Seattle Pipe Club Deception Pass

Deception Pass--on north Puget Sound tidal waters flow dangerous & quick under a high trestle bridge. Master Blender Joe Lankford retreats here to reflect. Joe's NW style Virginia/perique gives the pipe smoker a sense of how we savor our marvelous region. Enjoy English style Virginias, Acadian perique, black Virginia, black cavendish and a touch of rare Turkish Orientals. Crafting the most sought after small batch blends in America since 2007.
Notes: Released February 23, 2015.


Brand Seattle Pipe Club
Blended By Joe Lankford
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Black Cavendish, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 or 8 ounce tins
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.03 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 40 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 25, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Overwhelming Tolerable
Deception Pass is one tobacco I am going to pass-by the next time I place an order. And, I don't blame McClelland Tobacco, the blender of this blend. Maybe I got a bad tin, or a bad batch, in which case it is McClelland's fault. However, I think this is the Master Blender - Joe Lankford's fault. This blend just lacks balance.

I like Va/Pers as a rule, and was the reason I ordered it for Christmas. But this blend is one in a long, long time I could not finish. It is stuck on high 'C' to use a musical analogy, without any low notes to create a harmony of music. From the charing light until I couldn't take it anymore this blend is sharp sweet and hot. I haven't had a tobacco burn my tongue in a long time, but this one did in short order, and it never improved throughout the smoke. I tried to like it, but finally gave-up. In my estimation there isn't any balance to this blend; it's all Perique. The Virginia and Turkish leaf just doesn't cut it in creating a harmony, or enjoyable complexity of smoke. There is no complexity. It's all a hot, high 'C'.

Deception Pass is all that the name implies - it is deceiving and if you are smart you will pass-by.

Pipe Used: Astley
PurchasedFrom: Cigars and Pipes
Age When Smoked: Christmas 2015
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2015 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a blend primarily composed of some truly delicious virginia leaf, with at most small condimental amounts of perique, Turkish, and black cavendish. The Virginia is very much the forefront taste from the char on, with only a hint of perique and, to my tastebuds, no notice of the black cavendish at all. The Turkish, largely smyrna to my tastebuds, is present throughout, but in just the right amount to be a musty aftertaste, not an overpowering flavor. As the bowl carries on, the virginias become more rich and the perique starts to stand out as a plummy sweetness, no doubt aided by the cavendish. Highly recommended in a deep chimney or after an overnight DGT, this is an easy and smooth smoke I could easily enjoy all day. It reminds me of the kind of blends Milton Sherman wrote about, an old fashioned smoke where the condiment leaf is just that, a condiment, and never overpowering. It is very much unlike the bulk of va/per blends out there, and is fast becoming a favorite.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum, Briar
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The base of the blend is stoved black Virginia, which provides fermented tangy, sugary dark fruit, earthiness, bread, wood, a little tart and tangy citrus, and some grass as the lead component. The mildly spicy, plummy, raisin and fig-like Acadian perique is a supporting player. There’s a little tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, and slight touch of vinegar from the red Virginia, which plays a small role as well. There’s a little floral mustiness, earth, vegetation, herbalness, some tingly spice and wood, a light buttery, creamy sweet and sour savoriness from the Turkish/Oriental that continually plays to your taste buds in a small, but distinguishing role. The unsweetened black cavendish offers a little smoothing brown sugar as a condiment. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste falls a tad short of the medium threshold. It won’t bite, and has very few small rough edges. It burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a well-blended, nuanced, mostly consistent, mildly sweet and spicy floral flavor from start to finish. The blend leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. There is a pleasant, lightly lingering spicy, savory after taste. The room note is a notch stronger. Can be an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2015 Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Small ribbons of dark brown color with a tin note of rich, savory Virginias with a touch of oriental. Packed easily and I rarely had to relight once it took hold. I have to think that each relight reduces a blend's effect, but I really don't have any science to back that up. But no problems here.

