Blends that surprised you

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Senior Member
May 16, 2011
We all have our taste. Some love Virgina blends, and others love English blends. Or maybe there is a blend that you merely went "Psh, I'll never like that."
But then you tried it, and it opened your eyes to a whole new world.
I for one just tried Orlik Golden Slices for the first time last night. I'm an english man myself, so I never really looked at Orlik. But I had made an order on Smokingpipes, and was just shy of getting free shipping. So I looked at the top 10 blends sold, and number two was Orlik Golden Slice. It had been in the cellar for maybe 4 months before I cracked it open. Needless to say, I loved it. I'm chomping at the bit to get home and enjoy another bowl.



Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
I was probably most surprised by McClelland's Best of Show. Hadn't heard anything about it and one night at a pipe club meeting one of the guys said "You're an aromatic smoker. You need to give this one a go. I'm an English smoker really, but this is one hell of an aro." So he let me fill my bowl up with it, and it was the best caramel/nougat flavoured blend I'd ever had. Ended up grabbing the last tin the store had on the way out that night.
Also was surprised by 7 Seas Regular Blend. I had the Royal Blend a few weeks before and enjoyed it a lot, so I picked up a tin of the Regular to see how the other blends in the 7 Seas line were. It surprised me by how much the vanilla and chocolate flavours changed back and forth and even at times intermingled. The really big surprise was that sometimes the Black Cavendish and Golden Burley leaf came to the forefront and was the best tobacco leaf I've ever tasted in an aromatic blend.
I love getting a blend I think I might like and then being blown away and totally falling in love with it.



Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
2005. Bought my first English, some Dunhill 965. About 9 months ago, had my first taste of Penzance. Those were the most eye opening tobacco experiences I ever had. Other tobaccos either grew on me or I hated them.



Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2011
Ruins of Isenguard from Just For Him... my first english blend. I had no idea what in the world made it smell like that. But once I lit her up, I practically started talking with a british accent. I'm forever addicted to english blends now.
The other one is perique blends. They smell wonderful, but I still hate them with a vengeance. I just can't bring myself to like them.



Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2009
Birmingham, AL
For me it was Samuel Gawith Grousemoor.

I had tried some Stanwell Melange and absolutely hated it... And, when I caught a whiff of Grousemoor, I thought that it might be as disgusting as Melange was to me.
However; I was completely taken aback by the superb flavor Grousemoor provides.
I must also state that I know many here love Stanwell Melange. But, it took about twenty bowls of tobacco and three or four thorough cleanings to get that citrus taste out of my pipe, deposited there after only three or four puffs at which point I had to dump it out.



Senior Member
Aug 7, 2011
My biggest suprise Old Dublin lol. After great periods of time avoiding lat blends i finally sucked it up and gave Old Dublin a go. Needlessly to say I am now completely addicted to latakia. Glad i finally got over the tin odor.



Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
I ordered a sample of Boswells Northwoods about 3 months ago. When it arrived, the stuff was so moist, I pinched it and had tobacco juice staining my fingers. Despite this, I tried to light up a bowl, and couldnt keep it lit to save my life. I opened to pouch and let it dry for 12 hours, then 24 hours, then another 24 hours. It still refused to dry, so, disgusted, I threw it in a drawer and it sat for those three months in the little baggie. I found it again the other day, and in the course of those three months, it has dried to the perfect moisture level. I lit a bowl last night and I have to say its a really good English when dried properly! A blend I almost gave up on is now in my regular rotation.



Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
I tried Wildrness whih was put out by McClellands and when it first arrived and I smelled it I was disappointed, has a very strong almost "pine forest fire smell", but then I smoked it and he flavor came alive, tasted way different than I expected and I wold recommend it.



Preferred Member
Jan 24, 2011
Happy Hunting Grounds
Them damn Orlik Bran Flakes. I bought a tin and smoked some here and there and pretty well enjoyed it. Then I didn't smoke it for a while, and it seems the stuff really dried out on me or something.
That Ruins of Isengard really set me off. I am putting off ordering it again for a while, so when i finally do it will be well worth the wait.
I bought a tin of Escudo Navy and I am waiting for it to get well marinated. I have no desire to open the tin at all. Not the slightest bit of anticipation or care in the world about it. Maybe in a few years, i will get drunk and open it for the hell of it.
And, really, Lame Aye Que is pretty damn good stuff. Predicatble, easy to smoke, and a decent flavor. It ain't Ruths Criss steakhouse, but it beats the hell out of Tuesday Night T-bones at the strip club.



Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
Bethlehem, Pa.
The owner of the local B&M showed me a tin with a blend of chocolate & latikia. Very strange combo to my mind. Turned out to be Two Friend's English Chocolate and I am hooked. On my 5th tin in 6 months. I was strictly an English blend guy for many years but some of the newer blends that lean toward aromatic are intruiging to me now.

Rattray's Bagpiper's Dream is now at the top of my list as are many C&D blends.

Lots to choose from these days and I'm very happy about that.



Sep 28, 2010
I really love Sillem's Black. I didn't know what to expect when i first got a tin of it, but aftermy first bowl i knew i had made a wonderful purchase.



Preferred Member
Mar 9, 2010
Squadron Leader surprised me. I assumed I was going to love it since it was praised by everyone. Then I had my first bowl and it was nasty and horrible. Turned me off latakia forever.



Junior Member
May 13, 2011
Sugar Barrel surprise me. One and only "drugstore" blend I've ever smoked. Had my mind made that I'm not going to like it. Ended up liking it. Not bad. Don't know about buying another tub but not bad.



Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
Peterson Irish Oak.
I bought it for the name as much as anything, without really knowing anything about the blend. I liked it very much. The surprise was the absolutely massive nic kick. Good heavens.
I used to smoke cigars than pipes, and I always enjoyed what we euphemistically call "full bodied" cigars. The nic kick on a large guage La Gloria Cubana Serie R can be pretty substantial; likewise a Cuban Monte Criso Nu. 2. I'd put a bowl of Irish Oak up against either one.



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2011
Pacific Northwest USA
Hearth & Home Marquee Lakeland Brickle Fortissimo
I thoroughly enjoy SG and G&H tobacs. The Lakeland processing practices taste really good to me.

I either love, or at least really like, every blend I've had from Hearth and Home.
So the Brickle sounded a safe bet when it was first released. When the Fortissimo came out I had to give it a shot!
The surprise for me was in how horrible it was for me.

I appreciate that many in the Repose of Pipers enjoy this one but for me, no go.
The casings came across as very chemical in nature to my nose and that carried through to the taste when lit. Smoked 2 bowls, 1st one to the heel but could only make it half way through the 2nd. Sat it aside for a month and tried 2 more bowls. All bowls were smoked in different pipes and varying degrees of dryness.

I apologize to Russ if this comes across as rude but this is truly the only way I can describe the taste. Something akin to a cross between Capt. Black cherry and hairspray.
Then again, a surprise positive in nature came to me from H&H in the AJ's VaPer blend.

The surprise being this one is close to my tobacco Holy Grail!

Again, odd descriptor, puts me in mind of cotton candy sweet nicely balanced with a slight pepper bite.

Enjoy the taste of it in all pipes, successive bowls in the same pipe, any time of the day.



Preferred Member
Feb 1, 2010
Dunhill 965, after repulsing me for years, finally brought home Englishes to me. Park Lane's Trout Brook brought bulk aromatics back home to me.



Junior Member
Aug 30, 2011
Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic blend. I bought it convinced I would smoke a bowl and then toss it is in regular rotation.