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 A Combo Review

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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: A Combo Review   Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:57 pm

A Combo Review


Sorry for this mixed and hodge-podge review; but some background is needed and also one trial went into another which merged to create a rather nice combination of blends.  I was lucky that about 2-3 weeks after starting pipe smoking at 15, I found Latakia.  I remember trying the sail, brokum riff, amphora, cavendish, and a few other blends - nothing really did it for me.  As stated previously, after the 2nd or 3rd week I walked into the local pipe/tobacconist shop and the guy was smoking a heavy English blend he blended up.  I was in a dream world and all my senses were alive.  I asked him what it was and he said Latakia.   THAT, I said, is ME!!!  I tried the stuff he blended and loved it but all the people around me said WTF - are you smoking your socks or underwear?  I remember 2-3 years later flying on airplanes and smoking my Balkan Sobranie 759 Black label and the looks and comments from people then.  Heh! heh!  Anyway - getting back to latakia, after about a week or 2 I found the original white label Balkan Sobranie.  Loved it even more.  Then about a month later - My Holy Grail at the time - THE Balkan Sobranie 759 mixture Black label - WOW!!!!  That was all I smoked.  Then a year later I found Bengal Slices.  That was my only other blend to 759.

Then a hiatus from pipes after many years of smoking and collecting a beautiful collection of handmade pipes and higher end Meerschaums.  The going back again - the original 759 was not the same and then gone.  Bengal was gone.  I struggled trying all heavy English and Balkan blends without any luck.  (I spent some time with one of the original keyboard players of the GD and we played a concert together on NPR.  When I went to his apartment he had a large freehand danish and had a wonderful medium English lat blend from alfred Dunhill in NY that he said he had blended for him.  The weird thing was it was soaked in a very nice Jamaican Rum and was so beautiful - I found something for many years - had Dunhill in NY send me a pound or 2 every month automatically. A7859 My Mixture   ----  I remember that to this day.)  Then they closed shop - Argh!!!!) Along struggle again and then another long hiatus.  just no tobacco I could get into.

Another start  and tried all sorts of suppsed stuff touting to be the same or similar to Balkan Sobranie and even Bengal Slices.  most was garbage and yes tossed out - just could not stomach it.  Then I found Abingdon.  Now that was getting interesting. Then GASLIGHT.  That is my Holy Grail for the 21st Century.  Nothing beats it and I mean NOTHING!  That is all I smoked since it came out and now maybe went through 17 lbs. or so and even Greg had to admit I probably at the time smoked more of it than anyone else except for him. Actually just finished off an 8 oz. and ordered another lb. the last week or so.  Now Abingdon I cannot handle - something in there is a bit too spicey or bitey.  But I still revere it for what it is.  Anyway - just seeing more and thinking about the old English Houses - and Samuel Gawith and everyone talked about squadron leader but the 2 that seemed to be more Lat forward were Winter Time and Comonwealth the heaviest of Latakia.

so I gave it a shot with 2 tins of each.  Winter Time first - nice smell in tine and good tobacco but Latakia bottom end was not intense for me.  Good Virginias and I am not a straight VA dude.  tried but never could get int that scene.A great blend for lat people that like a lighter lat.  So blasphemous to both parties as it is, I blended gaslight with winter time 50/50 and it was much better with the Gaslight addition and the bottom end of lat and the orientals of gaslight.  I tried Commonwealth and nice bottom end of lat and good Virginias thought the VA's seems to be different in taste characteristics in Winter Time and Commonwealth.  Commonwealth as it is is doable.  However I blended 50/50 of Winter Time and Commonwealth and found that to be very interesting.  I did 4 bowls today.  I still love Gaslight but an adventure for me with Samuel gawith was nice.  Commonwealth by itself is doable. Winter time not for me; but blending the 2 is doable.

Why is this so interesting to me?  because as stated earlier, I have found so many blends within the rubric of this style or genre to be garbage for my likes and tastes as well as olfactory dimensions.  So once I found gaslight - I needed nothing else; but I wanted to give this venerable old English House a try or two.

I am glad I had this chance.  the bad stuff in all my tries and wasting of $ kept me cautious at trying anything else.   (the NEW original bengal was such a thing - see my review).

Both gawith's are lat and VA.  nothing else - no orientals etc. Commonwealth is supposed to be 50/50 lat to VA.  Some on Tobacco review stated they liked them both as such but that they were simple and not complex.  Possibly True but complexity is in the nose of the beholder and tastes of the piper.  For what they are - they are very nice blend and together at a 50/50 blending they offer a very unique synergy of each.

namaste



oldmansmokingpipe was yunumeer.  name change...


Last edited by oldmansmokingpipe on Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:34 am; edited 3 times in total
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Old Nate
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Age : 34
Location : Western PA
Registration date : 2014-08-28

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:50 am

Very interesting to read about your piping days. And also interested to hear your thoughts on Gaslight, as it's an English I am just getting into, normally I'm Virginia VaPers guy but there is something about Gaslight that makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:36 am

I smoke 2 nice bowls with 52 oz of good coffee almost every morning outside. Talk about a serene rush....Gaslight that is....
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Old Nate
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Age : 34
Location : Western PA
Registration date : 2014-08-28

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:46 am

Wait... 52? 5.....and.....2? 5-2! 52 ounces of coffee?!?! bounce I would blow my top! But the gaslight every morning sounds good! Smile
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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
Location : US
Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:10 pm

I wanted to add that the room note of the Commonwealth is fantastic in regards to the Latakia. The lat is a nice leaf in this blend.

yes 52 oz and sometimes 100 oz.

wake up early and do not sleep much so i need to get things going.

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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:41 pm

Commonwealth and coffee!!! A fine way to start the day!!!! cheers FTRPLT
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: A Combo Review   Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:45 am

Very well written. I definitely get being gun shy. Over the years lots have come and gone, some have gotten close. Others missed their mark by miles. You however have found a few items that float your boat. Experience has shown you just how dangerous that is. If possible I would advise you to lay in as much as you can of the blends you love. The other thing I would push you to do is to consider blending your own. Right now blending tobaccos are readily available and in the future if they are pulled from the market it's not too big a leap to go to whole leaf tobacco to blend with. You are mostly looking at the biggest issue there is one of being able to stay out of it until it's aged enough to become something beautiful.

Just somethings to consider
Jim

PS as to the coffee I used to brew 2 pots at a time and would finish them within an hour or so of brewing. I Drink a whole lot less coffee these days though.
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