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For centuries, men of the sea have known the pleaures of fine Virginia tobaccos, pressed and aged with a drop of rum. The addition of rich dark-fired Kentucky leaf brings a new dimension to the flavour and aroma of this timeless combination. Chart your course for a new world of enjoyment, light a bowl, and set sail with Navigator.

Notes: From GL Pease: First, if you're expecting an "aromatic" tobacco because of the mention of rum in the description, and an aromatic is what you're seeking for, this ain't that. Second, if you're afraid of tobaccos with a little rum in them, don't be. It's an enhancement, not something overpowering. It brings out the natural fruitiness of the bright and red virginias that comprise the backbone of the blend, and softens the edges and the earthiness of the dark-fired Kentucky a bit. Think of it as a nice, stout and sturdy VA with a little something extra, and you won't be far off.

As far as strength is concerned, it doesn't warrant a skull and crossbones on the label, like some of the wickedly potent English death-rattle flakes, but neither would I consider it a breakfast blend, except for those with iron constitutions. In other words, don't be afraid of it, but treat it with some respect. On the strength-o-meter, I'd say it's a little south of JackKnife Plug, but definitely fuller bodied and more heady than the other VA flakes in my catalogue.

BrandG. L. Pease
Blended ByGregory Pease
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsKentucky, Virginia
FlavoringRum
CutFlake
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Tin, 16oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.7
16 reviews
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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (137)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As someone asked of Sextant -- a little less rum. This is that. My review is based on about a half a tin (an ounce+) in a new Northern Briar and a sample in another older BBB pipe. I'm still puffing.

A nice set of flakes either to break or rub. I rub. Fairly dry at the start. Slight nose of rum in the tin. Slight.

Burns slow, but stays lit. Very cool. No need to leave intact as a complete flake. Not wet or soggy. Quality for sure.

Now the mysterious flavor. The Viginia sweetness does not dominate the blend but is aided by the "drop" or so of rum. So there is a hint of sweetness all the way. The Kentucky dark fired leaf is not evidently a big percentage but its influence on taste is also experienced all along the way with the dash of rum. I feel with a littly more time more of the Virginias will stand out. But it's enjoyable as is.

The comparison with a cigar is true, as the dark fired Kentucky used is heady and also used in cigars (Serad, P&T Mag, Fall 2012). It does not dominate the blend, as it is indeed a blend with three or four ingredients (2 Virginias, Kentucky, and rum). It has sweet and sour or even bitter-sweet counterpoints.

It's a relaxing blend, as I puffed in heavy N.O. Superdome (preparing for the Superbowl) traffic, and don't become angry. Nice element. But no, I personally don't feel it compares highly on the nicotene element with some darker or burley flakes.

It's fuller but very much less sweet than Hyde Park, and deeper and darker but not as bold a flavor as Sextant. It is not bitter like some burley flakes.

This is not a true dark flake but the Kentucky gives it a darker element to it. I wouldn't call it funky if you will, but it is different. Maybe folks who like Royal Yacht or even Nightcap will take to this variation.

I recommend this to folks who like stouter Virginias.

5 people found this review helpful.

Former 965 Fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Former 965 Fan (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Surprisingly Navigator has drawn slightly mixed reviews to date. Why surprisingly? Well its both complex enough to engage full attention and well integrated enough to enjoy without attention. It is also very unusual in two ways. Enough to be going on with surely? Whats the essence of Navigator? Deep intense flavour - lovely plummy-raspberry virginia fruit with smoky spicy underpinning (the smoky flavour is slight and wispy and is the culinary smokehouse not the campfire - say a very light smoked London cure smoked salmon). The details - tin aroma is fairly stinky but quite nice, savoury (jugged hair sprang to mind not because its that similar but because its also gamey meat, liquor and fruit, often the unusual juniper of gin fame) with a nice rummy lift. The tobacco is presented in easy to crumble flakes. Lighting is easy as sin and even the charring light is cool (as an old traditional english - in every sense of the phrase - I often find the charring light on virginia blends quit hot), the tobacco burns well all the way. Strength is between Union Square and Jackknife but a click or two closer to the latter. So far so good but now the first unusual (unique?) characteristic. Because I am not over experienced in rum flakes I tried C&D's After Hours as preparation for this review and where Navigator scores is lightness combined with deep intense basically sweet taste. After Hours (a very decent tobacco worth just over3 *) is heavier but also sweet and at times flirts with cloying which Navigator (all light, fruity, spicy, smoky faintly chocolety) never ever does. How does Greg Pease do it - the right ingredients pressed for just the right time I would guess. The other surprise? After the stinky tin note and the deep intense taste the room note is innocuous. Will it be in my rotation? Yes, it will make an interesting change of pace from my beloved Robusto, increasing list of Virginias and the oddball but lovely Sextant. Who should it suit? Every pipe smoker should give it a try because it is unlike anything else and great fun, not to mention jolly interesting. Big, sweet taste and an innocuous room note - whats not to love?

