Kyle Weiss
This cheeky review comes at a good time on both the calendar and in my life. I will fully admit I am not a “McClelland guy” when it comes to pipe tobacco, and I’m also of the opinion you smoke what you damn well please because it pleases you. Is it appropriate to rib the guy smoking something you do not? Of course it is. We’re all in this together, and if not for a little fraternal crap-talking. Pease-heads are snobs, McClelland guys are ketchup-smokers (that swear they can’t smell it), and Lakeland lovers are into sniffing soapy granny-panties–no one likes the aromatic guys: they’re just newbies or sweethearts. These are not hard-lines usually, as many of us switch it up between lines and brands, not to mention styles and mixtures. It’s also part of the fun. If you’re new to this game, it won’t take long to figure out pipe guys love their pipes and tobacco, and love perhaps a little more their opinions about them–whether they voice them or not. I’ve made a partial living at this point doing just that! It’s a great world to be in, provided you have the right skin thickness…

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Kyle Weiss
At the time of this writing I’m sitting in unseasonably warm conditions for Northern Nevada. I’m outside smoking in a t-shirt, shorts and listening to PĂ©rez Prado. I have a French press full of coffee, Black Friday nonsense is happening somewhere in the world and I couldn’t give a damn. There seems to be a constant food hangover stretching from my navel to my upper ribcage. For me, the holiday season could be well over. Call me a Scrooge, I’ll be proud of it. Christmas is a sham as a whole–at least the version everyone thinks of. To be honest, I’m not sure what the holidays really are for me. I’m not religious, I have a strange family set, and in general, the color scheme, smells and soundtrack are puke-worthy. I’m known as being the slightly intoxicated Grinch starting in December. That’s my tradition. The world is in discomfort and chaos: welcome to the last pipe tobacco review of 2017. At least the crab cacti are in bloom.

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Kyle Weiss
It’s almost “that time” of the year. Good, good: you caught my sardonic inflection there. I can almost smell it from here, the blissful sprawl of over-eating (and cooking) things a semi health-conscious fella like myself should not, the swimmy-headed relief of warm toddies, good wine, and neat whiskies, and the wafts of Latakia. The leaves have been raked and the blankets pulled out, with recipes and cookbooks being considered. It’s a ritual many of us go through each year, married or single, family or solo. Even if we put on a good front, I believe very few of us actively enjoy, at least not in its entirety, the thought of chaos in both the home and places of ill-shopping repute. For at least a month, if not two, there’s the need to escape being festooned in garish colors, assaulting spice smells, screeching from children and crazy kinfolk. …

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Jim Amash aka JimInks
Welcome to Part Two of my look at the original eight Seattle Pipe Club blends. In Part One, I discussed how the club was founded, and how master blender Joe Lankford became involved in creating home made mixtures that eventually led to the luxury blends for which he and the club became famous.

Mississippi River, Mississippi River Special Reserve, Deception Pass, and Rainier Levant were previously covered here, so now let’s focus on the other four blends, Seattle Evening, Potlatch, Plum Pudding, and Plum Pudding Special Reserve. Afterwards I’ll relate a little more about Joe and the club.

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Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky
    October 6th, 2017

Kyle Weiss
October is by far my favorite month of the year. It abandons the heat and bustle of summertime as it holds at bay the harshness of the wintertime. The fall colors are a treat, the smells are fresh, the mornings brisk, and the afternoons mild. In the Northern hemisphere, most of the harvest is in full swing and much of the good stuff coming from farms and gardens is rolling into farmer’s markets and grocery stores. The first real harvest of grain back in August gets made into beer and spirits, and to make way for new barrels in aging rooms, the aged whiskeys come out from smaller distilleries. Autumn decorations dot the porches of neighborhoods, suburban minivan-moms lose their minds over pumpkin-spiced…everything, and kids strain and gnash on their leashes, eager to overdose on free sugar at the end of the month. It’s the best time of year.

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Wessex Burley Slice
    September 18th, 2017

Kyle Weiss
I have the most ridiculous system for storing my “cellar” of tobacco. It’s a bookshelf-stand kind of thing with solid, sliding front doors. It’s from the 1970s, rescued from the company rubbish pile years ago. It weighs a ton, the doors constantly fall off, and this is where I keep my much lauded and prized tobacco collection. The contents are various jumbles of jars and tins stretching back from current times to maybe 2010 or so. What, exactly does this have to do with me reviewing tobacco? It’s my most reliable source for what to try next: meaning, tobacco falls out onto the floor that I haven’t seen in years.

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Jim Amash aka JimInks
When the fledgling Seattle Pipe Club held their first meeting in January 2001,
the sole goal consisted of fun monthly evenings. This small, dedicated group of pipe smokers enjoyed each other’s company and discussed their mutual love of the gentle art that brought them together. Off topic subjects only further enriched their meetings and relationships, and the membership increased as the news got out that this monthly event was one not to be missed. In time, the club held summer picnics, annual dinners with awards and auctions, slow smoke contests, and invited special guest speakers from the most prominent members of the pipe community.

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Peterson Irish Oak Review
    August 4th, 2017

Kyle Weiss
Around the time I thought I wasn’t going to let go of Latakia before it started to snow again,
I was reminded of a tobacco I had tried and enjoyed a while back but didn’t really get to know. It’s a curious mixture, one put out by Peterson of Dublin (presumably by Orlik) called “Irish Oak.” You might recall about a year ago I did a spread on Peterson’s Balkan Delight, and I was pretty charmed by it. This is when I tried the last little bit of Irish Oak that was laying around the shop as a sample, and it intrigued me to revisit it one day.

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GL Pease - Stonehenge Flake
    July 10th, 2017

Kyle Weiss
There’s no reason to be misleading here, I’m a fan of not only GL Pease tobacco, but the man himself. He doesn’t pay me except in knowledge, and I don’t get kickbacks for liking his stuff. When he does something I’m not into, I can only blame myself. Considering both he and I drive 20+ year old (obviously reliable) cars, it’s obvious pipe making and tobacco blending (and writing!), as well as silly notions like “pipe politics” hasn’t and will never make anyone monetarily rich. Nearly the entire pipe industry is based on love: if not for our mutual enjoyment, for those who join us and supply us alike. All those opposed to that ideal or doing something contrary need but wake up and smell the Burley.

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Kyle Weiss
Rules are made to be broken, and for me,
it’s not being able to shake the Latakia from the wintery depths from where it is appreciated. By the time the desert has given us our prerequisite two weeks of proper spring weather, the heat is settling in with a vengeance and the need for warm, smoky goodness dwindles. Apparently this isn’t to be, not by choice, but by chance. So sue me if I manage to take Latakia to the beach as summer approaches.

I was faced with trying another release in the Cornell & Diehl Small Batch line, Father of the Flame. It’s an English. A straight-up English, as it is touted right on the rather attractive label:

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