A Pipe Smoker’s Inquiry

Happy Father’s Day

What does it mean to be a father?  Depending on which era or generation this question is posed, we would certainly find significant variations of responses.  I have always loved the image of a middle-aged male coming home from work, dressed in suit and tie, welcomed by a well-groomed house wife (typically adoring an apron of sorts), happy child, and obedient family pet.  All excited that the ‘man of the house’ has returned from a hard day’s work.

oldpipe Father's Day

As this story plays out in my mind, the husband is greeted at the door by his loving wife, who takes his gloves, hat, and overcoat, while handing him the afternoon paper for his reading prior to dinner being served.  The gracious husband and father returns his wife’s greeting with a quick smooch and confidently retreats to his most comfortable chair to enjoy an early afternoon pre-dinner pipe while reading today’s local newspaper.  After picking up his favorite, well-loved Dr. Grabow pipe, and loading a bowl of his favorite OTC blend (Granger or Sir Walter Raleigh) the father sits as his son approaches stating, “Here dad, let me light that for you.”  The father graciously allows his son to provide the first match charring light while inquiring as to what he learned in school that day.

Knowingly or not, this is one of the many crucial lessons the father is unintentionally teaching his son in the scenario above.  No, it’s not that smoking is bad and anyone who does it is a terrible and dirty individual who is sure to be damned to hell.  Actually, it is very much the opposite, in that conversation, reading, and relaxation are all good practices and very much necessary in order to live a successful, fulfilling life.

Pipe Smoking Dad

Home Sweet Home, by J.C. Leyendecker. Detail from The American Weekly – June 15, 1947 (retrieved from Eric Boehm’s Facebook account).

Obviously, the picture and scenario above represent a time from previous generations.  However, the conversation, bond, love, and respect for dad was evident with the outcome being a family that worked together and depended on one another in order to live a happy, successful life.

It could easily be argued that this interaction and loyalty have been overshadowed, and for the most part lost, due to our current fast paced, greedy, self-fulfilling society.  The now obstructed and overemphasized view of equality, rights, and free-speech have given way to the ‘new family’ where most of the values learned in the scenario above, have evaporated like ice in the dessert, or are no longer considered priorities at all due to political correctness (whatever the hell that is…).

For me, I am both blessed and grateful to have a loving family where we still value each other through conversation, relaxation, reading, and the enjoyment of various hobbies (such as board games).  It is well known by my amazing wife and kids how much I enjoy smoking a pipe and reading a multitude of literary genres.  Therefore, I must admit I was completely shocked when I was gifted a new pipe for Father’s Day this year.  Because of our interaction and frequent conversations with one another, my wife was very ‘in tune’ to a specific pipe brand/model I had been stalking lately.  To my surprise, and delight, my kiddos gifted me (at my wife’s discretion) a brand-new Stanwell Hans Christian Andersen pipe today.

Stanwell 1

Stanwell 2

I mean, wow, what an amazing gift!  This only confirms that I am blessed and appreciated by those around me who I value above anything else.  Further, this pipe now holds a special place in my collection and heart.  Even if it proves to be a terrible smoker, which I am betting it’s not, there is no way I would ever sell or trade this beautiful trinket.  In fact, I hope that one day after I’m long gone, one of my own sons will look back at the pipe and remember the joy and happiness it brought me on this Father’s Day. Although it’s not one of my own children lighting a match to provide my first charring light (as seen above), I hope my kids have been able to witness, both today and in the future, the many joys this pipe and others in my collection have brought me.  Further, the most valuable lesson to be had is that of making time for relaxation, conversation, and family.  By far, these are the keys to being successful in this overopinionated, fast-paced world.

To all the father’s reading this, I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Father’s Day.  May your day be filled with pipe smoke, food, family, and libations to celebrate your amazing role as dad.

Cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Pipe Tobacco Review

Presbyterian Mixture

Presbyterian Mixture Picture

Recently, a batch of Presbyterian Mixture hit the online markets after a long-standing drought.  Similar to other hard-to-find tobaccos, within a matter of days, the availability of this tobacco was no more.  We are once again forced to stare at the dreaded Out of Stockmessage that fills our spirts with hope that one day, we may again have the opportunity to aggressively purchase more tins of this ‘rare’ tobacco than we will ever need or consume.

