Archive for the 'Tobacco Reviews' Category


Boswell Paradise Review

I sat down in the game room the other night, out of the frigid cold outside, to enjoy (half of) a bowl of Boswell Paradise. I went for a half bowl because I’m still breaking in my Radice O that I bought way back when. I’ve smoked three vanilla black cavendishes in this pipe – Nat Sherman 509, McClelland VBC, and now Boswell’s Paradise. It’s a very chunky cut, IMO a bit too chunky to pack and burn properly. I’m going to try to rip apart some pieces by hand next time I try a bowl.

It was incredibly smooth in flavor, and is *very* similar to McClelland’s VBC, which as you may know is a PPC favorite amongst many. The flavor stayed true for a good long while, and broke down to being a tad harsh at the bottom, as most aromatics (hell… most pipe tobacco) does.  I’d like to give it another try in my actual Boswell pipe, which was basically broken in from the first smoke, to give it a proper review in the future.

Boswell Paradise in a Radice O



I finally got a chance to smoke the Meerschaum pipe I got for my birthday.  I had never tried one yet but figured it was a good addition to my collection and I had heard they are excellent for testing new tobaccos since the meerschaum soaks up the tars and lets you taste the pure tobacco without adding anything (for better or worse).

Finding a meerschaum I liked was quite the task.  Most you’ll find have intricate dragons, or sexy ladies, or other things that make an already fruity looking pipe even more noticeable.  The one I got has some little designs but in the end is pretty plain as these things go (see it in my pipe collection in my profile).

Deciding what tobacco I should try in the pipe was the next challenge.  Do I go with something new, as this was for tasting?  I decided to go with something I knew already so I could see what the difference was, and also something I hadn’t smoked in a while.  That tobacco was Frog Morton on the Town.  This was one of the first non-aromatic tobacco’s I smoked (although the people on seem to thing it almost counts as aromatic) and the distinctive oriental blend seemed suiting for this pipe from Turkey.

I will say the smoke was excellent.  The pipe provided an extremely cool smoke and for the first time I felt like I could taste the intricate flavors of the tobacco I hear described online.  I could definitely get used to a pipe like this.

There is a problem though.  First, unless you treat meerschaum’s with the care of a bomb technician, they will get dark and ugly.  I’m fine with that and don’t plan on babying it.  The second problem is that nothing looks more like smoking weed then a meerschaum pipe, and it’s kind of “fancy” looking so I don’t think I’d ever smoke it in public.  The best compromise seems to be meerschaum lined pipes, which look normal on the outside but are coated on the inside.

In the end I think every pipe smoker should have one of these in their collection as a neutral tasting pipe.  There is still no replacing a high quality briar for what it adds to the smoke.


Mission Pipe Shop

I’m still off on a business trip to suburbia in Pleasanton, CA, but happily I can say that I surprisingly found a pipe shop! Since I’m basically bored out of my mind during the evenings, it was pleasant to go out and actually have something to do. I will say this though.. every single tobacco shop I’ve ever been to has been a completely relaxing experience filled with laid back incredibly friendly people. I can no longer say that statement after going to this shop, after getting hit by a bit of arrogance by the staff. One of the guys was super nice, but the other, not so much.

Anyways, I picked up a tin of McClelland Aurora since their house blends seemed a bit old and dry, and I’ve been wanting a new VA to smoke in the Le Nuvole. I had my Sasieni 4dot with me on the trip, since I don’t like to take super high quality pipes in case they get damaged during travel. I filled up a bowl, and also let the friendlier of the employees have a bowl full also. Aurora is a red and black VA blend, and is rather pleasant. It’s a bit more flavorful in terms of real tobacco taste, but isn’t quite as sweet or nutty as Deep Hollow. I’m still looking forward to trying it in the Le Nuvole when I get home.

Oh, and the friendly employee gave me a sample of some gawith rope to bring home for the PPC to try, although I’m deathly afraid to do so.


Boswell Raspberry Cream Review

Not only is this a tobacco review, but it will also serve as a pipe review for my new Boswell rusticated big billiard. Last night Phil and I sampled some Boswell tobaccos in our rusticated Boswell billiards for the first time. Out of the 12 or 13 bags of tobacco we all split up, I chose Raspberry Cream for my first bowl, and I am very happy with my decision. This is one of the top aromatics I’ve smoked so far, and I am positive that the pipe itself was also contributing to the absolutely fantastic cool smoke. I puffed and puffed and the stuff just wouldn’t bite, and the subtle raspberry flavor was there throughout almost the entire smoke. The tobacco itself feels moist, and is mostly a black cavendish cased with raspberry (but not too much).

This was a welcome difference that the vanilla black cavendish that we’re all accustomed to smoking, and currently is up their with Mimosa as my favorite aromatic blends. I can’t wait to try some more of the Boswell blends in this gorgeous pipe.

boswell rusticated billiard


Calling all aromatic fans

I just wanted to take a moment to bring a new blend to everyone’s attention – Mimosa at Allegheny Smokeworks. It’s in the bulk jars, and if you’re a fan of aromatics you simply have to buy a few ounces of this stuff. In the jar it reminds me of a spicy orange tea, and it simply has a perfect moisture content.

Buy some, fill your bowl, and take in the sweet delight that is Mimosa. I’ve already dedicated a pipe to it and perhaps you should too. Absolutely great stuff, made by Altadis. It’s right up there with VBC on my favorites list after a single smoke. I’m looking forward to having some more soon.


Carl’s deck is ready for action!

