G. L. Pease Kensington

(3.18)
Kensington is a Balkan style blend with restraint. Bright and red Virginias are combined with richly flavoured leaf from the Orient and Cyprian Latakia in perfect measure for a wonderfully balanced smoke. Slightly sweeter than Charing Cross, and not quite as full due to a more delicate hand with the Latakia. Spicy, with an occasional suggestion of orange blossom. Complex, but never ponderous. A slightly lighter variant of the classic style.
Notes: Kensington was released in March, 2003.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Classic Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
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

3.18 / 4
23

21

13

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Reviews

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Displaying 31 - 40 of 57 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2008 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Tin: Looks like Piccadilly, also of the Classic Collection, having a familiar, overall light mahogany hue. While Piccadilly was dry, Kensington is at least so. Medium, somewhat irregular ribbon cut. Kensington displays a balance between smoky Latakia and spicy, perfumy orientals, presenting a mild, mellow smoky oriental scent.

Packing & Lighting: Seemed easy to overpack. Being dry, it lit readily.

Taste & Aroma: Nice, soft and smooth, to start off, but included a slightly annoying tangy zest on the tongue. After this, it continues a nice presentation, a soft interplay between smoky oriental perfume and VA oats, a well-arranged bouquet of orientals and VA's. This seemed to be elicited more favorably in a large meerschaum. Being mild, Kensington keeps me busy concentrating on trying to elicit more of this aroma.

Nicotine: Mild to medium.

Room Note: Medium. A pleasant VA afterthought until multiple bowls are smoked back-to-back leaving a cigarette odor.

Overall: Kensington has a signature taste and aroma akin to other GLP offerings. 3.8 stars.

Based simply on types of tobacco, this Classic Collection tobacco should be compared to Ashbury of the Fog City Selection, Ashbury having a more light oriental quality.

Other GL Pease offerings in this genre are Charing Cross and Caravan, out of the Classic Collection and Original Mixtures, respectively.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2004 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Kensington promises to be a Balkan blend with rstraint ? and it certainly delivers.

The blend is a pleasure to look at, and the tin aroma is as one would expect ? mostly Oriental with an underlying Va sweetness and Latakia undertones. A variety of color from ivory to near-black is pleasing to the eye. Moisture content is perfect.

From the first light, the classic Balkan taste range is apparent. The Oriental asserts itself in a well-rounded spicy manner right from the charring light with full rich Va providing support while the Cyprian Latakia adds a smoky fullness. The Va doesn?t assert itself to the point of making this a sweet blend. There is always that hint of an ?edge? that, to me, defines a Balkan.

As the bowl progresses, the Va seems to gain power slowly, but never seriously challenging the Oriental. The Latakia stays muted and supportive. Some interplay of flavors is evident throughout, but more pronounced the farther down the bowl.

Kensington burns exceptionally well. Nothing but gray powder left in the bowl at the end with minimum re-lights. The bottom of the bowl was so dry that it looked as if the pipe hadn?t been smoked in weeks. Actually, due to the humid environment I am in, the bowl looked drier afterwards than it did before I smoked it ? and this pipe really hadn?t been smoked in several weeks!

While Kensington does perform quite well in any size bowl that I tried, from big freehands to a narrow Stanwell, I found that I enjoyed it most in the larger bowls. For reference : My favorite bowls of Kensington were smoked in a Peterson XL-90.

I have to agree with Noorrmm ? this is Charing Cross Lite ? and that?s a good thing!
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 25, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Presentation: I love the labels on the Classic Series. All the labels have the same coloring and artstyle, being a drawing of a pipe but they each have a different pipe. That's so cool to me.

Cut: Comes in a C&D style ribbon cut, perfect moisture.

Tin note: It's a mellow tin note but it smells smoky, woody, and creamy.

Tasting notes: Tart, bready, and a little spicy on light up. Moderately smoky (smooth, not overpowering), a little sweet, a good amount of spice, with a bready note underlying it all. Leather comes and goes. Sometimes I get a mineral like taste that I get mainly in Nicaraguan cigars. Sweetness and breadiness will become more subtle (but still apparent) toward the end of the bowl with other notes remaining the same.

Mechanics: The rate and intensity you puff at is directly correlated to the amount of spice you'll get. Do with that what you will.

