a medium gray ash that showed beautifully stacked, wavy layers.  The tastes I noted throughout were earthy barnyard, dark cocoa powder, black coffee, and a mild pepperiness, all wrapped in a thick, creamy, white smoke.  The cigar was very well balanced in its tasting profile, however, very typical of a Nicaraguan maduro (certainly a Padron cigar).  The cigar provided a full-bodied experience and was medium-full in strength.  It’s easy to understand this is a cigar to be savored, not smoked like a steam engine.  The room aroma was a mix of sweet tobacco and soft yeasty bread.  Total smoking time was 74 minutes.             

Overall Impressions:  I have high expectations cigars that costs $25.00 a piece, and the Padron Family Reserve 50 Years Maduro delivered on this expectation.  With that being said, at this price point, this cigar is certainly not an everyday smoke.  I am pleased with the balance and eloquence the cigar shows and look forward to dipping into the box on special occasions or with friends over dinner and drinks; however, if given the option of spending $250 on another box or putting that cash toward a 25-count box of Cubans, I will stick with the latter.  The only negative point against this cigar is the price.  However, luxury experiences call for a luxury price tags and if you have some extra dough laying around, I can assure you that investing it on a Pardon Family Reserve 50 years will pay you back with an extraordinary smoking experience.  If you have the opportunity to pick one up, do so.  It will be worth your time and money.   

Cigar score: 4 out of 5 boxes

Until next time, stay blessed. Cheers!

Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2020

Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2020   

Let’s address the elephant in the room, 2020 was more than complicated due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Many of us have had to change our day-to-day habits, several individuals have lost their jobs, and even more have suffered from the loss of family and friends due to the virus.  Nobody, at the start of the year, would have ever guessed our current situation would look as drab as it does.  On top of all the pandemic chaos, Americans have persistent through a tough and interesting election year.  And although the election itself has been decided, we continue to be overrun with crappy political battles that do the exact opposite of putting people in the country at the forefront of decision making.  Alas, we do see hope on the horizon with vaccines beginning to be distributed and business/restaurants beginning to re-open.

For us pipe smokers, the social aspect of the hobby was put on complete hold as many pipe shows and tobacco shops were forced to close their doors or cancel for the year.  Although many organizations attempted to push dates back, the ongoing shutdowns, due to the pandemic, proved too much for pipe smokers to gather in organized fashions.  If we are able to learn anything from this entire situation, I hope that it’s to not take things for granted.  Our time with others, and simple gestures such as hugs and handshakes, should, and will, never be viewed the same.  If nothing else is produced from all the craziness, I hope each of you will, when safely permissible, take the time to visit with family and friends (and not just go through the motions).  We have quickly come to realize, we are not invincible, and life is not a haphazard dream.   

Similar to year’s post, my favorite tobacco list includes my top five tobaccos of the year and my two biggest disappointments.  As with any handmade product that requires personal inference, my thoughts and opinions are subjective and reflect what I enjoy or dislike as a pipe smoker.  You may or may not agree with the tobaccos on either list, and that’s ok.  You too are entitled to an opinion; however, you’re visiting this site to share in my own tobacco enjoyments and disappointments.  So, without further ado, I present my top five tobaccos of 2020 and my two biggest letdowns.  Keen observers of The Pipe Professor webpage will note some old comrades who continue to make the list, while eyeing a few newbies that have appeared. Enjoy!  

Tobacco #5 for 2020

Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding

Info & Overview

Brand: Seattle Pipe Club 

Category: Balkan

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

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Krumble Kake

Available Packaging: 2oz or 8oz tin

Price: $15.99 USD (2oz); $39.99 (8oz)

Tobacco Notes:  Although being listed as a Krumble Kake, this tobacco is presented in large, thickly sliced flakes that easily fall apart in your hands if not handled with care. On top of being very tasty, Seattle Pipe Club’s Plum Pudding provides the smoker with a creamy, spicy, fruity sweetness while offering a wonderful room note to be enjoyed by smokers and non-smoker alike. The pleasant smoky characteristic partners well with the Virginia tobaccos to showcase a fresh grassy, molasses sweetness.  Similar to other blends on this list, Plum Pudding continues to be a go-to tobacco for me, as it never fails to deliver an enjoyable smoking experience.  My only fear is that it will soon outprice itself.  I’ve noticed a steady price hike over the last few years (as with many other blends) and wonder when/if it will lose its “bang for the buck” promise.  Fingers crossed the price will level itself out and the enjoyment it provides will continue.    

