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A rare 1870's Wilke formula of selected Syrian Latakia blended with Kentucky Burley, Louisiana Perique and Golden Virginia. A pinnacle amongst English blends.

BrandPipeworks & Wilke
Blended ByCarole Burns
Blend TypeEnglish
Contents Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
3.5
20 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
12
3 star:
6
2 star:
2
1 star:
0
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thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

IMHO the best American produced English/Balkan blend available today. A cross between Bill Baileys Balkan Blend & Comptons of the Galashiels' Balkan. This is absolutely superb blending! It is by far the most European tasting English I have sampled on these shores. A very robust, tangy, and intoxicating blend. Full beyond your dreams and without nicotine overload. The flavor lasts and will leave you sated. If I could give this 5 stars I would.

6 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

It took me a year to finally open my sample of High Hat. I've been spoiled with 965 and Nightcap, my favorite Latakia mixes, and found little reason to venture away, which I've forced myself to do by limiting my insatiable urge to order more and more tobacco. I know people are still crying over Murray's demise, yet I can't fault the newer blending, as these Dunhills manage to retain essential features--they are smokey, and more importantly, strong. It's easy to find a full English with a ton of Latakia, but I crave nicotine laden blends--preferably with the strength coming from the Virginias, rather than the addition of Perique and Kentucky, as in the case of High Hat.

My experience with Wilke began as a kid. In my father's den there was an old tobacco tin listing a custom blend from the Pipework's and Wilke NY shop, no longer in existence. I didn't realize this until I began smoking years later. The reference clicked when I'd run across the occasional blurb about Wilke while ruminating through pipe literature on the internet. "The place still exists??!," I thought, in excitement. I decided to give the shop, now in Vermont, a call. People always seemed to have nice things to say about Wilke tobaccos, why not? A woman named Carole picked up the phone, and when I told her about the tin, she gave me a wonderful backstory about the place, and the nostalgia was overwhelming. I immediately told the woman that I loved her. It was instantly awkward.

I ordered four of her English blends--400, 10, 524 and High Hat. The tobaccos were unique, as most of them were said to include Syrian Latakia and exotic Orientals including the famed Yenidje of Sobranie fame, and a few others, from Shiraz to Xanthi.

400 is often mentioned as a Nighcap killer, strong and smokey. I devoured that sample first, and while tasty, it didn't appear to dramatically diverge from the standard. I didn't find the blend overwhelming in strength as many remarked, and the subtlety of the Syrian leaf was lost on me. I suppose that over the years I've hardened my taste receptors and killed whatever ability I had to detect the nuance of the leaf. It was no matter, 400 was a tasty blend, of which I consumed a couple of ounces quickly, in a matter of a few days. I next opened my sample of High Hat, hoping for a good comparison.

High Hat is a bit different from 400--chiefly, there are no Orientals included, but both blends contain Syrian leaf, Perique, and Kentucky. I normally skip Latakia mixes without Orientals, but I picked this one up out of curiosity and the measure of fine reviews. In the instances which I've sampled Latakia mixes that forgo Oriental leaf, including Gawith's Balkan Flake and Commonwealth, the blends have felt flat and unexciting, but I'm open to continued experimentation.

In that respect, High Hat is great. To me, it certainly feels heavier than 400, with that strong smokey element retained, and it also smokes rather sweet, perhaps from the inclusion of Golden Virginias, mentioned by the tin description. I'm currently puffing on my last bowl of a two ounce sample consumed over just a couple of days, and don't quite know what to do when I'm finished, having no other strong Latakia mixes on hand. I might just have to spike one of the remaining blends in my cabinet with a hard shot of Perique. Generally, that will kill the spirit of a Latakia forward blend, yet I really do hate puffing on a steamy English. But High Hat also feels Perique heavy, and though the blend includes Kentucky, which likely contributes to the strength, I'm poor at placing its presence. I would easily compare this to Night Cap in strength, and for once, I don't miss the Orientals, which tend to add an element of spiciness that I typically miss dearly in their absence. Despite this, High Hat strikes a wonderful balance of smokiness, sweetness and strength, a profile absent in many of the more popular smokes on the market.

I do have a full two ounces of 524 and 10 remaining, one of which should be sampled next...and we shall see where that takes us. 524 mentions "pan fired" Virginias. That's enough to garner my excitement (please excuse me while I dig through the contents of my sample in preparation).

Give Carole a call...she's a great tobacconist and a joy to speak with. But lay off! She's mine.

5 people found this review helpful.

rocker311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rocker311 (9)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I tried High Hat before I'd gotten a swing at the newer model of Dunhill's Nightcap, and those who say they're quite similar are correct. But this stuff is better than Nightcap right out of the tin.

Mine came from a 1-lb bag, and is as others have described. A nice musty aroma and some tartness that could be the Perique or just could be some sour VA action. I stuck mine in the requisite Mason jars for melding.