Extra Remarks: It's cover says "just another english blend in the Classic Series", but if you open it up, you will know there is more than meets the eye. I can't say it's a super unique blend and complexity is moderate, and it's about medium in flavor... but it is beautifully balanced and there is something I just really enjoy about this blend. My mind says three stars, but my heart says four. 4 stars for Kensington.

Also: Merry Christmas to anyone reading the day this was posted.
Pipe Used: Bent Apple Meer
Age When Smoked: 1 year 3 months
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 20, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
The description of this mixture is correct, a Balkan with restraint. Spicy, sour, tangy, woody, smoky, incense like and leathery, it's all there but subdued. It makes me yearn for more after each puff. It's certainly a four star winner for Balkan beginners or those who are sensitive to nicotine. Slow, cool burning and mellow, I find the spiciness, tanginess and sourness more present than the other flavors which still round up pretty nicely for a relaxing smoke.

Virginia lover
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 01, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I had to smoke a fair amount of this stuff in order to be able to review it. I liked it right away, but had a hard time pinning it down or figuring out where it fit into my rotation. Tin note is slightly Latakia forward with some sour notes. The taste is Oriental/Turkish forward by a significant margin with the Latakia being almost undetectable. Red Virginia is the back up flavor in the mix, slightly sweet, earthy base that supports the dry, woody and spicy Oriental/Turkish. I have tried this blend in every pipe shape I have and found that it seems to work best in a wide, short bowl. This is a very well balanced blend and it is on the milder side of medium in taste. I find this to be best in the morning with coffee or if you want a smoke that gives you consistent flavor and need to focus on a task, this may be a go to. Not my favorite in the series but a solid smoke
Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum and cobs
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
A rich, sweet and solid Balkan. Almost an English, with dominance of Virginias and a perfect balance between Orientals and Latakia. I'd say Kensington is midway between Samarra and Charring Cross, being those three my current Latakia favorites.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2009 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Kensington comes in a rather rough ribbon cut which indicates a large bowl for best burning quality and to open up the flavor. I tend to smoke it in one of two GBD Calabashs I have and it does best in that large bowl format.

Because of the thickness of the ribbon it can need a more frequent than normal re-light but burns down to a light gray dry ash. It is a cool smoke, though.

The tin description is accurate--a Balkan with restraint. In other words, a light Balkan that brings out the blend of flavors of the bright and red Virginias with the Orientals. The Latakia is not pronounced.

In all, a fine Pease effort, well balanced and flavorful. A good tobacco for someone wanting a Balkan that is not overly complex yet satisfying. Three stars.

My tasting was a tin from 10/27/05. Some aging benefits this tobacco.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2008 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is very dry tobacco... And to mild with Oriental/Balkan tobacco. I expected more of this blend - it is not even close to quality of Westminster.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2007 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Very good tobacco, as are all of the Pease offerings.. IT does not puppoet to be, nor is it, a classic Balkan. I find it somewhere between over the top English and true Balkan. Maybe an all day English blend for one of us strapping Scots. It lacks some of the sour taste I expect from a Balkan, and is not so spicy. The latakia seems to be of good quality, and the blend is well behaved and tasty throughout the bowl. Don't complain that it is too weak, the tin tells you that. A good blend for when you want Balkan taste, but you have already blasted yourself into shellshock with one of the the GLP or Comptons Super Balkans.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2007 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Kensington is billed as a "restrained Balkan." For my palate, it's actually too restrained in the orientals and latakia -- and those are the two ingredients that are essential for a good Balkan, to my mind. I've also found that, regardless of the pipe, it tends toward heat in the bowl (though, I must say, never on the tongue). (My tin was dated 2003; it was opened and smoked in 2007.)

As a result, Kensington never reaches the level of oriental/latakia creaminess that I've come to associate with other Pease Balkans. For a Balkan, I'd like the orientals and latakia to shine more; for a medium-strength English, I'd like it to burn cooler in the bowl and highlight the latakia more. In the end, it just didn't end up hitting the right notes for me. If I want a lighter-weight Balkan from GLP (and I tend to love GLP blends), I'll still reach for Charing Cross, where the orientals are more forward, more acrid. If I want a lighter-weight English. . . well, I have a feeling that I actually like my Englishes to veer more toward the other end of the scale in terms of both strength and complexity.

Of course, that's just my take. Although I wouldn't point anyone to Kensington as representative of a Balkan, it might just work as a lighter English for those enjoy lighter English blends. . . and who either don't mind the hot pipe or can figure out a way to avoid it.
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