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A Balkan mixture of dark stoved Virginias, lemon Carolinas, Cyprian Latakia and fine Turkish leaf. Exceptional in satisfaction and quality. Ribbon cut for excellent burning characteristics. English.

Blended ByDavid Windsor
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia, Latakia
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Mild to Medium, Medium to Full, Full, Very Full
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong
4 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

According to my notes from way back in 2003, Shoveler was similar in taste to a dummied down Esoterica And So To Bed. Not quit as flavorful but the Latakia and Orientals battled for leadership with the Virginias leaf just behind. Easy to smoke but for some reason, a little difficult to keep lit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the above reviews mirror much of my impressions. I do taste the turkish a bit more, along with some sweetness from the Virginias. This one needs a light hand when packing, otherwise you will be relighting a lot. I like it best in a larger pipe with a wider bowl. It really seems to smoke well in my XL Kirsten. The only thing that keeps it from getting 4 stars is because there are so many excellent English blends today that the bar has been set really high. A tasty blend that definitely deserves your consideration.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tiger (53)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Very much in line with the review above. My batch of Shoveler needed drying and smoking slower definitely avoids problems. Extra relights are needed, especially in pipes with small bowls. Usually, that would all be my excuse to not use a tobacco but gotta tell Ya - smoke Shoveler right and it is the Epitome of Tastiness. Anyone liking, or wanting to like, a Balkan blend, could start, and probably stop, right here. As with all the Bufflehead blends I've tried (about a dozen) the quality of the tobacco used is quite apparent. That's important to me because I typically smoke one blend exclusively for a few days, then switch to another for a few days, and then on to another, etc. If Shoveler were a little less fuss and I could do it on "cruise control" I would rate it at the top but, even with my laziness it well deserves three full stars.


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pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Another excellent blend by Bufflehead. This blend leans perhaps a little more towards latakia than some Balkan blends, but is not overwhelmed by the latakia. I do not notice much variation of taste on the way down the bowl, just good full Balkan flavor.

The description of this blend says it is a ribbon, however, it is really a flake. Like all the Buffleheads I have tried, it seems to smoke best when it is on the dry side. Also, like all of the Bufflehead English mixtures I have tried, it smokes just a little on the hot side, but not too bad. Once you have the tobacco at the right moisture level, it burns nicely, but when it is too wet, it can be a difficult smoke. When it is too wet it seems like you are puffing to keep it lit rather than puffing to enjoy.

I have mentioned in my other reviews of the Bufflehead English mixtures that they all have a very pleasant natural sweetness. That flavor is missing here. If you are looking for a little natural sweetness to go along with your latakia, try Bufflehead's Barrow's Goldeneye. If good full Balkan flavor does it for you, I find Shoveler to be one of the better Balkans I have tried.

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