This blend will hit you first off with the Latakia and the perique spiciness. That tartness disappears and turns more into a peppery note. The Latakia sticks around, and the orientals will come in with some brassy middle. Smokes really well and evenly (my first run was through an ash churchwarden, later runs through a Peterson bent.) It's got some zing and a whole lot of flavor, and it will certainly wake you up. Great for a morning drive to work or with that cup of coffee reading the news.

Wife, pets and small children probably will dislike it based on the room note, and it's a bit bold to be an everyday or all-day blend. But it's great in the morning or at day's end when you want a little zip on your lip.

5 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is No 13 WITHOUT the scented cavendish, and still seems a great blend to me: a classic clubman's choice from the glory days of Imperial New York, American-English. Smoke it in the evening, strawling down Madison Avenue looking at the Christmas displays. It doesn't get better than that.

Merry Christmas, everybody! [12/'02]

5 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have long felt that P&W’s blends are among some of America’s best blends and often overlooked in the huge landscape of available tobaccos. A quick visit to the P&W blend's page confirms that those that have tried them agree. High Hat is a “rich” rewarding, smoky English blend that claims its origin back to the 1870’s when the Wilke Pipe Shop existed in New York City. High Hat offers billows of smoke and is a terrific evening mixture with Latakia, Perique and Virginia tobaccos along with some Kentucky. The P&W website doesn’t claim that the Latakia is Syrian, but as others have pointed it out it may have or had in its past. My jar from 2010 seems to taste that way. There are only a small number of English blends (aka American English) that utilize Burley that I enjoy and this one of them. It adds some additional strength to the blend while melding into a supporting role. I have smoked this new and as old as four years. I don’t find that the additional age adds much sweetness from the Virginias. It isn’t quite as strong as #400 from P&W, but more complex. There is a bit of sour, but in a good way. Lovers of the difficult to find Compton’s of Galashiels full English blends should definitely give this one a try. High Hat is one of the best full American style English blends I have smoked in a long time.

Age When Smoked: New & up to 4 years

Purchased From: Pipeworks & Wilke, www.vtpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very good blend, solid 3.5 stars & I enjoy it more than Magic #13. I'm tightening up on my ratings and only give 4 stars to my top 5 blends that are in my core rotation of tobaccos. Those at this date are Escudo, Penzance, University Flake, Churchill & still deciding what the 5th will be.

3 people found this review helpful.

Plex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plex (39)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I couldn't find "rich" under the review quality of "Taste" but that is the most appropriate descriptor I can find. Another winner and so very nice and different. High Hat isn't overpowering or a one-trick flavor pony. Well compose, arranged and orchestrated for your smoking pleasure. I have no smoked this blend morning, noon and night and it works so well in any time frame. Get some, try it and then find storage for the stock you will be acquiring.

3 people found this review helpful.

Fumatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumatore (48)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I don?t know what it is that Pipeworks & Wilke sprays on or adds to their tobacco before they pack it up, but it certainly doesn?t agree with me. I thought I would love this blend but was very disappointed. If you like something that smells nice added to your tobacco, perhaps this one will suit you, so I won?t give it the 1 star I think it really deserves.

3 people found this review helpful.

Country Doc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Doc (20)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

An elegant example of the blender's art. Very high quality. If you like delicious smokey English just slightly on the sweet side (e.g. much less sweet than Black House, which is delightful in its own right), you owe it to yourself to at least try a little High Hat.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

High Hat is one of the few tobaccos that I can honestly call "delicious". It's a wonderful blend of high quality tobaccos, expertly balanced, and delivered ready to smoke.

The various tobaccos share the stage throughout the bowl, coming forth and then receding in a wonderfully flavorful dance. The burley always takes the stage first, but after that it's impossible to know which tobacco will come forward next. Individual tobaccos, and various combinations of tobaccos, move to the forefront as the bowl progresses. None of the flavors ever becomes overpowering, but they all spend some time in the spotlight. This is a great blend for "breath smoking". The flavor seems to change with each cycle.

I've found that High Hat smokes well in almost any pipe, from small to large. It's a slow smoking tobacco for me, so a medium bowl is my usual weapon of choice for High Hat.

It requires very few relights (often none at all); other than tamping occasionally, High Hat requires no attention. At the end of the bowl you're left with some mottled gray ash, and nothing else.

High Hat is one of the very best blends I've ever tried. It truly is delicious, and well worth a try by anyone who enjoys English blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

High Hat's taste is very nearly full. The Virginias and Burleys bulwark the main players, Latakia and Perique. There is just a subtle and welcome sweetness. The components dance, taking turns leading. This is courtly frolic, not slamming in a mosh pit.

I detect some scented tobak that makes this mildly aromatic, yet not the cased and cloying type or in the black Cavendish manner of introducing aromatic agendas to blends (though P&W does the latter well, too, ala Bestmake). HH burns to a salt and pepper ash with no dottle, leaving the pipe dry for reloading more High Hat.

If you desire to smoke fuller blends all day, High Hat will not make you any worse for the wear. However, the DGT technique (?Delayed Gratification Technique? of lighting a blend, smoking it a bit then letting sit ?curing? a while, then returning to finish the smoke) seems to detract from P&W blends.