In all honesty, I feel I had ample time to purchase more tins of Presbyterian Mixture, however, wanted to make sure I enjoyed it enough before doing so (I know…logic actually prevailed, shocking isn’t it).  Thus, a deep dive into the farthest corners of my tobacco cellar rewarded my daring excursion with a tin of Presbyterian Mixture from 2016.  With a few years of age, my interests were even further piqued and now it was time to see what all the hustle was about.

Info & Overview

Brand: Planta

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon/Course

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $10.00 USD

 

On to the review…

 

From the Tin: Initial nose on the tin proved the blend to contain Latakia.  Smokey campfire accompanied by natural dark fruit and woodsy walnut notes dominated the smell from the tin.  The tobacco was almost spot on in the moisture department only requiring 10 minutes of air time to dry.  Overall, the tobacco mixture is medium dark with light Virginia flakes interspersed throughout.

Tasting Notes: Unless you are a pipe and tobacco enthusiast that’s been living under some rock the past 10 years, you will note the great debate of whether or not the blend actually contains any Perique, even though it is not listed in the blend components.  After smoking several bowls of Presbyterian Mixture, I would have a hard time defending the argument that it doesn’t contain Perique.  In fact, I would almost certainly bet there is a reasonable amount of Perique in this blend.  Throughout each smoking experience I was greeted by a hefty dose of spice and pepper.  Certainly, a characteristic of Perique.  In most cases when the spicy pepper appeared it was not balanced well with the other components/tastes which was somewhat shocking to me as the tin had already accumulated 2 years of age.  I noted tastes of burnt toast, nutmeg, and dry wood while smoking and the room note was remanence of an antique sweet perfumed fragrance.  The tobacco burned well and was medium bodied throughout.  Strength of the tobacco was also a straight forward medium proving to not be overpowering in the nicotine department.  The tobacco burned down to a nice white ash each time leaving little to no dottle remaining in the bowl.

Overall Impression: It may be hard to believe based upon the tasting notes above, however, Presbyterian Mixture was just ‘ok’ in my opinion.  I experienced nothing that would cause me to speak negatively of this tobacco, but on the flip side, the ‘wow’ factor was also far from present.  I am sure there are lots of pipe smokers who enjoy this medium English blend, but for me, it’s nothing to jump up and down about. In fact, based upon my smoking experience with this cellared tin, I chose not to purchase any additional tins while still available.  If you enjoy an exclusive, medium Latakia forward smoke, pick a few tins up next time it becomes available.  For me, I think I will pass on the Presbyterian.

Tobacco Score:

3 Pipes

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Cigar Review

H. Upmann Sir Winston

HUpmann Sir Winston Header

I’m not going to lie.  It was only after delving into this month’s issue of cigar aficionado, which features the iconic Sir Winston Churchill, that I even considered revisiting a box of H. Upmann Sir Winston’s that had been peacefully aging away in one of my humidors.  Although not the actual cigar Sir Winston himself smoked, (that is said to be Romeo e Julieta Churchills) Habanos SA crafted the Sir Winston in the H.Upmann marque to celebrate and commemorate Britain’s cigar smoking iron giant.

The box I currently own displays the box code TLR SEP 08, which means the cigars were rolled in September of 2008, roughly 10 years ago.  Let me go on record ending the debate of whether aged cigars are truly better than freshly rolled sticks…the answer is a resounding YES!  If you have the time, patience, and money to store away some great cigars, specifically Cuban cigars, you will not be disappointed by your investment.  Let’s see how these 10-year-old Sir Winston’s are progressing.

 

On to the review….

 

H. Upmann Sir Winston Attributes

Size: Churchill

Length: 7

Ring Gauge: 47

Wrapper: Cuba

Binder: Cuba

Filler: Cuba

Country: Cuba

Price: $31.00 USD ea.

HUpmann Sir Winston #8

Pre-light Inspection: The smooth medium brown wrapper on this cigar had an almost redish Rosado hue. The triple seam cap was semi-sloppy and the pre-light smell showed characteristics of a rich velvety chocolate and raspberry.  No soft spots were detected and the cold draw was extremely tight showing notes of straw/hay with a creamy finish.

