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A wonderful complex secret recipe of the finest Virginia, choice Turkish and Orientals and Cyprian Latakia, all hand blended together, hard pressed and broad cut into thick flakes. Long matured and easily crumbled to facilitate pipe filling.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Sons
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin, 8oz Bag
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full, Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 48 Users

3.5
382 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
254
3 star:
79
2 star:
33
1 star:
16
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This is as fine a tobacco as I have had the pleasure of putting into one of my pipes. As a pipe smoker of more than 30 years, that is saying a lot. Upon opening the tin and peeling back the oily wax paper, there is a heavenly smell of a clean, rich tobacco. It is a crumble cake (not a flake), and packs as easily as any blend in the world.

Penzance is not cased in any way, just pure tobacco with an all tobacco taste and is more of an Oriental/Turkish blend. While there is a little Latakia leaf in Penzance, the presentation is very delicate, not at all heavy like, say, Frog Morton or Old Ironsides which are predominantly Latakia blends. Penzance, of course, is not.

Upon lighting, your palate will quickly be washed in the full, rich flavor of the mixture. While there is plenty of latakia, it is not overwhelming at all. The blender expertly combined all of the ingredients necessary to please just about anyone.

The smoke is thick, rich and creamy. There are a variety of flavors as you work your way down the bowl, all of them good. Although heavy in flavor, I could and have smoked this stuff all day and night without fatigue. It is best though after dinner. If, like me, you do not normally heed the call of latakia tobacco blends, this will make you whistle a different tune. The oriental leaf is subtle, refined and smooth. Just delightful!

Update (2/5/05) It has been about three years since I posted the above review, and my impressions of this tobacco have, if anything, improved. Because of the decent amount of Virginia leaf in Penzance, it ages especially well for an English style tobacco blend. Sublime stuff!

20 people found this review helpful.

Northern Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Northern (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I'm brand new to this review site, and it has been very interesting to read other's opinions of tobaccos that I know well. I agree with the general good opinions expressed about Penzance;it is one of my staples and the one tobacco that I would choose if I could only have one. The essential things about it that make me say that are...

It gives me that almost indefinable quality of smoking 'satisfaction' - that fulfillment feeling - right from the start. It is a very well-behaved smoke; never weak or biting. It is very consistent across tins - you can rely on it.

The taste is deep; you know that it's there without it having anything much that strikes you as easily identifiable in the flavour - so there's nothing to get bored with! I would contrast it with many of the other luxury 'English' (as Americans seem to call them - I'm English) blends containing Latakia, in that some of these have very little weight at all - you puff them in and out and there's nothing there but the dry, ashy, smokiness. Penzance adds a full bottom note to that, balancing it and making it complete.

Interesting that some people report soapiness to the taste - I have never noticed that. Also, it seems that bulk lots often receive unfavourable comments - that is why I only ever buy small, airtight tins of anything.

I have noticed that good tobaccos can some times receive bad reviews - can it be that the local, seasonal climate where people live can effect the taste of their tobacco? Humid conditions at certain times of the year here in Queensland (Australia) certainly seem to put me off some tobaccos that I usually like. can anyone tell me more about this aspect of climate & tobacco taste?

PS I notice that several reviewers say that they rub out the flakes fully - I don't do this. Instead (as I was taught years ago) I merely tease them a little as I fold them and load directly into the bowl, and add some crumbs to the top to help lighting. If there are no crumbs around, I just fluff the very top of the flake a little. Does this make it taste better, I wonder.

8 people found this review helpful.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening my first tin of Penzance some four years ago, I was put off by its composition (described elsewhere). I gave it a good whiff and was put off even more so by its aroma. In short, it was the most awful looking and vile smelling I'd experience in forty years. If it weren't for the fact that I'd paid good money for this weed, I'd have thrown in in the garbage.

I'm normally averse to blends heavily laden with latakia and based on the aroma was even more reluctant to smoke it. Do NOT be put off by ABSSiegel comment, "If you don't love latakia, stay away!" You'll taste the latakia for sure, but the way in which it is tempered by the virginias is amazing. This is a must try for anyone who enjoys English blends. I would recommend it even to those who smoke only Virgina blends.

On lighting up, I discovered what has become one of the top ten blends in my rotation. Penzance has a distinctive flavor unlike any other I had ever smoked. I've since tried Krumble Kake, a similar tobacco that just doesn't measure up to Penzance.

Creamy, nutty, pungent, and smoky are, at best,inadequate descriptions of this truly remarkable tobacco.

Packs and lights easily, and burns to the bottom of the bowl to a light grey ash. Smokes cool all the way down without a trace of bite.

Works well in any size briar or meerschaum.

Works very well with DGT.

If you do like this blend, buy some to age. I'm now smoking some from a four year old tin. It is even more mellow and flavorful than from a fresh tin.

Penzance and Stonehaven are, IMHO, the finest blends made by Esoterica.

Arguably, Penzance is the finest tobacco ever blended.

7 people found this review helpful.

birdseye Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdseye (15)
★★★★
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

So much has been said by clearly discerning pipe smokers about the marvelous qualities of Penzance that I must resist redundancy. The only thing I can add is to emphasize the subtlety of this magical blend. When, after reading so many glowing reviews of it, I tried my first bowl in an old Barling that could make straw taste good I was a little disappointed. I had been used to more robust English blends and Penzance seemed altogether too mild, even a bit flat. But, by the time I was smoking my fourth bowl, I was hooked by this blend's sophisticated, delicate and subtly changing taste and exquisite smoothness. I still smoke other blends, including some Virginias for a change of pace, but Penzance is my first and best choice. Surely, this is the king of tobacco blends! An added note to this review is that, since I posted it, I have continued to search for an English blend that might surpass Penzance, but have failed, even though I have come across some very fine near-equivalents, like Krumble Kake.

6 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (37)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first brush with the ET line was a 7 year old tin of Penzance. Opening that tin, the smell and "greasy" appearance of the tobacco inside immediately put me into a state of nervous excitement and I fairly gulped my first bowlful. Since then I have taken the time to relax and enjoy what is certainly one of the best pipe tobaccos "available". It's a pity it's gotten so hard to come by, but I suppose that is the way it goes when the supply of something so good is limited.

While Penzance is basically an "Oriental-forward English blend", this characterization falls well short of a complete description. Clearly there is some sort of fermentation at work in the "processing" of this tobacco, and clearly the processing is part of the "secret" of the success of the blend. But I am also pretty sure they use some sort of fruit in some way at some point. So "fruity" is the nose that it works its way into the taste, like apricots, figs, and vague pineapple, citrus, etc. Not only this, but there are also plenty of "aromatic resins" of the "incense" variety that interleave with the fruity notes. If all this sounds gimmicky or too much, somehow it is NOT, at all, and I say this as a confirmed hater of "aromatics" and additive-forward blends of all descriptions. For one thing, all the tobaccos claimed for the blend are of TOP quality, and each is present and accounted for - in its "fermented" form. The "thick" flakes are in fact quite thin, and it hardly matters since the tobacco begins to crumble immediately when it is handled. I try to carefully fold and roll a flake and stuff it "vertically". Who knows why, but this blend somehow burns fine when it's "wet", right out of the tin, once it's well lit. The Virginias (oh, those Virginias...) rise as the smoke progresses, and a "sour" quality gradually overtakes the initial NON-cloying sweetness. There is lots of smoke, and I always feel satisfied, like all is well with the world, and money well spent.

Perhaps some people hope bad reviews will make the stuff more available. As for myself, to be honest, I can't say anything bad about this tobacco. I will say that, to my perceptions, the bagged stuff is "not the same" as the tinned stuff. Also, while it ages very well indeed in a sealed tin, I have no evidence to date that it improves with age in a jar. Lastly, it needs moisture to do its thing.

All in all, a FINE, complex English blend that is different each time I smoke it, but always quite wonderful!

Age When Smoked: new and old; tins, bags and jarred

5 people found this review helpful.

Kapnismologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kapnismologist (30)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A beautifully sliced crumble cake composed of predominantly dark brown flakes mottled with tan flecks and lighter brown and black streaks. What is assumed to be sugar bloom can be found on older examples.

The tin nose is strong, yet inviting; dominated by a pungent, musty, slightly sweet and smoky aroma which translates largely intact into the bowl.

Although quite moist in the tin, being of a delicate sort the crumble cake presentation requires due diligence in handling. In those cases when the extraction of a slice or two has not already resulted in the production of small chunks which can be dropped into the pipe straight away, a very gentle rubbing does the trick. In most instances a simple gravity feed followed by a light tamp or two is more than enough to prepare a bowl, although one should pay close attention going in as strips and chunks can quickly swell and seize up after lighting should the initial pack be too ambitious. Properly prepared, however, one is sure to be rewarded with a lovely smolder. When possible, this reviewer prefers to load a mix of strips, chunks, and odd bits together into the same bowl. However prepared, topping the bowl with a bit of kindling is strongly recommended for a quick and even light.

In the pipe Penzance presents a savory Oriental-forward smoke. Rich with a marked creaminess, on the high side it offers sweet wood smoke, dried fruit, and camphor, while its lower register harbors notes of aged Assam tea, salted meat, and peat. Clearly the dominant player in the blend, the Oriental components are truly sublime: musty, just a tad sour, with a dark, savory quality reminiscent of morel mushrooms. Not to be outdone, the Virginia(s) are soft and sweet and the Latakia neither heavy nor cloying. There is a depth here which in this reviewer's experience is as apt to inspire as it is to confound, with each bowl revealing yet another layer. Towards the heavy side of medium bodied, the finish is dry, musty, and deliciously pungent. As one might expect, tongue bite is never an issue. While it can leave behind a rather tenacious ghost, and while it will do reasonably well just about anywhere, for those who wish to really explore its depths it is well worth the time and effort to audition a number of pipes until just the right one is found. When this happens, all cannot but be right with the world.

As savory an English/Balkan cake as one is likely to get, there is nothing quite like Penzance, and there is good reason that it has attracted so much attention over the years. Although it is probably not an everyday smoke for most (I like it best late at night, particularly when there is a full moon), barring glitches in availability there is little reason that at least a few tins should not be found in the cellar of every serious piper. While quite moist in the tin, in this reviewer's experience Penzance has a tendency to dry rather quickly when left alone, so unless one favors crumbs and dust, the foil pack version should be tightly sealed or jarred soon after opening and the contents of the rectangular 2oz. tin consumed within a reasonable amount of time after popping, even when insulated with a baggy or such like.

5 people found this review helpful.

Stumptown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stumptown (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

one of the best pipe tobaccos I've ever tried. Room note and taste are unique and strong, but in a good way, though I'm not sure how this would fare with a significant other.

No artificial flavoring detected, but it definitely tastes like a full bodied, smokey grade A tobacco!

Opening my tin I definitely noticed the almost smokey.. beef jerky smell.. not in a bad, store-bought kind of way, but the kind of smokey goodness you'd find at your local farm, or out up in the mountains to the west.

Almost takes you back to simpler times.. and it is, so far, one of the most "tasty" tobaccos I've ever had, after smoking it, I don't feel like brushing my teeth, instead I want to savor how good it is!

Highly recommended!

4 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (30)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

There are no superlatives for this masterpiece. Whatever is said, all the praise can only be pale reflection of it's mighty greatness and glory. You can write poetry about it, it's truly the greatest flake ever made. It's beyond the comprehension of human mind. It's awesome, it's great, it's the greatest.

3 people found this review helpful.

Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Updated 1/2/08 - I've been smoking a tin of this for a couple of weeks now and there is a big difference. The bulk tobacco was a lot drier than the tin. I don't know if this is why the taste was so different but the bulk I would have called an English blend, the tin I would classify as a Balkan since for some reason I could taste the Orientals much more. I've been smoking some Balkan Sobranie in the rotation and I would say that they smoke pretty closely due to this. The tin is a big plus in my opinion. I throw a humidifier in the jar since this tends to dry quickly.

Original Review - Well there isn't much to be said that hasn't been said but I'll still put in my two cents. This is a very easy smoke. I didn't have to dry or otherwise mess with it to get a perfect burn. This smoke is right on the cusp of my taste buds so sometimes I think it's mild and other times I think it has great taste. It seems to be better of late, so either my taste buds have perked up or this is better after sitting a while. I will definitely keep some on hand and will try the tin next time to see if that is better since I got this batch in a foil bag. Still this stuff is excellent!

3 people found this review helpful.

Oldguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oldguy (6)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This is my first review in this forum, tho I have been visiting here for a couple of years now. I have vastly enriched my smoking pleasure from the reviews I've read here. I am a huge fan of Balkan and English blends in particular, and have a few pipes dedicated to them. Acting on tips in this forum, I immediately transferred the contents of my new tin to a tightly sealed jar to keep it from drying out. I have smoked this weed in several of my pipes now, and in 43 years I have never found a tobacco that varied so much in taste and smoking pleasure from one pipe to another! Has anyone else experienced this with Penzance? "When she was good, she was very, very good and when she was bad she was horrid". I have found a couple of pipes that give me sublime pleasure from this tobacco, and will stick to them from now on. I actually dumped out half a pipeful from one of my favorite meerschaums, a 43-year old dublin which has experience with all kinds of tobaccos, but it couldn't give me any pleasure from Penzance. But it can be wonderfully satisfying in the right circumstances. I roll it out fairly fine, and pack it so there is just the slightest resistance to the draw. It then burns evenly and completely to a fine ash, often without any relight. In short, I heartily recommend Penzance. Just don't give up if the first pipeful puts you off -- try a different pipe until you hit the magic button.

3 people found this review helpful.

thefoolish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thefoolish (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Before I begin, a little about me as a tobacco taster. I do not claim to be one of those people who can inhale the faintest wisp of smoke and taste cherries, almonds, leather, and every other conceivable flavor known to man. I know those people who can do that (or at least make me believe that they can do that) and I envy them. But that’s me. I’m an everyman type of tobacco taster: if I taste it, you probably will too.

Then again, taste is so fallible. It depends on so much, including obvious factors, like what else you’ve eaten that day and your health, but can also depend on temperature, humidity, and even your mood, which is why I note those things in my review. So, remember, this is one man’s experience.

What I’ll be sampling today is Esoterica’s Penzance. I’ll admit, I feel a little guilty writing about this tobacco. For most people, especially in the States, it’s nearly impossible to find without near compulsive obsession. Every website you go to will likely read Out of Stock. Through a lot of work and the generosity of friends, I was able to put away well over a pound before I’d ever even tasted it. So, like I said, I feel guilty; it seems a little rude to say, “Hey, you know that tobacco you can’t get right now? It’s amazing!” And it is…

Sample Description: Mason Jarred fresh out of an 8oz bag in October, 2011. Never opened since.

Sample Pipe: Radice Rubens Rhodesian, dedicated to English blends.

Weather: 68 degrees Fahrenheit, low humidity

Accompanying Drink: Kettle One Vodka (oh, yeah).

Appearance: Mine has started to develop some bloom (or plume) from aging. Even after two years, it’s still quite high in moisture content, meaning it will continue to age well in my other jars. The flakes themselves are extremely dark, with occasional veins of light brown and tan running through them.

Aroma: In the jar, a combination of sweet and smoky, like a barbeque sauce with a healthy dose of brown sugar. It almost has the smell of farmland: earthy, damp, but sweet hints. If you’ve ever been inside of an old tack room in a stable, you know what I mean.

Preparation: The flakes practically fall apart in my hand, despite still being damp. I crumble them gently and allow them to dry for 30 minutes. See you in half an hour… And we’re back. I didn’t quite crumble up enough for a full bowl, so I did a modified three-step gravity fill.

Lighting took a few more lights that I would have liked, mostly due to the high moisture content. Also, I’ve noticed Latakia tends to take a little more cajoling to get fully lit than most types of leaf, and Cyprian Latakia is definitely one of the key players in this blend. Once I got it started, though, it smoked like a champ.

Taste: The oiliness of the flake comes through on the smoke. It is a full, creamy smoke with a Latakia dominant flavor. Upon first starting to puff, I was surprised at the sweet nuances to be found from the Orientals. Much like the aroma in the jar: dominant smoky and earthy flavors with hints of sweet. A couple puffs in, I was hit with something, only momentarily, that reminded me of caramel pecans: it hate the bitter, oiliness of the pecan, but the sweet, caramelized sugar with it. When doing reviews, I like to inhale and exhale in different ways to try to force out whatever additional flavors I can. With soft puffs, as tends to be, you get a more delicate, nuanced flavor, while deeper inhales reveal the bold earthiness and smokiness. With such a small sampling of only one bowl, I can tell that there is an enormous amount of complexity in this blend that will take many, many revisits to appreciate. Luckily, the blend is delicious and I will be happy to try it many times in the future.

Highly recommended to anyone experienced with Englishes. If you’re just starting to enjoy the smoky stuff, I would wait until you’ve got a few more blends under your belt so that you can fully appreciate this blend.

Smoke on.

Pipe Used: Radice Rubens Rhodesian

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (563)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

An Oriental smokers' delight with choice Turkish. The latakia is smokey and woodsy as one would expect, though it's not the star player. The Virginia has a light sweetness with some hay and grass notes, and act as a base for the other flavors to play off of. There's a decent amount of Virginia present, so it ages better than many English blends. Because it breaks apart very easily, there's several ways to fill your pipe with it, and one way is as good as another. Burns well, cooly with a wonderful spice hit, the aftertaste is one of the most pleasurable any English mixture can present. It may be hard to obtain at times, but it's one of the best English blends on the market, and is worth the chase.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (70)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

This is a very good English blend with some marvelous attributes. It is nothing short of high quality, and it is beautifully presented. The flakes are as delicate as moth wings and crumble apart at the slightest touch. The sweet smoky tin-note is nothing short of captivating. And aside from being fairly moist, it is relatively user friendly.

When lit, it releases a gentle sweetness amidst a hearty flavor that tastes full and incredibly unified. From the onset, the pungency of the latakia and the sweetness of the Virginias stand out, but in short time the Orientals do perk up a bit and subtle flavors redolent of sour cream and ripe blue cheese appear. Occasionally on the nose I'll get a top note that hints of strong cigar. Penzance has a relatively warm tone, a soft spiciness, it burns cool and it's exceptionally smooth. Altogether it's quite tame and sophisticated.

I have always loved the unique flavor and incense like quality of Germain's Latakia, but there are other Germain mixtures where I feel this special leaf is better highlighted. But that's okay because I don't find Latakia to be the main point of this blend. To me it's all about the one beautiful flavor created by the sum of its parts. Penzance is a full English but unlike other blends in its class, it doesn't hammer you with Latakia. Overall the flavor of Penzance is both exotic & strong but very much in balance.

I purposely save this blend for those particular ”me-time” moments when I want a contemplative pipe smoke and I am in the mood to search for flavors, otherwise I feel as though I have wasted something rare.

2 people found this review helpful.

Stu D. Baker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stu D. Baker (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

When I first tried this one, it was far far too much for me. My wife told me that I smelled like I had just lit, and smoked, 100 cigarettes at once. I didn't like it very much, then, due to the fact that my few encounters with tobacco had been of the Walgreens variety...I'll say no more on that. To me, at the time, it tasted like smoke...just smoke with a smoky aroma.

I started to "get" it around the last two bowlfuls of that tin...and I missed it. How I missed it.

A few years down the road, and a more than a few tins of different tobaccos later, I encountered a local shop that regularly stocked Penzance. Having tried more than a few different tobaccos since, and knowing how rare it was to find Penzance, I decided to pick up a tin.

A few months later I smoked it. I tasted a wonderful blend! I could detect all the flavors. ALL THE FLAVORS! I lack some of the vocabulary necessary to properly describe it, not because I'm that enamored with this tobacco (which I am) but because I simply am unable to make the words happen...it tastes earthy compared to some other similar blends that I have tried. A balanced earthy, SOMETIMES suprisingly sweet, solid balkan. I almost feel that the word "solid" does this blend the most justice.

This is indeed one of the best tobaccos I have smoked to date. If it ever runs out, I will miss it sorely but I will probably move on. I do recommend this to every pipe-smoker to try at least once...the whole tin. And then every pipe-smoker should go out and find some more, because it really is that good.

2 people found this review helpful.

Hazzeyd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hazzeyd (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I was pleasantly surprised when I happened upon this blend at a tobacconist, since a tin of Penzance is about as common as a solar eclipse these days due to huge demand, astronomical hype and hoarding. The end result of this for someone who has never tried it before is they are either disappointed, never meet your heroes, or they jump on the Penzance is the epitome of tobacco bandwagon.

I was expecting some paradigm altering tobacco, an end all be all, everything pipe smoking can and should be. When something is built up to be this great you can only be let down.

Needless to say a zenith of perfection is not what I found, what I did find was balance, a balance of flavor between sweetness, smoke, and spice.

I think this balance in different tastes is what a good deal of these blends are about, and in that regard I get it. I don't think it lives up to all the hype that surrounds it but it is definitely a very good tobacco, try it if you enjoy English blends and when you first light up, pretend it is just another tobacco, not some holy grail of smoking and you won't be disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jallen49 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jallen49 (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

So far I've gone through about 2 to 3 oz of this stuff.

Smoke notes... Oily, bitter-sweet, rich, creamy, peaty, and nutty (sometimes). Base switches from lat to or/va. Matured Latakia, which is darker, slightly less sweet and peaty.

Don't smoke too fast... Taste will turn to a burnt taste. Don't smoke too slow. Light streams of smoke will not produce adequate taste.

Most of the sweetness comes from an undivided note from the mix of virginias and orientals.

Cannot pick out the virginias by themselves. Very rich, thick tasting. Not heavy strength. Taste remains fairly consistent. Highly recommended.

Drink pairing... Unfiltered dark coffee. Peaty blended or single malt with little to no water.

There really isn't anything bad to say about. If you're an English man, this is a MUST.

2 people found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (73)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Penzance is this finest English style tobacco i have ever tasted and it's easy to see why so many people rave about this stuff. There's certainly Latakia in this but i wouldnt call it a lat bomb. Way to well balanced for that. On lighting, the Lat is up front, but within just a few puffs the slightly sweet orientals come racing up to save the day and the ever present but not forward Va supports it all. Spades of complexity and tangy hues due to the tobacco conditioning process.

Some may note that it has mold or has an iodine taste/smell (its ammonia actually) but its this special aging and conditioning that sets it apart from other English's. If you dont get into delicacies and think they are a waste of money then this tobacco is probably not for you. For the more adventurous soul's.... nirvana awaits.

Update. To be more specific regarding the iodine smell. It is an ammonia byproduct of the mold process. Different molds will smell slightly different but it is ammonia being released, which in this case smells rather like good old fashioned, scrape your knee, iodine (as othere have noted).

Whether the molding is deliberate or up to sloppy climate control i do not know (i'm guessing the former). Love it or hate it, it sure gets some interest.

In testament that this blend is unusual and can take some getting used to and that perseverance reaps rewards. I'm so glad that Mr Big (below) now likes this blend. When others share your passions it doubles your pleasure. A true gentleman.

2 people found this review helpful.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (21)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I've been hearing about Penzance as long as I've been smoking a pipe - which is not very long... but long enough to hear how great it is. When I saw a couple of tins on the shelf of my local tobacconist, I grabbed them without thinking.

I am thoroughly impressed with this blend. It is a great balance of latakia and Orientals with just enough Virginia for my taste... little whiffs of sweetness that punctuate the pungent smoke and spice. Easily one of the finest tobaccoes I've smoked.

This is my first experience with a "krumble kake" but I found it very easy to load and light. I didn't rub it out too much, basically letting my light tamping break up the flakes, and got a long cool smoke.

It is a shame that this stuff is so scarce... I could easily make it my "regular" smoke. Would life go on without it? Absolutely, but it sure does make smoking that much more enjoyable.

It's like Zeppelin. It's like Guinness. It's like a Mediterranean sunset. Nothing difficult to understand or appreciate, but a perfect expression of what it is

SOLID QUALITY STUFF. 4 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

FunkyD in the Morning Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FunkyD in the Morning (7)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Well, I've read a whole lot about this blend on tobacco internet forums across the cyberspace. The consensus seemed to be that Penzance was an amazing blend that no one would ever copy and that its so great and "oh i have 5 lbs. cellared and you don't LOL". Although I generally do not give in to this sort of bragging/teasing (I always give in), I became obsessed with getting my gritty little fingernails on a tin/pounch/mound/bowl/lick the residue out of an old estate of penzance.

Every store I visited, and every "online store" I clicked on seemed to be fresh out of stuff. It was no where to be found, but EVERYONE was saying how great it was. "Oh you know this tobacco is good....BUT NOT AS GOOD AS PENZANCE!! SILLY MORTALS AND YOUR NON-PENZANCE TOBACCOS AH HA HA!"

Feeling like Charlie from that willy wonka story, I grew depressed as I yearned for the tobacco, all the while I performed a musical number as i stared into the moon. I wanted to be just as cool as the 60-year old guy sitting in his underwear hiding in his closet from his beast-of-a-wife and posting on the internet bragging about his non-existent scrooge McDuck supply of Penzance.

So I waited for my chance, and nearly forgot about penzance. Until that faithful day.

I was browsing Craigslist for the usual stuff. Free dirt, old furniture being sold at full price, and anonymous sex, when I came across a most interesting Ad. It read "PENZANCE? I GOT YOUR FIX." I became excited and quickly replied to the ad demanding that I be sold/given penzance immediately and that I would do anything for the chance.

He said that what he had was very rare and that it would cost me a ton of money. I said I didn't care, and I knew about the rarity of penzance. We set up a drop point in the city. He would drive by in a orange and yellow VW "NEW" beetle, and he would throw the penzance out the car, I was to wear a red balloon for identification. At the same time, I was to use my smartphone to hand over the cash via paypal to his online account, as he checked for updates. He said that if his account wasn't updated by the time he reached 8th street, he'd hunt my down and drag me out to a forest. So I agreed.

The next day I took an early lunch from work and waited in the "spot" with a red balloon in hand. 5 minutes had passed and I began to sweat in the hot sun. I knew this was a bad idea, no tobacco is worth this effort. But then he came, and I saw his fruity bug vroom on down the street. He threw out what looked like a pretty large package for tobacco and I became as giddy as a little schoolgirl. He held his hand out of his bug and gave me this little wave that really threw me off. Whatever...I knew what I had to do, I didn't want to get dragged off into the woods, I hate camping. So I forked over the $200 on my phone and ran over to the package to open it up. IT was quite large and rather heavy! Take that old creepy coward liar!

This is where the fun stopped however. I opened the package and my heart sank into my lower back. Inside was a copy of the script, music sheets, and autographed picture for the cast of "Pirates of Penzance". It began to rain, and I fell to my knees and cried. That creepy old man on the internet had won, look at what he did to me. Why would I go through all of this for some stupid tobacco? Is my life really that empty that I must give into the hype of some stuff that apparently smells like old bum?

My life changed that day, and I no longer felt the need to have the best, seal away the most, smoke the best or be the "best". I became me.

A couple of months after that, my cousin came over to my house with a tin of penzance. I showed restraint, and did not get overly excited. We smoked it all night long.

It was ok.

2 people found this review helpful.

BrSpiritus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrSpiritus (18)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Added 12/15/09: Another star to 4. Opened my second tin after it had been napping for a year and the smell was amazing with a definate scent of lemongrass. Upon smoking the lemongrass comes through, must be that wonderful oriental tobacco. Moisture was perfect on opening. This has become an everyday smoke for me still dedicated to my brigham pipe.

Added 8/3/09: I'm bumping this one up a star, sometimes its the pipe that makes the difference. I had been smoking this in a Peterson Aran Bent Apple with the P-Lip system (of which I am not a fan). Switched up to a Brigham Poker and wow what a difference! All the flavours now hit me in the right place and I can slowly puff on a bowl of this for an hour and not get bored. I guess I'm still learning the ins and outs of pipe smoking.

Original Review: I decided to try this one out because of the almost universal praise in the reviews here. I must say I was dissapointed. Not that it's a bad tobacco, but first foray into English balkan blends was Squadron Leader and I am quite taken by that tobacco.

My tin of Penzance arrived unbearably wet, like it was salvaged from the Titanic. I dried it for 3 days in my cigar box and it was closer to smokable. Tin aroma is predominantly Latakia with an oriental undertone. Lighting takes 3-4 matches before I can get a good burn, and I have frequent relights because I try not to overpuff this tobacco. It really needs to be sipped to bring out the flavour nuances. The taste is light to medium... a bit to light for my enjoyment. I really wanted to enjoy this tobacco as much a SL but the flavour just never really developed for me. Penzance has a place in my cellar but as a diversion not one for my daily rotation.

2 people found this review helpful.

lloydcole Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lloydcole (2)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I've only been pipe smoking about ten weeks now, but I've tried thirty or so blends, mostly based on reputations here - how Penzance isn't 4* I don't know, but each to their own and where more so than this arena? Penzance has become my yardstick and I can't see, so far any reason pack anything else when I travel.

2 people found this review helpful.

Gun Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gun Smoke (15)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild Overwhelming Overwhelming

O.K. here's the deal. This is a fair tobacco, but honestly it is beyond overrated. The room note is by far the most perfumed smell of ANY blend. So much so, that it made me feel slightly nauseous ( and this comes from a smoker that can handle Night Cap all day long ). There are literally far better blends available that actually smells like tobacco instead of the perfume counter at Macy's department store. Honestly, just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy. And the way it crumbles into tiny little bits and pieces ( actually more like dust ) is just plain awful. Why would you subject yourself to this?

I have an idea. If you have a cat, go to the litter box and pull out some doo doo. Let said doo doo dry like the sands of Iwo Jima, then crumble it into your brand new Dunhill pipe. This good sirs is a spot-on analogy to the unique flavor that you will not soon forget.

Gentlemen I introduce you to the FRENCH WHORE of pipe tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

BriarPatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarPatch (33)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable to Strong

Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based:

Penzance & Nightcap are the number 1 and number 2 most-reviewed tobaccos on this board. Not the highest rated, mind you (that would be #1 Full Virginia Flake, #2 Westminster, & Hal O The Wind at #3), but the most reviewed.

Uhmmm...

What do these two Tobaccos have in common that could account for this? Well, I know what youre thinking,: Latakia right? Incorrect.

It can't be the Latakia, because as we see above, of the top 3 rated tobaccos two haven't any Latakia at all, and the other hasn't enough to write home about. In fact not until #7 do we encounter a tobacco with a notable Latakia presence. So if Latakia isn't that popular why are so many smokers purchasing and reviewing Penzance & Nightcap?

Hype.

These tobaccos (the hype tells us) are the biggest, badest, most overwhelming tobaccos of all time. Opening a tin will cause your dog to howl, your wife to leave you, and in the end it might likely kill you. And knowing all this, like a car wreck, we've got to go out and see for our selves. Several reviewers wrote that these are the most overrated tobaccos in history. I dont know about that, but I'll bet they take the award for the highest ratio of tobacco sold to tobacco left unsmoked!

Given all this, we've first got to cut through the hype in order to give a proper review. It seems to me that all kinds of people pick up a can of one of these two tobaccos that wouldn't otherwise get near a good English or Balkan if it flew into their cellar. And (surprise?) these folks find these two blends overwhelmingly strong! But, compared to your average medium - full English or Balkan, are they?

Nope.

Filled with Latakia, they are very much medium-bodied tobaccos. To put a finer point on it they are almost delicate, and would be, were it not for the touches of Perique. I am reminded of the Dunhill brand Aperitif. Not for the similarity, but for the slogan that Aperitif was perfect for a before-dinner smoke. Well, Penzanze could well utilize the same motto. It's subtleties are lost on the after-dinner pallet, and this I fear has been its downfall. For it cannot stand up to its own hype. Try it instead as an Apertif, or in the middle of the morning, where its gentle intricacies may be appreciated.

But never after dark. Never after a meal, and never with Scotch.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Difficult to add much to what's already been said, except that I find this excellent tobacco to provide two smokes for the price of one. Try this experiment: during the first two-thirds of the bowl puff gently like you would with any quality Virginia and you're rewarded with a very high quality VA sweetness. Then amp it up and get some clouds forming and the VA sweet gives way to delicious Latakia and Oriental complexity that expertly blends all the flavors together into a unique, delicious, relaxing experience.

As the bowl progresses, it gets richer, toastier and stronger. I have to slow down a bit near the end to keep it cool and to keep the flavors balanced. I get a tiny bit of gurgle but that's inconsequential to me because the reward is a powerful, creamy, and memorable grand finale.

I call this a complex smoke, I call it wonderful, I ordered a bunch in bulk for aging, and I can't wait to try some after it's been resting a year or two. I can't imagine that it can get better than it is, but other reviewers assure me it will!

2 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Tin: Light smoky Latakia smell. Mottled brown and black 1 1/2x1/2x1/8" cross-cut sliced cake. The tobacco is neither moist nor dry. The wrapping paper has little oil absorbed in it. There are what looks like small white mold spots on each slice.

Packing & Lighting: If one is careful, each slice can be pulled out of the tin. The slices are easily rubbed out. No residue is left on the fingers. Just gravity-feed into the bowl, then tamp as it is smoked; no problems or concerns, easy. Done in this manner, two slices easily fill a bowl. It takes two matches and a strong effort to keep it lit, with puffing. Took two relights down the bowl, in very humid weather.

Taste & Aroma: Soft, smooth, silghtly creamy, and spicy, a Balkan blend, in that the emphasis is on the orientals. There is not much taste or aroma to it. Burns a little hot on the tongue and multiple bowls wear the mouth out, the effects lingering into the next day. Further down the bowl, a mild smoky Latakia aroma evolves.

Nicotine: mild to medium, closer to medium.

Room Note: medium.

Overall: For some odd reason, I'd reminded of Squadron leader, which is much better. I experience little of the strong effects or problems many have reported. Penzance is an interplay of smoky Latakia and creamy, soft orientals, the orientals making it a Balkan blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Big Jim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Jim (15)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I smoked this blend for the first time a little over a year ago and was extremely impressed. Everything from the presentation in the tin, aroma, burning quantity and flavor were top notch. I purchased a second tin and was equally impressed with this fine tobacco. Wanting to put it in my regular rotation I ordered 8 ounces and this is when the love affair started going down hill. The best description is that it tasted like it swam from England to the US under water. Salt was the only flavor present. If you?ve ever rinsed your mouth with salt water you know exactly how this bag tasted. Not to be discouraged a few months later I ordered another 8 ounce bag and while the salt water taste wasn?t present, it still wasn?t anything like the first two tins I thoroughly enjoyed. Sealing them in jars to let them age, drying them for different lengths of time, smoking in different pipes all proved to be futile.