Tobacco #4 for 2020

Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader Special Edition with Perique

Info & Overview

Brand: Samuel Gawith 

Category: English

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

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $13.75 (not currently in production)

Tobacco Notes:  Samuel Gawith produces a staple English tobacco blend.  If fact, Squadron Leader is a quintessential example of a classic English blend.  Add some perique, as in the Special Edition listed here, and you have pipe smoking bliss!  This tobacco shows tasting notes of fresh cut cedar wood chips, sun dried grasses, and a comforting burnt campfire essence.  The tobacco’s moisture content is spot on and delivers a wonderfully cool smoking experience.  The only downfall this tobacco has is its availability.  Being a resurrection, spearheaded by, the tobacco is typically offered once per year in limited quantities.  Unfortunately, this year, SPC did not offer the blend as in years past (probably just another thing this stupid virus caused us to lose).  Hopefully, 2021 will see another production run of this blend and if it does, I highly suggest you pick a tin or two up to try.      

Video review of Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader Special Edition with Perique can be found here.  Full written review can be found here.

Tobacco #3 for 2020

McClelland 221B Series Arcadia 

Info & Overview

Brand: McClelland Tobacco Company

Category: Oriental 

Blend Components: Oriental/Turkish; Virginia

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: N/A (no longer in production)

Tobacco Notes: Several years later, and we all continue to feel the loss of the famous McClelland Tobacco Company.  Anyone who knows me, knows I was very fond of McClelland tobaccos (before they announced their plans to close).  I had steadily built my cellar stock of their tobaccos prior to the insane online crisis that occurred in 2018-2019.  One of the tobaccos I had stored away pre-closure was the McClelland 221B Series Arcadia.  In fact, I managed to purchase several of these tins with, at the time, 8-10 years of age on them.  Now, those tins are 15-20 years old and showing the value of their contents.  McClelland Arcadia is an easy burning sweet and sour Oriental blend that shows notes of dark fruits, earthy woods, black coffee, and herbal spice.  Each bowl of this fantastic tobacco only reminds me that all good things eventually come to an end.  If you are holding back collectable tins, such as McClelland Arcadia, for that special occasion, go ahead and pop them now.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed, as this pandemic has shown, therefore, every day is a special day to smoke a special tobacco.   

Tobacco #2 for 2020

Boswell’s Northwoods

Info & Overview

Brand: Boswell’s Pipes & Tobaccos

Category: English

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Latakia; Virginia

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2oz tin or bulk per oz

Price: $13.95 USD (2oz tin); $5.35 (per oz bulk)

Tobacco Notes:  I must admit, although not holding the #1 spot on this year’s list, I purchased more Northwoods pipe tobacco than any other blend (per pound that is) during 2020.  There are some folks who find aging latakia pointless, however, I beg to differ.  Beyond delivering a balanced, silky, flavorful smoke when young/fresh, I find Northwoods to be even better with 3-5 years of age on it.  The enjoyment of the blend, when aged, creates an unapparelled smoothness that only enhances the creaminess from the latakia tobaccos.  In fact, the blend is so creamy and smooth, I would argue some type of vanilla topping has been added (it hasn’t according to the Boswell website).  If you have never tried this iconic pipe tobacco do yourself a favor and pick some up.  Never a disappointment!   

My video review of Boswell Northwoods can be found here.   

Tobacco #1 for 2020

Cornell & Diehl Professor

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia; Perique; Black Cavendish; Virginia 

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2 oz tin

Price: $10.75 USD

Tobacco Notes:  Those of you who follow my YouTube channel, or know me in any capacity, will not be surprised by this pick as my #1 tobacco of 2020. As I have stated in the past, this selection has nothing to do with the fact that my website is known as The Pipe Professor.  I give a full and detailed overview of how I came across this blend in my 2018 Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos for those who want to reminisce on the story.  This tobacco provides the smoker sweet and sour notes, woody earth, dried grass, spicy fruits, and a lingering musty room note that is suggestive of an old library or bookstore full of dusty tomes.  Maybe it’s my infinite love for books and libraries that make this tobacco’s smoking profile so enjoyable for me, or maybe it’s just complex enough to remain interesting?  Either way, Cornell & Diehl’s Professor has earned my #1 spot since 2018 and continues to be a superstar tobacco for me.  Similar to other tobaccos on this list, I encourage you to pick a tin up in your next order and give it a try.  Personal preference, smaller pipe bowls, sipped slowly, provide the most payoff when it comes to Cornell & Diehl’s Professor. 