3 people found this review helpful.

Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (61)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The mildly sweet flavor of the rum enhanced Virginias certainly reminds me of C&D Blockade Runner. What makes this blend so different is the addition of the dark-fired Burley. The interaction between the semi-sweet Virginias and the smoky Kentucky elements increases the flavor complexity by a couple of notches and this combination of smoky and sweet is a concept that works quite well in this blend! I thoroughly enjoy this relatively "no frills" navy flake variation that displays such civility and sophistication.

The body and flavor is to my tastes a very pleasant “medium”, but this blend can display some nicotine strength—it's actually sneaky strong! I often enjoy my Virginias done in exactly this manner—not too sweet, not too bright, not too dark and earthy and not too flamboyant. Smooth and mellow are the two operative words that best describe this blend, but its strength takes it perhaps just a bit beyond.

Depending on the size of the pipe, the "rum" is either quite noticeable (in a large pipe) or much less so (in a small pipe). A medium-sized pipe seems to work best. I frequently taste the rum sweetness and I often smell it in the side-stream smoke, but I wouldn't classify the "rum" as a particularly dominant feature--it's just there. The rum certainly seems to add a little extra interest and dimension to the smoke.

This is a very pleasant, quite enjoyable and thoroughly satisfying smoke and I have very little difficulty recommending it--3-stars++!! The more I smoke it, the more I like it. I could easily bump this one to 4-stars! After a couple more tins it could become a favorite! This one is a keeper!!

NOTE: OK.....up to 4-stars! I should have done that in the first place!!

Pipe Used: Stanwell SILVER S, Karl Erik Ekstravagant

2 people found this review helpful.

dokuhebi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dokuhebi (3)
★★☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked this blend up along with the Dunhill Royal Yacht, and I've been going back and forth between the two. There are some similarities between the two, but I get less flavor in this blend. There's supposed to be a hint of rum, but I'm not picking up on that hint.

Of course, the flake cut adds a bit of complexity and ritual to the process of lighting up. Rubbing the flake into a process does feel like you're doing more to initiate the smoke, which is soothing in its own right, but once lit up, I found this to be a less fulfilling experience. I'm on my third bowl now, and find my thoughts wandering to other blends and not enjoying what I'm smoking.

I won't be throwing it away, but with it's strength, I'm thinking it might pair well with something sweet.

ROOM NOTE: Wife says it's not unpleasant. Reminds her of a campfire.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Obi-One

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars.com

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Royal Yacht.

2 people found this review helpful.

wdsmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wdsmith (11)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

I have been patiently awaiting the arrival of this blend for a week now. I immediately ordered a tin when I received an email from one of the major online retailers, announcing the newest addition to Mr. Pease's Old London Series. I usually do not jump on a new blend so quickly and, the only other blend of late that did get ordered in such a fasion was Mac Baren's HH Old Dark-Fired. I ramble, though. I feel that it can be a great mistake to review a blend after such a short time spent smoking it, and perhaps I am doing a disservice to this one, writing so soon. However, this is a masterful blend from a masterful blender and one simply cannot go astray with anything from Mr. Pease, hence my early review...

Tin: Typical C&D 2 ounce pull-top lid, and I only mention the tin to be thorough, but the artwork is quite nice too; in an understated way.

Aroma: The first release of air from the tin is a wonderful blast of funky. If you enjoy finely aged meats and cheeses, you will understand how this "funky" is a good thing. Very mature Virginia leaf is the leading player. There are hints of the dark-fired leaf and an occasional hint of rum. Mainly, though, the aroma of very nice Va. leaf.