What I like most about P&W blends is that the tobacco is so well-aged, smooth and the blends are so flavorful that the easiest puffing produces copious volumes of smoke. This extends the smoking pleasure, is economical and reduces just about any chance for a sore mouth. P&W proves that quality does not necessarily require a tin

2 people found this review helpful.

pipper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipper (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is another terrific offering, hand blended by Pipeworks and Wilke, and has replaced Dunhill's 965 in my afternoon routine. I find this a somewhat complex blend in that the flavors change during the course of the bowl from the perique to VA, to the Latakia during the second and third portion of the bowel, and back again. The Latakia is not overpowering to the other tobaccos at any time. This blend smokes cool, and dry, is very flavorful wtihout a heavy nicotine punch that I find (and tolerate well) in some of the Dunhills, and can be smoked all day. I love the taste of this old recipe, and do not tire of its offering. The best way I can describe it as a very tasty English.

2 people found this review helpful.

Big Creek Country Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Creek Country (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is my favorite blend to date. I've tried several Latakia Blends, but none have had the full rich flavor and smokey full bodied taste of Wilke High Hat. I have not had any tongue bite from this blend even when puffing pretty steadily. Really enjoy smoking it on the way to work with a good cup of coffee and a window rolled down slightly on the passenger side. The blend might be a little moist, so best to let it dry a bit before smoking, unless you don't mind lighting it a couple of times during your smoke. I will fill a Savinelli 111EX or 814EX and leave it overnight, then grab it in the morning and enjoy it while driving to work. A fantastic way to start the day. I highly recommend High Hat for your smoking pleasure! 4 Stars!

1 person found this review helpful.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

An English with loads of flavor. Replaced 965 as our pipe clubs English offering at meetings.

1 person found this review helpful.

Phantom55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phantom55 (29)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

An English with a lot of flavor. Reminds me of a middle range Dunhill blend, only smoother, and with more flavor. No harshness or excessive heat. As someone else said, it could well be a replacement for 965, 965 smells good to others, and this one tastes good to you.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Commoner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Commoner (30)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Over a year and a half and no reviews of High Hat?

Wow.

Took a Wilke tour with a 4 blend sampler including High Hat.

It rocks!

In the same ball park as say Artisan's blend. Syrian lat and perique seem to go very well together.

But what sets this apart IMO is the notable bright VA profile which gives a very nice high note and sweetness to the smoke. Digging through the blend I find a good size helping of soem of the brightest flue cured VA I've seen.

It's a blend I smoke when I want some Latakia substance and satisfactory strength, but not in the mood for a dark heavy smoke.

I smoke a lot of Burley and I don't think of this as a burley blend. I know it's in there and can sense the body it brings but it doesn't stand out and shout "BURLEY".

The cut is a familiar mixture of longer ribbon of various widths; some almost bordering on shag. It loads, lights and burns like a champ, with zero issues. It burns a bit fast, but not hot at all.

I'd guess it would smoke well in just about any pipe but I've found my Sav 320 eats this stuff like candy. So I can attest that a wide shallow bowl does it some justice.

I like all the Wilke blends I ordered but this is the only one that was different enough from the crowd to make it a reorder candidate. I bet I'll loves me some me in about 10 years when I stumble on a big mason jar of this stuff in my closet.

Highly recommend you give it a shot. It's special

Nobody has rated this review yet.

aadelma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aadelma (55)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an extremely well balanced mixture. Though it contains burley, VA, Latakia, and perique, they all come together harmoniously to produce a medium-full English mixture. If I am in the mood for latakia and perique but don't want to get bowled over by Nightcap, this is what I reach for. It's almost a cross between 965 and Nightcap and is up there in quality with Dunhill. There is a slight bite at light up, but then it settles into a smooth and satisfying mixture. It's heavy enough that one bowl satisfies me, but doesn't knock me out. For a blender known for their aromatics, P & W makes some killer English blends.

3/14/2006 I've downgraded this slightly as there is some harshness which prevents me from smoking this as much as I would like. Still a great blend, just a bit rough on the throat for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

akaiser77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
akaiser77 (52)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

A rich, spicy, delicious American English, made with P&W's usual high standards. An old classic that I highly recommend.

With the exception of C&D's Yale Mixture, this is the best English blend I've ever smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

To me this is dominated by the kentucky flavour in the first part, then it becomes very complex with all the tobaccos playing their role her and there. The main feeling is a little bitterness, but of a pleasant kind. As the other P&W offerings, it burns perfectly and evenly. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

High Hat: daedal, classic, compelling. Tastes vary down the bowl: now the naturally sweet Virginias, then some perique pepper, and often, the nearly chafing bitterness that seems to bottom the Pipeworks and Wilke line. Never dull, this is a quality smoke that ruins my throat. So High Hat will be an occasional pleasure for me. Note that unless you like a strong, pungent smoke, you won't like this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.