Top Two Tobacco Disappointments of 2020

Cornell & Diehl Good Morning

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl 

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia; Oriental/Turkish; Virginia 

Flavorings: None 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $10.75 USD

Tasting Notes: Being a major fanboy of Dunhill’s Early Morning Pipe (I have yet to try the blend since Peterson took over product as I have a fully stocked cellar of the Dunhill run), I was interested to learn that Cornell & Diehl had what they defined as an EMP match in their line-up (Good Morning).  From the start let me be point blank in saying, this is not an EMP match blend.  I did a full review of the blend on both my YouTube channel and The Pipe Professor webpage, but to sum it all up, this blend is about the most uninteresting bland tobacco I have ever smoked.  The beauty of EMP is the balance between the Virginia tobaccos and the English/Orientals.  This balance is non-existent in C&D Good Morning.  I found the blend to be very Virginia forward with the Latakia and Oriental tobaccos having minimal if any presence.  On top of this, the Virginias were very dry tasting, reminding me of burning dead leaves and cigarette smoke (which I am NOT a fan of).  The pipe had to be sipped slowly to avoid tongue bite and the tobacco burned very quickly.  In my opinion, this blend is nothing short of a hoax.  I will not be purchasing it in the future and would not recommend it to any pipe smoker I call a friend.      

 Ken Byron Ventures (KBV) Sakura

Info & Overview

Brand: Ken Byron Ventures (KBV)

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Black Cavendish; Oriental; Virginia

Flavorings: Cherry 

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 2oz pouch

Price: $15.00 USD

Tasting Notes: I was introduced to Ken Byron Ventures (KBV) tobaccos this year and must admit I’m on the fence about their blends.  There are several I have enjoyed such as Goblin Mixture and King’s Ransom, however, at $15.00 USD per 2oz, my expectation for quality is of the utmost level, as yours should be.  I have yet to have a KBV blend that met its $15 worth/value.  Yes, Goblin Mixture and King’s Ransom are good, but not $15 good.  Therefore, you can image when I smoked the Sakura aromatic blend, and it tasted like a mix between wet dog and cherry cough drops, I about lost it.  To be fair, I don’t smoke aromatics as much as I used to, but I still make time and space in my rotation to appease my aromatic desires.  With that being said, there is an art to creating a quality, enjoyable aromatic tobacco; Sakura does not adhere to those guidelines.  The tobacco not only tasted bad, the burn was hot and harsh with the topping leaving a lingering essence in the pipe after being smoked (my second bowl I tried in a cob and still disliked the tobacco).  On top of all this, I paid $15 just to have this monstrous disaster fill a good mason jar and ghost one of my briars.  Now, on the upper hand, KBV does have a lot of positives going for them such as their packaging, quickness of shipping, and shipping cost (free).  So, that does make up for a little of the $15 price tag, but I’d rather have a quality tobacco that gave me a good memorable smoking experience than unique packaging.  If you’ve ever considered purchasing from KBV I encourage you to support their small business (it’s the right thing to do during these difficult times); however, stay away from Sakura.  You can thank me later for the heads up.

Again, thank you for visiting The Pipe Professor website.  I hope you have enjoyed my Top 5 Pipe Tobaccos of 2020 and please stay tuned for more reviews and exciting content in the upcoming year.  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,, and  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.  

Pipe Tobacco Review

Cornell & Diehl Good Morning

In response to the famous Dunhill (now Peterson) Early Morning Pipe, Cornell & Diehl released their own version of EMP at the Chicagoland Pipe Show “several years back” (Tobacco Reviews, 2020).  Blended by Craig Tarler and Bill Runowski, the Good Morning blend is said to be a spot-on match to EMP.  Some of you may have seen my ‘Pop-the-Top’ review of this blend on The Pipe Professor YouTube Channel a few weeks back.  If not, feel free to watch the first impressions review of C&D Good Morning here.  After smoking through ¾ of the tin, I feel I now have enough experience with the blend to give it a fair and just assessment.  So, let’s go ahead and jump right in.      

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl 

Category: English

Blend Components: Virginia, Latakia, Orientals

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $10.41 USD

Tin Date: 05/2020

On to the review…  

From the Tin: Keen observers will note from my original impressions video review, that I had difficulty pinpointing specific descriptive attributes from the tobacco straight out of the tin.  My hope was that as the tobacco had time to air out in the tin, something more would develop; and to my surprise, it did.  After revisiting the blend over the course of a week, the tin note showed characteristics of heavy oak, burnt/charred wood, walnut, and dry hay.  The tobacco is said to be ribbon cut; however, I was able to find chucks of flake tobacco throughout the ribbons.  From the visual perspective, I would argue the blend is heavy on the Virginias when compared to its Latakia and Oriental counterparts.   

