RLP-6 by Lane Limited

Blender description:

Blended with just the right prportion of Golden Virginia and Burley`s, the basic blend of Toasted Cavendish tobaccos takes on a zesty dimension. This mixture gets better as you smoke it all day long

This ubiquitous industrial bulk aromatic goes by almost as many names as there are shops selling pipe tobacco across North America. Pipe smokers who dislike bulk aromatics of this sort may find they dislike this one the least.

RLP-6 packs and smokes very nicely, has a clean flavor and finish, and I can’t get it to bite my tongue. Many compare it to its over-the-counter cousin, Captain Black White. It has been a while since I’ve sampled Captain Black, but I can say my memories of it are not as fond as my appreciation for the bowl of RLP-6 I smoke as I write this. I’m pretty sure there are differences between the two.

This is no boutique blend by any stretch of the imagination, but it never pretended to be. There is a reason this has been around for ages upon ages and outsells more refined pipe tobaccos pound for pound.

I make out a good deal of the underlying heavily processed tobacco flavor and its not in the least unpleasant, nor is the top flavor applied more subtly to this blend than most other aromatics of this caliber. Its pleasantly sweet but won’t make you worry about cavities as you smoke it.

You’ve likely smoked this before. What were your thoughts on it? Please add them to the comments below. Just for fun, if you know, I’d be interested to know what your local B&M names this blend.

Gotham Court by Pipeworks and Wilke

This is a blend that makes me glad I don’t limit myself to one type of pipe tobacco blend or another.

Tin description:

A spicy aroma along with a subtle Oriental flavor. Orientals (other than Latakia) and a rich Virginia base along with two Cavendish tobaccos make up this special blend. Lightly aromatic!

I try a lot of pipe tobaccos and usually a new blend is a variation on a theme – another English, another Virginia/Perique, another aromatic, etc. Once in a while something entirely different comes along – this time its Gotham Court.

When I’m lighting this up my mind is telling me “its an aromatic – see, it says right there in the description,” but my palate is saying “but wait a minute, it doesn’t have that sweet, doughy, mouth feel.”

A lot of the sweetness, what little there is compared to most full-on aromatics, seems to be from the Virginias rather than the topping. The Orientals bring up the rear, sort of harmonizing with the added flavoring, and the cavendish carries the middle.

I’m hesitant to name the topping flavor. Some have called it cloves and nutmeg. I’m not sure that’s all there is to it. Hard to say because like all good aromatics, it is hard to tell where the topping flavor stops and the tobacco starts.

Gotham Court also undergoes some changes throughout the bowl. The Virginias get deeper and earthier, but the Orientals and the spice hold their own throughout the bowl.

This is a truly interesting blend and worth a try by any pipe smoker no matter what your usual preference.

Video coming soon.

Butternut Burley

Butternut Burley has become a modern classic. I first learned of the blend and pipesandcigars.com several years ago on the internet. It is one of those rare aromatics that seems to appeal even to those pipe smokers who normally disregard aromatics.

The reason for this is likely the way the recipe balances the sweetness and added flavor so seamlessly with the smooth base tobaccos. There’s no mistake that this is a sweet aromatic blend but unlike many of the mass produced blends you’ll find renamed in tobacco jars in smoke shops around the world Butternut Burley lacks that disappointing artificial after taste, syrupy sweetness, and mouth feel associated with more heavily propylene glycol laden blends.

The taste is Cavendish and Burley along with a flavor that reminds me of those yellowish butterscotch hard candies. It burns extremely well, produces plenty of flavorful smoke that presents a pleasant room note, and doesn’t seem able to bite. This blend most definitely belongs in the quality aromatic category, but at a much lower price than other top notch aromatics found only in tins.

This is my Sunday morning nirvana smoke. I can load up a meerschaum and puff away at it with abandon. Coffee drinkers rejoice! A pipeful of Butternut Burley goes great with a cup of Joe.

You can order Butternut Burley here.

1864 Perfect Mixture by Larsen

The tin description:

“1864” is the Perfect Mixture. A modern version of an early successful blend by W.O. Larsen. The 1864 mixture consists of carefully selected Virginia tobaccos from the best tobacco fields on three continents. The balanced Virginia tobaccos are blended with fermented Black Cavendish and premium Burley from the U.S.A., Malawi, and Mexico. We have added a seductive flavor to ensure a generous and delicate taste – truly a Perfect Mixture.

This is by far the best aromatic I have smoked and a masterpiece of a blend in its own right. I don’t have a special affection for aromatics, but I do enjoy a good one, and this is by far my favorite. Smoking pipe tobacco doesn’t often get better than this.

The balance between quality tobacco and top flavor is perfect. Neither is overwhelmed by the other; instead, they work in harmony with each other to make a wonderful overall smoke.

I can’t identify the flavor – at one point I thought it was a combination of orange and chocolate, but now I’m leaning towards something like anise and something else. The flavor is mysteriously familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just good.

The base blend of tobaccos tastes like high quality. The burn is problem-free. No tongue bite and I’m a pipe smoker who has to be careful. I smoke this in my favorite briars without hesitation – it leaves no ghost flavors. The blend is at a suitable moisture directly from a freshly opened pouch.

Even if you have been put off by aromatic house blends or over the counter vanilla bombs and have sworn off aromatics, give this a try.

Winding Road by Ashton

Tin description:

A mellow mixture designed to bridge the gap between aromatic and English style blends. Comprised of golden and dark brown Virginia with a sprinkling of Black Cavendish, this excellent blend bears a natural fragrance accompanied by subtle notes of caramel and apricot.

Smooth Sailing by Ashton

Tin description:

Pleasantly palatable and wonderfully smooth, this aromatic mixture is slightly nutty, boasting flavors of maple, coconut and dark chocolate.

Rainy Day by Ashton

Tin description:

A savory blend of Virginia and Burley leaf with velvet Black Cavendish. Aged in whiskey barrels for precisely one month, this mixture smokes smooth and heralds a marvelous aroma of tropical fruit and hickory nuts.