A typical black cavendish blend with a nice vanilla taste, hints of cocoa, slightly toasty, with a dash of light syrup. It'll get a little harsh if you puff it fast, and get goopy at the bottom of the bowl. Has little nicotine. Sip it and it'll do pretty well for you. Burns at a moderate rate with a consistent flavor. Needs some relights as it's moist. Has a decent after taste. An all day smoke. Also sold by Tinderbox under their house name.
I recently enjoyed a smoke with a friend of mine who used to work at a Tinderbox and we discussed some of their old blends, including Lamplighter. So, I grabbed an old tobacco taste diary I used to keep and will cut/paste word for word what my impressions were when I smoked my first little round tin of Lamplighter in 1978:
"Very sweet and mild with a hint of spice of some sort. Some strength when the smoke is inhaled or blown through the nose. Easy to keep lit and cakes my pipes fast."
I have not tried Lamplighter since the late 1970's, perhaps its time to hunt down some and try it again.
It is not that I dislike this tobacco, but it upsets my stomach. Maybe I am a bit psycho, because I like Lane's BCA and Pipeworks' Mettowee. Anybody have an idea why my stomach wants to leave me when I attempt this blend?
Pipe Used: Cobs, briars, meers, clays
Age When Smoked: Fairly fresh
Purchased From: Tinder Box
Similar Blends: Mettowee from Pipeworks , BCA from Lane.
I wasn't impressed with this one. I love aromatics as much as I love English blends, but this one missed the mark with me big time. I received some from a friend, who had (unfortunately) purchased a large quantity of it for himself. I appreciated the gesture for sure, because I love aromatics.
I just couldn't like this one no matter what I tried. I tried cobs, different briars...anything I could think of. As with most Cavendish blends, I had to let it dry a bit before lighting up. This isn't a bad thing, as I like my tobacco on the dry side anyway (no matter what blend I am smoking). The pouch aroma was caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. I thought I was going to be in for a treat similar to Sutliff's Molto Dulce. I thought wrong. It had no flavor whatsoever...even down to the last of the bowl. It was quiet literally like smoking hot air, which is something that I have not experienced with very many blends (even Captain Black has more flavor). I can't say that I would recommend this to anyone, and I certainly don't plan on trying it again!
I purchase my first pipe in 1975 at my local Tinder Box and the salesperson suggested as my first smoke Lamplighter. Do I have found memories of that day? I do not think I finished that first 2 ounce bag. It was not that I was new to pipes, I just did not like the stuff. I know, lots of pipe smokers started with (many remained with) some sort of Cavendish, but in all honesty I think the mark was missed here. It seldom burned evenly. I always had to run a pipe cleaner through the stem halfway through a bowl. About the best thing about Lamplighter was many people, back in those days when you could smoke in a college classroom, found the aroma pleasant. If I ever have a hankering for a Cavendish, I will not try to satisfy that hankering with Lamplighter.
Along with Captain Spice, Norse Gold, and Skilling, I would occasionally reach for Lamplighter from the Tinderbox. As I recall, it had a very subtle spice-like flavor which was quite enjoyable at the time. Captain Spice was always my favorite TB blend and was my number one tobacco for a good many years before branching out and enjoying more fuller tasting tobacco. Actually, if it wasn't for the fact that my local TB closed its doors well over 20 years ago, I would still on occasion reach for those great TB blends from my early piper days. A solid 3 stars.
I've been pipe smoking for a few months now, and I've tried 21 different blends, ranging from simple drug store aromatics to complex English blends. I picked this up as to sample when I purchased a couple new pipes from Tinder Box in Atlanta, GA recently. I've smoked three bowls and I have to say this is a very strange blend for me, because there are parts I do like, and parts I definitely do not.
The aroma from the jar (believe it or not) turns my stomach a little. It almost knocks you over with a pungent smell of Worcestershire sauce. It leaves my pipe smelling very strongly afterwards, even after airing out, and after smoking other blends, there's still a bit of a lingering odor from this blend.
The sample I obtained was very dry, almost to the point of crumbling. The first thing I did was moisten it by placing a damp paper towel in the bag for about four hours, which softened it just a little. It didn't seem to pack well, perhaps because it was still too dry, but I was pleasantly surprised when I lit up.
It took a few bowls to really appreciate this blend, and I notice subtle hints of pine in the room note, which I absolutely love. The smoke and flavor reminds me of a camp fire in the fall. Pleasant, a little smokey, but overall very relaxing and enjoyable smoke for sitting on the front porch watching the sun rise first thing in the morning.
This one probably won't make my regular rotation, but it's definitely worth trying an ounce, and I'll probably keep a little on hand for the occassional change of pace.
What if you want a nice room note, but don't want the heavy topping (and the attendant problems) of an aromatic? Lamplighter solves that problem nicely. Because it is a Cavendish it obviously has sugar, but aside from that, if it does have any topping, it is very light indeed. It burns cool and very dry right down to the heel of the pipe. And it has a very pleasant room note.
In terms of strength, it has a reasonable nicotine kick - actually more than I prefer, but not overwhelming.
That leaves us with taste, and this aspect is where I'm currently less than enthusiastic about this blend. I didn't find the taste especially unpleasant, the problem was more that I could hardly find it at all.
But if you like Black Cavs with mild flavor, by all means give this a try.
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