Presbyterian Ordained

I’m not sure if it’s old age memory lapse, or all the drugs I did when I was younger (just kidding, I still do them…. not really).  I don’t remember how I came across this blend, or why it piqued my interests, but I’m glad I did (spoiler).  My experience with the brand Presbyterian, specifically Presbyterian Mixture, was little more than meh/average, so I honestly didn’t have high hopes for Ordained once acquiring a tin upon release.  Let me just go on record saying, I’m very glad I tried this one.

From the tobacco reviews website:

Matured bright Virginia flakes deliver a bouquet of natural flavors — bread and hay with a subtle citrus undertone and a gentle, amiable spice. This toasty, artfully sweet smoke charmingly showcases what the bright, flue-cured leaf is all about, delivered through an easy, cool burn.” 

Straight Virginia blends have certainly grown on me over the past 2 years; however, I would summarize my experiences with them as definitely hit or miss, no in-betweens.  Let’s take a closer look at Presbyterian Ordained and see what this tobacco all about.

Info & Overview

Brand: Presbyterian (Sutliff Tobacco Company)

Category: Straight Virginia

Blend Components: Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 50g tin

Price: $16.07 USD

On to the review…

If you would like to see my First Impressions review of Presbyterian Ordained from January 2023, please visit The Pipe Professor YouTube channel at the following link:

From the Tin: Absolutely top-notch presentation from the tin.  Beautiful, thin flakes with a mixture of medium and light brown colors.  The aroma from the tin was truly amazing showing very strong scents of hay, fresh straw, grain cereal, sweet citrus/fruit, and brown sugar.  The flakes were spot on in moisture content and needed no drying time making for ease of rubbing out and loading my pipe. 

Tasting Notes: This tobacco is truly a treat.  Seriously!  Presbyterian Ordained has come out of left field to steal my little pipe smoking heart (or palate if you prefer).  The tobacco burns extremely well delivering a memorizing sweet room note of vanilla cream, rich baking spices, with hints of a yeasty/fresh bakery sweetness.  Flavors noted during the smoking experience include a grassy/hay start which morphs into a cashew nuttiness and finishes with toasted vanilla wafer and brown sugar.  Although the description details spice as a characteristic, I did not experience any type of pepperiness or harshness during any bowls smoked. The smoke remained cool, sweet, and smooth throughout.  This tobacco should be smoked slowly and deserves your full attention for maximum enjoyment. Nicotine level for this tobacco is low, however, body proved to be medium over each smoking experience.  Overall, a delightfully flavorful, clean tasting tobacco.  

Overall Impression: I love it when a tobacco’s taste and performance surprise me.  Even more so, I love it when I am able to find a new tobacco gem.  Presbyterian Ordained is just that, a gem!  No doubt this wonderful Virginia flake will only get better with age.  Further, I am so blown away by the amazing smoking experience this tobacco provides, that I am certain it will be a contender in my Top 5 Tobaccos for 2023.  As of the writing of this review, I have already smoked through two full tins and am contemplating opening a third.  Just wonderful!  Do yourself a favor, grab a tin or two, if you can still find it, and enjoy!  I have no doubt Virginia lovers will find much pleasure in this tobacco.  

Tobacco Score5 out of 5 Pipes

Cornell & Diehl Sunset Harbor Flake

To be completely honest, Cornell & Diehl has been very hit or miss with me over the past year or more.  Some of their blends are very enjoyable, however, the ones that miss, tend to miss big.  Specifically, I am referring to most of their Small Batch and special release series.  Understanding this to be the case, I opted for a regular production blend that I’ve been wanting to try since the start of the year.  

This blend came across my radar after seeing the well-known Mike Murphy from the Pipe and Tamper podcast blast rave reviews about it along with showing off the abundance of Sunset Harbor Flake tins he has cellared away.  Of course, anyone who puts away that much of a single blend will raise eyebrows, especially mine.  So, I decided to pick a tin up and see what the hype, if any, is about.  Afterall, my recent luck with Cornell & Diehl has been dismal at best. 