Tasting Notes: Being hopeful that the tasting department for the tobacco would experience a similar positive uptick that the tin note did, I smoked C&D Good Morning in four different briar pipes and one cob.  Unfortunately, the taste of the tobacco was overall dry and flat.  As I stated in my YouTube review, the blend is nothing like Dunhill’s EMP.  C&D Good Morning is very much a Virginia forward blend.  In fact, there were several times I questioned if Latakia or Orientals were even present in the blend at all.  The tobacco did show tasting notes of dry grasses, herbs, and smokey/burnt leaves with the overall strength of the blend being mild to medium.  The room note was just “so so” and similar to the taste, reminded me of cigarette smoke, which I’m not a huge fan of.  The tobacco did perform well, burning down to a nice grey/white ash.  Overall, I enjoyed the blend the most in my Missouri Meerschaum Mark Twain as the corncob pipe added a nice supporting sweetness to the tobacco’s tasting profile.   

Overall Impression: You may have guessed it, but this blend is not for me.  When honestly reflecting on everything, I did have preconceived high hopes for the blend as it was supposed to be a Dunhill EMP match. Seeing as EMP is one of my all-time favorite tobacco blends (and I have smoked a lot of it), I can confidently say the current run/production of C&D’s Good Morning, is not even close to an EMP match.  I’m not sure if something has changed with the blend over the years, but I will for sure not be purchasing any more in the future.   

Tobacco Score:

Rating Chart Score Breakdowns can be found here.

Pipe Tobacco Review

Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader with Perique

Samuel Gawith tobacco company is one of the oldest and most well know producers of pipe tobacco, cigars, and snuff.  Established in 1792, the company operates out of the United Kingdom.  The specific tobacco we are discussing for this review, Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader with Perique, was re-introduced to the pipe smoking market in 2015 with a special release of 2000 tins from (SPC).  Since then, SPC has had two consecutive releases of this limited edition tobacco; 2018 where they produced and sold 3000 tins, and 2019 where 4500 tins were provided to the pipe smoking consumer base.  I am hopeful we will see a 2020 production with 5000+ tins, however, with the current worldwide pandemic, things may not turn out in our favor.  Only time will tell…  

Info & Overview

Brand: Samuel Gawith

Category: English

Blend Components: Virginia, Latakia, Orientals, Perique

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $13.75 USD

On to the review…

From the Tin: Interesting combination in the tin.  The tobacco shows lots of light and dark brown leaves.  The dark black latakia and perique leaf is certainly viable and present.  The tin note is heavy latakia with the synonymous campfire/burn wood scent.  There is also a naturally sweet, similar to honeysuckle, undertone in the tobacco tin smell.   

Tasting Notes: I still recall the first time I tried this tobacco.  Just to be straightforward, from the first bowl, I was hooked.  This is a wonderfully made tobacco that I find extremely tasteful and satisfying.  From the tin, the tobacco yields a good moisture level, however, as I enjoy smoking my blends a little on the drier side, I allowed the tobacco to sit out for 20-30 minutes prior to loading the pipe and smoking.  Consistently, this tobacco offers tastes of wood cedar chips, dry grasses/hay, campfire, and burnt wood notes.  There were times I noted a spicey pepper essence, however, this typically dissipated quickly after the start of the bowl.  The tobacco burns down to a fine white ash leaving little dottle in the bottom of the pipe.  The smoke is a cool, thick, and white with a room note that is what you would expect from a heavy latakia or oriental blend.  Not spouse approved.  Overall body of the smoke I would rate as medium/full while the strength of the tobacco is full.   

Overall Impression: As I stated in the opening, this tobacco is exceptional.  My only issue regarding the blend has to do with the production and availability, not the tobacco itself.  As a limited/special run, this blend is very hard to acquire and not in regular supply.  It could, however, be argued that most of the Samuel Gawith blends are currently difficult to purchase, making this tobacco just a normal for us in the States.  If you are ever provided the opportunity to purchase Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader with Perique, I highly recommend you do so.  Keep an eye open on the website for their “hopeful” annual release of this blend as you will be highly rewarded for your wait.  

Tobacco Score:

Interested in seeing the video review for this blend? Visit The Pipe Professor YouTube channel at the following link: for video review of this tobacco.

