Wilke Pipe Tobacco Surbrug's Crystal Palace

(3.93)
Mild mellow and naturally aromatic since 1859. Virginia and latakia base with a touch of perique, black cavendish, and burley.

Details

Brand Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Blended By John Brandt
Manufactured By Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2oz., 4oz., 8oz., 16oz. Pouch, Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Mild to Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.93 / 4
13

1

0

0

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 14 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 29, 2024 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Crystal Palace
(bulk)

Blend notes: “Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia.”

Crystal Palace is a mild, Latakia-forward English blend from an old brick & mortar establishment founded in 1872 (https://www.wilkepipetobacco.com/history).

There is a slight sweetness, on my palate, from the Black Cavendish and the Virginia, but the blend also has a bit of the Perique sour-ness — not the raisin or plum taste profile but a background counterbalancing that lends interest and some complexity.

Wilke’s master blender, John Brandt, mentioned in an email correspondence that CP was his favorite blend among their offerings. Of those I have so far tried, I slightly prefer their No. 400, but Crystal Palace is right up there. On my palate it’s a mild English. The reviews on TobaccoReviews are skewed by three identical posts, though I tend not to trust averages there unless we get to 30+ unique review posts or upvotes.

Brandt seems to love his Latakia and why not? The key for most people is finding that sweet spot among the various components which consistently speak to one’s happy place.

Crystal Palace is a terrific English. I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 4, rounded up because the folk at Wilke really know their English blends.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, incense-like, sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component as well as a team player. The toasty, nutty, earthy, woody burley is in an important support position. The unsweetened brown sugary black cavendish almost plays a secondary role as does the grassy, citrusy, lightly dark fruity Virginias. The plum is more noticeable than the spice from the perique, which continually lurks in the background. The strength barely reaches the medium level while the taste sits squarely on that mark. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite and has no rough edges or harshness. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with very consistent, well balanced mildly sweet and lightly savory flavor from start to finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl and requires an average number of relights. Has a very pleasant, lightly lingering after taste, and can be all day smoke. The sweetness reminds me a little of Balkan Sobranie 759.

-JimInks
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 17, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
To think that this blend was created before the civil war is unreal, plus the fact that the recipe has survived for so long is reason enough to try some.. I had a sample and ordered the custom glass jar of it, the label is just so beautiful, really gorgeous in my man cave. SCP is one of those English blends i can smoke anywhere since it has some Black Cavendish that takes the edge off the latakia stink and adds some sweetness. Combined with the Virginia's gives the blend a Karo syrup sweetness (but not nearly as sweet, just a comparison) and keeps the blend from being too dry which is what usually keeps me from smoking blends like SMM or Standard Mixture Full, i prefer a red wine to a dry white for the same reason. Not strong in the nicotine department and mild enough to be an English Breakfast type blend or a closer to the end of day if you need a mild blend for that cause. We really need to commend John over at Wilke since he's taken over. He's added tons of vintage blends that he bought the recipe's for. He's taken an already wonderful business and not only expanded but brings customer service to a new level, as good as any of the best... Btw I just found out that Walter Kronkite smoked # 72 and General Douglas MacArthur smoked Wilke tobacco's!
Pipe Used: GBD & Radice
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Tobacco
Age When Smoked: Freshly blended i believe
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I smoked this blend once in a smoking room at work. But at the time, it was just "delicious". So I went home, smoked it again, and am writing this review, with the impression that it is a tweaked version of the middle taste of Nos. 524, 400, and 72, elevated to a unique blend. From the time the tobacco is packed into the pipe to the ashes, the smoke is spicy and sweet, mellow but sometimes sour, earthy and nutty, and elusive and mutable. It is a quality English blend and reaches the line of a full-bodied blend, but is not an aversion to repeated smoking. And that's not to say it's a thin blend. After all, my impression is that it is delicious.

2020/12/17 - I increase the packing strength a bit and smoke with a harder pack. I usually pack Tobacco loosely most of the time to be aware of the airflow, but this time I changed the packing to better understand the aroma and taste of the blend. Now, with a harder pack, the change in aroma expression with each puff is a bit faster and more subtle, while with Retrohale, the creamier, milkier, mellow aroma is more pronounced. I had a better impression smoking this way.
Pipe Used: Sasieni Eight Dot Marlborough Lovat
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Pipe Tobacco
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2019 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I spoke with John Brandt over the phone to place an order to complete the varietals needed for blending my own Balkan & mentioned that I was never completely satisfied with anything I've tried in the past but was getting close to what I was after. Some have come close to the BSOM & some have turned out awful & none that I'd deem exceptional. So, he knew exactly what I was after & during our conversation he suggested trying the Crystal Palace & stated that he liked it really well & smoked it himself on a regular basis.

