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An alluring assortment of exotic oriental tobaccos is generously blended with bright and red Virginia leaf. Finally, just enough Cyprus Latakia is added to provide an alluring smokiness, resulting in a tobacco that can best be described as a light-medium Balkan mixture. This is the blend for gentlemen with a Bohemian spirit and a sense of adventure.

Notes: Ashbury was released in October, 2005.

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging2oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 2 Users

3.1
34 reviews
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13
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kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Greg was very kind in sending me a generous sample of this fine weed about 1 month before it "shipped" to distributors. I have to date smoked 5 bowls, in various pipes at different times of the day. As soon as it's available from distributors, I'm ordering two 8 ounce cans, one to smoke and one to age, I'm just that impressed with it!

Appearance:

A nice mottled mixture consisting of bright and red Virginias, darker Orientals of various hues and black Latakia. My guess is nearly equal proportions of each. The cut is a course ribbon cut and nearly uniform.

Aroma:

Complex, earthy, with a mild astringent quality that I associate with Orientals, raisin and hay-like tones of well aged Virginias and a nice smoky undercurrent from the Latakia. Though I would characterize this as a Balkan mixture, it is not a Latakia "heavyweight", the balance seems more in favor of Orientals. One whiff is not going to be enough, plan on burying your nose in this one for awhile.

Initial Taste:

Very well balanced lighting taste, at once sharp deep and stimulating. The slight astringency is there right off with a strong tannin like taste found in strong black tea, with resonant Virginia tones of dark and mysterious fruits, with Latakia bringing up the remains with a bold yet somewhat muted smokiness. The first few puffs bring an ever-changing presence of each component more in "synch" with what promises to be a rich and rewarding experience. I tamp it all down and then re-light, again the Orientals seem to arrive first on the scene, a little less astringent now, but still very much in the fore-front with the Virginias deepening and the Latakia bringing things full circle.

Mid Bowl:

At mid-bowl, everything has deepened and widened, and all seems to work in a careful cooperation. The astringent quality of the Oriental has mellowed and matured with qualities similar to bergamot or other aromatic herbs (don' t confuse this with aromatic tobaccos) perhaps hints of rosemary. The Virginias have deepened considerably even bringing a very subtle sweetness into play, and the Latakia tones in with its dark leathery smokiness, still playing a following role. The complexity of this blend is astonishing, not lending itself well to anything save pleasure in the extreme. One could easily forget the maelstrom outside the door smoking this! While building it has never become overpowering in any way, yet it demands full attention.

Final Third:

Every puff brings greater complexity, as this mixture continues to build in flavor and intensity. The Orientals have finally mated and mingled with the Virginias and are courting the Latakia to make it's final play. Deep resonant and bold the Latakia begins to lead the final chorus with an astonishing finish. It still does not dominate, it just makes its presence known and felt bringing a throaty smokiness together with the slightly sweet marriage of Orientals and Virginias.

Concluding Thoughts:

While nearly perfect in all respects, I suspect this could benefit with some age, 6 months at a minimum. I do not wish to leave the impression that this mixture is in anyway "green" I just think the flavors will "meld" with time. For those with an interest in cellaring tobacco mixtures, this should be a prime candidate for long term aging.

This promises to be a simply ASTONISHING blend, it may eclipse Bohemian Scandal! It is a true masterpiece tobacco mixture. Very very well done Greg.

**+ four plus stars for anyone who values them.

kilted1

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (528)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

There have been many times where I have read (or in some cases, written) reviews of a tobacco, wishing that a certain blend was something it's not rather than discussing what it is. Obviously, those types of reviews are less than helpful, but I can't help falling into that trap here.

What this is is a mild balkan-type blend with a light, refreshing flavor. The latakia is present but doesn't overpower the virginia and orientals. Refreshing is the best word I can think of for this, as it reminds me of some of the McClellands Green Label orientals. And it falls into the same trap for me that those do, there just isn't enough there for my personal taste. There is a pleasant complexity to this one, but certainly it's nowhere near as complex as Chelsea Morning, which is IMHO the genius blend that this one aspires to. The orientals bob and weave throughout the virginia/latakia base and the whole thing is quite good. I get the impression that this blend is everything Mr Pease intended.