Be well,

April/May Pipefuls Community Review

Cornell & Diehl Smokingpipes 20th Anniversary XX Flake

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 11.56.57 AM

*The above photo was taken from the website. The author of this post is not the owner of the above photo.

For those readers who also listen to the Pipefuls podcast, I recently made a request for anyone wishing to review Cornell & Diehl’s Smokingpipes 20th Anniversary Blend XX Flake to post their review under the comments on The Pipe Professor webpage.  This is the post that was referenced during the podcast and available for anyone wishing to contribute to the community review of SPC 20th Anniversary XX Flake (regular not the dark flake).

Below you will find the information and blend details.  If you would like to participate, please write your review of this month’s blend below in the comments of this post.  As the Pipefuls podcast works to build up community participation, I will be selecting reviews posted below to be read aloud on the Pipefuls podcast Episode 6 premiering May 10, 2020.

If you would like to participate in the Pipefuls community review, please write your thoughts, experiences, like/dislike, or other information you have noted about the SPC 20th Anniversary XX Flake below in the comments.  Anyone wishing to participate has from April 12th through May 8th to post comments or reviews about the blend.

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: Virginia

Blend Components: Perique, Oriental, Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2 oz tin

Price: $12.00 USD

Link to Pipefuls Episode 4 on iTunes:

As always, thank you for visiting the website and supporting the Pipefuls podcast and YouTube videocast.  I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these trying times.  As always, be well and cheers!

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 1.37.51 PM

Pipefuls – Episode #3

Episode #3 – Interview with Dion Powell

For the third episode of Pipefuls, I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Dion Powell, also know as Classical Pipes and Classical Gourmet on YouTube.  Similar to previous episodes, you can watch the interview via YouTube or stream the show on iTunes.  For those that may not be aware, the iTunes podcast for each show contains further pipe and tobacco related content such as news/information and a tobacco review prior to the guest interview.

Pipefuls YouTube interview with Dion Powell

Pipefuls Podcast Show Link on iTunes

Dion’s YouTube Channels

Pipefuls will be published on a bi-weekly cycle with the next episode featuring Chad Yarbourgh (Yardism on YouTube).  You can listen to the audio podcast on Sunday, April 12th or for those who enjoy video more than audio, the YouTube version will be published Sunday, April 19th.  Feel free to give the show a like/thumbs up and rating/review on iTunes and YouTube.  As always, your feedback is much welcomed and valued.

Until next time, cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Pipefuls – Episode #1

Episode #1 – Interview with Eric Meek

For the first episode of Pipefuls, I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with all-around good guy and pipe smoker Eric Meek (ericsrandomworld on YouTube and Instagram).  You have the option of watching the interview via YouTube or listening via podcast.  Links for both formats are posted below along with a link to Eric’s YouTube channel.

YouTube Pipefuls Link

Podcast Link

Eric’s YouTube Channel

Pipefuls will be published on a bi-weekly cycle with the next episode premiering Friday, March 20th.  Feel free to give the show a like/thumbs up and rating/review on iTunes and YouTube.  As always, your feedback is much welcomed and valued.

Until next time, cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

The Time We Are Given

The Time We Are Given – A Pipefuls Project

Gandolf with Pipe

The ultimate question.  What do we do with the time we are given?  First and foremost, please excuse my absence.  Those of you who have followed my YouTube Channel and this blog know that it has been almost a full year since I have created any content.  I openly admit, that has been on purpose.  Believe me, the itch to write and/or create a video about the hobby I love, and support, has been nothing short of difficult, however, I felt I truly needed to step away for a stint.  Why you may ask?  This time a year ago, I was becoming ever increasingly upset with the self-loathing and disheartening greed I was witnessing in the online pipe community, specifically the YTPC (monetization whining).  Please don’t misunderstand, some of the greatest pipe smokers I’ve now come to call close friends started from the YouTube brother/sisterhood.  The stories, advice, and interaction with others who enjoy pipe smoking, via social media, is an exceptional experience as local options are not always easily available.  My time away from it all (minus Instagram where I remained active) allowed me to reflect on those experiences and thus help me come to an inner peace with such circumstances.  If a pipe smoker/presenter choses to use their channel or media outlet to complain about monetization and such, so be it.  It’s their channel.  If individuals enjoy watching and supporting such nonsense.  So be it.  It’s their time.  But the breaking point for me was the tragedy and unexpected passing of John Harden (Matches860).

