The Pipe Nook
All-Day No Frills Pipe Tobacco Blends
Like many of you, I've still been processing and coming to terms with the loss of our friend, John Harden, also known as Matches860 in the YouTube Pipe Community. Thinking about John got me to thinking about creating this list, for those who aren’t ready just yet to start freight-training Haunted Bookshop all day! These are good, lighter alternatives to what I think were John's “Big 3”: HB, OJK, & BNB.

My order of personal favorites of the Big 3:
  1. Old Joe Krantz (Burley, Perique, Virginia) - While this is the same 3 components as Haunted Bookshop, I like it better because I think it has a bit more Perique and Virginia, and a bit less Burley. The cut is also a bit more interesting to me, being a bit of a rough cut rather than a standard ribbon cut.
  2. Haunted Bookshop (Burley, Perique, Virginia) - More Burley than OJK, with less Perique and Virginia. This one took me a while to come around to, but I do enjoy it!
  3. Big ’N’ Burley (Burley, Latakia, Orientals, Perique) - As the name implies, Burley is the boss in this blend. All of the other leaves definitely play a smaller role. And as is the case with all three of these blends, you might not want to smoke it on an empty stomach. These are blends that, as my grandfather might say, "will put hair on your chest!"

I wouldn’t call any of these blends that I recommend here personal favorites, since my favorites tend to have a stand-out flavor or profile, such as Old Dark Fired or Chenet’s Cake. I just love blends that make more use of Dark Fired Kentucky and Perique. BUT, I keep circling back to these! They’re intriguing without trying to be rock stars. 

To me, an “everyday blend” means a light to medium, typically burley-based blend. Maybe that’s unfair, but it’s what most of the old codger blends are, so perhaps there's something to that. I can see how these blends might be considered nondescript at first glance, but can become old friends over time. They leave you curious…you might find yourself wanting to coax out their secrets!

First, let's cover some Honorable Mentions I wanted to include that are just a bit too “mentionable” - They stand out a bit too much for the main recommendations list for an all-day type blend, in my opinion.
  1. Three Friars (Burley, Perique, Virginia) - Another blend with the same 3 basic components of Haunted Bookshop and Old Joe Krantz. The Perique gives it a nice twist, but still a very smooth, no-nonsense blend.
  2. Billy Budd (Burley, Cigar Leaf, Latakia, Virginia) - The Latakia and Cigar Leaf make it stand out too much to be considered "Plain Jane." Perhaps if it only had one or the other.
  3. Morley’s Best (Burley, Latakia, Virginia) - This one was close to making the main list, but the Latakia proportion, while still light, inches towards being just a bit too savory to be considered a basic or nondescript smoke.

So without further ado, here's my main list of no-nonsense, "true tobacco" tasting, lighter alternatives to Haunted Bookshop, Old Joe Krantz or Big ’N’ Burley.
  1. Epiphany (Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia) - This is definitely a Burley based blend, but there are other players that peek out around the corners here and there. Similar to Pegasus, I'd say, but with just a bit more happening.
  2. Pegasus (Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia) - Very much an "Oatmeal" kind of blend, in that it's enjoyable, but doesn't knock you over the head with flavor.
  3. Gray Ghost (Black Cavendish, Cigar Leaf, Virginia) - Plain, pure pipe tobacco taste, with just a bit of cigar flavor. Think of the mildest cigars you've ever smoked, and this probably comes pretty close to that flavor profile.
  4. Americana (Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Virginia) - Less Latakia than Morley’s Best, and the Black Cavendish rounds it out a bit more. I'd say this is predominantly a Burley/Virginia blend.
  5. Briar Fox (Burley, Virginia) - The level of Virginias tame the Burley and make it just the slightest bit sweet, but this is mostly what I would call a pure, true tobacco taste. Probably the smoothest of the blends covered here.

Well, there you have it! I hope you'll find a new favorite in this list, or perhaps you'll find that you're ready to tackle one of the Big 3 after all. Either way, I had fun coming up with this list of All-Day tobacco blends!

Keep 'em lit,
Eddie Gray
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