G. L. Pease Ashbury

An alluring assortment of exotic Oriental tobaccos is generously blended with bright and red Virginia leaf. Finally, just enough Cyprus latakia is added to provide an alluring smokiness, resulting in a tobacco that can best be described as a light-medium Balkan mixture. This is the blend for gentlemen with a Bohemian spirit and a sense of adventure.
Notes: Ashbury was released in October, 2005.


Brand G. L. Pease
Series Fog City Selection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 2oz tins, 8oz tins
Country United States
Production Currently available


Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.08 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 48 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2011 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
There have been many times where I have read (or in some cases, written) reviews of a tobacco, wishing that a certain blend was something it's not rather than discussing what it is. Obviously, those types of reviews are less than helpful, but I can't help falling into that trap here.

What this is is a mild balkan-type blend with a light, refreshing flavor. The latakia is present but doesn't overpower the virginia and orientals. Refreshing is the best word I can think of for this, as it reminds me of some of the McClellands Green Label orientals. And it falls into the same trap for me that those do, there just isn't enough there for my personal taste. There is a pleasant complexity to this one, but certainly it's nowhere near as complex as Chelsea Morning, which is IMHO the genius blend that this one aspires to. The orientals bob and weave throughout the virginia/latakia base and the whole thing is quite good. I get the impression that this blend is everything Mr Pease intended.

But I can't help wishing this had either no latakia or more of everything. It's good but for my taste, it either has too much of something or not enough. This would be two stars for my personal taste but I'm giving it three because I think there's a market for this kind of thing and I think it does what it's supposed to do very well. Try it if you like a light dose of each of the constituent tobaccos in a blend and don't want to be overpowered with flavor.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2008 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant
Greg Pease recently told me that he based this blend on the old classic Sullivan Powell Original Gentleman's mixture. Well, naturally I had to pop another tin of Ashbury and "give 'er a go." A little milder in both strength and flavor than the Sullivan Powell.... that is my initial thought. As usual though, Mr. Pease's combination of varying leaf in a blend continues to impress, and I sure do find Ashbury to be enjoyable, I just prefer more strength, which probably means it is just right for most pipe smokers.

Someone else said the blend reminded them of Rattray's No. 7 Reserve, and I do believe that is a good comparison, too. But, I think 7 Reserve actually contains Latakia with an Oriental presence that actually outshines the Virginia leaf. Not so with this Pease offering where the Virginia sparkles.

I can see where Ashbury will be absolutely perfect for someone who enjoys this combination in a somewhat light and mild form. That Pease sure can blend!
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2006 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I am amazed that there is a reviewer that can describe the moisture level of this tobacco as being too damp and ?hard to keep lit.? Coupled with the continued unnecessary (and incorrect) bashing of this blend it makes me wonder if this reviewer has a bone of sorts he wishes to thrust into the very neck of the blender- who has done a masterful job with Ashbury.

I find that the sweetness of the VA?s and the Orientals are balanced quite nicely with the Latakia- which is not overpowering or over pronounced. Nor are the Oriental leaf?s muted by the other components of the blend. Ashbury packs and lights easily and the quality tobaccos present in the blend require very little maintance throughout the bowl. The Orientals peek in and out through the bowl, and the sweetness of the red Virginias keep an even tempo throughout the smoking experience. This is undoubtedly a fantastic blend. I highly recommend this blend to all pipe smokers- new and experienced.