Am I just unlucky to have ordered 2 bags from different tobacco shops and both being almost unsmokable ? possible. Has this blend become so popular that trying to keep up with the demand that quality control has suffered ? probable.

If I had written this review after the first or second tin my rating would have been 4 stars. Considering only 4 of the 20 ounces were enjoyable bringing the cost to 21.27 per ounce of smokable tobacco, 2 stars here is very generous. The hopes that these two bags were an anomaly keeps this one out of the 1 star group.

2 people found this review helpful.

Palmer Eldritch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Palmer Eldritch (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I am new to the world of smoking, and this was my first experience with latakia, and a good one it was. My second experience with latakia was Old Dublin, which didn't nearly stack up in flavor. My third experience is actually occurring right now in the form of My Mixture 965, so it will be hard to keep my tobaccos straight.

Like many I was struck by the tin aroma when it arrived in the mail. I had heard latakia was smoky, and it indeed smelled like hickory or beef jerkey, but there was an added element I was not prepared for... something that smelled chemical-like (i still cannot pinpoint it). My friend claimed he had an allergic reaction to this stuff, and he is allergic to different sorts of plants. We speculated anise or fennel. Regardless, it did not affect me, so I cannot say the smell or taste were detrimental to this smoking experience. There is a good aftertaste that is left that dwindles into a kind of soapy aftertaste when some time has passed. Not good, not really bad. If anyone has any further suggestions as to a casing, etc. let me know, I am interested to find out now.

Upon lighting I was greeted with a very mellow smoky taste, very pleasant. I thought that maybe this taste would decline, but it only increased in its complexity. I thought the first bowl was great, yet each successive bowl of Penzance seems to get better and better. Relights occur sometimes but are not a nuisance because they are not harsh. Rubbing out in bigger pieces yields more relights but a longer smoke. I have a small briar, and Ive had it last an hour plus. Rubbing out into small pieces yields a more satisfying smoke for me, and I do not mind that a few pieces escape out of the mouthpiece on test draws.

I say that the room note is "Tolerable to Strong" based on what others (non-pipe-smokers) have said but, personally, I loved the smell when others have smoked it in my presence. I give Penzance 4 stars because it is my first experience with a full-bodied, complex smoke. I am quickly trying other english blends to see how they stack up. 965 seems to lack the complexity in flavor, but seems more crisp somehow and the effect is increased when smoke is let out the nose. Some say that Penzance lacks in the nicotine department, but I get the same kick from 965. I think people want this to be too perfect! My rating may one day decrease, but as it stands, 4 stars. A wonderful tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This has become my #1 favorite tobacco. I've never had it around long enough so see if it really loses its flavor over time. The smoke is thick and delicious, and yet this is a tobacco that I could likely smoke all day long. I am seriously contemplating dedicating one of my pipes exclusively to this tobacco, though I'm not well-versed enough in piping to know what this will really accomplish, if it will be a noticeable effect or not.

If you haven't tried this, go out now and do so. May this always be in production. People have said the room note isn't good... I tend to smoke alone and happen to love it. I love everything about this tobacco, the crumble cake it comes in, the smell before and after lighting, the flavor, the strength... amazing.

edit: this is still, by far, my favorite latakia. I don't take to Frog Morton very well after this stuff - it's like its watered-down brother that sort of approaches the wonderful goodness that is Penanze but falls far short.

I'm going to buy a 20oz bag soon-ish and keep it in a Mason jar. I imagine this will help the problem I'm about to describe. In the tin, after two or three weeks, this stuff dries out quite a bit. In my first tin, I didn't like it at all after this, in my second, the dull, musty flavor wasn't as evident but I was able to finish it off and enjoy it as well. But this is a tobacco that shines just after opening... after a week or two it does get a little iffy. This doesn't effect my rating as I don't usually have a tin around long enough to worry about it, or it's relegated to the last two bowls of the tin. I imagine keeping it in a Mason jar will keep it from drying out as quickly.

2 people found this review helpful.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (36)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I could eat this stuff. Upon opening the tin, one is greeted with the pungent aroma of wonderfully fragrant latakia. that initial scent reminds me of the more pleasant scents of smoked meat. The crumble cake is a joy to feel in the hand and I tend to load haphazardly into a Peterson Donegal Rocky B10 P-Lip, which I've devoted to Penzance.

The smoke is full bodied and delicious. It's very easy on the palate, always a cool & dry smoke that burns beautifully into a very tidy, fine grey ash. This also seems to lend itself to a smooth break-in of a pipe. Being a member of a very high Episcopal church, the aroma is reminiscent of church incense. Despite it's strong scent, it doesn't seem to linger, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view.

For latakia fanatics, such as myself, this is a fabulous all day smoke too. Aside from the Donegal Rocky, I find that this blend smokes well in pipes generally devoted to Dunhill's Nightcap.

Update 2/16/13: Took an almost five year hiatus from the pipe and have two unopened tins and a mostly full dried out tin that I rehydrated by placing a cap with a dab of Evian in it and then putting the tin in a ziploc bag. Better than I remembered. Spent my sunny Alabama afternoon with an Ashton full of this, a Guinness and Lawrence Durrell's novel Justine. Having been to Amsterdam not too long ago, I fell for Dutch salty licorice and there's a similarity somewhere in Penzance's flavor profile.

2 people found this review helpful.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Strong

This is the finest Latakia/Balkan style blend in the business with Margate running a very close second. I've discovered that I like Esoterica blends the most. They are extremely consistent in their blending process. Penzance starts out nicely packed in wax paper in thin slices. I love the way the oils soak into the paper and is a joy to bring up to the nose for a long, slow wiff of it's deeply rich, dark and smokey aroma. It crumbles easy into small pieces and packs effortlessly. No need to rub it out much, if at all. I've read of the complaints that this crumbles too small and one ends up drawing in a piece or two. No big smash to me. It's very easy to forget about. It lights easily as it has just the right moisture. At the start it tastes exactly like the tin aroma. Just superb. Rich, slightly sweet. I taste the Virginia elements that bolster the richness of the Balkans and Latakia. It gets a bit more spicy mid bowl, and yet more spicy and richer at the finish. Nice chocolate like hints. Few relights here. Fine powder ash. I find Penzance excels in the colder months and is excellent smoked outdoors, too. It even does well in a clay pipe. It has a comforting room note that's smokey with Latakia, and with a slight sweetness. Just a fantastic smoke I can't get enough of. It tops my list.

2 people found this review helpful.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (64)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

What a smooth latakia mixture! Penzance is without a doubt one of my favorite tobaccos. I love the flakes. They make it easy to load your pipe. Then you light up and wow! A fairly full latakia blend that smokes extremely smooth. I smoked this one all the way down to the ashes. It has a mild bite, but if smoked slowly it is not noticeable. The aroma is intriguing but enjoyable. Probably not for those who are not big fans of English blends. But if you are looking for the smoothest English blend around, buy a tin of Penzance.

UPDATE: I am now into my second tin, and only one word can describe this blend: transcendent. Penzance produces a rich, velvety smoke in large volumes. It is filled with creamy spice and nuances, it cannot be compared. I have performed an exhaustive search to find something even close, I believe it doesn't exist. This is simply the smooth epic English blend that all of us are looking for. It is so good I cannot smoke it everyday, it's like a fine cigar, it requires a special occasion and the right mood.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

It is the very model of the modern English mottled flake!

I had trouble getting it to stay lit and the taste was very strong at first. The trick seems to be to crumble the flake into the bowl without mashing it too much, then keeping it fluffy. It does NOT need to be packed to burn well. This blend has a very low tolerance for man-handling. If you shove it in the bowl and cram it down it will burn unevenly and flash from one strong taste to another. But once you get it packed nice and loose it burns clean and its flavors mix perfectly. Because of the tricky nature of the leaf and the fact that you have to keep it fluffy, I don't consider this a great trail baccy. Frog Morton OTT is better in that department. But for a deep, rich smoke with just enough latakia to keep it rich without being overwhlemed by that "essence of damp campfire" found with so man many other modern English blends.

It's a pretty heavy tobacco, at least to my pallet. It's best smoked apart from lighter blends. I smoked some Arcadia after a pipe of it and the Penzance taste still in my mouth clashed badly. It's a good smoke with peaty single malts or after earthy food like mushrooms and grouse. I would not call it an all day smoke, at least not unless you're a very serious pipe smoker.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ivanhoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ivanhoe (35)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Medium Medium to Full Very Strong

It was inevitable that I would need to try Penzance after seeing the long list of reviews here. I was not disappointed; it is a terrifically satisfying smoke. The only surprise in this department was the lack of nicotine. This is a very mild smoke.

I had heard about the flavor fading if the tobacco dried, so I took my 8 oz tray of flakes and put them all in a Mason jar when I first opened it. The flakes are very fragile, and crumble away to nothing if you are not very careful with them. It remains in good condition, but it is disappearing quickly because I like it.

The burning characteristics of this blend make me suspect that it has been treated with something. First, the flavor disappears if the tobacco is dried before smoking. This is not normal. Second, the flakes are quite damp in their normal state, but do not require any extraordinary measures to ignite and burn cleanly to a dry, white ash. It's a very dry smoke for me, and this makes me suspicious that there is more than just tobacco in here.

One more characteristic I did not see in other reviews is that this blend burns for a long time. Pipes that normally give me a 45 min smoke with other blends last for well over an hour with Penzance.

Everyone should try this. Suspicions aside, this has become a regular smoke for me.

2013 Update

I am finishing a half-pound of this and have changed my mind. Several factors have caused this change.

The texture of the damp crumbly flakes is unsatisfying. I like smoking flakes, and these fall apart before they can be pushed into the pipe.

The dampness is disturbing. The stuff lights easily and never goes out. And, the flavor fades if the tobacco is allowed to dry. This all suggests to me that this stuff is chemically enhanced to an unacceptable degree. Some smokers like this (a la Frog Morton?) but I do not.

The almost total lack of Vitamin N makes this an unsatisfying smoke for me. After I smoke a pipe for 45 min, I would like to have a little buzz. There is none here.

2 people found this review helpful.

TClemons Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TClemons (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Cut to the chase - highest recommendation for an oriental/latakia/virginia smoke. If I had to choose a desert island smoke, this would be it. It is the only tobacco that I have pipes (3) dedicated to.

If packed and smoked slowly and carefully, Penzance has a wonderful and subtle complexity of sweet Virginias and orientals that weave in and out with the deep background of the latakia. This is an outstanding contemplative blend. Sweet, smokey, & spicy. Rush your smoking and you are left with merely a wonderful creamy and sweet latakia powerhouse.

This review is based on smoking pounds of this wonderful weed over 8 years. I really enjoy Virginia blends, VA/P blends as well as oriental and latakia blends.

Why another Penzance review? I think I can offer a few suggestions to really enjoying this tobacco. Just because I may be arrogant, doesn't mean that I'm not right (big grin). Also, because it is just that good.

Basically, there are two important factors that make this blend sing for me.

1. Pack it loosely and don't tamp it down much at all. When tamping, do it with a very light hand. I refer the reader to Mephisto's prior recommendations on packing. I still find that breaking it up into crumbles and gravity filling the bowl works best. I've also gently inserted the "slices" into the bowl and twisted lightly, rubbed up the top a bit and smoked.

I also like to let it air out for about 10 minutes max. This slight drying seems to help keep the tobacco from clumping in the bowl and I find I relight less often. Caution: the essential oils seem to evaporate quickly past 10 minutes and such will reduce the flavor.

2. Smoke this like a bitey Virginia, i.e., slowly. Enjoy the sidestream smoke as well. Pay attention to Penzance, and she will reward you with riches.

3. Penzance works best in a dedicated briar pipe of medium or smaller size. Billiards and slightly bent billiard/calabashes seems to work best for me. Pots and shallow bowled pipes don't do as well. Meers work well with it, conforming to these rough dimensions. Penzance, and other latakia or blends with a subtle complexity to them just suck in a corn cob IMO.

2 people found this review helpful.

Hauser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hauser (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Opening: I had the pleasure of opening a 5 year old tin of this tobacco and was greeted by the familiar wax paper, but the tobacco has turned darker than a new tin, though still mottled with flecks of bright here and there. The smoky, musty Latakia aroma is still there though mellowed compared to an unaged tin.

Packing: This tobacco crumbles easily and packs easily into any size pipe.

Lighting: Lights easily.

First Impression: Where as this used to bowl me over with a Latakia punch, the first puffs are mellower and softer with the Latakia still present, just sitting in the background.

Mid Bowl: After a about 3 minutes into the bowl, it?s complexity shows with nutty and chocolate flavors merging with the lightly spicy Orientals coming through followed by the occasional slight smoky flavor of the Latakias. Over all, it remains restrained and smooth and creamy.

Finish: Finishes more heavily without being overwhelming. The flavors continue to mingle though more slowly and with less emphasis.

Over all: I thought Penzance was good when new, and it is, but it is absolutely wonderful when aged. In my 25 years of pipe smoking, I?ve only found 3 perfect blends, and they are all Esoterica and consider Penzance to be one of them!

Recommendation: Highly recommend it! I also recommend aging it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A nice latakia-dark pressed and sliced typical English tobacco. Anyway, let me disagree with the raving reviews here. It IS a very good and pleasant tobacco: it has a nice, clean, licorice-like taste. It crumbles great, burns cool and even, and leaves an incredibly white and pure ash. Nothing really to complain about: my rating of "Might try it again but won't keep it on hand" comes just from a simple reason... There are not many alternatives if you want a Latakia-laden pressed blend, the main ones being Old Ironsides and Pirate Kake. Well, I think that these two are vastly superior. Not because Penzance tastes badly (no real bad notes in it!), but because in comparison it is a bit empty, not as mouth-filling. Old Ironsides is a monster of strength and taste, and Pirate Kake is very thick and full thanks to the burley. So, if you want a lighter pressed Latakia blend, Penzance is great: to me, it is good, but won't fall in my "best of" category.

2 people found this review helpful.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Penzance should be the very best tobacco in the world, but it isn't. On taste alone, it has few peers. One of my favorite thrills is the first bowl of a freshly popped tin. The wax wrapper oozes more oil the my old Triumph (shift with the right foot, thank you), and the first taste makes me utter "Oh, momma!" I can't think of another English blend that has such a strong underpinning of delicious Virginias. It's incredibly smokey and lush, and completely unique in the world of pipe tobacco.

The troubles arise from the cut. The crumble cake format, though novel and, at first, nifty, proves problematic. I know of no other blend that seems to lose its essential oils as quickly as Penzance. Even in tin form, I'll take the first few bowls, and you can have the rest. Bulk is far worse. Werner Heisenberg could have offered Penzance as proof of his uncertainty principle- just LOOKING at this stuff makes it fall apart. The lightest of hands are required to handle it, lest it crumble into oblivion. The ensuing increase in surface area only serves to accelerate the decline.

Penzance is like a flower that must be appreciated before it withers and dies. But what a flower it is.

An absolute must try.

2 people found this review helpful.

Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The Penzance tobacco blend is a full English mottled flake tobacco that has seemingly achieved the status of being a classic pipe tobacco.

Penzance tobacco is tinned in a charming golden colored rectangular tin. Upon opening and pulling back the oil stained wax paper lining, a tobacco in a dark pressed block form is revealed. The tobacco block itself measures about 3.5? x 2? x .75?, and is sliced widthwise. The aroma is distinctly full, musty, and smoky. Penzance is a very well matured mixture of Virginia, Turkish, Cyprian Latakia, and other Oriental Tobaccos.

This English tobacco is presented in a crumble cake form. Each slice literally crumbles effortlessly. The slices can be rubbed out from a rough consistency to a near powder. The moisture level is conducive to a great, smooth smoke and the tobacco tends to retain this moisture level due to its pressed flake cut. Packing of Penzance is very simple and three slices will fill a medium sized pipe.

This tobacco blend takes to lighting quickly. Penzance tobacco burns clean and completely without any dottle. The room note is full and musty and may not be overly appreciated by the nonsmoker.

At first, the flavor of Penzance is full in Latakia with a very slightly sweet background creating a well-rounded taste. A very enjoyable characteristic emerges about midway through the smoke that is probably due to the interplay between the sweet Virginias and the slightly bitter Oriental tobaccos. With all characteristics being considered, this tobacco blend?s flavor can be summarized as a rich leathery English taste with interplaying between sweet and bitter/nutty tastes. Penzance smokes cool and dry with an easy draw. A slight presence of gurgling emerges about halfway through the smoke but tends to disappear as the smoke continues. This tobacco mixture yields a thicker white smoke.

Penzance tobacco is a unique smoke and is very enjoyable. All though this blend can become slightly monotone, its smooth rich flavor and great smoking characteristics make it very much enjoyable. A true evening or rainy day smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mephisto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mephisto (32)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One reviewer said dont walk, run to the tobacco store and get some Penzance. Well....I say #@&$ that get in your car get a cab just get there fast! This and Squadron Leader are with out a doubt the Best two Engish blends I have ever had and each in a category of its own within the english. Soft smooth and cool a pensive experience. Simply briliant! ============================================= Ok as an update I have noticed many people have trouble packing and lighting this particular blend and that keeps them from fully enjoying it. First remember each pipe is unique in size and smoking personality. That said I will try to give some tips that work for me with this blend.

1. Try to keep the flakes intact as they crumble easily and will dry out as well as not smoke or keep fire as well.

2. Start by very jently breakig a small quantity suficient to fill about 1/3 of the pipe (big chunks but not just a folded flake.)Level it off but do not pack down just tap it level with care.

3. The flake when rubbed out will occupy greater volume so take a bit less than before and break it up just a little bit more than the first bit. Once again fill and level dont pack down.

4. Now a lesser amount will probably get you to the top of the bowl as you take the final bit and rub it out well. It will be flufy and take to fire quite well. This part fills the rest of the bowl and just tap flat with the top of the bowl.

5. Light and it should puff up over the top of the bowl. Light well and eavenly and pack flat w/ the bowl and relight. A nice slow and long relight getting everything lit and deep should hold you to at least the bottom third of the bowl without a relight.

6. enjoy for an hour or so and then tap flat never pack this stuff and religt for a surprisinly long lasting and slow burning last third with great soft and plentifull smoke.

I hope this helps someone to enjoy this great blend. And remember it can be had in large flat bricklike bulks and if stored in say one of those porcelain seal jars with a latch and rubber gasket it will keep quite well for extended periods of time. As to the potting soil someone made reference to...well I think its earthy tones and feel are part of its charm. I guess there is no accounting for tastes right. Good luck and many relaxing moments w/ Penzance.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

This unique crumble cake is what I like to take to work with me. The small tin makes it very convenient and is also a good conversation piece. The tobacco itself is very delicious. It is not as spicy or sweet as McClelland's British Woods but is on the good-bitter end of the spectrum. I never found it a "hot" smoke which my tongue appreciates very much. The slices are at the perfect moisture and I usually stuff two and crumble the third before lighting. I rarely have to relight after the initial re-light. Highly recommended... Update: Since I have discovered so many other good blends lately, I have neglected this one for a while. Today I took my trusty tin to work and was reminded of the delicious flavor of this high quality blend. You must really try this one.It is also a good "deal" in spite of the cost per tin, because it smokes slow and usually lasts an hour and a half in my group 6 poker. (2-1/2 slices) Update 12-11-03 I have not been able to locate tins of this blend locally so I broke down and purchased a 8 oz. bulk package. The package is uniquely filled with overwhelming amounts of slices (but they won't last, heh, heh, heh...) About the only difference that I noticed is that in the bulk package the slices are a lot more moist and needed airing out before packing into your pipe. I air out a few slices at a time in order to keep the rest fresh. This is still one of my favorite tobacs. It is highly recommended. Rating 5 out of 5 points. A true Reformer Blend. Enjoy...

2 people found this review helpful.

Bootknife Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bootknife (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a full english blend with the Latakia and Virginia being the dominant flavors. The Virginia's seem to be aged well to give an enjoyable sweetness to acompany the rich but smooth flavor of the latakia. There is a SUBTLE spiciness noticible from time to time.

The pouch aroma is almost musty/earthy, and the room note, although strong, does not seem to be penetrating. I have smoked this in my truck and not been able to notice the smell the next morning.

Combined, the flavors and aromas remind me of mountain villiages in Central America; cooking fires, burning fields, blacksmith shop, diesel engines.....

It seems to work well in all size pipes by crumbling coarser-to-finer as you fill the bowl. There is always a bit of moisture buildup from the first third to half of the bowl, but this clears up after halfway. I still have yet to have it "bite" even with the moisture.

There is little if any change in flavor from start to finish. Overall, a great blend.

While I do not think non-smokers would share my enthusiasm for the aroma, I recommend it highly to lovers of english blends. I only smoke this on occasion, but would smoke it more often if it were a little bit closer to my budget. But it is worth the price, and when I do buy it, it is in the 8 oz bag, not the tins.

2 people found this review helpful.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Not to belabor this tobacco's properties, I,like others, have been looking about for a Krumble Kake, since the demise of Bengal Slices. Yes there is another, which I won't mention here, however, that is a bit dry for my taste. Dry, would not be the packaging description of this tobacco, like others from the Channel Islands, Jersey in fact, it comes a bit moist, so some air would help in the lighting process, not to mention the wet/hot smoke one may encounter. As the description reads, a typical English on the surface as far as the contents are concern, but like most tobaccos, the secret is in the blending. A full smoke, that will satisfy all who enjoy Latakia, with just the perfect accompaniment of Virginia's, Orientals, and Turkish. There are, but a few, that go to the top shelf, and this is certainly one. One word of caution however, unless your familiar with a Krumble Kake type of tobacco, take heed as to the method of loading your bowl, simular to DBE, in that the bowl can be over packed! In conclusion, a great tobacco, that will only get better with aging. Stock up! Cheers, Larry

2 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Aroma: Seems to be predominantly Cyprian Latakia, with a small percentage of Turkish. The background is Virginias, but I could not differentiate any particular vaieties.

Packing: Since it crumbles so well, it packs by gravity into any size pipe.

Lighting: Takes to burning easily, but does need a tamp or two before it settles down.

Initial flavor: The Latakia jumps right up and grabs me, a slightly sweet but very smokey flavor. There is a spicy, musty Turkish flavor in the background, and way down there is the Virginia. It mosly serves to hold the blend together, rather than to add much flavor. Could I be that there is some Burley in the blend? Craig Tarler?s Pirate Kake uses Burley, but I haven?t tried it yet.

Mid-bowl: Burns cool, yet stays lit well. I guess this is the result of the cut. The flavor is still heavy Latakia, lighter Turkish and not a not much else. No significant layering, but tasty enough not to be boring.

Finish: Does not get harsher at the bottom, smokes quite dry, and leaves a nice white ash.

Summary: A nice enough English blend, but lacking the complexities and subtleties I enjoy. There are many other blends I prefer to this one, but that?s just my tase. It is certainly of the highest quality, and is worth try if you like lots of Latakia

2 people found this review helpful.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

I believe that this is my favorite full English blend from Esoterica. The burning properties are excellent and the flavor is better than either Margate or And So to Bed; if those two were standard lagers, this one would be Guinness Stout. As a deep, relaxing blend after a big meal, it has few equals; it's especially good in a very large pipe. The smell in the bag is strong Latakia, a musty, rich smell obvious even through a sealed bag. The sample came as mostly crumbled cake, broken into many different fragment sizes, and the moisture level was rather low. It packs easily and lights quickly, burning through a bowl with a below-average number of relights required. In the first third of the bowl, the taste is that of strong, rich, and very full Latakia. This is obviously a strong English blend, and the deep, leathery flavor reflects that. On first light and subsequent relights, there is also a sourish background note whose origin I can't quite place. The smoke is not overly smooth, but it certainly isn't harsh or biting. Moving into the second third, the taste is becoming even darker, maturing into a remarkably full and satisfying flavor. There is good complexity present as well, several layers of flavor being noticeable under the dense Latakia richness. There is a bit of a moisture problem at this point, but it is quickly taken care of with a single pipe cleaner. In the final third, the flavor remains dark and full. I believe that this is what Webster had in mind when he defined the word "rich"; it is truly a satisfying smoke. The sourness upon relighting has mostly faded, and the Latakia mingles well with the lesser tobaccos also present. There were no more moisture problems after mid-bowl, and no bite at any time. Overall, this is one of the few English blends I would call truly outstanding. It is full and rich enough to satisfy just about any English blend smoker, and the burning properties are excellent. The Latakia flavor is almost overwhelming, but in a good way! I strongly recommend this tobacco to anyone looking for that dark, complex after dinner blend. I already have more of it on order!

2 people found this review helpful.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

One of the downsides of having found your One True Blend is missing out on treats like this. Spurred out into the tobacco wilderness by my beloved Balkan Sobranie getting low, I thought I had discovered an acceptable replacement in Bengal Slices, only to discover that it too is no more. After trying a variety of blends that varied from disappointing (Pelican) to actually awful, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this blend, it is much spicier than Bengal Slices, although not as spicy as Sobranie, but definitely something that has moved to the top of the list of Blends I Could Be Happy With.

Opening the tin revealed a waxed paper lining dotted with oil from the leaves. The flakes appear to be mostly Latakia with a bit of virginia, as well as a moderate amount of orientals. They rub out easier than Bengal Slices while still offering the tunability of the slice form, so you can rub it more coarsely for smoking outdoors for example. This tobacco can be rubbed directly into the bowl instead of having to make multiple rubbing passes into the lid as with most Virginia flakes (and Bengal Slices). Upon rubbing, it appears that the "slices" are more of a crumble cake than a virginia-style slice, in that the fully rubbed-out form is more of a cube cut than ribbon cut. So you probably don't want to rub this stuff out all the way.

I crumbled two slices into a trusty Ashton XX Bent Bulldog, the first one extremely coarsely, and the second one increasingly fine as I reached the top. The tobacco lit up quickly, instantly showing its flavor and wonderful aroma. Within a few seconds of the second light it had settled down into a creamy smokiness similar to Bengal Slices. After a few minutes, the spicy flavor gradually intensified and the flavor stabilized into a nice balance of spicy, creamy smokiness that lasted all the way to the bottom. I found this to be a fairly dry-tasting tobacco, with a hint of saltiness, so I suspect at least some of the oriental is Yenidje. I found Penzance a slow-smoking tobacco, it lasted two hours while my other favorite blends generally last only about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. The first half of the bowl was a bit moist (although typical for slices imo), but it dried out during the second half.

According to the wife, the room aroma reminded her of vanilla.

Wonderful stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

Bear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bear (24)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

How did I get through twenty five some odd years of not trying Penzance? I know, smartass, it hasn't been around for twenty five years, it was rhetorical, sheesh! I've got plenty of Latakia blends laying around, some pretty good, some, like G.L.Pease's Renaissance, so good that Beelzebub himself must have been involved. I need another Latakia blend like I need more scalp line..... But a pal (Michael Peebles) sent me some, and "what the Hell".... Packaging: Small Tin suggesting, if nothing else, that something "precious" was inside. Appearance and Aroma: Nice oil pooled on the paper in which the weed was stored. Pretty, well made strips that rubbed out astonishingly easily. Aroma was typical Latakia/ English with maybe a hint of earthiness. Test Drive: When fire hit weed, it was apparent that Penzance was indeed a well made English. Well made, but I wouldn't displace any of My Pease English for it. As I smoked it, however, like most good English, it developed, and HOW it developed. Like most of you I've had it up to here (insert hand held high) with lame music analogies with regard to tobacco. Sometimes, it's all a poor writer with no imagination has to explain critical differences. Since I fit the above description, screw it, I'll use one. If my "Grail", Renaissance, is a lavish symphony, with many diverse elements pulling together to create a memorable piece of art. Penzance is the opening of Beethoven's Ninth, fourth movement, Vocal leads. With a Tenor, Baritone, Soprano, and Contralto forming simple and yet heavenly sounds that somehow both soothe and excite at the same time. For those of you living in Gila Bend. Penzance is not as complex as some, but decidedly forthright, honest and delicious on it's own terms. Indeed, I think any tinkering to add extra contrived nuance would diminish it. Conclusion: Penzance, indeed richly deserves a place in the Pantheon of fine English Blends 8 out of 10 Bear Claws.

Bear

2 people found this review helpful.

BTGreenwald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BTGreenwald (6)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Man this stuff is great.. I cellared a bag at the beginning of last year. Consider that bag out of the cellar and rapidly diminishing.

I am not adept at tasting and identifying the nuances of blends.. But working on it. So many exiting and tasty things are simultaneously occurring with the Penz (as I affectionately call it) that I cannot settle down to focus on just one of them. There is a rose parade of flavor going inside my mouth. What a privelage to smoke Penzance!

I keep reading the new reviews that come up every so often and I can't help but wonder if I've started my pipe smoking days off with one of the greats.. Worrisome.

Pipe Used: PETERSON XL SHERLOCK

Age When Smoked: 1 year cellared

Purchased From: Briar Shop, Houston

Similar Blends: Wish I knew! I'd buy some cause Penzance is a bear to find!.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bigdadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bigdadz (30)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I got my hand on several tins of this stuff before it got overrated and sold out on every continent. It is a quality english mixture, with oily flakes that quickly crumble into fine pieces. I enjoyed a few tins, but I found the flavour a little too tarry and I am simply not a fan of this type of cut. I actually gave a tin to a friend, and sent back some tins to Richard in order to exchange them for other english blends I enjoy more. As far as Esoterica goes, I prefer "And so to bed".

1 person found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (27)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

Penzance is a classic, there's no doubt about it. It's a truly amazing smoke—smooth, smokey, bacony, not your usual English blend, that's for sure. My bowl lasted nearly an hour—an hour of pure bliss. This blend is a true credit to the art of blending tobacco (God knows what's in it, though). Now I know why it's so hard to hunt down, it's good, really good. If you have a chance to buy it at a reasonable price, do so. I'd like to thank Bobby G at Pipes & Cigars for the 8 oz. bag he sold me (at retail, no less, thanks much!). Because of its scarcity, I will enjoy it only on occasion. Highly recommended.

Cheers!

Pipe Used: Molina bent

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Lil Toast Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lil Toast (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Everybody and their mother has heard of Penzance and for good reason, this blend is amazing. There is something about it that is just magical. Every tobacco in it works together to create an unbelievable smoking experience. The Latakia and Virginias are the main flavors of note, but don't dismiss the orientals as they meld in like they should. A cool smokey with a slight tang flavor and a hint of sweetness as well. Something in this blend makes ur mouth feel cool kinda like menthol although in no way does the penzance taste like it, it's just the feeling, the way it coats ur mouth, it's just perfect. It truly is a shame that Penzance is hard to get now, how people buy it out and hoard it, and worst of all are those who buy it only to sell on eBay for ridiculously price gouged amounts, this goes against everything the pipe community is about. But besides that, Penzance is awesome and is easily in my top 5 favorite English blends. Do ur self a favor, buy or trade for some, but please don't do the eBay thing or pay their incredibly inflated prices. Boom.

Pipe Used: Any

Age When Smoked: Varied

Purchased From: My cellar

Similar Blends: Nothing.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A TWIN REVIEW BY COMPARISON:

Margate is a maiden while Penzance is a matriarch. "Margate is to the morning, what Penzance is to the evening." These two are exotic, loving, sister-wives to be sure, but only "just." Both are lady-like in that neither will reward you with their secret dainties unless treated with dignity and respect. However, approached with gentle hands and patience, they will both yield their hidden delights and favor you with their mysterious and oriental treasures. I love both of these, my Macedonian wives. Esoterica has a harem of these ladies, and Penzance and Margate are the most favored women among them. Once you have been seduced by both, you cannot do without either. All others pale in comparison.

Upon opening, both have a fragrance that tantalize the senses with veiled promises of things to come. Upon lighting, wait for them to warm until they unfold with that soft, unique, slipstream fragrance that you long for. The lingering, haunting, room aroma is uniquely "Esoterica". From there, and until the end of the experience, there is nothing else that compares. It is Beulah Land!

So what then is the difference? Well it is subtle but real. Margate is a tad crisper, tangier, while Penzance is softer, more mature and deeper. The first is a tease, while the latter is a lover. Again, "Margate is to the morning, what Penzance is to the twilight, the evening, and the black and dark night." Like virtuous women, they are hard to come by, but well worth the wait. If you find them, keep them. They are faithful to their man. Four heavenly stars! Enjoli' !!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Smoking Sam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking Sam (20)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This has been my most enjoyable smoke to date.

I had almost given up on trying this tobacco blend, due to its unavailability. I also REFUSE to pay the high price of eBay scalpers. So, it was with much surprise and pleasure, when I found four ounces of bulk at my local tobacconist. Did I buy it all? You betcha.

First impressions? Wow! An interesting, jet black, cut flake. Taste? Sweetness. Latakia. Mellowness. The Perique and Orientals harmonizing perfectly. A super pleasant lingering aftertaste. Wonderful nose exhale. Good even burn. This stuff is nice! I can see why it is so highly regarded. Frankly, the mild but complex taste, of all the perfectly blended tobacco varietals, just blew me away.

During my next visit to the local tobacco shop, I expressed my pleasure at my initial bowl. None in stock - anywhere. I asked the owner to put me down on the waiting list for an eight oz. bag or two - not to sell, but to smoke and enjoy. Two days later, on a Sunday, I get a phone call. My tobacconist had located two, eight ounce bags, and wanted to know if I was still interested. I found it hard not to break the speed limit getting to the shop. Price? $32 for each eight oz. bag. My recommendation - it pays to buy locally.

