G. L. Pease Navigator

(2.96)
For centuries, men of the sea have known the pleaures of fine Virginia tobaccos, pressed and aged with a drop of rum. The addition of rich dark fired Kentucky leaf brings a new dimension to the flavour and aroma of this timeless combination. Chart your course for a new world of enjoyment, light a bowl, and set sail with Navigator.
Notes: From GL Pease: First, if you're expecting an "aromatic" tobacco because of the mention of rum in the description, and an aromatic is what you're seeking for, this ain't that. Second, if you're afraid of tobaccos with a little rum in them, don't be. It's an enhancement, not something overpowering. It brings out the natural fruitiness of the bright and red Virginias that comprise the backbone of the blend, and softens the edges and the earthiness of the dark fired Kentucky a bit. Think of it as a nice, stout and sturdy VA with a little something extra, and you won't be far off. As far as strength is concerned, it doesn't warrant a skull and crossbones on the label, like some of the wickedly potent English death rattle flakes, but neither would I consider it a breakfast blend, except for those with iron constitutions. In other words, don't be afraid of it, but treat it with some respect. On the strength-o-meter, I'd say it's a little south of JackKnife Plug, but definitely fuller bodied and more heady than the other VA flakes in my catalogue.

Details

Brand G. L. Pease
Series Old London Series
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Rum
Cut Flake
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin, 16 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

2.96 / 4
18

16

8

6

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 48 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 19, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Navigator is a favorite of mine in Pease line-up (loaded with favorites). The Virginia/Burley combination was thrilling, particularly due to the fact that the combination was loaded with body and strength. If you prefer light Virginia flavor you may want to look elsewhere as this one will keel haul you with its strength. I never detected an overall rum flavor, but knew upon first light that there was something extra in this blend that enhanced the presentation in a way that I've not tasted before. Unique, strong, impressive!

Pipestud
47 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2013 Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Surprisingly Navigator has drawn slightly mixed reviews to date. Why surprisingly? Well its both complex enough to engage full attention and well integrated enough to enjoy without attention. It is also very unusual in two ways. Enough to be going on with surely? Whats the essence of Navigator? Deep intense flavour - lovely plummy-raspberry virginia fruit with smoky spicy underpinning (the smoky flavour is slight and wispy and is the culinary smokehouse not the campfire - say a very light smoked London cure smoked salmon). The details - tin aroma is fairly stinky but quite nice, savoury (jugged hair sprang to mind not because its that similar but because its also gamey meat, liquor and fruit, often the unusual juniper of gin fame) with a nice rummy lift. The tobacco is presented in easy to crumble flakes. Lighting is easy as sin and even the charring light is cool (as an old traditional english - in every sense of the phrase - I often find the charring light on virginia blends quit hot), the tobacco burns well all the way. Strength is between Union Square and Jackknife but a click or two closer to the latter. So far so good but now the first unusual (unique?) characteristic. Because I am not over experienced in rum flakes I tried C&D's After Hours as preparation for this review and where Navigator scores is lightness combined with deep intense basically sweet taste. After Hours (a very decent tobacco worth just over3 *) is heavier but also sweet and at times flirts with cloying which Navigator (all light, fruity, spicy, smoky faintly chocolety) never ever does. How does Greg Pease do it - the right ingredients pressed for just the right time I would guess. The other surprise? After the stinky tin note and the deep intense taste the room note is innocuous. Will it be in my rotation? Yes, it will make an interesting change of pace from my beloved Robusto, increasing list of Virginias and the oddball but lovely Sextant. Who should it suit? Every pipe smoker should give it a try because it is unlike anything else and great fun, not to mention jolly interesting. Big, sweet taste and an innocuous room note - whats not to love?
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 30, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The rum topping is faintly noticeable so it doesn't detract from the other ingredients. The Virginias are fairly earthy, woody with some tart and tangy citrus, bread, sugar and tangy dark fruit red Virginia sweetness; barely any grass notes to speak of. The dark fired Kentucky is a minor player with some earth, a hint of nuts, herbs and dry wood, and virtually no spice, though the flavor is always moderately noticeable. The strength is medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. The taste is a step below the strength level. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns clean, cool and slow at a moderate pace with a very consistent and smooth flavor all the way through. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but not enough to spoil anything. Requires several relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste, and room note. Can be an all day smoke. I rate it at two and a half stars, due primarily to the complexity and overall depth that should be there, but isn't.

