Penzance - Meh

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

exbenedict

Member
Feb 6, 2018
107
0
So I have finally gotten hold of some Penzance to try. After smoking a pipe for about two years now, I have wanted to try it and I did not want to pay the exorbitant eBay prices so I patiently waited until I could grab a couple ounces for a reasonable price. After smoking three bowls through a meer and a Peterson Outdoorsman, I can honestly say that I don't see what all the hype is about. It is good, and tasty, and has a nice out of the tin smoky, peppery smell that I like, but as an extravagant hard to find tobacco, I find it meh. If I had to choose a flake to smoke on the regular it would be something different. Just my $0.02 worth.

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
600
2
Try not to write it off just after smoking a few bowls. I've often tried blends that I thought were awful at first only to later find I enjoyed them. Whether it was a change in my taste buds, an aging thing or smoking it in a different pipe/s.
Greg Pease wrote a interesting article about trying new blends and how often you really need to give a specfic blend many tries before 86'ing it. It was a good read.

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
600
2
Q: How many bowls does it take to understand a tobacco?
A: It takes time to really get to know a blend. The first bowl will only give you a glimpse of what the blend has to offer. With continued smoking, you'll begin to discern some of the more subtle characteristics, the nuances of the blend. These nuances are often the things that make the difference between a good tobacco, and a truly great one. Of course, if you hate it upon first light, it's not likely you'll ever grow to love it, unless your tastes change - and that DOES happen. Don't give up on a blend after a single smoke. Put it aside, and come back to it on a different occasion. Expand your horizons! There are a lot of great experiences to be had.
https://www.glpease.com/FAQ.html

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,275
37
I personally never understood the love for Penzance. It's just an okay blend to me, but to each his own.

 

timt

Preferred Member
Jul 19, 2018
1,035
4
I picked up a tin at my b&m a while back because it was sitting there on the shelf, hen's tooth that it is. One of these days when I come to enjoy latakia, I'll try it. :puffy:

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,033
170
I think it is quite good. However, were it as plentiful as many other good blends, it would typically be available on the shelves. It was years ago before the "shortage". Try it again in 2 to 4 weeks. Many blends need to settle a bit after having the tin opened to have all the flavors open up.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,973
850
It was years ago before the "shortage".
I remember that. That's when I fell in love with Dunbar and Pembroke. With blends like Meridian, Yenidje Highlander, and Peretti's Royal, Penzance just seems a little bland.

 

renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
619
164
I’ve gone through 8 oz of Penzance and some bowls are great some are nothing special. A good blend to be sure, but to my palate it doesn’t live up to the hype. To each his own.
We live in an age of plenty, no need to chase unicorns unless you enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

 

jmill208

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2013
809
17
Maryland USA
Exbenedict, I’ve had the opposite experience. The first time I tried Penzance it was fantastic. I really noticed a complexity of flavors and was blown away by how good it was. As a regular vaper/virginia flake and plug smoker, I only dabble in the lat blends when the urge strikes. After obtaining a pound + of the ‘zance I cannot seem to find that sublime experience again. Most of my Penzance smokes since that first time, have also been “meh”. I’ve tried different dryness levels, pipes etc.
Not really sure why.

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
600
2
I've done the same as jmi208 in the past. I tried a new blend and loved it, smoked down the entire tin in no time. So I ordered 10 tins - only to find out I no longer liked it.

 

jravenwood

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2017
422
4
Penzance is very unique , that’s why I like it . Also the newer penzance seems lacking . It needs age in my opinion, and if you ever come across some from the late or early 90s when it still had Syrian Latakia in it, that’s when it was REALLY good .

 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
2,035
473
Ive frequently been in the company of other fellows smoking it. I think it would be quite nice if they removed the latakia.
Does anyone know of a blend out there that could theoretically be akin to a "Penzance sans latakia"?

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,973
850
Nothing outside McClelland's lat free Grand Orientals come to mind. Yenice Agonya is a good example.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
178
I’m smoking Penzance now. Wonderful blend. It is complex and needs time and experience in many different pipes before it gives up its secrets. The first time I experienced a Nirvana smoke with it I became a convert.



 

wyfbane

Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
4,038
0
I really enjoy penzance. But not enough to play the reindeer games needed to keep it in stock. I have 2 lbs or so, but would rather smoke SPC Plum Pudding.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,885
819
Monterey Peninsula
I like the stuff. But not as much as Margate, weighing in cost to acquire as part of the equation.
Note to haters: All Esotericas I have tried are packed very wet. Over 90% RH @ 70º. Plenty drying time recommended, esp for flakes.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,973
850
Note to haters: All Esotericas I have tried are packed very wet. Over 90% RH @ 70º. Plenty drying time recommended, esp for flakes.
I never smoke anything straight from the tin or jar and Penzance just isn't a standout for me. Margate, Presbyterian, Sasieni, Blue Mountain/Balkan Blue, and Yenidje Highlander stand far above it when I want something with latakia.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,257
459
I haven't tried Penzance, but it is certainly mentioned a lot. I do give extra points for blends that are produced in quantities to meet the demand and well distributed. Be that as it may, I think many blends have to be cultivated a while before their appeal reveals itself. Some have instant appeal for many, but I have found a number have to be smoked tentatively for a while before their magic occurs to me.