But I can't help wishing this had either no latakia or more of everything. It's good but for my taste, it either has too much of something or not enough. This would be two stars for my personal taste but I'm giving it three because I think there's a market for this kind of thing and I think it does what it's supposed to do very well. Try it if you like a light dose of each of the constituent tobaccos in a blend and don't want to be overpowered with flavor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★★
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tin: Mostly shades of brown to black, with some light tan and green. The singular aroma standing out from the base VA is the mildly smoky Latakia. The VA has the somewhat acetic smell of good quality fermented and cured tobacco, although this seemed to fade away after a few days. Date on bottom of tin: 030507(MAR 05, 2007).

Packing & Lighting: Contrasting with other Fog City Selections, Montgomery and Laurel Heights, Ashbury did have a tendency for the tobacco strands to adhere when rolled into a ball. This gives a concern of packing the bowl too tight, resulting in a more forced draw, though the moisture level does feel appropriate. Generally, one relight is needed.

Aroma & Taste: The primary aroma and taste is that of light orientals, a creamy, fragrant, herbal essence akin to rosemary, with smoky Latakia hiding well off of center stage.

There is no bite.

I do agree that the orientals in Ashbury have a slightly acrid character, contrasted with other sweet, more mellow varieties of orientals. The quantity of orientals in Ashbury cast them in the limelight, not the spotlight, being lightly applied, the VA providing a light toasted-fruit-like base in the background.

Nicotine: Not much buzz at all, mild to medium, quite tame compared to Mont. and LH.

Room Note: Fairly nice Va quality of mild hay, and fragrant oriental.

Overall: Ashbury could easily be smoked throughout the day. It is rather more complex than the unidimensional Mont. or LH. Although Mont. may have impressed me more, Mont. was the first of the Fog City Selection I smoked. 3.8 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (57)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Something strange and wondeful happened to me in ordering this Pease Balkan. I am prone to imagine my ideal smoke characteristics of taste, aroma, texture etc. before I order a blend. This usually sets me up for disappointment since virtually no tobacco I have tried is "exactly" what I hoped or expected it to be in my imagination beforehand. I shouldn't conjure up these images prior to, but oh well, I can't help it. In short, I build up unrealistic expectations.

Plus, I suppose I'm too darn picky. But this time there is a happy ending.

Might I say that Ashbury turned out to be everything I imagined for my "ideal Balkan blend".

This is my perfect (non-armatic) smoke - period.

The tin aroma is similar to McClelland blends, which some call vinegar, yet I don't think so. Its simply the smell of HIGH QUALITY fermented/aged tobacco which McC and GLP use in their products - and perhaps some similar curing techniques. Not a problem for me. Even if it is vinegar, bacteria naturally produce acetic acid (vinegar) when fermenting natural sugars under aerobic conditions.

The blend lights easily and burns very evenly without burning to one side or creating hot spots. Perfect moisture content right out of the tin, no drying needed for my tatstes.

The initial notes were light and herbaceous (not green mind you) and backed with just enough Latakia to be satisfying. I do love that herbal component so. It has such a "clean" tatste and I suspect it is the orientals producing this flavor.

The tang of the VAs supported the dominating oriental "light-herbal-creamy-spicey-ness" (the best way I can describe the orientals here). This is an oriental dominated blend which I enjoy alternating between McC Yendije Supreme - a pure oriental. This has helped me appreciate both blends and detect the nuances of flavor in each by comparison of what each does and doesn't have.

This blend enjoys medium puffing and doesn't seem to bite, though there is a moderate spicey-ness that lingers on the tounge - I won't call it a bite, however.

This blend is light on latakia and has zero perique (thank goodness) and is unapologetic for such - as it should be!!

If one is looking for lots of latakia or the harshness of perique, I'm not sure why one would try this blend. These things are not implied or promised in this blend.

For me, this is the ultimate Balkan. I love this stuff.

(Hats off to "kilted1" for an outstanding 1st review of this blend)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a big fan of Greg Pease. I enjoy every one of his blends save those that contain burley (to which I have an aversion), cigar leaf, and those with too much latakia for my tastes. So I was sure that I would enjoy this blend.

