Friday, May 23, 2008

New Acquisition for 05/23/08 several weeks ago Boswell Pipes had an update that included a gorgeous canadian with a natural finish and a cumberland stem. I wanted this pipe big time so I immediately called the shop to order it. After 20 minutes of busy signals I finally got through only to hear that the pipe had just been sold to the caller before me.

Fast forward to today, after waiting anxiously for the updates to be posted what do I happen to see but this beauty? Much nicer than the one I missed out on for sure! This pipe is huge but was made from one block of briar! There are no glued extensions on this piece! I called Boswells to order expecting to hear that it was sold. Imagine my surprise when I heard it was still available! No more it's not...MINE!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Review of "Lamb Cake Slices"

Preface: This past April Fools Day some of us reviewers at submitted reviews for a fictional blend that was made with lamb. While the joke was initially lost on some, most people got the joke and followed up accordingly. Here is my submission:

The first thing I noticed upon opening the tin was the mint. Truly a testament to the master blender's use of a restrained hand. I also detected something else in the scent...similar to the McClelland "ketchup" smell but this was more like KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce. Spicy goodness! The moisture content was more than I am used to as the slices seemed wet. Once I removed a couple of the slices I saw that the cause of the excess moisture was the beige water-like substance pooled at the bottom of the tin. This is more than likely the lamb juice. What a grand presentation! The flakes are easy to compress and fill the pipe with. I used some of the juice to put on the top of the bowl for "kindling". At first match the lamb introduced itself (its name was "Lambchop") and soon the mint joined in. The room note was pleasant and my wife commented that she kept thinking it was Easter Sunday. This is definitely not your drugstore variety, but very top shelf USDA Grade-A lamb! The bowl ended in a small pile of grey ash with no dottle or bone fragments. Very nice smoke but certainly not an all-day as I was too full after smoking one pipe that I skipped dinner and went to bed. On a side note, I understand that Greg Pease is working on a lamb blend as well but his will incorporate Cyprian Latakia, some dark rum, Latakia and more Latakia. It is to be the first in the new "Muttons and Maidens" series.

Friday, May 09, 2008

My Review of McClelland's Drama Reserve

McClelland's Drama Reserve is a blend of ribbon-cut Virginias with Drama leaf added to the mix. Upon opening the tin you can smell the spice immediately. Due to the cut it packs easily and burns well. It is a bit moist out of the tin but a few minutes of drying time brings it to a better moisture level for smoking.

The flavor at first light is a slightly sweet spiciness. It is not a peppery spice like that of Perique but a more exotic one like saffron. As the bowl progresses the sweetness increases slightly and the spice moves to the background playing a supporting role to the VAs. Towards the end of the bowl there is a good base of sweetness with the spice coming through now and then. The blend gets more full at the end but it never gets harsh.

Drama Reserve is a cool-burning blend that leaves the pipe and palate clean. If pushed it can bite but that is a given considering the ingredients. Not a blend to be puffed like a locomotive but slowly sipped and savored like a fine wine.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Acquisition for 5/4/08

This is a beautiful nosewarmer pipe from Luigi Viprati. It is a one-clover grade and has some impressive silverwork.