****Important Notice****On a side note I noticed that the same reviewer mentioned above had the same ?personal? tone in his review of the GLPease blend ?Cairo.? Makes me wonder? Tobacco blending is in that unique position in that it is both an art form and a science and certainly Greg Pease is an artist who knows a thing or two about the science of blending tobaccos. There are some critics of art who ?like or dislike,? or ?get or don?t get? a painting, but the reviewers of such- much like those of tobacco- that I respect and observe as credible do not ?cruelly and personally? bash a creation of the artist. They state their opinion based on facts and observations in an unbiased way that is intelligent and beneficial to the fellow consumer at large, the review that I just read by the supposed ?Professor? was neither. I dislike that this fine website has become a venue for a personal attack at a blender?s fine name.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
The Orientals are woody, spicy, earthy, vegetative, herbal, leathery and floral with some acidic sourness as the lead component. They seem more obvious at different times during the smoke, especially after the half way point, where it appears to gather a little more attention. The Cyprian Latakia is mildly smoky, earthy, musty sweet, and woody as a supporting player. The bright and slightly more noticeable red Virginias provide light tart and tangy citrus, grass, a little tangy dark fruit, earth and wood. They form a solid base for the blend. The strength is in the center of mild to medium, while the taste is a step past that mark. The nic-hit is a slot below the strength level. Won't bite or get harsh, but does have a few rough edges. Burns cool and clean at a slightly slow pace with a couple dull moments near the finish, and a light inconsistency in the overall mildly sweet and rather savory, sour, floral flavor. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl, but does require a few relights. Has a short lived, acrid after taste and potent room note. Can be a starter blend for those trying out the genre, and can be an all day smoke for most smokers. Two and a half stars.

13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
When I first met Greg about 4 years ago at a pipe show, my first thought was: Who is this hippie in the hawaiian shirt? And then, I started talking with him. This man is warm, deep, friendly, and has an incredible knowledge of tobacco and of its chemical compositions. This blend reflects that knowledge!

Appearance and Tin aroma: Beautiful leaves of yellow, red, mohagany, and black leaf. It smells delightfully fragrant and sweet. The predominant boquet is that from the oriental leaves.The leaf itself is oily and pliable, a good sign!

Packing and Lighting: I found it best in large pipes. Normal method of packing works best. Moisture is perfect! 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: From the get go, the wonderful interplay between the oriental anf red VA is apparent. The VA in this tastes very much like that of "Montgomery". The initial smoke of this has a woderful fragant pungency typical of a Balkan, albeit a little more restrained.

Mid-Bowl: This blend continue the journey with the latakia giving a good support to the other leaf. There is a delightful interplay between the sweet and bitter elements of the different leaves. Room note is to die for, at least to those of us who like Balkans!

Bottom of Bowl: I get here too quickly and have surprised myself that I had finished the bowl. There is not much of a build up of strength, but that is ok with me. The ash is dry and mottled grey. I immediately start thinking of which pipe I should use next to smoke this blend.

Overall: This is an all-day blend. It is a "breakfast-balkan" IMO. But, lately, when I choose to smoke this blend, I smoke it exclusvely all day and then come back to it a few days later. This blend is very complex, but not in an overpowering way. I am amazed everytime I smoke it of the new nuances I detect. Will it replace some of my other favorite Balkans such as Charing Cross, Abingdon, or Oddessey? No, but it is a welcome addition. My admiration for Greg's skills continue to grow. Thank You Greg!
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 18, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Greg was very kind in sending me a generous sample of this fine weed about 1 month before it "shipped" to distributors. I have to date smoked 5 bowls, in various pipes at different times of the day. As soon as it's available from distributors, I'm ordering two 8 ounce cans, one to smoke and one to age, I'm just that impressed with it!


A nice mottled mixture consisting of bright and red Virginias, darker Orientals of various hues and black Latakia. My guess is nearly equal proportions of each. The cut is a course ribbon cut and nearly uniform.


Complex, earthy, with a mild astringent quality that I associate with Orientals, raisin and hay-like tones of well aged Virginias and a nice smoky undercurrent from the Latakia. Though I would characterize this as a Balkan mixture, it is not a Latakia "heavyweight", the balance seems more in favor of Orientals. One whiff is not going to be enough, plan on burying your nose in this one for awhile.

Initial Taste:

Very well balanced lighting taste, at once sharp deep and stimulating. The slight astringency is there right off with a strong tannin like taste found in strong black tea, with resonant Virginia tones of dark and mysterious fruits, with Latakia bringing up the remains with a bold yet somewhat muted smokiness. The first few puffs bring an ever-changing presence of each component more in "synch" with what promises to be a rich and rewarding experience. I tamp it all down and then re-light, again the Orientals seem to arrive first on the scene, a little less astringent now, but still very much in the fore-front with the Virginias deepening and the Latakia bringing things full circle.