I was unimpressed with my first few smokes of Ashbury. Aha! So Mr. Pease can take all of those fine tobaccos that I do enjoy and create something I don't like after all. I was kind of happy that I wouldn't have to fit one more blend in my rotation.

Six months of aging changed all that. While I do enjoy Balkan blends,they take second chair to Virginias. Well, at least they did. Ashbury is an extaordinary and complex blend. I'm reminded of Dunhill's Durbar of years past, at least so far as I can remember its nut like flavor. The tobacco burns perfectly with only on re-light (unless DGT is employed) down to the bottom of the bowl leaving a clean grey ash without a hint of bite.

Highly recommended to anyone who can appreciate what a fine alchemist has to offer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Ian Weeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian Weeks (36)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I am amazed that there is a reviewer that can describe the moisture level of this tobacco as being too damp and ?hard to keep lit.? Coupled with the continued unnecessary (and incorrect) bashing of this blend it makes me wonder if this reviewer has a bone of sorts he wishes to thrust into the very neck of the blender- who has done a masterful job with Ashbury.

I find that the sweetness of the VA?s and the Orientals are balanced quite nicely with the Latakia- which is not overpowering or over pronounced. Nor are the Oriental leaf?s muted by the other components of the blend. Ashbury packs and lights easily and the quality tobaccos present in the blend require very little maintance throughout the bowl. The Orientals peek in and out through the bowl, and the sweetness of the red Virginias keep an even tempo throughout the smoking experience. This is undoubtedly a fantastic blend. I highly recommend this blend to all pipe smokers- new and experienced.

==Important Notice==On a side note I noticed that the same reviewer mentioned above had the same ?personal? tone in his review of the GLPease blend ?Cairo.? Makes me wonder? Tobacco blending is in that unique position in that it is both an art form and a science and certainly Greg Pease is an artist who knows a thing or two about the science of blending tobaccos. There are some critics of art who ?like or dislike,? or ?get or don?t get? a painting, but the reviewers of such- much like those of tobacco- that I respect and observe as credible do not ?cruelly and personally? bash a creation of the artist. They state their opinion based on facts and observations in an unbiased way that is intelligent and beneficial to the fellow consumer at large, the review that I just read by the supposed ?Professor? was neither. I dislike that this fine website has become a venue for a personal attack at a blender?s fine name.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

My first exposure to this blend came as part of a C&D sample pack. I have continued my interest with tins in my cellar because it's a worthwhile addition to the appreciation of diversity in balkans. This soft expression of tobacco choices is to be enjoyed with a quiet spirit or one may miss some of it's charms. The room note is a reminder of the smell of rain drying on rooftops after a spring shower. I feel as tho I may have smoked this as a young man. It evokes a gentle sense of dejavu, a sense of familiar expectation... For me the experience builds as the smoke continues. This is lighthearted chamber music in the orchestral movements of tobacco blends. Can you tell I like it? The Virginia leaf is almost submissive but not subserviant to the bolder Cyprus as both combine in a smooth, quality smoke with the Oriental providing moderation. Don't rush. Make it last... The presentation of the tobacco is like eye candy to me - a festive bouquet of colors. The finish is like watching the curtain slowly close on a string quartette before the song is over. This is not modest but instead elegantly understated. Meerschaum Man Smoking a Gezer Flying Dragon

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first met Greg about 4 years ago at a pipe show, my first thought was: Who is this hippie in the hawaiian shirt? And then, I started talking with him. This man is warm, deep, friendly, and has an incredible knowledge of tobacco and of its chemical compositions. This blend reflects that knowledge!

Appearance and Tin aroma: Beautiful leaves of yellow, red, mohagany, and black leaf. It smells delightfully fragrant and sweet. The predominant boquet is that from the oriental leaves.The leaf itself is oily and pliable, a good sign!

Packing and Lighting: I found it best in large pipes. Normal method of packing works best. Moisture is perfect! 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: From the get go, the wonderful interplay between the oriental anf red VA is apparent. The VA in this tastes very much like that of "Montgomery". The initial smoke of this has a woderful fragant pungency typical of a Balkan, albeit a little more restrained.

