The Huge Pipe Review – Part II

by Jose Ruiz

Read The Huge Pipe Review – Part I here…

Now we will jump right into another review with a tobacco followed by a pipe review on a new pipe to me so I will review the pipe as well.

MacBaren Solent Mixture pipe tobacco

The tobacco smoked is from MAC BAREN “The Solent Mixture”

Pipe used: Nordig Eriksen Egg # 2 Keystone pipe
Tobacco: Burley, Cavendish, Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring: Cocoa, Chocolate, Rum, Vanilla
Cut: Ribbon
Pack method: Franks method
Tin note: Sweet notes of vanilla, rum, fruit, grass.
Room note: Cocoa, nuts, light smokiness, some sweetness.
Strength: Medium
Taste: No vanilla tasted, slight wood smoke, nuts, some sweet notes.

Notes: Out of the tin the aroma is unusual. It reminds me somewhat of the famed Esoterica blends in its slight licorice notes. You don’t normally find the licorice used in most English blends as a part of the fermentation process. Perhaps its inclusion is because this isn’t a true English blend but more of an aromatic/English blend. Solent Mixture is ready to pack straight out of the tin and after the first 1/3 of the bowl it has a nice peppery note like you would get from a Perique but its a gentle spicy note. I personally don’t get any vanilla taste, but I noticed some rum flavor and the natural sweetness from the Virginia, as well as nuttiness from the Burley, finished by some light wood smoke from the Latakia. The most unique taste I get is a slightly sour note but it is in a pleasant way, refreshing like citrus fruit not sour like bad milk. During the last 1/3 of the bowl it remains a well-balanced smoke and the consistency in its blending helps maintain taste, strength, coolness, with no bitterness or tongue bite. So after all this what in a nutshell do I think of this blend?? Hmmm? For sure its a unique blend with pleasing aromas and flavors, nicely done blend for a aromatic/English blend, it’s worth a try if you never had it before and like something different to try. If you’re a purist of English or Balkan blends it may not be for you, or maybe it is, if your adventurous and willing to try something a little out of your purist English/Balkan box. The Solent Mixture is a nice blend either way you choose in my opinion.

Rate: 3.5 out of 5

Last, but by no means last of this review, is the pipe review I used for this tobacco review. I’ll get right down to the nitty-gritty of it.

The pipe I used is a NORDING ERIKSEN EGG #2 KEYSTONE PIPE

“ Eriksen pipes are the newest innovation from the brilliant mind of Erik Nording and feature a removable bowl that allows you to add Keystones into the base. The Keystones will absorb excess moisture for a cool, dry smoke. Each pipe is lightweight with a nice capacity bowl. Try one and you will automatically see the difference.”

Ok that is being said on a sellers website, so lets see how it really smokes. A canned product review from a marketing standpoint is nice but does it give an accurate portrayal of the product?  I’ll abuse it to see if it really does smoke well and cool. I normally don’t puff like a freight train but since it’s a test and review it needs to be done. It did get slightly warm but never hot where you can’t hold the pipe. The draw was great. Then I smoked it normally and yes it stayed cool and gurgle free as it trapped the moisture. So in a nutshell, yes their claims are true. I can see this being a great pipe, especially for aromatic lovers as most of the aromatics are moist to begin with. It will also be great for those that like to puff aggressively. I also noticed this pipe is also very lightweight and that can be a welcomed pipe for those that smoke as they work and love to clench there pipes no jaw fatigue noticed. The bowl can be removed very easily when you need to replace the keystones but yet is firmly in place. At no point does the bowl wiggle or feel loose. The aesthetics of the pipe look is classy yet functional. My only real draw back of the Nording Eriksen Egg #2, and it is a more personal preference is the straight stem. I hope they will also make them in a bent stem soon as I prefer a bent stem to a straight one. They do have different style bowls to choose from all in briar, which does allow for customization of the pipe. Maybe they can expand to also make the bowls in Meerschaum and different bowl materials in time. It’s a great pipe to have no matter what your doing and easy to care for as the bit comes off nicely to clean it as well as the shank. So maintenance shouldn’t be an issue. The only non-personal preference draw back I noticed was at the tip of the bit. They need to make sure to smooth it a bit more from the molding at the very tip, you can feel it and it is a little rough on the tongue.

Rate: 3 out of 5

Read The Huge Pipe Review – Part I here…

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