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Let's Settle It....Highest Quality Tobacco's ??

(38 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by sirsmokesalot
  • Latest reply from rogermugs
  1. sirsmokesalot

    sirsmokesalot

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    It's a question sure to get many answers....But this is the place to ask it!
    So...In your opinion....who has the best quality pipe tobacco's on the market?
    Not one blender can have them all of course, but who really stands out as having the best
    Virginia? Burley? Oriental? Latakia? I value all your opinions!
    Thanks.

    "Time is just a stream I go a fishin' in".....Henry David Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. sirsmokesalot

    sirsmokesalot

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    Another question I have is this: Is there a tobacco grading system and if so, where can it be found? I know that with wine, there are publications regarding the quality of the grapes in certain years that make one vintage better than others. Is there something like this for tobaccos as well? For example something like
    "This 1998 virginia was great because of the damp summer"?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. judcole

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    Oh my. Easy one first:

    Another question I have is this: Is there a tobacco grading system and if so, where can it be found?

    Not that I am aware of.

    who has the best quality pipe tobacco's on the market?

    Is there anyone here who has really smoked widely enough to know? I wouldn't begin to touch this, myself. It is very subjective.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. teufelhund

    teufelhund

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    +1 to how could anybody really know. From what I have smoked in my brief experience a house blend called sun and shade has been my favorite; special thanks to HSB tobacconist.

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. - Irish Proverb
    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    This couldn't possibly lead to an argument!

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. brewshooter

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    The highest quality tobacco is called Viva Excelsior. It is grown high in the mountains of Costa Rica, above the clouds and protected by the cool air at that altitude. The native people, who have cultivated it for the last 2,000 years, claim that it is fertilized with the dung of a mythical forest creature very similar to our fabled unicorn. It is watered only with the salty tears collected each morning from the eyes of a cliff dwelling bird of prey known as Mamasuta. The bird is worshipped as a god by the locals. The tobacco is allowed to ferment in the body of a ritualistically slaughtered goat for seven years before it is deemed fit for use. The natives then transport the tobacco, goat and all, upon their backs and down the steep hillsides to coastal traders who bring the delicious fruits of their labor to markets around the world.

    However, one doesn't simply walk into an auction house and bid on a bale of Viva Excelsior. Oh no, the trade of this rare gem is often conducted in dark back rooms. Secret bargains are struck. Blood may be let if a deal goes bad. Once purchased, the tobacco is transported, often with armed escort and under the veil of darkness, to the blender. It is the key ingredient in several known tobacco blends. Here in the west, you may find it under the name...Prince Albert.

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
    -C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)
    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. teufelhund

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    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Above all that esoteric bullsh!t, IMHO, the best tobaccos are those used by McClelland in their blends. But, TBH, After decades of smoking this blend and that, most of the premier blenders use top shelf leaves and do a very fine job. Look at Mac Baren's Old Dark Fired -- enough said.

    Is there a tobacco grading system and if so, where can it be found?

    Yes, absolutely, of course there is!

    It's found in your ability to discern it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    I thought you were going for mixture 79.

    This one of those topics ... that I use my 10' pole for not touching things with.


    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
    View Lawrence  Whitcomb's profile on LinkedIn
    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. spartan

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    Other than the lack of PG and the blender swearing up and down that they only use the finest tobaccos on the market... I'm not sure there is an answer to who uses the "best" tobaccos.

    All you can do is find a company with a reputation for making a great product and trust that when they say they use the best, they aren't lying to your face lol.

    And finding a company with a great reputation on this site will take not much time at all.

    The "What are you smoking now" thread is a good place to see what people are smoking at any given time if you'd like some ideas of where to start. Find a name you like or see often and look up a review of it.

    Good Luck!

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. kenoshakid

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    Brewshooter, I thought you were being serious! Your tale was written so well that I didn't get the joke until the last two words. Ha-ha! But seriously, my idea of the perfect brand would be GLP. That's where I started and that's where I'm still at; having returned to pipe smoking after a nine-year sabattical, my tastes haven't changed much.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. cortezattic

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    I have always been impressed by the delicacy and refinement of tobaccos from Esoterica and Germaine.
    But I think it's terribly difficult to grade a tobacco once it has been processed.
    Besides, what company would admit to using anything other than top grade tobaccos?
    McClelland has a bulk blend that contains "cutter grade" leaf, but this website defines that as, perhaps, a good thing.

    Check out the USDA Official Standard Grades For Flue-Cured Tobacco

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    But I think it's terribly difficult to grade a tobacco once it has been processed.

