It's too bad the yeti flake has dissapeared from Cupojoes, I grabbed a few tins when it went on sale for 50% off, haven't popped one yet but every review of it gets top marks. I'm thinking it could be flake no.88 from Kolhouse & Kopp, as they are the company that made it for cupojoes.
I'll pile on here.
Congrats Jim. I've thoroughly enjoyed your posts and reviews.
Thanks for making me aware of the upcoming Pipe show in Raleigh. Looking forward to attending and finally getting a chance to meet ya in person.
Congratulations on a long and distinguished presence here. There are a handful of reviewers I have full faith in, and you are at the top of that list. You have helped mold my palate and purchasing in a way to make me a much better student of tobacco and pipe smoking. May you have 20k more posts, if you so desire! I thank you! :clap:
Jim has been a dear friend for some years, and we are on the phone just about every day. I can tell you from personal experience that he has a pipe in his mouth constantly. Well, not exactly. Sometimes he finishes a bowl and takes a minute or two to pack another and light it. Sometimes he goes into a momentary overload when he's trying to decide which tobacco to sample next. This man's palate is simply uncanny! He can accurately remember a tobacco he smoked some years ago and accurately describe it to you. He is to tobacco what Robert Parker is to wine. Over the years I have learned from reading his reviews exactly what a tobacco will taste like, and when I sample that tobacco, there it is--exactly what Jim said. Jim has learned my own taste preferences perfectly, and has, on numerous occasions, sometimes told me in advance whether I will enjoy a tobacco or not. Experience has shown me that he has always been right on the mark!
And here's the thing: Jim never downgrades a tobacco because he doesn't care for it. He rates it for what it is, not for what he likes or doesn't like. That level of skill and personal integrity is rare, and particularly helpful to those of us who want to read a review that isn't cluttered with the likes of "Well, I don't care for aromatics so I'll downgrade this tobacco to two stars." I have seen Jim give four stars to a tobacco that he doesn't particularly care for, but believes that it is well made, and accurately reflects the blender's skill in producing a particular taste experience.
Keep up the good work, Jim. Every review that you post is a delight to read, and a most worthwhile addition to the overall store of tobacco knowledge.
Very well said Eric!! It's somewhat surprising to see so many reviewers who rate based upon their personal preferences and not the merits of that which is being reviewed. I've bothered to review very few, but I try to list the blends I do enjoy such that my piddly ass review has a context of some sort. You're correct in that to do otherwise and do it well requires a vast knowledge pool and appreciation that most of us do not possess. That's what makes his reviews so helpful, the Golden Standard for go-to reviews.
As one who actually does claim to enjoy some of the "hard to get" blends, it aggravates me to no end to see reviews saying "it's overrated" or "not worth all the trouble". All that tells me is that the reviewer is a hipster douch who believes others are beneath him, informative but not helpful.
Thank you for the kind words, Nate.
Thank you, too, Eric, not only for the compliments and insights, but for all the friendship over the years. We both learn a lot from each other on so many subjects, and every conversation is lively, fun, and informative. It's a great friendship!