Monday, December 21, 2009

Tobacco Review: "Plum Pudding"

I recently purchased a tin of Seattle Pipe Club's top-selling blend "Plum Pudding" which is a Balkan-style crumble cake made up of Latakia, Orientals, Virginias, Perique and a "secret ingredient". The initial tin aroma is smokey Latakia and a heavy musty scent. The black cakes are tightly pressed and do not break apart as easily as Penzance (which can crumble into a fine powder with the slightest touch). The slices rub out well to long strands of leaf that pack well into the pipe. Because of the heaviness of this blend I prefer a smaller bowl.

Lighting is easy and one is welcomed with a slightly sweet and spicy smoke. The Latakia does not overwhelm the other components and the Orientals keep a steady beat of spice going throughout the bowl. The flavors trade off from the sweetness of the Virginias to the smokiness of the Latakia. This is very well-balanced. There is a hint of a topping but I am unsure if this is simply my own impression.

The tobacco smokes hot even when smoking at a very slow relaxed pace. It does not bite but the taste is almost steam-like at times. After speaking with several other smokers who smoke this blend it appears to be a common characteristic. This may or may not be a problem depending on the individual smoker. For some it is an easy trade-off for a good blend and for others it is a dealbreaker.

The ash left behind is dry and grey. I have noticed that there is usually some moist dottle at the end of each bowl and the smell from inside the pipe is quite unpleasant. One needs to do a lot of cleaning with pipe cleaners after a bowl of this blend.

I like this blend and would recommend this as an alternative to Penzance. It is not nearly as complex as the old Dunhill classics or the GLP English blends but it is a good change of pace on the lighter side. I do feel that for the money there are much better blends in this genre.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Return from Hiatus

Hello all! It's been a few months that life has been so busy that I have had to put all of my blogs on the backburner. It is my hope that I can get back to regular posting now.

Since my last post I have only purchased two new pipes, both are Mario Grandis, and can be seen here:

I have tried a couple of new tobaccos that I will review on here in the near future. During most of the Summer months I was smoking cigars so I spent a lot of time away from pipes. Since returning to the pipe I have noticed that I no longer seem to enjoy them as much as I had before. Perhaps this is just part of the transition process and my old enthusiasm with return.

I hope you have all been well and enjoying some fine smokes!