That savory, earthy tin scent translated to the taste but was considerably subdued. The Virginias were front and center throughout the bowl and were spiced with a touch of perique and a smidge of oriental. The Virginias were not of the juicy McClelland variety but more of the darker, drier stuff that I recently tasted from a lot of Peretti blends. There was black Cavendish here as well, and it mildly detracted from the experience, leaving a kind of resiny mouthfeel. The overall taste was mild and mellow, and snorking was critical to get the best effect. I also found that this blend smoked much better for me in a briar pipe than a meerschaum, which always makes me suspicious, as if the blend needed to hide behind the flavors imparted by briar. Still, this is good blend, if not the last word in tastiness and oomph, nor living up to its initial hype (which is my typical response to SPC blends). But I enjoyed smoking it when I wanted to tone down my usual big flavor blends. Nice morning smoke, this one, with more going for it than EMP. Coulda used a bit more oriental for my tastes, or perhaps more perique. The Virginias couldn't quite carry the load they were asked to carry. I'd place this one on the low end of 3 stars... good but nowhere near a rotation-maker.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
In addition to being one heck of a nice guy, Joe Lankford is also one heck of a blender. I don't think I ever received a tobacco he created that I didn't like at least a little bit. Deception Pass greatly reminds me of the old Presbyterian Mixture if you tossed in a little Perique. And the layers of depth in the Virginia in this one, combined with the body building power of the unflavored Cavendish, all combined to create a smooth, creamy and delicious smoke.

17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 14, 2015 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
As a Va/Per lover, I've had my eye on this blend ever since it was announced. I love SPC blends and I knew this one had to be right up there with their other blends.

Straight to the chase! This is one of the most perfectly blended Va/Per's that I've smoked in a very long time. A wonderful mix of up front natural sweetness that transitions into a tangy floral citrus with a nice light musty spiciness on the back end, that won't burn your nose on the retrohale. A taller bowl only enhances this blends profile. Nice and light with a medium strength, this is the perfect all day smoke. No after taste is left on your palate and it burns down to a fine black and white ash, with no dottle left in the bowl. Easy to light, with no drying time needed, when you first open the tin.

I ordered 5 tins initially and I'm going back for more. It will be very interesting to see what a years worth of age will do to it. I have never recommended/rated a blend as high as Deception Pass. When this catches on, I can see Mississippi River giving way to Deception Pass, as SPC's best selling blend. I have my fingers crossed, that it will be available in bulk very soon. Enjoy!
Pipe Used: Mario Grandi Ramses
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & CIgars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Seattle Pipe Club Deception Pass This is a Virginia, Perique and Turkish oriental blend. The tin note is a good vinegary ketchup note reminding me of red cake a bit. The cut of this tobacco is a ribbon cut and is very easy to work with as far as packing. The light of this tobacco is very good and I had no issues keeping it lit. I used a char light method and had no problems. The first 1/3 of the bowl I really got the taste of the Turkish oriental a bit but mostly the virginia blend. The Perique is noticeable but not much yet. The 2/3 of the bowl is where the Virginia and Perique really shine. The combination of these two tobaccos kept it a fairly cool and very smooth smoke. The last third of the bowl actually did give me a good spice but nothing overpowering. Overall this is a great start for people looking for a good Virginia blend as well as a good starter if your wanting to try a VAPER. Mostly because this blend is very light on the Perique and I think the Turkish oriental is what helps tame that down. I would recommend this to any pipe smoker and the VAPER lovers out there because this is truly an old day smoke. There is little to no bite from this blend and it will leave you with a nice salt and pepper ash. So enjoy everyone I personally got 4 tins of this and I am glad I did. That said this review is coming from an aromatic and English smoker. This blend has opened my eyes though and will be in my rotation. Enjoy everyone and get some this stuff it's good.
Pipe Used: Bent Dublin
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend suffers from the heavy-handed use of an unflavored black Cavendish that is sweet, chalky or parching; and it leaves a saccharin-like aftertaste. (It wouldn't surprise me a bit if I was tasting propylene glycol, or sorbitol, or such.) DP is classified as a VaPer, but the black Cavendish takes it out of that genre.