Tasting Notes and Performance:  Hands down, the H.Upmann Sir Winston performed like an all-star.  Although the draw was a bit firmer than I typically prefer, the cigar burned and smoked very well.  Cigar was mild in strength and medium in body throughout most of the smoking experience.  Cigar tastes included a salty soft caramel start that transitioned to cinnamon, brown sugar, buttery characteristics, and ended with creamy, bready, cedar notes. The room note reminded me of a freshly rising yeasty bread with the cigar producing a lot of thin white smoke. Very much an interesting and rewarding smoking experience.

Overall Impressions: The wait has definitely yielded reward with the H. Upmann Sir Winston.  With a little over half a box remaining, I am certainly looking forward to smoking my remaining stock in the very near future.  Although I am a firm believer that cigars do improve with age, similar to wine, there is a window where cigars peak, and if not smoked, begin to lose flavor.  The current 2008 stock are performing unbelievably amazing at the moment, offering any cigar smoker the pleasure and enjoyment we search for each smoking experience.  In my opinion, if you’ve got ‘em, smoke ‘em.

Cigar score:

5 Cigar Boxes

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Pipe Tobacco Review

Dunhill Nightcap

Dunhill Nightcap Pic

In February of this year, I reviewed Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture and discussed the unfortunate circumstance of Dunhill pipe tobacco coming to an end.  Currently, Dunhill blends are available at several online and B&M retailers, however, nobody truly knows how long the current stock will last.  I have heard opposing rumors from both ends of the spectrum regarding Dunhill pipe tobaccos.  *WARNING RUMOR ALERT*  Rumor #1, once the online and local B&M retailers run out of stock, it will not be replaced.  Rumor #2, there are warehouses full of Dunhill tobaccos that will last for at least another year, if not more.

No matter what the case may be, I think we all learned our lesson with McClelland.  If you like it, stock up!  I hope to smoke and review my way through most of the Dunhill portfolio before the end of the year, thus, giving you, the reader, a full analysis of the various blends before you decide to buy and/or stock-up for your own enjoyment.

Info & Overview

Brand: Dunhill

Category: English

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

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Ribbon

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $12.45 USD

Tin Date: October 2017

On to the review…

From the Tin: The tobacco is beautifully packed and is comprised of a mix between dark latakia tobacco, dark chestnut Orientals, and medium brown Virginias.  Tin smell is an overwhelming campfire smokiness with minor hints of a dark fruit sweetness.  Moister level is almost perfect straight out of the tin, requiring minimal, if any, drying time.

Tasting Notes: Dunhill nightcap is a completely full-body, full-flavor smoking experience…period. The tobacco burns great and provides a thick white smoke whose aromatic characteristic would be classified by most non-smokers as offensive.  Tastes included essences of damp forest floor, smoked meats, burnt/charred wood, and rich black coffee.  The vitamin N was certainly noticeable which required me to slow my smoking cadence and enjoy the bold profile this tobacco possessed.  Even when I did test the waters by smoking the blend hot and fast, it never gave me tongue bite or dried my palate.

Overall Impression: First and foremost, I would not recommend this tobacco to a novice pipe smoker, even if they are transitioning from other tobacco usage methods.  Further, I would recommend smoking Dunhill Nightcap on a full stomach, as the nicotine level is most evident.  This tobacco is certainly something special and should be treated accordingly. I very much enjoyed smoking through several bowls of this blend and highly recommend it to pipe smokers who love a full-bodied English blend.  Although Latakia is said to mellow from aging, I am certain this blend will only get better with time.  You can bet I will be stocking my cellar with Dunhill Nightcap for enjoyment in the very near future.

Tobacco Score:

5 Pipes

My parting thoughts on this blend are nothing but positive.  Without a doubt, Dunhill pipe tobaccos are something special (at least to me) and Dunhill Nightcap upholds my expectations for providing a most enjoyable smoking experience.  If you are a lover of latakia or strong, full-bodied tobaccos, this blend is a must try. Further, if you are one of the many tobacco coinsurers that are transitioning from cigars to pipe tobacco, this blend may be for you.  Pick a tin or two up and enjoy the gifts we have been given before it is gone.

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Mystery Tobacco Review March/April

Mystery Tobacco Review March/April 2018

Mystery Tobacco 3 pic 1

Why smoke and review pipe tobacco not knowing its components or who produced it?  So, we can provide you, the audience, with an objective perspective on a product easily influenced by a few big voices in a small hobby.  Yes, whether or not you want to accept it, you are a human being, whose interests and perceptions are influenced (like it or not) by the feelings, opinions, and ideas of others.  The purpose of the Mystery Tobacco review segment is not to eliminate these influences, rather, it’s an attempt to neutralize outside commercial influences that harbor unintentional effects on us as consumers/hobbyist. Also, it’s a fun thing to do!

