Pipe Tobacco Review

Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture

Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture Pic

Are we seeing the beginning of the end?  Will pipe smokers of the future ever get to experience the Dunhill blends of today?  Do you need to go overboard and stock up on Dunhill blends before they are all gone?  I can only answer each of these questions with…maybe.

In late 2016, the pipe smoking world was put into panic at the announcement that Dunhill would be discontinuing production on its pipe tobacco blends.  At the time, the pipe community was left in limbo, as details pertaining to the discontinuation were minimal at best.  Well, we have finally been given some clarification as to the future of Dunhill pipe tobaccos.

Two weeks ago, the Briar Report (http://www.briarreport.com) reached out to British American Tobacco (BAT) to inquire about the status of Dunhill pipe tobacco production.  The following is the response they received from BAT which can be found on their website:

“Thank you for getting in touch about this. At the end of 2016 we announced that we would be ceasing supply of Dunhill cigars and pipe tobacco by the end of 2017. Like many companies, we continually review and refine our global strategy to ensure the sustainability of our business for the future. These products make up a very small part of our overall business – the rest of the Dunhill portfolio is not affected by this decision. While we appreciate that this may be disappointing news for some consumers and industry partners, these decisions help us to remain focused on, and investing in, the right parts of our business to ensure our longevity and profitability for the future. When asked to confirm if the actual production of Dunhill Pipe Tobaccos and Dunhill Cigars has already ended they reaffirmed that they are no longer in production.”

Like many pipe smokers, I had already been preparing for the worst by stocking my cellar ever so gradually with my favorite Dunhill blends.  Therefore, when the end was announced, I wouldn’t be scrambling to find what remains of these buried treasures.  Just to be transparent, the tobacco sampled for this review was from 2013 and reflects a semi-aged tobacco, not a fresh tin.

Info & Overview

Brand: Dunhill

Category: VaPer (Virginia Perique)

Blend Components: Virginia, Perique

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $9.87 USD

 

On to the review…

 

From the Tin: This is your typical Dunhill ribbon cut that is always easy to prep and pack.  Visually, the cut shows several shades of light and dark brown Virginia tobaccos with the occasional black leaf making an appearance.  The smell from the tin provides a rich sweet hay accompanied by plumy, fig, raisin notes.  The tobacco has a perfect moisture content needing no dry time, however, you will want to jar this one up upon opening, as it will dry out quickly if left unattended.

Tasting Notes: Dunhill Elizabethan is one of the simplest tobaccos I have ever smoked.  It lights easily, behaves throughout needing very few relights, and only improves as you progress through the smoking experience.  The initial tastes were remanence of a fresh batch of yeasty dough.  Although perique is associated with a spicy smoke, I did not find that to be the case with this blend.  Yes, there was an initial faint peppery, spice, however, it dissipated quickly not overpowering other flavors.  Halfway through the bowl, a creamy, almost vanilla, note appeared continuing in intensity until the end of the bowl.  Other tastes I noted throughout the smoking experience were a dark fruit character and a bright grassy likeness.  I found the room note to be extremely pleasant and welcoming, reminding me of the lingering scent one may note just before entering their favorite B&M.  Tobacco burned down to a solid white ash each smoke leaving little to no dottle in the bottom of the bowl.

Overall Impression: In my opinion, there are tobacco blends that come along during one’s smoking journey that make such an impression they are placed on a higher pedestal than other tobaccos.  Dunhill Elizabethan mixture is one of those blends.  This tobacco is refined, delicate, and certainly something ever pipe smoker should have the chance to experience.  If you haven’t already purchased this blend, please do yourself a favor and buy some before it’s gone.  I promise you will not be sorry you did.

Tobacco Score:

5 Pipes

To leave you with some parting thoughts, we know for a fact that the Dunhill pipe tobacco blends, as they are currently produced, are running on borrowed time.  If you enjoy, or think you may enjoy, any of these blends in the future, now is the time to stock up.  No, you don’t have to go haywire about purchasing, however, once these staple blends are gone, they are gone.  Although I have well stocked my favorite blends, I am still tempted to purchase a few of the mixtures I am not as familiar with.  Why you may ask?  Because I don’t’ want to look back in 15-20 years and say, “I wish I had.”  Until next time, be blessed and cheers.

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Pipe Tobacco Review

L.J. Peretti Thanksgiving Day

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Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the U.S. who are celebrating with family, friends, and good food.  Although easily overshadowed by both Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving has always been one of my personal favorites when it comes to holidays.

