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First Impressions

Discuss or ask questions about pipe tobacco, pipe tobacco storage and aging, blending, etc.

Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:07 pm

Dark Horse is an old favourite of mine, but I've not smoked any for a while now. Sorry it wasn't nearly as good for you, Listener.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Listener666 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:18 am

KevLa wrote:Dark Horse is an old favourite of mine, but I've not smoked any for a while now. Sorry it wasn't nearly as good for you, Listener.


Yeah......I quite liked it and if I smoked a pipe throughout the day then it would probably be a regular.
I like a bowl of baccy on a morning with coffee, its become quite an important routine along with coffee grinding etc......it gives me an hour to enjoy myself 8-) and I usually like a "strong" flavoured smoke....(whatever that means :oops: ).... :lol: :lol:
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Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Being a nicotine addict, I smoke throughout each day, often favouring strong blends, particularly before bed. My mildest smoke is usually my first of the day. But I always like my tobacco like my coffee: bursting with delicious flavour :)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby ratatosk » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:37 am

Having run through something like 200 blends over the last 5 years and reached the point that nothing "new" seems very compelling, I don't have any first impressions to offer right now. But I'll comment on some of the Dunhill stuff that has been mentioned.

Elizabethan Mixture- I like it and have bought 20 tins or so since the end of 2015. What I found is what is true of most Dunhill blends, they ship too early and need some time on the shelf. Let it rest for 6 months or more and it will be much better.

Deluxe Navy Rolls- Great stuff which also gets better with a bit of age. It does use African Virginias unlike Escudo which uses American Virginias, this is a fine point that the Internet Pipe Genius Consortium misses when pronouncing them "the same thing" because they are blended in the same factory. Completely different experiences, I do not prefer one over the other but both are very nice.

Dunhill Flake- classic golden flake, very much like Capstan Gold or any other flake with gold in its name. It probably has a bit of perique as most of them do, but mainly a US Virginia from what I taste.

You might also try the Dunhill Dark Flake, as well as Dunhill Three Year Matured, and Dunhill Ye Olde Sign if available. All of them are good (subject to the aging caveat above). I have a collection of 5 tin sleeves of every Dunhill blend that has been available since 2012 sitting in a cabinet, I will sell that one day I reckon. :)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Geo3rge » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:31 am

Good post, Richard. I enjoyed reading it.
Your point about ageing is valid. Now that Dunhill is also, I understand, cutting itself off from anything tobacco-related, perhaps the company which takes over their products might take this onboard.
I’ve not tried many Dunhills, but Ye Olde Signe was certainly one I enjoyed.
Thank you.

KevLa wrote:Being a nicotine addict, I smoke throughout each day, often favouring strong blends, particularly before bed. My mildest smoke is usually my first of the day. But I always like my tobacco like my coffee: bursting with delicious flavour :)


I like your post, Kev. I think I’d be similar here.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:43 pm

Thanks, Steve. It's high time we met up again and shared some smokes together, is it not? :)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Listener666 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:18 pm

John Patton: Moe's Confetti

Moisture level good, gave it a few minutes to air a bit though. The tin/bag smell is Burley with a very sugary almost Candy like scent.
Smoked in a MM Marcus......lights well....stays alight. The sweetness stays through 2/3 of the bowl, its not overpowering but gives a sweet taste to the nutty tasting Burley.
I found it go a little flat about 2/3 of a bowl in.....but this was probably my crap packing/smoking skills ;)
No goop ..........no bite.....and quite smooth.

Out of my recent John Patton baccy delivery this was the one I had the least interest in......but on first impression I really like it! It wasn't a wow.......but I will certainly smoke more of it and may buy it again....we will see how it goes.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Listener666 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:38 am

Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania : War Horse Ready Cut

Quite dry out of the tin.....a very short ribbon cut. Smells slightly of Apricots........!
Takes a flame well and keeps alight. Thankfully no Apricot in the smoke.

This baccy has an earthy slightly nutty taste to it. The Kentucky leads the way but the Burley and Virginia are present. I like the spicy sweetness that I think comes from the Perique but may be from the red virginia. I'm not sure what the topping is and although it is present throughout the smoke....it works well for me. A strong ....bold smoke

Now I have a confession...........I'v smoked this constantly for about a week.......I really like it and every time I came to write the first impression I just went off to the shed to have a bowl!!!

The only negative for me is that I find the ribbon cut very short and the pieces of tobacco very small..............doesn't help my crap pipe smoking skills much :oops:

I'm ordering more...........and may try a few tins of the Red Bar...which I wrongly always presumed contained Latikia
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Re: First Impressions

Postby ratatosk » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:51 am

I'd completely forgotten about War Horse. I remember when it came out, but was waiting for the inevitable "not the same as the original, this sucks, etc." from the Internet Pipe Hive, then simply lost track of it.