Info & Overview

Brand: Cornell & Diehl 

Category: Balkan

Blend Components: Latakia, Orientals/Turkish, Perique

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake 

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $11.40 USD

Tin Date: 11/2021

On to the review…  

Watch my first impressions video review here:

From the Tin: Upon opening, the first thing noticed was the dark color of the tobacco.  Tin aroma was a rich, dark leather, musty wood, and slight hint of campfire smoke.  The tobacco was on the moist side and needed time to dry out before smoking.  Having now smoked 8 bowls, I found 30 minutes to be just about the perfect amount of dry time before packing and lighting.  Although marketed as a flake, this tobacco is far from what I designate a “flake” tobacco.  In fact, there were not even long pieces of “broken flake” to be found in the tin.  I would instead classify this tobacco as crumbled tobacco once being in flake form.    

Flavor Notes (Taste + Aroma): C&D Sunset Harbor provides the smoker with a very rich, flavorful smoking experience.  Tastes consisted of mossy damp forest, wood, mushrooms, leather, and an initial faint spice. Aroma was an antique mustiness with a very prominent sweet cream noted when smoked in a meerschaum.  In fact, I have found I enjoy this blend most in a medium size (group 3 or 4) meerschaum pipe. 

Overall Impression: C&D Sunset Harbor Flake burned cool producing a dark gray gritty ash.  The smoke was thick and cool presenting no bite with the tobacco strength being medium and body medium/plus.  Although very enjoyable, I would not recommend this as an all-day smoke as you run the risk of potential palate fatigue due to the opulence of the blend.  Overall, I find Sunset Harbor Flake to be a solid offering from Cornell & Diehl and will certainly be purchasing more to smoke over the next decade or more (I do think short term aging will show rewards for this blend).  This tobacco is very much recommended and if you’re a Balkan fan you should certainly give it a try.     

Tobacco Score4 out of 5 pipes

Warped Cloud Hopper

Created by Kyle Gellis, in collaboration with Cornell & Diehl’s Jeremy Reeves, Warped Cloud Hopper Pipe Tobacco was resurrected from the well-known Warped Cloud Hopper cigar brand, blended and produced by Gellis at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami and Casa Fernandez’s Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. in Nicaragua.

Originally coming onto the market in 2109, Warped Cloud Hopper is the pipe smoker’s rendition for the love of travel and adventure Gellis and his brother enjoy embarking on.  According to the website, “Cloud Hopper pipe tobacco features AA-grade Dominican Criollo cigar leaf…married to traditional Italian air-cured tobaccos, yellow and red Virginias, and Perique pressed and cut into flakes. The blend transports pipe smokers to an adventurous flavor profile of complex notes of earth, spice, and citrus, while hints of cream and coffee offer comfort along the road. It’s a mixture free of added flavors, meant to showcase the natural profile of quality tobaccos” (2022).

As I frequently enjoy premium cigars, this tobacco seemed to fit my palate profile from the description, thus, prompting me to purchase a tin and see if this cigar blend is as enjoyable as the actual Warped Cigars (which I do enjoy).

To view the video review of Warped Cloud Hopper Pipe Tobacco, please visit The Pipe Professor YouTube Channel here:

Info & Overview

Brand: Warped/Cornell & Diehl 

Category: Virginia

Blend Components: Cigar Leaf. Perique, Virginia

Flavorings: None

Cut Type: Flake

Available Packaging: 2oz tin

Price: $11.60 USD

On to the review…

From the Tin: Although listed as a flake tobacco, my tin did not contain a single fully intact flake.  I would easily classify this tobacco as a broken flake, not an actual flake similar to Dunhill Flake, Capstan Gold/Blue, or MacBaren Pure Virginia.  [Side note, I have come to believe the flake designation according to Cornell & Diehl is actually a broken flake.  Buyer beware.]  The broken flakes are very dark in color and have hints of golden Virginia sprinkled throughout.  The tin aroma provided notes of dark chocolate, earth, raisins, and fresh yeasty bread.  Very much enjoyable and reminiscent of a cinnamon raisin muffin.  Extremely enjoyable tin note!  The tobacco is very moist straight out of the tin and I had to allow it a minimum of 50 minutes dry time depending on the drying venue.       

