I purchased W.B. #3 from the Owl Shop in Worcester, MA. It's a nostalgic, old-time shop with dark wood, glass display cabinets, and pictures of illustrious former clients on the walls. There's also a very cool neon sign that looks original to the shop, complete with the cartoon-owl logo.
W.B. #3 is an American-English: mostly burley, with a little Latakia, and what looks like bright Virginia. The taste is pretty uniform throughout the bowl. A nice nuttiness from the burley, a bit of spice from the Latakia, and some sweetness from the Virginia. There's a distinct but unobtrusive top-note that I noticed in other Owl Shop blends I've smoked, which is most likely related to the curing process. It's not at all pronounced, and it certainly won't leave even the shadow of a ghost.
I mainly stick to long-standing, brick-and-mortar, proprietary blenders (even if only by mail order), and I've found that each store has its own "blender's profile." I find if I like one mixture from a particular shop, I usually like many of the others. A good all-day smoke for those inclined in this direction. Not my favorite blend from the Owl Shop--but nevertheless, a good, solid smoke.
The Owl Shop is one of the few real tobacconists in Massachusetts. They do all their own blending onsite for their proprietary blends. WB#3 was my first purchase from them.
WB#3 is mainly a burley and latakia blend. All the Owl Shop blends are on the dry side and packing is very simple - no 3-step process required here, just pack and go.
The burley provides a warm, hay-like flavor that is the main component. I believe there is also a VA component present, but if so, it is decidedly far in the background. Latakia is prominent, but definitely plays a supporting role. The former handles the high notes and midrange, while the latakia handles the bass notes. Together, this is a flavorful and satisfying blend. There is a pungency and warmth that feels hearty.
Aside from packing easily, it smokes easily. Puffing hard it can get hot, but it takes alot of effort to do so. Accompanying the flavor is plentiful clouds of smoke for those who like such things.
The flavor does not change significantly through the bowl, but for me it is of little consequence since from the get-go it is full-bodied. When I finish a bowl, I immediately consider having another. This could be an all-day smoke for some particularly since it is not fussy about packing, lighting or smoking procedure. I think it works best in a tall pipe.
However, there is one caveat: this blend packs a real nicotine wallop. Smoking it on an empty stomach leaves me dizzy, much moreso than Esoterica's Tilbury, for example, does to me.
I rated the room note as Tolerable. This could go either way: for some (including me), the hay-like lingering aroma might be pleasant, while for others the aroma from the latakia component may be offensive.
It took me awhile to take a shine to this blend (as I'm not particularly drawn to either burley or latakia), but as time goes by I have found I reach for this blend more and more.
This has been an Owl Shop staple since 1946. It is a unique blend beginning with a burley base, adding latikia (just to taste) and rounded out with virginia sprinkles to produce a light woodsy delicate balance between soft and full. It is certainly an all-day,any season mixture that smokes evenly and leaves a light but natural room note. Finest ash at the bottom. Originally blended for Mr. William Brewster in New Haven, Conn. the real thing is now only available at the Worchester, Mass. store of The Owl Shop. The New Haven store has turned into some kind of cigar bar adulteration of the original shop. I GUARANTEE you will love it, and if you don't, send all your remaining stock to me. Thanks.
This is another great blend from George Photakis, Owl Shop owner and tobacco wizard. tucked away in central New England, the Owl Shop is home to some of the finest Latakia blends one could ever hope to stumble upon. Burley is the main protagonist for this offering, with Latakia filling the role of Barney Rubble. the discriminating smoker will delight in the texture of flavors, While the noticeable presence of nicotine will stop at nothing to vanquish the stress of a long day at work. the room note is perfect, due to the fact that I love the aroma of English blends. The final 3rd of the bowl can smoke a bit wet, so be sure to stow a few pipe cleaners for this journey. in the end, your left with dark continents of dottle surrounded by lucious oceans of somber grey ash. If your into pairing your tobacco with fine beer, I would suggest a nice oatmeal stout, perhaps Boonesville or Walaver's. so, if you enjoy the smoke of a pipe, and find yerself in Massachusetts, I see no logical reason why your not belly-up to the counter, ordering this, and many other great blends from the Owl Shop in Worcester.
I'm a big latakia fan and was really enjoying this blend when I was SHOCKED to find out it had burley in it!!! And that's because of two burley reasons. 1) I am used to burley blends that have cube cut burley (Peretti and Sir Walter Raleigh for example) which is very noticeable. Since I've smoke up W.B. #3 I can't tell you exactly how Owl shop cut their burley but it's not cube cut. Second, the burley is done with a light touch so I didn't detect the classic burnt-nutty burley Taste. I'd say this is a light to medium latakia blend and the burley gives it a wonderfully sweet smooth taste. An EXCELLENT all day smoke. It's Christmas day as I write and this will most likely be my last review of 2018 so...MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR all ye pipe buddies!!!
Pipe Used: Peterson, Kaywoodie, Grabow
Age When Smoked: Smoked a few months after pruchase
Individual reviews are the opinion(s) of the contributor and do not reflect the opinion(s)
of STC Holdings LLC. Published review content of this website is considered the
copyright intellectual property of the reviewer and STC Holdings LLC and may not be
reproduced in any manner without the expressed written consent of STC Holdings LLC.