This tobacco has set the bar for me - I absolutely love it. I may stumble across a Virginia or English blend that I like as well or better, but for now, this is my favorite. Highly recommended. 4 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

RonPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonPiper (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

After reading nothing but good things about Penzance I really wanted to try it. Not an easy blend to find but I was fortunate to locate some in bulk. I could smell this blend through the packaging. I wonder if the mail lady was picking this up while it was riding along with her. My first impression was that this stuff smells great! Reminded my of a woodsy smokehouse beef jerky kinda aroma with a hint of latakia hanging around. I looked at the clock and it was no where near 5:30, it would have to wait till I got home. Penzance requires little if any rubbing out. It does rub out very nicely though. I let it dry for about 20 minutes to let it "breathe" a bit. I loaded it up, got my Makers Mark Bourbon and I was good to go. The initial light and the first draw was freaking incredible! This was going to be good.... Two relights later, I settled into what was going to be one of if not the BEST bowls I ever enjoyed. I did'nt even touch the bourbon because I wanted a one on one with this fantastic blend. Incredibly smooth and flavorful from start to finish. Towards the end of the bowl I was picking up a sweetness almost as if I was tasting the briar along with with the tobacco. It was like they got married and was getting along extremely well. Remember when you were a kid and your mom gave you a pudding cup and your were enjoying that pudding cup but after you was finished you were kinda sad cause you had no more pudding and you wanted more? Thats the way I felt. I looked in my briar and all I saw was a fine ash. I smiled real big because I'm in control of the pudding now. Smooth, flavorful, pure bliss in one very hard to fine tobacco. I did finish my bourbon afterwards reflecting on the incredible bowl I just smoked and how lucky I was to find it. Definitely purchase some if you can find it.

Makin' my wife rich one bowl at a time.

1 person found this review helpful.

Prince Andrei Nikolaevich Bolkonsky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Prince Andrei Nikolaevich Bolkonsky (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

There is nothing in the world that quite tastes like this blend. It is consistent all the way through, one of the few tobaccos that smells exactly like the smoke tastes, and the aftertaste that lingers with you is also the same. It is magical in a way.

TwoXseveN nailed it with the poem.

Godfrey, can you provide me with some contact information so that we might talk about getting ahold of some of your tins?

1 person found this review helpful.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (41)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Upon first lighting one is delighted by a smoky latakia and strangely phenolic aroma. The comparison to Laphroaig is spot on in its iodine tartness and malty sweetness. About halfway through the bowl something strange happens. Colored scarves cover your lampshades, a twinkling of bells in the distance ring with conspicuous augmented 2nds, dark eyes peer at you from behind the veil, wise men from the Orient bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, wave upon wave of spices greet your nose and at this point ladies and gentlemen, you have entered Penzance...

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This wonderful crumble cake typically comes moist. This is just fine with me since drying is not a problem and overly wet is better than overly dry. With that said, I have found that many, including myself, enjoy English blends on the dryer side, so after letting this dry for about 8 hours it loaded very easily, lit well and smoked superbly. I very much enjoyed the moderate to heavy volume of cool smoke and the taste/aroma was wonderful. The blended components joined very well with each other and this is and has been my favorite blend for some time. Though it is hard to find sometimes, I am fortunate that I know of a local B&M which often has the 8oz bags in stock. The little 2oz tins are great too for holding a few bowls worth to carry around on oneself, though they seem considerably harder to find. Highly Recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (50)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

So I scored a pound in April-2 eight oz bags, looked to be a year old or so when I recd them. Canned 1/2 under heat immediately, left one bag sealed. I am finishing first "tin-full" of that bag-10 months later. I've smoked several English and Lat prevalent blends, of which NightCap, Legends, Maltese Falcon rule, but this stuff can't be fit into a strict category.

To start with, this baccy crumbles with a grimacing look, no force needed. It crumbles perfectly though, I mean that, perfect every time.

It burns thoroughly, burns with little effort, is forgiving to relights and generates smooth buttery smoke, easy on the nose with retro-haling.

The lats and orientals stand out over any Virginias, and the taste profile has some flavoring I cannot-with the 10+ bowls I have consumed, attach a description except to say its slightly medicinal....? It's tasty, can become somewhat sweet for a puff or two, then return to profile just as quickly.

My only beef-minor though it may be, is that the taste coats the tongue and stays there for quite some time-to the point where it limits what other tobaccos can be properly enjoyed for hours after sampling Penzance.

It is fantastic, it's in a class by itself. I will be on the lookout for more this year, I bet it ages gracefully :)

1 person found this review helpful.

SmoothingIt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmoothingIt (5)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At this moment, there are already 342 other reviews of the much sought after Penzance. There is little on its intricacies that I can write so I will simply offer an opinion of this gift from above.

To me, Penzance is the perfect blend. It smokes well, tastes incredible, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. It truly is the holy grail of pipe tobaccos.

I rarely get to enjoy this as an all day smoke due to the lack of quantity available. I typically smoke Squadron Leader as an all- day smoke and keep my Penzance for special occasions and moments when I feel that I deserve a special treat.

I have found two bits of information helpful when it comes to Penzance that will aid you in your smoking bliss. 1. It seems that tinned Penzance smokes and tastes better than the larger bags. 2. It is too moist when first opened. Allow it to dry to your liking prior to your planned time for smoking.

There is a reason that people buy it out as soon as a shop gets any on its shelves. There is a reason that it has been talked about so much for so long. Simply put, it is the best smoke on the market.

1 person found this review helpful.

halpuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
halpuff (9)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable

Being fairly new to the English blends I found myself falling in love with Latakia and have found a few blends containing it that I really enjoy. However, with the idea that more is better I began my quest for what many believe to be the epitome of the Latakia blends and was quickly directed toward Penzance being described by many as the graile of Latakia.

Quickly discovering that there was none to be purchased, I began my search for a sample or partial tin that an owner might be willing to trade and was lucky enough to acquire a good amount by networking through many people.

After acquiring some Penzance, then came the wait...the anticipation...the wonderment of what I was about to experience. And finally it began to arrive.

Upon opening a tin I was greeted with the visual and aroma of a mysterious and exotic experience that surrounds this highly cherished and coveted prize. Delicatly thin slices neatly stacked on edge and tightly compact with an addition of fine crumbs piled on top before the closing of the lid. The tin aroma was undescribably pleasant. The tobacco, mostly dark, speckled and rich.

So delicate, it was impossible to remove a single flake without it breaking apart so I simply began removing crumbled sections of several flakes from one end of the tin and spread the the array of various pieces out on paper to dry overnight.

Next morning, I found my favorite bench in the park on a gorgeous Saturday fall morning. No wind at all made it perfect for my rendevous with Penzance.

That day, over the course of three hours in the park I had two bowls of Penzance spaced apart by an hour or so and in two different pipes and concluded the following:

First bowl was in a medium size GBD Billiard that has always been my dedicated English tobacco pipe. The second bowl was in my fairly large three quarter bent. I gravity fed larger chunks first and then topped these off with finer crumbs with one very light tamp. I found that drying the tobacco out overnight helped in the lighting and it only took two matches to start and keep the bowl going along with periodic and butterfly soft tamps which only required one additional relight to take it to the bottom of the bowl. I found this to be the case with both pipes.

I finally concluded at the end of my day with Penzance that there is truth to the saying that more is not necessarilly better. I believe that Penzance will one day be for me as it is with many of the conniseurs of the pipe. However, for me right now I found that my tolerance for Latakia is much lower than I had thought it to be. Even though I sipped slowly this tobacco experience, I found Penzance to still be too much on the strong side for my liking. So strong in fact that I had difficulty concentrating on discovering any of the other nuances or complexities of the blend. I felt the Latakia over powered these other qualities.

I do not plan on giving up on Penzance and perhaps it will one day be as exciting to me as it is to many others and I will in time and with experience understand why.

I still however very much recommend this blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

PipeLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeLover (16)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Been smoking pipes for about 2 years. Never smoked before that. And since about 2 years ago I've been wanting to try this, but was not able to get any. So finally I got a tin last month.

Opened the tin, took some out and let it dry for about 30 minutes before smoking it. Tin aroma is latakia, like any other, great but nothing special.

Packed the bowl and lit up... BAMMMM! The best latakia blend I have ever smoked in my pipe career, so far. And I have smoked all the highest reviewed lat blends. Not the heavenly experience I was expecting, but VERY VERY GOOD.

No too strong, not too weak, just right for me. Bowl aroma is that of a freshly baked cake. Room not is pleasant to me. Taste is just right, with no lat smoked ham aftertaste. Burns well, with few relights. The tobacco texture in the tin is unlike any I have encountered before. Black flakes, that are quite brittle.

If you can get some, DO IT. I love Penzance. Sadly can not be a daily smoke because of its hard to find status.

Update: I was able to find a pound recently. Happy camper! : )

1 person found this review helpful.

JustOneforMe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustOneforMe (28)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Objective: Moderate moisture, the cake crumbles easily and dries well. Smallish tin fits in pocket or carrying case well. Produces a great volume of smoke. Price in Bulk 8oz bag is quite reasonable. Difficult to find online, but my local B&M has an ample supply, I'm quite fortunate.

Subjective: This is the tobacco I find myself wanting to smoke most often. It has a wonderful complexity, burns very well, the smoke is creamy and moderately stout. I have gotten lost and almost fallen asleep smoking this in the late hours, it relaxes me so. In my opinion, this is the best English available on the market.

1 person found this review helpful.

Arno665 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arno665 (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

07.30 am on a weekly day. Beepbeepbeep I awake startled, set off the alarm and smack a few times with my mouth. Jeepers! What a flavor, what did I do yesterday? My sleepy brain sits down to work. What did I ate last night.. Noodles with chicken. No it's not that. What have I been drinking? Water from the tap, it's not that. Did I do certain things with my girlfriend? Nope, she's not here on weekly days. Oh wait! I remember! Yesterday I smoked Esoterica Tobacciana Penzance! The tobacco that you enjoy extra long no matter what you eat and how well you brush your teeth.

Package: The by JF Germain and Son on the British Channel Islands made Penzance comes in two packages. 1. A tiny gold tin of 2 oz. with a label that could be printed on a standard house, garden and kitchen printer. 2. An airtight bag in which the loose tobacco occupies 8 oz. Personally, I use a tin which I fill up with Penzance from the bigger bag when it is empty.

Contents/composition: "Finest English mottled flake" says the tin. It is a wonderful complex secret recipe of the finest Virginia, choice Turkish, Orientals and Cyprian Latakia. All hand blended together, hard pressed and broad cut into thick flakes. This is what they call a crumble cake (no not THE Krumble Kake) and it is a rightful name. The tobacco already crumbles when you shout too hard at it: Clan (from Theodorus Niemeyer) is the best tobacco ever!!

Smell from the tin: Wow, uhm .. Fierce, penetrating, leathery, earthy. If you know the smell of a freshly plowed field when it has just rained just know what I mean. Seasoned pipe smokers who can not smoke in the vicinity of their girlfriend / wife, you simply have to smell it to get a kick out of it. I think that when you leave it half open on the ground it would make a fine ant-exterminator.

Roomnote: Too bad the tin is so small. Otherwise they could have added: This tobacco scares away mosquitoes, birds, rats, nagging wives and door-to-door salesmen.

Taste: The first time I lit it, I just thought: Whoa! Greasy smoke and flavor! Latakia! You can say that other tobaccos are coffee but this is espresso. I also tasted an aftertaste that I could not place untill a number of pipes later: salty licorice (a candy in Holland)! Not that that dominates in a nasty way, it actually belongs to the whole experience. The pipe tobacco remains remarkably similar tasting through the bowl with hints of Orientals and Virginia but this is not boring. A class act from the creators! Disadvantage, oh well, disadvantage, depending on how you look at it, the taste lingers in your mouth for a loooong time. As described above, you have fun of it the next morning and afternoon. Avoid actions and intimate conversations with family and colleagues.

Combustibility: The flakes are very moist / oily. It is recommended that you let them dry out a while before smoking. The flakes from the large 8 oz. bag are even more wet / oily. Once you've lit the pipe they burn a looooong time. I lit a pipe at the beginning of a soccer match. At the end of the match I was not through yet..

Varia: The tobacco crumbles easy so filling the pipe is even for folks who are not used to flakes not too difficult. If the pipe is filled you need to gently treat the tobacco and when smoking don't tamp too hard. If you are too heavy handed with the tobacco, you get a wet lump at the bottom of the bowl. Talking about the bowl, I discovered that this tobacco tasted the best in a somewhat larger, relatively shallow bowl. In a Peterson 317 the tobacco tasted the most intense. In a slightly larger Peterson 303 it was a little more mellow. I liked Penzance best in a Prince model pipe. That is when you give the tobacco the opportunity to really shine. As for the vitamin N, I found this tobacco to be spot on. It makes me nice and relaxed but without any side effects.

Price: Penzance is very difficult to obtain, and that is going on for years now. Occasionally a small shipment is sold in a (online) tobacco shop but when the great crowd of Penzance enthusiasts discovers that, it is sold out in no time. If you have the luck to be there on time than you pay for a tin ± $ 10.79 and a bag ± $ 28.95. Of course you can often buy Penzance on ebay, but those prices.. pheww And as it takes longer for a new shipment to arrive, the prices only get higher..

Conclusion: Because of the scarcity of the tobacco people begin to make comparisons with Balkan Sobranie and Bengal Slices. There is great fear that Penzance also disappears (Ok, Balkan Sobranie is back now..). Although that is not true and there is no evidence for it. The thing is that there are so many fans that JF Germain and Son can not keep up with the production. But the equations and large fan base do point out one thing: this is a good tobacco! The first times with a too small, narrow bowl I liked moderately. In a somewhat larger, relatively shallow bowl I was heading towards the same heaven as when I smoke Balkan Sobranie. This is good stuff of great quality! Not for everyday use, but if you're sitting on your own in the evening in your living room or porch without having to do anything, Penzance is your best friend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Milan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Milan (1)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Penzance has been a hard to come by blend here in the U.S. most of 2011. I recently found tins available at a very affordable price. So finally... I have tried the legendary blend.

Upon first smoke I believed the blend to be hype, but a number of bowls later came to understand why this blend has become so popular with so many pipe smokers. This truly is a complex blend.

I carefully tried to maintain the flake when pulling it from the tin, folded it twice and stuffed it into a bent brandy egg. I went back to the tin for a half flake, repeated, and finished with a sprinkle of shake to top the bowl off. The tobacco smells slightly smokey, is moist, and wants to crumble naturally.

The initial light brought an immediate leathery earth, semi-sweet, and smokey flavor to the palate. It was an easy light and stayed lit following the initial tamp. The depth of earthy flavors faded and were exchanged for flavors of nut and chocolate. This surprised me for the blend does not knowingly have burley present. The flavors melded and were constantly held by a subtle presence of latakia throughout.

A relight was in order about half way down the bowl at which time the flavors began to take on a very forward floral undertone, both in taste and in scent. The chocolate, nut, earth, and smokey flavors carried through until the final relight. The turkish became heady and ever present prior to the last relight.

The main flavor present following the final relight was caramel. It remained until the end of the bowl and was accompanied by a wisp of leather and earth while holding on to the ever subtle presence of latakia.

One of the most complex blends I have smoked to date. I would recommend it to any pipe smoker looking for a thought provoking experience that will leave you wanting more.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A signature blend from Esoterica. I have a couple of tins sitting around in my pipe humidor for when I get the urge for this unique blend. I can understand how someone can say that the latakia used here is quite strong and complex, but I certainly wouldn't classify the aroma on the periodic table. Having said that, I love the interplay of latakia and virginia--the latter being the glue that holds the whole thing together. Very well done and great presentation too.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (217)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

WARNING, IF YOU LIKE PENZANCE , DO NOT READ !!! ............................. PLEASE READ TO END WITH UPDATE of 4/20/12 !!

It has been a hard time obtaining a tin of this well reviewed and highly sort after blend and I was ready for a treat. Upon opening the tin I was hit by a familiar scent that I couldn't put my finger on, it was hidden behind the nice smoky latakia. I proceeded to smoke a bowl and noticed the scent stayed with the entire bowl and added to the flavor, I wasn't sure if I really liked it??? What was it??? A few more bowls and I was sure I tasted and smelled that hidden aroma. Then it came to me, but first I asked my wife to smell the tin and asked her opinion. She sniffed and sniffed and said it was on the tip of her tongue, then I told her, "IODINE" , she exclaimed ," yes". I can't even open the tin anymore. Sorry to anyone who loves this blend and read this review, Please tell me I'm wrong.

Clarification : I can see from some of the comments about my review, that some reviewers never had the pleasure of having your Mom apply some povidone-IODINE to your cut. I guess you need to be at least 55 years old to remember, as they replaced Iodine with less painful over the counter antiseptics, although you can probably still buy it. You only needed to experience the sting once and the smell would be etched. Today, if you go for any major surgery they "slather you up" with a reddish solution called BETADINE, this contains 10% povidone-iodine but the smell is there. FYI, it is NOT an Ammonia smell, as some reviewers have claimed, which I am all too familiar with. That would be the Ammonia smell found in most tins of snuff tobaccos.

I know, who cares, well I wouldn't be surprised if Esoterica was using a top coating of Betadine as an anti mold inhibitor in part of their " secret recipe". If I was a lover of this blend, I would personally try a misting of "Betadine" on some "Pirate Kake" and see if I didn't have a new cheap way of obtaining Penzance!!!.

Oh, and thank you reviewer "Kokinhenik" for your homework on the other reviews calling out Iodine, I did not know that.

I told you not to read my review!!!!! ...............................................................

UPDATED -4/20/12 YOU REALLY HAVE TO READ " THE REST OF THE STORY" !!!!!

First I wanted to fill in the gaps from my original review: Upon originally opening the tin and noticing the "Iodine" smell and taste( see original review above ), I proceeded to spread the tobacco out on the table to see if I could air the Iodine out of the tobacco. After three days there was no difference in the intensity , when you walked into the room, you were hit by a scent from eight feet away. Now the tobacco was bone dry. My wife told me to either throw out the "science experiment " or she would! I collected the tobacco , stuffed it back in the tin, this was no small task as the tobacco flakes turned to dust at even a slight touch. I placed a small humidifying puck in the tin for a few days and upon opening the tin, the tobacco was at a perfect humidity but the "damn Iodine" scent wafted from the tin. I closed the tin and sealed it with a hot glue gun and threw it in the cellar.

Now, fast forward to the present time almost 6 months later.

I kept reading the great reviews and said to myself," I'm going to try this again" . I unsealed the tin and upon opening , Iodine smell wafted from the tin. I didn't care, I was going to try another pipe, same result, the scent translated to the taste. Overall, I would say that the strength of the scent was about 50% of what I remembered when I first opened the tin 6 months earlier . Still not smokable. I covered the tin and left it on the table for a week.

I then reread some of the reviews from this site and in particular, reviewer "Darth Vader" 10/28/11, who has claimed that the scent was caused by a mold problem, my only disagreement was this was not an ammonia scent. So I went back to the tin to see if I could detect any mold. Upon opening the tin again, I was ready for my blast of Iodine, but IT WAS GONE, not just reduced, but 100% GONE, without a trace of Iodine scent????? I'm smoking a great big bowl of it right now and it is wonderful and totally without Iodine scent or taste.

I did look for mold with a magnifying glass and couldn't see anything obvious but there were a few suspicious flakes. I can see why this is rated 4 stars but I will never be able to give it 4 , just on my bad experience. I especially want to thank reviewer , "Darth Vader" for being so persuasive, and causing me to check and recheck.

1 person found this review helpful.

OldComoyYoungGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OldComoyYoungGuy (6)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Penzance is a wonderful blend that I tend to smoke more in the fall than in any other time of year. It has a wonderfully deep flavor with a nice thick body to it. I would say not to try to smoke this blend to fast. It always wants to burn nice and slow at its own pace for me and if I try to speed it up I lose the flavor quickly. This blend sometimes requires more relights than others due to its cut and crumbly nature. The only bad thing I can say is after a day or two in your pouch the flake will have fully crumbled, but who cares right? As it seems nigh impossible to obtain these days I am very happy to have 8 ozs cellared away and two more tins for ready smoking.

Can be very wet out of the tin/8oz bag and requires some drying.

1 person found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As a Brit, getting hold of this stuff is impossible, same goes for all of Esoterica's 'British made' tobacco. (Made here in the British Isles but we redcoats cant get it?!?!)

Luckily Pipes and Pleasures of Columbus Ohio had this in stock, and I managed to order 'some' which a friend who lives in Ohio collected for me and sent over to the UK. He managed this strategically by 'repackaging' tins and sending them over as fishing tackle!

Anyway onto Penzance the weed;

Never been one for hype, it's always disappointing. However this on the other hand really is something else. I can totally see why people will sell their kids/cars/& wives to try and get this stuff.

Exceptionally smooth oriental and latakia blend with those two weeds being the main players. Lovely plumes of white smoke to boot! I personally taste the orientals over the latakia. Hints of a sweetness are there but what elevates this from all the other English's I have tried is its totally silky smooth and creamy pure effortless smoke. It has zero bite and zero heat.

"I am not a man" - (tobacco)....."I am Cantona!" - (Penzance)

It looks and smells as if it's been prepared in a large wood shed in some dark deep earthy damp forest. Yum Yum!

The best English I've tried to date. The smoothness and flavour are sublime, and it is to date my favourite smoke.

Am concerned though that I may now not smoke anything else!!

Bugger...

1 person found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The less available this becomes, the more people are going to seek it. Kinda like the forbidden-fruit.

I like this blend. As a matter of fact, if my fellow pipers stay on the ball, you can find this if you get on certain etailers email list. That is how I came upon a pound of this. But do not hesitate, because once they advise this is in stock it goes in a matter of minutes.

I really cannot add to the hundreds of reviews here, but this is a solid, complex blend that delivers the perfect strength and balance of what a great Enlish flake should. Only thing that I do not like about this flake is how small the pieces of tobacco are cut. Almost impossible not to suck up pieces upon light up.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I finally got a couple tins of Esoterica Penzance - one over-priced from an online tobacco scalper and one fairly-priced from an ebay pipe smoker. Two days after I ordered these tins, Cupojoes had 8 ounce bags for about $30, but they were gone the next day.

I'm not sure of the production date. The tobacco seemed wet but had tiny (salt?) crystals that may have taken awhile to form. It took three lights but then it burned perfectly to the bottom of the bowl.

People at the outdoor cafe where I smoked probably have never seen anyone as into their pipe as I was for my first bowl of Penzance, or my second bowl 20 minutes later. It's good. If you don't love Virginia and Latakia, then don't try it - leave it for me. I have probably only smoked one other tobacco which is better, and it's a close race. But I'll never review that one.

Update: I read some other reviews of Penzance online. It seems the crystals on the tobacco were probably sugar. Some of the reviews mention flakes--my tin did not have any flakes to speak of--it's appearance was that of rich garden soil, as someone here mentioned previously. Although I rated this 4 stars, I do not mean to suggest it is exquisite leaf. Rather, it is a solid tobacco that should be an everyday smoke for those who love it. The manufacturer should double the wholesale price to let the blend go to those who appreciate it, and to prevent over-hoarding and scalping.

Update 2: I'm over Penzance. It's too rich, while still remaining middle-of-the-road. It lacks something for me--maybe not enough Oriental? I've realized I like good clean English blends rather than dark, compressed, soil-y tobaccos. Less processed seems to equal more pure. Maybe it's the warmer temperatures? It's springtime now. Downgrading to 3.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium Strong

Probably one of the most beloved tobaccos available today, if you call its current status available. I have one tin opened and 9 unopened tins from '07 in my cellar. This opened tin has been "breathing" for a month or so now. It's not my first go-round with this esteemed blend.

I don't mind the presentation, a "krumble kake". I've found it's best not to let it get too dry even though it always seems wetter than I prefer my tobacco. It loads and lights easy. The burn is very good and rarely needs relights.

The tin aroma is smokey and its appearance is predominantly dark, black in fact with some light strands here and there. Its flavors consist of a campfire-like background with some spice on the nose which I like. It's sometimes buttery, sometimes bitter, but rarely sweet. The latakia seems in just about the correct proportion to not overpower the Orientals which dominate the flavor. If there's Virginia in Penzance I can't taste them.

I can see why this is such a popular blend and everyone should try it at least once. For some reason, perhaps its lack of nicotine (in a word, wimpy) or its lack of sweetness, I have never been able to get excited about Penzance. I like what's there, but it's missing something important to me. Still, I have to recommend it. It's got a lot of good qualities including the high quality leaf it's composed of. You could do a lot worse.

1 person found this review helpful.

rattdogg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rattdogg (33)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I quit smoking English blends about ten years ago. It seemed they had all become bland or "thin" in taste wanting for something that was no longer in the ingredients. One day a couple of months ago I picked up a tin of Penzance on a whim. BAM! There was the taste from a quarter century before. Penzance is red meat and hearty burgandy. It demands your attention. It reminds me of some of the great English blends of the 1970's. This is the only English I now smoke and the only one I desire. You owe it to yourself to try it. Very highly recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

Charlie Allnut Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Charlie Allnut (16)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Yes, in the old days, when he used to run rum out of Mexico and I was on the other side. We used to swap shots between drinks, or drinks between shots, whichever you like.

1 person found this review helpful.

japanpipeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
japanpipeman (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I think I like this a bit better than Special Latakia Flake. The taste is similar, but with something else I can't quite pinpoint (I've never had Laphroaig, but maybe that's the best comparison). It's tasty, it's easy to handle (a big plus over SLF), and it burns nicely down to a fine ash. It's too bad it's so difficult to get. It's great tobacco, but I can do without it as availability of SLF or Holly's Discovery is not a problem where I live and they satisfy my fix just as well. Still, I am very happy to have a couple of tins of this wonderful stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A caveat to those who actually read my following review: I am not a English fiend....the majority of what gets burned in my bowls are Virginias. That said, rating an English isn't easy for me...I don't smoke them often enough, and I find most (Cyprian)Latakia blends so similar to each other that separating them out is nigh impossible.

Penzance is different. Taste on the palate may well still be 'just another English'(definetely good, though...) to me(my apologies to it's many fans), but that's not where Penzance shines. It's the smell. Opening the tin was a revelation of sorts...I remember the first time I smelled Latakia, and the second, the third....wonderfully unique stuff. This here just bumped the expectation up a notch. There is a decadent creaminess to it's Lat base aroma...a church incense/holy attar type scent that just blows me away! I even tend to open the jar daily, or more, just to get re-aquainted with it...doesn't matter if I have plans to smoke it, or not. Damn!

That smell also shines in the after smoke, of all places. (I would love the room note as well, I suspect, but I can't tell that for sure). The aroma lingers in my beard and clothes...making me look like a 4 year old, his nose stuffed into his sleeve. Normally I could care less, but this one...

The fact it's a flake garners it brownie points with me...as does the small, pocketable tin. Now if only Penzance, and Squadron Leader, would make regular stops on the B&M railroad, I could rest assured of always having some on hand. Alas, I must conserve...(and luckily, prefer my daily VA's).

As a final note, the generous forum friend who sent me this tin, suggested making an after shave of it...just kidding, no doubt, but I'm starting to wonder...Hmm.

4 stars for when it's available.

1 person found this review helpful.

Idahosmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Idahosmoker (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is most assuredly a gourmet tobacco, hands down. A friend gifted me a tin, and I've had it for about 3 months now. I love the style of the tin, and I love how the tobacco looks when you open it up. All of the flakes pressed together in little cakes communicate to me that this it is quite special and not to be taken for granted.

Room note is quite nice and even my mother, who abhors tobacco, commented that it smells pretty good.

The smoking experience itself demands that one takes their time when enjoying it. For the best experience, make sure you rub out the cakes. Then lightly fill your pipe with just a slight amount of tamping, but not too much! It does take a little bit of effort to light as it is somewhat moist, and I usually have to do one or two relights while I'm smoking the bowl, but all and all, it's worth it. I actually like how my fingers smell after rubbing it out.

Penzance brings back a lot of memories for me. I don't know if my grandfather ever smoked it, but it's aroma always reminds me of him. That in itself is a compliment as he passed away when I was six.

The one regret that I have with this tobacco is that it seems to be lacking in the vitamin N department. As such, this is not an every day smoke for me, and only one that I smoke on special occasions. Thus, even though I really enjoy the experience Penzance provides, I'm forced to rate it three stars. However on my scale, it scores a 7.

I do highly recommend this blend and will be purchasing another tin or two when I finish with this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (94)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am so glad I finally bought a couple of ounces of this in bulk from my local tobacconist - El Fumador. What a wonderful smoke, well prepared and presented. Not being a fan of flake, I am impressed nevertheless. I could not imagine offering any suggestion whatsoever to adjust this blend more to my liking. It was a bit wet from the bag and took a bit to ignite, but it packed easily and burned perfectly. In taste I was surprised how much this reminded me of my favorite blend -Cornell and Diehl's Engine #99. I was shocked in fact as I expected to make a comparison here with Esoterica's own Margate (another favored blend for me) instead. One can tell it's a close relative of Margate, but very much distinct as well. All of the flavors in which I delight in Engine99 are in Penzance but in a more civilized, mellower manner. While I love Engine99 it is a bit robust even for my hardcore palate to take as an all-day smoke. Penzance I can easily imagine as all-day. A decent sized bowl of this lasts me nearly two hours (versus a bit over 30 minutes for the C&D blend). Could be my new #1...time will tell.

1 person found this review helpful.

pipetype Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipetype (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

At first simply delicious in an understated way; then sweet and a bit sour; then earthy ("cow turd's?l I never smoked a turd, though :) ") Penzance is greatly enhanced by sips of coffee. So far it is flying right up there for me. In my own crude vernacular: smoky tobacco, with oriental overtones, the ingredients not so well blended as to obscure the jagged edges which sometimes interestingly break through on the palette. I cannot understand yet why people say it is perfumed - unless, by perfume they mean the smell of cow crap and hay after a light rain?

By the way, I have recently started grabbing the tins without looking at their labels. I rub as needed, and load the pipe without looking. Very interesting, when you then look at the label. It's a very good discipline as it cuts out some of the hype. Try it!!

1 person found this review helpful.

juanocp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juanocp (11)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well BrSpiritus seems like you had bad luck with it, try to dry it a little more. I got it in almost perfect humidity level, still let it dry for about 1hr. Boy what a complex smoke, after trying mi first bowl i went to order 6 more tins to age.

1 person found this review helpful.

viscfab Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
viscfab (81)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the for me the benchmark for the English blends. Very well blended latakia and VA,you can even see the natural sugar grains on the flakes. The flakes come beautifully arranged in the tin and when I opened it for the first time I got a whaft of hickory smoke and bacon and pine campfire. Wow. Delightful... Burns cool and is very flavourful. Puff it slowly and enjoy the medium to full taste of smoked spices. The VA in it provides enough body and sweetnes so the latakia does not get monotone.

Awesome blend gentlemen puff friends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bub (18)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

If you like a really good English blend than you're going to enjoy this. It's very complex, full flavored and very well blended. One of my favorite English blends. Has an expensive taste to it. High quality tobacco. Just the right amount of everything.

1 person found this review helpful.

Theodor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theodor (2)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Mild Very Mild Tolerable

When St James and Brown #4 were out of stock, based on these virtually unanimous effusively glowing reviews, I substituted 8oz each of Stonehaven and Penzance, and gained a higher education in a culture of 'tasting' that I'd egregiously misunderstood. Fish out of water; I didn't know how much I didn't know. Contrary to researching and buying cigars by the box for walk-in humidor conditioning over months to years, reserving judgment to time and 'finish,' I am unfamiliar with the utility of flavor 'notes' divorced from a conditio sine qua non nicotine bass cleft. I thought; perhaps the bulk version is different from the tinned or I'd gotten 'And So to Bed' in a quality control gaffe. An opportunity in every debacle, I learned that my expectations and goals are as at variance as an aficionado of aged single malt scotches and wine tasters who rinse and spit. I 'tasted' it again, 'searching for the good:' Light cotton-candy liquid smoke that leaves an aftertaste I had initially interpreted as preservative, I took a gentleman's word that it is not. One de-caffeinated disappointment at a time, s'il vu plais; I haven't bothered with Stonehaven. Yet. On a positive ending note, I gained a deepened appreciation for my 1792, Full Virginia, Brown #4, Cob Plug, and Black XX blessings, among others.

1 person found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I held off trying this for so long because, well, she's been around with an awful lot of other boyz and girlz. They talk about how cool she is, how nice she smells, how you just fold her up and stick it in, how she takes to the load like a champ, how when you suck on her, she billows like an old train engine.... You get the picture.

But tonight, swamped under a pile of work so big I can't even dream my way through, I reached to the back of the drawer looking for the drug I needed to help me through. And I found her and rescued her from the darkness. She's tiny for one who's been with so many.

The upshot?

Ladies and Gentlemen...I'd like to introduce you to Mrs. Penzance Beaupipe.

Exquisite.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mkdavella Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mkdavella (2)
★☆☆☆
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

We Tried This Tobbaco Because Of The 3~4 Star Review It Was Getting ~N~ Was Looking For Another Pipe Tobacco To Smoke

The First Penzance 8oz Tobacco Pack We Recieved Was Good ~ Very Good ~BUT~ After That ~ Well Read on If U Dare

When It Was Time To Purchase Some More Penzance ~ They Were OUT of Stock From ALL Tobacco Online Shops

So We WAITED ~ When The Online Shop Got It in Stock We Purchase THREE Penzance 8oz Tobacco Packs

Another Thing ThIS WEB Site Will Not Let Us Say The Tobacco Shop That They Are In BED With ~ They Don't Want To Lose Any FKen Business

We Have NOW Tried ALL Three Packs ~N~ It's ALL Very BAD Tobacco

We Have Around a Dozen or So Pipes To Smoke From ~ We've Been Smoking Pipes For Around 14yrs ~ We Cleaned All Our Pipes Several Time Just To Make Sure It Wasn't Our Pipes

This Tobacco NOW Get's a 4 Star Review ~ For Being So Bad ~ So Very BAD ~ This Company Esoterica Tobacciana That Mix's Penzance Tobacco ~ Mix's Really Very BAD Tobacco

We Think That The Tobacco Company Esoterica Tobacciana USED Any OLD Tobacco They HAD In Stock ~ Just So They Could Ship That DAM Penzance 8oz Tobacco Out

It Had Be Out of Stock For a While ~N~ We Think They Saw They Were Losing To Much Money By Not Selling This Penzance Tobacco

We Will NEVER Purchase Any Thing From Esoterica Tobacciana Ever Again

Thx U ~ In Advance For Taking The Time To Read This Review of ONE BAD Tobacco Penzance ~N~ The Company That Mix's It Esoterica Tobacciana

Thx Again ~ The GRIM REAPER

1 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

This blend is polarizing to my taste buds. On some days I consider this to be one of the most over-rated tobaccos on the market and can only watch with disbelief as its value rises on the vintage tobacco market. On other days, however, I totally 'get it' and wonder what I would do if the supply in my cellar ever ran out!

