Quiet Nights: The Penzance Replacement

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jtaggie320

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Jul 18, 2012
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I've finally had the time to compare about 5 bowls of each of these blends. I'll preface this by mentioning that I'm by no means a seasoned pipe smoker, I've been at it for around 10 years which is relatively young in this hobby. I have yet to develop the ability to distinguish between the tinniest of nuances in these two blends. But to my inexperienced pallet I'd say that Penzance is just a slight bit mellower with a bit more "creamy" finish to it. But beyond that I'd give both of these two blends a big thumbs up. I worked pretty hard just to score a small sample of Penzance (2 years it almost took)...... But I was able to buy an 8oz tin of Quiet Nights on p&c without any backorder or delay. For this reason I'd have to give the nod to Quiet Nights. They're both excellent smokes and definitely worth trying..... But for the hassle? I'd go with Quiet Nights EVERYTIME. Were both blends easily accessible I might whistle a different tune, but considering current availability my advice would be: don't beat your head against a wall trying to buy Penzance, there are equal blends available. To the pipe smoker who is searching for Penzance because they want to sample the unofficial "holy grail" of pipe tobacco....... Order a tin of Quiet Nights to sample, it's every bit as good of a blend without trading a nut for. If you don't enjoy it, you won't enjoy Penzance.

 

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lazar

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May 5, 2015
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I find this strange given that Penzance has no Perique. Still, I'm willing to give QN a try. In what ways are they similar, exactly?

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
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I have to disagree. These blends have almost nothing in common, flavor-wise.
If you don't like Quiet Nights, maybe you'll love Penzance. The reverse is also true. Maybe you'll dislike both, who knows?
Never know 'til you buy :)

 
Mar 16, 2014
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I find the two to be similar as well. The perique in QN is barely there and if anything just adds a little spicy sweetness. Penzance is more oriental forward and I think uses different Virginias that QN. All in all, QN is not a replacement option for Penzance, but does give a similar experience in that it's a well-balanced crumble cake with Latakia, Virginia, and oriental leaves. I enjoy them both.

 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
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I like them both. For some the taste and effect will be very similar; others may find them miles apart. We all have different "tasters".

 

jtaggie320

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Jul 18, 2012
234
2
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For some the taste and effect will be very similar; others may find them miles apart. We all have different "tasters".
Agreed 100%, not everyone will have the same experience when comparing these two or any other blends for that matter.
I find this strange given that Penzance has no Perique.
To be totally honest with you, I wouldn't have ever known that QN had Perique in it had I not read reviews on tobaccoreviews.com before sampling. It's just that subtle to me. But as mentioned above, we all have different tastes. It may know your socks off with Perique for all I know.
I'm interested in knowing if any of you guys have compared Ten to Midnight with either of these blends? It's next on my radar.

 

deathmetal

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Jul 21, 2015
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I enjoy a good Sweet English blend. My personal favorite is Peterson Wild Atlantic. This one sounds like another good blend to try...

 

jtaggie320

Member
Jul 18, 2012
234
2
Texas
I find this strange given that Penzance has no Perique.
To be totally honest with you, I wouldn't have ever known that QN had Perique in it had I not read reviews on tobaccoreviews.com before sampling. It's just that subtle to me. But as mentioned above, we all have different tastes. It may know your socks off with Perique for all I know.
As I'm sitting here smoking a bowl of QN, I'm noticing the Perique more on the retrohale. Maybe because of this conversation, but I will admit it's there ever so slightly. I'd say the spicy finish is probably the reason I originally said that Penzance was a hair smoother & creamier. Still an awesome smoke, plan on cellaring a generous amount of QN. I'll still buy Penzance at retail price if I'm ever so lucky as to find it. I just don't think I'll ever pay a premium for it.