Too bad. The VaPer-Oriental components could have carried the blend on their own. Adding this black Cavendish is like blending carob into your coffee. If you're transitioning from OTC aromatics to natural tobacco blends, give it 2 stars; but Vaper aficionados will be disappointed.
Age When Smoked: new
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I just finished up the sample of this that I picked up at the 2015 Chicago Show. I should say both samples. I picked up the first on Saturday and smoked it that evening. I was sharing how much I enjoyed it to the guys manning the booth for SPC, that they gave me second sample. I also ordered a couple of tins when I got home.

I think when I first tried this, it was no doubt at the four star range. I think my initial impressions were slightly influenced by how unique the blend is. This was before knowing the ingredients. I had just assumed this to be merely a vaburper. And there is no doubt it still has that feel. Sweet, earthy and spicy. The oriental addition is what gives it that unique edge a little sour twang here and there as you are puffing on it.

After finishing two samples, I will say that this is a good blend, but not mind blowing enough for me, at this point, to give it four stars. With the two tins aging, I will no doubt return to this review later in time with an edit, but for now I will give it three stars and say that for a four star blend with a similar flavor profile, but IMO, a little better, I would recommend HU's Flanagan.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2017 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
Seattle Pipe Club - Deception Pass.

There seems to have been a lot of furore over this blend, creating a lot for it to live up to. I ordered a 2oz tin with high expectations.

When I opened the tin I immediately observed its hydration's good, and the cut appears to be quite even. Then I filled one of my favourite Rattray's pipes (didn't want to insult such a grandiose blend with anything other than the best!), and if I'm honest the first few puffs left me feeling a little disconsolate; you see, I had this for breakfast, when I like a strong Perique blend, or heavy English, but this is more refined: there's grassy Virginia, slightly fragrant Turkish, a diminutive amount of honey-sweetness, and a gentle pluminess. I could see this making a better relaxation smoke, as opposed to a 'get up and go' smoke in the mornings! I get a good burn, one that doesn't need lots of re-lights, just regular tamping. Deception bites me, only delicately, so this won't adjust the rating!

The nicotine's quite mild, and the room-note's tolerable.

This is a nice blend, and despite the fact it bites me a bit, I'll still highly recommend it.

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Rattray's 2016 Pipe of the Year Poty Bullcap
Age When Smoked: One month
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A real surprising little blend, it took me a few bowls to get it. By the end of the 8oz tin, of the 4 or so bowls a day I smoke, it accounted for 3/4 of them. A great ribbon cut, easy to pack and easy to light and keep lit. The smoke was cool, and I never got bit in the least, even when I got a little absent minded in my puffing. The flavor starts out light,but seems to build up on your palette as you smoke. The Virginia gives good structure and a clean, sweet, citrusy taste, the perique stays mostly tangy and lightly peppery in the first half of the bowl, getting a little more plummy toward the bottom. The Oriental adds citrus and musty notes. The interplay between Oriental and perique is what really makes this blend awesome, not being paired together as much as either varietal with Virginia. I didn't really pick up on the cavendish, I assume it mostly serves to smooth the blend out. The mouthfeel was odd, it was almost the same as a carbonated drink, kinda tingly on the tongue , effervescent almost and very light. It has a pleasant aftertaste, and kinda begs for another bowl when you finish the first. Thus far, this is my favorite new tobacco this year, so much so that as soon as I finished the first tin, I ordered a pound of it. It's the first time I've ever found a blend light enough to be an all day smoke, that i would like and be interested in enough to smoke all day.
Pipe Used: Castello Collection bent bulldog
PurchasedFrom: Pipes&Cigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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