    So true. The following is about cigars, but pipe tobacco is much the same IMO.

    I remember a certain well known blender holding up a leaf in front of me, placing the lit end of his cigar in the leaf and while the hole he formed was burning he whiffed it saying, "Ah, yessss, theees eeeze tooo yungg." I gained yet further respect for someone with legendary skills as my sentry, making certain the tobaccos used to make my smoke were the very best possible as nothing else would do.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. cortezattic

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    Judging by the USDA standards linked above, a fair amount of thought has been given to tobacco grading;
    it just remains in the purview of professionals and industry insiders.

    Whereas most grading was/is done manually by an experienced person, this article introduces computer grading
    using digital image processing.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. nsfisher

    nsfisher

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    No comment from this end either. Personal preference rules here.

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    Good day and greetings, all you red-eye unwashed plebians of the pipe...

    ...it has come to my attention via top secret channels through clandestine interchange that your paltry forum has fallen into pitiful disarray. This is apparently because there are no possessors of specialized knowledge left among you that are willing to withstand the foul stench of your pointless inane postings and uncleaned basket pipes filled with non- vintage drugstore tobaccos.

    Worse yet, your ceaseless worship of very mild crossover blends like the limp wristed Frog Mortons give any pause to actually take you seriously.

    Buying, filling, lighting, and actually smoking such an esoteric item as a briar root pipe seems, in the minds of those who know, to be beyond you. You wallow in the dark valley of corncob pipes (gasp!), Carter Hall "tobacco", (double gasp!!) and grubby Bic lighters. And you even seem to enjoy this squalor!!

    Alas, how has this come to pass?

    Not one exquisite hand-tooled mastodon tamper amongst you!

    Then again, such luxuries would be wasted upon you, as you cannot discern the subtle nuances encased within the mythic discontinued blends, of which I affectionately only smoke.

    As I recline on my bespoke calfskin settee, smoking a 1924 Dunhill Zulu Magnum filled with George Dobie & Son Paisley Flake from deep within my vast stores of ancient leaf (all cutter tops of course), I ponder the dilemma. How can such barbarian pipe people such as yourselves be brought into the bright light of fine high grade pipes and the truest ultra fine tobaccos?

    The problem is especially difficult because those that profess to be keepers of the specialized knowledge are so horrified at your unkempt condition that they will not even don a hazardous waste protection suit and mingle with you members of the newbie masses. Indeed, there is a faint noxious odor coming through my gold plated keyboard, my vidscreen morphs into an eldritch horror of indecipherable illiteracies upon my happenstance visit here.

    I will have to have my faithful manservant, Manchester, disinfect it later, after my usual lunch of cold Maine lobster salad, followed by Napoleon brandy and a bowl of original 1963 Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture in a 3 foot meerschaum carved by a Turkish disciple of A.Rodin, lighted and supported by two lovely honeydrippers dressed in traditional harem girl garb.

    What to do? What to do? Indeed it is a serious matter. How can you cretins be brought up to the level of those true masters in the highest fine art of pipe smoking that shun your very existence?

    Suggestions, anyone?

    How can you ever gain the required obscure errata necessary to become an authentic connoisseur?

    Alas, there may be no hope.

    Now, off you go to smolder your steamy over-sauced cavendishes!

    The Sophisticate

    Post Script:
    Of the over 36,700 individual blends that have been recorded in the Duke Street White Spot shop “My Mixture Book”, I will squash all dissent by stating that the finest blend ever available is my personal amalagation known as My Mixture #Zero a.k.a. Alpha-Omega Shell Flake, of that there is no doubt.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    I'd have to say personally I've found McClelland's leaf quality to be a tad superior to the other blenders I've tried.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. flyguy

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    I thought you were going for mixture 79.

    Hey Lawrence, ease up on Mixture 79! Some of us had to start somewhere!

    I'd have to say personally I've found McClelland's leaf quality to be a tad superior to the other blenders I've tried.

    Agreed! Along with C&D, SG, Escoterica, Solani......

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. sirsmokesalot

    sirsmokesalot

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    Thanks for all the responses to this and to those of you who were afraid to commit to an answer,
    Don't ever get married LOL!!! Just kidding!!
    It seems as if we have come to the conclusion so far that GL Pease, MacClellend, Mac Baren, and Cornell & Diehl
    dominate our choices of pipe tobacco, and 1 vote for "Prince albert"!!
    But anyways...I got the Idea for this question from this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAsS36BtyfM

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I can only speak for my tastes, but my favorites are all Virginia and Virginia/perique flakes that come from the following houses in no particular order.