 

steamboat

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Nov 8, 2017
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I have found Boswells Northwoods to be extremely close to the mellow smoke of Penzannce with Latakia playing a little stronger roll. I am going to have to be honest and say that Penzance was probably the biggest let down of a hyped tobacco I ever tried. I found extremely light, and lacking much flavor. The second half of the bowl, basically turned into a sweet airy Virginia flavor with all signs of Latakia gone. Boswells Northwoods has the same mellow mess, with much of the same sweetness, but the Latakia sustains its flavor till the ash. You might want to try it, if you haven't already.

 

jravenwood

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2017
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Since this thread is back ill comment! I dont find Penzance to be the Holy Grail, however I do think its incredibly unique, especially with at least 5 years of age. Ive never had anything quite like it. QN is good and has its place to be sure. But there isnt a perfect "match" to the Zance.

 

bluegrassbrian

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Aug 27, 2016
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The weirdo latakia lovers in my local pipe club have all recently "discovered" QN as a Penzance replacement. I'll take their word for it.

 

drbenway

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Aug 30, 2017
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If i can add my 2cents....i wasnt that impressed with either qn or penzance. I think esoterica and gl make quality toba ccoas , esotericas hqve that creamy quality that is unique..but aside from stonehaven none are worthy of exhalted status..but personal tatstes vary by individual. There is such a variety of english/balkan blends to choose from and penzance didnt seem to stand out anymore than any others. It is fun chasing down hard to get brands in the midst of a raging TAD though. This post is probably way off topic..sorry

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
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Austin, TX
Northwoods is very different than Penzance. Northwoods has a very obvious vanilla flavored Cavendish in it and is more of a crossover English blend. Think Captain Black with Latakia added to it and ya pretty much have Northwoods. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the stuff when I first started smoking a pipe and I think it’s a great smoke for a beginner, just as I think Penzance is a great smoke for an experienced pipe smoker.
It’s been a long time since I’ve tried Quiet Nights but I remember really liking it but I also remember that the only thing it really had in common with Penzance is that they both have Lat and both are pressed. I feel like people just want to compare a pressed Lat blend with Penzance as you often see with Star of The East Flake, again those two are very different. Just because a Lat blend comes in crumble cake form doesn’t mean it’s trying to be Penzance. Another one that just came to mind is Plum Pudding.
There is a reason why Esoterica Tobaccos have been extremely hard to find for about 10 years straight now. Those guys are masters at what they do and they do it right every step of the way. Most blenders only dream they could produce blends of such high quality and unique taste. Their Virginia’s are mind blowing and the word has gotten out. But, as always, there will always be naysayers.

 

mackeson

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2016
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Personally, I've never understood the comparison. The 8oz. I bought and smoked of Penzance years ago was very underwhelming and even a bit boring to my tastes. I love Quiet Nights though and find it very complex, smooth and enjoyable for a regular smoke. Funny how tastes differ.

 

steamboat

Member
Nov 8, 2017
122
0
I have received 2 samples of Penzance from Badbeard on this forum. One version was from 2010, the other version was fresh. The Latakia in the aged version was basically so mellow that it wasn't even present. It tasted bland lacking in any smokiness, and just resembled a low end Virginia.
The fresh version held up some smokiness notes, but quickly disintegrated to again a sweet Virginia. From trying both, Penzance in my opinion is WAY better fresh. Even fresh was it Unique? Not even close. If your a Latakia lover, and Penzance is your favorite smoke, I am not understanding the whole concept, since the Latakia in Penzance is such a backforward flavor. In my opinion Penzance is the most over rated blend in history.
I am not bashing Esoterica in any way, Stonehaven is great, and I also love Dorchester. Don't get me started on And So To Bed...

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
4,262
6,296
Austin, TX
I agree with you about Penzance being better fresh but I much prefer Margate to it. But Esoterica’s Virginia's are what I’m into. Dunbar and Dorchester are absolutely brilliant. Another one that isn’t talked about too much that I really fell in love with is Blackpool. It’s similar to the smoking characteristics of Dark Star but has a very light licorice topping. It’s so freaking good! Woodbridge is another lightly topped VA that knocked my socks off! I really think Esoterica have mastered their art on every level and Penzance has its following for sure. Hype can only carry a blend so far and Penzance withstood the test of time.

 
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