Mid-Bowl: This blend continue the journey with the latakia giving a good support to the other leaf. There is a delightful interplay between the sweet and bitter elements of the different leaves. Room note is to die for, at least to those of us who like Balkans!

Bottom of Bowl: I get here too quickly and have surprised myself that I had finished the bowl. There is not much of a build up of strength, but that is ok with me. The ash is dry and mottled grey. I immediately start thinking of which pipe I should use next to smoke this blend.

Overall: This is an all-day blend. It is a "breakfast-balkan" IMO. But, lately, when I choose to smoke this blend, I smoke it exclusvely all day and then come back to it a few days later. This blend is very complex, but not in an overpowering way. I am amazed everytime I smoke it of the new nuances I detect. Will it replace some of my other favorite Balkans such as Charing Cross, Abingdon, or Oddessey? No, but it is a welcome addition. My admiration for Greg's skills continue to grow. Thank You Greg!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

I had the opportunity to acquire a small sample of Ashbury at a meeting of the Sacramento Pipe Collectors' Assembly in Sacramento, CA. The mixture has black, brown, and yellow ribbon strands and a wonderfully round pouch aroma. It is apparent from the aroma that this is not a mixture dominated by Latakia, nor is Latakia (Cyprian) a subtle condimental component. Moisture level was perfect and the strands packed easily in my pipe as is did in other pipes i have smoked it in.

It lights easily and does not require an inordinate amount of fussing to keep it going down to a dry grey ash. One of the hallmarks of a GLP mixture is that sudden end of the smoke without warning. It burns cleanly to the bottom and never gurgles or becomes bitter or nasty toward the end.

If there ever was an all-day Balkan, this is it. It has a delicious taste that changes throughout the bowl. Th eprimary flavour component is the Oreintals with the Virginias sharing the stage with the Latakia as backup. Imagine a jazz band with the piano and horn plyer in front sharing the limelight backed up with an upright bass player. My olde favourite was Odyssey, but it think Ashbury will take its place. I ordered a ton of the stuff in 2-ounce tins so i could enjoy the development of the mixture over time as it ages and marries in the tins.

I highly recommend this new mixtre to all pipe smokers. This is a very easy mixture ot enjoy and rewards the smoker with a very delicious experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 08/15/06

Aroma: The aroma is mild and slightly sweet, with the typical sweet-tang provided by VA-Oriental mixtures. The Latakia is there, but certainly in the background, adding a light smokiness.

Appearance: This is more like a ribbon than many of GLP's "ribbons." Overall a darker-colored blend, perfect moisture, great packing and burning. The occasional Latakia leaf is evident in the blend, but is not the star of the show.

Flavor: This is great stuff! Some of you know that I am not a big fan of that oriental tang, but this blend has a very unique flavor that really speaks to me. The Pease website talks about "an alluring assortment of exotic Oriental tobaccos" and I have to agree. The Orientals really provide a unique flavor, similar in some ways to some of the Grand Orientals from McClelland. That Oriental tang seems to always cause a kind of burning sensation in my nose and throat, but perhaps because my tin is four years old this one seems to be quite mild. The flavors are good, the Latakia provides just enough cool smokiness to tame the beast, and I rate this an easy three stars, probably three and a half.

To my tastes, it's a bit more approachable than Westminster, with a bigger influence from the orientals. Not as rich and smooth as Abingdon, possibly because of Abingdon's high Latakia content (I am a self-confessed Latakia hound). Don't know what this stuff tastes like fresh, but my four year old tin is really treating me right!

BTW, I got this tin from Barlow's in Lafayette, CO last week. They still have some four year old tins on the shelf, so if you're near the Front Range, and you like Ashbury, go get yourself some good tobacco!