So, I placed an order for a sample pouch. I received it in the mail just yesterday & opened the pouch this afternoon & the aroma was sweet & smoky. Has anyone ever fired off a blend & right from the charring light knew they were going to like it? That was my first impression with Surbrug's Crystal Palace. The pouch aroma & sweetness transferred to the smoke the instant I fired it off. Then I thought, "Just think, it's going to get even better as it burns down & sure enough, it turned into a fine Balkan Flavor." It had a flavor reminiscent of the Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture with that elusive, alluring flavor & sweetness that could be tasted in each draw. The Cyprian Latakia is of high quality but is not overwhelming & plays well with the fruity Perique & sweetness from the Black Cavendish infusion.

The Virginia also adds some of its inherent sweetness to the mixture as well. The Burley only plays a supporting role & to me, was only slightly noticeable. Actually, if I didn't know what the blend consisted of other than the Latakia, I couldn't have guessed what they were because they all played so well together... like a professional orchestra. You can smoke this in a corn cob pipe, an old pipe, a new pipe... even a stove pipe & it will deliver a very good Balkan flavor. I've bought and tried quite a few tins & pouches through the years trying to find a good Balkan & now my search is over. I'm even considering halting my blending ambitions but probably will continue only maybe not as enthusiastically, for I'm doubtful that I could come up with anything any better than this but will keep experimenting.

The aroma from the pouch is heavenly... almost an aromatic Balkan. I was simply amazed at how the varietals melded together right from the start to produce the flavor I'd been seeking in a good Balkan mixture. I then ordered a pound & this will definitely remain in my rotation as long as I'm above ground but maybe by the grace of God, I can take it with me.
Pipe Used: Large Cavicchi CCC, MM & Huber Dublin
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Age When Smoked: Fresh Jar & Extra Pouches
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 27, 2019 Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant
I spoke with John Brandt over the phone to place an order to complete the varietals needed for blending my own Balkan & mentioned that I was never completely satisfied with anything I've tried in the past but was getting close to what I was after. Some have come close to the BSOM & some have turned out awful & none that I'd deem exceptional. So, he knew exactly what I was after & during our conversation he suggested trying the Crystal Palace & stated that he liked it really well & smoked it himself on a regular basis.

So, I placed an order & purchased a small pouch of this from his Wilke Pipe Tobacco shop to sample. I received it in the mail just yesterday & opened the pouch this afternoon & the aroma was sweet & smoky. Has anyone ever fired off a blend & right from the charring light knew they were going to like it? That was my first impression with Surbrug's Crystal Palace. The pouch aroma & sweetness transferred to the smoke the instant I fired it off. Then I thought, "Just think, it's going to get even better as it burns down & sure enough, it turned into one of the best Balkan blends I've ever sampled." It had a flavor reminiscent of the Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture with that elusive, alluring flavor & sweetness that could be tasted in each draw. The Cyprian Latakia is of high quality but is not overwhelming & plays well with the fruity Perique & sweetness from the Black Cavendish infusion.

The Virginia also adds some of its inherent sweetness to the mixture as well. I didn't taste any Burley. Actually, if I didn't know what the blend consisted of other than the Latakia, I couldn't have guessed what they were because they all played so well together... like a professional orchestra.

You can smoke this in a corn cob pipe, an old pipe, a new pipe... even a stove pipe & it will deliver some of the best Balkan flavor you've ever smoked in your life. I've bought and tried quite a few tins & pouches through the years trying to find something that could rival the flavor of the BSOM & now my search is over. I'm even considering halting my blending ambitions but probably will continue only maybe not as enthusiastically for I'm doubtful I could come up with anything as good as this.

The aroma from the pouch is heavenly... almost an aromatic Balkan. I was simply amazed at how the varietals melded together right from the start to produce the flavor I've been seeking in a good Balkan mixture. I'll be ordering two eight ounce jars today & this will definitely remain in my rotation as long as I'm above ground but maybe by the grace of God, I can take it with me.

Pipe Used: GBD Virgin Apple, Missouri Meerschaum, D. S. Huber
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Age When Smoked: Fresh Pouch
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 06, 2019 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
I spoke with John Brandt over the phone to place an order to complete the varietals needed for blending my own Balkan & mentioned that I was never completely satisfied with anything I've tried in the past but was getting close to what I was after. Some have come close to the BSOM & some have turned out awful & none that I'd deem exceptional. So, he knew exactly what I was after & during our conversation he suggested trying the Crystal Palace & stated that he liked it really well & smoked it himself on a regular basis. So, I placed an order & purchased a small pouch of this from his Wilke Pipe Tobacco shop to sample. I received it in the mail just yesterday & opened the pouch this afternoon & the aroma was sweet & smoky.

