For those pipe smokers who like Burley, here is a great blend. It’s a copy of the long lost L.L. Bean “Special Blend”, a slow burning, slightly sweet, mellow smoke with a pleasant aroma and taste. It’s a great mixture to have with the first cup of coffee in the morning.
This blend has a complete lack of tongue bite...all the way to the bottom of the bowl. It packs easily, lights readily and simply refuses to go out. It burns completely to a fine, white ash, leaving minimal dottle in the bottom of the bowl.
Although few, the glowing reviews led me to purchase this blend. The Park Lane description is right on: mild, mellow, smooth, slightly sweet, slightly nutty and excellent burning qualities. And it burned to a fine ash with nary a hint of any bite. I detected a very light and mild topping that I could not identify. If there was one blend I would recommend to a newbie, it would be this!
However, my palate demands a burley with more strength. As such, I plan to experiment and bolster and ramp up this blend with either some Five Brothers, C&D Big ‘n Burley, P&C dark burley or their Maduro leaf. But I can’t fault it for what it is supposed to be per the header description. If you like burleys you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t like burleys try it anyway.
A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.
While on a visit to upstate New York, I was given a generous size sample of Fireside at Park Lane's retail store. The pouch scent is slightly sweet. Fireside is a little bit moist and in need of a small amount of dry time. I have never tried LL Bean's Special Blend so I have no basis for comparison. There is a bit of “nuttiness “as you may expect with a good burley, but not quite as nutty as others that I have smoked. The flavor is very smooth and one would really have to try hard to get this one to bite. There is some extremely mild added sweetness to the blend. It's not a flavoring and may simply be the treatment that many burleys undergo to remove harshness, but I am fairly certain it isn't a sweetness that occurs naturally. The bottom line is that it tastes great! I think this well done burley from Park Lane deserves to be included along with some of the great bulk burleys out there like Uhle's and Peretti's. Highly Recommended!
This is a trip down memory lane. In the late 1970s, I kept a pound can of LL Bean Pipe Tobacco on my desk at work. The Park Lane version may be better. The cut of the Fireside makes for easier smoking. This is a nice tribute to a classic. The mix is cool and light without being boring. If you like burley, you will like Fireside.
I'm not usually much of a Burley smoker, but as it's a genre that has been growing on me, I thought I'd dip into something I hadn't tried before. To be honest, I was expecting to be unimpressed (though not disappointed). As it turns out, I was very happily surprised and I've enjoyed it much more than I'd expected.
Fireside is a good, honest, straightforward burley that behaves itself in the bowl. The cut is a thin ribbon (though not shag), and the tin note is that simple, natural nutty-sweetness that most burleys tend to have (not too far from Carter Hall, in a way).
The tobacco took the flame very nicely, burned evenly, and required very little maintenance - I don't generally count how often I have to tamp and/or relight, but - anecdotally speaking - Fireside seemed to require few enough that it struck me as being VERY user-friendly. The tobacco did seem just a hair on the dry side which, combined with the cut, resulted in a burn was a bit faster than I might have hoped, but never so hot that it was unruly or affected the taste. It smokes clean a dry, leaving very little dottle and virtually no sogginess in the bottom of the bowl.
The smoke itself was very, very pleasing. Naturally sweet and nutty for the first two thirds of the bowl, it become just a bit spicy towards the end. It tastes like it should - unadulterated burley tobacco. I couldn't pick up any sort of topping or added flavor, but the room note was generally neutral with just a bit of vanilla-like sweetness. Having smoked about an ounce and a half, I've found Fireside to be consistent from bowl-to-bowl, reliable, and among the better straightforward burley blends.
Burley lovers might find it to lack strength (particularly in terms of nicotine) - the upside to that is that this could very easily be an "all day smoke" for those searching for that sort of thing. If it's not strong enough for burley diehards, but those who are more like me and only dabble with burley blends will probably be quite impressed.
The archetypal all-day burley, this one. A richly flavored, nutty-sweet burley with none of the bitter undertaste that characterizes some other blends with a similar component. Extremely well-balanced and good quality tobacco expertly blended. I never tried the L.L. Bean original, but this one reminds me a bit of the now defunct Edgeworth Sliced, but not as strong in the nic department (few tobaccos are!). Almost gets into the bowl by itself it's so easy to fill. Others have noted that it requires few or no relights and that it burns easily to the bottom. Its all true! A one-word description would be "tasty." Reminds me of what burleys were supposed to be years ago. An extremely relaxing and flavorful smoke for anytime, but particularly on Sunday morning after breakfast, for example. Ah, yes...
Truthfully, I have nothing more to add that has not already been said. This is easily in my top 5 favorite tobaccos, and as stated, is an all day, anytime smoke. Solid 4 stars from me, just a well done blend.
I have to say, this blend is exactly as described. The bag note is intoxicating. It reminds me of the aroma of buttery rich chocolate chip cookie dough. Smoking this, it's easy to imagine what pipe smoking was like 50 years ago; honest, straight-forward tobacco of high quality and not a lot of fluff.
There seems to be a buttery vanilla aromatic topping but it absolutely enhances the nutty and earthy Burley with no goopy PPG to try and dry out.
This is a mellow all day blend of which I simply can't get enough. This would be hands down one of my all-time favorites if it wasn't so expensive.
It gets 4 stars from me and highest recommendations.
Fireside, like all Park-Lane blends I've tried about 10), is mighty in taste and very smooth. Good nic, but not a nic bomb. If you like a great Burley, Fireside is for you. There is a hint -- just a hint -- of natural chocolatey flavor that a lot of good Burley has. I probably prefer H&H Butternut Burley, but I keep some Fireside around. Medium strength, medium in taste, smells reaall good. Codger burley done right.
A note about cost: one pound is $51, true, but Prince Albert is $33-35 most places for 14 oz., which works out to $37/lb. And you can pay $45 for a tub of PA some places, which would put it about the same price as Fireside. So Fireside is not that expensive, comparatively, and is competitive with other premium blends. I'm not knocking PA, bit Fireside is premium stuff.
Back in the day when I used to go to pipe shops - instead of shopping online - I'd love to open bulk tobacco jars and take a sniff. If there was ever a tobacco smell that screamed "Pipe Shop" this pipe tobacco is it. Just smelling it in the pouch takes me back.
The tobacco when lit is cool smoking, a little nutty and has just a slight note of vanilla.
This is an anytime kind of smoke that it is so well done that it just leaves me breathless and wanting more. Highly Recommended.
From the description on this blend I knew I was going to like it. Nothing could have prepared me for the hours of peacefull contemplation I have found in this blend. Its a wonderfull smoke. The Burleys taste nutty as you would expect, the room note is of a lovely vanilla. There are no toppings or false flavourings, just pure,down-to-earth, honest tobacco. I find it a great alternative to my usual Balkan & Latakia blends, a lovely change of pace. I firmly recommend it!!
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