[UPDATE, AN HOUR AND HALF LATER:] Just had a pipeful in my trusty Meer - this stuff is fabulous! I think it gained its fourth star tonight. I had my wife - a devout non-smoker - try a puff to ask her what is this flavor that's eluding me...and she nailed it: truffles! First she said mushrooms, then she said no, it's "truffley." That's it! Earthy, truffley, absolutely delicious in a Meer. I really think this will become my go-to Oriental blend. No idea what it's like fresh, but with a little time, this is one sublime smoke. Four stars! [END UPDATE]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Dr. Hall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Hall (15)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This one contains some really fragrant, spicy orientals! The citrusy Virginias and smoky latakia play second and third fiddle respectively to the orientals in this blend, but they're there and taste/smell good too. With a few years of age on it Ashbury becomes a bit more sweet (red Virginia-wise) and has more of an incense-like (cinnamon-clove) quality to it. It does contain some rather large pieces of tobacco and some stems/veins which I typically just break up before packing. Smoked slowly, this blend is sublime, and I can detect individual tobacco flavors. Smoked fast, this blend is still a great mild-medium English breakfast blend, though it tends to get a bit ashy/harsh by bowl's end.

Update: Having gotten around to smoking some of the new Dunhill Early Morning Pipe, I must say that Pease's Ashbury and Chelsea Morning are far superior in every way, better quality and better tasting orientals and Virginias all round, and perfectly spiced with latakia.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The initial portion of the bowl is very rich and spicy, but not from the latakia. It's really quite lovely. The latakia comes around mid bowl and adds a lot of body as well as a different spice. I found this blend intriguing, and I will definitely smoke more. Three stars could have been four except I found that the start was just a bit too in your face and I detected just a hint of bite... I reserve the right to revise, and found myself immediately wondering if I have more than this tin in the cellar...

UPDATE This blend can be a bit fatiguing on the palate, and I suspect that I'm having a reaction to the amount of bright VA in the blend. Still a very interesting blend, but probably not going to make it to four stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is the lightest Balkan in GLPease line of splendid tobaccos, giving a strong role to Virginias. The first half of the pipe provides an amazing range of flavors, from the sweetness of Virginias to the spiceness of Orientals, always backed by a moderate smokiness from Latakia. The problem is with the last half or third of the bowl, when taste recedes and becomes somewhat flat. Still a great smoke, but no the best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (67)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very nice. I bought a tin as a result of recommendations from Greg and others that it came close to a blend I smoked in the 70's called London Express. I hadn't smoked LE since 1973 when I bought a tin at Georgetown Pipe Shop. At the time, I found it interesting but really didn't like but I didn't like latakia back then in any great quantities and now I love it so I decided to try to find LE. Was told it was out of prodduction but a few inclding Greg himself, recommended Ashbury.

After 30 plus years, I remembered the taste immediately. Orientals dominate this blend. The little bit of latakia gives it the right amount of smokiness. I would have given this a 4 star aside from the fact that I had a hard time keep it lit. I will keep smoking it and update this review.

Ashbury is great for warm weather when a strong latakia might be too heavy. Kind of remeinds me of nuts and berrys and a spring or fall day in New England. Feel the blend is perfect for the Jamaican climate where I am now. This would be awsome if it could come in flake form.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Elric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elric (34)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Ashbury is another masterpiece from GLP. The tin verbiage alludes to our departed Scandal and the contents deliver a marvelous smoking experience somewhat reminiscent of that august blend. This is the first offering with Cyprian lat that really matches Scandal's creamy character. First rate leaf, as always, forms a sturdy foundation. Ashbury has become a regular Balkan component of my rotation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (135)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I can't add much to the fine reviews and won't touch any that are out of the ball park. I found this to be more complex of the Fog City series so far, and at first I could not appreciate the fine turkish/virginia wrap. So I aged it a few months, and tried again. Master Pease's touch is too great to be ignored but sometimes too subtle to get right away. And aging helps bring out his deftness. Yes, after several months of aging the turkish shined just fine. Reminded me of the unique tones of great turkish leaf blends from the 70's.

It is a light balkan or English-Oriental, not as rich as Caravan. But still rich. Light handed on the latakia, beatufiful virginia as usual, and just the right touch of fine, fine turkish leaf. The sweetness of the virginia and nuttiness of the turkish meld just right now. It develops down the bowl.