I'll probably pick some up next time around, but will start with the bar as that was what made the name. Which reminds me that I have a dozen of the old UK plugs around here that I imported from Ireland and have ignored for some time... Yachtsman, Warrior, Mick McQuaid, Erinmore, along with Condor. I need to start smoking them again, they are excellent goods.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Geo3rge » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:31 am

Hope you can get around to enjoying them once more, Richard. I’ve never been a plug person on the whole, though I’ve tried Revor and Mick McQuaid and liked them. I think the latter is now discontinued. I understand Condor plug can still be obtained. Happy Christmas to you...
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Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:03 pm

I have some War Horse Ready Cut waiting with my friend in the U.S.A. Thanks for the review.

I love a good plug, but need to get myself a sharper knife. Cutting Warrior Plug recently has been bloody hard work! :)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Listener666 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:39 pm

KevLa wrote:I have some War Horse Ready Cut waiting with my friend in the U.S.A. Thanks for the review.

I love a good plug, but need to get myself a sharper knife. Cutting Warrior Plug recently has been bloody hard work! :)


Yep....really enjoying this one. Iv been struck with the Christmas Flu for a few days, otherwise I suspect there may not have been much left!

Hope you like it... :)
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Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:09 pm

Cheers, J.J. Hope you're feeling much better.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Geo3rge » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:20 am

Get well soon. Hope it doesn’t spoil the festivities. A pipe with flu isn’t much fun.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Nomad » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:48 pm

Robert Lewis 123 Mixture

This isn't actually my first bowl of this - I've had several, but haven't gotten around to posting about it. I was attracted to it because of its cigar leaf content, even though I'm not a cigar smoker. I think I was curious to see what it added.

123 Mixture is essentially an English with the addition of cigar leaf. On opening the tin, there was a noticeable whiff of Latakia, but that rapidly subsided after it had been jarred. The cut and moisture is quite similar to the Dunhills I've tried, perhaps with the exception that the bits seem to be a tad shorter. So, a nice ribbon cut that's just the right side of feeling dry, a bit more bitty than Dunhill, but still packs and lights nicely.

Initial impressions are that it's an English that comes across as more understated than the likes of Nightcap. The Latakia is there, there's a bit of spiciness in the snork, but it's not overpowering or in-your-face. And there's this other flavour, which I take to be the cigar leaf - a sort of mid-frequency aspect that makes me think of caramel. It hovers around under the spicier Latakia and Oriental notes and seems to add a nice foundation. None of the flavours particularly dominate, except maybe that the bit of spice on the snork is noticeable (but never too much - not had to cancel the snork and release the rest through the mouth). Overall, I would say this blend is well balanced in terms of flavour - not monochromatic, stuff going on, and none of the components fight for centre stage.

Smokiness is lightish to medium - no thick, smoky mouth feel or big plumes when exhaling, but not wimpy whisps either. Strength of flavour was between mild and medium, and not much nic hit to speak of. Packing was straightforward and the burn was pretty good - couple of relights, but tamping was generally enough to keep it going. The bowl puffed all the way down to ash, and there was very little moisture on the cleaner afterwards.

I think I quite like this. When the current tin runs out, I'll probably buy another unless I get the urge to seek out other blends that could be similar. In a way, I'd say it's a bit like Dunhill Navy Rolls in that it's a lighter smoke that has some enjoyable flavours (both have that mid-frequency thing that makes me think of caramel, albeit perhaps different actual flavours). If anything, I see them as in the same class of tobaccos, 123 Mixture being the English, and Navy Rolls being the VaPer. A bit more subtle than some, but still tasty and enjoyable.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Geo3rge » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:07 am

Excellent review. I’ve not tried the 123, but I have enjoyed, briefly, the Wingfield Mixture which, going by your notes, also has a caramel taste in there. Well made tobacco, easy smoking. Medium strength, I think. Also had the Tree mixture, though the Latakia element slightly put me off.
Robert Lewis tobaccos are recommended.
Thanks for posting.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Nomad » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:02 am

I didn't mean that it has a caramel taste, but that it made me think of caramel. On the other hand, I would say that the corresponding flavour component in Navy Rolls does seem to taste a bit like caramel.

I just noticed that 123 doesn't have any Orientals in it (although the Latakia could be construed as such), so it's not really an English in the conventional sense. I also read that it smokes better in a pipe with a wide bowl, so tried it in my Zavvos pot, and I would say that the cigar leaf was a bit more noticeable in that. Need to try it again, but it seems promising in that pipe so far.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby KevLa » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:32 am

I don't think there is a "conventional sense" when it comes to "English" :)_,~
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Re: First Impressions

Postby ratatosk » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:36 am

After some years of wondering why people would suggest "you want to smoke this in a pot," I finally realized that a wider bowl allows more of the range of tobaccos within a blend to burn at the same time. Blend components are never evenly distributed by the time they get into a bowl, so wider bowl has a little better chance of representing what the blender intended in the smoke I think.

Obviously much more significant in a complex English that might have 8 different tobaccos in it than in a simple VA with two. Anyway, one way in which pipe shapes can matter I reckon.
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Re: First Impressions

Postby Nomad » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:34 pm

KevLa wrote:I don't think there is a "conventional sense" when it comes to "English" :)_,~


Conventional in the sense that an English is supposedly Virginias, Orientals and Latakia. I appreciate that it can be a moving target, though (seems that Scottish and Balkan are little more than variations on the theme).
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