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PAX Crawl 2-16: Standard Tobacco Blends

(78 posts)
  1. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    OK, we're starting a fresh thread here for the February 2016PAX Tobacco Crawl of Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania blends. The good folks at P&C have kindly put together a 5-tin set for this crawl:

    THE 5-TIN PAX DEAL IS HERE. CLICK HERE TO ORDER


    Here are the separate links to the tins:

    John Cotton's 3-tin sampler (Free Shipping)
    Bengal Slices
    War Horse Ready Cut

    OK, so here's how we're going to progress:

    John Cotton's Number 1
    John Cotton's Numbers 1&2
    John Cotton's Smyrna
    Bengal Slices
    War Horse Ready Cut

    This gives a good progression from delicate to gale force, and also gives some time for the War Horse to arrive. We'll commence on Friday, or sooner if you already have a tin of Number 1 on hand.

    Our Fearless Leader, Brass is recuperating from some unexpected eye surgery, and expects to be offline for at least a week, so he's handed over the keys to Russ and I for this just go around. Let's all wish Brass a speedy and successful recovery, as we light the first bowl in his honor.

    Let The Show Begin! Russ and I will be checking in daily to join in on the fun and answer your questions.

    -Dan

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Have at it!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. clickklick

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    John Cotton #1

    Can we go over the constituents of the blend? I don't want to let trade secrets our of the bag, but type of leaf used would be helpful to me personally.

    There is a cloying flavor I don't taste in many blends. I want to say Basma or Smyrna or Samsun, but am probably wrong, only because I don't get to taste them very much. There is something "unique" about this one. Slightly cedar-like, slightly floral or incense-y.

    I tired a bowl last night and will try another today.

    Hobbyist Pipemaker - Carmette Pipes
    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. blendtobac

    blendtobac

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    The Oriental leaf is a combination of Izmir and Basma with small amounts of other varietals. The rest of the blend is a combination of different grades of Virginia and Latakia.

    Russ

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. clickklick

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    There is no top flavor added correct?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. woodsroad

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    Correct. No topping on any of the John Cotton's blends.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. shanelktown

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    Really waiting on that war horse plug Dan. Feb 16th hmm I will have to jump in on this one.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. clickklick

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    Ok, so I'm not sure what to think of this. It has a unique flavor. Probably one of those love it or hate it blends. It smokes easy, cool, and consistent. The flavor is constant with each puff, never changing. A bit too monotone to keep my palate fully engaged. There is a unique enough flavor here that it may warrant an occasional break from my current staples, but I really don't think I could smoke this one all day. Kind of like it should be enjoyed as a treat. This is my impression after 3 bowls.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    sw0snuff3r

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    As luck would have it I am currently in possession of the Canadian box pass and each of these blends are in it. I'll be setting some of each aside and following this thread with interest. I'm not great at picking out flavourings and stuff, I think I fried my taster after too many years of cigarettes.

    I've just tried some John Cotton's Number 1. I'm not a huge fan of English/Balkan style but I found this one was quite pleasant. The latakia is mild and what I assume is the oriental leaf shines through. It smells pretty good to me and I wasn't kicked out of the room for smoking it. I think it would make a good introduction for those looking at getting into this style of pipe tobacco.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    Just placed my order for the pack.

    Already have a tin on John Cotton's No. 1. I'll crack it open and get to posting, my thoughts. Loved it at the West Coast Show. Hope it's as good as I remember.

    I will say my initial impression was a nice light all day English blend with a more agreeable room note than most. From the first bowl I'd say it's a great intro to Latakia.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. woodsroad

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    I'll be interested to see your impressions of the tinned version. The sample that I gave you at the West Coast Show was blended by Russ, by hand, using the same tobaccos that are in the tinned version. As far as I can tell, they are spot-on the same thing, but perceptions vary. It's what keeps stuff interesting!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. lordofthepiperings

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    A big pat on the back to the folks at Lane Limited tinning this, because it's exactly what I remember from the show!

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    csharp

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    I opened a tin of this last night. The last tin I had bought before the reintroduction was in 1992 and I believe the tin was dead stock with a little age. Now if anyone wants to prove me wrong send me your old tins of #1 but I had forgotten what #1 tasted like untill I smoked this. This blend took me back to that old tin.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. condorlover1

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    @csharp Thank you for comment as its comments like yours that have made the whole process so worth while!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. clickklick

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    I love it when a reintroduction tastes like the original! You guys are doing it right!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. stickframer

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    I was fortunate enough to try some No. 1 from the Canadian box pass and liked it right away.