I like his straighter virginias best in this series, Montgomery for all day tang, hay, and a wee bit of richness; Laurel Heights, for richness & sweetness; and Telegraph Hill for more body. I can't think of too many blenders today that can give you three blends that are so good in a single series. Not to say that Lombard and Ashbury and any less good, they are just more into the English department than the above three that I personally preferred the most. You may like the others more.

Ashbury is recommended for oriental smokers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (294)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Having already tried Montgomery and Telegraph Hill in this Fog City selection, I already knew what to expect. I knew that I shouldn't judge this new blend from the first minute, as both previous entries had a slow, gradual development and taste buildup. And I was right, as Ashbury behaves exactly the same way: the first 5-10 minutes are very subtle, slightly grassy, very delicate. Even a bit boring, if I may say so. Then the great crescendo starts... As expected, the Virginias slowly build to a nice milky sweetness, a pleasant "toasted" nuttiness, while still remaining very delicate. Delicate, but tastier and tastier. The Latakia provides an interesting complement, not as wonderful as the earthy, nutty and cocoa-like Kentucky in Montgomery, but definitely worthwhile. Less Latakia, and it would have been quite a boring experience. More Latakia and it would have been another mild English. As it is, it strikes the perfect balance between the excellent base of Virginias and the dry smokiness of the condiment leaf. Sure, it remains a "middle of the road" experience (in the good sense) as sometimes you'd like more of the Virginia sweetness of Montgomery and at times you wish it'd take flight and become a stouter English/Balkan blend, but if you understand this blend and hit the spot (not rushing it) it is very good and rewarding. My only complaint is that, contrarily to Montgomery, this blend can go a bit downhill after the great crescendo. Yes, after 45-60 minutes there is no more evolution, and it can actually become a bit unidimensional again, a bit uninteresting and bland. But this doesn't happen if you limit to a medium-sized pipe (or even a medium-large one). I'd definitely avoid very huge pipes for Ashbury, while Montgomery was very fine to my tastebuds in all bowl sizes, and especially in big ones. I am curious to see if aging will solve this minor nitpick, too. Now I can't wait to find a good moment and open one of the tins of Lombard I have recently bought, to see how it compares and if the even lighter touch on Latakia will manage to intrigue me (a diehard Latakia fan)...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I tried a test run of some of Pease's offerings, searching for brighter, lighter, complexity. Ashbury is a very good blend, falling in what I consider to be the mild to medium weight class. For the guys, like myself who love the big bold english textures, do not be put off by the mild-medium rating, which I give. Ashbury is very flavorful, with notes of pecans, citrus, and applewood smoke. Awesome smoke for the hotter temperatures of the Georgia summer. I think of light amber to describe the "color" of the flavor nuances. I would buy this in bulk quantities if it had a smidgen of perique added. I add my own upon packing and ashbury hits sublime levels imo. I probably will buy it again, but I find that I like picadilly more. Pease kills me with his blend descriptions, sometimes his marketing just makes me burst out laughing, but here's the deal...he produces quality, consistent tobaccos. That means a great deal to me. If you're looking for a change of pace like I was, give it a try. Ashbury is a honest quality blend.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Greg Pease recently told me that he based this blend on the old classic Sullivan Powell Original Gentleman's mixture. Well, naturally I had to pop another tin of Ashbury and "give 'er a go." A little milder in both strength and flavor than the Sullivan Powell.... that is my initial thought. As usual though, Mr. Pease's combination of varying leaf in a blend continues to impress, and I sure do find Ashbury to be enjoyable, I just prefer more strength, which probably means it is just right for most pipe smokers.

Someone else said the blend reminded them of Rattray's No. 7 Reserve, and I do believe that is a good comparison, too. But, I think 7 Reserve actually contains Latakia with an Oriental presence that actually outshines the Virginia leaf. Not so with this Pease offering where the Virginia sparkles.

I can see where Ashbury will be absolutely perfect for someone who enjoys this combination in a somewhat light and mild form. That Pease sure can blend!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

al1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
al1 (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Another Pease that deserves the fourth star. Maybe I am biased but as a lover of va and latakia/orientals this one is an instant hit.

Mildly sweet, slightly smoky, and moderatley spicy from the orientals, and there is this citrus undercurrent that plays in and out in the background. This one is so easy to enjoy.

