Sunday, February 6, 2011

Great things I don't love...

I don't love ballet. I just don't I have tried, watched ballet and have never been able to get into it. This is strange because I do love opera, and all other manner of classical music (of course Bach is the favorite, but others are well loved). I have never been able to appreciate Cigars. I like them just fine, but I simply can't afford (in time or money) to get a better working knowledge of cigars, they are great they just aren't for me. I really appreciate a good brandy, a good bourbon or a good scotch, but have no taste at all for expensive tequila, rum or white wine. It is not because any of the things that I don't like are inferior to those I do, and I make no apology for this reality.

This is the case with Early Morning Pipe. My first impressions I brushed off because I wasn't in an ideal situation to try a new tobacco (a few drinks and a bowl of Irish Flake had come before it). However, each time I load up this tobacco I am left wanting. Not wanting for quality, but wanting for that power packed flavor that I get from London Mixture or Nightcap. And it's not there.
At this point you are probably thinking (Correctly, I may add), "You moron, that is exactly what it says on the tin!" The words mellow and delicately flavoured (complete with superfluous British U in the word "flavour") should by no means have made me expect any more than what I got. The funny thing about this tobacco is that it reaks of quality. The tin aroma is glorious, the colour nuance of the tobacco make it look nearly edible (though perhaps only a pipe smoker would think so). However, this tobacco is to the point of having no real "punch" for me. It is like drinking a Bud Light from the supermarket after Guinness extra stout. It just lacks any real distinction for me. For the more delicate palate this may be the way to go, for my crude brusque skull cave this one just doesn't reach the spot.

This one is a fan favorite, so if you think you may like it I would say go for it, just know that it is MILD. It is easily the mildest high quality tobacco I have ever tasted. Don't say you weren't warned. I think a good portion of this is that I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy my pipe in the morning and I suppose if I were the type to roll out of bed and light up a pipe this maybe just the thing, but I'm not. I did do an experiment and try to put it as the first thing on my tongue for the day, starting early one morning and I still was not quite picking up enough to make this a tin that I would buy again. I'm glad Dunhill is back, ( Nitecap, London Mixture). And there are still 2 more Dunhill's on my wishlist (965 and My Mixture), but this one won't be back in my rotation. I will have to give it another shot in a decade or so to see if I haven't grown up a bit! Happy puffing to you, good smoker! And may the smoke continually satisfy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

SWR, Salt and Vodka

If I've ever lied to you, dear friend, I apologize. If I've ever misled you, I confess it and ask your forgiveness. However, I make it plain once more. I have not become so much a man of taste that the very simplest things have no allure to me! I picked up a pouch of this tobacco when stocking up on Carter Hall from the grocery. Hopefully, the CH won't be quite as dry as this pouch. This is a nice burley blend available over most counters that might have pipe tobacco behind them. This is most certainly in the ball park of Prince Albert and Carter Hall. It is nice and nutty. Not too bold and never terribly complex. A fine, classic American blend.

The critique? It is quite simple. At my local grocery store I pay around twice as much for this as I do for the comparable OTC blends. The result? I probably won't be picking up another pouch of this delightful blend. This is the standing problem with simple burley blends. It is difficult for burley blends to catch up in the "bang for the buck" area of life when compared to Prince Albert and Carter Hall. Not that there aren't some great ones out there. Cornell and Deihl have some fantastic burley blends that are crowd pleasers to say the least (I believe I even reviewed "Crooner" and know that I enjoyed it, once I learned how to work with the cubed burley). So, there you have it.

I have been spending some time refurbishing a set of 16 pipes that April got off of eBay. The process has been fun and has led me to invest in new reamers, tobaccos and alcohols. The last is not because the process is driving me to drink, but rather because I have been attempting to get the mustiness out of them as they sat unused for quite some time (even to the point of having cob webs all over them). The idea of filling pipes with salt and alcohol seemed strange and unwelcome to me, but tonight I have done that with the four best of the lot. I am hoping the strange residual taste and smell gets drawn out, however, after the intense reaming that they all received at my very hand I am interested to see. 8 hrs into the treatment the salt growing quite dark. The results are yet to be seen!