    Wessex
    Samuel Gawith
    Solani
    Esoterica
    Fribourg & Treyer
    Rotary
    John Aylesbury
    GL Pease
    Dunhill
    Mac Baren
    Peterson

    Harris
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    chargerucd

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    ok guys,
    would it be fair to say that an analogy would be that of baking a cake?

    a good cake can begin with any flour(tobacco leaf) and this is a common thing amongst blenders. so it is not the tobacco itself that makes a good blend but the process of making the blend that will make it outstanding.

    of course starting with better leaves will give you a better product.

    but would it be safe to say that if esotrica cannot find "premium leaves", will their blends taste horrible if made with the lower quality stuff?

    that is what im wondering!,,

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    Lower quality leaf will definitely lead to an inferior end product. The better companies only use the best leaf available and many have warehouse full of it. Even a top blender cannot make a good blend with inferior tobacco. There is a reason that some blends sell for 30 a pound and others sell for 70.00.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    would it be safe to say that if esotrica cannot find "premium leaves", will their blends taste horrible if made with the lower quality stuff? that is what im wondering!,,

    If a premium blending house "cannot find 'premium leaves,'" and cannot match the quality for the leaf they require, they simply will not make more of that blend until they get the right tobacco. Finding a cheap way out just isn't how they roll.

    There are many good examples of this -- one of them is G.L. Pease, whose supply of Syrian Latakia was lost in a warehouse fire. Greg announced that, due to that loss and lack of availability of that key ingredient, he would cease production of the GLP blends containing it. Another is Mac Baren, who sold out of Old Dark Fired -- we had to wait several months for more because the blend cannot be rushed and the proprietary ingredients cannot be substituted.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. pstlpkr

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    @Flyguy

    I can honestly say that I have never tried that particular blend.
    I still find it hard to believe that it actually exists.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. sirsmokesalot

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    @rothnh....Great comment! That was my purpose for starting this thread. To find out who uses the finest tobacco in their blends, and who doesn't. There's a HUGE difference between a GL Pease Blend and a drug store
    blend right? I know when I buy tobacco in bulk...and then buy tobacco in tins, the difference in quality is the
    first thing I usually notice. Not always....But most of the time.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. matchstickman

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    Leaf quality among pipe tobacco blends is going to be universally higher than tobacco leaf in cigarettes. Cigarette tobacco leaves are shredded, processed all to hell, then treated with who in the hell knows what to make them more addictive and keep people coming back for more. Comparing pipe tobacco leaf to cigars is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both good on their own merits, and different people like them for different reasons, but you cant really call one BETTER than another, it all boils down to personal taste. There are some people who love Cornell and Diehl and GL Pease, and there are some people who like Hearth and Home and Dunhill. Neither are wrong, but the importance is that ALL pipe tobacco blenders should use the highest quality leaf they have available to them in order to maintain a quality product, but whether or not everyone is going to LIKE them is another matter entirely. Almost all pipe tobacco is high quality tobacco, even though some of it may register just a bit lower than others in the grand scheme of things.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    +1 rothnh. In my vastly inferior experience(less than 1 year) I have found McClellands to be of incredible flavor and consistency, for Virginias at least. I cannot speak for english blends, although Esoterica certainly comes to mind, and I would have to imagine the Germain's use similar quality tobaccos for all of their offerings.

    @misterlowercase - I find your musings as The Sophisticate quite amusing. However, if in the future, you wish to impose yourself as this character, I would assume you should spell 'plebeians' correctly. If you are going to put me in a place, as it were, at least do so in a respectable and, ahem, correctly spelled manner.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. igloo

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    Burley gets a bad rap as do any blends that come in a plastic or foil containers . Heck people even complain about the different vintages of Dunhill as for me why anyone would smoke Lakeland blends is beyond me .They smell like armpit and cheap perfume to me . But unless you are smoking sheet tobacco chances are pretty good that the base leaf is good . All of the blenders do a great job with what they have to work with and like wine the vintages vary from year to year . Explore and have fun with the hobby , find what you like and do not let anyone tell you any different . So get out there and explore and have fun and enjoy . That is unless your head is stuck so far up your a... that you can not pull it out .

    “There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    samcoffeeman -
    Good eye, however, I will defend my alternate spelling of the word.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=plebeian&allowed_in_frame=0
    That spelling falls in line with pleb and plebby which are slang words in current usage.

