Being that Its summer, and I have not been focused on pipe smoking, maybe only picking up briar once or twice a week at most, it has been a while since I talked pipes, so in this edition of Four Fantastic Things I will be talking briefly about four of my favorite go-to tobacco blends.
#1 Mac Baren Vanilla Cream
In my own opinion, it is my belief that any social pipe smoker should have at least one aromatic blend. Yes, I’ll agree that most aromatics do not offer the complexity or burning characteristics of non cased blends, but the sheer amount of people that will have a positive reaction to the sweet vanilla or cherry and tobacco aromas make a selection almost a prerequisite for the public smoker. These positive reactions lend themselves to make passers-by advocates and new smokers of the leaf.
For this niche Mac Baren’s Vanilla Cream, being at least perceived to have less of a casing, tends to have less moisture and more tobacco flavor than 1Q, fits the bill.
#2 Samuel Gawith’s Squadron Leader
When it comes to a strong English blend, I am hard pressed to find one that is more balanced with wood and leather notes, with a good supporting latakia backbone. If this was the only English available, I wouldn’t bemoan the loss of any other English standard for too long.
#3 G. L. Pease Robusto
If you’re familiar with Intoxico, you are likely aware that I have a lust for cigars. Now this tends to be a trend more so in the summer, than in other seasons. For my prime pipe smoking seasons, Fall and Spring, I will often reach for a tin of this tobacco that, again in my own opinion, is more cigar forward than other blends
I’ve tried. Others, such as Cornell and Diehl’s Billy Bud, is latakia heavy and not what I am looking for in a blend containing cigar leaf.
#4 Cornell and Diehl’s Haunted Bookshop
In the four tobaccos presented here, perhaps this has become the most regularly smoked of all the blends that I keep on hand, which is somewhat contrary to my initial trek into pipe tobacco exploration. For the first 3 or 4 years, it seems that I had no interest in perusing any burly based blends what so ever. I had probably had 2 or 3 different mixtures, all of which would have been from premium or boutique producers, which failed to impress me. For years I would almost avoid with a passion any blend that suggested it contained any of the leaf.
But as time passed, and I became more entrenched in the hobby, I felt I should give these blends another go. When making an epic tobacco purchase about a year ago, I acquired a wide range of blends, including a mess of burley blends with various combinations and ratios of this condiment leaf or that one.
After a series of bowls of this and that, the blend I have come back to, time and time again, has been Haunted Bookshop.
While I will not say that this tobacco is the most amazing blend available, it is the workhorse in my pipe arsenal. It has this designation because it is mild enough to not be in conflict with a wide range of beverages, from soft drinks, and coffee, to beer and spirits, but still has enough flavor to keep this smoker interested bowl after bowl thanks to the addition of perique in its mix of burly and red Virginia tobacco.