Although we missed a month, we are back with the March/April Mystery Review. The three panelists were given samples of this month’s tobacco with no identifying information and asked to smoke a few bowls and provide their perspective.  Let’s see how this month’s blend measured up to the pipe smoking panelist.

 

On to the review…

 

Mystery Tobacco 3 pic 2

From the Tin

Derek: Fine ribbon cut. Natural sweet aroma with a little musty funk.

Corey: The smokiness of the Latakia really stands out as you open the bag and smell the blend. After the initial hit of smokiness, the spiciness of Orientals comes out with a sense of that old-time type smell…of old books and papers spread out on an old, fragrant cedar desk.  The tobacco is finely cut into ribbon pieces, a shag type cut in the old style; reminiscent of the Esoterica cuts.  In fact, this tobacco makes me think Margate!

Kyle: This shag cut is not very appealing to the eye.  My bag/sample is very dry (I hope the others weren’t sent out this dry…).  I smell from the ‘tin’ shows strong hints of both Latakia and faint Oriental notes.  I cannot detect any type of topping or added flavoring, however, as I stated, the tobacco is very dry.  The blend is a mix of both dark black leaf and faint pieces of light brown Virginias.

Tasting Notes

Derek: Packs and lights well. A nice light sweetness is present. I notice some smokiness from a little touch of Latakia. To me, the main flavor is the Oriental. Orientals always bring a “funky” flavor. Married well with the other components for a mild to medium strength blend.

Corey: The initial light ignites the Latakia smokiness and creaminess…it starts off slowly and unassuming.  This is a strong tobacco, strong flavor, full aroma, strong room note that will definitely chase those away that don’t like pipe smoke and will stink up a room. The flavor is great, especially for those who enjoy Latakia, but that’s not all it offers. There comes a spiciness, presumed from Orientals that come into play and create a rich, deep, yet creamy flavor, a type of creosote flavor, which I mean in a positive sense. All of this must be softened by a bit of Virginias, which may also add to the creaminess, pulling any harshness from the Orientals out, so it does have a good balance.

Kyle: The tobacco packs well but burned a little hot in all three bowls I smoked.  There is a pleasant room note that has a musty, old cologne reminisce to it.  I am not sure a non-smoker would care for the smell; however, I didn’t mind it.  The tastes were somewhat bland and ill defined.  I could easily identify a burnt/charred meat tastes and was occasionally entertained by a woody sweat undertone, but other than that, the tasting notes of the smoke didn’t do much for me.  The tobacco was easily medium bodied throughout with a noticeable, but not overpowering, nicotine hit.  The bowl burned down to a nice white ash leaving very little dottle.

Overall Impression

Derek: This is good. It’s like a nice mild Balkan blend. Reminds me of Early Morning Pipe. An all-day blend. I would buy this.

Corey: This tobacco is blended craftily, the cut works and packs well–like old style. The tobacco performs well all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Smokes perfectly with lots of flavor and aroma, strong and somewhat complex, a good smoky Latakia blend that isn’t too overdone or overpowering. Well worth trying, purchasing, and cellaring especially.

Kyle: Overall, this tobacco was good but far from great.  I am willing to bet the dryness of the tobacco inhibited it from fully performing as it should.  I am not disappointed in the tobacco but would not reach for it again with so many other great Latakia/Oriental choices on the market (if those are actually components of the blend…).  Glad I smoked it but would not purchase again.

Individual Scores:

Derek (4 Pipes)

4 Pipes

Corey (5 Pipes)

5 Pipes

Kyle (3 Pipes)

3 Pipes

Now that we have established our thoughts and scores, it’s time to reveal the tobacco.  The Mystery Tobacco for March/April 2018 is:

Mystery Tobacco 3 pic 3

Esoterica Pembroke (2012)

Info & Overview

Brand: Esoterica Tobacciana

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia

Flavorings: Alcohol/Liquor

Cut Type: Shag

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $15.25 USD

There are several questions that come to mind now that I know the brand and age of this tobacco.  Question 1. Does aging tobacco really make it better?  At least for me, this blend was nothing overly special.  It is said that Virginias age much better than any other type of tobacco. With this blend being primarily Latakia/Oriental, I’m not sure six years of age has done anything to improve the tobacco.  In fact, for me (not the other reviewers), it only mellowed the tobacco to the point of bland.  Question 2. There is always a lot of hype around Esoterica blends.  However, is it the actual tobacco/blend they seek or the excitement of the hunt and find of this rare, frequently unavailable, brand (blend vs. brand)?  I suppose more investigation is needed to answer both of these questions and I happily volunteer to be the one to conduct the study!

