Monday, November 10, 2008

My Review of "Haunted Bookshop" by Cornell & Diehl

INTRO: Burley is such a versatile creature. I think of it as the rice of tobaccos. Alone it is nutty, full, creamy and higher in nicotine than its condimental counterparts. Used properly in a blend it will take on any flavor thrown at it like a chameleon running across paint swatches. When used improperly, it is bitter, harsh and just plain nasty. Haunted Bookshop is one of those blends where prime leaf is used and used very well. The burley base retains much of its nutty flavors yet gets along very nicely with the red Virginia and Perique.

CAUTION: The cut is rather fine and upon inspection the visual appearance looks like something you would see in a little jar of seasoning. Due to this cut, I have noticed a lot of "dust" in the tins which makes packing tedious as one tends to get tiny particles of tobacco in the mouth when testing the draw and lighting up. Lightly shaking the tin helps to settle a lot of the finer particles which helps to avoid having a sandstorm hit your tongue.

CHARACTERISTICS: Haunted Bookshop burns faster than most other blends. It also makes a lot of powdery ash that usually requires dumping halfway through the bowl. Tamp this tobacco lightly and you should have no problems. It burns dry, bites very little and leaves the pipe clean. It will "color" your pipe on the first bowl so avoid trying this in a favorite pipe to avoid ghosts.

SMOKING: On the initial light you taste the cigar-like flavor of the burley and Perique. Throughout the bowl the cigar flavor trades places with the subtle sweetness of the red Virginia. The nutty flavors are there and the prune-like presence of the Perique speaks its voice each time you sip it softly. When puffed hard the burley flexes some muscle and you get a big bold bass note with a sidekick of nicotine.

SUMMARY: This blend is similar in the vein of "Old Joe Krantz" but with more high notes, sweetness and less nicotine. It is strong enough to satisfy a nicotine craving, yet light enough to be enjoyed all day.

Haunted Bookshop is a natural blend reminiscent of the old-school blends of a time when a man came home to a clean house, a hot meal and a happy family. No fancy tricks here, just good honest tobaccos skillfully put together to form a delightful and relaxing smoke. Well done!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New Acquisition for 11/01/08

This is a beautiful Viprati billiard. It has a rather large bowl with some nice grain and wood shank bands. This pipe makes the sixth Viprati in my collection.