Flavor Notes: When discussing flavor, we must always account for taste and aroma (taste + aroma = flavor).  Tastes I experienced while smoking were earth (similar to a dry truffle), deep rich fruits, mineral/graphite, and light spice.  Aroma was a nice, charred wood, similar to a charred bourbon barrel (without the alcohol).  Tobacco produced a thin, white smoke, with an overall medium body and medium strength profile.  As I smoked just shy of the entire tin, I found I enjoyed Cloud Hopper most in a meerschaum pipe, and when the tobacco was almost bone dry.  The dryer smoke allowed for the cigar leaf to come forward and be a noticeable experience in the smoke.       

Overall Impression: The Warped Cloud Hopper is a very unique blend that offers flavors some pipe smokers may not be familiar with, or typically experience in their pipe tobaccos.  I am glad I took the time to figure the blend out and will purchase another tin or two to measure the aging potential of the Virginia and cigar leaf.  I am hopeful that with an extended period of time (i.e., 10-15 years) this tobacco will become an extremely “fine wine.”

With that being said, I will probably not purchase more tins to be smoked now or be placed in my regular rotation.  Is the blend enjoyable and worth a try? Absolutely! Is it what I seek to experience on a regular basis when enjoying a pipe? No. We will hopefully revisit the blend in 10 years and see if the gamble/investment pays off.  If you’re looking for something to intrigue your palate, pick up a tin of Warped Cloud Hopper and see what you think.  

Tobacco Score: 3 out of 5 pipes

A Study in OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouches 

The Introduction & Pouch #1: Sir Walter Raleigh Original

A few weeks ago, I came across a sale on the Pipes & Cigars website for pouch tobaccos.  As I looked through the prices on the pouch tobaccos, I began to wonder why I had never actually tried any of the staple Over the Counter (OTC) pipe tobacco pouch blends during my pipe smoking tenure.  After lighting a bowl of something not OTC, I reminisced on the fact that I started pipe smoking with my local tobacconist blends (Schwab’s Pipes N Stuff Ideal and Big Blue Blend) and immediately moved into Cornell & Diehl blends, Dunhill EMP, McClelland Frog Morton Series, and at the time Tewksbury’s Hobbits Weed (Rest in Peace).  

I concluded that my pipe smoking journey had completely by-passed where a lot of pipe smokers start the hobby.My thinking further reasoned that many of these blends are highly revered and have stood the test of time, some for a century or more.  If folks have been enjoying these blends for that long, maybe I really am missing out on something spectacular.  I knew I couldn’t just let the opportunity pass without at least trying some of the blends, so, after moving through another bowl or two, I decided to place a large order with P&C and catch up on the pouches I have missed out on during my pipe smoking journey. 


So, where to begin?  In all fairness, I decided to put all the pouches (plus some others I already had in my cellar, unopened) in a large bag and do a random pull to begin smoking my way through each to see what these infamous OTC blends all are about.  I detailed the process for this little experiment on my YouTube channel with a video called Introduction to A Study in OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouches.  You can view the video here or I will quickly review the process and guidelines below.

Guidelines to the Study

  1. Pouches will be reviewed in a random order, one per week, until all pouches have been sampled.
  2. Each tobacco will be smoked a minimum of four times; once in an unfiltered Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentleman Corn Cob pipe, once in a Missouri Meerschaum Pride filtered Corn Cob pipe, once in an unfiltered Huck Finn Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob pipe, and once in a Ropp Superior paneled briar pipe.
  3. I will capture my initial impressions for each tobacco in video format on The Pipe Professor YouTube channel and provide my final assessment here on The Pipe Professor webpage after smoking the blend a minimum of four times throughout the week in the various pipes.  
  4. As I smoke through each blend, I will place them in rank order, updated with each review here on the webpage.  Blends will move up and down the list until I have smoked through all the OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouch blends.  
  5. Similar to other pipe tobacco reviews, I will rate each blend using the Five Pipes scoring rubric.  

