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So you talked me into it

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I've found Five Bros superpower! It has no taste when mixed with ANYTHING. It tastes like whatever you mix it with, just punched up. To the point where I haven't even tried anything else new from my order, except for a single bowl of Stonehenge (amazing tin and room note, but the flavor is mild enough to be drowned out by a glass of ice water).

I picked up a cheapo basket pot shaped pipe so the Lakeland essences have something to ghost up. I ran a bowl of EGR last night to make sure it'll work. Yeah, that's why! This afternoon I'll give #7 a try and see what the fuss is.

Now it's a different question. This latest order was a split of cellaring Virginias and some of the polarizing blends. Erinmore, Royal Yacht, and that #7 Broken Flake. Once my jars arrive (in the mail, Mason jars are hard to find in meat space right now for some reason), GH goes into a jar for a few months. Oh, a few bowls between now and then, but most of those 2oz are getting jarred up.

So that leaves Erinmore and Royal Yacht as my kooky aromatic to smoke first and second. But which one first? I guess it really doesn't matter, I'll have both of them smoked before too long.

Funny footnote to that. My oldest daughter's name is Erin. She saw Erinmore and figured I should have bought another dozen or so tins because "more Erin still isn't enough!"
Best use a cob for the Erinmore because it will certainly ghost a pipe.
 
So I think I'm going to rock on with the Stonehenge for now. Let everything else get a little bit of age on it. Even 6 weeks will be better than nothing, I hope.
 
So this is Irish Flake? Not bad at all! I found it very tasty. Strong like the Five Bros, but a nice flavor. I found a full flake to be a bit much though. I found myself letting it go out for a few minutes here and there. So it's just what I was looking for! Now begins the hunt to find this locally.

Stonehenge is just as good, but in a different way. Its an aromatic, but a very subtle one. And it's a more natural flavor, not an artificial Captain Black Cherry way. Broken flake isn't my preferred cut, but this rubs out very easily. I might not replace this tin, but I'm glad I tried it.

These were first impressions, two bowls of Stonehenge and one PIF.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
These were first impressions, two bowls of Stonehenge and one PIF.
You're giving it away already? You're a good guy to be around if you only smoke two bowls and PIF the rest! 🤣

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I like the Irish Flake too, and you're quite right, it's potent stuff. Their University Flake eases off the nicotine pedal somewhat, and adds a plum topping to a slightly lighter tobacco flavour. Much like your description of Stonehenge, it's one of the non-Cavendish aromatics that adds to the tobacco, without drowning it out. You'll find the same with the #7 Broken Flake.

Non-Cavendish aros are one of the mainstays of my stash. Lakeland or otherwise. I'm currently smoking the same bowl of GH Brown House Roll Cut I started yesterday, which is of the same ilk, but coins not flake.
 
It's been a little while since I've been here. Nothing too awful, just life getting in the way and throwing monkey wrenches in my quiet comfortable little existence.

And there's not much new to report yet. Still puffing away on my strong blends during daylight hours, but since then winter decided to make an appearance. So my evening porch sitting bowls have been less, sadly. I think though that Mrs. Rookie isn't completely heartless, and the garage might soon be open for fine tobacco enjoyment.

I've been getting more and more into mixing, adding, and tweaking. So far, it's been with mixed results by very fun! Pinches of blending burley and black cavendish have been making more appearances lately, as well as other lesser loved blends like Amphora and 1Q.

I really like this. It's very akin to all the cooking I used to do. Once upon a time I worked for a chef who encouraged experimenting on our own time, but he'd buy recipes from us if he thought they fit the atmosphere of the restaurant. And blending is very similar. You're considering not only flavors but burn properties, nicotine levels, cut, and room note. I'm exercising those creative muscles I haven't used in a while. It's been good!
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I'm not averse to mixing something that I don't like smoking in its current form, or dumping all the grim smokes in a reject blend, but my palate isn't nearly refined enough to be doing it just for enjoyment.

Good to hear it's all going well though, aside from the winter weather. :thumbup1:
 
So this is Irish Flake? Not bad at all! I found it very tasty. Strong like the Five Bros, but a nice flavor. I found a full flake to be a bit much though. I found myself letting it go out for a few minutes here and there. So it's just what I was looking for! Now begins the hunt to find this locally.

Stonehenge is just as good, but in a different way. Its an aromatic, but a very subtle one. And it's a more natural flavor, not an artificial Captain Black Cherry way. Broken flake isn't my preferred cut, but this rubs out very easily. I might not replace this tin, but I'm glad I tried it.