Matches860 Picture

One year ago, my original analysis and presumptions of the pipe community (as detailed above) were the driving factor for my taking a sabbatical from it all.  Being able to stand back and observe everything and everyone with the passing of Matches860 has redirected my thinking.  The amount of love and passion for an individual, that 90% of the web-based community had never actually met in person, was and is extraordinary.  You may think your 100 subscribers isn’t a big deal, but it is.  You may think the 5-10 minute video of you talking about and smoking your pipes doesn’t matter.  It does.  Those pictures you post on Instagram of the snow, ice, and Captain Black you are smoking, they’re appreciated.  The pipe community isn’t about making money from viewers.  It’s not about showcasing how big our tobacco cellars or pipe collections are.  It’s about stories.  The stories of great people such as Matches860.  The stories of a time long forgotten.  The stories that make each of us different yet unite us under one common hobby…the hobby of pipe smoking.  For years, Matches860 was the lynchpin for the hobby.  He chose to use the time he had been given to share his love and passion for pipe smoking with each of us on a regular basis.  His ability to tell a captivating story and share his experiences was nothing short of inspiring.  John will certainly be missed, however, his impact and influence on each of us, that followed him via online community media, will never be forgotten.  Thank you, John, for helping open my eyes to the bigger picture of the online pipe community.  For giving me my first shout out within the YTPC, and for always being true to yourself and the hobby.  Rest well my friend.


My time away from the online pipe community has also allowed for reflection of my own presentation. Although I have enjoyed making YouTube videos, I have always dabbled with others means to expand our hobby to the world.  It seems of late that the overreaching body we call government continues to burn down bridges for us lovers of fine tobaccos making it harder and harder to enjoy a simple pleasure such as, smoking a pipe.  My first consideration was some type of newsletter or quarterly written journal that would be published for those interested.  I even discussed this option in some of my YouTube videos and Pipe Professor blog posts.  In the end, this option proved to be both costly and content time laden. I enjoy writing and will continue to post unique articles and stories here on The Pipe Professor webpage but not everyone enjoys and/or has the time to read on a regular basis.  Therefore, my I went back to a medium I had tried in the past but hadn’t planned well for or know much about…podcasting.

Microphone Picture

Previously, I had recorded and published a few podcast episodes under The Pipe Professor Podcast show name.  Although those episodes had quite a few downloads and a good response, my lack of planning and preparation hindered the show’s success.  Further, I didn’t like the idea of the podcast being named after my handle and the heading of this webpage (remember, I was fighting with the self-loathing issue around this period – see above).  Well, let this post be the announcement that I will be attempting to make another run in the podcast pipe community paradigm.  As the time we are given is precious, I want to use my time to support the pipe community and others within the pipe community.  Matches860 gave us a perfect example of the wonderful stories each person has to share, and I want the podcast to be that avenue for sharing.  And, since the time we are given is limited, what better way to support the hobby while maximizing your time than with a podcast?  Cutting the grass and want to hear some pipe related conversation, tune in to the podcast.  Driving to work and tired of listening to bad music and political news reports?  Tune in to the podcast.  At work and looking for a way to pass the time while still appearing busy?  Tune in to the podcast.  My goal is for the podcast to focus on interviewing not only the high-profile people in the pipe community, but any and all pipe smokers.  That’s right, no matter who you are or what you do, I think you’re worth talking to.  Why?  Because you’re a pipe smoker.  Hipster?  Codger? Academic? Blue collar?  It doesn’t matter, in my eyes anyone who smokes a pipe has an interesting story worth hearing.  So, be on the lookout for Pipefuls – A podcast for pipe and tobacco enthusiasts (launching in March 2020).

Pipefuls Banner 2

Thanks again for your patience and continued support while I have been away.  I am both eager and hopeful in this upcoming journey and will need everyone’s support to help get things off the ground.  Because the best thing we can do with the time we are given, is give back to others.  Until next time, cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

A Pipe Smoker’s Inquiry

The Beginning of the End

If you, like myself, are one of the many subscribers to Pipes and Tobaccos magazine, you were upset to recently learn that the Spring 2019 issue will be the last printed run of the publication. Without a doubt, this is very disheartening, and quite frankly, a huge loss to the pipe smoking community. Therefore, as inquiry driven pipe smokers, we must not only ask ourselves why options for pipe smoking literature/content are dwindling (and now virtually non-existent), but further, what can we do to help support the growth and sustainability of quality content related to this timeless hobby?  Warning: This article will focus on the pros and cons related to pipe smoking content and literature and be heavily laced with my own opinion regarding the subject.  Note – You have been warned.