Has anyone ever fired off a blend & right from the charring light knew they were going to like it? That was my first impression with Surbrug's Crystal Palace. The pouch aroma & sweetness transferred to the smoke the instant I fired it off. Then I thought, "Just think, it's going to get even better as it burns down & sure enough, it turned into one of the best Balkan blends I've ever sampled." It had a flavor reminiscent of the Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture with that elusive, alluring flavor & sweetness that could be tasted in each draw. The Cyprian Latakia is of high quality but is not overwhelming & plays well with the fruity Perique & sweetness from the Black Cavendish infusion. The Virginia also adds some of its inherent sweetness to the mixture as well. I didn't taste any Burley. Actually, if I didn't know what the blend consisted of other than the Latakia, I couldn't have guessed what they were because they all played so well together... like a professional orchestra.

You can smoke this in a corn cob pipe, an old pipe, a new pipe... even a stove pipe & it will deliver some of the best Balkan flavor you've ever smoked in your life. I've bought and tried quite a few tins & pouches through the years trying to find something that could rival the flavor of the BSOM & now my search is over. I'm even considering halting my blending ambitions but probably will continue only maybe not as enthusiastically for I'm doubtful I could come up with anything as good as this. I simply was amazed at how the varietals melded together almost right from the start to produce the flavor I've been seeking in a good Balkan mixture. I'll be ordering two eight ounce jars today & this will definitely remain in my rotation as long as I'm above ground but maybe by the grace of God, I can take it with me.
Pipe Used: GBD Virgin Apple, Missouri Meerschaum, D. S. Huber
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Age When Smoked: Fresh Pouch
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 03, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Absolutely superb blend here. I was hooked from the first bowlful; I rarely reload a pipe right after smoking a bowl, but I did with my first pipe full of this. I usually prefer heavier blends, but the complexity of this mild "Amerenglish" has got this one in the permanent rotation. The unflavored Cavendish is a good rich base for the other varieties, with the latakia providing a marvelous Church incense note, and the Perique dancing in and out of the smoke with a little muskiness. Towards the end of the smoke, a little dark toast comes in from the Burley, and the whole experience is of an expertly blended tobacco. In fact, if I didn't know from the description what tobaccos are in this, I would be hard pressed to pick out the specifics... which to me is the definition of a good blend. Crystal Palace is a little fuller than mild, is fairly mild in terms of nicotine, and has an inoffensive room note. Usually only requires a relight or two at the bottom of the bowl, and does not gurgle or leave any moisture in the pipe. Wilke, LJ Peretti, and HU blends out of Germany (when I can get them) are ruining me for the standard, easily-available-from-most retailers blends. Impressive all around!
Pipe Used: Peterson 406 Spigot, Nording Bent Bulldog, Sav 315
PurchasedFrom: Wilke
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2022 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Unnoticeable
A member of the club had a few ounces of this and upon me taking a polite whiff of the tobacco I could swear that it was an aromatic but the descriptor says no. It does have black cavendish in it and that must be what I was smelling. This is a very mild blend and smoked exceptionally well. Though I had only a mere two bowls I can see the appeal. Wilke blends always seems to hit them out of the ball park and this one is no exception.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 09, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Wilke Tobacco in Fall River, Massachusetts is a nice little brick-and-mortar shop and a reliable online store to order from. It's a nice feeling to support a small business with a heritage and with blend recipes with a long history.

This blend is one of the flagship recipes in their catalog. Wilke produces unique and respected aromatics, but the English blends deserve a reputation as well. Crystal Palace is one of the flagship English blends. It's composed of a quality leaf of several types, but they are in a balanced proportion. The Cavendish and Latakia produces a dark smooth smoke but the Virginia and Burley and Perique round out the flavor perfectly so that none stand out more than the other, but individual leaf flavors will appear during the bowl for an occasional surprise. The Latakia is light enough that this could be everyone's first English blend to try.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 24, 2022 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I really enjoy this one. A pinch of spice from the Latakia, some nice bright sweetness from the Virginias, a warm bass from the black Cavendish and strength through the middle from a bit of Burley. It's an all day blend, without a boring monochromatic flavor. Bold with some sweetness and a pinch of spice, very satisfying. I listed the flavoring as mild because the added sweetness is through the black Cavendish. Otherwise, fairly natural tobacco flavor.
Pipe Used: Many different pipes. Smoked frequently.
PurchasedFrom: Wilke
Age When Smoked: New to two years old.
2 people found this review helpful.
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