Penzance is a one-of-a-kind mixture. The crumble cake presentation is one of my all-time favorites, and the burning characteristics of this blend are superlative. The tobacco itself is quite oily and has a generous dose of something offbeat that lends a vaguely medicinal aroma. This smell, which reminds me of iodine, carries over into the smoke and is largely responsible for the absolutely unique flavor and texture of this blend. Is it a flavoring agent or some type of exotic oriental leaf? I simply don't know, and also don't care. In a very real sense, this added "something" is what makes Penzance so distinctive. There seem to be countless English mixtures on the market today and Penzance is the only one that I could never, ever confuse with any of the others. I guess this is why it commands such high prices when the supply dries up. If Dunhill's 965 or Squadron Leader were to disappear, I can immediately think of several mixtures that could replace them. Not so Penzance -- if it goes the way of the Balkan Sobranie or Edgeworth, the pipe smoking world will have lost something utterly unique.

Despite the obvious presence of latakia, it's several notches shy of being a "lat bomb" as some others have claimed. Odyssey, Larry's Blend, and Frog Morton eah have so much latakia you can often taste nothing else -- that's hardly the case here, and in fact there are time when I can barely detect latakia at all. Penzance is at most a "medium" on the strength meter. There is very little nicotine here and the flavor is a couple of notches shy of full. On the plus side, it usually doesn't bite and burns quite nicely with a single charring light. One word of caution: when you open a tin, try to either smoke it all within a few days or transfer it to a glass jar, as it loses some of its character soon after opening. It feels moist right out of the tin, and in my opinion this is when it smokes the best.

To many smokers, this is a four-star or "desert island" smoke. Objectively, it is clearly a classic English mixture (as is evidenced by its sustained popularity on this site and others). You really should try it at least once, if you're able to locate a tin at a decent price. Personally, however, I don't love it the way that many others do. I prefer blends with a full flavor and respectable nicotine punch, and Penzance has neither. I have about a pound cellared, and even if it were to disappear tomorrow I imagine that's enough to keep me sated for the next 30 years given how infrequently I crave its unique flavor. YMMV, of course.

1 person found this review helpful.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (57)
★★☆☆
Medium Extra Strong Mild to Medium Tolerable

Penzance is a cased blend that is certainly not "unflavored". Now some folks feel "casing" means ONLY goopy vanilla/sugary/fruity - not so, there are many and varied "casings". Penzance has a flavoring applied somewhat like incense/spice quite like Frogmorton.

For a truly pure "English" tobacco with no added flavoring, I would recommend Asbury by Pease or Nightcap by Dunhill.

Now don't get me wrong, this is a quality blend and I liked it well enough, though it is very similar to Frogmorton and is more difficult to smoke. I would say I liked it more than I disliked it.

Monotone Latakia dominates the smoke with the VAs etc. being barely noticeable. If you want to taste latakia-spice flavoring and little else, this your magic mix.

Penzance is a flavored smoke with a moderate nicotine level, mild to medium strength, and more like the Frog than not. The flakes are too moist and must be babied for a decent smoke. And yes, it is a flake, as the description above says it is, and as anyone can see upon opening the tin.

Frogmorton has everything Penzance has and more. Frogmorton is easier to light and keep lit, and has much less gurgle. Penzance smokes wet every time, but I still enjoyed it somewhat.

Now,,, Penzance is not without its charm and being a flake tobacco will make some folks turn flips just because it is an "English Flake." I require more than that for the top rating however.

An unadulterated, unflavored "classic English flake" Penzance is not.

2 stars., good topping, taste and aroma but too much gurgle etc.

Get some Frogmorton and you'll have everything there is here without the hassle.

If I buy more Frog, I probably won't buy more Penzance. As for now, I find Penzance too pricey and too high maintenance.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (76)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Undoubtedly a home run for the latakia lover, I have a love-hate relationship with this tobacco. Overall it has excellent taste and provides some much needed private time (everyone else leaves the room). I find this one difficult to smoke without crumbling it up, but when I do the result is a mouthful of dust. Nonetheless, it is a quality product, somewhat novel, and I do enjoy it from time to time........

1 person found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Strong Medium Full Pleasant

Fours stars, it has all been said. For me the creaminess is amazing, the aftertaste, the sweetness that jump out now and then. The crumble cake texture can be a bit of hassle, it can have an odd burnt rubber taste coming through at inappropriate times. I will miss the two tins I traded for because they don't sell it here in Holland...shame.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Enough has been said about this blend. All I can add is: the best smoke on the planet. Stop reading right here, go get as much as you can, and then go back and get some more.

5 starts out of 4.

1 person found this review helpful.

butter_side_down Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butter_side_down (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

There are over 150 reviews here already, so I'll try to avoid retreading ground that's already been well covered by others; although, I will say that the observation that it smells like band-aids in the tin was especially apt.

Basically, my whole reason for chiming in here is just to say that occasionally, you have to stop trying to analyze the technique and just sit back and allow yourself to be awed by the execution. By that, I mean to say that if a poem moves you, does it really matter to you whether it's in iambic pentameter or free verse? Probably not. In the same vein, I really couldn't tell you what it is that makes Penzance blend so special. Quality of leaf? Proportions of constituent tobaccos? That extra dose of Crackotine (tm) that they heap on at the end? Maybe. But, honestly, I don't know, and, to a certain degree, I really don't care. All I know is that whatever they're doing, it's working. I'm just glad this stuff exists and that I live in a time when I can enjoy it.

At the end of the performance, when the rest of the room is already giving a standing ovation, the performers will never notice whether or not you follow suit. But if you feel moved, the spirit will drive you to your feet.

So here I am. Standing. Applauding.

Four stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Camus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Camus (15)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

UPDATE 12 July 06

I'm going to downgrade this to three stars. I think it is a very good tobacco, I love the "incence" aroma but I have to agree it lacks a little in the nicotine stakes. Also when it dries out a bit it really loses complexity and becomes "soapy" - for this reason I would buy it in future in the small tin not the 8oz pack.

Gentlemen,

being new to pipe smoking I don't have the experience of others to bring to my reviews, although I am very much enjoying getting there! I can safely say though that this blend is the first where I can really taste the varying flavours and the changes throughout the bowl - as a novice I thought I was missing something but it was just that I was not smoking the right tobaccos! What wonderful stuff this is. Out of the packet it smells of damp musky autum leaves (it feels like a winter smoke to me) but hold a flame to it and a thick incence like tobacco aroma fills the room. The smell is so good that I enjoy nosing the trails of smoke from the bowl for a very gentle inhale. It is best when smoked very slowly so you must put aside a couple of hours for it. I have an Ed Burak bent apple with a large bowl which can be prone to smoking a bit wet but with a slow smoke of Penzance it was cool and dry. I agree with other reviewers that this tobacco should be kept for a treat and not an everyday smoke - you really need to devote time to gently coaxing the best from it. Afterward smell the ouside of the still warm bowl for a delicious hit of spicyness - ahhh isn't that what pipe smoking is all about?

1 person found this review helpful.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (73)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Oh my, oh me. I'm going to review Penzance. I almost wonder why I bother. This is among the most popular premium tobaccos in history and I suppose that there is good reason. It is among the best English blends ever made, though (gasp) I don't think it perfect. It is very good and tastes just as an English should and the crumbling flake is indeed interesting. The stuff has little to no strength, however. With a good, full flavored English such as this, I look for the presence of Nicotine to really put me into a state of relaxation, or stimulation, as the case may be. With Penzance I was always left waiting. Perhaps I miss the point.

An interesting note is how the cakes are pressed together with a mildly floral sauce. I like this. Few and far between are mixtures that attempt any sort of fusion between Latakia and the classic Lakeland aromatics. I have attempted to produce such a blend a few times myself. Be assured, they were nowhere as good as Penzance.

Regards, A. Morley Jaques

1 person found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

It was a miracle to find an 8 ounce sample, and unheard of to find two, but they're mine, and I've been sampling the wares for a few days now. I had several years ago picked up a bag, when the stuff wasn't so rare, and found myself captivated by the cut--this crumbly, soil like texture. It was simply unlike anything I had seen. But then a massive manic attack hit, and in a fit of oddity, I tossed all of my tobacco in the trash, before barely a taste. And that was it. I hadn't touched Penzance until now. It was a triumph, and I was so full of expectations and excitement, having lost from my earlier trial.

Sadly, in my experience, the blend doesn't live up to the hype. It's weak, very weak, the Oriental component is muted. And having acquired some experience now with Latakia blends, I know that the crumble characteristic is a consequence of pressing the small leaf Latakia, which tends to break up the press, not some product of grand design. I may hurt some feelings here, and receive a few threats, but Penzance simply does not deserve the status of Godly tobacco. When compared against its peers, Penzance is very much on par with Samuel Gawith's Balkan Flake, and certainly not as tasty as Old Ironsides, both flakes of a similar genre.

Latakia blends in flake form are a rarity, and welcome. But people are going nuts over Penzance not for its attributes, but for its lack of availability. If given a choice by those stingy tobacco Gods, I'd much have a pound of Full Virginia Flake than this stuff--another blend which I discounted over the years until it became more valuable than gold. It's symptomatic of the habit. Rich old men fearing prohibition buy everything. Then they get on the internet and try to convey some semblance of civility. They are wolves.

1 person found this review helpful.

dprovons Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dprovons (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

Wow! Look at the number of reviews for this blend...whew. I guess it's popular. Penzance was recommended by local smoke shop guy as the best of the Esoterica line. I figured, if you're going to sample a brand, why not start with their best?

I am a new pipe smoker (started about 4 months ago), longtime cigar smoker, ex-cigarette smoker and this stuff caught me off-guard. I opened the tin and almost fell out of my chair. What a pungent smell! This was my first full latakia blend and I knew right away it was going to be memorable. I liked the flakes (another first for me). I didn't like the orangy residue left in my palm after rubbing it out a little. I also learned that it takes like 3 days to smoke a bowl of this stuff. My wife hates it when I smoke this because she knows I'll be outside for like 2 hours instead of helping her in the house with the kids. That's not why I like this stuff, really!

But I do like this stuff. I don't even care that NOBODY will come around me when I smoke it. I don't care about the just-ate-an-old-shoe-smothered-in-tobasco-and-capers breath that it gives me. I don't care that the dog runs off when I crack the tin open or when...well, you get the idea. Suffice it to say, I like it. The taste is full-on latakia, it smokes slowly and evenly, is good and strong and just perfect in the evening after a meal. Great with Guiness! I now prefer Astley's #99 for an all-day, any day latakia (and ease of use cut), but I can't imagine being without a tin of Penzance stashed somewhere for those evenings when I want some quality time with myself!

1 person found this review helpful.

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

First ever at this but here goes. I ordered Penzance based on the 4 star rating and some of the eloquent descriptions. I will be smart enough next time to order only a 2 oz. trial sample.

The tobacco arrived in the sealed foil pouch which had to be cut open with a pair of scissors. Inside was a styrene boat only sealed well enough to contain the sliced tobacco. Upon opening the boat the fines floated out everywhere. My solution was to get a quart size Ziplock freezer bag that I could slip the boat into and then turn the bag and boat over. Then I cut the label so to fit in the bag, slipped the now emptied boat out of the bag and sealed the bag shut. I discarded the remains of the container and policed up the spilled fines with a dust buster.

I had been prepared for a heady tobacco aroma but was puzzled to only experience a mild new aroma for me which I take it is due to the latakia. The sliced tobacco was fairly crumbled by now so I filled a revirginalized (Thank you Tom Wolfe) Savenelli billiard as I would usually with fore finger tamping until the pipe was full. The pipe was not tamped special, just merely with the same compaction as usual.

Now the test. The tobacco lighted easily with what seemed to me to be a great lot of smoke and without significant drawing on the pipe. I thought the taste mysterious and rather faint compared to my Virginia favorites. I don't like boiled broccoli either as it is not to my taste. Of note long long ago I also smoked London Dock and if the reader has shared that gloppy experience then the contrast to the faint flavor of Penzance is self explanatory IMHO. Notably there was no tongue bite for me as I smoke slowly and believe a pipe should have one's full attention other than the daydream of favor whilst having a pipe.

I am thinking that I may have waited too long to try an English blend such that a total appreciation of same was not my lot. Though while I was smoking I did think of our English friends that might have an overbite so as to suck air in over the teeth with gusto and if this their tobacco preference so be it. I smoked the entire pipe until all that remained was fine white ash that fell from the bowl easily without dottle. I might say also there didn't seem to be a nicotine hit of any consequence.

I haven't given up on Penzance yet though and could come back later to update the foregoing if so moved.

1 person found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I?ve never had latakia flake before, so this was a real treat. It?s a great flake, though like most of its species, it sears my tongue if piped a little too quickly. It?s also a bit hard to keep lit, requiring several matches. That?s surprising, considering this is a very dry flake, or as my friend puts it, crumble cake. The taste is crème de latakia, and under the influence of a good shot of scotch, the taste takes on a number of exotic dimensions, probably due to its Turkish and Cyprian ingredients. Aroma is very pleasing. Again, that Germain/Esoterica anise/licorice casing is ever present, which sort of kills the deal for me and keeps this from being a stellar blend. There?s just so much great stuff out there, I might bum a slice from time to time, but I won?t make this one of my regulars. When I?m taking the oriental route, I much prefer Balkan Sobranie. For what it is though, it?s a quality product which is deserving of its many loyal followers.

Three of five stars

---------------------------------- update 3/05 - I take back the negative side of my review and provide a few revised thoughts. After trying this a second and third time, I find that this has now become one of my favorites. Either my tastebuds have changed for the better or the things I've generally loved (Dunhill) seem to be declining in quality. Whatever the case, Penzance is a complex mixture that develops wonderfully as you get down the bowl. It's peaty, toasty, herbal, muddy, and like a great Islay scotch, is full of smokey complexity. It folds and crumbles nicely in the bowl. The only flaws are frequent relights at the beginning due to the moisture levels and some gurgle. Beyond that, this is now one of my regulars, and is especially perfect after dinner. Due to its richness, I would not recommend this as an all day smoke. Smoke slowly, too, as this will nip the tongue. Hats off to Germain & Butera for another quality tobacco!

Four and a half of five stars

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

Penzance loads easily, lights with some difficulty, burns cool, evenly, completely and finely, smells and tastes delicious, and is most satisfying. A muzzle is unnecessary, as this Black Lab neither barks nor bites.

Not sweet forward, Penzance is supported by natural, subtle Virginia undertones which keeps Penzance from being acrid. There is some spice from the Turkish component, but the strength and body come from Latakia- soft, lilting, round, creamy, smoky, woodsy Latakia.

I am intoxicated by the aroma and flavor of juniper berries, smoky teas and Scottish Single Malt libation which envelope the room. It is a waste to smoke this even in the most gentle breeze. It this case, coveting the smoke is not only permissible, it is obligatory.

This is rich, balanced, and delicately complex with a full flavor that is to me a blending wonder. Keep a pipe cleaner handy, as this can gurgle.

Smoking Penzance is not an advocation, but for contemplative moods when it can be given due attention and appreciation.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Update - nearly a month later and I regret to report that the rumors are true. While still luxurious this blend does lose essence very quickly to detriment of taste and complexity. Early bowls were in fact...balkan heaven in a tin. Now it is a very good tobacco - one of the best - but a risky investment unless you intend to consume it all early on. I may purchase another tin; I'll certainly smoke it again - but I believe Margate still ranks as the top of the English/Balkan heap.

I am breaking my own rule and reviewing after just one bowl. In a virgin briar no less. The reason: according to some this blend stales and loses essence quickly. So I will attempt to keep my tin well preserved and update the review if I notice significant changes.

What can I say that hasn't been said before? Very little - but I will add my accolades for Penzance. Even if I do not smoke it regularly, it is truly the finest tasting English tobacco I've had to date. And I've tried to make my way through many of the "medium" and "full" English mixtures. Though it has been a while since I've had Margate (intentionally, to maintain varied points of comparision), I feel on initial taste the keen handling of the VA and Latakia component places Penzance above that blend. While Margate may have more variation and complexity, Penzance takes the kake in terms of "true" English blends I've tried (not only in terms of ingredients, but in terms of geography) in overall flavor quality.

The Krumble Kake format did not present significant problems for me. However out of the tin it is in fact very moist and pliable. There is a slight nip due to moisture, but I did not feel it so intrusive as to ruin the experience. A bit of drying in the pipe and slow puffing rectified the issue. For such a dense, moist flake it managed reasonable burning qualities. And a few extra matches are a small price to pay for Penzance.

Esoterica wins again.

1 person found this review helpful.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

August 31, 2004.

Before beginning this review, please allow me to offer my thanks to the many people who have devoted their time and energy to offering so many excellent reviews on such a wide variety of pipe tobaccos. I am taking up the hobby again after a 10-year hiatus (once again, as a substitute for cigarettes), and websites like this one really enhance the experience. I live in Minnesota, USA, and in the summer and falltime I sit on my deck with my wirelessly-connected laptop and peruse the reviews as I try the various blends.

As for Penzance: I was impressed with the number of seasoned pipe smokers who rate this blend so highly. I recently purchased several new blends from smokingpipes.com, Penzance being one of them. To date, I had tried most of the Dunhill English blends, but had never smoked an English in a flake/crumble cake style. My first smoke was accomplished in a flame grain Ser Jacopo Picta Magritte (bent Dublin).

I really liked this tobac; I'd compare it favorably with the Dunhill 965, but the Penzance seems even smoother and more balanced. It has that great big creamy mouthfeel that I like so much (being a former cigar smoker), and the flavor changes slightly throughout the bowl but never becomes bitter or rancid. Also, I believe I used only two pipe cleaners throughout the entire (generously-sized) bowl, which for a mad puffer like me is truly amazing.

One other thing: I ordered this blend through the link on this page. The link takes you to the eight-ounce bulk package, without giving any indication that smokingpipes.com also offers it in the two-ounce tin (which it does). Not that I'm complaining, mind you--I foresee myslef smoking a lot more of this stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Mesmerizing, Meditative, One of those blends that lets you know "Life" is O.K.

The other reviewers have stated the case for this blend beautifully and succinctly. I prefer to just add that this is one of those blends that confirms why I am a Pipe Smoker.

Wishing All, Happy Smoke Rings :)

1 person found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

This may very well be the 'Grail' of english blends for me. As rich as Dunhill's Nightcap but with a much smoother and delicious flavor. There's not much to say that hasn't already been said here- you simply must try it to believe it. The tin aroma leaves a little to be desired and the presentation of the flakes although unique is a little off putting. None of this matters once the flame hits the bowl however. This is simply one of the tastiest tobbacos available. It's too rich to be an all day smoke, instead it better serves as a celebration smoke or treat at the end of a hard day. What are you doing still reading this?!! Get your behind down to the store and buy as much as you can!!!!!!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

sonny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonny (5)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Oh my lord, where in the blazes have I been??? I just picked up a tin of this and when I first opened it, I want ugh. Then I filled my pipe, nothing fancy mind you, a Dunhill Patent ca. 1952, beautiful pipe but I digress. Anyway I loaded my pipe and put the fire to it and lo what an absolutely wonderful smoke! I have every intention of keeping this on hand. If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10 it would rank a 9.5 easily. It's the best I've smoked thus far, and I am certain there are other tobaccos that rank as high or higher. I am just now getting my education in tobaccos. If they were all this good though, we would get mighty bored and have nothing to complain about. If you haven't tried this tobacco yet, then I can only ask one thing, what the devil is the matter with you?!? Get thyself to the nearest and get this, even if it turn out not to be your cup of tea, at least give it a try. I was also thoroughly impressed by how easy it rubbed out and how it packed, and once lit again, WOW! Try it, try it, try it!!

1 person found this review helpful.

daniel5522 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
daniel5522 (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was intrigued by the idea of an English flake. English tobaccos are my preferred smoke. I stay away from most flavored tobacco. I wondered if this flake would have some type of dressing on it. It did not.

When I opened the tin the aroma was of a subdued English, with a mild latakia aroma predominating. The tobacco was in a small block of slices Chestnut colored with some lighter brown mottling.

This flake did not so much rub out as crumbled. In fact it initially gave me some problems. I put some effort into rubbing it out and got small crumbled pieces. I thought I would get some ribbon effect, but did not. I then proceeded to back the pipe to tightly and created a frustrating experience for myself. By my third attempt I realized that I needed to rub lightly, pack loosely, and tamp softly. This allowed for a good smoke.

The taste was a very married cool English flavor. The flavor was pretty consistent. I would describe it as nutty/smoky/ tobacco flavor. A hint of sweetness and perhaps salt. When blown through nose there was a musty leather effect that was also part of the room note. I liked it.

The mixture, once I learned how to rub and pack it, lit easily and stayed lit. The smoke was full but not hot. No tongue bite on this one (I like that too).

Overall I liked this blend, but did not see it as outstanding. It was not bold or complex. The flavor was uniform and consistent. It was understated English if anything and this I did find unusual. I will not smoke this regularly, but would consider it when I was looking for an English flavor that would be mild an more in the background.

1 person found this review helpful.

AfternoonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AfternoonPipe (5)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I'm really quite perplexed... I love English blends; dark, smokey ones included. Given the reviews I expected something quite enjoyable. The flavour, however, was that of burnt paper. I wasn't sure if this was just me, so I gave it to a few experienced pipe-smoker friends, they took a few puffs and all said, 'that is terrible, it tastes like burnt paper.' I have no idea...

Pipe Used: Mastro de Paja bent billiard

Age When Smoked: New, and then again aged 6 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pDzine Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pDzine (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to add that someone hasn't already said. Clearly a four star blend with no detractors. The taste starts out with the sour salty tang that softens into creamy sweet with hints of dark fruit and a smoky if not peaty finish. Then as you continue to work your way down the bowl that symphony plays out on your tongue.

The room note is of a very strong rich tobacco. Very savory never acrid, but sure to be appreciated only by connoisseurs.

This is not an everyday smoke for me only because I prefer not to taste my pipe the entire next day - a latakia problem for me nothing against the tobacco.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Similar Blends: Uhles Bishops Move.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mudguts Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mudguts (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Open the tin, and you are hit with an intoxicating rich smell of fuel-oil. There you will find wax paper that appears to be stained with that oil. You know you are in for a treat. The meaty slices are found nicely stacked in their wrapper. Upon closer inspection, crystalline sugar specks may be found. The flavor is smoky latakia laced with oriental spice. There is a subtle background of incense. Not sweet or sour, just musty-smoky-smooth, with the oriental spiciness more pronounced when fresh. Smoked summer sausage also comes to mind. The smoke is not thick. Retrohale comes with only a hint of harshness when fresh. Right out of the tin this tobacco stays lit. First 2/3 of smoke is very nice and satisfying. Make sure you cash in on the last 1/3 of remaining tobacco, because it gains a little more incense and body to finish the session. Easily burns to grey ash and starts leaving remains attached to bowl, so it will cake the bowl quickly. Aging knocks the edge off the orientals and adds a bit of sweetness. Medium-strong, but no detectable nicotine.

Pipe Used: Savinelli dry system #2622

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A.E. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A.E. (22)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Esoterica Penzance is a good pipe tobacco, no doubt; medium to strong, and smoky dark in flavor. There was no real bite or bitterness, but I found that after it burned down a bit, it seemed that the flavor became stale and a sourness lingered on the palate. Perhaps my expectations were set too high. I was expecting a luxuriously rich, opulent, and flavorful smoke - pleasing to the taste, nose, and sinuses. This just isn't it. Penzance is better than the other Esoterica blends I've tried - including Stonehaven, Dorchester, Margate and Dunbar - but not by much. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Esoterica blends begin with tobaccos that are not "top shelf". After that, no matter what the "secret blend recipe" or "aging method" is, no matter how mysteriously "unavailable" the blends are marketed to be, the end product will always be less than "top shelf". A river can never rise higher than its source.... Because of the much touted reputation of the blend, and the demand presumably fueled by its supposed unavailability, vendors charge a significant premium. In my mind, the cult-like demand and premium cost are not justified by the actual quality.

Pipe Used: Davorin Morta

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of new tin

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (118)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Well it feels weird for me to review a blend off of two bowls, but I figure that this is review 358 and since I have nothing bad to say why not.

A fellow Forum buddy sent me the left overs in a tin that had dried out with several other samples. I rehydrated it while up north hunting and packed my Large Altinok Canadian and my hunting buddy who I recently reintroduced to pipe smoking also had a bowl. We both agreed it was an incredible smoke. I smoked the last bowl of it in the tree during a cold morning hunt.

I usually don't like full English blends although there are a few that really hit the spot once in awhile and I can see this one sharing that trait. It was smoky and smooth and burnt cool. I wish I had more.

Anyway, I have likely already said too much as there is a reason this is extremely hard to obtain. It is that good. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deacon John Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deacon John (2)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great tobacco. I had heard much about it and desired to try it. My tobacco store had some in stock and I bought it, lit it up and it as been great. I do not spoke it as my steady choice but I especially like it in the evening when I am relaxing. It puts me in a nice relaxed mode. I highly recommend this for those who want a great English tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been smoking this in a clay pipe. I pack it loosely, seems to stay lit a bit easier. This stuff has a flavor which is hard to describe. A little sweet, a little smoky, but it goes well as a mix of the two. Nice with a rich coffee. French roast or an espresso really compliments this baccy. A good peaty scotch is a winner as well. My wife hates the smell, but the dog doesn't seem to mind. I usually trust his judgement anyway. A nice N level. My end of the day smoke for sure! This is in my top ten, but I'd like a bit more sweetness. Definitely worth a try!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I have to tell it like it is read so much about this tobacco I had to have it so I went to the sharks on ebay and bought 5 bags of 8 ounces each at 100.00 per bag have been working on a bag now for 2 months nice tobacco just not for me I prefer Dunhill navy rolls and S.G. Full virginia flake if anyone wants them I would just like to get my money back if not they are going to age for a long time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CubanPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CubanPiper (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This stuff is unique. You have to understand it. I should not be too wet or too dry. Its not a regular flake, so dont treat it as one. One more thing, It burns so cool, like never I have ever smoke

Nobody has rated this review yet.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (27)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I decided after reading some discussion on Penzance yesterday I would have that for my daily pipe yesterday. It had been a bit since I had smoked it, as I have been trying samples of other blends. I opened up my jar, near full of 8oz and find it seems to have dried just a touch since I first placed it in.

Penzance appearance/aroma/preparation

Penzance is a very unique flake tobacco. It has a quite dark appearance, most likely due to the high latakia content. This renowned ingredient also imbues this tobacco with a deep smoky aroma, not so much campfire as other english blends but something much deeper and darker. One thing that makes this tobacco incredibly unique is its consistency, not as defined by conformity with previous attitudes, behaviour, practice, etc., but as defined as the state or quality of holding or sticking together and retaining shape. This tobacco flake nearly falls apart upon handling. It has a soft delicateness that is pleasant to handle. It also makes the preparation quite simple. I select my Charatan Special 211, my english dedicated pipe for this smoke. I grab a few pinches from the jar and allow light pressure from my fingers to break the tobacco apart as it drops directly into my bowl, and give it a light tamp along the way.

Smoking Penzance

It took a few re-lights to get this bowl going, mostly due to my packing method. Penzance does not seem to expand much upon lighting. The smokiness of the latakia hits you promptly in this lat-forward blend. During the smoke you will notice the uncanny cool-smoking quality of this tobacco. I do find a slower smoke produces more flavor so mind your puffs, although it will never bite you. I find the flavor profile throughout the smoke to be very consistent, although it changes depending on how you smoke it. I found very light puffs to taste leathery and musky, similar to the smell of a tack shop with a wood fire burning inside. Puff a bit harder and the taste actually reminds me of dirt, not in a bad way. You may appreciate that if you are a gardener, it is like the smell of fresh loamy garden soil, perhaps with a bit of mulch. When you exhale through the nose, the taste again changes, although I am lacking an analogous description. It seems to have a bit more flowery character, perhaps the orientals coming through moreso during the nasal exhale.

Overall

I find the taste profile of Penzance to be quite distinctive. It is a pleasure to pack and it stays lit very well. It smokes cool and dry with no bite. It does have a decent nicotine kick, which I started to feel about 1/2 to 2/3 through the bowl. It is something I would smoke on occasion I wish to have something entirely different. I would say it is worth acquiring some, I enjoyed the search for this as much as smoking it. Certainly not a every day tobacco for this pipe smoker.

Update - Moved to two stars, I got rid of all of my Penzance. This blend made me believe latakia is not for me, but I am learning to enjoy it in other blends again. Penzance is an experience but, for me, not one that needs or wants to be repeated.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kckijana Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kckijana (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

You'll have to decide for yourself if it is worth the hype. If you can find it. I sure am happy I did because this is my favorite Balkan and #2 overall with the mellow wood smoke aroma that softens the edges. Plenty of flavor without overwhelming in any way. Truly a fine tobacco. Too bad it is not more available.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TwoXseveN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TwoXseveN (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

On experience more so than taste I've heard it described as such:

"It like Waking up in the morning in a soft meadow after falling Asleep unprotected and outdoors With a gentle dew resting forever on the back of your teeth And on the tip of your tongue While the salient wisps of last night's whisky Dance through the threads of your mist covered clothes"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Godfrey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Godfrey (1)
★★★★
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

So may i intuduced myself from over here the Netherlands . My name is Godfrey and smoke , restore and refurbish damaged and vintage pipes . Also i collect pipe,s from Eli Belgium a master pipe maker ( see his website )

I see you have trouble to become Esoterica Penzance but i have always 10 tins in stock and can send them to the USA but notice the shipping costs .

Regards Godfrey

TwoXseven beautiful discription , bravo .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hottgunn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hottgunn (18)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I finally obtained an 8 oz bag. I find it smooth and mild to my tastes, almost a little on the bland side. Light aroma - almost like perfume. I love the cut of this flake and the texture when it is crumbled. Smells a great deal like mince meat pie filling right out of the bag. A bit too moist initially so a little drying out helps. The second half of the bowl is where this tobacco comes into its own with a very nice woody, toasty flavor. There are MANY great smokes out there today so it's hard to choose who is the greatest pro QB of all time. This is very good but I personally prefer Quiet Nights, Blue Mountain, Meridian or Nightcap. I highly recommend trying this blend. Although it's not MY number one tobacco, I am sure it will be to many. Is it worthy of all the hype, mystery and over the top high prices? Definitely not! Just one of many, many good tobaccos. It is NOT tobacco of the gods.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ERader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ERader (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I read all the "hype" about this blend and rarely follow the crowd...........well they were RIGHT! Simply on of the BEST English blends I have ever smoked. I would vote it to be a classic, will keep this in my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Pure Nirvana. Smooth, smokey and buttery. Nothing else like it..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarTuck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarTuck (5)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Ah... Penzance. Enlist me among the many who had to take time to comprehend and appreciate this blend. At first I didn't get it and now I do BUT!!!!! with the following proviso:

With over 300 reviews I think almost every opinion has been covered regarding this blends taste, aroma, and quality. I would therefore like to address this review based on consistency.

My education with Penzance began with a few 2005 tins and as previously stated, I didn't get it at first. All the hoopla and admiration was a mystery to me. As time and more bowls passed I hopped onto the band wagon and welcomed this blend to my regular rotation.

When the 2005 tins were history I scored a few of the most recently available vintage. HORRORS! It was truly awful. A one dimensional, musty and rank catastrophe that was as much alike to the 2005 blend as Balkan Sobranie is to Amphora Red. Was this possible? Not even the age of my older stash could explain such inconsistency. Into the garbage it went and my search began for older issues of this blend.

The tobacco gods then smiled down and allowed me to locate a stash of tins which were made prior to the "Butera" label change which I understand began sometime around 1996.

This batch has provided me with some of the most heavenly smoking experiences I've ever encountered. Surely this was the Penzance which at first earned it's reputation. One of the finest tobaccos I've ever smoked.

As Penzance is very difficult to obtain, many of us will snatch up as many tins as they can find when located.

Accordingly, the purpose of my review is one of caveat emptor for this blend. Before buying a dozen tins you've miraculously found, make sure you've sampled one tin of the vintage involved as you could possibly be in for a big smoking and financial disappointment.

Newer vintages: one star. Older vintages: Hall of Fame nominee IMHO.

You've been warned.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HillbillyBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HillbillyBriar (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

One of my all-time favorite blends. Not unlike a lot of other English blends except for a raw, musty component that really sets it apart. A tad bit sharp when young, but a year or two of age will knock off those edges and smooth is out completely.

Love the crumble cake flakes that make loading a snap.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (30)
★★★★
Medium Mild Extra Full Very Strong

Okay, okay....I hated this blend when I first tried it a couple of years ago. Luckily I held on to it and let it cellar for awhile. I decided to break it out tonight and smoke some on this cool Portland evening. I understand now...it's absolutely amazing. It's a complex masterpiece. Essential.

The only thing I don't like about it is the lingering aftertaste it leaves in your mouth.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zenflow Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zenflow (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Pleasant to Tolerable

Just scored 6 ounces of this stuff and it is the most amazing tobacco blend I have tried so far. Smoking it through a Meerschaum is quite an awesome experience in flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (163)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

Is a good English mixture, full rich (due to Orientals), but... is too strong.

Latakia and Turkish, Orientals, dominate and Virginia disappears...

Other reviewers said that have sweetness, not for me, not sweet.., contrary... is bite, and bite a lot, bitter..

Pensance is a legend, excelent,

Between all of the English mixtures that i know and smoked, this is one of the Favorites. For me the best English Mixture is Chipmann Hill and the Second place is this, Penzance.