Four of us broke in the new deck at Carl’s Tavern in Wilkins last night, partaking in some Frog Morton on the Town, along with some Sangria aromatic we acquired for free at one point in history. This was my first full bowl of the frog, and I tried it out with a 40+ year old Dr. Grabow I acquired recently. Additionally, this was my first smoke of a pipe that used a stinger, and I had a very positive experience with it. The great oriental blend probably played a role in the lack of dottle in my empty bowl, but perhaps the stinger helped out a bit also. I will say the physical bowl itself smoked incredibly hot with this pipe, although the frog itself was a pleasant cool non-biting smoke. I highly recommend it.

We got some positive comments regarding our activity from the waitress, which was great to hear. It’s gonna be really hard to not be out at Carl’s all summer. The next time we go I’ll post some information a day or two ahead, and hopefully some other Pittsburgh pipe smokers can make it out also!


Mocha in the Stanwell 37

I had some time before I had to head into work  yesterday AM, so I figured I might as well try out the Stanwell 37 prior to my root canal causing me to avoid the pipe for 2 weeks or so. It was an absolutely beautiful morning to sit outside for a smoke. I filled up the Stanwell with some Mocha from Continental, a blend I’ve tasted previously but never enjoyed a full bowl myself. I had a little trouble staying lit at first.. but that kind of worked itself out for a while.

I must say the taste of a whole bowl was not what I expected. This is a tobacco I enjoy small hints of, but I’ve learned a whole bowl was a bit too goopy and wet. It left my pipe a mess, and left me with a not so great aftertaste and a dry mouth. I’ll give it a go again with some Denicool crystals; perhaps the first smoke of it was just some kind of fluke, or perhaps the Stanwell  had something to do with it and isn’t as great of a pipe to smoke as it is to look at. Time will tell :)


Benton Dakota and Mocha Blend

You never forget your first.

The first real pipe I owned was the Benton Dakota, purchased new at the Continental Smoke Shop in Squirrel Hill. Along with the pipe I had earlier picked up a blend aptly called “Mocha”. I’ve seldom had this tobacco outside of the Benton and never smoked anything else in the Benton, and thus it’s natural they be reviewed together for me.

First about the tobacco. I actually first had Mocha in a corncob pipe. Even though the implement was crude, the delicious taste of the Mocha came through. It smokes pretty much like it smells, a chocolate taste with just a note of coffee. The taste is more smooth, cool and refreshing then sweet. It is not very syrupy, and so you rarely get any slurp.

The Benton Dakota is a classic bent apple style pipe with a dark wood grain. I’ve only ever seen Benton’s in the Continental Smoke Shop, and information on the Internet about them is scarce. The best I can tell a company in Florida imports the briar from Italy to sell a natural unfinished product. The look of the pipe is quite beautiful, although they claim it’s not finished with any kind of paint, I see slight cracks in mine that look like a crack in the clearcoat or something. They don’t affect the smoke in anyway luckily, which for the most part is satisfying. I think the air draw could be a little better, but overall it’s a quality pipe.

For this review, I paired the two in a location where I had one of my first cigars, in historic Ellicott City, Maryland. The atmosphere is perfect for an early spring pipe smoking. After having a few drinks with friends in one of the towns historic taverns, I headed to a bridge overlooking a creek that once powered the mills of this small town to wind down my evening. The Mocha lit easily, and provided a cool, delicious smoke as usual. I reflected on the fact that this was by no means the first pipe smoked in this serene location as a CSX train passed through the old train station in the night. As the whistle of the train faded in the distance, the Mocha and Benton combo stayed strong, giving minimal tongue bite and staying mostly cool and lit.


Cornell & Diehl Exhausted Rooster Review

Well, I gave the Exhausted Rooster another try last night, with much more preparation. I believe I properly rubbed out the flakes, packed the bowl less tightly, and was more careful with my relighting. I will say I did make it through the bowl with no tongue bite, vs. my two days of tongue pain after my last experience with this blend… so I had to have been doing something right. I also used a straight pipe which I’ve smoked a VA blend in before (and liked it – Vino’s blend from Continental).

I still had a problem keeping the stuff lit, but fared much better than my previous attempt in that area. The only hints of a taste I enjoyed were directly before the tobacco was going out and needed relit, and a citrus-like taste was found. The mouth feel was quite awful, a tingling sensation (very cigar-like), all the way back to my tonsils. I really didn’t enjoy the feeling. In the end, I really didn’t like this tobacco. It also left my game room smelling awful.

I’m marking this as my official review, although there’s a chance I’ll give this stuff one more try as a full flake being folded and inserted… or perhaps I’ll let another one of you guys try that. Feel free to take as much of this stuff from me as you want, for I feel I’m not a VA/fired burley/perique kinda guy… I’d love to know which taste it is that I’m not enjoying though, so I know for the future. Maybe it’s the perique?


Black Knight Review

Yesterday I picked up two small one ounce bags of aromatics – Black Knight and Mocha Latte – at the Continental Smoke Shop down the street from work. The Mocha is a tried and true favorite of the PPC, but I had never purchased any myself. I did try out the Black Knight last night though in my Gold Star Diplomat, and it was an enjoyable smoke. This is the first tobacco that my girlfriend actually liked the smell.

It’s a Lane blend, but Continental makes up their own names for most of their blends, so I’m unsure which exact Lane it really is. To me, it seemed like Captain Black White but less harsh and less “fake”, and I believe that’s what they were actually going for. There were hints of chocolate, vanilla, along with a nutty kind of flavor. It was very mild, smooth, and a cool smoke. I got no tongue bite at all, and I must say this is my second smoke with my Gold Star, and it’s quickly becoming my favorite pipe in my rotation. It’s a tiny little thing, but it smokes so cool.

And obviously, no Black Knight Review is complete without Martin Lawrence:

Black Knight


April 2021