    Today I opened my tin in great anticipation and loaded a bowl. It was nice that the tobacco was at a good moisture level to smoke right away.

    Most of all I notice a strong spice taste. It's a real nose tingler on the retrohale. Underneath there is the subtle cedar/floral thing happening that clickclick mentioned but I also get a nice musty taste ebbing in and out which gives the blend some depth imo.

    There's a load of flavor here despite the 'mild'
    designation.

    I'd say No.1 is similar to Germain 1820 or Peterson Wild Atlantic, but with a heavier spice taste and fuller, deeper flavor overall.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. clickklick

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    So I have to ask, are sending this in a specific order with a certain number of days for each?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. lordofthepiperings

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    I have to say the moisture level in the tin is perfect. If you aren't going to get through it in a week definitely jar it up.

    It packs very nicely and takes a light really well, burning fairly cool to a nice white ash.

    Flavor wise I'm getting a good amount of sweetness from the Va's with a little incense from the Orientals and some smokiness from the Latakia. It's pretty consistent throughout the bowl.

    I also get the cedar/floral thing a bit and enjoy it.

    I think because of it's consistency it could be an all day blend for some people. I also think because it is fairly mild this would be a great blend for a newbie or for someone looking to try out Lakatkia/Orientals.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. woodsroad

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    Isn't it interesting which flavors come through when Latakia is used so sparingly? The cedar notes that a few of you mention is most certainly from the Latakia, and the musty/floral aroma from the orientals. Russ hit the balance just right on this, a delicate teeter-totter in 3 dimensions, wafting between the delicate presence of each leaf.

    csharp, thanks for the affirmation. A Simon says, it's insights like yours that make this wild ride all worthwhile.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. stickframer

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    @woodsroad- it's very interesting. Fascinating actually. There're several blends that I am reminded of during the course of smoking No.1, very distinctly,but all at different times throughout the bowl. It's pretty neat stuff.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    csharp

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    @Simon & Dan You are welcome.

    Although we call this a light blend there is allot of sophisticated things going on to get that flavor.

    I am holding off going to the 1&2 until we get to that part of this thread but it is hard.

    I smoked the Smyrna during the week of Christmas and am looking forward to getting back to it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. danindayton

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    I am, primarily an aro smoker. That said, I do smoke a lot of Maltese Falcon. John Cotton No 1's tin note is what you would expect pipe tobacco to smell like. Charing light highlights the "grassy, hay" flavors of the Va's. Initial light brings the mild spice of the orientals into the mix with just a touch of latakia. I think this has a good flavor level with a mellowness would make someone's all day smoke. Just not me. As Lordofthepiperings said it will be more of an aperitif than the main course.

    danindayton
    ilurkalot

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. woodsroad

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    "So I have to ask, are sending this in a specific order with a certain number of days for each? "

    No, we can move on to John Cotton's 1&2 whenever folks feel like it, but I think that there are still tins in transit to some readers. Correct?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. woodsroad

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    OK, John Cotton's Number 1&2 is up now.

    I love No. 1, but this is more of an all-day smoke for me.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. prairiedruid

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    Well my friendly mail lady dropped off my tobacco today so initial thoughts on John Cotton's #1. Perfect moisture for me right out of the tin, packs and lights easily. Smooth mild smoke, I agree with an earlier poster about a woodsy cedar aspect to this. Mild yet satisfying I can see this as an early in the day smoke for me.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    csharp

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    Although I never smoked the original 1&2 I came away from finishing my first bowl with the recognition of why I fell in love with English blends all those years ago. It burns cool and I recognize the familiar smoky latakia. I look forward to smoking more of it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. fordm60

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    Arrrrrrrrrgggggghhhh!! My tins are in the mail. But they swear they will arrive tomorrow!!!! So looking forward to these blends!!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. woodsroad

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    Is that today tomorrow or tomorrow tomortow?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. shanelktown