These two surpasses many others. Are better than many, including legends 4 stars and benchmarks, as Presbyterian, Stonehaven, Squadron Leader, NightCap, Dunhill's Standard Medium, Altadis Similar 965, Dunhill's 965 etc...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

giturra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
giturra (31)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Strong

You know, after hearing so much hype about this legendary tobacco, I finally found it for a very affordable price in NYC. As I used to be mostly an aromatic smoker, I was a bit afraid this blend would be too much for me to handle. And even though I had tried many tobaccos with latakia in them, still this blend made me afraid. I remember the moment I lit it and I could not believe how good and complex this stuff was. Greasy, humid, leathery, yet mild and sweet. Strong and creamy at the same time. I was Hooked. Still am. And it made me start smoking more english blends. I do not find it strong or heavy on the latakia side. Is obviously not for everybody's tastes, and I guess it has too much hype running around it, but it is one of the finest blends I've ever tried. Just a classic that deserves to be tasted. It may be an acquired taste, but, boy, it is addictive!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Barling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Barling (19)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I paid way too much for an 8 ounce bag of this because of the insane hype surrounding it. It is very moist and needs to be crumbled and allowed to dry for about 30 minutes before packing it in a small (think Dunhill group 2) pipe. If you rub it out too much it turns into wet dust, and then it packs so tightly it becomes impossible to keep lit. If you tamp too much or smoke it too moist, you end up with an impossible to keep lit soggy mess at the bottom of your bowl that ends up tasting nasty. When properly dried and packed, however, you end up with a nice English blend with a great Latakia punch that is best described as "round" and "creamy" on the tongue (no bite). I also like mixing a little of this with some drier tobacco for a little Latakia spice that slows down the burn of a drier tobacco (try it with some "And So To Bed", which tends to dry out quickly). While I find it a delicious and refined blend, it is not worth the insane hype that surrounds it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Django101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Django101 (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I found a tin of this that was ignored and dusty at the bottom of a rack at a tobacconist I visited out of town. The sticker with the price had a date from 2002 on it. When I smoked it I was pleased, but it made me wonder just what everyone is so crazy about. It was a great tobacco, it really was, but I find it absurd that people would horde this to the degree that they do. That the entirety of the entire world wide web is continually sold out of it is befuddling.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThePipePirate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePipePirate (9)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

i really don't know what to say. This tobacco is a masterpiece in every way. When i took my first draw..i was struck by an epiphany of amazement. There is only one way to describe Penzance, Incredible.

it's a shame it's so hard to obtain though.. I'd love to be well stocked with this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BourrePipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BourrePipe (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Clearly a favorite. Just for the perfect match with a glass of laphroaig, this mix is simply amazing and worth any price. And the complexity of the blend revealing different note going trough the bowl never ceased to amaze me. Just can't understand why it's so difficult to get, Germain could make a fortune if they could supply the demand, now It's the retailer who are making a fortune on us selling the tin twice the price. Just hope to get it more easily in the future....and for the tin lover maybe a more appealing label more worthy of the content would'nt hurt either!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (149)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I have to agree that this is not a Lat-bomb, as the other orientals form a nice background, but the Latakia is (for me) the primary player and I prefer mixtures where it's more in the background as well. For what it is, it's excellent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cgar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cgar (37)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Enough has been said about this well crafted english! One of the finest tobaccos available and one that I will keep with me for as long a loooong time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

There is reason why this is the 322nd review of this classic blend. I do not find it to be a “Latakia Bomb” as it has been described by a few. (In a world filled with so many Straight Virginia's how come they are never called “Virginia Bombs?”) There are many more dominate Latakia blends out there, think Ten Russians, a true heavy Latakia blend. Penzance is not a “beginners” blend either. While not my favorite Krumble Kake, there is a nice interplay between the Orientals and the Latakia. It arrives too moist to smoke out of the tin and I find it smokes best fully rubbed out and dried. Like many Krumble Kakes one has to be careful not to “over-rub” it or it can turn to dust when dried. I do agree with some other reviews that while this is a very good blend, it is IMHO not worth paying the internet auction price. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Im changing my review. After letting the opened tin sit for a couple of months, I decided to give it another go. Suffice to say, I "get it" this time around. This stuff is amazingly good! I don't know what it was that made me treat it so hostile before. But I am now a convert and will be buying this whenever I can.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ItalianBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ItalianBriar (10)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I've been waiting for a LONG time to try this blend. Based on the reviews here, you'd think this was the holy grail of English blends.

This is nothing more than a one dimensional Latakia bomb. Anyone calling this complex or full bodied has defective taste buds or has never tasted a complex English (3 Oaks Syrian). This reminds me of Westminster in many ways. This is not a complex blend and changes very little from beginning to end. These Latakia bombs are really getting old. A big disappointment.

In response to Steelcowboy: Virginia is a very complex tobacco and can be smoked by itself. Have you ever tried smoking straight Latakia? One dimensional and not very good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kokinhenik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kokinhenik (39)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally had a tin of this legendary blend. I loved the flake cut and the required crumbling. It's a real classic touch to the smoking experience. Esoterica blends have one of the most intriguing tin bouquets. I smell a strong note that I keep identifying as olive. To date, this is the only Esoterica blend that I enjoyed. The smoking flavor is on the medium to full side. It lights up with a very creamy soft flavor but then about mid bowl develops a nice nutty, musky, complex. Almost peppery, as if it had perique in it. The latakia remained ever present. I wouldn't call this a lat bomb as many others have. The lat content is rather well managed compared to several other popular blends. This is a great evening smoke. I have to say that many other blends in this genre are just as good though not as unique in flavor. That strange olive note comes through in the smoke and sets it apart. I wouldn't say it makes it better, just very distinct in taste. I guess that makes for all the fuss.

Update: Mr Big - very interesting point you made. Reading the entire forum revealed 7 other iodine call outs, starting with reviewer Loosewatches back in July 2006. I too had a hard time placing that scent. I ended up landing on Olives. Curiously they have a fair amount of Iodine that occurs naturally. I did a smell test and there is a similarity between the antiseptic and the tin. Several other Esoterica blends have that same iodine scent as a noticeable component of the tin bouquet. As I mentioned, this is the only one where it comes through in the smoke for me. That unique taste is what drives the fuss for this blend. It sets it apart in flavor from other blends in the genre.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

goldfinger63 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
goldfinger63 (13)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

this is a masterpiece and is my favourite tobacco. i love everything about it.the texture and the way it crumbles to load the pipe.this is a very enjoyable smoke,very relaxing,never tiring.the latakia is just right not over powering.lucky enough i manage to keep this in my rotation at times when i can get supplies from a friend in the usa when available.if i run out i smoke samuel gawith balkan flake.i find the specail latakia flake which is produced by the same blender jf germain is very blunt and bland and no way can it be compared to penzance.so if any of you guys like the latakia english blends,your ganna love this one.very well worth trying and money very well spent.you be glad you did.i which this was made for the uk market.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Lots of latakia, not very mushroomy. Very unique and lovely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheSmokinDragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheSmokinDragon (56)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Wish I could put the taste/flavor and exp into words better...I will say IMO there is nothing like this bacci...if you are an English blend lover...it is a MUST have! Smooth, slow-burn, full of flavors...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AgentSmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AgentSmith (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

If push comes to shove, I prefer Stonehaven slightly. Do you prefer Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams, really no wrong answer. Outstanding!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (36)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

First of all, no tobacco can live up to the hype that surrounds this one. Not tobacco from Esoterica, nor the offerings of Samuel Gawith. If you have been chasing these hard to get tobaccos and haven't tried them yet, I'll tell you right now, they're all good, but there is even better tobacco to be had that you won't have to stalk or pay mercenary prices for.

That said, Penzance is good. It's kind of got the whole package. Sour notes, leather, smoke. It burns well. I find it appealing that this is such a well rounded tobacco, but at the same time, none of these elements shines in a way that compels me to want it the way some of my blends do.

I will also mention that this tobacco seems very pipe dependent. I have had bowls of this that I thought provided a near transcendent experience, but more of my time with this I thought to myself that it wasn't as good as 3 Oaks Syrian or Peretti's Omega.

One of the better latakia blends out there, but somehow almost disappointing. Three stars for sure, but I can't say it deserves a fourth when my relationship with it has been as inconsistent as it has.

Edit 7/10/2011 Ok, I get it. This is a big picture vs incredible attribute thing. Penzance is better at big picture than any other lat blend. 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A fellow pipe site member sent me a small sample of Penzance. Strangely, I have tried maybe 175 blends, but missed this very popular English (not the only famous one I've missed, though). Yeah, I can see why it has so many reviews and folks are hoarding it! It is a perfect English in terms of balance. The Latakia is just right, and you can taste the Virginia. No bite, no off tastes, and a good burner. I'll certainty call it a four star, but I don't think I'll throw out my stash of other blends yet. (The fellow who sent it to me claims he can hardly smoke anything else now!) I will certainly put it on my list when it becomes availiable again. I can't really say much more than that with any kind of intellectual honesty after three bowls, but I can't see ever calling this anything less than excellent. If I ever get to smoke more of it, I'll try to add some additional thoughts.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kiowapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kiowapipe (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Holy F, this stuff is good. It's hard to add much here that hasn't already been said, but I feel obliged to give it another 4 star vote. It's a very good English indeed. It's a hugely earthy flavor, as opposed to the leathery spice of SMM or the dynamic floral/herbal orientals of SL. Warm, low, satisfying. Still mild and easy to smoke though- no fear of tongue bite or nic-knock. It's not so far in a different galaxy that I would pay double MSRP to get some on eBay or anything, but it's absolutely a top-tier English choice and you should try it if you find any available.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (65)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Very smooth, very deep and very latakia. Not the holy grail, I can assure you, but worth a few tins if you have the chance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (130)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After much waiting, I finally got an 8 ounce bag of this fine blend. I can see where all the positive feedback comes from. This is definitely a blend that needs to be tried. Upon opening this, it smells just plain wonderful to me. I find it really does not need to be rubbed out at all, since it is not too hard pressed. It lights and stays lit very easily. It burns slowly for me and has a nice room note to it. It produces a nice amount of smoke. It burns down to a fine ash at the end of the bowl. when it is available. I can easily understand why some have several pounds of this in their cellar. I highly recommend getting at least a tin, if not an 8 ounce bag. You will definitely not be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This medium English has a unique tin note - earthy and strangely sweet like rich moist garden soil. The smell put me off a little at first - it almost smelled spoiled - but I've warmed to it. The smoke is soft and cool with flavors of malt and a tinge of saltiness. There is mellowness and refinement here with some complexity waiting just below the surface. Definitely top-shelf.

Update March 2013: I have seen a few reviews posted saying that the later vintages of this blend are inferior to the older vintages. From my experience I cannot agree. I have smoked from both older and newer production and in my experience they are fairly consistent and equally excellent. Cool, creamy, smooth, and flavor unique to this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Art Pagano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Art Pagano (6)
★★★★
Strong Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the most enjoyable and relaxing English smoke!!! A must Tin to tuck away. update - I struggle to keep my hands off choosing this everynight. AWESOME!!!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is one of my favorite English blends, it is especially good I think with some age on it. I smoked about a one ounce sample of this last spring/summer and treasured every pipeful. When I found an 8 ounce bag of it at my local B&M I snatched it up. It is one of the most unique English blends I've ever smoked and I can't wait to smoke it again. I can't put my finger on the flavor exactly, most English blends taste like campfire, but I found this one to give me more of an impression of old worn leather, like a leather belt that has been worn every day for years. If you can get your hands on this blend I absolutely recommend it. It also has a unique smell out of the tin and one of the best room notes IMO of any English I've smoked thus far!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

T. Collin Francis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
T. Collin Francis (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said in over 300 reviews.

Tin note is rich sweet earthy tobacco with an occasional hint of iodine. Wonderful though moist, heavy and rich. It crumbles so easily I almost had a hard time getting a flake out of the tin. It packed better than most flakes lit easily but needed a few light tampings and relights....especially toward the end, but I didn't mind at all. Smooth and mellow, with a leathery aroma that is well complimented by the ever so slight smokiness of the Latakia, truly wonderful flavor that remained the same throughout the bowl. If you like English Blends you're gonna like this one, I can almost promise it. I'd give it Five Stars if I could.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Strong

Sampled from a 2008 vintage tin. The aroma is of a smoky Latakia presence combined with Oriental essence. I did not detect any flavoring from the sniff. I don't know but the majority of reviewers say it contains an extremely mild flavoring...I'll just go along with the majority on that one. The flakes are packed upright & sideways & occupy the full length of the tin. They are tender flakes that crumble more than seperate but the end result provides easy packing and a fantastic burn rate.

The main differences I found between this and quality English/ Balkan mixtures is: Penzance isn't as sweet or as flavorful and is more wimpy. I can see why so many pipesters are attracted to this particular blend...because most pipesters seem to prefer the more wimpy stuff. It smokes cool & mild without any harshness or bite. Very comfortable on the palate but is almost like stoking your pipe with plain air. It is lifeless/tasteless & bland after 1/3 of the bowl is smoked down...like drinking decaffeinated coffee. What's the use?

Lately, I've been sampling Latakia and Orientals, or a combination of such. I found Penzance to be a pretty good pipe tobacco that is probably one of the best in this genre since it is one of the most reviewed blends on this site. However, I prefer a blend of this genre that provides more flavor & strength....not one that offers a bland taste & a Latakia dominance. I don't want another bowl...ever! Very much over-rated IMO! Mississippi Mud is similar, stronger & tastes so much better. Therefore, IMHO, Penzance merits 2.4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

don1688 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
don1688 (27)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Original review 12/27/2010: I just don't get this one. The most beautiful tin presentation you'll ever see, but thats where the good ends for me.

I've tried this MANY times over the past 6 years. Each time saying to myself, now I'll get it.

This has a very bitter taste to it. It may, it must, be me because of the huge following it has. It smells as though it has been topped with something- not a perfume, flowery scent or fruit, just something.

This is probably my sixth tin tried and can't reach the middle of the tin, again. I really don't believe it's the Oriental/Turkish turning me off, and I love Latakia. Whatever it is I can't put my finger on, again.

I do recommend you to try, because I am in the minority, but in a word- bitter. Not a good bitter some Turkish leaves have, but a something is in this bitter.

Addendum 6/7/2011: well, I didn't give up! Getting used to this, found for me it worked in a Dunhill group 3 prince. Dark, Still somewhat bitter, but getting towards a good bitter. Have let this sit in a jar past 6 months and to me it has helped. Upgrading from to =.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (109)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

A personal irony: I was born in the town of Penzance, and the specialist tobacconist there (the excellent West Cornwall Cigar Co., in Chapel Street) has never even heard of this blend, which is not available in the UK. I can't imagine why it's not, given that it's made in Jersey by J.F. Germain & Son. I've tried for years to get a sample, and at last succeeded, thanks to a friend from the USA.

This is magnificent stuff. Tin aroma: superb; packing and lighting qualities: superb; smoking characteristics: superb. There's probably no point in adding to what previous reviewers have said about this exemplary English flake, other than to say that, if it were available here, I'd probably smoke nothing else. There just aren't enough superlatives to describe it adequately.

I intend to write to Germain's and ask them (a) why Penzance isn't sold in the UK, and (b) whether anything can be done to remedy this lack. I understand that, to some extent, scarcity is one of the things that makes a good thing stay good; but complete unavailability is ridiculous.

Update: I wrote to Germain's. They told me that Penzance is not available in the UK, which I knew already; that's why I wrote to them. They didn't explain why it isn't available, and suggested that I try their Latakia Flake instead. It seems very strange that they don't want to market such a big seller in the UK, but they obviously have no intention of doing so. It seems perfectly ridiculous to me. I tried their Latakia Flake. It's comparable and all right; that's about all you can say, really.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ewlewis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ewlewis (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I happened to find this blend at a shop I frequent a few times a year (they are good for supplying hard to find blends). I opened the tin before even leaving the store and was immediately hit with a wonderful tin note. From the first bowl I knew I would love this smoke.

Over the course of a couple weeks (the time it took to smoke the entire tin) I have continued my love affair. The Latakia is noticeable but does not overwhelm. The same can be said of the orientals and the VA. Overall this is just a beautifully melded mixture of tobacco. It can be complicated but also plays well as a second fiddle if need be.

I did find it a bit moist for me and required some drying time. I also found it a bit tempermental, especially near the bottom of the bowl, but with some slow puffing and some care it all worked out just fine. The major down side to this tobacco is the difficulty in obtaining it on a regular basis, fortunately I have a tin in the cellar. This is a blend that all English smokers should give a whirl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Crumbles to make packing the pipe easy. Lights easily and stays lit. And the smoothest, easiest smoke you'll ever have. Never harsh or wet. You don't have to baby it or think about it. A full English blend. Even this confirmed Virginia smoker must make room in the rotation for Penzance!

Update, 23 September 2011: Over the past year this has become my number one. I smoke it more than any other, and I keep a pound or more on hand at all times. I crave its flavor, adore its ease of smoking, and love the aftertaste that lingers for hours. Never bites. Never disappoints. I could alternate this with Escudo and never need anything else.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brakepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brakepipe (5)
★★★★
Strong Medium Full Tolerable

Laughed out loud reading scorpio2billion's review. Tonight I poured myself the last of a very old bottle of Laphroig. Ah, what latakia blend to accompany? Penzance came to mind immediately. Long time since I'd had some of either, and, surprisingly, I'd never tried them together. Rich, creamy cloud of incense to accompany the iodine of Islay. Decided to read the latest reviews on TR and there was a fellow thinking of the same flavours. But I don't consider this an overdoing of flavours. Rather I think a sip after a puff highlights the fundamental sweetness of the virginias in Penzance - a nice counterpoint to the medicinal quailty of Laphroig. A puff after a sip highlights the wonderful smokiness of the latakia. IMHO, latakia blends and scotches were meant for each other, but this particular combination is wedded Bliss. Stars - I see stars!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

scorpio2billion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scorpio2billion (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It's an English blend- it says so right on the tin. If you don't like English, you may not like Penzance. If you DO like English blends, this is your grail. Pay no heed to anyone, this is a 4 star tobacco. A beautiful flake that rubs out like magic, burns cool and evenly, and makes other tobaccos cry. It may not be everyones cup of gin, but it is definitely quality stuff. Taste being subjective and all, I still have no reservations about recommending this to anyone. It's phenolic, oily, smells like iodine, and it's delicious. Someone recommended having a bowlful of Penzance with a glass of Laphroaig. That would be like putting chocolate syrup on chocolate ice cream. If you've tasted Laphroaig, you've got a good idea of what Penzance is like. Personally, it's my favorite. If only everyone wasn't always out of it! Such are the burdens of quality, I guess. Try it- if you hate it, I'll buy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gandal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gandal (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the only Latakia-blend I smoke in my pipe after having tried many blends. I love Penzance in my morta pipe: a great pairing of pipe and tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jonapurcell Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonapurcell (4)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

Vapid - a waist of money and worthless. I cant believe people actually PAY for this stuff!! I did...I have thrown it in the trash!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I opened a tin that has been stored for about 6 months. I had just finished a tin of SG Bracken Flake and thought I would try the Penzance. Great scent upon opening - my tin was fairly damp so I let some flakes dry for about 10 minutes before loading.

I expected this to be difficult to crumble and/or load based on my experience with Bracken Flake. I was really suprised - it almost crumbles by itself! I decided to go really loose with the bottom of the bowl and then to roll a flake up for the top. It crumbles so easily I could not roll a flake.

I went really slow during the lite up stage and this seemed to work to get the top of the tobacco evenly lit. Slight tamping and quick relite and it was off to the races!

Good rich smoke and burned well. Changed complexity as went though the stages of the bowl - but all were pleasant to me. Burned to a nice fine ash and was very enjoyable. This tobacco is maybe a little milder than Bracken Flake and much milder that Petersons Irish Flake.

A great tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Poker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poker (2)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

Helloure It is pssible to purchase this tabacco directly by the Company : JF Germains and sons... I am not shure... Is the tabacco in the Tin diffent than the big bulk?? Up to know I am not compleately convinces by this tabacco. I love the Special Latkia though

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hiram Briar 23 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hiram Briar 23 (12)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

my personal favorite right now.

i had some fun and mixed penzance 50/50 with anniversary kake and it was pretty damned good.

[edit] 2011 batch is crap. smells like beef jerky in the tin. smokes terrible and the note is that of burning trash. they really screwed up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ryepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ryepipe (19)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Disappointed. Only recently has Penzance and Esoterica had traffic jams and hiccups in production and distribution. As mentioned by other reviewers over the last few years there is a problem with quality control. There shouldn't be such a huge disparity in flavor between bulk and tin. I have since my first tin purchase bought in 8oz bulk and have never been disappointed until now. The base tobaccos are fine but there is a top note missing that I crave that was something like anise and it has left the room. For me that was the activating ingredient, the magic that balanced the blend. Not what I paid for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rafer Janders Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rafer Janders (4)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I inherited about 50 cans of this wonderful tobacco. Strange but it's made in Jersey and it's unavailable in the UK! What a travesty.

When I first tried it, I had just started pipe smoking and having begun with Kendall's Sweet Peach, this English blend was a bit of a shock I wasn't ready for. I hated it. I even gave away 10 of them to a friend!

I moved on to my Grandad's favourite Erinmore Flake which I enjoyed and then to Erinmore's Balkan Mixture which has some really interesting flavours and aromas with the Latakia and Orientals. I was subsequently seduced by English blends and was led back to trying Penzance.

I now rate Penzance very highly. It has gorgeous crumbly flakes and despite the pungent smell ( like that of a farmyard I'm told), it burns very well with a rather pleasant room note. It is best sipped and savoured to draw the best from the subtle flavours of the tobacco. If you rush it, it burns too hot and like most the experience diminishes. This is certainly very top draw, best smoked after mid morning in my opinion.

The cans I have are aged I reckon because they have dried out a little. So much so that I needed to rehydrate them.

Like a lot of English blends I can understand it's not to everyone's taste. A fellow pipe-smoker friend of mine detests it but then he likes Petersen Aromatics such as Connoisseur's Choice which I find a touch shallow.

If you can find it and you enjoy English blends, you won't be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

j09823 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
j09823 (3)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Having seen many people highly rate this tobacco I grabbed a tin when I saw it sitting on the shelf at my local tobacconist. It certainly has a potent tin aroma, and complex taste, but perhaps a little much for my palette at this time. For an English I much prefer some Old Dublin, or even some And So To Bed also by Esoterica.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (46)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have about 20 tins cellared for over a year now.

Someone wrote this reminded him or her of beef jerky. It reminds me of church incense. After all, incense almost rhymes with Penzance. Rich, very creamy, citrusy and with a perfect body of taste and a dark, smoky energy. The elements - Virginia, latakia and the other orientals - meld together perfectly to my taste. After a year in the jar, it needed just a little rubbing out and fairly jumped into the bowl by itself, it was that easy to fill.

I like many English blends, but this one, along with Chelsea Morning, Margate and Park-Lane's Knightsbridge, makes me salivate and enter a state of sedate delirium. The epitome of an English blend, Penzance and CM are my personal top favorites among those four.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

utahpipeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
utahpipeman (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

With nearly 300 reviews I don't have much to add. This tobacco has a 3 star rating overall at the time of this review, but it's a 4 star tobacco for sure. I know...not everyone agrees with that, but you don't generate 300 reviews by being average and average tobaccos aren't out of stock half the time.

Nicely balanced flavors--everything plays a great role, so it never gets boring. Love the flake format. A must try!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

adauria Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
adauria (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Here's my review after 4 bowls in different pipes.

Tin Note:

It appears as lovely dark brown bits of goodness. The moisture level is about right to perhaps a little moist (nothing a few minutes won't fix). The smell is wonderful - Latakia is there, but I sense something else, something interesting. It smells sweet, but not that similar to VA sweetness... maybe orientals?

Packing:

It packs well enough. Nothing special here.

First Impression:

Nice - it hits you with a fair amount of flavor from the get go. It is sweet and smoky. There's no mistaking that this is an English, but there's some flavor there that's just out of reach.

Halfway Through Bowl:

The flavors build a bit in strength. It is fairly complex, unlike run of the mill English mixtures that just have a single latakia note. I blow it through my nostrils. The taste is still sweet and still smoky. I know there's some oriental or something floating around in there too. I like it a lot.

End of Bowl:

It burns down as well as most, maybe a tad better. It never got too goopy. The flavors can get a little bitter at the end if you push it hard to keep it lit, but nothing terrible. I didn't get much nicotine, and that's a good thing overall.

Room Note:

Hard to say as I smoke outdoors by myself, but I think it is better than most English lat-bombs.

Likes:

There is a fair amount of complexity along the lines of sweet, smoky, and exotic flavors. Lots to enjoy here. One of the better English tobaccos I've had, that's for sure.

Dislikes:

It can tend toward bitter or hard if rushed. This happened once when I had to fight to get it lit, and tended this way toward a couple of late bowls. Keep it cool and the problem is minimal.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kerdy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kerdy (43)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Tin Note: Smelled like a mild English. Nice!

Packing: Packed very easily. Almost too easily. Broken down nicely and had to be careful not to pack too tightly.

First Impression: Seemed very "olde world" and I liked it very much! I can understand why this is popular. Took to the flame fast and almost immediately started turning into a nice white ash.

Halfway Through Bowl: Still providing nice plumes of smoke. Fairly one dimensional but not bad at all. Good solid English.

End of Bowl: Had a few relights near the end which is unusual for me with English blends. Maybe a little drying out will help. Smokes hotter than I prefer near the end but still an enjoyable smoke overall. Would not turn away a gift of this stuff.

Room Note: Wife actually said she didnt think it was an overpowering room note, which means anyone else may not mind it.

Likes: I like English and this is a good one! Nothing stood out too much and no wild punch anywhere.

Dislikes: Too many relights near the end and got a little hot. After taste stays with you for some time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 3/24/12 With nearly 400 reviews, is anyone reading this? Obviously, you are, so here's my opinion, based on my latest sampling from a few tins that I've aged for a couple of years: Penzance is surprisingly smoother and more subtle than you would expect from a Lat-heavy blend that looks nearly black in the tin. Frankly, these flakes are somewhat bland in a genre that includes many other standouts, and I think it is somewhat over-rated, likely a result of its scarcity. The Orientals are fairly mild and pleasant, but lack intensity.

Still, Penzance is blended with artisanal care and is worth a try, especially given its legendary status (and excellent name). But don't sweat it if you can't score a tin. If you do, pack its contents somewhat looser than you usually would; don't rub it out too much, and air it out for best results. I prefer Margate and the new Balkan Sobranie.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BossSauce Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BossSauce (9)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I want to stuff flakes of this up my nose and smell it all day long. It makes me think of beef jerky. I like beef jerky. It smells and tastes delicious - this tobacco that is, though the same is true of beef jerky. I want to cook with this stuff. It makes me hungry. It's fun to smoke, the tin is fun, rubbing it out (sounds dirty) is fun. I'm buying multiple tins of this stuff. Hurray!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Hi everybody, this is here a great tobba, very complex, rich and fine, one of the best...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Balisongbaka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Balisongbaka (5)
★★★★
Strong Mild Full Tolerable

this has to be one of my all time faves. the place by me is almost always out of it because i just cant seem to get enough. it is a nice long smoke so plan for that

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FALCON Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FALCON (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Maybe the best only whish for more nicotine.this is a GREAT tobacco.not to miss.5 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cshawnb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cshawnb (1)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First, this isn't a review but a response. Daisym, you can buy the 8 oz. bags online at http://www.iwanries.com. I just ordered some today.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daisym Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daisym (1)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I can't find where to buy the 8 oz bag of Penzance... The venders that carry it on the Internet are all out of stock. Does anyone know of a vendor that has it in stock? Penzance is my favorite tobacco, bare none.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Baggins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Baggins (7)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Although new to pipe smoking, I found Penzance to be a profound smoking pleasure. This is one of the first high-end tobaccos I have tried due to review reading. Everything I read about it heightened my curiosity. As my palate develops I will be coming back to update this review.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Matt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matt (14)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

My brothers nieghbor dropped me off this as I had given him tobacco to try in the past. This is my first english blend so I dont have much to go on. I smoke Boswell blends almost exclusivly so this was very different than what im used to.

I opened up the tin and took a smell and thought "hell no" there is no way im filling a pipe with this but this morning I tried it. I used one flake which gave me almost half a bowl. I can say it wasnt as bad as it smelled, a different flavor than what im used to maybe alittle soapiness but it wasnt an unpleasent experiance. It needed a relight but left the pipe dry. Despite the liking of something different I think im gonna give this back to him, however this makes me want to try the Boswell mild english blend if anything just for something different.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Life goes on Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Life goes on (6)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Tolerable

This is a penultimate tobacco for me. It has become the old Balkan Sobranie for me, but better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RxMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RxMan (17)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This review comes right after a hour or so respite from smoking, a visit to the dentist, and a pipeful of Penzance for the ride home. No doubt this a quality, well made, crumble cake (flake), however the latakia proportion of this mixture overwhelms any other tobacco presence to be discovered for most of the bowl. Again, this is not a regular for me, and I might have missed something that others have reported, but Penzance is an interesting smoke if nothing else, certainly not a classic in my 40 years experience of pipe smoking. All in all, it is worth a try, especially if you crave latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fernalgas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fernalgas (8)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I want to enjoy this tobacco as many people have.I am not there yet. The tin smells smoky with a strong hint of BBQ sauce. I have only smoked about three bowls. Will review later when done with the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tyro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tyro (10)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Without doubt the BEST English flake out there. This is a blend that defines the word 'synergy' and is my special treat when I am looking for seductively smooth black Latakia magic. Even the presentation is superior! Little slices of pure delight arranged in an orderly row like Redcoats on their battle line. I buy in bulk to get the best for my dollar... but I sure do love those tins!!!

Highly recommended 10 of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bob Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bob Smith (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

There's nothing to say that hasn't been said. Even that has already been said. I just wanted to register my 4-star vote. But since I'm here, I'll make a couple of observations:

If you like Penzance young, wait until you try it with some age on it. I bought a fair amount of this stuff ten years ago, and it is really fine now.

I find the crosscut form kind of fun. Crumbling it out into those tiny cubes adds to the ceremony of pipe smoking.

If you like Penzance, you might also like McClelland's #14. It's the same idea: a medium-to-full, well-balanced, slightly sweet English, loaded with natural Oriental flavor.

A lot of old guys like me like to moan about the demise of the great old tobaccos that are no longer available. But the truth is, some of the blends made today by Esoterica, McClelland, Pease and a couple others are every bit as good as, or better than, anything available back in the day. Penzance is one of them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
★★★☆
Strong Strong Very Full Overwhelming

Penzance is a highly reputed blend inside Chinese pipe smokers. The cut is good and the humidity is just fit for immediate enjoyment. I have a pipe dedicated to this blend. It is just amazing. However, only enjoying it in my first-of-the-day smoke could I enjoy the full taste of this blend, and just because of this fact I couldn't give this blend a 4-star. But anyway, bravo Esoterica Tobacciana, because of the experience of Penzance I do not regret ordering various other blends from this blender. Let's see.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

uvacom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
uvacom (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Everything about this tobacco screams perfection to me. I don't care if everybody else seems to think so too, that just goes to show that there are actually plenty of people around with their heads screwed on straight.

It begins upon opening the tin. At first the note is boldly phenolic, reminding me very much of an islay scotch, particularly laphroaig. Underneath some complexity is revealed, some coniferous/pine pitch notes that I assume come from the cyprian latakia. The tin is packed with flakes which just stay together until you no longer wish that they do so, then nothing more than a slight trembling of the fingers is required to break the flake and load one's bowl. Certainly, there is an art to loading even krumble kake, but really just about anything will do with this tobacco, is is very tolerant of lazy pipe loading.

This tobacco lights easily and (provided it is dried somewhat as virtually all pipe tobaccos should be) smokes quite coolly. It is actually quite a bit more subdued than its tin aroma would suggest, but it is also more nuanced. It can be reminiscent of dried stonefruit if smoked delicately. This is a tobacco that provides a rugged but varied sensory landscape to explore, and even when you become familiar with the territory subsequent journeys always seem to pick up just a little something new.

This tobacco is quite simply iconoclast.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brother K Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brother K (7)
★★★★
Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I don't really know what else to say except this is simply the best tobacco I have ever had. EVER. THE BEST. Try it you'll love it.

I would add to stay away from the bulk form of this tobacco as it is almost a totally different taste and should be renamed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wrangler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wrangler (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What an interesting smoke. I like it better than the Margate that came with it. I've only had one bowl so far (I'm still smoking it as I type) and although it is smoking a little wet for me, I like it a lot. I'll have to dry out my next load a little more before I smoke it. I'm gonna have to practice my flake bowl filling technique to get the best from this tobacco though. Dang noobee! All in all a good smoke, I recommend it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JLong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JLong (35)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

After a few bowls and two weeks of the tin being cracked, the flavors really came through for this wonderful stuff and it is something to savor on. It has some Balkan like thickness and creamyness to it. The taste is extremely pleasant if not addictive. Cool smoking and no bite. A load needs to dry out for 30 minutes or so before smoking. I give it 5 stars if you're into balkans and latakias. This stuff is really in a class of its own I think. Another keeper for my monthly shopping list.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sniper3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sniper3 (26)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I know I'm in the minority here, but it is just not that great. Maybe the blend changed? What's worse every now and again it bites. I know some love it so that they have named their children after it. It is a quality tobacco for sure - there are better. Much better!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Korndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Korndog (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

First of all; who's Theodore?

Anyway, this stuff is quite remarkable. I remember the hype ten years ago when I was smoking my pipes more, but never really got into the Penzance mode. This is very high quality shite, to say the least. I am amazed at the thought that goes into Stonehaven and this cake to make them the most appealing of products, piquing all senses. I enjoy this on occasion, but not as an office smoke. I won't go into specific sensations, but suffice to say it is quite wonderful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Try this one in the tin before you try it in bulk. The presentation in the tin and the composition of the flakes (sliced Krumble Kake to be more precice) is a big part of the appeal of this tobacco. I have tins and I have some in bulk and the taste is different as well. The tins have a much smoother and rounder flavor, perhaps because of the extra time spent aging in a tin at the tobacconists shop without exposure to air. The bulk version seems to be the bits and ends of the kakes left over after they have trimmed, cut, and sliced the kakes to fit so perfectly in the tin. Surely this is the same tobacco but is not handled in the same way. My flakes were a lovely dark color with light specks and the sugar crystal formation of the aged virginias. Much of that is missing in the bulk version. Also, if you pay close attention, many of the poorer reviews are given by smokers who sampled the bulk version only. I give this one a solid 3 stars because I prefer perique in my blends. 4 stars is reserved for those rare blends that put me in a state of bliss which I am finding in perique blends only these days.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ismokeadapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ismokeadapipe (21)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

First off I must say that this is NOT a social tobacco. I have smoked some English blends around my wife and this one drove her out of the room. It is a very strong English in my estimation, but pleasant. I liked it. It was somewhat difficult to stay lit but maintained it's flavor to the bottom of the bowl. Produced a nice ash...very good, but definitely not for everyone.