Thanks again for taking the time to visit The Pipe Professor webpage.  I hope you have enjoyed reading this Mystery Tobacco review and stay tuned for more reviews, news, and general pipe smoking related content.  Until next time, cheers!

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

Cornell & Diehl Star of the East Flake

Star of the East Flake

C&D Star of the East Flake Pic

Before coming across Kyle Weiss’s review of this blend on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show webpage, I had never heard of this tobacco.  After reading his review, my interest was certainly piqued, but what caught my attention more than anything was his reference to Star of the East Flake as having the potential to be a very close substitute for Esoterica’s Penzance.  Now, being the Penzance junky I am, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to give this blend a try.  After all, if it even came close to the coveted, but hard to obtain Penzance, then maybe the ludicrous lucky hunt for my Esoterica favorite would no longer have to exist.  So, is it truly a Penzance replica?  Let’s find out.

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl

Category: English

Blend Components: Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2oz tin (or) 8oz tin

Price: $9.77 USD (or) $29.33

 

On to the review…

 

From the Tin: This tobacco has a very intriguing tin note that will lure any lover of latakia into its memorizing grasp. The smell from the tin offers a burnt, smoky, campfire essence with deep, dark fruits, and rich tobacco notes. The presentation of long dark broken flake cuts is very appealing.  The tobacco is easily rubbed out or brittle enough to be folded and stuffed (larger bowl pipes only).  The tobacco’s moister level is a tad more than I like it, however, minimal drying time is required in order to enjoy this blend.

Tasting Notes: Boom!  Right from the start the aroma and taste let you know latakia is present.  However, let me be clear.  This is one excellent tasting tobacco.  Thick, creamy white smoke that lend itself to a figgy, natural sweet fruit taste.  There was also a minor floral, earth note that appeared halfway through the smoking experience.  The smoke is cool and dry offering a room note that is reminisce of an antique rustic book store.  The strength of the tobacco is medium while the body medium-full.  The tobacco burns extremely well leaving a nice white ash. One of the most enjoyable characteristics this tobacco offered me was the lasting aftertaste experienced long after the bowl was finished.  The taste lingers beyond the completion of smoking, continuing to provide enjoyment throughout the day.  A true sign of a quality tobacco.

Overall Impression: Is this tobacco a replacement for Penzance?  In my opinion, no.  It very well may be better than Penzance!  Don’t get me wrong, Esoterica Penzance is an excellent tobacco, however, one must take into consideration its limited availability and extreme cost and ask themselves, “Is this really worth it?”  With excellent blends such as Star of the East Flake on the market, that by the way, is a 1/3 of the price and regularly available, pipe smokers would be crazy not to give this one a go.  If you enjoy a rich, bold, complex smoking experience, Star of the East Flake is a must try.  This tobacco is very much a contender for my 2018 Top 5 list, and who knows, maybe the #1 tobacco of the year.

Tobacco Score:

5 Pipes

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature

A Pipe Smoker’s Inquiry

Reflecting on a Tragedy

As most pipe smokers would agree, the news of The McClelland Pipe Tobacco Company shutting its doors was both tragic and discomforting.  I specifically use the adjective tragic as McClelland had been in business for 40+ years.  The company was built on what most Americans describe as the ‘American Dream’.  Therefore, witnessing this 40 years of hard work and dedication from both Mike and Mary McNeil virtually crumble to pieces in a 60-day time period, is certainly as I described…tragic.  The pipe smoking community has certainly taken a negative turn because of this misfortune.  With one of the largest portfolios on the tobacco market, McClelland is now but a pastime that smokers from this time period will share with those entering the hobby 20 years from now.

McClelland Pipe Tobacco Logo

We could get into a rather deep discussion regarding the outlying factors for the company’s closure, and yes, it is concerning that such a ‘giant’ in this market melted down so quickly; however, I would prefer this piece focus on the other word I used to describe this downfall of Rome – discomforting.