Pipes & Tobacco Magazine

To help narrow the focus of this post, I would like to first address the question regarding why options for pipe smoking literature/content are dwindling.  In order to answer this inquiry, I would like to list some of my favorite options of consuming pipe smoking literature/content.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, rather, a few options and formats that I currently utilize.

YouTube Logo

YouTube– Let’s be honest.  If you are a pipe smoker and have not heard of the YouTube Pipe Community (YTPC), you have been living under a rock for the last decade.  In fact, I will confidently argue that this is one of, if not THE, main platform that a majority of pipe smokers use to seek out information, content, and updates related to the hobby.  When examining the growth and expansion of the pastime, I overwhelmingly feel YouTube has been a great asset to the pipe smoking hobby.  However, YouTube is a free, never-ending resource, and because of its open access and reach, it can sometimes be both unreliable and unfulfilling.  Before readers of this post begin writing hate letter to the old Pipe Professor, let me explain what I mean by unreliable and unfulfilling.

When examining the definition of unreliable, keen observers will note several descriptive adjectives used in the term’s definition such as; untrustworthy, not dependable, lacking in accuracy, and dishonest.  Due to the non-existent vetting, or examination of content on YouTube, anyone could begin making videos as part of the YTPC and claim to be an expert on the subject.  In fact, many individuals on YouTube, and in the YTPC, justify their expertise through the number of subscribers they accrue and/or the amount of views/likes/shares they receive on their videos.  I argue this to be not only misleading but a major sham regarding both the experience and expertise needed in the hobby.  Granted, there are several extremely knowledgeable pipe smokers that participate in the YTPC who help share intellect and information related to pipes and tobaccos.  However, not only are these individuals few and far between, they are greatly outnumbered, and in some instances overshadowed, by the less than desirable presenters, and mediocre content they upload.  This reality does in fact make the current YTPC unfulfilling.  Be upset if you want, the truth of it is most of the content uploaded as part of the YTPC has become boring and irrelevant (along with inaccurate).  In fact, as of recent, it could be argued that several presenters are more focused on who can hold the most give-a-ways (GAWs) or have the best prizes in GAWs. Again, no offense, but I personally didn’t participate in the YTPC to compete with other pipe smokers on who offers the most GAWs to gain subscribers, or tout about the prizes I offer. Undeniably, this supports my original opinion of unreliable and unfulfilling to be true.

What does the YTPC offer? Again, in my opinion, the YTPC is a great place for new pipe smokers to find ‘some’ accurate beginning pipe smoking information, and more importantly, make connections to other pipe smokers (be warned – not all of them are experts) in their local areas.  By and large, this unreliable format will continue to grow and become further unfulfilling, thus, prompting the question of, is it truly supporting the hobby or hurting it in the long run?

Podcast Logo

Podcasts– I find it both ironic and comical that there was a time in American history where the radio was the sole source for broadcasting information and entertainment.  Families would gather around the old juke box after dinner and listen to their favorite programing through pure audio means.  Now, half a century later, we find ourselves slowly gravitating back toward this format of entertainment.  Arguably, I feel podcasts have grown in popularity because of their compatibility and convivence.  We all live extremely busy lives that continue to be filled with work and responsibilities that cannot be avoided.  In my opinion, podcasts provide us with two unknowing benefits.  One, they are extremely convenient and can be enjoyed as we work our way through the busyness of life, and two, they indirectly create an opportunity for us to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of real, one-sided, conversation.  Similar to YouTube, most podcasts are free to listeners (again, the freeness is arguably a major reason people gravitate toward this option rather than a paid magazine subscription) and provide updated information and exposure to the pipe smoking hobby.  Unlike YouTube, the three pipe related podcasts I listen to are indeed considered reliable, as they focus on interviewing experts in the field of pipes and tobaccos to help create a knowledge and exposure to the hobby.

Forums and blogs logo

Social Media/Forums/Blogs– I will group these three together to save both time and energy as they are each worthy to note but frequently lack consistency and rigor.  Social media communities such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook provide the most updated information in small burst, however, do not offer the rigorous sustainability needed to maintain a quality foundation within the hobby.  More often than not, these social media outlets provide quick snapshots into the enjoy of the hobby by others.

There are indeed a number of pipe smoking forums available, that in all honesty, archive some great information and content related to pipes and tobacco.  In fact, if you are searching for a more reliable source for expert pipe smoking advice I would advise pipe smoker forums before YouTube. The only hold back regarding forums are the sometimes less than desirable assholes that post responses to questions and conversations.  There are several instances where forums will have self-proclaimed experts who feel the need to give their input on every single topic, regardless of relevance. This in itself is not a deal breaker for using most forums, however, can become a nuisance.