On a side note. The tin is very small and since it is a broken flake tobacco, if you are using a bigger sized pipe, you will need several flakes to fill the bowl. One flake for me barely filled half in my Philip Trypis Freehand pipe, and it is medium size.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DaveS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DaveS (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

W.C Fields said," Once for a few days during prohibition, I was forced to live on food and water." I feel the same way if heaven forbid, I'm out of Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I must say this is a tastey smoke.Very well balanced and neatly packaged.Easy to rubout and to smoke.Not a smoke for newbies.Not my every day smoke but nice for late evening.I would say every one should try this at least one time.I'll stick with my virgnia but like a change now and then.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one of my staples, cant think of any I could say that hasn't already been done better than I could.

Bad Good = Excellent * Exceptional

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tudval Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tudval (18)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Exquisite taste and flavor, as has been described by others. No tongue bite and cool burning. It can be challenging to pack and light properly, so it requires some practice (I am getting there).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stationmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stationmaster (7)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Strong

I came into this Penzance too late I think. After trying all the different beginner tobaccos and working out that I?m an English/Balkan, Latakia type and then reading these fine reviews, I went straight to GLPs Westminster and I think I?ve been spoilt. I recently got 8 oz?s of this Penzance cause it ticked all the boxes as well, but it?s not nearly as good. It smells right, looks right and starts well. In the middle it gets steamy and one dimensional, and at the end it?s wet and tastes dirty. It leaves the pipe gummy and smelling a bit sour too. Maybe I got a damp batch, so to be fair I?ll let it age in a jar and try it again in a year or so, and re-review it. Moontigers remind me of summers long gone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mick (10)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

Smoking this stuff made me reminisce back to my childhood days, growing up in Far North Queensland. During the wet season, when the mosquitoes were really bad, we would have to use Mozzie coils to keep them at bay. The smell and taste in the mouth of these burning coils of cow sh*t is exactly what Penzance remindes me of. This is one of THE most foulest tobacco's you could ever not want to try. I even persisted with this one due to all the other good recommendations and reviews. If my rating comes up with any stars just picture a minus sign before it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Piper (12)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an excellent english style tobacco. It is easy to prepare for filling. It is easy to light and has the most wonderful flavor. I have smoked many of the Esoterica blends and they are of the finest quality. This stuff stays good all the way down to the last. I smoke this in a Dunhill group 4 pot shape and it does justice to this fine blend. Dont pass this one up. I have spent many nice evenings around our firepit with a nice blaze going and a bowl of penzance. What a life!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Nothing to say that hasn't been said 250 times already. Just wanted to stand and be counted as a HUGE fan of this amazing tobac. A little dry time is needed (haven't found the perfect amount of time yet) but too muchf dry time and the flake turns to dust!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This recipe should have been the penultimate English/Balkan blend for me. But as Maxwell Smart would say, it "missed it by that much". I very much enjoyed the tin I bought but I probably won't puchase it again, or at least, not very often. It was a nice tasting smoke, fairly complex and quite a changeling. If I had to put my finger on the "problem" (overstated - it was more the reason it missed the mark for me slightly rather than a problem), I would say that the virginia didn't mesh quite as well as I'd like. It was there and then gone... or so it seemed to me. Then the orientals and latakia took over. It seemed to be two different blends depending on where I was in the bowl rather than a blend cut from a single cloth. That isn't a bad thing at all, and if you love latakia, you definitely need to try this stuff.

So in a sense, my 3 star rating is more for how it suited ME rather than a recommendation to others. I give it a 4 star recommendation for lovers of hearty english/balkan blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fofo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fofo (78)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

WOW - To say that this blend is overrated and overhyped would be the biggest understatement of the century. No, it is not a bad smoke, but the quality does not merit the 20 dollars per tin this stuff is currently demanding.

Penzance is a good English/Balkan with a good flavor, though I would not call it full. Complexity? none. I smoked this stuff and moved on, never got it again because it was forgettable.

To each his own. If you like it enough to pay 10 dollars per ounce, go ahead. If you are lucky enough to find it in stock and have never tried it and want to know if it's worth all that money, you are the only judge of that. If you want a full bodied smoke, this isn't it.

The tobaccos used are obviously of quality but the blend lacks climax. I'd recommend this to someone fairly new to English blends who might be afraid of too strong a flavor, only if it was available and priced properly. For what it is, it's way over priced.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lez0n Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lez0n (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Just one more fan of Penzance wanting to chime in. It is always a mainstay in my stash. I'm sitting on a pound of it I've been aging for at least 4 years. Volumous smoke with a great depth and breath of flavor and aroma. Plenty of Latakia but smooth enough to smoke all day.

I have recently begun indoctrinating a friend into the fellowship of the leaf. Not knowing his tastes I gave him a sample of a solid aromatic, a non-aromatic virginia blend, and Penzance. I thuroughly expected him to enjoy the aromatic to start but he ended up loving the Penzance!! Now I'm having trouble getting him to try other blends to broaden his palette!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plex (39)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin description above says, "A wonderful complex secret recipe ...."

Beats the Colonel's secret recipe by miles. A need say no more than I have many dozens of tins in storage, far more than any other tobacco, ever. Four stars, only because it is the max I can give it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

final_id Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
final_id (35)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I think this is a near-ideal Latakia blend.

It comes in crumble-cake, which is an annoyance if you carry / travel your pipes, but is really the right packaging for this style of tobacco. The tight-packed flakes turn into straight little spikes pretty much on their own, and then they descend into the pipe in a neatly organized and helpful manner. Almost packs itself (if you have a table on which to break up the crumble). I often find the tin itself to be insufficiently sealed -- closing the remaining tobacco back up in the tin isn't tight enough, and it dries out too soon. Maybe I just need to smoke faster so that it runs out before it dries out. :)

It has just the right amount of zippy Latakia tang, without being overbearing, for me. It's like the perfect sweet-and-sour sauce, exactly the level of mixture that makes sure you aren't tasting one note over the other, such that the instant you concentrate on A, B takes over, and vice versa. It's easy to light, it stays lit well, it smokes cool and slow, or, if you prefer, it also smokes wet and fast, it makes a fine nice white ash. It tends to smoke through the center of the barrel of the bole (does that make sense?) rather than across the whole body of the pot. In other words, the fire drills a core down the middle of the pot-ful, and I use a tool several times to bring the sides of the bowl down, in order to gather a lot of unsmoked tobacco down into the belly of the bowl to smoke it.

I would give it top marks but, it's just not "special" enough. Something's missing for the top grade. But it's still excellent work, now one of my main go-to tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KINGCOLE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KINGCOLE (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This mixture reminds me of the Sobranie blend that came in the black and gold package. Seems to pack a lighter load of orientals, but, like old black BS, it has excellent balance and an abundance of complex flavors and full bodied richness. The flake is readily friable, packs easily, and takes to flame eagerly. Unlike many other English blends, this one is very easy on the tounge - - no burn, no bite. I recommend this to all who favor English naturals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I got a shipment today of several blends new to me. I opened this Penzance tin and asked the little lady what she thought thinking she would turn up her nose. She liked it. She isn't particularly impressed with the vaper flakes I favor. I didn't know what to think about the tin note, and I didn't take much time trying to place it. UPDATE: I 'm thinking Rosin core solder flux, a pleasant note known to those who wield a soldering pencil.

I like the ritual of flakes. I like to handle tobacco, and this one is delightful. It is not dense like most flakes I play with, but it felt good. I thought it might be overly moist, but it burned very cool and dry with copious amounts of smoke. The tobacco disappeared quickly. Maybe I packed it too lightly, maybe I didn't take enough time?

I don't know much about English blends. Here is what I detected in no particular order. Leather. Durian fruit. A tangy, heart shaped herbal leaf my wife adds to her spring rolls (I don't know what it is, but she calls it hootenany and it does very well in the garden). A spicy something. Incense, very faint. A very slight medicinal mecurachrome, and lots of sweet, sweet tobacco. All very pleasant, very interesting. Nothing to complain about here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (67)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I really like this. Bought a tin in New York at Barclay and Rex on 51st. Opening the tin, the tobacco is cut in slices that crumble easily. Haven't been able to just get one or two slices out but then I wasn't too gentle since I just dove in. Crumbles well and easy fill to any pipe. Am currently breaking in a Dunhill Billard #3 and due to the cool smoke and the slow burn, great for this purpose. Gives off lots of smoke. The aroma is typical English latakia. The blending of latakia, virginaian and orientals is very nice. Smoked Dunhill 965 right after a pipe yesterday and have to admit, think I liked Penzance better. Leaves a nice fluffy grey ash. Dryed out unfortunately too quicly in the tin so the next tin I will add to a humidor jar....and I will get a few more tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (196)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Penzance is a high quality English blend, well balanced, easy to pack and light, semi sweet with soft and smooth Latakia, elegant with enough body and complexity to keep the smoker interested. Actually I am smoking this blend from a 2 year?s old jarred pound; it tastes truly fantastic, very mellow and tasty.

Overall, this is a very respectable English Tobacco, Highly recommended for English smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quick_nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quick_nick (27)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Strong

It's a bit finicky nature but was still an ok smoke. It was rather wet at the end of the bowl and I wasn?t rushing the smoke a bit. It was a nice and smoky blend but I found it slightly boring. I participated in a blind tobacco review in which none of the reviewers like it very much and most of them like are fond of latakia and orientals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

This is a classic for me.. absolutely spicy and interesting.. the flavor lingers and opens up your senses.. the room note is terrible so you might want to take this one outside.. but i promise that it is worth the price.. far creamier than most blends i have smoked.. this delivers latakia but in the most tasty way you could imagine..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Amateur Hour Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Amateur Hour (1)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I must first apologize for this review in advance. I am a new pipe smoker ? I was given a beautiful Cavicchi pipe from my wife for Christmas and this is one of the first tobaccos I have purchased for use. I bought the tobacco based on the reviews on this website. I figured I would look for a mild tobacco with numerous ratings that were good in the mild to medium category. It is as described by the previous reviews. I am in the wine business by trade and feel comfortable with my palate. I noticed aromas of steak sauce when I opened the tin. Needless to say I have never even seen pipe tobacco that was packaged as such, like bacon! It has a very fragrant burn and, fellow Catholics, reminded me of incense from a funeral? This was not a bad experience by any means. Well rounded, great burn, flavorful? But I think I am still in my ?wine cooler? stage of smoking. I think I need to try more of the fruit flavored (cherry?) tobaccos before continuing down this path. I would recommend this to a more advanced smoker. I believe I would appreciate this more had I smoked for a longer period of time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

catdaddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
catdaddy (18)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Something must be very wrong that this exquisite tobacco isn't over on the 4 star section. It's just not possible that anyone could not love Penzance. The word is "tranquility".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (107)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

2014 update: Good and bad news. As suspected, fresh tins remain my favorite latakia smoke. I had the mixed pleasure of obtaining two of them recently from a friend who miraculously obtained them and then had to quit smoking altogether. I compared new with freshly opened 2005 and threw the old out. Sorry, hoarders, smoke em if you've got em. The essence of all I adore about Penzance fades in the sealed tin. As I was once guilty of hoarding, I am in no position to criticize, but karma bites. I am restoring its rightful 4 stars with this caveat.

(2009 update) Arrgh: trouble in paradise. I just opened a tin from 2005 and found it too soggy to stay lit (gurgle gurgle) and losing or have lost high notes when dried to proper moisture. The former wide spectrum of flavor is now more monochromatic; it tastes of dirt and phenol like Pease's Abingdon, q.v. Either this didn't age well or else it is a fluke. I just restocked and wished I hadn't. I recommend instead Pipes and Cigars "Ten to Midnight" for better price and comparable (original) flavor, an opinion I held even when I loved Penzance. Downgraded by two stars, pending opening a new tin; either way, it loses stars.

Hmmm.. it seems others have adjusted their ratings too, and not upwards...

(Original 2005 review) Yup, yup, yup... Scroll thru the list and count the 4-stars. There's good reason. Excellent quality latakia showcase tobacco. I don't do Dunhill any more, Esoterica does anything they do better, more consistently and without declining quality. Enough said already here; I have little to add. Love the crumble-able flakes and the small efficient tin easily pocketable. A classic for the ages, legendary stuff in our own time.

Age When Smoked: 1, 4, 9 yrs

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Lovers of aromatics beware. This stuff is not for you. A very full bodied English mottled cake that is full of sweet, smoky goodness. While it contains plenty of Latakia, the component is not overwhelming and works well with the other ingredients to create a unique and flavorful smoke for the smoker. Burns clean and to a white ash. Having also tried Smoker's Haven Krumble Kake, I cannot tell the difference in the two and am reasonably certain they are the same exact blend by Germain.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SydPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SydPiper (4)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

The first time I smoked this it was remarkable. I have now consumed 6oz of it and just received a bulk order of 8oz. This jumps right out of the tin at you. The packaging is wonderful as you can pack a bowl in different ways. I perfer to crumble it and it works wonderful. I thought this just cant be that good and even tried smoking it over and over and still didnt get tired of it. The belnd is truley a delight! If you like English blends, you really should give it a go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Zorg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Zorg (34)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

It's simply the best tobacco I ever smoked, and I smoked quite a lot. Wife rating is also good. So why wait before trying this Heaven's gift ? Simply the best.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Gentleman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Gentleman (28)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

I tried this again and felt that it needed a new review.

My first impressions of Penzance were less than favorable and although it didn't meet my initial expectations, there was something about it that kept bringing me back. The crumble cake flake is a very nice texture and humidity. Packs perfectly and burns cool. I don't know if this is a complex smoke, however it is full and satisfying. I prefer this over Odyssey, but Old Ironsides was better than both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Can't beat the quality and price -2oz tins. Breaks up easily, and the pre-sliced pieces are perfect for packing. Flavor is great, a good flake. Buy it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

endubito Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
endubito (13)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

With so many wonderful reviews, or course I had to try Penzance. And of course I wasn't disappointed. I don't have much to add to the positive reviews that come before mine; pick a description, any description, from those that love this tobacco and I concur completely.

Sadly, this will not make it into my rotation for now. However much I love it, I love Pease's Westminster even more. And while Stokkebyes Balkan Supreme is not quite as sophisticated, it is oh so much cheaper.

Nevertheless, if you lean even slightly toward the balkan-English-blur-the-lines blends, you owe yourself at least one tin of Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

john doe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john doe (41)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

Update

Either this tobacco has changed or my taste buds have. This is monotonous and overpowering, with no subtlety. Abingdon is better than this, but I prefer Westminster -- there is just more going on.

--

Quite possibly the world's most perfect tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Than Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Than (14)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Enough has already been written about this blend. Everyone should try it at least once.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarBurner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarBurner (29)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the blend I enjoy daily.A true pleasure to smoke. Given 3 tobaccos to be stranded on that desert island with.... Penzance is definitely one of my 3 choices. Not much can I say that hasn't already been addressed many times already. But if you want a rich, smooth, flavorful tobac that never disappoints..this is the one. I particularly like to relight because this blend puts out enormous clouds of beautiful blue smoke.Burns a nice white ash all the way down to the dottle. Do yourself a favor & try the Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zakellen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zakellen (4)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong

Something went terribly wrong with this blend. I had a review ready to go that went like this: "Penzance is a gift from the Gods..etc" but now, well, I just don't get it.

I had bought two 2 ounce tins and loved the stuff so stinkin' much that I went ahead and bought two 8 oz. bags. Now I'm stuck with one pound of compost.

This bulk stuff is like comparing a corncob to a Dunhill. It finishes soapy where it used to finish clean. It burns when it used to roll by like a cool summer breeze. It gives little smoke when it used to yield smoke like the Denver skyline. You get the picture?

Is this just the bulk that's gone bad or is it the little guys too? Somebody's gots some 'splainin to do.

If you see a tin that was made in 2007 or earlier GET IT!! If not, remove your hat, say, "I'd love to Penny but you've changed," put your hat back on, then walk off into the sunset. -Z

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I had been meaning to try this for years, as it seemed to be the holy grail of English Blends. I really liked the small rectangular tin it came in and the label was very appealing with its calligraphic-like font. When I opened the tin I was met with the very strong aroma of Latakia. This crumble-flake broke up easily into mostly black and dark brown pieces. There was a feel to the tobacco, in my hand, that seemed to suggest a casing or humectant, but I didn't notice any type of additive when I smoked it.

I filled my Stanwell bulldog with the finely broken up pieces after some drying time (6 hours. It still had that odd feel to it) Penzance filled and lit very well. It took off with a great volume of smoke and no relights were needed.

This is a well behaved tobacco offering only a little bite when over-puffed. The taste was very dominantly that of Latakia, and the aroma was the same. The Orientals winked at me, but not very often and the VAs seemed to be lost. I like a well balanced English and this simply was not...I found it to be very singular in its taste and aroma. It was boring and I found myself longing for a bowl of Squadron Leader (my favorite English).

After cleansing my palate with a gulp of water there was a strange soapy like taste that remained for hours.

I'm glad I finally got to try this blend, but it certainly was not as great as other's here thought. Oh well, there's no accounting for taste and to a lover of full blown Latakia blends this would be great, especially due to the great burning characteristics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

farmgent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
farmgent (4)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very good smooth smoke. Crumbles easily into the bowl. I like EMP (older version), and Piccadilly. This was a wonderful fuller taste and smoke. Upon opening the tin, I enjoyed the smell. A richness that could almost be tasted. Thank you Tobaccoreviews for helping me find this blend. It will be one of my favorites.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stream25 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stream25 (7)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Usually I go through different review components, but there is not much more that can be said about this really good tobacco. Those who like full bodied tobacco should try it at least once. Enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hermit 78 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hermit 78 (33)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable

I used to love Penzance, but one day it just turned on me. I realized what I had mistaken for the fragrance and complexity of the orientals was actually a cloyingly sweet casing, the latakia started to gross me out, and I haven't been able to finish a bowl since. I don't get it, because this stuff used to be it for me. Now I usually smoke GLP's Westminster when I'm in the mood for an English, which admittedly isn't too often these days.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Virginia, Orientals and Latakia play nicely together, and go to neutral corners when a time out is needed, allowing the other tobaccos in the blend a chance in the spotlight. The cut allows considerable flexibility in preparation and is also easy to travel with in the pouch...it rubs itself out to a nice broken flake. Not a blend for the hot and humid dog days of summer, but once the weather cools off a bit, out comes the half gallon jar of Penzance. I always keep a few pounds of the bulk aging in the cellar, which does double duty as an ice chest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Battling Maxo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Battling Maxo (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Penzance is one of the few tobaccos on my ?wow list.? The presentation is superb, a beautiful crumble cake. The tin aroma is understated but the flakes are perfectly sized; one flake = one bowl. The humidity is ideal; simply rub it out and smoke, with no drying time. I have an incorrigible penchant for latakia, and to that end Penzance delivers a smooth, rich, and complex smoke.

Only the very finest tobacco, whether pipe or cigar, has the ability to make you stop what you?re doing, sit down, and release your mind for a little while. Penzance is one of these.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zierro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zierro (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Delicious aroma that urges you to quickly fill a bowl. The orientals tempt some to believe this blend is cased. I can find no evidence of anything but pure tobaccos.

I suppose most folks will find this blend on the heavy side, yet it falls on the mild side of my taste curve. I prefer as a summer smoke, letting the smooth creaminess, fill my taste buds. A nice but not too bold Latakia presence, takes turns with the Orientals to deliver some great variations through the Virginia's. Burns smooth and clean, the crumble cake may take some adjusting to learn to pack.

The blend age's well and worth putting up.

Recommend to all English blend enthusiasts, and the Va/Per smokers who like to kick it up a notch, on occasion. I doubt it will do much for aromatic fans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

This superior blend is pure excellency! It has right humidity so handling with it makes no trouble. From the very first moment a tin is opened till the last pipe is smoked, this tobacco gives great pleasure and burns to white ash. It is recommendable for beginners as well or experienced smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tennessee texan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tennessee texan (21)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Penzance is a great English Blend. My bench marks are Dunhill's EMP 965 and NC. No more, Penzance is my new bench mark. Dunhill is a bit harsh by comparison.

This one has no bite and is a complex smooth smoke with a satisfying amount of Latakia. It burns well and leaves no after taste for me. A creamy wonderful tasting tobacco. I really like the crumbly texture and the way it goes into my pipe so easily. Highest recommendation and well worth the money.

Update: July 22, 2008: I am in total agreement with comments made by BriarChef in his review!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Superb blend! Taste and smell are terrific (sweet and spicy), just as the leave and burning properties! The best tobacco I've smoked so far. Would give it 5 stars if I could.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

awt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
awt (15)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong

A fantastic all-round latakia flake. Burns evenly, white ash, and so on and so forth. I enjoy with Westminster, Odyssey, Piccadilly and other english mixtures. Some have compared it to Frog Morton:no way this is at a very different level and most it is not sweet-sticky-flavored as FM. A great smoke indeed. Unfortunately not available in EU.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirShaggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirShaggy (28)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

One of my new favorites. I have smoked 2 full tins in a short time. I love this tobac. It never wears my mouth out yet has a great taste. Always seems too moist in the tin but I guess that's easily remidied. I get complaints about the room note but I like it. After reading "Past Master's" review I thought I'd try, it does go well with Scotch!! This is incredibly smooth and cool with a great rich taste to it. No dullness all the way to the bottom. I like to use a Comoy's #604 with this, that's about the best size to really enjoy it. I may end up with a few smokes to rotate between after all. Now, my only gripe is getting the hang of packing this tobacco just right. It takes a little dry time and it does go out now and again. I am sure that is me. This is some sort of a Cake/Flake and moist! I love the smell it leaves on my hands after smoking it all day. Man this is just that good!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Past Master Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Past Master (17)
★★★★
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not for the faint of heart. This takes me to the markets of Marakesh or the camel herders tents of Afghanistan. I normally smoke this by the fireplace after a good steak dinner. Definitely separates the men from the boys. If I were to pair this with a good Scotch whisky, I'd have to choose a strongly peated Islay like Laphroaig. Its not one of the wife's favorites.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my all day blend. No matter what else I smoke, this one is always close by. I wish more than 4 stars were available. Very highly recommended

03/06/2009 Penzance is one of the finest blends I have ever tried. The tin aroma suggests fine tobacco, and the smoking of that tobacco confirms it. The crumble cake form is easy to load. My tin was a bit too moist, but about 45 minutes of airing rendered it ready for bowl and match. This amazing blend could could easily be an all day blend for me. Smooth flavor, no toungue bite, but rather a "coolness" on the tongue. The "coolness" is not the result of any flavoring or casing, but the result of tobacco components that work very well together. Highly recommended to any pipester.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarFire~ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarFire~ (24)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Strong

This is the only english I like, the virginias are very sweet if smoked slowly,it does go flat if puffed too fast,There's probably more of a oriental element to this because there's not much of a latakia after taste like you get with the Frog or Coyote classic and Dark english full by McC.The crumble cake flake makes loading and smoking easy.I must be lucky,the quality has always been good in the tins I've bought,I cant compare it to the 8 oz. bags, I dont smoke enough Penzance to buy it in bulk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

EtOH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
EtOH (7)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I find myself having to try to like this flake and to me if I have to try to like a tobacco, it's just not worth it. Upon opening the tin the smell is of a moist latakia and virginia blend. But there is also a companion aroma which consists of a slight chemical preservative musk which appears frequently throughout the smoking experience as well as in the raw tobacco aroma.

The presentation is nice, however, the flakes crumble much too easily and once a few have been removed from the tin the remaining flakes become more or less rubbed out within the tin itself. The tobacco is also extremely moist and not in a good way; it is almost like it was sprayed or soaked in some sort of chemical prior to packaging. I will finish this tin because I do enjoy the latakia and the smoke is smooth, but I will not be ordering more.

Am I the only one who gets a chemical sensation from the taste and aroma of Penzance?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokinj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokinj (19)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice blend to smoke. One only needs to open the Tin to see and smell Quilty! To me it is alot like S.G. Chocolate Flake. P.S. (i have many blends I will trade if you dont like this one)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gorealestate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gorealestate (28)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Strong

Like many other folks, I tried this blend because of the raving reviews from this site. I am mostly an aromatic smoker but had to try this to see what all the chirping was about. I was pretty surprised when my order arrived. Upon opening the pouch, my first thought was that this was something that came from a cow pasture. It looked & smelled like cow shit. It has a strong/pungent aroma. My friends (who don?t smoke) like to smell the different blends that I have and when they smell this one, they step back and say ?wohhh, that stuff smells nasty!?.

I keep coming back to this blend so I can give a non-bias review. Upon lighting this stuff up, it has a strong taste to it and remains that way all the way down. No doubt you can taste the Latakia & Orientals. The room aroma is strong and very harsh. Takes awhile to air out a room after smoking this stuff and will linger on your taste buds for a while and leave a pretty ?turd like? nasty after- taste?.IMO. NOT RECOMMENDED BEFORE A DATE! I must say, you have to have a taste for this. For me, I?m kinda sitting on the fence with this one. It surely won?t impress non-smokers and I only recommend this if you are by yourself?..almost the feeling of eating garlic?..tastes great but be prepared for the strong aftermath! I think a person has to try this one as this may be their favorite or?.worst.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokin ty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokin ty (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

i have only had one 2oz tin of it so far but the tin was pretty amazing for me. i have been an aromatic smoker for about 3 years and this has single handedly made me a permanent english fan. after reading many of the reviews i think i may have gotten lucky with the tin. it had been aged almost 3 years at the tobacanist. over all i highly recomend this tobacco at least just to try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

parris001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
parris001 (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

First off, I can't smoke at work. Don't have the time, isn't convenient, not worth the hassle. But I'll carry this tin in my pocket just to pull it out and smell it during the day. The latakia isn't offensive but it is strong, and it melds with a fruity aroma like that of apricots. Very nice......

Penzance handled and packed well. No relights after the initial char. This baccy has a lot going on in it. Lots of pleasant flavors, one of which oddly enough is of a brand new baseball glove! Very earthy in that kind of way. No bite at all. The latakia never gets overpowering or outstays it's welcome.

The room note gets different reviews depending on the company I'm keeping at the time. Other smokers don't find it objectionable, those who are sensitive don't much care for it.

I'll bring along a tin every once in a while when I wish I could get in a smoke at work. Just get it out and enjoy the aroma......... MMMMM........ nice!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AnalogMoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AnalogMoz (9)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

----Update 4/9/2008: Upgrade to 3 stars as I've found this blend to have increased much after a bit of aging and drying. The creaminess of the orientals is especially lovely.----

Although this community seems remarkably civil I still fear to criticize this much-touted blend. In light of all of the overwhelming opinion of seasoned veterans of smoking, I find this tobacco to be...okay. The aroma of the unburnt tobacco has a moldy tang that is interesting--the latakia isn't heavyhanded or crude. But I'm finding this blend to burn hotter than I desire and no matter how I rub the flake I cannot achieve what I desire from a good bowl of tobacco. I think I may know what it is: as a former cigarette consumer I commonly made my own cigarettes, experimenting with dozens and dozens of tobaccos. And I always hated Turkish blends. They never tasted like anything good to me and I suspect my hatred of said leaf might be ruining my enjoyment of Penzance. I will keep the tin, however, and see how it tastes in 6 months or so. Sorry to be the voice of dissent--and I thank everyone who has been contributing to TobaccoReviews for so long. You've guided me (More often than not!) to great smoking and given me wonderful insight.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scottgun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottgun (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

After many starts and fits with various tobaccos to appreciate the English blends, Penzance is the one that did it. Be wary in the packing. Break the flakes up, but not a full rubout, gravity fill and perhaps a SLIGHT pressure, and it should perform well. I find the taste is not quite full, but is not an all-day smoke either.

UPDATE--I'm docking it one star because I found it fussy to work with and I started to detect an unpleasant soapy taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JEM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JEM (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I can't add much more to what has already been written. I'm NOT a latakia fan at all, but the balance of this tobacco is excellent! I think I've found my favorite tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pop-pop's pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop-pop's pipe (96)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

An A #1 English Flake! I can't get enough of this! Naturally sweet and nutty. Burns super cool, leaves no dottle whatsoever. Just dry ash! This is Premium Quality stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Michigan Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michigan Smoke (2)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first review on this site, so thank you one and all for the many reviews I have read that have helped me find some great tobacco. There is not a lot I can say that has not already been said. I can tell you that this blend is so delicious and intoxicating that I get a great desire to physically eat the stuff it tasted and smells that great. This was my first foray into the higher end tinned tobaccos and I am thankful I found this one so early on.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Argo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Argo (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'll make this review brief, as much has already been spoken for. It's quite clear that this is a high quality, latakia laden crumble cake. If you don't like latakia, you don't like Penzance. I've never experienced Cyprian to be so deliciously creamy. This stuff finishes clean, and satisfies like no other. I would say this is the benchmark for mixtures founded on Latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sir Tristram Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sir Tristram (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Upon finally deciding to buy tobacco from SmokingPipes.com due to a lack of fine tobacconists in my area I went to the top rated tobaccos on this site so I might try what everyone else found to be excellent. The style of this tobacco is interesting. The mottled flake is unusual and I began by smoking it like any other flake. In the end I decided that crumbling it up just so slightly is the best method. A very moist flake upon opening, it took about a week to adjust to the right humidity. After that is was pure pleasure. I was expecting to be knocked back by this smoke but instead found it very smooth. Almost no bite at all, the tobacco issued flavors of leather and earth predominantly; the smoky latakia is in wonderful deep contrast to the sweet overtones. A nutty flavor also persisted especially when the smoke was swallowed. Burn carried right down to the finish, which was consistent, not different. I thoroughly enjoyed this and plan to sample all of Esotericas products soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This has got to be one of the best latakia mixtures around. I was taken aback somewhat by the texture as I was expecting more of a traditional flake as opposed to a crumbly cake-type mixture. Nevertheless, if you enjoy traditional latakias, you should get some.

Update 18 November 07:

I came across a sealed Mason Jar of this stuff that has remained hidden in a dark closet for the past two years. As wonderful as Penzance was two years ago, I believe that this sample contains one of the best tobaccos I've ever enjoyed. There is simply none finer.

I just had a fleeting image in my mind of a future time when, perhaps, this becomes one of those revered blends (like BS 759) whose passing is mourned by smokers everywhere. Perish the thought!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK VERY MUCH THE REVIEWER PIPESTUD CAUSE AFTER READING HIS REVIEWS, THE LAST TWO YEARS, I LEARNED A LOT, REGARDING THE TOBACCOS TASTING Even though, I?m a fan of Latakia, this tobacco forces you to revise many of your views. Of course the excellent Virginia which is a great combination with the spicy Turkish tobacco keeps a balance with the mix. It is PERFECT after a good meal and good wine or whisky.I cannot smoke it all day.Also as I believe, all the Latakia tobaccos leave intense marks on the bowl. This is why I have chosen to smoke it with my conventional pipes (at last I can reuse them) and not with the Hydrostatic Alexander briar pipes (http://www.briar-pipes.com).I believe that it is very heavy. My wife, when I smoked it for the very first time, thought that there was a fire in the neighborhood. Of course I have never smoked Latakia inside the house.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MarkT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MarkT (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

This is the best all-around tobacco I've found. A wonderful English blend with lots of Latakia, a dark, smoky flavor and a layer of subtle undercurrents from the Virginias and Orientals. It is to most tobacco as espresso is to coffee. It burns clean and cool, stays lit, and finishes dry. I've found I enjoy it most when I can smoke slowly and take time to appreciate it - smoked quickly or on a windy day the Latakia seems to overwhelm the other flavors, making it very good instead of great tasting. I like Penzance best in a tapered Tsuge sandblast - the tapering of the bowl seems to make the flavor develop complexity in the latter half. This is the only tobacco I can think of that I've finished a bowl, and immediately refilled and smoked a second - it's that good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Good but not what I consider great, hence the three-star rating. I rarely smoke full English blends, but when I do I expect more complexity than this, and I think the latakia dominates the flavor a bit more than I prefer. After many bowls, the overall flavor strikes me as a bit monotonous.

I would rather choose GLP Odyssey over this when I am in the mood for a full English since that blend seems to change its taste more down the bowl. However, Penzance is VERY cool burning and works well in thin-walled pipes that otherwise are too hot to handle with most tobaccos. It smokes well outdoors and easily stays lit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ChicagoPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ChicagoPipe (45)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Hard to say anything much better about this tobacco that has already been posted. This is the best English Flake tobacco I ever smoked! Strong and stout, yet smooth and creamy. The balance between the latakia, orinetials and VA's is perfect. The Cyprian latatkia in this tobacco must be very high quality because it's flavor is very smooth. Most of the time, I do not enjoy heavy latakia tobaccos, but Penzance is the exception. IMO, Penzance and Westminister are the two best English tobaccos on the market today.

Highly Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TeeBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TeeBee (19)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

What can I say, that's not already been said. The Rolls Royce of tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

scorpio Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scorpio (4)
★★★★
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

what can I say, I have been smoking pipes now for 7yrs. I have tried so many blends.I am finding my self always coming back to penzance. I like it so munch I bought 20 tins and a stanwell #227 that I use just for penzance. I can`t put my finger on what makes it so tasty, but this blend is worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tracybemiller Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tracybemiller (2)
★★★★
Mild Strong Mild to Medium Tolerable

Truly superb. A very subtle blend that grows on you. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeorgan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeorgan (7)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable

Penzance is an interesting offering, yet I couldn´t get satisfaction out of it despite tyring different pipes, packing configuratons, and rubbings. Different smokes for different folks. This tobacco has a strong top note of latakia, a nonexistant bottom note and nary a middle note. It´s all top note and there is no fullness that I can speak of. It is tough to keep lit thereby revealing its´ potential for tongue bite. It is not the scorching kind, but the nipping kind. A large part of the pleasure I get out of pipe smoking comes from the creation of a nice red ember throughout the top layer of tobacco, thereby allowing me to gently sip the smoke at my leisure. I was never allowed this luxury with this tobacco, dispite my best efforts. I could not find the complexity others have spoken of, unlike Margate which is blatently complex displaying alternating tastes throughout the smoke. Penzance´s taste is a one-trick-top-note. No doubt contributing to my lack of smoking satisfaction is the absence of the pscho-active effects most attribute to nicotine. I wonder if tobacco would ever have been smoked if it didn´t induce these effects, then or now. With out these effects, be it pschological or not, taste of pipe tobacco seems to suffer. On the plus side, this tobacco does not have any off-notes. Just a monotonous sharp latakia top note

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jackson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jackson (4)
★★★★
Very Strong Strong Full Strong

My local tobacconist gave me a small sample of Penzance, urging me to try it. The aroma and color were sort of off putting, so I let the bag sit around a few days. Tonight I had my big Savinelli billiard in hand and decided to give the stuff a shot. I loaded up the pipe, picked up my book and sat down. When I first lit the pipe I thought the tobacco was overpowering and that I did not want to smoke it. However, I relit the pipe and opened the book. Fifteen minutes later I found I had just been looking at the page with a blank stare; I had been sitting there savoring the flavor. This stuff does wonderful things! I guess I'll go out and grab a bagfull tomorrow. Belay that! I KNOW that I'll go out tomorrow and buy a bagfull!!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (69)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

Greetings, I must say that for me unquestionably this is the best Latakia infused English I have ever put a match to. The smoke is headily rich and hangs heavy in the air; qualities I really enjoy. Also, I like that it is a pressed slice, which I do not rub-out. Slices are enhanced by the pressing they receive. I prefer a simple fold and light, or maybe a fold, twist, and light depending on the shape of the bowl. If you love Latakia then please do yourself the pleasure. If you do not, then please be careful and have an open mind. It simply might not be for you. Peaceable puffing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (51)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am currently on my third tin of Penzance. I tried Nightcap in college, was not ready for full flavored mixtures, and generally shyed away from anything with more than a sprinkling of Latakia. The volume of positive reviews for Penzance led me to give it a shot. I am so glad I did.