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    Such a good deal on this sampler for anyone not partaking in this thread. I would still recommend you pick up this tin sampler. This isn't just 5 tobaccos this is 5 spectacular tobaccos your paying under 10 dollars a piece. They are giving this stuff away. So any forum member or visitor to this site reading this get on P&C and pick up this sampler. I promise you won't regret it. Wow just started salvivating thinking about a bowl of Bengal slices.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. fordm60

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    Today tomorrow of course woodsroad! Smoking my first bowl of #1. Moisture level from the tin is perfect for me. The plastic top inside the tin and paper is new to me. Never heard of or seen anything like it, will be interesting to see if it keeps the tobacco at the same moisture level. Is that why it is there? The flavor is very good. Nothing seems to jump out, each sip has a delightful mixture of VA, orientals, and Latakia seems to be singing quietly in the background. The word smooth just runs through my mind with each sip. I get a creamy taste in my mouth from this tobacco, it seems to coat my mouth very pleasantly. It is fun to let the pipe dang near die out and then pull a few long sips and up the temperature and then slowly sip it back down to almost out and taste the flavors change, always smooth but it seems get bolder as the flavors play with the temperature change. No idea if that makes sense to you all, but it does to me lol. Usual caveat when reviewing a tobacco on only one bowl. I like #1, smooth, smokes slowly, and I am already loading a second bowl of it. I do not usually do that. Good stuff.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. dcrguns

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    Just got my tin of #1 in. I am smoking my first bowl in my new Ryan Alden. This is a nice smooth smoke with great flavor. You guys did a great job on this one. Looking forward to many more bowls.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  32. woodsroad

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    Never heard of or seen anything like it, will be interesting to see if it keeps the tobacco at the same moisture level. Is that why it is there?

    Yes. Sort of like the old "floating lid" idea, where a lightweight disc was floated on a tank of whatever (wine, photo developer) to reduce the oxygen-rich headspace and keep the oxidation and evaporation at a minimum. I think that it's a good idea, although its certainly not traditional, but if it helps keep the tobacco as it should be, then I'm for it.

    Ford, i read you load and clear. I'm with you all the way. Temperature of burn plays an important part in flavor, and this is a good blend to play around with it, like a yo-yo.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. fordm60

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    woodsroad, thank you for the information on the plastic lid. It makes sense and I am curious to see if it works. Glad I was able to articulate the temperature flavor ratio lol! Finished second bowl a while ago, still very good! Going to have to smoke one more before racking out. Tough job I know, but somebody has to review the new tobaccos and I will go the extra mile for all the pipers!!! LOL

    Posted 3 years ago #
  34. blendtobac

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    My memories of the John Cotton"s blends was that they had a sophistication about them, so that's what we tried to achieve here. I'm glad that people are enjoying them.

    Russ

    Posted 3 years ago #
  35. newbroom

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    There's free shipping with the first 3 tins. If you order the full sampler, are you being charged for shipping?
    Cheap, old, codgers want to know.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  36. woodsroad

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    Yes, buy the 3-tin and your order ships free.
    Young codgers appreciate that too

    Posted 3 years ago #
  37. fordm60

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    woodsroad and Russ, I am loving Cotton #1 and suspect I will enjoy the others. My question is has there been any internal discussions on selling in bulk as well as tins? If yes, what is the tentative plan, if no please bring it up!

    Thank you!!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  38. lordofthepiperings

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    My 5 tin sampler is on its way. Should arrive Saturday. When it does I'll pop the Numbers 1&2 and give it a go.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  39. blendtobac

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    woodsroad and Russ, I am loving Cotton #1 and suspect I will enjoy the others. My question is has there been any internal discussions on selling in bulk as well as tins? If yes, what is the tentative plan, if no please bring it up!

    It's been my experience that the tinning has a fair impact upon the flavor of a blend. In the past, when we offered tobaccos both ways, we actually got complaints that the tinned and bulk versions were different tobaccos, even if they came from the exact same batch. For that reason, I prefer that we not offer it in bulk, but I don't have the final say.

    Russ

    Posted 3 years ago #
  40. dcrguns

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    I have been smoking #1 on and off all day. Probably a total of 5 bowls. It seems to taste better to me in a larger wider chambered pipe like a pot. Of course packing method plays a roll too, but I pack pretty much the same all the time. I really love the orientals in this blend and they way they interact with the virginias. I don't get a lot of the latakia but I like heavy english/balkan blends. I have enjoyed it and it can be an all day smoke for me. Getting ready for #1&#2 next.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  41. prairiedruid

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    Initial thoughts on John Cotton's No. 1&2.....it's okay. Cut and appearance is similar to the No. 1 blend but the tin note is a bit more sour to me. Packs and lights easily. It's a good blend with some nice smokiness but I definitely find the No. 1 blend more flavorful and interesting. Good taste but just doesn't have any high points or something that makes you go ah-ha this is No. 1&2. This falls into my category of a good blend that I'll enjoy the rest of the tin but not re-order.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  42. danindayton

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    What prairiedruid said. A pleasant smoke but not ringing my chimes.
    danindayton
    ilurkalot

    Posted 3 years ago #
  43. woodsroad

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    Any other die-hard 1&2 fans out there? If not, we can move on the Smyrna!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  44. prairiedruid

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    Thoughts on Smyrna......AWESOME!!!! Tin note is smokey with a hint of bbq. Like the previous blends of the crawl this is at a good moisture level.....jar it right away because you don't want it to get any drier. Packs and lights well. The taste is heavenly; smoky with a hint of sour and some nice spice. Complex and interesting flavor that continues throughout the entire bowl. Very tasty and I can smoke several bowls of Smyrna in a row and my tongue is still entertained. This has quickly become a top 5 blend for me and will be on my cellaring list for the coming months. December can't come quick enough for the pipes and cigars special for this. Great job by Russ and the folks of STP.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  45. jpmcwjr

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    Oh, Smyrna, how I love ya, how I love, my Smyrna baby!

    I opened a tin on a ten day sail to Mexico and back, and on the last day, I gave the tin with about two bowl's worth to a fellow pipe smoker. That's how we help get the word out! Now he has the name and info on the tin, and will order some.

    I will open another Smyrna tomorrow. Also have saved a bit of the other Cotton blends from the show.... I'm happy to smoke and report if needed, but I am a confirmed Smyrnaphile. (Smrynophile?)

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    csharp

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    Smoked this blend over Christmas. I remember trying to savor every element and caught myself trying to smell my exhale.

    Now that I know the blend a little better I am just plain enjoying it.

    I was not able to smoke the original before it went out of production and for years I heard veterans lament its passing. It is good to see it back. All three blends have a home in my cellar and bowl.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  47. fordm60

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    Seems odd to me but I cannot stop smoking Number 1! I like 1 and 2 but it did not hook me like number 1 has. Smyrna, is quite good and I enjoy it, but so far number 1 is my favorite. But Smyrna is second and as I smoke more may even more up. I would have bet money from the descriptions that number 1 and 2 would have been my favorite lol. I will say so far every tobacco has been a fine tobacco, perfect moisture level, for me, lights like a dream and smokes cool and all are tasty! So thank you for bringing them back, I never tried the original, but I certainly dig the new ones!

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    csharp

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    Speaking of #1 Does anyone else taste the natural creamy flavor as vanilla milk shake with a whisper of nutmeg. I do sometimes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  49. jpmcwjr

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    Opened my second tin of Smyrna yesterday, and the moisture content is right in my wheelhouse; 70% RH @ 70º. Grabbed a large pinch and dropped it in my freshly cleaned pouch for all day pleasure.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  50. clickklick

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    OK, sorry for my delay, sick kids.

    John Cotton 1 and 2 - This blend really hits it for me. The cedar notes are in the background which really allow them to sing and still let the rest of the forward flavors evolve through the bowl. JC #1 was very one note and the flavor did not change. 1&2 however kept my palate excited! I will be buying more of this one! JC#1 Ill just be saving for a change of pace once in a great while. I may be the odd one out, but I think 1&2 is phenomenal.

    A couple years ago I was blessed with the chance of getting 2 bowls worth of 1950 JC 1&2 from a cutter top tin. I have to say that the blend had flattened quite a bit, but your recreation is what I imagine this stuff would have tasted like fresh. All of the flavors are there! I love your fresh version more than the over the hill sampling, but only because the flavors were very muted and took real effort to pull out of the 50s sample. You knocked it out of the park with this one fellas!

    I plan on trying smyrna this weekend. I am hesitant because I can't palate Smyrna no 1 of McC grand orientals so, i'm breaking out into cold sweats just thinking about it!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  51. clickklick

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    Any one want to send me a bowls worth of warhorse and bengal slices? I was unable to get these. I can return the favor by sending some Levin Klenderwood from 1993 and McClellands PCCA Winter 1995-96.

    I'd really like to try the entire lineup if possible! PM me if you are interested, and thanks in advance!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  52. woodsroad

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    Thanks, clickklick. I hope the kids are doing better. Were they smitten with the intestinal bug that's going around?

    Is there anyone out there still waiting for their tins to show up?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  53. fordm60

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    Funny, but I am smoking #1&2 right now and at the moment it is wonderful and maybe better than #1 which has been my favorite of the two. I always find it interesting how one minute I am "meh" on a tobacco, then it changes and becomes much better.

    woodsroad, I do have all my tins.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  54. woodsroad

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    It's an exceedingly interesting thing. We're all smoking the exact same blend, from the exact same batch. There's only been one run of these blends that have been shipped, so we're all smoking "first (and only) edition". Perception is a wonderful thing.....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  55. winton

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    Just ordered a tine of Warhorse.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  56. woodsroad

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    Shall we move on to Smyrna?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  57. prairiedruid

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    Thoughts on Smyrna......AWESOME!!!! Tin note is smokey with a hint of bbq. Like the previous blends of the crawl this is at a good moisture level.....jar it right away because you don't want it to get any drier. Packs and lights well. The taste is heavenly; smoky with a hint of sour and some nice spice. Complex and interesting flavor that continues throughout the entire bowl. Very tasty and I can smoke several bowls of Smyrna in a row and my tongue is still entertained. This has quickly become a top 5 blend for me and will be on my cellaring list for the coming months. December can't come quick enough for the pipes and cigars special for this. Great job by Russ and the folks of STP. [:worship:]

    After another week of smoking Smyrna need to update to.....AWESOMER!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  58. clickklick

    clickklick

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    Smyrna, this one deserves a few more bowls from me before writing. I have to bide my time as this one has the room note that gets me run out of the house, so need to find a few warm days to enjoy.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  59. danindayton

    danindayton

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    I LOVE Smyna. I've been smoking Maltese Falcon for a couple of years but, the falcon just got demoted to second place. I like the complexity of the blend that all comes together for a wonderful smoke.

    danindayton
    ilurkalot

    Posted 3 years ago #
  60. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Shall we move on to Smyrna?
    What a good idea! (See my post six days ago....)

    About to open my third tin. So much for cellaring!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  61. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I guess that means that y'all like it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  62. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Right then.
    Next up is.....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  63. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    The picture is so good, I want to squeeze them.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #
  64. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Interestingly, Arno just posted a review of the Standard Tobacco Co. of PA's resurrected Bengal Slices blend:

    https://dutchpipesmoker.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/lets-celebrate-the-return-of-bengal-slices/

    Thanks, Arno!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  65. arno665

    arno665

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    It was an excellent smoke so you're welcome!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  66. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Congrats on both the tobacco, and the article; thanks to you both.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  67. User has not uploaded an avatar

    csharp

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    It is interesting that Arno mentions that the AC version was soapy. I bought the aromatic version by mistake once and it was very soapy.

    I can say that the Standard Tobacco version is not soapy but does have an interesting sweet flavor that one can note from time to time.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  68. User has not uploaded an avatar

    csharp

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    Also the presentation of the crumble cake is very nice.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  69. winton

    winton

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    My order was misplaced by USPS. P&C is sending a replacement. Really looking forward to the Warhorse.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  70. brass

    brass

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    Hi all:

    Sorry for my absence. I've been recovering at home for over three weeks. Daily nausea has prevented me from smoking but I hope to try the American Standard Products in the next couple of weeks. I've also been on Leave Without Pay for a month, so will have to replenish my personal allowance account before ordering the sampler.

    Creating and organizing tobacco crawls over the last year has been rewarding and fun. But everyone is replaceable as Dan has proved. Thank you all for supporting the Crawl while I was/am out. I read the entire thead today and got a fresh appreciation of the value of real-time, critical pipe tobacco reviews from such a disparate group of inightful newbies and old timers. I found your posts interesting and motivating. Patterns of agreement and differences emerge and find myself having to order out of curiosity and the necessity to inform my own opinions first hand.

    I'll be ordering as soon circumstances permit, and will post belated comments and observations at that time.

    I look forward to joining you again soon.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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