Tobacco: This is a flake and one in the wonderful C&D tradition of loosely pressed, easy to rub up flakes. They are only a couple of inches long, not the massive straps of Sam Gawith and the like. The leaf is mainly a medium brown with flecks of golden leaf speckled with what presumably is the touch of dark-fired leaf. The moisture level is just right straight away. No need to dry and one would do well to keep in mind that C&D typically uses only water to hydrate their tobacco, so, either smoke this one quickly or put it away in a bell jar.

Method and Pipe: I fully rubbed up two flakes, again with little effort, and loaded the leaf into a medium sized Charatan Pot. I don't really follow any one type of packing method and have settled on a vaguely defined method of my own that tends to work well. I imagine that any method would work well with this one. I do utilize the delayed gratification method with Va. blends and flakes.

Charring Light: I use matches as the combution rate seems to be much lower thus producing a more pleasing smoke. The first wave is pure Virginia leaf; second match.. more of the same. After I let it sit for a wee bit, I put another match to it and settled in.

The Smoke: Very nice, this one. Again, as with the tin aroma, well matured Va. is the key player early on but things do progress very nicely soon after you get the pipe to a smolder. You simply must take it slowly with this one; not because of any bite either. If you smoke slowly, you will reward yourself with a very rare treat: A very complex smoke from a very simple recipe. The Va. is both sweet and full on the palate, perhaps it is the rum. Who knows? The dark-fired is there, but not really. Only hints, it seems. As you progress through the middle portion, the strength picks up and, from seemingly out of nowhere, the touch of dark-fired leaf that early on was way in the background, now comes to the front with strong cigar-like undertones. The room note is amazing at this point. It smells as though someone else is in the room enjoying a fine cigar while you puff away on your mature Virgina flake. This interplay continues on through the end of the smoke, too. Wow, what a wonderful blend. Two simple ingredients (well three if you count the rum) but it has the complexity of one of Mr. Pease's famous English mixtures.

Final thoughts...

I did have to use a pipe cleaner once during the smoke but that was probably my fault as I got a bit eager towards the end. The smoke was very cool and flavourful. Nice salt and pepper grey ash at the bottom. I give this one 3.5 stars out of four. The other half star would easily come with age and I can only imagine what a year of two will do to this one. I hope that it is packaged in 8 or 16 ounce tins soon.

Update: The extra half-star was just earned to counteract the nonsense of the second reviewer.

2 people found this review helpful.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (28)
★★★☆
Strong Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this blend a lot! Flakes do not stay together enough for a fold and stuff method. But, it is nice and strong and I'm a nicotine lover. I like rum, but maybe a different rum would help? I would try aging this.

1 person found this review helpful.

Simenon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Simenon (15)
★☆☆☆
Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Strong

I had high hopes for this blend, but they were sunk by the twins torpedoes of (1) kentucky burley and (2) hot virginias. Burley -- unless used very sparingly, definitely not the case here -- often brings down a blend and gives it a plebeian touch. Its a strong filler, to be sure -- more nicotine and rough smoke than cavendish, but a filler nonetheless. At least that's what it feels like here. Add to that the fact that the virginias burn hot, and there you go: this navigator is going nowhere fast... s.o.s.!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Nice blend. Not complex but still holds my interest to the bottom of the bowl. The "drop" of rum is, I think, the point of interest. Very relaxing smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PyrateMate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PyrateMate (1)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

This is my first attempt to take on the custom blends. I have read a number of reviews before buying this blend and was looking forward to my first bowl. I was surprised when I open the tin to find a pressed squares inside. OK, different but, a nice aroma in the tin. I figured out how to rub it out to fill the bowl. Let it dry a bit as it felt very moist while rubbing. The first bowl was a disaster! Hard to light, Tongue BITE big time, after taste too strong. I like a rum coating but cannot detect any in the blend. I met with the local pipe shop owner and asked for his advice. He recommended a different pipe from the one I used and try a smaller bowl to get used to rubbing and filling to keep the bite in check. Don't let it get hot and pause when it went out. At this time I will not recommend this blend. I will let it age and dry some and will accept any suggestions to make a go of it. The room note is pleasant and respectful to those around which I think earns this a third or forth chance later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (75)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Previous poster read my mind. After half a tin the best description i can give is Jack knife plug light. Rum? Barely there. Still i love JKP so this smokes well. A little wetter than usual from the tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Weisenheimer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Weisenheimer (17)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

This is one of Greg's blends which puzzles somehow, at least myself... The tin aroma is that of deep smoked Black Forest ham with rum... nothing wrong with that, wherby the rum dissipates swiftly.