I find this tobacco to be extremely well balanced because the quality of the virginias matches the Latakia. Second, the crumble cake cut allows the smoker to rub it out to their liking.

My tins were just a little moist for my liking upon opening, but some air made it just right.

I tend to enjoy this tobacco best in a size 5 poker with a pretty deep bowl. I did not like it as much in a shallow size 4 or a pipe with a tapered bowl.

Upon initial lighting and the 1st few puffs I sensed the Latakia spice and the Va sweetness as seperate components. I find this stuff really starts to sing at mid-bowl, where the flavors harmonize to produce a very organic earthy flavor.

The burning qualities are excellent, if it is packed correctly. Using the air-pocket method, I twist a wad into the top portion of the bowl, with some sprinkles to get it lit. Usually a one match affair.

I find the room note extremely pleasant. Non-smokers disagree.

All in all one of the best pipe tobaccos out there!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

frankb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
frankb (2)
★★★★
Strong Medium Full Strong

Wow...a mind-blower. Smooth but full, delicious smoke...wow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustPlainChris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustPlainChris (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I read all the reviews for this wonderful stuff and promptly ordered a tin. I love it. It has a wonderful texture in the hand, rubs out easily, has the perfect moisture content right from the start, and tastes amazing. It's great for an after-dinner smoke, with a good beer, or a glass of single-malt Scotch. Who am I kidding? This tobacco is wonderful all by its lonesome! I wonder if the 8 oz. bulk bag has the same qualities the tin possesses? I shall be ordering more of Penzance!

=UPDATE=

It has been THREE YEARS since I last reviewed Panzance. I bought a house, and some of my tobaccos got lost in the move. Penzance was one of them.

Well, I had ordered a tin back in 07, and liked it so much I ordered the big bulk bag. I dumped the contents into a generic "tobacco jar" like the ones you see at your local shop. When we moved, I lost my Penzance.

I just found the jar a few days ago. It had dried out considerably, but still smelled pungent in the jar and I could still see some of the oils on the leaf. I decided to order more...and surprise surprise! You can't FIND Penzance anymore! I read that since the P and T Magazine review, the blend became a VERY POPULAR blend and the company, Esoterica, has been hard pressed to keep up with demand. If it were ME and MY company, I would probably HIRE MORE people, and ramp up production and keep the quality the same! Hey, Esoterica! There's money to be made here!

Anyway, I then researched how to rehydrate my old Penzance.

The best way, per the Peter Stokkebye website, is to allow steam frmo a boiling kettle to go into a bag containing your tobacco for about 5 seconds. You then let it sit for an hour in a sealed bag. According to them, this rehydrates the tobacco to its original moisture level upon first opening the tin.

With my 3 year old Penzance, I am going to need to do this 3 or more times to get it back to where it needs to be.

But things look HOPEFUL. I just had a bowl and even on the dry side this stuff is STILL very tasty. It lost almost all of its "saltiness" but the flavor is still there. So even old and dry I would still highly recommend this tobacco blend. Still!

If anyone out there knows where to get this stuff, let us know!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flyrod6057 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flyrod6057 (18)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable

I love this smoke! I will not spend a lot of time reiterating what's already been said, as so much wonderful type has been produced singing this blend's praises. Suffice it to say this is wonderful stuff. I have no idea what the secret is that allows them to produce such a sublime material, but I suspect it must be something supernatural. This blend is a phenomenal mating of sweet virginias and oriental latakias that manages to overwhelm the senses with it's perfection. I don't know what they did to produce it, but whatever it is, I truly hope they never cease! Amazing stuff!

My tin was old and very dry-ish. The flakes were crumbly and wonderful, resulting in an almost cube-like texture. The tabac loads easily and smokes amazingly cool. The flavor is so complex...there's no way to get my mind around it! I suspect I'll need to smoke pounds and pounds to figure it out! Suffice it to say, this may be the most wonderful latakia blend (perhaps the most wonderful of all blends) in the world. I pledge to never run out of this amazing mystery of tobacco blending technology. 5 out of 4 stars!

Get some!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stubshaft Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stubshaft (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant

I read the reviews and ran out to buy a tin. I was not disapointed. It was everything that I could hope for in a blend. It is the benchmark I use to insure that my tastebuds are up to par.

A flavorful and rich smoking experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moe (45)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Extra Strong

I like this tobacco ok. I find it a bit one dimentional, and wouldnt smoke it more than occasionaly. I find it hard to keep lit,and if you put the flame to it too often and long,youll get a sore tongue, and a bitter tobacco. I like the flavor, Im not sure its worth the labor. I know some love it. And some I believe smoke one bowl of these tobaccos, and rush to write a review. Take some of these stars its earned with a grain of salt.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This was a tasty and interesting blend. It was my first experience with a crumble cake. The problem, and why I cannot give it the highest rating yet, is that it seems to have been a bit too moist until the last few smokes. I can usually tell by the feel of the tobacco and the burning qualities, but the crumble cake processing makes it difficult to feel how moist it is, and the burning seemed to be fine. It's just that the flavor was not very interesting until toward the end when it had dried out some, and then it did improve. So I cannot say whether some airing out would have made a big difference throughout the tin. Judging by the enthusiasm this blend engenders among others, it probably would have.

As a side note, I smoked Krumble Kake by Smoker's Haven once at the Chicago show this year, and I think I liked it better (in spite, you should note, of the moisture of that blend). Probably because of the syrian leaf instead of cyprian.

Everyone should try Penzance once, but it has not become a go-to blend for me yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mfreeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mfreeman (4)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

Oh, my! This stuff is great! In my opinion this makes (with all do respect) Dunhill's 965 taste bland and rough. What seems to do the magic is the high quality Virginias that support the whole thing. The flavor of said leaf is always pleasantly present and seems to carry the mixture along through a grand adventure of smoky Latakia, and spicy Oriental flavors. This is a well balanced blend, but it is definitely tuned to the Latakia. It is not the most complex blend out there; however it is not flat by any means. To me it seems the perfect Balkan blend so far, even exceeding the Pease blends. I could go on but why?

Update: when I wrote this, I had tried both this tobacco and it's sister; Margate. I found Margate to be cloying and strong. But a year later I find this to be almost reversed. Still one of the best ever Balkans though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wmjotten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmjotten (12)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Look, it's all been said. This is a superlative tobacco, one of the absolute best in my rotation. I'd buy a barrel if I had the place to store it. An very mild smoke, with a simply intriguing blend of flavors coming together from the finest of exquisite tobaccos, and laced with delicious latakia. Mmmmmmmmmm.

The concensus of this many reviewers and the accumulated highest rating is no accident. This is terrific stuff. Splurge. Get it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ABSSiegel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ABSSiegel (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This IS my idea of what a quality English blend should taste like. If you don't love Latakia, stay away! I smoked this for the first time two years ago and fell in love with it immediately. Last night, I tried a blending experiment (I can hear the readers groans already). I combined my favorite aromatic (Lane's BCA - Black Cavendish), with Penzance to the ratio of 5:1 (BCA:Penzance). I was in heaven! The mildness and sweetness of the BCA is tempered by the addition of the Latakia. I might have just found my "special" everyday tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arzmordus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arzmordus (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

Not much I can say about this stuff that you haven't already heard. The finest tobacco I have smoked to date. Don't bother buying a 2 ounce sample of this stuff, get the 8 ounce container, or two, or three. You won't be disappointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

It's all that and more.

This is one of, if not THE finest smokes on the planet.

=

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fumatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumatore (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

The previous posters have made the point, rich, sweet, cool and delicious. This one would have to be the foundation of my cellar, as was twin brother ?Krumble Kake? from ?Smoker?s Haven? during the 1970s.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After so many reviews what more can be said about this glorious blend. It remains a giant in a land of dwarfs. It is certainly true that latakia flakes are few and far between. Even fewer in our hobby/obsession is the krumble kake. This blend is an old companion that can always be relied upon to brighten an otherwise dreary day. Bottom line, try it!

Eee-gads! I'm almost out! Time to stop reviewing and start ordering.

UPDATE 5-01-13: This remains one of my all time favorite latakia smokes, what ashame it's availablilty has become so limited. I waited as long as I could but the last few bowls of my supply shall soon be a memory!

UPDATE 1-29-14: Completely off my radar now and there are lots of great tobaccos out there. To my fellow pipers who have never tried this please don't get drawn in to overpaying for this tobacco. There is a legitimate retail price and then there is the ridiculous driven by the illusion of what it is versus the reality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Unlike Final_id, I actually smoke tobaccos before I rate them.

Only one word describes this tobacco and that word is DELICIOUS. This is very close, if not identical, to Smoker's Haven Krumble Kake and a whole lot easier to purchase as it is carried by Tobacconists nearly everywhere.

Rubs out easily, packs neatly and lights well. Smokes to a fine white ash.

Taste could be described as smoky with just a hint of natural sweetness in the background. Provides a full, creamy and tasty smoking experience for the latakia lover.

I always keep a tin on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Upon opening the plastic container and smelling what was inside (leather, smoke and earthiness) I could not wait to find the biggest pipe in my collection and enjoy a good book. The complexity of the flavors are such that I had a hard time reading my book, I just sat there concentrating on this marvelous tobacco. After as many reviews as this tobacco has already had I cant seem to think of anything to add but WOW this tobacco is in my normal rotation. Good stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

drhelcel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drhelcel (1)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I am new to pipe smoking and purchased this tobacco based on the recommendations on this site. The aroma from the pouch is very rich and smoky, and I find it very pleasant. The compressed nature of the tobacco in the pouch allows for easy rubbing into a suitable format for smoking. I find that the tobacco is slightly wetter than others I have smoked, and this has caused problems in lighting and proper packing. I also experience a moderate bite while I smoke it. However, these difficulties may be due to my inexperience as a pipe smoker. Overall, this tobacco provides an excellent smoking experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

johnls1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
johnls1 (1)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I have had an aversion to latakia English blends. The first one I tried was Frog Morton and I recall tasting nothing but soap on light up. I avoided all other English blends thereafter. The incredible reviews of this product caused me to rethink my position. I bought a tin and loaded the pipe. I did detect a "soapy" taste on light but stuck with it. The "soapy" taste subsided and the most wonderful smoke I have had to date took place. This has become my favorite tobacco overall. I smoke it even more than Navy Flake.

UPDATE: Ok, Ok. This was my first review so perhaps I was over zealous. I have smoked an entire tin of this stuff in the last couple of days and while it is still just as good as ever, it tends to stay on your taste buds quite a long time. I think Ill switch over to Frog Morton or 965 for a while until the craving for Penzance comes back.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (61)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Earthy-scented from the tin, it is a very pleasurable smoke: well-rounded, no bite to speak of, even-burning and fairly consistent in taste. The Latakia is there throughout, but the Orientals seem to fade in and out. Moisture content is perfect and, depending on your pipe-loading preference for this flake, it folds and/or rubs out very easily. IMHO, this is the closest that I have come to experiencing the be-all and end-all of VA/Oriental/Latakia tobacco blends. Exquisite. The perfect full(er)English blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Giant Killer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Giant Killer (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Penzance needs no introduction or fancified "me too" style praise. It's great tobacco through and through. If you are into English belnds, then you've got to try this! I like to buy mine in bulk then put it into a tin for easy transport. When the tin gets low, I just re-load it with the bulk. As an ex-cigarette smoker and occasional cigar fan, this stuff makes me want to forget cigars altogether. Quitting cigarettes is the smartest thing I've ever done. There are better ways to enjoy the pleasures of tobacco without the chronic ball and chain of sucking down cheap tobacco in the form of cigarettes. That's besides the point. Escuse me.

Penzance is outstandingly rich, complex, and satisfying. This tobacco made a full-time pipe smoker out of me. A wife pleaser it ain't, but that doesn't matter that much because I only smoke in my den. It's unmatched and without peers. My tip: Go for the bulk, it'll save you some hard earned dough. Enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stocky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stocky (2)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Strong

I got my first "new" pipe (not inherited) in 1968. And isn't it odd that my first review would be on Panzance almost 40 years later. I walked into my favorite Boston tobacco shop looking for something else. I'd heard of this blend and figured I'd try it someday, but there it was sitting upright in front of about 60 or 70 other blends. so I grabbed it with my other purchase. I will never be without it. I'll buy a full sleeve of tins as soon as I can. The flavor... the texture... the incredible odor right out of the can. And for hours afterward I still have that wonderful taste tickling my buds. I thought 4 stars with so many people judging it was a bit much... but it wasn't. If you're reading these reviews to help make up your mind, buy Penzance immediately. If you don't fall in love... then contact me and I'll buy it from you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

speckchaser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
speckchaser (22)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A wonderful english blend I have yet to buy any but have smoked appoximately 3-4 bowls at work with a smoking buddy of mine.Being a heavy cigarette smoker I naturally drifted to aromatics upon picking up the pipe staying away from english blends,found them not smoky tasting butsoapy tasting.This blend however did not have a soapytaste but a mild woodsy taste with a slite sweetness drifting in and out,most likely from the virginias. I highly recommend this blend for the novice and the drug store smokers who are looking to expand their pipe smokiing experience.The room note is not sweet smelling like an aromatic so many significants may not like this blend.However it is a must try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

At the risk of adding "me too" praise, I must say that this has become my "Arcadia" blend. After nearly 150 reviews, I don't need to describe the experience or the tobacco. But from the first bowlful, I knew I'd discovered something different and something that was extremely satisfying for me.

I first tried this in the spring of 2005, thinking it might be a good, strong blend to keep the bees away through the summer. After just a couple of puffs, I realized that I'd smoke Penzance even if it caused the bees to sit on the bowl of my pipe. Two years later, it remains just as revelatory, and it's the only "regular" in my constantly expanding tobacco lineup.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ghosthunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ghosthunter (8)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Overwhelming Overwhelming

This stuff stinks...cresote fence post. I was sure, after reading all the reviews that this would be, at the very least, a real good tobacco...so I ordered six tins. I'm glad that everyone enjoys it. That's why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream. The taste to me is flat. It's the only tobacco that my wife of thirty-four years, has asked me to please go to my shop to enjoy. I tried all of the usual techniques...iodine aroma and little else is all that I could get. It's absolutely beautiful and the tins are from my era. I guess that I'll try one of the five remaining tins each year just to be honest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puff Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puff Daddy (43)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

After 140+ reviews, the jury's certainly in on Penzance. I've been avoiding adding many more words to the reviews. But, I must. This is a classic English, Krumble Kake is cool for a change, and it seems to beg comparison with the great English blends like 965, or the one closest to it, Pease's Odyssey. So, for one more man's opinion, this is slightly more complex than 965 (especially the Orlick version) but is perhaps 15% less complex than Odyssey. This is slightly fuller in body than 965, and on par with Odyssey. What I find in Penzance, though, is that the oily, smoky aftertaste of this seems to linger on the palate and tongue for a long time. Another real difference is in aging - to me, Penzance doesn't benefit quite as much from cellaring as the two aforementioned blends do. Great stuff, this. Stellar performance. I'd love to find a pipe that will let me just fold and light this blend! So far, though, no luck.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco hardly needs another review. It needs a Statue in the Town Square. The lack of Penzance at my local tobacconists led me to two other very fine tobaccos, Germains special latakia flake and Old Ironsides. The one, the old 1894 established Riches Cigar in Portland had been out of Penzance for a while and suggested the Germains as a reasonable substitute. 82nd ave tobacco and pipe didn?t carry Penzance and insisted old ironsides was better. To my palette Richs is a much more credible source.

So I ordered a tin of Penzance from Pipesandcigars (who do carry it in bulk as well, currently 24 smackers for a half a pound). It came today; I loaded a family era Saseini bulldog and have been smoking this stuff most of the day such as it is.

The tin presentation is nice. Rows of black and brown flake stacked horizontally to give a ribbed effect like serrated fudge. The smell from the tin made me salivate. I rubbed out a few flakes just to see how it rubs, though it?s pliable enough to just fold into a pipe.

Given the reviews for some reason I was expecting something overpowering like Dunhill?s nightcap mixed with Chinese gunpowder (I like nightcap sans gunpowder Chinese or otherwise). Penzance is a lot more sublime than that. Nicotine wise it is not a lightweight, but flavor wise it?s a subtle and sublime, dark and mellow on the tongue, the taste equivalent of a bassoon, with hints of other reeds harmonizing in the background yet never a discordant sip.

I?m also very happy that this is not exactly like Germains as I am in awe of both blends for similar reasons, but as these tines go to the forefront of my tobaccos I can expect a different sublime experience from each. It?s a shame I can?t give more than just the four stars here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Karol Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Karol (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Strong

I almost feel guilty for not giving Penzance 4 stars but I just can't... It's good, especially fresh right after opening the tin but I noticed a metallic and ashy (after) taste which distracts me from enjoying this blend. I returned to this tobacco after 6 months and unfortunately it lost all of it's mojo. It's definitely recommendable, if nothing else the crumble cake form is fun to try out but I would strongly suggest smoking it while it's fresh. Unlike others, I can't really taste any similarity with Margate or anything else really.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

After so many reviews I will not describe this tobacco, what I will say is that this was a very good smoke. I feel that this is a perfect example of a three star blend. Good but not great, I will smoke this again in the future, but when this tin is gone it will be some time before I return.

The Latakia was noticable, but not in great quantity, as were the Orientals. I wanted to find what so many others have found in this tobacco, but it was not there for me. A very good middle English blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hoo-boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hoo-boy (17)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Tolerable

As someone already noted, what can you say that hasn't been said of this blend, with this in mind , I will say it also. It doesn't stop others it seems.

This is a blend of Va.s, turkish , oriental and Latakias togeter they sing in harmoney, Upon opening the tin I first had a hard time defining what I smelled Not bad at all but different a somewhat Smokey Beef Jerky mixed with an old woodsey smell.

It being a crumble cake I prefer to just fold and stuff, It smokes cool with no bite just giving off oodles of creamy and delicious smoke.It burns clean and remains the same consistancy to the bottom.

No problem to get and keep lit, The after taste is a very pleasent soapy flavor, Leaving you with the urge to light up another bowl.

So gather round real close because I am going to whisper this very quietly..... "if you haven't tried it already do yourself a favor and do so. This is a blend I hope to never be without" Now I will Yell, "DO YOUR SELF THIS FAVOR AND TRY IT "

I Have only got four stars to give it, But I believe it deserves one more.

hoo-boy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lensman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lensman (30)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

The tin label, if such a thing matters, is about the crudest I've seen. A sort of cursive script done by a fourth-grader with crayons? Moving on ... the pipe-weed nearly forms a brick, most hues in the attractively dark brown range, with some lighter streaks. The tin aroma, as noted by another reviewer, resembles used Band-Aids indeed. What an acute observation! There is some skill required to crumbling the flake correctly -- one can end up with tobacco dust if the proper care is not taken. All of this aside, the smoking experience is distinctively Latakia, but I can say that at various times throughout the bowl, each of the constituent tobaccos can be discerned. Well-balanced, but the Latakia is the showcase. You'll be glad it is. Cool and non-biting, a thick creamy taste that I find quite seductive. I have noted a tendency to strangely numb the tongue, and unpredictably a soap taste can issue forth. A unique taste and character. Minus one star for the difficult and fragile crumble cut.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigbowls Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigbowls (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

There are many others reviewing tobaccos with much more sophisticated pallets than mine. I could attempt to add my two cents into the fray, however, I don't feel I could top the adjectives others have used to describe this smoke.

So, I will just go on the record as saying this is one of the finest tobaccos I have smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SparkleMotion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SparkleMotion (9)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The taste is very similar to GLP odyssey, only a lesser version of it. I'd give it 4 stars, but as that would make it appear equal to odyssey, I can only give it 3. with a long, slow draw and then exhaled and inhaled quickly through the nose in short little puffs, i smelled what reminds me of urine, but in a strangely appealing way.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Halbert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Halbert (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

This has been one of my favorite blends for over ten years, and one of only two to which I have devoted a pipe. Good from start to finish, it's Latakia Heaven - or at least as close as I have found. This is a very complex blend that smokes well right out of the tin - cool and with no bite. Older samples I have smoked were only a bit smoother and burned slightly better. Otherwise, what you get off the shelves today is a superior krumblecake pipe tobacco. In a very large bowl, it's important to not crush the bits too much and gently push them down during the smoke. Doing so will result in a nice burn and steady, full flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike1614 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike1614 (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What can I add to the plethora of reviews of this fine tobacco? I've been smoking the Dunhill blends- #965 and Nightcap, and well as a bulk blend my tobacco shop calls Chartwell. In comparison Penzance is definitely on the next level. It's buttery smooth and delicious, with no bite. One of the finest English blends there is. Treat yourself to a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Penzance is pressed Margate, just as ET's Stonehaven is pressed Tilbury. The pressing makes for a stronger smoke, creamy and complex, with latakia looming over the other flavors. That said, I can?t agree with those who say that Penzance is a latakia bomb. Esoterica is the most refined of blenders, and Penzance is not Old Ironsides. This is a full, heavy smoke, delicious at times, and occasionally nutty in the top half of the bowl. It?s definitely a power hitter of a blend, but it?s not a DH: it can run and field, too, if that makes any sense (sorry, it?s the baseball playoffs ?. ). Every time I smoke it, I am once again surprised at the subtlety of flavor on offer.

The Krumble Kake format is, to me, a definite disadvantage, simply because I find ribbon cuts far easier to pack. Fold-and-stuff does not, in my experience, work so well with Penzance. Everything has to be just so for this blend to reveal its merits. You need to find the right pipe, and the right pack, and stick with it religiously. When it?s on, it?s about as good as it gets. But there are lots of blends just as good that aren?t so finicky.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (256)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a superb blend, rich and full of Latakia goodness. With the passing of so many great English blending houses, its nice to know you can still find a great English, er, English.

If you like full Latakia blends, and haven't tried this, you really should. There aren't too many Krumble Kake blends out there either, so just learning to smoke this was fun for me.

How good is it? Well here is my prediction: In the fullness of time, all good things come to an end. We have all seen it happen, with the passing of Murrays for example. Well some day, when Germain finally fades into glory, old pipesters will wail and gnash their teeth, much like some of our compatriots do about Balkan Sobranie...so don't miss out!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (69)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

The latakia/oriental crumble fusion has a depth of character completely unique and delicious. 4 stars!

Images evoked include a psoriasis-stricken woman unexpectedly meeting a vampire with a red bloodcell affliction forcing him to solely dine on flakes of shedding skin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Helmsman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Helmsman (18)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Extra Full Overwhelming

This stuff should be called Penance,(to punish one self for repentance of sins). This is a quality tobacco, but not for my taste. Super strong in latakia taste and rubs out very easy. This smoke has a strong menthol aroma in the tin and in the smoke. The after taste will stay with you most of the day, so forget kissing the wife. It reminds me of one of those mosquito repellant coils you lite up outside. The aroma will repel mosquitoes , birds, dogs, bears and of course your wife. Lite this stuff up in a room and you clear it pretty quickly. I will not purchase this again, but i will finish the tin in about a years time or depending on the amount of sins I commit.

[[[ UPDATE ]]] I changed my recommendation from to =. When I first tried this smoke I thought it was disgusting, but now I guess the more I smoke it the more I grow to like it. This is a great tobacco. I will be purchasing more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tymons Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tymons (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I originally tried Penzance based on the reviews that I read here. I like it very much! Penzance is free of bitterness and it is easy on my tongue. I would probably enjoy smoking this tobacco for hours on end, though I have not done so.

Other latakia blends that I have smoked have been so strong that I could not enjoy them beyond a little taste at a time. Penzance is mild enough to smoke frequently. However, if you do not like the taste of a latakia, you probably will not appreciate this wonderful tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

z_evil_genius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
z_evil_genius (6)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I am not a seasoned pipe smoking veteran, having only 10 months behind me. However, with such a short history it is clearly evident that Penzance is top notch. So many experienced smokers love it, so I decided to give it a try. It arrived just the other day, along with my new Bjarne, so I put them both to the test. Incidentally, this also means that the taste is a little off since the pipe was new. That is a good sign though, as this tasted just fine. I have to compare it to my other favorite Latakia blend, My Mixture 965 by Dunhill. In the tin, it was a weaker smell. I was surprised by the appearance because I had never purchased anything that was flake or krumble cake before. At first, I thought it would be extremely moist, but it dried out quickly. I was impressed by how easily it broke down and filled the pipe. My Mixture is more ribbon cut, like most other tobaccos. My Mixture was also a stonger scent in the tin. Smoking them, one gets a completely different experience. Penzance is stronger in taste. It stays lit very well, probably because there are less pockets when packing. The room note is just a little bit stronger, but my wife made no mention on whether it was more or less tolerable than the Dunhill. Therefore, I presume she didn't even notice a difference. The aftertaste is stronger too, but if you like English tobaccos you wouldn't complain. However, it does have a bit of a bite, not much, and the bjarne seems to be a cooler smoke than my other briars. In a nutshell, I like them both very much. Penzance offers a stronger flavor and consistent packing and lighting. My Mixture is milder for when I don't want as strong a flavor. However, Penzance is likely to be my travel companion because of how easily it packs and stays lit. Very fine English blend, if I do say so myself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fatty Bolger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fatty Bolger (8)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Ok, so I guess I am one of the oddities. I tried Penzance on a recommendation looking for a fuller English than what I usually smoke. My first bowl had me puzzled, It was pretty much a non-entity for me. Decent tobacco flavor, the Latakia is noticable, however it doesn't really make a strong presence. A very very subtle sweetness of the Virginias way in the background. These come and go as you smoke down through the bowl. Nothing unpleasant except more of tendency to bite than I expected. Since the first bowl I have smoked 3 more times this same week, rotating through my "English" pipes. All pretty much the same as the first. This is a fine tobacco, certainly very refined and top quality. I really like the crumble cake cut. It just doesn't stand out near as much as I expected.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokingpat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokingpat (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

After reading much about this blend, i had to try it for myself. I must say it is wonderful! Rubbs out with little to no effort and smokes to a nice white ash.

For the english smoker this is a must try.

Cheers!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Cremona Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Cremona (3)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I'm a novice in the pipe-smoking world. Been smoking daily for about 2 months. Haven't had a cigarette since then. (Good call.) I've enjoyed reading the reviews here and found them helpful as I find out what works for me.

Honest disclosure here- I bought a tin of Penzance because I'm a confirmed Anglophile and I love Gilbert & Sullivan. I know, silly reason. Fact is, brand name is a powerful advertising tool.

I opened the tin and, like many others here, was not optimistic. A couple of bowls, however, and I was in love. I can't give the details like the more experienced and knowledgable here. I just know I REALLY like it.

I have a couple of others in my rotation, but nothing yet can match (The Pirates of) Penzance!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I'm not sure about this one. I've heard great things about it, read rave reviews, and couldn't wait to try it. It was perfectly humidified, crumbled easily, packed well, and lit with no problems. The taste was a bit underpowering at first, but finally began to coax its way forth after about one fourth of the bowl.

I really wanted to like this blend, and tried really hard to do so. But it just didn't do it for me. The latakia was definitely present, but I couldn't quite discern anything else in the mixture. And it's not like the latakia was overpowering everything else. Just that I didn't find much enjoyable flavor to it. It wasn't bad, just not my kind of stuff. I like the orientals to come forth a little more in a blend like this; some spiciness to balance out the latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

peakbagger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peakbagger (41)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Now that's what I'm talking about! Penzance is a wonderful, full flavored flake. Upon opening the small rectangular tin I noticed the short flakes were quite soft and delicate; the tin aroma is earthy and pungent, woodsy. Removing several flakes from the tin I easily rub them out in my palm with my thumb. Packing is a gentle proposition with this and all Esoterica blends and filling my Sasieni King Size billiard was a cinch. One match to char and another to light, add a little gentle tamping along the way and an hour and a half of enjoyment was blissfully puffed away. The Latakia is there along with the VA and Orientals, everything is in proper balance. My only regret is that I had waited so long to try this delightful blend. Ten out of ten stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ToboldHornblower Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ToboldHornblower (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This has been one of my favorites for years and is regularly in my rotation. I like everything about it - the smell both in the tin and lit, the way it crumbles and packs, the lack of bite, the way it rubs out and packs, the cool dry smoke; oh, and most of all, the flavor. Is there any way to improve it? Well, not the tobacco but perhaps if it could sell for $20 a pound ....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sonoma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonoma (11)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I purchased an 8 oz. package in March of '06, and I sneek a bowl-full ever ten or twelve days. One of the recurring themes in all the previous reviews is that Penzance is complex and exotic. Penzance is woodsy, has a musty floral dimension, subtly soapy with a very delicate (nearly undetectable) sweetness coming from (I suspect) the Virginians in the mix. Is that complex enough for you? Definitely not a hot summer day interactive smoke, best enjoyed during season changes or on a cool relaxed evening on the porch.

IMHO, Penzance tries to be too comprehensive of a smoke. Your senses are slapped with wave after wave of the aforementioned complexities. This is normally a good thing, but the problem I have with Penzance is that it drenches the lining of my mouth with an unpleasant essence that remains there long after I finish the smoke, possibly due to a casing. I wouldn?t call this a morning smoke, for me it works better after a grilled porterhouse steak and a baked potato topped with sour cream and chive, with plenty of Napa Valley Cabernet.

It may be evident that my review is biased by my fondness of VAPER. However, I do sprinkle in latakia and other exotics throughout the week. I hope this critique does not sound too harsh on Penzance. I wouldn?t discourage anyone from testing this blend. I intend to keep a small amount around for that occasion when nothing else fits the mood. Having said all this, I can only give Penzance 3 of 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Diomedes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Diomedes (2)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Penzance is a fine flake blend. It's latakia is slightly understated, as compared to some of the other English blends, but it comes through nicely anyway. The Virginias are delicious.

No bite. Burns well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Justsmokin' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Justsmokin' (1)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Overwhelming Tolerable to Strong

I need to update and upgrade this tobacco a couple of stars. Penzance was my first experience with latakia. This was a mistake as I have found that latakia is more of an acquired taste and Penzance is not the tobacco you want as an intro. I have since tried a couple of latakia blends that are more suited to the beginner. The first was a bulk tobacco that makes Penzance seem hard on the tongue in comparison if that is possible. The second was Frog Morton. For those that are trying latakia for the first time, I would recommend Frog Morton. Smoke the whole tin before you give up on it. Maybe you will come to love latakia blends as I now do. Thereafter you may come to love Penzance. =========================================================

When my long anticipated tin of Penzance arrived in the mail, I could not open it fast enough. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with the smell of used Band-Aids. My thought was that it may smell terrible, but it is going to taste great lit. I prepared my pipe and lit up. The smoke was very mild, and easily inhalable with no noticable nicotine. Everything was to like about this tobacco. It lit easily and stayed lit. It produced lots of smoke. It smoked dry with no tongue bite. The only problem was the taste, and the taste was putrid. I laid my half full pipe down, and went for another pipe and the other new (to me) brand that I had purchased.

I have smoked several bowls since, hoping it would grow on me, but with no better results. I think I am going to have to give this stuff away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PetersonSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PetersonSmoke (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered a 2 oz. tin and was extremely excited when it came in the mail. I enjoyed it's pretty, simple looking tin. I opened it up and took a whiff. Oh my goodness this stuff smelled terrible. I could compare it to rotting leaves, pencil shavings, Sharpie markers and tar, all blended together and hard pressed and cut into thick flakes. I crumbled a bit into my Peterson and lit this dark mass of rotting filth. First I was quickly hit with the scent, something I will never forget. Immediate images of the forest, beautiful peacful fields and nature in general came to mind. The taste was so pleasing, that I forgot to blow out and inhaled it by accident. It tastes and smells so earthy, and pure. I smoked aromatics when I began pipe smoking a year ago, but this is what I smoke. Pipe smoking didn't appeal to me until I tried this absolutely amazing blend. Now I'm hooked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This should read: room note: Pleasant, not mild. . . . I give this'un 3.5 stars, but that doesn't really show up wth the current system. Ok. I don't know what Cepecol(sp) tastes like, and I haven't tasted anything but the best tobaccos in this blend. But. . . When I opened my first 8oz of Penzance, what I smelled was very familliar, and it wasn't just tobacco. It took me a couple of days to place the smell, since it had been a while. I smoked a few bowls and loved it. It actually reminds me of smoking Sobranie. It doesn't taste like it, but it puts me in the same mood. Anyway, that smell. My mind was churning(it always is) and I kept thinking of roasted barely, but that wasn't it. Then it hit me. I used to brew beer, at home, and my sanitizer was Iodine. That's what it was. Didn't bother me, brought back good memories, and it went away after a couple of days. So, anyway. There's lots of good latakia here. And it's one of the smoothest smokes around. Moral of story: with this stuff, if at first it smells a little funny, put it in your pipe and smoke it.

