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An English aromatic you won't believe. An extremely smooth mixture of Orientals blended with an aged, mellow Latakia cube. Trent blended this for a good friend in the Big Sky country in Montana and now it is a favorite of many.

Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish
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Mild to Medium
Very Mild
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
14 reviews
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Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just remembered that I have never reviewed this one. I have not had it for a year and a half, but remember it well. If I am in Charlotte again, I will go to McCranie's and buy some more. I do not like enough McCranie's blends to order online and pay that shipping, but it is not inconceivable that I might order a half pound of this from them sometime. I remember this one so well because it was the first Balkan I really loved. I loved it too dearly one memorable night, I can tell you! I had an Ebay estate pipe that was an unusual piece made in Israel. Made by Anderson, though I have never been able to find any information on it. It is not a fine pipe, but has a quasi-rusticated bowl and seems to be made of very light briar. On its last night on earth as a smokeable pipe, I was in my car (parked in my driveway but with the radio on drinking beer, smoking Hell's Gate, and listening to classical music), and I had my nice new Israeli pipe stuffed full of Hell's Gate. The pipe had a really big bowl, so I was smoking happily, easily for an hour, and really going at it. And it was good, I can tell you. Not hellish at all, but rather one of those blends that manage to be full and complex yet mild and forgiving at the same time. As I neared the end of a sublime and nearly orgasmic smoke, one of the best I have ever had, I noticed a campfiery aroma that was not coming from the Latakia. It was the bowl of the pipe about to burn through. Perhaps the pipe is badly made; it could still be smoked carefully, but if I ever put Hell's Gate in it again, it will be the last time. Such is the nature of this wonderful blend: you will want to puff away like there is no tomorrow, but use a stout briar! It's probably good at any smoking rate, but it made me want to huff and puff like the big bad wolf. Despite that, the big bad wolf didn't once bite me in the mouth, just nearly chewed through my pipe. Highly, highly recommended!

Just ordered some more after all this time to see how it would strike me. Seems different; I think I notice the aromatic qualities more, and I don't like it quite as much. I don't know for sure whether it is the blend or just my tastes that have changed, so I will stick with my original recommendation.

BTW that pipe is still smokeable, if I am careful.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tobold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tobold (7)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

01/15/09 - This is a "blue-collar" review from a long-time pipe smoker who is neither a connoisseur nor a gourmet. I like subtleties up to a point, beyond which I cannot detect them. There are very few aromatics that I like anymore. I love orientals, latakias, and Virginias, but burley gives me some trouble. Most of the time, I like stronger blends over weaker ones and in larger pipes than smaller ones. I have exceptions to all of the above. With that said . . .

The tobacco reviewed here is from a fresh untinned bulk sample.

Brown and black ribbons with a faintly spicy pouch smell greet you. Light on taste at the match but with a nice light room note. At mid-bowl, this is a moderately complex English where no one component dominates. The latakia is muted and there is no heavy pungency of a Balkan blend. It becomes heavier toward the bottom of the bowl. While this won't leave you sated, it will leave you wanting another bowl. Interesting without being demanding. I will buy more. Recommended.

Holds its own against Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader and Perfection.

I'll keep this on hand because it's light and slightly spicy, complex with no dominating component. Mild.

I'll give this seven out of nine leaves.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Hell?s Gate is coal black in appearance with a rich, sweet, smoky and pungent pouch aroma. Delightful! It lights easily and delivers a sweet, smooth smoke with nary a bite, no matter how fast you puff. And that?s a caution. This blend is so flavorful with its smoky sweetness, you will be tempted to puff fast and overheat your pipe (but not your tongue). Restrain yourself and enjoy the delicious flavor this blend offers. HG is short on nicotine if that?s a concern but like many, if not most English blends, it has excellent burning qualities. I find this blend similar to but a notch or so below Frog Morton on the Town, a blend that I and many others also classify as an English Aromatic. Another notch on the gun for McCrainies!

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 8.9 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I may have received the wrong tobacco in this order, but I was underwhelmed by this blend. Usually I agree with Pipestud on most tobaccos but this one does not taste like an English to me. Old Master has much more flavor and punch than Hell's Gate. I have sampled this on two occasions without much enjoyment. I will give it one more try a little later and try to ensure the pipe is very clean.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Trent McCranie "done good" with this recipe. I recently received a sample of many of the McCranie Pipe Shop's house blends and saved this one for last. Guess the name scared me.

This is a light and airy Englimatic (or, should I call it an Aromish?) Whatever, it's a light and airy English blend with sweetner added. If there is such a thing as a clove/chocolate topping, then I'll take that as my guess.

Not heavy enough in the nicotine department to satisfy me, but I did enjoy the flavor and the easy way this blend loaded and stayed lit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.