What does it really mean when something or someone is discomforting?  According to the Oxford Universal Dictionary (1955) discomfort is, “to make uncomfortable or uneasy” (p. 520). To most people this does not sound appealing or pleasant in the least, but maybe it is exactly what the pipe smoking community needed [que audience gasp].  Like many others across the globe, McClelland was one of my favorite brands of tobacco.  I could have easily rushed out upon the announcement and speculation of the company closing and purchased up every available tin of McClelland tobacco to be found.  Believe me, there were several individuals who participated in such nonsensical behavior.  Instead, I chose to catalog what tins I had remaining in my cellar and establish an informal schedule of how to smoke the McClelland tobacco I have remaining in order to enjoy these tobaccos for years to come.  So, what did this endeavor teach me?  Well, I have taken this opportunity of discomfort and used it to learn, grow, and expand my pursuit of other pipe tobacco blends.  In fact, I am now somewhat thankful for the tragedy.  Let me explain.

Man Smoking A Pipe Picture

I am very much a creature of habit.  When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it and am hesitant to make any type of change or adjustment.   Because of my love for McClelland tobaccos, in the past when making a pipe tobacco order, I typically would order those tobaccos (McClelland blends) I knew would provide me with the enjoyment and comfort I seek in pipe smoking.  The closing of McClelland, and disappearance of their products from the market at reasonable prices, has forced me to change this habit and further restart my exploration for new tobacco blends currently available.  When exploring what change means, I am reminded of Marris’s (1975) point that all types of change involve loss, anxiety, struggle or a combination of the three. My discomfort, experienced from circumstances in which I have no control, has forced me to change my behavior, and I must admit, for the better.

Some of the blends I have explored in lieu of this tragedy are proving to be absolutely outstanding tobaccos, providing me with even more enjoyable smoking experiences than I have had in the past.  The following blends are some of those I have recently explored and am currently enjoying.

Boswell’s Titus

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.46.15 PM

I would describe this as a mild, light English blend.  Easily enjoyable all day, this blend offers the smoker a creamy, naturally sweet experience.  The tobacco burns well and does not overpower the palate.  For me, this is an excellent tobacco to start the day with.  Not too powerful, but still a tasty treat.

 

G.L. Pease Westminster

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.47.26 PM

Where have you been all my life!?  Westminster is certainly a hidden gem.  With medium smoky notes that lead to a musty book (well-aged tobacco) room note.  The tastes hint at a figgy/raisin characteristic with further notes of rich molasses and sweet cedar.  This well-crafted English blend has quickly made an appearance in my regular rotation.

 

Sutliff’s Blend No. 5

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.48.08 PM

Yes, I was hesitant to pull the trigger on this blend as I typically associate Sutliff with lower end aromatic tobaccos.  I stand corrected.  Blend No. 5 offers the smoker a smooth and simplistic smoking experience.  There is a nice initial spice to the tobacco that quickly melts into a solid earthy, nutty taste.  The blend is mild to medium bodied and can be enjoyed at any hour of the day.

 

Cornell & Diehl Star of the East Flake 

Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 10.49.01 PM

I had read several places online that this blend was a great substitute for the ever so difficult to obtain Esoterica Penzance.  Let me be the first to say it is not.  In my opinion this tobacco is even better than Penzance (and believe me, I have smoked my fair share of Penzance).  With aroma notes of musty, old book, and smoky campfire remains, the blend is very complex. Its tasting profile offers the smoker notes of sweet and sour earth, leather, spice, and wood.  This blend is certainly in the full-bodied range and carries a noticeable nicotine punch if not respected by the smoker’s cadence.  Very well crafted and highly recommended.

 

In the end, I am indeed saddened by the loss of a great tobacco company.  However, to think I would have never expanded my search to find these amazing blends because of my loyal dedication to one specific company, and a few specific blends, is almost more concerning than the quickness in which McClelland left the market.  Overall, I encourage my fellow pipe smoking friends to not be scared, upset, or anxious at the current discomforts we are experiencing, rather, embrace them as an opportunity to change and grow.  An opportunity for us to explore other fabulous pipe tobacco offerings.  After all, sometimes it takes discomfort in order for change to occur.  And most of the time, it is for the better.

Dr. Kyle Andrew Signature