I think this may be an excellent all day smoke for me. It runs all the bases and is well balanced and rounded.

If there is such a thing as a VA balkan this is it.

This is one of the best tobacco's I have had the pleasure of smoking.

How Mr. Pease gets the flavors to come out in the smoking is magic. How they smell to others is a different story.

Don't pass this one without a try.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

awt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
awt (15)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

An excellent VA with some latakia. Burns evenly, slight natural sweetness,slightly acid (citrus?vinegar?) no bite, satisfactory. Its my first tin but looks very very promising. I am smoking it instead of C&D 2 friends Bed & Breakfast and Ashbury seems more round and complete, still going in the same direction. An all day tobacco for both VA and Mixt lovers. Maybe I will update after few tins.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

While this is not my ideal Balkan -- to my mind, a proper Balkan has significantly more latakia than Ashbury -- it is a very good, Oriental-focused English and I recommend it if you have a fondness for Orientals (or want to see if you do).

The Orientals here are of the acrid, not rich-and-sweet, variety. Because of that -- and the fact that Ashbury moves the latakia so much to the background -- this blend is much more in the Charing Cross family than the Caravan/Odyssey family of Pease Balkan(ish) blends. I enjoy them all, but just be aware that there are distinct differences.

And lest anyone be misled by the sly wording on the older labels or the description above (which, I believe, has been changed on the latest tins), this is not somehow a Syrian-free version of the late, lamented Bohemian Scandal. To my mind, the Pease Syrians were distinct and unique from any currently produced Pease blend; Ashbury shouldn't be sampled with the expectation that it will echo the Scandal. You'll be disappointed.

And you shouldn't be. . . because Ashbury is a fine blend that can stand quite capabaly on its own two feet.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Eric Cioe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eric Cioe (20)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

EDIT - I'm bumping this down a star because I've found one light latakia blend that I like better, Kensington. Still very good and very much recommended.

That I registered on this site yesterday so that I could give Ashbury my first review should say something about the blend.

I've been smoking for two years now. I only smoke aromatics if someone gives me some (bless their effort), and my favorite blend style is Balkan. I like the taste of orientals above latakia.

This blend is the perfect light-medium Balkan. I was nervous about this blend smoking too hot when I first got it, based on my experiences with the Virginia-heavy Lombard. This blend, however, seems to be much more balanced. It was wet when I bought it, and I've been working out of the same tin for a few months now (I smoke about once a day and have a large rotation), and it's getting easier to light and keep lit.

I find this blend perfect for driving to work or walking to class in the morning. Just enough kick to wake you up, but overall, a very balanced blend. Highly, highly recommended for Balkan lovers who aren't latakia hounds.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (69)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This tobacco captures the very essence of the pleasure I get from smoking Balkan tobacco without the inevitable rape that Balkans usualy play on my palate.

I tend to smoke many bowls per day and often seek a tobacco that compromises between aroma (for the Mrs), flavor and taste, and easiness on the mouth.

Biotene mouthwash is the only restorative steps that can be taken once a trashed out, salted palate comes to light. I prefer to not be in this position!

The latakia is perfect and the virginias taste beautiful.

I am reminded thus of a scene where a wolf droolingly shakes a captured rabbit and the anticipation of his prey's death-cough. The feast that follows ushers sated desire and illustrious conquest.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

OLDTIMER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OLDTIMER (39)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Wow!! what a great blend.This could be my favorite Balkan blend. Perfect moisture level. The flavor is complex and just wonderful. I can't say enough good things about this tobacco. Words just dont do this blend justice. If you like Balkan style blends try this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

bobspipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bobspipe (13)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been working my way through Greg's newest collection and it reminds me of the 3 bears -- Montgomery is now a bit too bland, Lobardy is a bit too weird and strange, and telegraph hill seems just right.

