Events & NewsPipes AlightReviewsLinksClub InfoJoinBlog

January 2007

Have a look at these reviews from January 2007.

By Charles Hill Royal Cajun Special by McClelland One of three Royal Cajun Blends from the folks in Missouri. This is a new product, dark fire-cured Kentucky subjected to months of Perique-style hard-pressing and fermenting in oak barrels. Why didn’t anyone do this before? I am a Perique fan of longstanding and I think this stuff is great, even if somewhat over the top. Royal Cajun should be a condimental tobacco – a little bit goes a long way. I found the Royal Cajun Special (two dark stored Virginias, one lemon Virginia with Cajun black) produced clouds of smoke featuring a dark smoky flavor combined with a sweet fruitful taste (plums?) that tended to overwhelm.

Note: All is not lost. I tried mixing this with two parts McClelland’s 5100 Red Cake and one part Royal Cajun Special, producing as fine a hybrid mixture as I ever tasted.

Safe Harbor by Cornell & Diehl

A Burley-based newly produced by C&D in the fall of 06. It is intended to re-create Edgeworth Ready Rubbed in its original incarnation, widely available up to the 1970’s. Safe Harbor is made with quality burley and has a subtle rum flavouring that was unique to its popular predecessor. A mild all-day smoking tobacco, highly recommended, especially for Burley lovers.

Sunset Harbor Flake by Cornell & Diehl

A Balkan style flake, another in the second generation of C&D’s flakes from the fall of 2006. This came out of the can very moist, so a little drying time is called for. Even so, it is a fine example of a Balkan mixture, with a lingering aftertaste. Mid-bowl, the Orientals blossomed forth- I grow poetic! A very fine Balkan blend, assertive but not overwhelming.

Special Brown Flake by Fribourg & Treyer

What is special about this, you ask? Aye, me hearties! It be Rum! Special Brown is a fine, medium Virginia flake, expertly flavoured with rum. Some flakes, I could mention are actually soaked in rim, others (poor things) have an artificial rum flavoured sauce added. Special Brown is of the former. The rum flavour lingers throughout the smoke and never intrudes. I recommend this flake if you are in a nautical mood (nice kind please) and want a hint of whatever seafaring ancestors enjoyed after a long day at sea. Avast, ye swabs! Ye best be joinin' me or yer'll be awalkin' the plank! Pass th' rum and smoke yer pipe!

Kingfisher by Butera

A Virginia, Burley, and Perique mixture presented as a "double cut krumble kake" (sic), this is quality tobacco processed by the folks at McClelland’s. I’ would rate this as a light to medium Perique mix, featuring first rate Burley and Virginias. This could be a good mix to introduce a novice smoker to the joys of Virginia/Perique natural tobaccos.

Jamestown 1612 by Tinder Box International, Mesa, AZ

A Paul J. Buza creation, this is a, "rubbed, red Virginia flake", plus stoved Virginia with a "dash of Kentucky" (Burley?). Jamestown 1612 is very much a classic Virginia blend, naturally sweet with a fine Virginia taste. Medium nicotine -- this could be a good introductory blend for novice Va. smokers. I found Jamestown a fine evenings smoke. It is available at PipesHighGrade.com. Black Frigate by Cornell & Diehl This is stoved, red Virginia and golden Virginia, soaked in Rum for 7 days, to which Latakia and Turkish are added; a "Royal Navy blend" with plenty of nicotine. Black Frigate is best enjoyed by the experienced smoker, who can appreciate its complexities. It is one of my favourites, full and satisfying, a masterpiece of its kind, nautical and very nice. It also has one of the best labels currently available.