G. L. Pease Westminster

(3.34)
Westminster: The very essence of the traditional English mixture; rich, elegant, refined, and exquisitely balanced. New World red Virginias are enhanced with a gentle caress of bright leaf, then lavishly seasoned with rich oriental tobaccos and generous measures of noble Cyprus mountain latakia. Westminster is a satisfying blend, presenting layers of flavor to delight the senses and develop in the bowl. A perfect everyday English mixture. Full bodied.
Notes: Westminster was introduced in January, 2007.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Heirloom Collection
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin, 16 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.34 / 4
162

71

31

18

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 282 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
G.L. Pease - Westminster.

I've recently opened a tin of Rattray's Westminster Abbey, because of the name I'd got it into my head that this was an aromatic too; I was over the moon when I popped the lid to be met by musky smelling ribbons. I was even happier when I put a flame to it, I'll get to that shortly.

As I said, the tin contains ribbons. Sometimes ribbons can be almost like broken flakes, yet other times they're so fine they look like a shag cut blend; these ones are definite ribbons, quite coarse and have a good moistness to them. The mixture appears to be a fair split between the different types of tobacco, it looks about even. Now I'll get onto the actual smoking qualities of it:

Once lit the initial thought to come to my mind is one of how the Latakia's presence is very similar to Ashton's Consummate Gentleman; it's easily noticed but, similarly, its flavour's rich as opposed to being just smoky. I don't get much actual taste from the Virginia, only a very slight sweetness with hardly any hay notes, it seems to me that the field of taste is mainly occupied by the Latakia and the Orientals, with the Orientals being the loudest. A feature I enjoy about Westminster is that because the ribbons were quite chunky to begin with, they give quite a cool smoke. I find the nicotine amount agreeable, I'd say it's definitely below medium; not mild, but it's still less than medium.

I'll put the low point in a separate paragraph: tongue bite. If it's sipped slowly it's not a problem, but when it's chugged it can issue a little kick. That's not a big problem though; I'm just less greedy with my puffing!

I really enjoy Westminster, it's flavourful and relaxing.

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: L'Anatra
PurchasedFrom: Gauntleys
Age When Smoked: New
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2010 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
The Heirloom Collection: GL Pease Westminster

Westminster by the master artisanal tobacco blender GL Pease, is a delightful English Blend in the Heirloom Series, one that serves well as an all day smoke, responding readily to variances in pipe shape, bowl size, as well as to the individual nuances of the smoker. As such, it serves not only as an ideal introduction to the style of blend for the novice, but, due to a number of unique characteristics, also serves as a mainstay for a number of experienced tobacco pipe smokers who prefer English Blends.

What I hope to present here are a number of observations on this unique blend. The intent is to ascertain whether other pipe brethren have had similar experiences, and to promote the blend to the novice, because it serves as a wonderful benchmark to this style of blends. As many of you know, this blend was an attempt to riff on the original Dunhill London Mixture as detailed on the article The Road to Westminster.

As GL Pease states "Though not exactly the same as my beloved old pre-Murrays London Mixture, it carries that spirit with it, and delivers a great deal more than I"d thought possible at the outset". I have never tasted the original blend, first introduced in 1928, nor the Murrays incarnation, but I do know that todays Dunhill London Mixture can't hold a candle to Westminster. My greatest fear would be the discontinuation or alteration of the Westminster blend.

After 20+ yrs. of smoking English Blends, usually quite regularly, ranging from 5 to 20 bowls per day, I can honestly say that I have yet to come across a blend as intriguing as Westminster. There is something about it that really grabs hold of my attention, namely, the complexity, depth and layers of flavor as the bowl proceeds, as well as a number of magical qualities that I have rarely found among other blends. In short, this is true "pipe food" and is based on extremely high quality leaf, in finely tuned proportions, constituting, presumably, a closely guarded secret.

First off, unlike many blends, this blend retains its exquisite flavor upon relighting multiple times, even days later. That is, the volatile components are stable, despite prolonged exposure to air (i.e., oxidation). This means that I can smoke a bowl, and save the rest for later. If anything I find it gamier upon a re- light, even up to a week later. I can't say this for too many other tobaccos, which prove to be disappointing upon re-light even several hours hence, let alone a week later. Presumably, this is due the retention of volatile oils that give the unique flavor to Westminster. Thus, the chemistry of the blend appears highly stable, rendering it quite adaptable to nuances in the choice of pipe, bowl size, as well as, presumably, behavioral differences in the smoker. It is not a fickle blend. And that is why I can recommend this blend to the novice, as it is extremely forgiving.

Secondly, Westminster delivers a lovely "bowl smell", which is a metric that I rarely hear mentioned in tobacco reviews. You always hear talk of the room note (of which I could care less), and of course the all important flavor to the palate, but how many of you out there like to sniff your bowls, especially during the end of a long burn, towards the bottom of the bowl, when things begin to get delicious? For me, this blend produces a bowl smell of butternut squash, or roasted pumpkins. The bowl smell seems remarkably tied to the temperature of the burn. At lower temperatures, as recommended in a slow burn, the cucurbits mentioned above come through strongly, but at higher temperatures, I get nasal quaffs of subtle spice, dried figs and raisins. Presumably these sweet smells originate from the sugar- rich fire cured red Virginias in the blend. Incidentally, this sugar-rich component lends itself remarkably well to the aging of the blend, and I have had smokes from three year old cans that are simply superb. The dense, smoky, out- back campfire pit sweetness derives from the noble Cyprian mountain Latakia. The orientals, which I've heard somewhere is Izmir Leaf, also contribute to this unique bowl smell (note: some forums fail to mention the orientals in this blend). In short, this is a blend to smell, as well as smoke. Even when extinguished, there is a sweet bowl smell that lingers on for quite some time.

Third, it's hard to get bite out of this one, even if you go at it hard. Of course, a slower smoke will reveal more subtleties, like a slow draw on any tobacco, but even when chugged on forcefully, all I get is an amplification of the wonderful taste. Other blends, taste remarkably differently when sipped versus pulled on strongly. Most blends loose their taste when smoked hot and rapidly, leading to tongue bite and palate scorching. Not so with Westminster. This blend seems to provide the same flavors under both manners of consumption, and pulling strongly, on occasion during the smoke, only reinforces what one is after in the blend. In other words, Westminster delivers, no matter the rate of combustion. This is a true measure of chemical stability, and I know of few other blends that do this.

Lastly, Westminster performs well in all of my pipes, from Group 2s thru Group 6s, no matter the bowl shape, from pots to dublins to bulldogs, bents or straights. Even problematical or, shall we say, temperamental pipes, which tend to get relegated to the specific blends that they do well with, or whose ghosts I have not been able to completely extinguish with salt and grain alcohol, do well with this blend. In short, I have never had a bum smoke with this blend.

Finally, one is left with two impressions. The first is that it is evident that a very fine, high quality leaf is being employed, but one that remarkably retains its vigor under a range of different smoking conditions, so as to never disappoint. The chemical stability of the blend is attested to by the retention of smell and taste upon a re-light, long after extinguishing. The second impression, of course, is that the proportion or ratio of Virginia, Latakia and Orientals are matched perfectly - truly symphonic in scope. To be honest, I can not say that I love all of the GL Pease blends, but Westminster is a remarkable blend and one that will go down in history as the bench mark of what can be done with an English Blend. Regarding packaging, I have noticed a recent trend in the industry to maximize small volume tins, to the exclusion of the 16 oz volumes, that I prefer. Westminster however is still available by the pound. Could we hope perhaps to persuade Mr. Pease to provide this in bulk? One can only wish!
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong
TRASH! I bought this tin as part of a large online order when I was a newbie smoker and really liked my first few bowls when compared to others. I did notice the rough cut and thought this was just the way hand cut product is supposed to be.

I smoked about 3 bowls off the top of the tin when I opened it up in 2009 and loved it. I then put it away in an airtight mason jar to age as I had other tobaccos to open and enjoy from my online order. A few months later and many other tobaccos smoked, I had another bowl and HATED it then put it away to sort out later. Here it is 5 years later in the fall of 2013 and I hate it more. Perhaps I have had the chance to enjoy many more good tobaccos (I was a newbie pipe smoker in 2009). One big problem I have is this tobacco seems like my can was from leftovers, stems and dust. The light colored tobacco is tiny, cubed to dust like. One black stem is about 2 inches long with just a little bit of leaf on it. I have chunk like slices, one of which I opened up and found a ragged 45 x 20 mm whole brown leaf. Any blender who allows his packer to pack up the stuff picked up by a dust broom or thrown into the trash should be ashamed. I counted this off as just a bad tin, sold as premium tobacco. However, I read more reviews and find so many other people commenting about the rough cut. This lack of care in the cut effects the consistency of the smoke, taste and enjoyment. One bowl may be mostly of gold dust and the other of stems and big leaves of a different type of tobacco. This is the only tin I have ever purchased from GL Pease and it will be my last. He should be embarrassed. If I hadn't purchased this tin online, I would have brought it back to the tobacconist who sold it to me rather than wasting a good mason jar. I read the review by PIPESTUD and he reports this being cut like shag tobacco. WHAT?!? He must have smoked specially hand made stuff selected just for the Chicago Pipe show. this stuff the rest of us get is TRASH. Unless GL Pease somehow finds a way to get me to try his tobacco again, I will spend my money on better product blended by true master blenders.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
My review is based on two tins of Westminster, a newer tin and a tin from 2009. While it can be said of most blends, I especially don't fare well with many of the Pease blends until they have had enough time (at least a year) in the tin. Unlike many of Greg's blends, I didn't find a measurable improvement in the aged tin of Westminster. The tin note is smoky, but I can definitely get a good whiff of the Orientals too. I am not sure where the comparison comes in regarding Dunhill's London Mixture and I find almost no similarities to the Murray's or Orlik version of LB. It isn't important anyway. The cut makes for easy packing and the moisture content is nearly perfect for smoking right out of the tin with no dry time. There is a fair amount of complexity with Westminster and the flavors build nicely throughout the bowl. The Orientals are the highlight for me.

The issue I have with Westminster is that it is too “rough around the edges” for me. It lacks creaminess and it would benefit from a little more sweetness from the Virginias. I seldom get bit by pipe tobacco and I didn't get bit by Westminster….but it isn't smooth either. I can see how it would bite if not attended to properly. The aged tin offers a little softening of the Latakia, but again, not huge. All in all, its “OK,” but there are just too many English blends that I enjoy more. If you are a big fan, as many are, of Pease blends I think that Westminster will be to your liking. Two and a half stars.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 22, 2008 Medium None Detected Full Strong
It's a long time since I tried a new GL Pease. Indeed, I'm one of the mourners of the bygone London Mixture (as much as I enjoy Golden Sliced and Dark Strong Kentucky, I refuse to try an Orlik version of any Dunhill). So here I am, smoking my fifth bowl of Westminster.

Whether this is a recreation of LM, or whether is closer to Standard Mixture, I can't really tell. It's a hell of a good, very good English mixture. It's tasty, balanced and properly dark (profound, some might say). I like it very much. I find it a stronger, fuller version of another GLP classic: Renaissance.

It lacks the mineral, earthy tones of Balkans, but since it doesn't claim to be one, it is indeed a perfect English. Great tobacco, and closer to any former Dunhill than the current Orlik renderings. But the fact is this tobacco--like most of GLP--stands perfectly well on its own terms. Kudos.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 27, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Why I have put off trying this blend for so long is beyond me. It's a truly marvelous representation of a mixture done in the classic English style. The tin note is laden with the scent of latakia. So much so, that the sugary aroma of the Virginia is barely detectable underneath the smoky Cyprian leaf. The cut is a variegated mishmash of short and long medium-thick ready-rubbed ribbons, rough-cut leaf and smaller bits & pieces. Almost a precursor to the pressed, cut and tumbled presentation of a few of the earliest blends in the Old London Series.

Charring light gives just a hint of the balance of flavors to come. I find the first portion of each bowl to be a delightfully happy interplay of sweet & smoky with just a touch of spice. Once fully lit, the flavor gradually increases and the bright-leaf sweetness of the first portion of the bowl gives way to a buttery smoke, layered with sweet fragrant piney latakia flavor. Deeper draws reveal a certain mineral like flavor as well as a more overt spiciness. Smaller sips are silky smooth, sweet and rich.

This is a superb blend that's all about equity of flavor. The latakia is always there, but never does it over step its assigned role. Sounds like almost all of the blends in the GLP catalog, right? Not quite. Westminster is a just a bit different. It's brighter and livelier tasting than all the other Oriental forward GLP mixtures that I have smoked so far. Moreover, despite the high level of Oriental leaf, I find the overall flavor of Westminster to be more sweet and Virginia centric.

When shopping for GLP tobaccos one will notice that this is one of a few blends in the catalog available in a 16oz tin. I find this to be quite telling. Obviously Westminster is one of GLP's more popular products and it's easy to see why.
Pipe Used: Briar
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2022 Mild to Medium None Detected Full Strong
This has been my go to English for about ten years.

First, it is readily available. Second, I have not gotten tired of the flavor, which says a lot. Third, it is a hassle-free smoke which is important for me. Very few relights needed, smokes like a champ all the way down.

It is a well rounded English. I smoke a hot pipe and the tongue bite is low. The flavor shines through the heat. The aftertaste is pleasant in spite of the hot smoking. The nic hit is relatively mild, so it is a great nightcap. I tend to smoke this in the late hours on my balcony. I just love this blend and consistently crave it even after all these years.

The room note is a bit rough, but personally the aroma is heavenly. I intentionally take a lot in through the nose.

No casing. Pipe is always bone dry. Flavor is full. I would recommend this English to new pipe smokers very highly.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I’m a sucker for G.L Pease blends. Im still a relatively new pipe smoker, but I seem to come back to Westminster. I keep comparing and contrasting English/Balkan blends. Tonight I started with Quiet Nights and then moved to Westminster. Albeit, Quiet Nights is a stellar blend in it’s own right, but Westminster just sings for me. The tangy, nutty, butteriness of of the orientals pop. A perfect mix of latakia, orientals with a tinge of Virginia. I could smoke this all day, every day, but alas I give myself the pleasure of just 1-2 evenings bowls. It smokes perfectly right out of the tin. Pure English pleaure. Update 8/9/20 This is my desert island tobacco. Never fails. It hits on all cylinders for me. I keep coming back to it. It’s just so savory and tangy. My perfect blend.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dublin 221, Savinelli Roma 673
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
At the time of my review submission, there are 249 reviews and most are giving high praise and lengthy notes on this blend. Not much else can be said. A quintessential, medium English blend that holds in quality to any contender. The Latakia seems to nose out the Orientals in the race to the end of the smoke while the Virginas offer a slight fruitiness. Little relights and a dry smoke. Pick yourself some up.

4/12/2020 update:

More evaluation time has lowered my feelings of this blend (which usually the opposite happens). I certainly dont dislike the blend but it leaves me wanting on sweetness from the Virignas and spiciness from the Orientals. It's a quality medium Latakia blend but doesnt stand out.
Pipe Used: Peterson system, Erik Norking, Lorenzo Spitfire
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 06, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The elephant in the room: the cut is awful. It's a ragged mix of leaf, ribbon, broad cut, chunks of Latakia, and finely broken flake. It burns as ragged as it looks - it does burn cool though. You simply can't call this a replacement for London Mixture with a garbage cut like this. Westminster trips at the starting gate and never recovers.

The Virginias are rough, but a couple years in the tin or a Ball jar smooths them out nicely. I'm skeptical of having to do a blender's aging for them. Why not use Virginias that are ready to smoke instead of shipping raw product?

The Orientals are smooth and taste excellent, they're really the star of the blend. The Latakia is understated, it trends a little more toward EMP than London Mixture in my opinion.

Once Westminster is aged, it's pretty tasty, but none of that makes up for the poor condition it's shipped in and the terrible cut.
Age When Smoked: fresh - 2 years
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