These were first impressions, two bowls of Stonehenge and one PIF.
Just saw this. If you like the Irish Flake, and you are already sampling their Navy Flakes, you should also give MacBaren’s Old Dark Fired a whirl. It won’t have the high-test kick of a full Kentucky, but I found ODF flake better than Peterson’s. IMO, probably the best blend on the MB line card.
 
You know, I was going back and forth between ODF and Bold Kentucky at the store. The guy behind the counter suggested Kentucky because of the cigarettes. So definitely next time I'm in the area I'll grab a tin, thanks for the tip!

And I haven't sampled any of the navy flakes yet. Right now they're cellaring, as I've a tin of Bold Kentucky, Irish Flake, G. L. Pease's Jackknife Plug, and a pouch of Five Bros already open for strong tobaccos. Yes I know navy flakes are different animals (insert Army vs Navy jokes here), but I've got a few va/vapers open already. This summer Mac Baron Navy Flake will have 6 months on it, just behind the Peterson Navy with another 2.5 months.

And Al, I'm only blending things I don't like. The good doesn't need tweaking. But I do have a leftovers jar. I'll dry out some or mix something on the glass ashtray I use and whatever doesn't fit in the pipe goes into the jar. Like an infinity bottle of whiskey. I'll have to try it sometime.
 
You know, I was going back and forth between ODF and Bold Kentucky at the store. The guy behind the counter suggested Kentucky because of the cigarettes. So definitely next time I'm in the area I'll grab a tin, thanks for the tip!

And I haven't sampled any of the navy flakes yet. Right now they're cellaring, as I've a tin of Bold Kentucky, Irish Flake, G. L. Pease's Jackknife Plug, and a pouch of Five Bros already open for strong tobaccos. Yes I know navy flakes are different animals (insert Army vs Navy jokes here), but I've got a few va/vapers open already. This summer Mac Baron Navy Flake will have 6 months on it, just behind the Peterson Navy with another 2.5 months.

And Al, I'm only blending things I don't like. The good doesn't need tweaking. But I do have a leftovers jar. I'll dry out some or mix something on the glass ashtray I use and whatever doesn't fit in the pipe goes into the jar. Like an infinity bottle of whiskey. I'll have to try it sometime.
I've had both ODF and Bold Kentucky. I found ODF presents a more nuanced flavor presentation, and was a better balanced blend overall to my palate.

The only advantage of Kentucky for me is nicotine content. I consider it a bit of a nicotine sledgehammer, to the point where it can interfere with more subtle flavor cues. Not a blend I would enjoy multiple bowls of all afternoon. Perhaps if you stuff and puff it, you could drag it out a little better.

For someone needing that much Vitamin N, you can get it out of a couple bowls of ODF, and it is a much more enjoyable delivery method. ODF delivers its payload more gracefully, the rich flavor builds without as much distraction. ODF uses top-tier leaf, and you can taste it. I compare it favorably to all of the blends you have been discussing over the past two pages.

But neither of these would be daily blends for me. ODF is an occasional treat, perhaps 1-2x a month at most. Like eating a 20 oz. top grade Porterhouse. They both require your extended attention and more ritual than I care to commit. Being more of a codger piper, if I had to pick a MB daily, I would be more likely to consider their Navy Flake (were it not so relatively expensive).

YMMV.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
And Al, I'm only blending things I don't like. The good doesn't need tweaking. But I do have a leftovers jar. I'll dry out some or mix something on the glass ashtray I use and whatever doesn't fit in the pipe goes into the jar. Like an infinity bottle of whiskey. I'll have to try it sometime.
Ahhh! I thought you were tinkering with everything.

As to the Old Dark Fired, for me, that sample went straight in the recycling jar. I couldn't finish the bowl, if I remember correctly. I found it an obnoxious, dirty tasting smoke, yet it seems to be quite a popular one online.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I've had both ODF and Bold Kentucky. I found ODF presents a more nuanced flavor presentation, and was a better balanced blend overall to my palate.

The only advantage of Kentucky for me is nicotine content. I consider it a bit of a nicotine sledgehammer, to the point where it can interfere with more subtle flavor cues. Not a blend I would enjoy multiple bowls of all afternoon. Perhaps if you stuff and puff it, you could drag it out a little better.

For someone needing that much Vitamin N, you can get it out of a couple bowls of ODF, and it is a much more enjoyable delivery method. ODF delivers its payload more gracefully, the rich flavor builds without as much distraction. ODF uses top-tier leaf, and you can taste it. I compare it favorably to all of the blends you have been discussing over the past two pages.

