Not A Review, Just Some Thoughts

Papa Bear’s Nook is going to be starting a new series that will match pipe tobacco blends with cologne. He’s not the first person who has mentioned this aspect of tobacco paring, I’ve heard a few people talk about it, so it might be a popular subject. He’s going to be doing the shows live so you will be able to interact with his review in real time and add your thoughts.

His shows are on late, midnight, but it will be Friday night so a lot of people are still around and about. I mention it now because the first one is this week! Before the newsletter will come out next Monday, so consider this your reminder. Friday at midnight. Have your Green Dragon and Hai Karate ready to go.

Everyone Loves Cake

The Spurgeon Piper has released another excellent video in his Pipe Smoking 101 series. Breaking In A New Pipe. This is exactly the kind of video people who are starting out, or have questions needs to see. He really takes people step by step and explains what they need to know. I hope new pipe smokers looking for educational videos find these and are not directed to other videos which might not be the best thing for them to watch.

If you are ever asked to recommend a channel to learn from, The Spurgeon Piper needs to be one you mention right away. So much great information, and well presented.

Windjammer

I was asked for a better description of Windjammer from G.L. Pease, so I decided to put it in here and kill two-ah stones with one-ah bird.

Virginias, Burleys, toasted black cavendish and perique.

A thick flake that has been chopped up into strips. Known as broken flake, so they probably don’t actually chop it, but you get these chunky bits that are long. You can rub them out further if you want. A little bit wouldn’t hurt.

The blend is very thick. Described as a Navy blend, but while you can get the rum, it seems a bit sweeter than your typical rum topping. There’s a definite tang to it.

Like a lot of blends, the tin note is on another level than the actual smoke, but Windjammer’s taste isn’t that far off from the tin note. Kind of rare, actually.

I like how many of the descriptions I’ve read have used the word delicate to point out some aspect or other of the blend. There is nothing delicate about Windjammer. Not to say it’s harsh or strong or anything like that. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s bold is the best way to say it. Stands out for sure.

Normally a blend with cavendish would make me shy away. It usually makes my tongue feel like I’ve been licking leather for an hour. I imagine it’s what a cat’s tongue feels like after they get done cleaning all that fur. But I don’t get that with this blend. The description lists it as “unflavored toasted cavendish”. That must be the difference. Maybe it’s what they add to the cavendish that give me the problems. This one is nice.

Fruity And Nutty

The fruity, kind of citrusy taste really stands out. I wouldn’t put it in the same category as maybe a heavy cherry blend, but it has that fruit base. Brandy more so than rum I’d say. I’m not a reviewer and don’t want to get all fancy or pretentious.

I’m glad Mr. Pease went with the perique to give it that extra little something. Latakia would have ruined it. I wouldn’t want any smoky taste with this blend. There’s enough nuttiness with the burley and it’s just enough to counter what’s going on with that sweetness.

I like it because it’s different in a way that really stands out. I smoke mostly Va/Pers and milder blends, and a few times a week smoking this really is a treat. Say for example you stop at your favorite coffee shop every day. You normally get a bagel with a schmear (Va/Per) and once in awhile you might get a donut, let’s say a peanut stick (mild English). That’s the kind of stuff you’re used to. But then your Aunt Lean comes by for a visit around Christmas and she drops off a fruit cake. And Aunt Lena has got a heavy hand when it comes to “a splash” of rum in her recipe. That rum soaked fruit and citrus zest makes it stand out on another level from those bagels, more so than the donuts do.

Am I making any sense?

Not something I really want to smoke all day long, but to toss it in with your normal rotation is really nice. Don’t hold me to this, but if I had to pick only one topped blend to keep around, it might be this. Any more added and I wouldn’t like it. Any less and it wouldn’t be special or stand out. The balance while heavy, is perfect or close to it.

I’ll try to get a blend survey page up by this weekend so you can add your review and comments. I try to follow the Popping The Tin episodes, but sticking in another blend here and there wouldn’t hurt anything.