-JimInks
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2013 Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
As someone asked of Sextant -- a little less rum. This is that. My review is based on about a half a tin (an ounce+) in a new Northern Briar and a sample in another older BBB pipe. I'm still puffing.

A nice set of flakes either to break or rub. I rub. Fairly dry at the start. Slight nose of rum in the tin. Slight.

Burns slow, but stays lit. Very cool. No need to leave intact as a complete flake. Not wet or soggy. Quality for sure.

Now the mysterious flavor. The Viginia sweetness does not dominate the blend but is aided by the "drop" or so of rum. So there is a hint of sweetness all the way. The Kentucky dark fired leaf is not evidently a big percentage but its influence on taste is also experienced all along the way with the dash of rum. I feel with a littly more time more of the Virginias will stand out. But it's enjoyable as is.

The comparison with a cigar is true, as the dark fired Kentucky used is heady and also used in cigars (Serad, P&T Mag, Fall 2012). It does not dominate the blend, as it is indeed a blend with three or four ingredients (2 Virginias, Kentucky, and rum). It has sweet and sour or even bitter-sweet counterpoints.

It's a relaxing blend, as I puffed in heavy N.O. Superdome (preparing for the Superbowl) traffic, and don't become angry. Nice element. But no, I personally don't feel it compares highly on the nicotene element with some darker or burley flakes.

It's fuller but very much less sweet than Hyde Park, and deeper and darker but not as bold a flavor as Sextant. It is not bitter like some burley flakes.

This is not a true dark flake but the Kentucky gives it a darker element to it. I wouldn't call it funky if you will, but it is different. Maybe folks who like Royal Yacht or even Nightcap will take to this variation.

I recommend this to folks who like stouter Virginias.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 20, 2013 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Beautiful brownish broken flakes, easily rubbed out and almost as easily folded. Deep, earthy aroma in the tin, with the faintest hair of rum.

This blend reminded me that I was one of the people that wanted less rum in Sextant. So GLP gives it to me and I'm still not satisfied! But the problem with Sextant for me wasn't the amount of rum, it was the clashing of rum with latakia. Since there is no latakia here, I found myself screaming for more rum flavor. This blend is totally taken over with the taste of the Kentucky. The virginias are far from sweet, and kind of musty and dry tasting. I could not make it through the entire tin but I'm saving it to see how this does with some age on it (my tin was less than 2 months old), as the tobacco seems green. I'm the last person to fall into the hype of "GLP blends need to age before they can be enjoyed", but this one is trying hard to push me into that. The VA's need to step up, the kentucky needs to calm down, and the rum needs to have more of a presence. In other words, at this point, this blend fails for me on every level, other than its overall quality (for which I'm really not qualified to judge). Let's see what more percolating time will accomplish. I like the concept of a more "punchy" Exhausted Rooster, but this one punched too cruelly. Then again, I still haven't grasped Cumberland, so it's probably just me. Try it if the idea appeals to you as it does me, but be prepared to age it for a year or so before you enjoy it.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2016 Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant
G. L. Pease - Navigator.

This is another blend I traded with Gentleman Zombie, and again, it's a top quality blend he's sent me. So at the risk of repeating myself, Franck, thanks buddy !

