There are so many blends of tobacco available that it sometimes can be challenging to pick out what you want to enjoy. Although you can certainly fall back to your old favorites, there are times where experimentation and trying new things will come in handy. Find something new to experience, something different than your everyday preference. Who knows, you might just find a brand new favorite to share with your friends (or keep to yourself, we won't judge).
There are so many different styles of tobacco, with various tastes, scents, and cuts that make each smoking session a unique experience. Whichever blend type you want to find, we will have enough that you will not be lost for options. However, if you are unsure what you are looking for, we will be releasing a series of lists covering ten different tobaccos to try in each blend; our first list covers English blends.
We will break down our ten into three different strength categories: strong, medium, and mild. Each strength has its benefits and drawbacks, and one is not necessarily better than the other. Some people prefer a full-bodied, strong tobacco that will completely satisfy after one bowl, while others go with a milder blend that you can enjoy multiple times per day. What you enjoy is entirely dependent on how you want your smoking experience to be. Beginners to the world of pipe tobacco would more likely benefit from trying mild tobaccos first, working their way up in strength until they are much more comfortable with a stronger blend. Starting off too strong will most likely turn you off of this hobby, which would be a shame.
Without further ado, here are ten English blends you need to make sure you have tried before the end of this year.
Mild Strength Blends
First, let’s take a look at some mild strength English blends. Mild strength tobaccos are sometimes called all-day blends, as they are more tolerable to be smoked any time of the day and multiple times.
If you are looking for an all-day blend, this is the one for you. Scandinavian Tobacco Group, through Lane Limited, has brought back this Irish blend. 1862 Whitehall was first made by Murray and Sons Company, which was founded in 1810 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Murray and Sons created four different blends for the Murray's line, each named for a time in the company's history. This one is in honor of their expansion in 1862, helping the company grow and flourish further than before. The Murray and Sons company would survive as an independent company until 1953, when they were purchased for the first time. There would be a series of mergers and sales until the company was finally shut down in 2005. This is where Scandinavian came in, rescuing the Murray's name from obscurity and giving us this combination of Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, and Virginia tobaccos. The mixture is mellow and comfortable, providing a comfortable taste with a reasonable strength, something that will make this an all-day smoke.
F & K offers up this somewhat uniquely named tobacco, something that should instantly gain attention. According to the company, there used to be a customer that would visit the St. Louis, Missouri shop who was routinely disappointed with the tobacco he would get there. Always in a sour mood, this customer was finally given a blend he enjoyed. When he came back the next time, this customer demanded, "I want more of that horse shit tobacco you sold me!" If that is not a solid reason to come up with a name for a pipe tobacco blend, we don't know what is.
Merde De Cheval is a traditional English, featuring a combination of Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia, and Perique tobaccos. You get a pleasant room note with this tobacco and a reasonable taste that you should enjoy.
Rudiger L. Will came up with the Solani brand in 1997, the second successful line of pipe tobacco he has created. You will get a smooth and comfortable smoking experience with this blend, which is a balance between medium and mild. Many have compared this to Balkan Sobranie, and it is an apt comparison, as it shares many of the qualities of a Balkan style English blend. The flavor is deep and rich, with a lower strength than you would expect. This blend will be a great way to get started with the Solani brand, a way to get introduced to the way R.L. Will creates tobacco.
Medium Strength Blends
Medium strength blends are much more gentle on your system than a strong one. While these tobaccos might not be an all-day smoke, you will not be as likely to get overpowered by them.
This is the first pipe tobacco created for the Seattle Pipe Club by Master Blender Joe Lankford. Mississippi River is an English blend that earns high praise in the smoking pipe world. According to Lankford, this blend came to him in a dream. It was so vivid and exciting that he picked up a pencil and wrote the recipe down before he forgot it. After waking up, he went to work, creating a tobacco that launched the Seattle Pipe Club series of blends. This became so popular that when Lankford was offered some well-aged Virginia tobacco, he used it to create a limited edition of Mississippi River, creating a richer, smoother flavor than the original thanks to the new Virginias available. Coming in a plug cut, you will need a good knife to cut it with and fill your pipe.