Without further ado, let’s jump in to our first OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouch, Sir Walter Raleigh Original.

Sir Walter Raleigh Original

Let’s be honest, if you are a pipe smoker or have ever smoked a pipe, you have more than likely heard of Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobacco.  I was excited that this pouch was the first random draw to come out of my bag.  Supposedly having been around since 1927, this name and tobacco blend is easily a staple in our timeless hobby.  With a blend that has survived almost a full century, I was eager to experience the successes that have carried this blend forward for 91 years.  Similar to other pipe tobacco enthusiast, I headed to the Tobacco Reviews webpage to read the description and find out more about the tobacco.  From the Tobacco Reviews website:

“An aromatic burley blend with hints of cocoa and Oriental spice, the Sir Walter Raleigh regular mixture has been a popular favorite of countless smokers for generations. A traditional blend of burley tobaccos made in Kentucky.

This description sounds wonderful and lovely making me want to jump right into smoking.  Before doing so, let’s take a look at the blend breakdown.

Info & Overview

Brand/Manufacturer: Sir Walter Raleigh/Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) 

Category: Aromatic Burley

Blend Components: Burley

Flavorings: Anisette and Sweet Sugar

Cut Type: Course Cut

Available Packaging: 1.5 oz pouch/7 oz can/14 oz can

Price: $4.62 USD per pouch/$20.04 per 7oz can/$38.18 per 14 oz can

On to the review…

(Sir Walter Raleigh Pipe Tobacco First Impressions YouTube video can be found here)

From the Pouch: Upon opening the seal I am met with a very rich, pleasant tobacco smell, similar to Red Man or Levi Garret chewing tobacco with prominent notes of chocolate.  The tobacco color consists of dark browns and the cut was more shag than course in my opinion.  Moisture content out of the pouch was perfect, however, I did find a few stems that needed to be removed before packing and smoking.      

Smoking Notes: The tobacco was easy to pack and light.  In fact, the burn and performance of the tobacco was not bad at all.  I had no problem keeping each bowl lit and the tobacco burned at a nice pace.  The strength of the tobacco was mild and the body was an overall mild + (almost medium bodied).  The major problem with this tobacco is the taste and aroma.  They are both non-existent.  I ended up smoking a total of six bowls of Sir Walter Raleigh Original (four in the cobs and two in the briar).  Not one single smoking experience provided me with any flavor.  Truly, not once did I get any tastes good or bad from this smoke.  It was just….there.  The room note at times did hint toward a chocolate essence, however, I’m honestly not sure if that was real or my mind hoping for it.  Granted, it is important for a tobacco to perform well in the bowl, however, I smoke to enjoy great tastes and smells in from my pipes and tobaccos.  I got neither from this blend.  

Overall Impression: 91 years of blandness.  Maybe I missed something, but I never got anything from this blend….nothing!  Flavor was non-existent, at times the room note hinted at a coco chocolate but rarely developed, and the strength of the tobacco was very mild.  The tobacco did burn well and stayed lit easily, so that is one positive.  If I am going to spend money on tobacco and put forth the time and effort of enjoying a pipe, it will not be on Sir Walter Raleigh Original pipe tobacco.  This will easily be my first and only pouch of this tobacco.  91 years this blend has survived!  Wow, my mind is blown on why and how.        

Tobacco Score: (2 out of 5 pipes)

Stay tuned as we study a different OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouch next week. Until then don’t forget to slow down, simplify, and sip on a pipe. Cheers!

Current Order of OTC Pipe Tobacco Pouch Enjoyment 

  1. Sir Walter Raleigh (it’s the only one I’ve smoked thus far and won’t be here long, guaranteed!)

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!  

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.

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