Now, Navigator rocks my world from word go: the only confusion I have is with the cut. Although it says Flake, mine's more like a broken flake: the presentation is similar to their Bayou Morning Flake; I guess that might be from the long journey across the ocean? To be fair, I can't identify any rum from the tin-note; it smells like a natural blend!

Okay, how's the smoke? The second my pipe's ignited, which is easy I might add, the satisfaction sets in. Unlike the tin-note, I can detect an added taste. I find this has most of the attributes that come from a good rum: sweetness, and molasses, but any sharpness gained from the actual alcohol isn't present. It's like rum without the alcohol!

I can't really think of anything interesting to say regarding the flavour of the tobacco's: these give quite a simple Va-Bur/Va-Kent taste!

This gives me a fairly strong hit of nicotine; I wouldn't say it's over the top, but even though the flavour's great, I wouldn't recommend to a nicotine-hater.

The last point to mention is the burn: faultless.

Franck, this is what I call a high quality smoke; four stars!

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Chacom Robusto
PurchasedFrom: Trade with Gentleman Zombie
Age When Smoked: New
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2013 Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I picked this blend up along with the Dunhill Royal Yacht, and I've been going back and forth between the two. There are some similarities between the two, but I get less flavor in this blend. There's supposed to be a hint of rum, but I'm not picking up on that hint.

Of course, the flake cut adds a bit of complexity and ritual to the process of lighting up. Rubbing the flake into a process does feel like you're doing more to initiate the smoke, which is soothing in its own right, but once lit up, I found this to be a less fulfilling experience. I'm on my third bowl now, and find my thoughts wandering to other blends and not enjoying what I'm smoking.

I won't be throwing it away, but with it's strength, I'm thinking it might pair well with something sweet.

ROOM NOTE: Wife says it's not unpleasant. Reminds her of a campfire.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Obi-One
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars.com
Age When Smoked: New
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 30, 2020 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Prep: moisture was about perfect. It came more as a broken flake, which apparently is the case for most.

The rum addition is most evident in the first quarter of the bowl, but lingers from then on. I would have figured Orientals were in the blend, as it has a spiciness in it that recalls either Oriental or a spiced rum. The Virginias are sweet, citrusy and dark fruit, the Kentucky brings a strength and earthiness, a dry wood as one other reviewer noted. The dry wood, softer rum, and a saltiness definitely recalls a sailors blend. It isn’t over powering in the nic department but that may be due to having a few years of age on it so be aware of that aspect.

Overall, it is a top 5 Pease blend for me and my favorite navy blend I've had. I'll definitely be ordering more for further cellaring. 8.5/10

https://youtu.be/b2IH9FddVY4
Age When Smoked: 3 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2013 Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant
I have been patiently awaiting the arrival of this blend for a week now. I immediately ordered a tin when I received an email from one of the major online retailers, announcing the newest addition to Mr. Pease's Old London Series. I usually do not jump on a new blend so quickly and, the only other blend of late that did get ordered in such a fasion was Mac Baren's HH Old Dark-Fired. I ramble, though. I feel that it can be a great mistake to review a blend after such a short time spent smoking it, and perhaps I am doing a disservice to this one, writing so soon. However, this is a masterful blend from a masterful blender and one simply cannot go astray with anything from Mr. Pease, hence my early review...

Tin: Typical C&D 2 ounce pull-top lid, and I only mention the tin to be thorough, but the artwork is quite nice too; in an understated way.

Aroma: The first release of air from the tin is a wonderful blast of funky. If you enjoy finely aged meats and cheeses, you will understand how this "funky" is a good thing. Very mature Virginia leaf is the leading player. There are hints of the dark-fired leaf and an occasional hint of rum. Mainly, though, the aroma of very nice Va. leaf.

Tobacco: This is a flake and one in the wonderful C&D tradition of loosely pressed, easy to rub up flakes. They are only a couple of inches long, not the massive straps of Sam Gawith and the like. The leaf is mainly a medium brown with flecks of golden leaf speckled with what presumably is the touch of dark-fired leaf. The moisture level is just right straight away. No need to dry and one would do well to keep in mind that C&D typically uses only water to hydrate their tobacco, so, either smoke this one quickly or put it away in a bell jar.