Now comes along Ashbury. Like a lot of Greg's blend I appreciate the complexity. I like the Latakia (I'm a moderate Latikia lover), the room note is okay, it smokes cool. Better than Frog Morton types but I'm not blown away. Would I go out my way to track it down or cellar it -- not sure. Would I appreciate it if it were around -- absolutely.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (72)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Standard english style blend. Not outstanding for me but made from GLP first grade tobac so better than most fare. Not a lot of Lat but the Lat that is there is quite tangy/strong.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ProdigalWeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ProdigalWeb (18)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is an interesting baccy even though I'm not a huge fan of Latakia. There's only enough Latakia in this to be spicy, a la Perique. In this case the spice is smokey however. The Virginias and the Orientals in this blend have the most to say, and they are really good orators. Especially at the beginning of the bowl, the Orientals take center stage, then the Virginias begin to come on toward the middle of the bowl. The Latakia tends to take over toward the end of the bowl. Given a little more experience with this blend, I think it could become a regular after-dinner smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TobacNotAmbrosia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TobacNotAmbrosia (1)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am surely in a minority here,so its worth mentioning perhaps how amazed I am that very few mention the spiciness of this blend; in the first 1/3rd of the bowl it well covers over anything else you might derive from this smoke, and it provokes that unpleasant scratchy throat feel. The second half of the smoke might be more balanced , some say flatter, but that is a blessing in this case. I was looking for an all day mild Balkan smoke. The tin I received was almost two years old, so nicely moderately aged as well.The tobacco ribbon looks exquisite and it probably is made of best ingredients, as this blender's commitment surely always is. However to me it is a case of over-compensating a light dish with too much spice, the Chef went overboard in this case IMO. To a lesser degree this verdict is true of the Kensington as well, even if the latter is more satisfying strengthwise. If Pease offers that mild all day Balkan smoke I do not knwo what it is. As it is I would prefer the heavier classic Abington, or more english Westminster over this one any day. For complexity, even though it has some perique I believe, the Samara will do a better job for me too. I would be obliged if any of the professional connoisseurs in this site will have mentioned if not analyzed what I perceive to be the over spiciness problem with this new line of tobaccos which has nothing to do with the mostly moderate strength

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

After 6 mos. of aging, Ashbury has come around to become yet another fine product of GLP. Upon opening the tin, you are presented with a nice presentation and a very nice aroma! Packs and lights without any trouble. On takeoff, the tobaccos seem to work against each other but, at cruise, they level off, and work together. I believe the Va`s in this blend run the ship and the latakia and orientals set back an observe untill they are called upon. Though this flight doesn`t reach high altitudes for any length of time, it is an enjoyable one! This needs to be smoked at low power settings to experience all the nuances it has to offer. I believe sometime in the hangar (cellar) will make this one a sweet flying machine!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mountain Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mountain Man (23)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is not for me.I think it would be great without the latakia.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

When this blend was first introduced I bought a tin and smoked it within a week. The tobacco reminded me of Rattray's 7 Reserve. I bought three more tins and aged them a year. Recently, I spent about two weeks trying to smoke this blend again and found it a bit boring after the first 10 minutes or so. Also, like many virginia heavy blends it smoked hot and became unpleasant at times, unless I was very careful. Like the previous reviewer this stung my toungue. After struggling with the tin for two weeks and comparing to some other blends, I gave up on this.

Very nice natural tobacco that reminds me of the real English blends I smoked 20 years ago. Really, it's well made but I'm not interested in trying it again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DrSteve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrSteve (2)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Judging by the description and the existing reviews, I thought I?d really like this blend. I smoked it in a large Comoy?s Freehand that has been ?Blueprinted? by Ronnie B. My sample was made up of mostly red to gold ribbons with just a little dark brown to black leaf which all appeared to be of fine quality. The pouch aroma was that of a mild and pleasant Balkan blend. It packed easily and had an appropriate amount of moisture. After the initial charring light and tamp, it burned perfectly and produced good smoke volume, leaving a light grey ash at the end of the bowl without relights. I found my sample to have very little flavor and to be very hot on my tongue. It wasn?t an unpleasant smoke, but just never really developed past a mild, almost cigar-like flavor that was hot and stingy all the way through. I plan on trying it in a few different pipes and will update if there is any reason to. For now, my first experience with GL Pease left me wanting a little more (flavor, that is).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I originally reviewed Ashbury on 28 October 2005. This update removes that original review for various reasons. While G. L. Pease is a master blender using quality tobacco, this particular blend is not for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.