The tobacco taste is overall strong, but "flat", somewhat reminiscent to 'JackKnife', but far off playing in this league. Sweetish, earthy and somewhat "peaty" is the first presentation, but moving in yet unknown direction, overall with quite "premature" taste: strong but blunt at the same time... just "smokily"...

I've bought 2 tins, one for immediate smoke, the other one for the "cellar". 2.5 points for the time being...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (563)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Beautiful brownish broken flakes, easily rubbed out and almost as easily folded. Deep, earthy aroma in the tin, with the faintest hair of rum.

This blend reminded me that I was one of the people that wanted less rum in Sextant. So GLP gives it to me and I'm still not satisfied! But the problem with Sextant for me wasn't the amount of rum, it was the clashing of rum with latakia. Since there is no latakia here, I found myself screaming for more rum flavor. This blend is totally taken over with the taste of the Kentucky. The virginias are far from sweet, and kind of musty and dry tasting. I could not make it through the entire tin but I'm saving it to see how this does with some age on it (my tin was less than 2 months old), as the tobacco seems green. I'm the last person to fall into the hype of "GLP blends need to age before they can be enjoyed", but this one is trying hard to push me into that. The VA's need to step up, the kentucky needs to calm down, and the rum needs to have more of a presence. In other words, at this point, this blend fails for me on every level, other than its overall quality (for which I'm really not qualified to judge). Let's see what more percolating time will accomplish. I like the concept of a more "punchy" Exhausted Rooster, but this one punched too cruelly. Then again, I still haven't grasped Cumberland, so it's probably just me. Try it if the idea appeals to you as it does me, but be prepared to age it for a year or so before you enjoy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (69)
★☆☆☆
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This one has been passed around the last few meetings of the briarclub.

A "drop" of Rum is right, not noticeable neither on the nose nor palate. It might be there to shore-up the young Virginias.

This stuff needs age for a long time, very green and somewhat harsh. We've combusted the opened tin and the sealed ones can sit for a few years. Currently not recommended, hopefully that'll change in years to come . . . we shall see.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (84)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Presentation is what I would describe as barely broken flake, nice and thick. Tin note is light on rum, barely detectable, leaning more towards stovey Virginia hay. While the Virginias are sweet, I'm detecting very little rum and the overall smoke is on the harsh side. I'm generally a fan of Pease blends. This one may need a little age on it to smoothen out. I'm going to jar the remainder and come back to this one in six months or a year.

Edit 01/2014: A man of my word, I have jarred this for one year and just come back for a taste. Wow, what a difference a year has made to this blend. It has smoothened out dramatically. The charring light brings a distinct yet extremely smooth Kentucky tang- the smoothest Kentucky I've ever tasted. As the bowl progresses, the Kentucky is woven seamlessly into some very naturally sweet Virginias. We're not talking sugar here. More like molasses. There's a very bready sweetness to the blend by mid/bowl with a firm, earthy foundation that really puts this blend in the class of Pease's Cumberland, albeit with a more distinct yet subtle sweetness. The rum remains distant, virtually undetectable to my pallet. And that's fine, because the overall blend is superb.

The blend takes a match well and burns cool with no relights. Very easy on the tongue- absolutely zero bite. The performance characteristics clearly benefited from some time in the jar.

I'm raising my initial rating from 2 to 4 stars. I'm very impressed with how this has aged. I was disappointed with the fresh product but, as suspected, a Pease blend of quality tobaccos has aged wonderfully. Now I can't wait to see what a few more years will do. I will be picking up some more to age in jars. Gentlemen: this is definitely one to pick up with the intention of laying it down for a few years. If you didn't like your initial experience, jar it and set it aside. You'll thank me later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This smoke was simply a pleasure. I broke and loaded and just sipped. Low maintenance is the best thing. Just the right amount of flavor and strength. My wife and I rode 25 miles in the car - she never said anything!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GETMONEYGETPAID Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GETMONEYGETPAID (1)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Like most C&D Virginia blends, this blend is terrible new because it has no age on it. All the leaf is very green and flat. Greg should stick with English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.