Method and Pipe: I fully rubbed up two flakes, again with little effort, and loaded the leaf into a medium sized Charatan Pot. I don't really follow any one type of packing method and have settled on a vaguely defined method of my own that tends to work well. I imagine that any method would work well with this one. I do utilize the delayed gratification method with Va. blends and flakes.

Charring Light: I use matches as the combution rate seems to be much lower thus producing a more pleasing smoke. The first wave is pure Virginia leaf; second match.. more of the same. After I let it sit for a wee bit, I put another match to it and settled in.

The Smoke: Very nice, this one. Again, as with the tin aroma, well matured Va. is the key player early on but things do progress very nicely soon after you get the pipe to a smolder. You simply must take it slowly with this one; not because of any bite either. If you smoke slowly, you will reward yourself with a very rare treat: A very complex smoke from a very simple recipe. The Va. is both sweet and full on the palate, perhaps it is the rum. Who knows? The dark-fired is there, but not really. Only hints, it seems. As you progress through the middle portion, the strength picks up and, from seemingly out of nowhere, the touch of dark-fired leaf that early on was way in the background, now comes to the front with strong cigar-like undertones. The room note is amazing at this point. It smells as though someone else is in the room enjoying a fine cigar while you puff away on your mature Virgina flake. This interplay continues on through the end of the smoke, too. Wow, what a wonderful blend. Two simple ingredients (well three if you count the rum) but it has the complexity of one of Mr. Pease's famous English mixtures.

Final thoughts...

I did have to use a pipe cleaner once during the smoke but that was probably my fault as I got a bit eager towards the end. The smoke was very cool and flavourful. Nice salt and pepper grey ash at the bottom. I give this one 3.5 stars out of four. The other half star would easily come with age and I can only imagine what a year of two will do to this one. I hope that it is packaged in 8 or 16 ounce tins soon.

Update: The extra half-star was just earned to counteract the nonsense of the second reviewer.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 16, 2020 Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable
I love a good Navy Flake, St Bruno was the first one I tried and then quickly after I picked up other lightly rum topped blends like C&D's Blockade Runner, Redburn, and Black Frigate, and PS Luxury Navy Flake to name a few. Seeing this as a sort of Navy offering by GLP was very interesting and so I bought a tin. I love the water and I'd love to think I'm a seaman at heart. If I could do life over I probably should have joined the Navy when I was younger, but those are stories for another day.

When you open the tin of GLP Navigator you find a rather long flake that has started to separate finely packed into the tin. I immediately pulled it out and put it in a jar to let it rest. I tried this when it was new and to be honest, it didn't do much for me. There seemed to be no hint of rum, and the taste of the tobacco was exceedingly light. But I intend to give this a fair shake. Opening the jar now it smells of hay and grass, there is some earthiness from the burley, and I barely detect the sweetness from the rum. This flake packs easily, and it is not hard to get lit. I find that it may need a few more than average relights when lit. The room note for this is probably tolerable, it doesn't smell like cigarette, but it definitely smells like tobacco and for a rum topped blend, the rum doesn't work in your favor

This blend is definitely more burley forward than it smells, I taste earthy nuttiness right away. This does have a grassy character to it from the virginia, but it's a fine interplay between the two. When I puff really slowly I do get some brown sugar notes and I believe that is the rum topping. This blend is very mild, and I would consider it a decent burley blend but it falls short of a Navy blend. The nicotine in this is a medium.

All of this being said, it's an okay blend. I'll have no problem finishing off the tin, but I don't think I'll buy any more anytime soon. I recommend trying it if you like burleys, but not if you have any expectations as I did.
Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Birkshire Large Billiard
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 6 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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