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the L.J. Peretti Company has a well-earned reputation in the pipe tobacco world.  With an extensive portfolio of tobacco blends ranging from Burleys and Latakia to Black Cavendish and Virginias, Peretti tobaccos have something to offer every pipe smoker.  To help celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the L.J. Peretti Company has created its Thanksgiving Day blend using a time-honored formula and unique press method to marry the tobaccos for a special smoking experience.  Being both seasonal and limited in availability, the Thanksgiving Day blend has become a staple for many pipe smokers during the Thanksgiving season. For more information on the L.J. Peretti Company and their tobacco offerings visit their website at: http://www.ljperetti.com

Info & Overview

Brand: L.J. Peretti

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Burley, Virginia

Flavorings: Fruit, Citrus, Rum

Cut Type: Krumble Kake

Available Packaging: 4 oz. cake

Price: $20.00 USD

 

On to the review…

 

From the Tin: When looking for visual examples of tobacco blending masterpieces, the L.J. Peretti Thanksgiving Day cake is certainly nothing short of perfection.  This visually appealing cake has wonderful aromas of dried fruits, alcohol, hay, straw, and herbs.  The cake is easily torn apart for ease of rubbing out and packing.  The moister level of the tobacco is spot on and requires little to no drying time before packing and smoking.

Tasting Notes:  Over the past week and a half I have smoked several bowls of the 2017 Thanksgiving Day blend.  The best way to summarize the experience, no matter what type of pipe used (i.e., briar, cob, meerschaum) is unique.  The primary aroma of the blend is a mix of a musty perfume anise mixed with an herbal/floral spice.  Tastes consists of sweet alcohol, fruits, nuts, cloves, and mild cocoa.  The blend burns well and is mild to medium in both body and strength.

Overall Impression:  In all honesty, I have mixed emotions with this blend.  Although I have had several enjoyable bowls, mostly in cobs, each time I smoke this blend in one of my briar pipes it’s just ok.  Going back to my original description above, this blend is best summarized as unique.  I’m glad I get to enjoy it during this special time of year, but it is not a blend I will smoke on a regular or consistent basis.  In fact, I will probably have plenty left for Thanksgiving 2018.  No doubt, the presentation and history of this blend is worth giving it a try, but the end result was less than desirable for my own palate.  Maybe I will revisit the 2017 Thanksgiving Day blend next Thanksgiving.  Who knows how a year in a jar will affect this tobacco?  For only time will tell.

Tobacco Score:

3 Pipes

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Pipe Tobacco Review

John Aylesbury Dragon Flake

Dragon Flake Picture

Before seeing this blend pop-up on a smokingpipes.com weekly update, I was not familiar with Dragon Flake or the John Aylesbury company.  As I do enjoy a quality aromatic tobacco, the description offered on the Dragon Flake certainly peaked my interest.  From the tobacco reviews website:

“An excellent aromatic flake, consisting of dark and golden Virginias, double-fermented Black Cavendish and a touch of Burley, flavored with the sweetish-sweet notes of maple syrup, caramel, and vanilla.  A gentle smoke flavor with cooling properties.” 

I’m not sure about those “sweetish-sweet notes,” however, everything else sounds quite delightful and it comes in flake form…interesting.  Let’s take a look at the blend breakdown.

Info & Overview

Brand: John Aylesbury

Category: Aromatic

Blend Components: Virginia, Black Cavendish, Burley

Flavorings: Vanilla, Carmel, Maple Syrup

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $13.52 USD

 

On to the review…

 

From the Tin: Absolutely top-notch presentation from the tin.  Beautiful, thin medium brown flakes with gorgeous light Virginia and Black Cavendish sprinkled throughout.  The aroma from the tin is nothing short of amazing.  Sweet fruits, plums, figs, vanilla, light cocoa, hints of cinnamon spice, and a distant light hay note are all present.  Flakes are a bit moist and do require about 25-30 minutes of dry time.  Once ready, flakes are easily rubbed out, or in my case, folded and stuffed.

Tasting Notes: Let me start by saying this tobacco is truly a treat.  The tobacco burned well delivering a memorizing room note of sweet fruits and vanilla cream, not to mention tasted great.  Flavors noted during the initial opening of the bowl mimicked that of the room note, sweet fruits and vanilla.  Halfway through the bowl, more complex chocolate and wood tastes tingled the palate and added an interesting layer to the profile.  Nicotine level is low and body is mild to medium.  Although this is not a formal ‘Christmas Blend’ it will certainly become one I reach for during the holiday season as it contains a nice cozy/warming characteristic.

Overall Impression: I must be honest in saying Dragon Flake exceeded my expectations.  I approached this tobacco with hesitation as I wasn’t sure an aromatic flake would be able to prove itself worthy.  Time to own up and eat some crow.  This is an outstanding tobacco that I will most certainly include in my rotation going forward.  After multiple bowls of Dragon Flake, I am still entranced by its amazing aroma and tastes.  I do not think this is a tobacco that will cellar well, however, when it’s this good, there’s no need to put it away.  Grab a tin for yourself and enjoy!

Tobacco Score:

4 Pipes

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature