With Pipe and Pen  Blog » 2011 » March

The Mystery of Balkan Blends

    March 24th, 2011


By Bob Tate

Balkan BlendBalkan Blend. That term is very mysterious.
Is there really such a thing?
If there is, what is it?
What distinguishes a blend as a Balkan Blend?
These and many other questions arise from the mysterious term of Balkan Blend. This is one of the most debated and discussed subjects amongst pipe smokers when talking about blend genres. This is a subject that can seem very confusing because there doesn’t seem to be any real, clear cut, definitive definition for Balkan Blends. It seems to me that the definition for Balkan Blend is based solely on conjecture and personal opinion.
Read the rest of this entry »

Hearth & Home Rolando’s Own - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    March 17th, 2011


By Bob Tate


Hearth & Home Pipe Tobacco Tin

The pouch aroma of this blend reminds me of dry grass/hay with some sweetness and a noticeable amount of spiciness. I detect some tang to it as well. It smells quite nice. The moisture content is perfect for smoking right away. I loaded up my pipe and proceeded to the charring light.

On the charring light:
Flavor: Is a straight forward tobacco flavor with light hints of sweetness.
Aroma: Is very sweet smelling.
I finished lighting the pipe and settled in for the smoke.
Read the rest of this entry »

English Blends and Latakia Blends - One and the Same?

    March 9th, 2011


By Bob Tate

English Pipe Tobacco Blends

Some of you may know from reading my articles, reviews, and from discussions in our forums, that I normally use the term ‘Latakia Blend(s)’ and not ‘English Blend(s)’ when I am talking about a blend that contains Latakia tobacco. The reason why I don’t like to use the term English Blend when associating it with Latakia is because the addition of Latakia into a blend does not make it an English blend. I have no idea where that connection started from and most people that I have talked with whom are from Great Britain do not understand it either.

I believe that the term ‘English Blend’ started being used in the American pipe tobacco market. Maybe they began using it to distinguish between English blends of the day that were manufactured under the tobacco purity laws of Great Britain and the blends that were made in America. It is also possible that it may have started off as a marketing gimmick that caught fire and spiraled out of control. Regardless of how it started, it is erroneous to refer to all blends that contain Latakia as ‘English Blends’.
Read the rest of this entry »

Capt. Earle’s Ten Russians - Pipe Tobacco Reviews

    March 2nd, 2011


By Bob Tate

Hermit Tobacco - Capt. Earle's Ten Russians

The tin aroma of this blend is sweet, smoky, earthy, and with a hint of tanginess. It smells very good. The moisture level is perfect for smoking right away with no drying time needed. This tobacco comes in cake form. Using a sharp knife, I shaved off some of the tobacco from the cake and rubbed it out. I loaded the pipe and proceeded to the charring light.

On the charring light:
Flavor: It is a heavy Latakia flavor with lots of woody, earthy, and smoky tones, with hints of sweetness and a very light hint of black coffee.
Aroma: It is a very heavy and strong Latakia aroma. I find it pleasing, but I know for a fact that it will be very unpleasant and offensive to most others. This blend will not win you any popularity contests with its room note.
I finished lighting the pipe and settled in for a nice relaxing smoke.
Read the rest of this entry »