Great stuff. The -.5 star is for the format. Even though I love to play with crumble cake, I'm usually to busy working to worry about the tobacco density in my bowl- enjoy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCElder (24)
★☆☆☆
Overwhelming Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

When I first tried this a few months ago I thought it was OK. It was rather moist and much milder than the other reviewers had led me to expect. A few months later my tin had dried out significantly. The tobacco crumbled to a powder. I packed the pipe and lit the bowl. BIG MISTAKE! This stuff was putrid. It tasted like Cepacol sore throat spray and even had the same numbing effect on my mouth! I almost gagged. I tried to persevere figuring it would settle down a bit, but I was wrong. After a third of a bowl I had to stop. What's more, it flavored my pipe like Cepacol. The next day I tried smoking some Solani Silver Flake in it but all I could taste was the putrid Penzance. I had to take immediate action to rid my pipe of the resididual effects left by Penzance. For you guys who love this stuff, "Seek professional help before you hurt yourselves or someone you love."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Penzance is probably the finest krumblecake on the market today! High quality ingredients are used and I just love pressed tobacco. Very easy to prepare for smoking though one needs not pack to firmly and I found a group 2 or 3 works best. Initially on light up, you can taste the different varieties of tobacco used but, after that it does settle a bit and the tobaccos seem to work well with each other. Not overpowering, the richness of the blend makes it very satisfying to smoke as the taste comes across creamy if smoked methodically and not too hurried! An occasional treat, it is brought out of the hanger on special occasions. It demands your attention! So "Sit Up" and "Fly Straight". Will always have on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

writer_robin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
writer_robin (7)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

OK, at the risk of being burned at the stake for heresy, I have to admit I'm not very fond of it as a regular smoke. Or maybe I'm just burned out on it.

I bought an ounce from a bulk container at my local B&M. I liked it so much that I went back and bought a 2-oz tin. Still enjoyed it. Then I bought an 8-oz pack. Big mistake.

No, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it's no longer part of my regular rotation. I don't know, maybe I've just smoked too much of it. I'll wait a few more weeks and give it another try. As I said, maybe I'm just burned out.

I had such high hopes for it, too, after reading the reviews here. As far as the room note, it was hard for me to put it into words until I smoked it at work and a couple of people told me it smelled like "incense at high mass." That's exactly it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rajabalak Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rajabalak (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

After finishing a pound of it, I rushed to ordered two pounds! Latakia lover should not try it... 'cos it may run out of stock...then you are in trouble! Please read all details by other 4 stars reviewers. If you're new to Latakia leaf, try it, I am warning you, this crumble thing is addictive!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one smooth, rich, mellow and satisfying tobacco. One of the best latakia blends I have smoked and one I will always keep on hand. Dark flakes that crumble very easily (a little too easy, my only minor complaint), a nearly perfect burn, consistent flavor throughout the bowl, and a delicious taste that goes well in the evening with good beer, bourbon or turkish coffee. I can't get enough of this great tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

VAman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
VAman (26)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I love penzance, this is my favorite tobacco. it is all that i personally could ask of a leaf and more. rich but not overpowering. packs well requires a relight but is still tailor made for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCguy (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Penzance, Penzance thou casteth that lovely nicotine trance. Boy am I glad I found this early on! This stuff is just beautifully yummy. Packed into this tin are small sheet cakes of English smoothness. This is a rich creamy smoke no matter how you puff it...simply put its divine! Penzance is like VISA...don't leave home without it nor be without it in your supply. This is truly a darn near perfect smoke. Simply yummy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Austin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Austin (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I see the Professor, in his review below, helped us with understanding the name Penzance: holy headland. Holy is a perfect intensifier for my description of this offering: holy mole, holy cow, and holy mackerel are just a few.

The amazing Virginians of Rattray (Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake, HOW), the standards of Dunhill (965, EMP, NC), and the Balkan delight of Pease Odyssey all have qualities by which I measure all others. And then there is Penzance. Char then light and moderate attention allows a smoke without relight. The tastes, both complex and simple, all the way through the bowl are nothing short of amazing. Penzance follows your desire, no searching necessary. Smoke it fast or smoke it slow ? either way is fine. You lead this dance, not the other way around.

My exhaustive search for the perfect smoke still continues, but it is no longer as intense thanks to the placating qualities of Penzance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

knoagreen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
knoagreen (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I bought this based on the reviews seen here. Over all i liked it, however the tin aroma was almost untolerable. It needed to dry out a little I let it sit for about 10 minutes and this did the trick. It is very smooth with no bite, I could smoke it all days except for the lack of flavor. I bought an 8oz brick so i put most in a mason jar to age for a few months so ill se how it is. All in all a good smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bushi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bushi (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favorites. Smoking it slowly will reward you with a wonderful smoking experience. All the subtle nuances of the different tobaccos really shine in this blend. Cool smoke, no bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my after dinner smoke of choice. From the moment one opens the tin it is a treat. The crumbly slices, the piquant Turkish and Orientals, the mellow VA and the generous but not overdone Latakia create a great smoke. An evening is not complete without a bowlful of Penzance.

The aging process creates a smooth creamy smoke but it is very complex as it's mottled appearance would suggest, not a homogenized mixture despite its appearance post handling. Its near impossible to just fold this as you would a more leathery slice. It virtually crumbles to a soil like form. I'll let you know when I'm actually able to smoke it as a flake.

I describe it as toasted Balkan. Wonderful stuff.

As with many tobaccos this requires a little time before you will master the technique that works for you. It took me a few bowls full before I understood that Penzance needed to be packed a bit more gently and tamping needed to be classic ... just the ash. If there is one characteristic of this tobacco that is fussy, its the fact that it doesn't react well to heavy hands and will only partially reward you if you don't treat it accordingly.

Cheers, VC

Nobody has rated this review yet.

maynard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maynard (18)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable

A wonderfull smoke, even after a half burn and put in my hunting vest for two days, really One of my go to,s

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DownSouth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DownSouth (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I can't add a lot to what's already been said, except that this is hands down my favorite tobacco on the market right now. I love many of the GLP and C&D blends, and still have yet to try some of them, but this is the tobacco that won me over to smoking latakia blends in the first place, and sent me in search of rich oriental blends. The Latakia is the first thing you notice upon opening the tin, and at first light. As you smoke the pipe down though, you get into an oriental nirvana that I haven't quite found in any other blend I've tried. I also have never been bitten by this tobacco, no matter my rate of smoking - it really shines when you slow your pace down a little though - a deep, creamy, rich taste that I simply never seem to get tired of! Four stars just isn't enough for this fantastic blend!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (167)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Some decades ago I used to build a crescendo of Balkan/English taste and flavours, beginning with Early Morning Pipe, progressing to My Mixture and Balkan Sobranie and concluding with Nightcap. If I was to do that today Penzance would take the place of Balkan Sobranie.

This is an excellently balanced composition, with all the flavours merging together to sing a fine chordal progression. The cut has its advantages - ease of packing - and disadvantages - dries too soon - but on the whole is an interesting alternative to ribbons and flakes. The relative lack of nicotine means it can be smoked all day if the tastebuds are upto the task. As fine an example of modern day blending as any.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cactus John Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cactus John (34)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is very nice and complex without being overwhelming. I don't like English blends. But this one is the exception to the rule. There isn't anything bad I can say about this tobacco. It is very nice in a Meerschaum outside in the winter. You can even only smoke half the bowl and set it down until the next day and relight it and still get as nice a smoke as you did the day before.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Redneck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redneck (15)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Penzance is a spicy smooth Oriental smoke that has minimal Latakia and Nicotine. It has no bite & smokes cool & dry.

Everything is great about this tobac except no Nicotine !!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Luke_Wyatt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Luke_Wyatt (7)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

A very wonderfull blend with complex taste. The room note is very pleasent while you smoke it but tends to sour after it sets so I might suggest this be an outside smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

prinakis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
prinakis (13)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable

I'm not a latakia lover but this blend is something to remember. Very rich taste of latakia and not a bite at all. Very high quality. I cannot give more than 2 stars because of i'm not a latakia addicted..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Penzance is possibly the most addictive substance known to latakia smokers, and well worth every penny. Consistency to the bottom of the bowl, rich and complex flavors, a crumbly texture that makes loading very simple, and something very unique and satisfying in the smoke of this masterfully blended cake have made Penzance the most plentiful tobacco in my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Pointed by many as the heir of Bengal Slices, it's something I had to come across sooner or later. When that time came, I've been disapponted at first as I was expecting a big latakia hit from the beginning to the end. Then I began to analyze it for what it really is: an oriental blend, and a pretty damn good one too! The only problem is that it's too mild for my taste, it always leaves me wanting for more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

13.45 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
13.45 (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

One of my all-time favorite tobaccos! A delightful English blend that is never tiring or dull. Penzance possesses a tasty latakia earthiness and a creamy, satisfying smokiness without an overload of nicotine. A true all-day smoke, or one to be savored after a fine meal. Four stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
Very Mild None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I received a tin of Penzance from a friend and fellow reviewer on this site. I do not think i would have bought it because Bengal Slices scared the heck out of me, and I swore that I would never buy a Latakia flake again. I am grateful he opened my eyes.

Penzance is a slice of heaven! This is, along with Balkan Sasieni, the best Latakia offering I have ever tried in my 15 years as a pipe smoker. It is complex deep, sweet and heavy: well-rounded and spicy as fine Australian red wine. Penzance will never burn your tongue no matter how hard you puff.

The only downside -which really isn't a downside, is the lack of nicotine. I normally smoke potent blends such as St. Bruno and Marlin Flake, but the taste of Penzance is so heavenly refined, that the (absent) nicotine-level is not all important here.

Stout and delicate at the same time; Thoroughly recommended!

Jakob kiilerich, Denmark

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dougster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dougster (31)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For a full English blend, Penzance is somewhat milder than I expected. I find that I enjoy it immensely. Margate and Odyssey are definately stronger, and 965 is a bit milder. This blend seems to find a great happy medium by having great latikia and oriental flavors but without being overly smoky tasting from excessive latikia. The result is that the other ingredients peep through and all contribute to a full flavored yet surprisingly smooth smoking experience. The crumble cake slices do indeed crumble quite easily so you can rub this out with minimal effort to whatever consistency you want. I find it easy to light and keep lit, and it burns quite cool. Tongue bit is minimal and this is a very easy blend to smoke. The more I smoke of this the more I come to enjoy it. I think I will make this a staple. Others may make stronger latikia blends but this one is exceptionally well done, full flavored but not overpowering. Well worth trying some out if you are sampling English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

After being more than disappointed with Margate, I have not ventured for another Esoterica Tobacciana product until now. Penzance, as a place in England, is a special place. Literally, Penzance means 'holy headland' in Cornish (i.e. Cornwall). One of its most magical places (there are many) is the Minack Theatre--an amphitheatre painstakingly built, rock by rock, by Miss Rowena Cade in the 1930s. The open-air theatre sits on the edge of a cliff-face overlooking the ocean. It is quite amazing. And I lived relatively close for a period of time. As a tobacco, by Esoterica Tobacciana, Penzance is less than its namesake. Still, this is a solid (be it uniform) mild tobacco with a good Latakia influence. Penzance is an ideal morning tobacco, but it is too mild and does not have enough flavour for more than a bowl to start the day. The flake crumbles marvellously and, in raw form, I am rather charmed by this offering. Unfortunately, I cannot award Penzance tobacco four stars. It is, though, a recommended solid three--and for good reason. Give it a go!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (20)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Extra Strong

The tin aroma is not strong...it is foul. The flavor is not full, it is ghastly. As I tried to get through a bowl, the analogy that came to mind was smoking finely minced tar paper.

I'm reviewing this from a tin that was opened about 5 months ago and that has sat in a jar since then. I recall when first opened, it was foul and ghastly, but not to this degree. Other reviewers have noted that age does not improve this blend and I'd agree. I threw out the rest of the jar, and did my best to remove the oily residue it left inside one of my better pipes reserved for Latakia blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

Penzance is huge, round, and complex. It's a Latakia orgy.

Incredible stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smoker390 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoker390 (36)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Penzance is all that! This is the very best a classic Balkan style blend can offer. The additional thing Penzance brings to the table is being pressed into flake, allowing a unique marriage of the tobaccos rendering an earthiness and smoothness second to none. This tobacco will burn all the way down to a fine white ash, even when fresh out of the tin - despite the moist feel and oily content when first opened. If you have it around long enough to dry out, it still never becomes harsh as with some blends. This is the real deal!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I'll just throw my two cents in on this blend -- it's great. Latakia, Orientals and VA in perfect balance! I liken this to Red Rapparee in many ways (another great blend), though I think this is stronger and even more smokey. I only wish more really go blends came in cruble cake form. This is quite a full blend, both in strength and taste. So, if you want to smoke this, make it one of the last bowl of the day, otherwise, if you smoke something lighter afterwards, it will taste bland. Or, if you are so inclined, smoke this all day -- you might be able to, but I think my taste buds would need about a week off to recover.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phantom55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phantom55 (29)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

I apparently differ in my perception of this tobacco from most reviewers.After smoking Dunhill Standard Medium all afternoon, Penzance in the evening was almost tasteless. Penzance has a definite smokey taste and aroma, but more of an artificial smokey, rather than latakia smokey. I strongly suspect there is a flavoring agent in here. The tobacco has a very good taste when smoked earlier in the day, but is a bit thin, in my opinion. I guess from a technical standpoint, this is an English blend, but not like most other English blends. I think it must have very little virginia in it.Nice tobacco, I think just not tuned to my tastebuds.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cruelraoul Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cruelraoul (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Finally, a latakia-based blend that I can enjoy! Even for a VA-leaning set of taste buds like mine, this is really an enjoyable final-smoke-of-the-day blend that I really look forward too. I have always found the subtleties of latakia interesting, but the blends with which I had previously experimented either overpowered me with the latakia's dominance (which I find both overstimulating and boring all at once), or suffered from a less than optimal quality (a "dirt-like" taste). I have been searching for a blend that gave quality and balance, and Penzance meets my criteria. I don't know if I would ever have found it had it not been for the suggestion of pipestud. Thanks!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Extra Strong

A great cruble cake style in slices. Smooth, creamy and rich. Always consistant in flavor, form and function. No tounge bite even when heavily puffed. 4 out of 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Thatcher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thatcher (58)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

This stuff is awesome, especially at the end of the day. Beautiful in the tin, rich and smooth in the bowl. Forget Nightcap; this is my go-to blend for a Latakia-rich end-of-the-day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★★
Very Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

So much has already been said about this blend allow me to sum up my feelings on this blend with the follwing sentence. The most heavenly and luscious "Liquid Latakia Cream"available to discriminating smokers everywhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I'm not a huge Latakia fan, especially in doses as large as that found in Penzance. Nonetheless, Penzance has an earthy quality and enough non-Latakia flavor to balance the Latakia. The tightly pressed flakes are fun just to feel and smell. And Esoterica has a knack for bringing nuances to its blends that can't be found in any other brand (well, except for Germain, but since they are blended by the same company, ...).

This is a high-quality blend that deserves the praise it has earned. While I won't be smoking a lot of it, I will keep a small sample around for those cold winter days when this type of blend just calls to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerschaumman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerschaumman (2)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

How could I have made it this far without trying Penzance, after reading all 61 reviews last night I decided to pay a visit to my tobacco shop and pick up some of this. The first thing I noticed when I opened the tin was the musty latakia smell. The Tobacco crumbles very easily and makes for easy packing, however in the windy state of California lighting was a bit of a chore. However, one I lit the pipe I was in for a reward. The latakia and the orientals mix smoothly and the virgina gives just enough of a kick to keep this blend exciting. This a rewarding smoke that brings up images of a foggy morining in London. I will be making quite a few trips to my tobacco shop to stock up on Penzance

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The key for me is small pipe. This flake is too Latakia heavy for a medium or larger bowl. It is absolutely terrific in a little pipe. Treat it like all flake types (go slow) and you will be rewarded. A very high quality tobacco. If you don't love Latakia, don't go near this one! A little damp from the container but fired right up and smoked well. Due to the strong room note avoid the "anti" crowd.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Cellarmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Cellarmaster (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

When I opened the tin I discovered a rich leathery dark aroma that I can only discribe as heavenly. The flaked tobacco crumbled with ease and packed evenly with simple gravity and a light tamp. The flavor of this tobacco is very in line with it's aroma, full and rich. With light tamping Penzance smoked cool requiring very few relights. A Latakia blend you owe to yourself to try. You won't be disapointed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ian Weeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian Weeks (36)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is to some degree a bit difficult to work with especially at first. I smoke this blend more than once a week almost always in a meerschaum and it is sometimes for me difficult to pack perfectly(which way is that?) for the simple fact that it crumbles into nothing if you don't exercise just the right touch when rubbing and packing. The heavier chunks must go in first on all the way up the bowl with the smaller pieces till finally the shreads at the top of the bowl have almost a worm dirting texture to them. Having said that the rest of the process is considerally less troublesome. It smokes dry and evenly, and has a flavor that I enjoy when drawn slowly with care. I dislike the results always from overheating any tobacco with my meer, but Penzance even more so. I do however strongly recommend this weed. iannweeks@msn.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Latakia laden blends can be, and usually are, both pungent and sweet/flavorful. Penzance leans a little more toward sweetness with a licorice-like taste. Burning qualities are fair to good but I would suggest some drying time before smoking. It has the most pronounced after taste of all the English blends I have tried that lingers, and lingers, and lingers. For some, this is a negative. Others may like it as it could hold you over until your next bowl. A good if not great tobacco tobacco but its after taste prompts my down rating from 4 stars to 3 stars.

I rate this tobacco 8.0 out of 10

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Wow! Good stuff, but it's a little strong. I'll definitely have a full stomach next time. Opened the tin, great smelling tobacco. Latakia is the main squeeze, I think. The flakes crumble VERY easily, and within mere seconds I was packing it in my GBD churchwarden.

It's a very fine smoke. It has it's complexities, and sweetness, and there's definitely an exotic tobacco in there that I haven't quite gotten the hang of identifying, but it's very nice. It provides a nice eucalyptus-esque flavor, and is not entirely unlike King Charles.

The only drawback to this tobacco is perhaps that it is a little wet, and smokes a little hot as a result. I don't think some drying would hurt this a bit. It intensifies quite a bit towards the end of the bowl, and there is something of a spiciness that I enjoy, but could see someone else being a little put-off by it.

All in all, good stuff. I give it a 8 out of 10. I think it's a great English blend, and deserves to be called a GREAT representative of english blends.

8 out of 10 for me is a VERY high score.

Cheers!

Daniel

Nobody has rated this review yet.

J M Hines Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J M Hines (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I have been smoking the Devils Chimney for about 10 years, English Blends exclusively for the past two years and Penzance is by far one of the best tobacco to ever grace my pipes. This blend is regal in every shape, way and form. The tin aroma and the magical way it flawlessly crumbles and packs into the bowl is remarkable. I can't give this a high enough rating. I could smoke this tobacco all day, every day. Highly recommended! =

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Normally I would have shied away from a slice like this one, as it reminded me too much of Bengal Slices, a smoke that eventually wore thin on me. However, the sheer number of raves piqued, and I went ahead and got a tin. I must admit, I liked the smoke, a heavy dose of latakia laced aroma, that settled into a wonderful balance that made me savor it down to the dottle, which was as clean burning as I've ever experienced. I can't add much more to what's been said, it's a fine medium English, I didn't bother to try and rub the slices, I just pinched what I wanted from the top with a thumb and forefinger and that worked just fine. I'm going to alternate it with Old Ironsides as the smoke that I smoke after dinner and end the day with. A real find.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Penzance is in my rotation to stay.

The dark flakes break up easily, and being a flake, if it doesn't pack well, you goofed when you broke it up!

There isn't much to add to the many things that have already been said about this tobacco. Very stout, generous portions of Latakia. A dry smoke, leaves nothing but a fine ash in the pipe.

As strong as the Latakia is, I didn't expect it to change much, but it did. Latakia dominates, but the background interplay of the Oriental and Virginia hold my interest with no problem at all.

This is real pipe tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is very good and I can not realy add much to the other reviews(positive ones). This is a good smoke for when I want a good dose of latakia. Some blends that have very high doses of latakia are only occasionally enjoyable to me, this however has a large dose of latakia and is more regularly enjoyable to me. This is full in flavor, creamy and just plain good! I highly recommend this to latakia lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (81)
★★★☆
Medium Strong Full Very Strong

When I do feel in a Latakia mood, Penzance or one of the Dunhill blends are the only ones I consider, and I've tried many Englishes over the course of 20 years.

The highest compliment I can make of this tobacco is that, more often than not, it does not even seem like smoking . There is no sensation of smoke, just deep, rich, smooth flavor. Not as strong as Nightcap, btw, and easier to approach I think.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigBen53 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBen53 (21)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Penzance Esoterica Tobacco This cross-cut English Flake is a wonderful complex recipe of the finest Virginias, choice Turkish and Orientals and Cyprian Latakia. Hand blended, hard pressed, broad cut into thick flakes. Long matured and easily crumbled.It Smoker cool full bodied yet remarkably gentle no tongue bite. The Room Note Aroma was typical Latakia/ English. Penzance is one of my favourite English tobaccos.English blend from Esoterica. in the Tin or Bulk came as mostly crumbled cake. I would call truly outstanding. It is full and rich enough to satisfy just about any English blend smoker. I give it 4 Star . I smoke this regularly, and it is definitly my favorite . Sometime a all day Smoke. if you like English Tobacco you have to get some to try

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

January 2004. Penzance. 'Perfection'Yes,I use the word perfection and I mean it totally! This is definitely the answer for those seeking a fully excellent tasting English or Balkan related tobacco.To me,its just as good as Balkan Sobranie,yet-smoother. I was greatly impressed with Margate,but I honestly think this is just as good,or maybe even better. The flavour of the virginias,turkish,orientals and cyprian latakia,are perfectly synchronised. Very easy to light,leaving a nice white grey ash. Every bowl is a true,pure delight and totally completely delicious. 10+ out of 10. And if you don't like it,please post it to me!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have liked this tobacco for several years. Mostly I guess because I am a Latakia lover and this one fits my needs beter than most other Latakia blends. To me, the Latakia provides for a bountiful amount of smoke and the Orientals and Virginias give it a just right zing. Penzance is easy to rub out or crumble just right for a particular pipe and the way it smokes. Its easy to light, and it burns down to a soft ash. The size of the slice is also good for my frequent choice of pipe with this tobacco, smaller pipes where I can use one slice and get a satisfying smoke with the tobacco rubbed down fairly fine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stycle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stycle (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Penzance was my first experience with cake. There is a special intensity from the compressed tobacco and the burn qualities are remarkable particularly in a latakia laden blend like Penzance. I detect a chocolate-like quality in this blend that keeps me coming back for more.I'm not talking ground up hershey bars or synthetic casing but rather a subtle note like fine Belgian chocolate. If you own any G size pipes and have an hour and a half of solitude ahead of you(or solitary confinement for that matter)try this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

True english sliced crumble cake. This is english pipe tobacco at it's best. Earthy,smokey,sweet background,nutty,genuine leather aroma.This is not for the part time english tobacco smokers,for it is high calibre. If you are not in to good Turkish,Virginia,Cyprian Latakia,and in the highest quality,pass it by.As for me and my pipes, we shall enjoy this most wonderful and relaxing leaf. It's great with single malt Scotch Whisky,or even coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Benjamin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Benjamin (22)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Well. I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I'm sitting in a hotel in Taichung City, Taiwan. The job I came to Taiwan to begin does not, in fact, exist, and the four other jobs I've looked at haven't panned out. So. No job, all alone, about ten thousand kilometres from home.

I do, however, have a tin of Penzance and a wonderful Parker billiard.

All is not lost.

Good stuff, this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fazby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fazby (36)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I really like latakia. Honest!

But this blend is over the top. Good as it was, I could still taste the latakia two days later despite intervening meals and brushing of teeth.

Full delicious flavor, but I don't want it to last THAT long.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A great tasting english (latakia, oriental, virginia) in an odd flake form, but due to its cut, it is difficult to pack, keep burning, and smoke the whole bowl through. Smoky virginia, rich, heavy in the room. Tastes like heaven at times, but sometimes due to the size of the crumble, it bites. Needs a master's hand to pack and puff just right. Try as I may, I can't get there often enough. Still a good tasting tobacco most of the time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

This is just a very strong blend with no subtle tastes or palate textures. If you're dying to taste a heavy shot of latakia, I'd recommend Penzance to you. For all of its popularity, I have never liked this blend and I've tried it at different times in different pipes. It is always disappointing to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is what a hand-made high-quality English blend is supposed to be. Rich yet soft and elegant, full without being harsh, deliciously smokey aroma, etc., etc., etc. This is what civilized pipe smoking is all about.

Fill up a nice oil-cured English briar with Penzance, give it some fire, settle back and relax. Life is so very good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Difficult to add much to the praises it has already received. Outstanding. There are some English/Balkan blends that are as good in their own unique way, but none better. Highly recommeded. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RobAtHome Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RobAtHome (25)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

Ah, Penzance... Where to begin?

The first thing one will notice about Penzance is the form and appearance - a dark, oily flake with flecks of brown and gold. The flakes do not so much rub out into ribbons as crumble. Care must be taken not to rub this tobacco out too finely, and to load the pipe with a light touch. Otherwise, you end up with a densely-packed, wet hunk of steaming, smoldering evil in your pipe. Rough-rubbed and lightly packed is the way to go for a satisfying Penzance smoke.

Very shortly after taking the flakes in with your eyes, you'll experience them with your nose. This blend is heavy on the Latakia, so much so that I use Penzance as a condiment tobacco in its own right and blend it with straight VA's to create milder and medium-bodied English mixtures. A hint of Virginia tang comes through in the smell.

Upon lighting, it's the Latakia that thunders to the fore. Oriental and Virginia flavors take up supporting parts, but it's the Cyprian leaf that demands your attention. Room note reflects this, and my wife refers to this tobacco as "The Wife-Beater". It does have a tendancy to smoke very wet if over-rubbed and over-packed.

If you like strong English mixtures, you will love Penzance. Treat it gently, and it will reward you with a very gratifying smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nimrod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nimrod (29)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Unnoticeable

Being a fan of these latakia blends and of flake cut tobacco, I had to give this one a try. This is the first flake-cut blend of it's type that I've seen and I found it quite interesting.

In the tin it smells like a nice leathery english blend. The flakes are almost solid black, very crumbly, and a bit more moist than I expected. In the pipe this stuff takes like almost pure latakia, which is great if thats what I'm in the mood for. It does seem to be lacking a little something that I usually crave in english blends, though I'm not sure what exactly.

One nice thing about this stuff is that I don't feel like I need to worry about it drying out. I've been smoking this tin slowly over about 3 months and it's still in pretty good shape even with no humidifiers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pagercat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pagercat (41)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Overwhelming Very Strong

Ahh...Penzance...how I hate thee, let me count the ways...sorry, I can't count that high!

Penzance is by far the worst tobacco I've ever encountered! The appearance is nauseating...the "pools of oil" on the wax paper look more like something I would find on the filthy floor of a garage. The "aroma" (read "STENCH") is enough to make you think that Granny's Depends are failing. This crap disintegrated in my hands as I went to fill a bowl, leaving me with what looked like dried-up contaminated potting soil. Filling my pipe (God rest it's soul) with this gunpowder-like wormdirt was quite unpleasant as it fifn't really "pack" so much as it just poured in like a landfill.

The initial lightup was pure trauma as hundreds of black particles shot through my mouth and into the back of my throat nearly choking me to death on the first puff! Once the pipe was properly lit the smoke tasted like dirt. After a third of a bowl I had to dump it out. The poor pipe may never recover. The only thing that helped fight that horrible taste was a nice bowl of Mac Baren Mixture!

This stuff sucks!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you can't get excited by Penzance, put down your pipe and stop smoking, as this is the art of tobacco production at it's finest, look no further. It is categorically flawless (pack, light, bite, aroma) etc. It is full of flavor and yet unbelieveably mellow and smooth, with no harshness, bitterness or cloying sweetness whatsoever. Virginia and Oriental lovers on either side of the fence will be pleased again and again. I would make this an all-day smoke, except I fear that familiarity might breed contempt. When I need a lift out of the routine of my yard-weeds, Penzance reminds me why I pursue the gentle art in the first place.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (70)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I'll not bore you all with musical anecdotes or the ramblings of a "returned to the fold" pipe man finally discovering really good tobaccos after some years into good cigars...it's enough to say that this is the one that brought me back. After discovering this website and doing a bit of research I landed on Penzance as one of about 3-4 new tobaccos (Dunhill's London Mix, McClelland's Frog Morton on the Town and Anniversary are others) to try in two new pipes (a Comoy's Guild Hall and a nice little Bjarne). Allow me to offer my thanks for your years of wisdom and taking the time to type your thoughts so succinctly (in most cases)...you have all been a great help. There are many great blends out there that I look forward to - three from Mr. Pease on the way right now. But however great the others are...Penzance is georgous stuff! I'll have some close by always.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I'm not even going attempt to add anything to this already endless list of positive reviews. Penzance is without a doubt another fabulous blend by Esoterica. My only problem with penzance is that I tend to become bored with it if smoked everyday. But nevertheless I smoke this regularly, and it is definitly a favorite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Since there have already been so many other reviews of penzance, I'll be brief and only cover things not mentioned in other reviews. Penzance comes in slices that break out nicely into a krumble kake form. Penzance burns particularly well, both very cool and very evenly. I recently have added around 20 pipes to my collection, most of which were not pre-carbonized. I previously had not bought a pipe in at least 10 years. Because of its cool and even burning properties, I broke in most of these pipes using Penzance.

This is one of the better English slices I have tried and I'm sure I will always keep this on hand as a change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Ahhh! Penzance. Krumble Cake as the British refer to this tobacco not only has a formidable reputation but upon smoking it has a wonderful unique combination of flavors and aromas. It is definitely a Latakia blend and has a spicy side to it as well but not very pronounced. Burns cool and clean and there is nothing else quite like it around that I have come across. I have tried some 60 blends( a relative neophyte, I guess). It comes in a small rectangular tin and is in wax paper in thin precut slices, that crumble very easily. Hence, the name. The stuff I am smoking of this lately is about 1-2 years old and is simply ..........mahvelous. 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Webbie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Webbie (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I would like to send a heart felt THANKYOU to a fellow ASP'er who said "RUN don't walk to your nearest tabac store and get some Penzance." I did, and I love it. Nice rectangular golden tin with a label that looks like it was printed at home. Opens to the definate smell latakia and has a wonderful musty smell. If you've ever plowed a field during a light rain, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Crumble cake rubs out extremely easily, I wouldn't even call it rubbing it out. Absolutely no work involved, and we all like that ;) Lights up to a delicious BAM! of latakia. This is by far one of my favorite latakia's, ranking up to if not above CAO's London Blend No. 1000 and Old Ironsides. There is only one thing I can say against Penzance. It seems to leave a slight oily feeling in the back of my throat. At the last Dallas/Fort Worth Pipe Smokers Club meeting I won one of the raffle prizes. It was 8oz's of 2-3 year old penzance. Thankyou to the gentleman who tossed it in the raffle out of sheer kindness. GOT GET SOME and try it...

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

Penzance is a wonderful tobacco for the hands (all that fun crumbling up the flakes) but less so for the tongue. Although I enjoy the taste--which is full, deep, and very tobacco-y--I find that this stuff often smokes wet and bitey for me. If I let the tin dry and age, the smoking characteristics improve, but the flavor declines. Quite a conundrum. These days, I tend to smoke it in meerschaum, which calms down its tendency to nip and smoke hot. This would be a terrific tobacco if I could ever get a tin at the proper humidity that had the full taste of Penzance at its best.

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smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★★
Strong Very Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

another winner from esoterica. this one reminds me a little bit of bow-legged bear from C&D, a tobacco i also enjoy very much. both are crumble cakes with rather complex flavors. this is definitely a full english blend, not something you would give to a smoker just crossing over from aromatics. latakia and oriental fans will think they have died and gone to heaven. the virginias add an interesting and tasty complexity to the flavor. there seems to be a very faint casing to this one, but it only adds to its' appeal. seems to require a little more re-lighting than other blends. penzance comes in a small rectangular tin, but don't let the size fool you. because it is a pressed cake, there are just as many bowls in that container as in a larger round tin. it goes especially well with a cold mug of sam adams boston lager. a worthy stablemate to it's tasty cousin pembroke. if anything, i may even like this one a little better, but they are both great tobaccos. 4 stars.

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NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Although I normally smoke straight VA flakes, I found this an enjoyable change especially after meals or when outdoors. The Latakia really comes out in the aroma and I've found no non-smoker who liked it and some complained. I wouldn't try this indoors in company of other than pipe smokers. However, the taste is another story and was uniform from start to finish. The slower that I smoked it in a large bowled pipe, the better, sweeter and more intense the taste. The pipe held an aftertaste so you might choose to dedicate a pipe for this tobacco. Cool smoke without any bite but I wouldn't smoke this all day or as a steady.

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Decent stuff , but not memorable . A nice latakia blend with camp fire smells . Some acidic flavors towards the end of the bowl .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

farndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
farndog (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Penzance is probably one of my favourite English tobaccos. It comes in krumble kake that easily breaks into either large or small pieces for your pipe. The tin aroma is that of latakia, almost musty. Penzance packs and lights easily, and unleashes a lovely smooth English taste. It burns cool and gets better through the bowl. I love Penzance in a large pipe with time to enjoy. Penzance is not an economical tobacco, but it is worth every cent.

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pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Penzance is a top nothc full English blend in the crumble cake form I like so much (though this is far more satisfying than Bengal Slices). As such it is very easy to rub out, very easy to burn and very cool smoking. The tin aroma indicates a heavy latakia content, and can seem a bit musty as well. Though I have smoked better balanced and/or fuller English blends (Rennaissance & Margate to name a few) there is something about Penzance that continually draws me back. Yes, it is delicious...and it's perfectly suited to large bowled pipes as it burns slowly and coolly. The blend isn't terribly complex, it's basically an ongoing duel between the sweet virginias and the rich smokey latakia, with some condiment tobaccos present to spice things up slightly. Generally it's a direct assault on the sweet and smokey taste buds. The room aroma is also quite distinct, though I doubt our non-smoking friends would be appreciative. Defintiely a top notch tobacco, and did I mention how much I like crumble cakes?.

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trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I'll likely get burned at the stake for ranking this below 4 stars, but I've just never been as impressed with it as popular opinion holds. It's a delicious tobacco, no doubt, and combines pungency with a delicate balance of ingredients for an excellent strong smoke. I do find it to smoke a little hot for me, as well as wet, and this counterbalances my enjoyment of the taste enough to keep me from reaching for it commonly. It's very, very good, but the best of the F&P blends combine equal flavor with superior smoking characteristics, IMO.

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