The Strongest Blend You’ve Tried

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Part of the Furniture Now
Nov 17, 2017
Cotton Boll Twist!! Legendary. Not only does it knock me on my ass, but the whole house tends to hit the floor and convulse, just from secondary smoke.
At one time I mixed Cotton Boll with some Ten Russians because I didn’t like the Boll
taste. This was a few years ago & I may be mistaken, but I think it was 2 parts Russians to 1 part Boll. It still tasted terrible & I stopped fooling around with Boll after that. Now I can’t imagine what I was trying to accomplish at the time I mixed them.


Staff member
May 11, 2011
Early on, Samuel Gawith Brown #4 rope put me on my ass. I smoked it in a very large Boswell, in my workshop. Right before my wife wanted me to cut in the ceiling paint in our living room. I was sick as a dog,but too embarrassed to say why. After 30 minutes or so, I mustered up the strength to climb the ladder and paint our 8' ceilings. My wife said "your lines are all over the place,whats wrong with you". I gave the rest of the tin to Les Young, who loves it.



Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
Tambolaka, the stuff is industrial grade. I smoked it once, never agian. I got two jars of it stashed away - labeled with skull and crossbone stickers.

edit: I just re-read this thread. It appears the title is different from what the OP is actually asking. Maybe change the title?
Yes, I am unable to edit the title but what I mean is bold, full flavor and not “strong” in the sense of the nicotine hit, which I am uninterested in personally

Swiss Army Knife

Can't Leave
Jul 12, 2021
North Carolina
For background: I used to vape for years and chased nicotine throat hit like no other. I got up to around 24mg nicotine which was a lot. I probably could have smoked a bowl of Cotton Boll to help wake me up. I quit cold turkey and after a year I've been pipe smoking since.

These days I couldn't care less how much nic a blend has. It also seems like a blends strength is just as variable as the "perfect" smoke. For instance I smoked 2021's Rustica a few times and thought it was just a less flavorful version of ODF. Then at one point I tried Old Joe Krantz and got the greenest gills of my life. While at the same time Gawith ropes are no problem.

So who knows? I guess for me it was regular OJK.
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Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
Do you retrohale when smoking? I didn't know about it during my first phase of pipe smoking, and felt jealous of all the flavors other people were experiencing. It also led me to chase the stronger-flavored tobaccos, hence my trial of 1792 Flake (which, if it wasn't clear, I didn't like and am not personally recommending.) Once could go so far as to say I "wasted" a lot of fine tobaccos, not experiencing them fully.

Now that I work in some retrohaling (not every puff, but now and then), the flavors in nearly every baccy I smoke are bursting out at me, and my enjoyment has gone through the roof. 👍
I tried this today and it does of course alter the experience. Thanks for the tip!

I’m trying to notice the things others do like sweetness or fruitiness or spice, but maybe I’m just not there yet. I hope my palette will develop with some more practice.


Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 23, 2021
Evans, GA
You will definitely get there, Retrohale was my first step towards the wonderous flavors of pipe tobacco, and in the beginning I went down the same path... needing heavier flavored / strength blends like heavy english's and I still thoroughly enjoy those but it was Oriental forward english's that first started opening my eyes (or palette) to different nuances of flavor and after almost a year at this, I'm just now discovering the joys of Virginia/ Vapors! Can I pick out all the intricate flavors from every tobacco? Not by a long shot, but smoking Virginias has helped me pick out Virginia's in English Blends even the heavier ones and I am starting to notice individual flavors of orientals especially the dairy/buttery deliciousness of one of the varietals... not really sure which one yet, but once I discovered it I'm definitely chasing that one! I got a long road ahead of me! Part of the joy of pipe smoking for me is the Journey of discovery! Enjoy the trip!

Briar Lee

Sep 4, 2021
Humansville Missouri
Cotton Boll Twist!! Legendary. Not only does it knock me on my ass, but the whole house tends to hit the floor and convulse, just from secondary smoke.
I took a hunk of Cotton Bowl Twist and tried grinding it in a little coffee grinder.

It turned to dust nearly instantly.

Being Scotch I didn’t want to waste good tobacco so I poured the dust in a pipe and it lit and smoked well.

After maybe 15 minutes my wife started laughing at me.

I was flat out on a nicotine drunk.

I couldn’t talk well, or walk, and I felt like I was going to be sick but wasn’t.

I like Gaslight, for second strongest.

But nothing compares to ground Cotton Bowl Twist for strength.
Cotton Bowl
This is a cotton bowl...

This is a cotton Boll...

Down har in cotton county, we get particular... ha ha.

Yeh, you gotta watch that strength. I've started a few evenings on my back deck smoking a bowl of Boll, and woken up drenched in morning dew with my pipe still in my hand.


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The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
Southern Oregon
My reason for asking is that as a novice I have bought numerous tins now, and I find lots to be very uncomplicated or lacking in taste.

For example I enjoy a bowl of 965 but I want *more*. I enjoy Presbyterian but find it a little lightweight.
Dry your tobacco more than you're currently doing. Tobaccos are packed with extra water to help prevent their drying out before being sold or smoked. The extra moisture masks flavors.


Oct 6, 2021
NE Wisconsin
If we're talking about overwhelming, dark flavor, a couple of the Gawiths have been mentioned, and rightly so. GHC Dark Flake, and SG Black Rope, are both strongly and darkly flavored in ways reminiscent of some cigars, yet without cigar leaf.

Others have directed you to Dark Fired Kentucky blends, and yes, that can be a different avenue of strong flavor to explore.

But if I'm reading you rightly, you're looking for the dark creosote flavors of some of the stronger latakia blends. If so, try GL Pease "Spark Plug."
As far as flavor, any of the latakia blends can be easy to taste. My favorite cigar blend with a dash of lat is GLP’s Key Largo. That is unless the oil dripping, monoxide, sucking a tailpipe, heavy hitting ropes is you thing. You have to approach XXX twists and Cotton Boll like you would a cigar. The flavor is easy, but you have to stay mindful that you’re playing with TNT nicotine.

Whereas a balkan blend is gonna wreak more havoc on your tastebuds than your head.