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Just for Him's Three Newest Offerings from Their Middle Earth Pipeweed Series

(7 posts)
  • Started 7 months ago by Jeffrey Deal
  • Latest reply from Jeffrey Deal
  1. cynicismandsugar

    Jeffrey Deal

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    JUST FOR HIM has introduced three new tobacco selections into their popular MIDDLE EARTH PIPEWEED SERIES. I've been fortunate to have sampled each, and have recorded my opinions to share.

    I've decided to start with BOMBADIL, my preferred selection from the blends...

    “Ah, the warm, pleasant memories of fall mushrooms and fermenting frog in a cellar.”

    Holiday custard.

    Seriously, it smells like holiday custard… buttery warm caramel and spices, toasted vanilla, and brown spirits. Additional aromas of subtle smoke and slight incense are vaguely present: seemingly eager guests, patiently waiting at a surprise party.

    The blend's coarse ribbons are moist and slightly tacky. Once packed, the dry-draw has the quality of a Dutch aromatic: a slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance with traces of yeast dough. The room-note, upon the charring light, echoes these characteristics, with my eldest daughter commenting that the tobacco smells like “fresh pastries in the bakery!”

    Once burning, the red Virginias are sweet and bready, with the aromatic nature of the blend racing forward, front and center, accentuated by a seasoning of perique. The casing's cocktail of caramel, vanilla, and spices please the palate while painting impressionistic strokes of whiskey (perhaps, bourbon) flavor.

    Early on, there are a few enigmatic moments of attempting to decipher if the blend is more creative aromatic than forced crossover, when—suddenly—Latakia and crew leap out from behind a cloud of smoke; all streamers and confetti; declaring: “SUPRISE!”

    A classic, well-rounded Latakia-forward blend develops, with the whiskey relaxing comfortably into its supporting role, specifically on the retrohale. The English-style base is soft and balanced, never becoming overwhelming. The pleasant creosote and smoldering leaf-litter are kept relevant with the occasional fading wisps of incense.

    The blend burns clean to the bottom, with few re-lights, has a medium-mild to mild nicotine hit, and makes a lovely afternoon or evening smoke.

    Bombadil seems to elegantly hack into a nostalgia circuit in my brain. It's a jaunt through Shortcut to Mushrooms, AFTER raiding Frog Morton's Cellar.

    (If you still have an extra whiskey stave lying around, why not toss it into a jar with a couple ounces of Bombadil and see what happens?)

    Bombadil is a comfort blend; it's both familiar and unique… and happily fills a missing spot in my current rotation.

    3.5/4

    The next tobacco under the microscope: HORNBLOWER'S BLEND...

    “Never trust a non-aromatic piper's views on an aromatic pipe.”

    Hornblower's Blend is a mildly aromatic tobacco. The jar aroma is sweet, comprising of the bright, familiar scent of hay and grass: the tell tale signs of some quality Virginia leaf. An additional hint of raisin makes the presence of perique known (and welcomed). These ingredients, in combination with a pinch of black Cavendish, are blended via a course ribbon cut. The completed offering is moist and slightly tacky.

    Once packed, the dry-draw is mild. There appears to be an additional lurking presence of a sweet, honey-like aroma. The charring light explodes with the flavor of our mystery casing: maple.

    The blend of bright Virginias are pleasant: a sweet, crystalized honey—with the occasional accent of Graham flour—are beautifully complemented by the spiced peppering of perique.

    The natural sweetness of the Virginas are distinct from the artificial top note of maple that occasionally creeps in. The Va/per base is high quality, and similar to popular rolled coin cuts (that include black Cavendish); but the maple often reminds you that this is something different; and, personally, I'm not sure if that means altogether superior. Early on, the flavors can become muddled.

    The second half of the bowl is sweet and grassy with the occasional pepper notes provided by the perique. The maple's aromatic quality fluctuates throughout the smoke, depending heavily on the amount of pre-drying time applied beforehand, pipe chosen, and smoking cadence; at times it's a pungent artificial breakfast topper, and at others, it's a pleasant burnt caramel.

    By the final stretch, the maple and caramel flavors are too exhausted to fight on any longer, and the Va/per's characteristics are again allowed to become more pronounced.

    The bowl burns cleanly to the bottom, with few re-lights required, and minimal moisture issues. The blend does have bite potential, but nothing that minimal care in technique can't remedy.

    So, perhaps, for those looking for a mild to medium breakfast blend that can get you rised and shinin’, this offering can certainly satiate a craving. It can be an all day smoke for an aromatic lover's palate, but still present an interesting experiment in a Virginia smoker’s morning routine.

    2/4

    Next is my experience with GOLDBERRY. I favor non-aromatics, with the occasional hiatus to the sweeter side. This review may reflect my perference, ymmv.

    “Some of us prefer the sweeter things in life; some of us claim the finer… Why not indulge in both at once?”

    Goldberry is an unapologetic aromatic blend from the first whiff: caramel, marzipan, and dark, dried fruits. The course ribbon cut is moist and tacky.

    The charring light reveals the prominent characteristics of a Danish-style aromatic: a slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance with traces of yeast dough. There is an additional presence of caramel. The room-note is a pleasant, burnt caramel with hints of smoldering firewood.

    As the bowl develops, the topping is the clear focus, sublimating the natural tobacco flavors. The blend is smooth, with the aromatic sauce both sweet and consistent. The Danish-style flavors dominate, with the caramel and warm vanilla more present upon the retrohale.

    I found that the topping further intensified with squat, shallower chambers; while a tall, narrower corn cob provided a better chance to occasionally experience the base Virginias.

    Near the end of the bowl, nicotine strength creeps to medium (even medium-plus, at times), thanks to a healthy pinch of perique. The blend burns a bit damp, but is otherwise well-behaved.

    Goldberry is a quality aromatic tobacco, blended specifically for proud fans of added flavoring. If you're a card carrying member of Club Aro, this blend is intended for you.

    2/4

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. techie

    techie

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    Nice write-ups. Enjoyed your writing. Thanks!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. cynicismandsugar

    Jeffrey Deal

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    Thank you, Techie, sir!

    There's always that moment of mystery when a new blend is released. It's difficult to decide on taking the plunge until a few reviews finally hit. I'm just tryin' to help (one bowl at a time)!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. techie

    techie

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    It definitely helps me. I'm fairly new to pipes and in that early stage of discovery, and buying all sorts of blends to learn what I like and don't like. While I don't rely strictly on reviews, they help me a lot.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. lasttango

    lasttango

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    I'm quite a fan of JFH. Thanks for the reviews! I'm going to go look now!

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. lasttango

    lasttango

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    Never mind... found it....

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. cynicismandsugar

    Jeffrey Deal

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    Thank you, LastTango! I'm a fan, too.

    For future reference, the blends can be viewed at: http://www.justforhim.com.

    Happy puffing!

    Posted 7 months ago #

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