That Blend That Changed Everything

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Senior Member
Nov 28, 2019
Another lat blend story here. It was a house english blend(maybe Mr. B's?) From a tobacconist here in Vancouver. I thought it smelled like leather and said "that one!" After previous only smoking the "ladies love it" house blends, the tobacconist was like "you sure you want that?" I insisted and a love was born.

Other time would have been some of dan tobaccos St Bernard flake which i picked up in Prague when I was there. Opened me up to the world of vapers and virginia flakes.

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Senior Member
Apr 23, 2019
I only had bad experiences with Va/VaPer blends when I seriously took up the pipe. Ashy, cigaretty, just plain unpleasant.

Then, I ordered some Match Victoria, and that first bowl was a complete eye-opener for me. It was like “oh, THIS is what the Va lovers have been talking about.” Since that moment, which I remember very clearly (I can tell you exactly what intersection I was at in my car when it happened) I have smoked Va based blends probably 70 percent of the time. About 6 months later, I had a similar epiphany with my first bowl of Oriental Silk. These are, for me, special and exciting moments in my time in this hobby. I’m glad this forum exists for me to share them, because my wife couldn’t care less!
The last sentence of this has been my most eye opening experience in this hobby.


Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
I was a Captain Black guy when I started, then I got a Dunhill five pack that included Nightcap and Early Morning Pipe. That introduced me to latakia which was a big step. After that Rattrays and Bengal Slices. It took quite a bit longer to get into straight VA and perique blends.
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Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Not a latakia story, but the belnd that changed everything for me was definitely Bold Kentucky.

If I look back at my notes they were all over the place as was my cadence. I'd think the same tobacco was the best thing ever one smoke & the next it was disgusting & what was I thinking!

But this one smoked beautifully right from the get go & put me in a happier place than tobacco ever had. I still smoke it every evening before bed.

That was the one that made me sure I wanted to smoke a pipe.
I've been smoking that one every night for a while now. It's pretty awesome. And pretty consistent no matter how you smoke it.
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Nov 30, 2019
Montreal, QC
A few blends... and quite a few "aha moments":

My introduction (to pipe tobacco) was a very uninformed dive. I was given Ashton's 'Smooth Sailing' and Holger Dansk's 'Mango & Vanilla'. What an intro... (to tongue bite). This prompted research and was my primary reason, I think, for first browsing this forum.

But I digress. For latakia, Nightcap was my gateway drug (haha). I think was the first pipe tobacco that I really clicked with, to be honest and it remains a staunch favourite. Also Plum Pudding (SR).

My next foray was to explore VA and VaPer blends. The first blend I tried was Germain's Best Brown which I initially disliked. I came back to it a year or so later on and it was fantastic. Similar experience with OGS (which I got at the same time, and was dull fresh). That led to Capstan, 507c, Solani's Silver Flake, Marlin Flake and Reiner's Gold.

The next major 'Aha' moment was HH Acadian Perique I think, which I got from a local B&M on the off-chance. I've yet to try Elizabethan, but it's on the list.

The most recent eye-opener was the 'HH Old Dark Fired' (and Peterson's "Irish Flake" I suppose, I bought both, but I prefer the ODF) which properly introduced me to 'burley' and Kentucky notes. This is now inspiring my next order for 'Dark Twist' and Solani's Aged Burley Flake...

I've been resisting buying Peterson DNR's and/or Escudo as I have so many VaPer blends already... but it's hard to fight against the TAD. The struggle is real.


Junior Member
Jan 17, 2021
I began, as many have, with a pouch of Captain Black white. Smelled fantastic. Tasted like almost nothing. I tried so hard to get the flavor I was smelling, only to sear my tongue like a pittsburgh steak. I took a pouch of CB white, gold, and blue with me one summer while in college up to Kenai, AK to have an adventure and gut lots of fish. I'm sure the aroma of the pipe helped mask how bad I smelled and it was pretty good at keeping the mosquitos at bay too.

A few renamed bulk aromatics from a pipe shop later and I still had not found that much desired but ever elusive flavor.

Back to basics I thought. I must have missed something. Get yourself a pouch of Prince Albert.

I finally got to taste tobacco. I liked it. It was not fantastic, but it was satisfying. I stopped smoking hard in search of flavor. Funny thing, my scorched tongue issue vanished. I thought, however, there must me more to this than PA.

I don't remember the gentleman's name, but a very kind and helpful chap at Bennington's suggested I try a blend called Bahia Apooke. Thud went my jaw to the floor. It was nothing like I'd ever had before. The lat was very incense-like and intriguing. Beguiling really. I had finally found flavortown. I've not found any lat blends like it to this day.

I joined a pipe forum, on which there was a super thing where newbies got paired with old hands for an exchange. Newbs would purchase and ship 2 tins of the old hands choice to him and in return the old hand would send a sample of tobaccos to the newb. One of the samples sent to me was Sam Gawith's Best Brown Flake. I nearly dropped the pipe out of my mouth on to the ground. What was this manna from heaven? This was pipe tobacco?
Fortunately SG was widely available at the time and I promptly ordered 25 metric tons of the stuff. Ok maybe not that much. But so began the tumble down the slope. Head. over. heels.

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