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Sep 18, 2021
Western North Carolina
From earlier posts, the point I apparently didn't make is why dump on the same tobacco, the same pipe brand for years on end?
I get where you’re coming from. I generally don’t like to dump on any tobacco. What good is it to say “I don’t like this”?
I will occasionally make fun of a tobacco that doesn’t suit my taste in the spirit of humor.


Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 1, 2023
Willamette Valley of Oregon
Holger Dansk Royal Navy Flake was a sublime smoke, and then MacBaren took over production and it became unrecognisable. It suddenly bit me mercilessly. Same with MacBaren's take on Players Whiskey, the original of which I loved, as it was the first real blend I bought 45 years ago. Gold Block is another where the name is still alive, but there is not a thread of the original DNA left from the Ogdens product. Very sad.
That is good to know about Gold Block. Ogden's version was good, though a bit more aromatic than I like. However, with some age it mellowed quite nicely. I have not seen any Gold Block for sale since I started smoking pipes again this year. Thanks for posting, I will know not to waste my money on it.
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Might Stick Around
May 11, 2023
That is good to know about Gold Block. Ogden's version was good, though a bit more aromatic than I like. However, with some age it mellowed quite nicely. I have not seen any Gold Block for sale since I started smoking pipes again this year. Thanks for posting, I will know not to waste my money on it.
The Ogdens version was indeed sweet and it came in an oblong tin and was literally a block or loose cake inside. It was a UK codger blend but was always a little pricier due to the quality of the Virginias therein. The MacBaren version has a lot more Burley and doesn't posess the honeydew sweetness of the original. It isn't horrible to be fair, simply a pale immitation of its namesake.
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Jun 23, 2019
Well, it's all opinions here. When I first tried out Penzance in 2006 it wasn't the legendary blend it now is because of illogical quirks in human nature. It was just a blend that a lot of people liked. I could walk into my tobacconist and see it sitting on a shelf. The following year, when Germain's missed a few shipments, then the mania began and it's been a perpetual delusion ever since.
I'm really fussy about English/Balkan blends. I've been lucky to have enjoyed some of the very best of them. Penznace was OK, but pretty run of the mill for me, and missing flavor notes that I like. I gave it a fair try over time and it did not grow on me. Instead, it shrank.
Point is, people's takes are different. What's wonderful for me may be Pfffffft for you, and vice versa.

Maybe I'm not as familiar with the phrase "run of the mill" as I had thought, everyone seems to be misinterpreting what I've said.

I guess a useful analogy here can be: like it or hate it, calling a pineapple pizza "run of the mill" feels wrong to me because adding fruit to a pizza is not "run of the mill". Hence:

Penzance (along with Chelsea Morning/Quiet Nights) have a distinct flavor and "texture" profile that's really not subjective.

Liking it or hating it is an opinion. But describing it as 'run of the mill' is just wrong.

To take the example even further, I wouldn't consider any cube-cut English blends "run of the mill" because they're usually not cube-cut. Perhaps, that explains my original statement a little more...


Part of the Furniture Now
May 8, 2018
Your analogy about pineapple pizza is spot on.

One can think a thing is whatever or "meh" in a ranking while it's still not run-of-the-mill.

Penzance is not my favorite, and I probably agree with the people who were responding to you in that it's not to my taste up to the hype, but the point here was about run-of-the-mill.

Merriam Webster:


not outstanding in quality or rarity : average, ordinary

Peter Turbo

Oct 18, 2021
Penzance and Stonehaven for sure but more recently I just picked up a 250g bag of DT Ascanian No1 and while Ascanian No2 was love at first light I haven't been so happy with No1. It's not bad but not as good as No2 to me.

Penzance is good but not as good as what I was expecting after reading about it for the 3 years I've been smoking. I think I enjoy most english blends from WCC and other blenders more. The tobacco looks and burns fantastic though.

The sample of Stonehaven I got looked amazing. Small, very dark, almost black, thinly sliced flakes that just broke up so beautifully, I almost didn't want to smoke them, wish all tobacco looked like this. The smoke was completely underwhelming to say the least, almost no flavor and I was smoking slower then a snail. Bad batch maybe? Very sad.

Current production Erinmore Flake. Not sure how anyone enjoys this.


Feb 13, 2013
Of course, this is all about personal preference.

I was underwhelmed by Fribourg & Treyer Cut Virginia Plug. A bit too mild for my taste, and the topping tastes too much like an Orange creamsicle to me.

Full Virginia Flake. I like it, and I’m happy I’ve got some well-aged tins, but it didn’t bowl me over.

To reverse the original question, my favorite McClelland blend is Navy Cavendish, which I rarely see even mentioned, let alone praised.

Different strokes 🤷‍♂️
Aug 11, 2022
Cedar Rapids, IA
SG Brown Sugar Flake.

To me, its smells amazing from the tin, but the taste is probably one of my least favorite of their entire line up. Glad I didnt go crazy on the latest drop.

Extremely underwhelming to the point that the name seems to be vastly misleading to the flavor profile.
I knew from the early posts about Brown Sugar Flake (“you gotta cut it up just right, dry it just right, and then smoke it just right”) that I should give it a miss…

Peter Turbo

Oct 18, 2021
And I love C&D Blockade Runner while not caring much for a sampling of Navy Cavendish that was sent to me for comparison.
I smoked some Blockade Runner recently after it had been sitting around for like a year and I was very pleased. Initial smokes were pretty mid but I feel like that's how it is for me and most C&D blends, I always come back to them later and they're much better.


Might Stick Around
Dec 3, 2021
For me Cornell & Diehl's Bayou Morning (bulk version) has been disappointing. It was boring and certainly didn't have enough flavor from the perique or virginia's to hold my interest. I put it in time out in a jar so it can think about bettering itself for another go in the future 😁

Servant King

Nov 27, 2020
Frazier Park, CA
The bronze goes to Sutliff 515 RC-1. This one was just downright nasty. I didn't have my hopes up or anything, but I know how popular this bulk offering is, and tried the sample I got. Instant regret! Probably only eked out a dozen puffs before emptying the chamber (I considered hiring a crew to perform an exorcism, but decided against it, mainly due to inclement weather), and loading up a bowl of Plum Pudding to get the icky taste out of my mouth.

Silver goes to C&D Autumn Evening. Similar situation to the above, not going into the experience expecting anything grand, but fall is my favorite season, and evening is my favorite time of day, so...okay, flimsy justification for trying a blend, but still, I felt I might enjoy it. Wrong! Tasted like I was sucking on the tailpipe of a city bus. I don't know how anyone can smoke this blend and not end up spending the rest of their lives in a catatonic state, hooked up to a feeding tube and listening to the Korn discography on endless repeat.

And the winner is...Balkan Sobranie (current iteration). How completely...meh. It wasn't bad, just totally fell short of my expectations. A legitimate bonafide disappointment. Sutliff's Original Mix Match blows this money-waster out of the water as far as I'm concerned.

Honorable mention: Peterson Nutty Cut. Or as I call it, Slutty C**t. Steer clear, friends!


Oct 10, 2013
It was harsh for me. I heard it was comparable to Quite Nights, and it just didn't work for me. I find it interesting in how everyone has their our flavor nuances, as I do smoke a good amount of Quiet Nights.
I love how every thread, where someone asks for opinions on pipe tobacco, ends in a full-blown demonstration that everyone’s sense of taste is unique.