Mid Bowl:

At mid-bowl, everything has deepened and widened, and all seems to work in a careful cooperation. The astringent quality of the Oriental has mellowed and matured with qualities similar to bergamot or other aromatic herbs (don' t confuse this with aromatic tobaccos) perhaps hints of rosemary. The Virginias have deepened considerably even bringing a very subtle sweetness into play, and the Latakia tones in with its dark leathery smokiness, still playing a following role. The complexity of this blend is astonishing, not lending itself well to anything save pleasure in the extreme. One could easily forget the maelstrom outside the door smoking this! While building it has never become overpowering in any way, yet it demands full attention.

Final Third:

Every puff brings greater complexity, as this mixture continues to build in flavor and intensity. The Orientals have finally mated and mingled with the Virginias and are courting the Latakia to make it's final play. Deep resonant and bold the Latakia begins to lead the final chorus with an astonishing finish. It still does not dominate, it just makes its presence known and felt bringing a throaty smokiness together with the slightly sweet marriage of Orientals and Virginias.

Concluding Thoughts:

While nearly perfect in all respects, I suspect this could benefit with some age, 6 months at a minimum. I do not wish to leave the impression that this mixture is in anyway "green" I just think the flavors will "meld" with time. For those with an interest in cellaring tobacco mixtures, this should be a prime candidate for long term aging.

This promises to be a simply ASTONISHING blend, it may eclipse Bohemian Scandal! It is a true masterpiece tobacco mixture. Very very well done Greg.

****+ four plus stars for anyone who values them.

11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I enjoy English blends on the very full side like Pirate Kake and Nightcap, but on a day to day basis, I gravity more toward medium to light English fare. The challenge for me has been finding those that stand out. Like many of Pease blends for me some added age is a must. Ashbury fills that role very nicely. There is enough Latakia to satisfy me and with time, the Orientals and Virginias really make this a very good blend. Now aged, the tin note is that of the sweet combination of red and bright Virginia tobaccos with a hint of sour that I assume comes from the Oriental component. There is a light smokiness too, but it isn’t center stage. In the pipe, Ashbury follows the tin note pretty closely. One of the things that I like about this blend is that too many lighter English blends mute the Latakia to the point where its barely there while this one has enough to let me know that it’s a player, albeit more of a minor one. What makes Ashbury stand out for me is the mixture of the Virginias in harmony with the Oriental. While more Virginia flavor comes through, but the combination of the two is well done. Ashbury is “clean” in taste if that makes any sense and offers a moderate amount of complexity and is fairly mild in nicotine too. Ashbury is a solid choice for those that enjoy light English blends.
Age When Smoked: 6 years
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Pease Pilgrimage Reviews (a tasting journey through every GLPease blend) Tin date: 08/15/06

Aroma: The aroma is mild and slightly sweet, with the typical sweet-tang provided by VA-Oriental mixtures. The Latakia is there, but certainly in the background, adding a light smokiness.

Appearance: This is more like a ribbon than many of GLP's "ribbons." Overall a darker-colored blend, perfect moisture, great packing and burning. The occasional Latakia leaf is evident in the blend, but is not the star of the show.

Flavor: This is great stuff! Some of you know that I am not a big fan of that oriental tang, but this blend has a very unique flavor that really speaks to me. The Pease website talks about "an alluring assortment of exotic Oriental tobaccos" and I have to agree. The Orientals really provide a unique flavor, similar in some ways to some of the Grand Orientals from McClelland. That Oriental tang seems to always cause a kind of burning sensation in my nose and throat, but perhaps because my tin is four years old this one seems to be quite mild. The flavors are good, the Latakia provides just enough cool smokiness to tame the beast, and I rate this an easy three stars, probably three and a half.

To my tastes, it's a bit more approachable than Westminster, with a bigger influence from the orientals. Not as rich and smooth as Abingdon, possibly because of Abingdon's high Latakia content (I am a self-confessed Latakia hound). Don't know what this stuff tastes like fresh, but my four year old tin is really treating me right!

BTW, I got this tin from Barlow's in Lafayette, CO last week. They still have some four year old tins on the shelf, so if you're near the Front Range, and you like Ashbury, go get yourself some good tobacco!

[UPDATE, AN HOUR AND HALF LATER:] Just had a pipeful in my trusty Meer - this stuff is fabulous! I think it gained its fourth star tonight. I had my wife - a devout non-smoker - try a puff to ask her what is this flavor that's eluding me...and she nailed it: truffles! First she said mushrooms, then she said no, it's "truffley." That's it! Earthy, truffley, absolutely delicious in a Meer. I really think this will become my go-to Oriental blend. No idea what it's like fresh, but with a little time, this is one sublime smoke. Four stars! [END UPDATE]
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2008 Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Tin: Mostly shades of brown to black, with some light tan and green. The singular aroma standing out from the base VA is the mildly smoky Latakia. The VA has the somewhat acetic smell of good quality fermented and cured tobacco, although this seemed to fade away after a few days. Date on bottom of tin: 030507(MAR 05, 2007).

Packing & Lighting: Contrasting with other Fog City Selections, Montgomery and Laurel Heights, Ashbury did have a tendency for the tobacco strands to adhere when rolled into a ball. This gives a concern of packing the bowl too tight, resulting in a more forced draw, though the moisture level does feel appropriate. Generally, one relight is needed.

Aroma & Taste: The primary aroma and taste is that of light orientals, a creamy, fragrant, herbal essence akin to rosemary, with smoky Latakia hiding well off of center stage.

There is no bite.

I do agree that the orientals in Ashbury have a slightly acrid character, contrasted with other sweet, more mellow varieties of orientals. The quantity of orientals in Ashbury cast them in the limelight, not the spotlight, being lightly applied, the VA providing a light toasted-fruit-like base in the background.

Nicotine: Not much buzz at all, mild to medium, quite tame compared to Mont. and LH.

Room Note: Fairly nice Va quality of mild hay, and fragrant oriental.

Overall: Ashbury could easily be smoked throughout the day. It is rather more complex than the unidimensional Mont. or LH. Although Mont. may have impressed me more, Mont. was the first of the Fog City Selection I smoked. 3.8 stars.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 16, 2007 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Something strange and wonderful happened to me in ordering this Pease Balkan. I am prone to imagine my ideal smoke characteristics of taste, aroma, texture etc. before I order a blend. This usually sets me up for disappointment since virtually no tobacco I have tried is "exactly" what I hoped or expected it to be in my imagination beforehand. I shouldn't conjure up these images prior to, but oh well, I can't help it. In short, I build up unrealistic expectations.

Plus, I suppose I'm too darn picky. But this time there is a happy ending.

Might I say that Ashbury turned out to be everything I imagined for my "ideal Balkan blend".

This is my perfect (non-aromatic) smoke - period.

The tin aroma is similar to McClelland blends, which some call vinegar, yet I don't think so. Its simply the smell of HIGH QUALITY fermented/aged tobacco which McC and GLP use in their products - and perhaps some similar curing techniques. Not a problem for me. Even if it is vinegar, bacteria naturally produce acetic acid (vinegar) when fermenting natural sugars under aerobic conditions.

The blend lights easily and burns very evenly without burning to one side or creating hot spots. Perfect moisture content right out of the tin, no drying needed for my tatstes.

The initial notes were light and herbaceous (not green mind you) and backed with just enough Latakia to be satisfying. I do love that herbal component so. It has such a "clean" taste and I suspect it is the orientals producing this flavor.

The tang of the VAs supported the dominating oriental "light-herbal-creamy-spiciness" (the best way I can describe the orientals here). This is an oriental dominated blend which I enjoy alternating between McC Yendije Supreme - a pure oriental. This has helped me appreciate both blends and detect the nuances of flavor in each by comparison of what each does and doesn't have.

This blend enjoys medium puffing and doesn't bite, and the moderate spiciness that lingers on the tongue is quite nice.

For me, this is the ultimate Balkan. I love this stuff.

(Hats off to "kilted1" for an outstanding 1st review of this blend)
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