But neither of these would be daily blends for me. ODF is an occasional treat, perhaps 1-2x a month at most. Like eating a 20 oz. top grade Porterhouse. They both require your extended attention and more ritual than I care to commit. Being more of a codger piper, if I had to pick a MB daily, I would be more likely to consider their Navy Flake (were it not so relatively expensive).

YMMV.
Wish you hadn’t mentioned that steak
😂
 
Congratulations Steve! I know they're missing you too! It'll be worth the headache by spring when you're standing knee deep in some creek made of liquid ice with a rainbow trout dancing on the end of your line.

Colombo, yeah, I spent a lot of time in restaurants. I've been a dishwasher, line cook, expeditor, waiter (for almost a whole month), bartender, manager, pizza delivery driver, some butchering and meat cutting. Almost everything except bar back (not worth blowing my back out) and owner (not worth the ulcers). It wasn't until fairly recently I learned about such things as week-ends, trading money for goods and services, and sleeping at night (not day).

Once upon a time, I was in logistics. Then 2008 happened and cooking was any port in a storm. I grew to like it, though. The stressful environment with the strong sense of teamwork and comradery reminded me very much of the military.

And I'd like to think that deep down in my heart, there's a part of me that is still a member of the Dirtball Brigade, as well as the E-4 Mafia.
 
Congratulations Steve! I know they're missing you too! It'll be worth the headache by spring when you're standing knee deep in some creek made of liquid ice with a rainbow trout dancing on the end of your line.

Colombo, yeah, I spent a lot of time in restaurants. I've been a dishwasher, line cook, expeditor, waiter (for almost a whole month), bartender, manager, pizza delivery driver, some butchering and meat cutting. Almost everything except bar back (not worth blowing my back out) and owner (not worth the ulcers). It wasn't until fairly recently I learned about such things as week-ends, trading money for goods and services, and sleeping at night (not day).

Once upon a time, I was in logistics. Then 2008 happened and cooking was any port in a storm. I grew to like it, though. The stressful environment with the strong sense of teamwork and comradery reminded me very much of the military.

And I'd like to think that deep down in my heart, there's a part of me that is still a member of the Dirtball Brigade, as well as the E-4 Mafia.
My very first job was as a dishwasher, in a banquet hall. All these years later, I still remember it vividly.

Two hundred or so dinners go out, all at once. Being a crew of ravenous teenage boys (the young girls would waitstaff then), we would count on at least a dozen no-show guests — and that many extra dinners — for us to hurriedly devour during the pause. The cooks always obliged us. Some of us would Hoover down two or three platters each.

And then you had 15 minutes to clear, wash and re-stock what came back. And it came back all at once.

The cooks would often depart early after the event, leaving us to clean up. When they did, we would often have baked potato wars with what didn’t go out (it was getting thrown out anyway). Potato everywhere. Or sneak into the deep freezer for ice cream or whipped cream for dessert. But we always left the place spotless for the manager‘s inspection at the end of the night. We worked hard, but had a lot of fun.

I probably washed over 100,000 dishes at that job ... dishes of all kinds, glasses, utensils, pots & pans, and every other cooking implement imaginable (not cutlery, the cooks were protective of their knives).

I have rarely, if ever, washed a dish since ... to Mrs. Columbo’s understanding consternation. Only once. About 30 years ago, I offered to wash the dishes at a Rotary charity event. Just a couple hundred. You could have knocked Mrs. Columbo over with a feather.
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
Congratulations Steve! I know they're missing you too! It'll be worth the headache by spring when you're standing knee deep in some creek made of liquid ice with a rainbow trout dancing on the end of your line.

Colombo, yeah, I spent a lot of time in restaurants. I've been a dishwasher, line cook, expeditor, waiter (for almost a whole month), bartender, manager, pizza delivery driver, some butchering and meat cutting. Almost everything except bar back (not worth blowing my back out) and owner (not worth the ulcers). It wasn't until fairly recently I learned about such things as week-ends, trading money for goods and services, and sleeping at night (not day).

Once upon a time, I was in logistics. Then 2008 happened and cooking was any port in a storm. I grew to like it, though. The stressful environment with the strong sense of teamwork and comradery reminded me very much of the military.

And I'd like to think that deep down in my heart, there's a part of me that is still a member of the Dirtball Brigade, as well as the E-4 Mafia.
So you miss the constant hanging up on someone once you find their foible or they do something dumb and never letting them forget it plus all the homo-eroticism? 🤣

But yeah, weekends. That's Monday and Tuesday right?! I may be out one day. Fifteen years in. What's another 35?
 
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