    “Plebes autem ea dicatur in qua gentes patriciae non insunt”

    I wasn't talking about Romans, so historical accuracy is a moot point, although as noted on the etymology dictionary, even in Latin the later use was pleb which superseded plebe.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    As for The Sophisticate, he is not my creation. I was tickled with his writings when I recently found them on the ASP list. He was active circa 1999/2000. I dunno why I posted that anyway, which was out of context here. My humble apologies.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    I think the best leaf is from Kentucky and Malawi.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

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    No apology necessary. Everything I said was in full jest.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. misterlowercase

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. fitzy

    fitzy

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    +1 Cigrmaster. I also would personally add Hearth & Home to that list as I find their Balkan/English to be some of the best.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. brewshooter

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    Well, looks like we've answered this age old question...

    [Dusts of hands]

    ...and that's that!!!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. sirsmokesalot

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    Thanks gentlemen for all your input. As in anything else in life....you get what you pay for. As for me...I will continue on with my search for as one person commented here....It's the journey itself that's the most fun!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. kashmir

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    For the past several years, my snout has been rooting about in the cellars of Cornell & Diehl. With much success I might add.

    The pipe eases you into the present moment - savor your pipe & you'll savor this moment.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. User has not uploaded an avatar

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    even in Latin the later use was pleb which superseded plebe.

    OMG, at West Point, everyone superseded a plebe LOL.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. mustanggt

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    [quote]
    Good day and greetings, all you red-eye unwashed plebians of the pipe...

    ...it has come to my attention via top secret channels through clandestine interchange that your paltry forum has fallen into pitiful disarray. This is apparently because there are no possessors of specialized knowledge left among you that are willing to withstand the foul stench of your pointless inane postings and uncleaned basket pipes filled with non- vintage drugstore tobaccos.

    Worse yet, your ceaseless worship of very mild crossover blends like the limp wristed Frog Mortons give any pause to actually take you seriously.

    Buying, filling, lighting, and actually smoking such an esoteric item as a briar root pipe seems, in the minds of those who know, to be beyond you. You wallow in the dark valley of corncob pipes (gasp!), Carter Hall "tobacco", (double gasp!!) and grubby Bic lighters. And you even seem to enjoy this squalor!!

    Alas, how has this come to pass?

    Not one exquisite hand-tooled mastodon tamper amongst you!

    Then again, such luxuries would be wasted upon you, as you cannot discern the subtle nuances encased within the mythic discontinued blends, of which I affectionately only smoke.

    As I recline on my bespoke calfskin settee, smoking a 1924 Dunhill Zulu Magnum filled with George Dobie & Son Paisley Flake from deep within my vast stores of ancient leaf (all cutter tops of course), I ponder the dilemma. How can such barbarian pipe people such as yourselves be brought into the bright light of fine high grade pipes and the truest ultra fine tobaccos?

    The problem is especially difficult because those that profess to be keepers of the specialized knowledge are so horrified at your unkempt condition that they will not even don a hazardous waste protection suit and mingle with you members of the newbie masses. Indeed, there is a faint noxious odor coming through my gold plated keyboard, my vidscreen morphs into an eldritch horror of indecipherable illiteracies upon my happenstance visit here.

    I will have to have my faithful manservant, Manchester, disinfect it later, after my usual lunch of cold Maine lobster salad, followed by Napoleon brandy and a bowl of original 1963 Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture in a 3 foot meerschaum carved by a Turkish disciple of A.Rodin, lighted and supported by two lovely honeydrippers dressed in traditional harem girl garb.

    What to do? What to do? Indeed it is a serious matter. How can you cretins be brought up to the level of those true masters in the highest fine art of pipe smoking that shun your very existence?

    Suggestions, anyone?

    How can you ever gain the required obscure errata necessary to become an authentic connoisseur?

    Alas, there may be no hope.

    Now, off you go to smolder your steamy over-sauced cavendishes!

    The Sophisticate

    Post Script:
    Of the over 36,700 individual blends that have been recorded in the Duke Street White Spot shop “My Mixture Book”, I will squash all dissent by stating that the finest blend ever available is my personal amalagation known as My Mixture #Zero a.k.a. Alpha-Omega Shell Flake, of that there is no doubt.

    Mr. lowercase, I do believe I've never enjoyed being insulted so much before in my life!!! Such eloquence in usage of the Queens English!!! Bravo sir!!! :clap:

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. rogermugs

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    Borkum Riff Whiskey

    Posted 5 years ago #

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