Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Old Dominion Shenandoah Corn Cob Pipe in Review

BRAND: Old Dominion
MODEL: Shenandoah
STYLE: Poker

LENGTH: 5.55"
HEIGHT: 1.71"
CHAMBER DIA./DEPTH: 0.71"/1.27"

MATERIAL: Corn Cob w/ Bamboo stem
FINISH: Smooth

I am writing these words at a pivotal point in my life. My last unbroken clay pipe just recently broke and I shortly afterward and ago picked up a handful of cobs. This is one of that handful. No offense to the others but I was most excited about this Shenandoah. Why? Because of its all bamboo stem. More precisely because of its equally bamboo not-plastic 'bit.' It's so skinny. An Italian mother would be beside herself with concern and plates of pasta.

I liked the idea of puckering around something a bit more natural than plastic. There is no better way to have said that. So far so good and about a half-dozen bowls in I'm not seeing any sign of degradation via moisture. There is some colorization happening. That and the roundness of its shape help me miss my clay all the less. I'll say this, though, it's not a great clenching candidate. (At least you wouldn't get the clay pipe tooth notch if you tried.) Whilst it is lightweight, it does get spinny. Thankfully, I'm not much of a clencher.

It's a quite narrow stem, as said, and ends in a bit-area that looks like a sharpened pencil sans protruding graphite point. It's a weird aesthetic, really. Performace-wise, it leads to sipping over grubbing, and with its hardwood plug, I should maybe be employing it for a good while as a taste-tester. Thus far, I've smoked mainly cavendish in it, as smoking an English in it happened once and felt patently absurd. (Cavendishes and Englishes are what I pipe when on my own time and dime.)

Let's in closing address the bowl, shall we? It's of a slight orange-dyed hue and while not as clunky or wildish as many cobs, see what I said re aesthetic. More importantly than externally, the chamber within is somewhat narrow and tall and 'baccy burns slow on account of that combination. All told, what you're looking at is 20 or 30 minutes or so of rural sophistication that takes place sometime in the late 1800s. Nice place to visit. We'll see if I move there. I did wear a flannel shirt the day before yesterday.

::: very :::

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

CAO Cigars Arcana Series Mortal Coil in Review

BLEND: Mortal Coil

WRAPPER: American Broadleaf
BINDER: American Shade
FILLER: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican Andullo

ORIGIN: Nicaraguan
INTENSITY: Medium/Medium-full

Cherry cola | Dark chocolate | Prunes

I feel like maybe a soda jerk rolled this stick with a day's work worth of syrup on his hands. Heavy cola notes. Big wild cherry additions there, and also a bit of prune (just what the 'Dr.' ordered). Black pepper, smoothly but with a presence announced with authority. What makes a cherry wild? Maybe it's the caffeine. Then there's the dark chocolate, fudgily-so.

Silky but solid. That chocolate note bridges the gap twixt the primary and secondary notes underneath. Down there is all rich dark earthiness which catches all the drippings-down and adds a bit of its own savoriness. Manure. This is quite, quite a good smoke. Well-structured in and of itself, maybe some roasted nuts and shells lend a hand there. At the half, our soda jerk becomes also a barista.

I have an impediment of sorts. Whenever I mean to say 'barista,' out comes instead, 'barrister.' Then I chuckle at the powdered wig imagery in my mind's eye. I digress. The band confounds me, I finally pull it off and as it unfurls I think aloud "Oh, coil; I get it!" Then I laugh again at powdered wigs. I already digressed. The slow burn needs a re-touch at mid-point.

Performance-wise, have I been groomed by 60 ring gauges to the extent that this fifty feels slim? Maybe, but it does. It's rolled tight-tight but the draw is smooth and easy. The seams and leaf are a bit rugged cosmetically--no issue in the smoking. The ash ain't a grower and is as dry as my palate is not, and it is in a big way not. Smoke out-put is voluminous on the draw and calm between. The smells of each of our man's workplaces fill the air around me.

The bakery down the block just put a loaf of pumpernickel in the wood-fired brick oven.


A 90-100 B 80-89 C 70-79

::: very :::