As Cornell & Diehl says on the tobacco tin, this is their salute to the United States's first African-American military pilots. The "Red Tail Angels," as the Tuskegee Airmen were known, served both admirably and exceptionally. These pilots were among the best aviators in the world; while they flew during World War Two, they fought and earned a great number of distinctions. Most impressively, they flew on 179 bomber escort missions, losing only 27 bomber total during 7 of those missions.
The Cornell & Diehl blend named for these pilots combines a mixture of Virginia, Perique, Turkish, and Latakia tobaccos that have been pressed together to create a marriage of flavors and were then sliced to fit into the tins. You will appreciate the taste and room note of this tobacco, and this is a medium strength blend you should certainly enjoy.
When Peter Heinrichs was thirty years old, he sold his tobacco company to a more prominent firm for a massive sum. Despite being now independently wealthy, rich enough that he would not need to work another day in his life, he instead used those funds to open another tobacco shop, larger than before, where he was able to create his own blends. One of these blends, number thirty, is a pleasant mixture of Latakia, Perique, and Virginia tobaccos. What is special about this blend is the aroma, like walking into a classic tobacco shop, where you can pick up the scents of great tobacco. The flavor will not overwhelm you, although you will certainly enjoy it in any pipe.
A comfortable and pleasant pipe tobacco, the Cobblestone Brick English tobacco lives up to its name. Combining a mixture of Cyprian Latakia, Virginia, Oriental, and Burley tobaccos, you will find a nice tasting tobacco with a comfortable room note. Cobblestone's slogan is "Find Your Path," which is a fitting one, as this tobacco is a wonderful introduction for going down the road and discovering future English blends. This is a reliable start for newcomers; if you wanted to learn about what makes an English tobacco good, this is the first one you should go to for clarity.
We will finish off our list by going through these three strong blends. These are best enjoyed after a meal. On an empty stomach, these blends can be unpleasant.
A classic blend originally designed by Alfred Dunhill, Peterson acquired the rights to this recipe after the Dunhill company ceased production. English blends carry a mixture of Latakia and Virginia tobaccos, while the Nightcap also holds some Perique for added flavor. This blend's name is very fitting, as it is best to be enjoyed towards the end of the day, after dinner, as a way to relax. If you choose to smoke a bowl of this tobacco without eating, it can overpower you. By eating something, this blend is much more enjoyable. Maybe enjoy this with a drink too. As an evening smoke, this is akin to having dessert, so enjoy yourself with some Peterson Nightcap and some liquor.
A fitting name, as this blend will leave you bow-legged if you do not respect it. Strong and full-bodied, this tobacco comes in a Crumble Cake cut. Cornell and Diehl make this tobacco by stoving it before pressing and then crafting it into the crumble cake that you see when you open the tin. This gives the tobacco its flavor and strength, shaping how you enjoy this blend. You might feel the need to hibernate if you smoke this on an empty stomach, so make sure you have enjoyed plenty of honey, and whatever was in your picnic basket before you sit down at the end of the day to relax with this tobacco.
A company that has existed for nearly two hundred years, Mac Baren, has abundant experience when it comes to preparing and creating blends of pipe tobacco that you will enjoy. The HH Old Dark Fired is one of those tobacco blends, and if you like strong English tobaccos, this one will be right up your alley. However, it is not a traditional English that you might expect. There is no Latakia in this blend. However, Mac Baren classifies this as an English based on how it is produced. The company steam presses the tobacco, which creates a bolder tobacco than you would get during a cold press. By doing this, the dark-fired Burley tobacco comes to the forefront, helping develop a rich, earthy flavor you will enjoy.
Take your time to find out which of these English blends you love, and make sure you check them out. If you like them, great; if not, there are plenty more tobaccos to try.
Next List: Aromatics