LET US FUME
G. L. PEASE - WESTMINSTER
A while back I had the tobacconist acquire some of G. L. Pease’s new blend (Westminster). The things I had heard and read about it made it seem like the first coming of the Moshiach as far as English style blends were concerned. And it sounded so very intriguing.
I have been smoking it for over a month now. And I am not disappointed. It is very good indeed.
I’m guessing slightly over forty percent Latakia, twenty five percent Turkish. The remainder mostly straight cavendish and aged red Virginia with touches of gold and stoved. It covers all bases, and if like a certain person in Basel you appreciate blends such as these, you will like this one too.
On the other hand, this is one of those blends that even though you think it smells divine (and it does), your eishes chayil will not fully appreciate the resinous sooty fragrance. Women are weird that way. They do not notice the fine memory-stoking flavours, and aromas broad and deep find little favour in their noses. Nostrils too tiny, I guess.
CORNELL & DIEHL
These are the people that make Greg Pease’s tobaccos for him. They also put out other mixtures and blends.
Some of the names for their products are goofy as all heck, and some raise eyebrows and quirk the interest.
Among the latter: Halav U’Dvash (red and gold Virginia with Oriental leaf and a touch of Perique, and a mysterious traditional aromatic agent), Haunted Bookshop (Burley with a little red Virginia and Perique), Old Joe Kranz (Burley, Perique, and red Virginia), Black Duck, Junkyard Dawg, Yaller Dawg.....
[NOTE: C&D doesn't just "put up" the Pease blends, he gives them the formulae and they compound accordingly with the same tobaccos that they use for their own mixtures.]
In addition to the tins of Westminster and Kensington, a few of Cornell & Diehl's own tobaccos showed up on the shelves at the tobacconist.
So, out of a sense of polite interest (they do Greg's stuff, might as well see what they do for themselves) I invested in two tins of what appeared to be flaked Virginia (and I am not normally a Virginia smoker).
I purchased 'Opening Night' (red and bright Virginia slices) and 'Manhattan Afternoon'.
The next day I went back and bought more.
Craig Tarler (owner of Cornell & Diehl) knows what he is doing. Opening Night is particularly nice, and bears near constant refilling, frequent indulgence. I have several times now had three or four bowls of an evening, instead of the normal one or two. Opening Night is reverie inducing, smooth, sweet, yet complex and intense. A deeply satisfying smoke, which leaves the bowl clean and dry. It yields a velvety ash of pale grey dust.
An added benefit is that Savage Kitten does not notice that I am smoking this in the teevee room until I have nearly finished. It is a slow old-fashioned smoke, rather than the brash 'kick-yer-nose-in-the-pants' Oriental mixtures I normally shove in my pipes. No sudden nasal assault, but rather a subtle and pleasant invasion. Nice, and sneaky.
Once the gentlemen at the local tobacconists return from the convention in Houston, I will ask them to order more. In addition to Opening Night and some of the other recent flakes, I should also experiment with Halav U'Dvash, Haunted Bookshop, and Old Joe Kranz.
Cornell & Diehl are definitely company worth keeping.
Note: two whiskeys at the Occidental yesterday evening, with one bowl of Westminster, and two of Opening Night. When I got home I filled a bowl with Manhattan Afternoon for a final smoke of the day.
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