|I have been purchasing this blend (first in shag, now in ribbon) in bulk since '96. It was touted by a local tobacconist as a perfect newcomer blend; and it was. So perfect in fact, that I've not been without it since.
So, I am a hybrid smoker. My bad, I know. If you're a pipe purist, you'll likely want me shot by the end of this read... Cigarettes from 7am to 5pm while at work, and then a pipe stuck in my maw from 6pm till midnight and all weekend long.
So here we go--
This is my favorite tobacco period. I'll tell you why!
The "Bulk Pipe Tobacco" version is cheap for such quality leaf. About $25 U.S. per pound.
It makes an amazingly mellow cigarette. More on that later.
By itself in a pipe it's not bad at all. Yes, it's a bit mono, but with some fruity and floral notes peeking out of fairly rich smoke and that mild, pleasant turkish\VA flavor. The room note is a bit cigarettish, but dissipates quickly.
It likes to pop up and pepper the nose early on, I love that sting. Over the course of the bowl, that pepper seems to travel from your nose to your palate. Burns on the fast side, but cool, barely even heats up my thin walled Stanwell Featherweight. It does like to go out now and then. A moderate pack at the bottom and tight at the top will alleviate this somewhat.
It wont bite you unless you're trying to suck a golf ball through a garden hose.
Tudval said you can inhale this. In a cig, sure. But I can't do it in a briar without choking.
Blending. This is a great blender and even better salvager.
If you have any tins of tobacco you bought, but just can't quite handle their strength or bite, toss a bit of this ribbon in. It will dull out the sharpest edge or lighten the heaviest hammer without drastically altering the original flavor profile.
Have an aromatic that's cased to death or overly sweet and gooey? Dry some of this to near brittle, add some to the jar or tin and re-seal. Gently roll blend the two together then wait a few days. Waste not want not!
My home blend consists of 3 different VAs, Turkish Export, a bit of fire cured Kentucky or Latakia (I tried both once, it tasted weird) and a touch of C&D Perique. I moisten it all with partially de-alcoholed Bushmills Irish whiskey, a few drops of vinegar and a bit of lemon blossom honey. Then clamp press the heck out of it for a month.
I have no idea what to call it, maybe "Erik's Ugly Mild English Cake".
But wait. There's more!
I often crave the taste of pipe during the day. But a good pipe cannot be had on a 10min smoke break now can it? What to do, what to do...
I've found that mixing 25-50% of any number of my favorite pipe ribbons makes a fantastic pipe flavored cig with a manageable Vitamin N content.
Thank's for your time!