I will be the first to raise my hand when it comes to inconsistency with blog postings and updates.  There are more times than not as of late, where life outside of this hobby demands my attention.  And as most of you are aware, my family and friends take precedence over pipe smoking. My situation here at The Pipe Professor webpage is similar to many other pipe smoking bloggers and writers.  Life is busy, and consistent updates/post are not at the top of the list.  Again, there are several pipe and tobacco related blogs that provide high quality, accurate information and content.  However, the consistency in posting material tends to be a hindrance for several of these blogs.  Because of this, sustainability of quality content becomes an issue.

Bible and Briar

Print Publications– Without a doubt, this is the most dwindling of the four mediums I will discuss in this post.  I earnestly feel that print publications have two negative qualities that directly contribute to their dwindling categorization.  First, print publications typically cost money for the publisher and the consumer.  Second, they directly compete with the free, instantly updated online world we live in.  Example one being the currentPipes and Tobaccos magazine dilemma.  Similarly, publications such as The Pipe Collector, that is published by the North American Society of Pipe Collectors (NASPC), has an aging editorial board that has already posted a cry for help regarding the continuation of the publication.  By the way, I submitted all my membership renewal dues on time and still have not received a copy of The Pipe Collector since last October 2018. Anyone know what’s up with that? If we, as a young and upcoming community of pipe and tobacco enthusiasts, don’t look to take the reins on things such as this, we will quickly see the end of yet another pipe smoking resource.

Further related to print publications, books related to the hobby are not as numerous as once before. Maybe because of the slowly evolving nature of the hobby, maybe because of the time and cost associated with completing such a task.  Either way, I argue that most of the quality literature (books) about pipe smoking were printed outside of this past decade and furthermore, outside the turn of the century.

Now that all of that complaining it out of the way, lets focus on the second question posed above, “what can we do to help support the growth and sustainability of quality content related to this timeless hobby?”  Understandably, if this question had a simple answer, we would follow through with the solution and all sing ‘kumbaya.’  Unfortunately, the problem driving the question is loaded with multiple complications that will require either real change, or, an acceptance of the inevitable changes to come.

Man thinking Picture

In a YouTube video approximately 9 months ago (as I just bashed YouTube….) I posed a question regarding individual’s interest in contributing or subscribing to some sort of newsletter/publication, similar to that of the old Pipe Smoker’s Ephemeris by Tom Dunn [link to the video:] . The feedback I received regarding interest in a similar publication was very positive and forthcoming.  In fact, there have been multiple occasions where I have investigated the idea of facilitating such a project and would still be open to doing such, however, I would need some serious insight from those who have been successful at doing so, on how to create sustainability while keep outlying factors such as costs, low.  Let this be an open invite to anyone who can, and is, willing to share the business side of managing such a publication to contact me at your convenience.

Other options, in my opinion, would include having an already well establish company such as Ladisi (, or Pipes and Cigars, take the reins in producing and overseeing such content as a magazine or book.  Similar to the statements above, due to the lack of interest and costly risks associated with a print publication focusing on Pipes and Tobacco, it may not make sense on the business side of things.  Ultimately, it may not support the growth of their already established companies and jeopardize their success.

Lastly, I propose that more pipe smokers and tobacco enthusiasts step up to the plate and participate in actionable conversations regarding solutions to problems such as the dismantlement of those things we love and enjoy (i.e, Pipes and Tobaccos magazine, McClelland Tobacco Company). By no means do I claim to have any or all of the answers.  Rather, I bring this subject to light in order to work with other pipe smokers, like yourself, to create and develop ideas on how to overcome and halt these reoccurring tragedies.  We must collaborate and brainstorm ways to sustain quality information, history, and wisdom related to this hobby, otherwise, we are indirectly accepting the consequences of negative change.

Einstien Pipe

In closing, I feel confident that I have accomplished one of two things in this post.  Either royally pissed some of you off with my opinions regarding viable options for pipe smoking content, or, created an avenue for you to truly digest the limited availability and quality of options available to real pipe smoking enthusiast.  If you are one of the former, not latter, feel free to keep your opinions to yourself (I know you have more than one).  If you truly want to be involved in entertaining a conversation of how to keep quality options and content available, light-up a bowl of your favorite blend and post a comment below.  For those wanting to go a step farther, please feel free to email me at  I look forward to hearing from you on this subject and hope we can collaborate to find some viable solutions.

Don’t forget to slow down and simplify, cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature