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 1 - 10 of 71 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2012 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The dry, smoky, woody, floral, earthy, herbal, lightly buttery, spicy and sour Orientals sing in a support role. The tangy dark fruit, earthy, woody, slightly bready red Virginia is not quite as sweet as some reds can be as it forms the base of the blend. They also sport a slight stewed fruitiness. The very lightly tart and tangy citrusy, grassy bright Virginia is far in the background. The smoky, woody, earthy, sweet Cyprian Latakia is very obvious without drowning out the components as a secondary player. The nic-hit is a step shy of being medium. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste level is a rung beyond that. No chance of bite or harshness, and has few rough edges. The tobacco may need a light dry time, though I did not do that. Burns cool, clean and slightly slow, and the rich, very consistent flavor lasts to the finish with no dull spots. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Requires a few relights. The pleasant after taste and stronger room note lightly linger. Not an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

-JimInks
51 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 01, 2019 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Update: April 29, 2019

To quote DK: "This one has either improved or my tastes have changed."

Just finished a fairly large bowl of this (after a dozen previous attempts) and I'm bumping this up a notch to 3-stars.

Westminster:

“The very essence of the traditional English mixture.”

“Exactly what one would expect upon cracking open a tin of English tobacco.”

"Whole day English mixture.”

“Great English blend.”

“Westminster ranks among the finest English Mixtures I have ever smoked”

“There IS NO English blend but this.”

Indeed, when I first set a bowl of Westminster alight, the first thought that careened through my skull was “ENGLISH!” Translation: this blend screamed loudly exactly what I believed / envisioned / imagined what-and-how an English tobacco is supposed to smell and taste. Problem is, Westminster is advertised as a Balkan.

Without getting too far off into the weeds regarding what constitutes a Balkan versus what constitutes an English (and vice versa). Penzance, Vintage Syrian, Plum Pudding (plus Plum Pudding Special Reserve) and John Cotton’s Smyrna are all Balkans, and spice is what I typically associate with Balkan blends, followed by more spice, and accentuated with slightly spicier spice, coupled with a generous helping of smoky spice, with the addition of another fat dollop of sweet spice to top it all off. (Greg Pease himself wrote an April 14, 2011 column in The Briar & Leaf Chronicles on this very difficulty, proclaiming: “The problem is that both of these terms [Balkan/English], despite broad usage, are somewhat ambiguous, at best, and, worse, the commonly held notions of what they mean is just plain backwards”).

Climbing back out of the weeds: I was expecting a spicy Balkan in Westminster, but was instead greeted by (in my humble opinion) what I believe to be a rather pedestrian English.

Age When Smoked: 3 years.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Update 05-30-23: I’m downgrading this one star. I just don’t enjoy the chunky cut, all the tobacco dust in the tin or burning properties of this as much anymore. I think it smokes on the hot side no matter how I pack and sometimes comes off bitter. I’m gravitating towards lighter blends these days. Maybe the new tins are different, all my stock is from 2008.

(Original review) The bees knee. The creamiest of creamy orientals and latakia. Like smoking a cup of dark coffee and cream; it gets no better. If I have a tin of this open everything else gets ignored. This is my #1.

Update 2017-05-31: Just opened an 8oz, 9 year old tin from May, 2008. I will admit I haven't smoked this in quite some time because I've had a lot of other open tins of other blends that needed to be finished. My previous review was based on tins I had smoked that were new to a few years old. I have a tin of Ashbury that I transferred from a tin to a ball jar 9yrs ago and it's a shadow of itself; smells awesome but it smokes bland and flavorless.. As I have a few tins of Westminster cellared I was both nervous and excited to see how this held up after 9yrs in the tin

Upon opening the tin it smelled fermented, like raisins and figs, maybe a little bit like silage from my farming days. The Latakia is much further in the background than I recall. There are sugar crystals covering quite a few pieces on the top layer. I transferred the contents to a few small ball jars and the cut was kind of the mess that some people (understandably) complain about; really big pieces, almost a whole leaf here and there, a few stems and a lot of fine granules and some powder.

I had packed a couple bigger chunks covered with the sugar crystals on the top of the bowl and took a bit to get the initial light going. Off the bat I thought "oh no, where is it?" and it took a few good puffs but then less than a minute into it came the wonderful flavor that I remember...Heaven. Once things got going it smoked cool although in my excitement I pushed it a little hard at times. It was maybe a touch sweeter than I remember and there was a definite spiciness that I don't recall. It was still creamy but less so with the more perceived spice and it actually reminded me a little more of the Murry's made London Mixture that it had in the past. Smoked great down the bowl and didn't get the least bit harsh towards the finish. Not sure it had just been too long after breakfast or that I was exhaling it thru my nose more than normal to take in the amazing flavor but this gave me a bit of a wallop from the nicotine and I don't recall this blend ever doing that before.

All in all, it's a little different from fresh but not tremendously so. Not going to lie, I wish the cut was better, I wish it was as easy to pack as Squadron Leader. Despite the cut being a mess the flavor is still amazing and worth the added work of packing (big chunks on the bottom, granules and powder on the top). This is by far the best English blend I've ever smoked and it's still my #!.
Pipe Used: Ashton's, Charatan, Laughing Moon, Radice
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: Fresh and tins as old as 8yrs
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
IMO, Greg Pease has succeeded in (re)creating a textbook "medium English" balance with Westminster, but don't try it expecting something like you might get from the Lakelands, etc. Tin note and taste are of a piece, all right (no March Hares here), with the Lat up front, a nose ahead of the peaty, fragrant, not-so-spicy Orientals, with a solid, soft and broad swath of VAs supporting and flanking, but never stealing the show. Moisture from the young tin I smoked was perfect for smoking straightaway. W handles, packs and lights with ease, then it burns down pretty fast compared to some others of its ilk. Even young, the Lat is soft, and it smells to me of sandalwood. Too bad I am tired of the "sandalwood" thing, which I mention because this did affect my experience with the W. The VAs are sweet but not saccharin, and rich-ish rather than piquant, and they work well to steer the blend, along with the fairly mellow (for GLP...), loamy Oriental leaf. The tobacco seems ready for smoking, but it's hardly "pre-conditioned" in the sense that a "true English English" might be. Room note is nice - for a blend with Orientals in it. Strength just nudges medium. Aftertaste is "best of", all the way.

I suspect that most who want a first quality, "typical English blend" will like Westminster just fine, as long as they are OK with the real tobacco aromas and tastes from the varietals in this blend; W is not "helped" by additives, or at least, not much. It is very well balanced, top to bottom, and it is even fairly refined, all but lacking the sharp, almost prickly "tobacco forward" qualities that mark so many GLP blends, especially when they're young. With age, W will likely soften and become even more refined, and I'll give my stash another go in a few months. Meanwhile, I find Westminster very good, and "on target", but not at the top of its category, nor overall. Withal, 3 stars from me, at least for the nonce.
Pipe Used: various briiars; one is as good as another
PurchasedFrom: 4 Noggins
Age When Smoked: 3 months, plus
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have another GLP Blend for you today. I was interested in trying some more English blends in the English vein and I ran across this and thought it sounded interesting. The tin description sounds sophisticated and up my alley with the combination of red and bright Virginias, complimented with rich Oriental tobaccos and some Cyprian Latakia.

When I look at the tin it had a nostalgic old-timey look to it, with it's typeface and image. When you open the tin, there is a fairly even cut ribbon with a few stems here and there. The tobaccos have a nice range of colour from light browns to black. After opening the tin I smell smokey and woody Latakia, sweet Bright Virginias, some bready, fermented Red Virginias, and little Oriental Tang. The tobacco came at the perfect moisture for smoking right out of the tin. It packs well and takes a light well. You will need an average amount of relights.

On lighting I find that the tin description of rich was right on the money. Luxurious Latakia comes to the forefront. It is creamy, smokey and a little woody. Next I taste the Virginias adding a lot of sweetness, bread and hay to the mix. The Orientals float in and out adding herbs, tang and incense-like qualities. This is very complex but coherent mixture that is very easy to smoke. Over the last few weeks I've found myself packing several bowls of this right after the other.

The taste I give a medium. It has an average mouthfeel of an English blend and it doesn't leave a lingering aftertaste. The strength is a medium. It doesn't leave me begging for more, but it isn't holding me in my chair either. The room note is typical of an English: smokey and creamy. This has turned out to be a win for me. A simple yet rich English which is smokable year round.
Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 106
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 12, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is an Oriental forward blend with consistent Latakia presence. The Virginias pop up here and there, but I don’t notice them all the time. The Orientals really shine in the retrohale with a pleasant vegetative note. I do notice the nicotine in this one, but even as a lightweight it didn’t knock me off my feet. It burns well, even at the moisture level it was at in the fresh tin. I never dried it out at all before loading and smoking it. It didn’t bite me, even with a moderately fast cadence. The Orientals were even more forward in a meerschaum, and it tasted a bit sweeter in briar pipes.

3/4 stars, a very enjoyable blend. I will purchase and smoke this regularly.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum, cobs, various briars
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
With 257 reviews I had no idea how popular this one is. I bought this one dated 022619 at the pipe club and upon opening has a nice light leathery smell. As for the cut, it says ribbon but this tin had some ribbon, small pieces and then even smaller pieces such as you would find at the bottom of any tin or bag. It does not personally bother me but the cut really is a mixed bag. This smokes at first mild and then about half way through the flavor kicks in a little more. The taste to me is with the Latakia in the background and Orientals up front and not sure where the Virginias come in to play. There is a spiciness that the more I smoke the more I want. I guess that can be looked at in one of two ways. Is it because it is that good or is there an element in the blend that is just out of arm’s reach? Nonetheless a good blend. I was gifted a fantastic Caminetto 08.L.20 tan sand blasted hourglass sitter and smokes like a dream. I also smoked this in a Savinelli Author and the smoke was different. Of course, this is nothing new, different pipes with the same blend can taste different. I read a good review on this by G.L. Pease that this blend is homage to the Original Dunhill London Mixture. http://glpease.com/BriarAndLeaf/?p=37. If looking for a Lat Bomb this ain’t it but is a really nice smooth mixture for all day if you like.
Pipe Used: Caminetto Sitter
Age When Smoked: 1 year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 13, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
G. L. Pease's EM production is wide and, in some terms, complicated, in my opinion: many little, subtle refinements in every blend. As the name suggests, Westminster has an aristocratic character: creamy, spicy, rich, not too strong, it develops steadily with a hint of apricot in the first puffs - milder than in Kensington - but it is elusive and complex, although satisfying. I put it somewhere in the middle between Kensington and Charing Cross. Latakia is only a component, well balanced with Orientals and Virginias. 4,0/5 in my personal rating system.
PurchasedFrom: Dubini, Chiasso (Switzerland)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 28, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
20230417 edit: coming across completely savory, dry as opposed to sweet. I think any sweetness i was tasting the first time around must have been a ghost. It's very good, and fills the non-sweet Latakia blend slot well. Don't think I've had anything else which does it substantially better.

As with about any Latakia blend, Latakia is just about all i taste. This one seems relatively mild. It seems very sweet, but i think that may be the ghost of my previous bowl. Kind of nice in any case. Doesn't seem like anything special, but it'll scratch the Latakia itch for sure.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Pretty good English blend. Latakia is in the lead with it's smokey & leathery flavor. Orientals add a touch of floral, and spice. Virginia, with a dark fruit, and just a hint of sweetness stay in the background. Needs some dry time, and a few extra lights. No bite. I did find this to be a somewhat finicky blend depending on the pipe I used, pack, or maybe the weather, but usually found it enjoyable.

Should be tried by any piper, especially those who enjoy a heavier latakia English.
Pipe Used: Brebbia Sabbiata, Benton Select, various cobs
PurchasedFrom: SmokingPipes.com
Age When Smoked: Tin was little over a year when cracked
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