Tad Gage : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

By Tad Gage and Bobby Fabian Single-crop, one-region tobaccos walk a tightrope. Too little or too much rain, or blight, wind and hail, or any other pitfalls that come with tobacco production can mean a great crop one year and a poor crop or no crop the next. It’s a treat to experience rare artisanal […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Bobby Fabian Images courtesy of Smokingpipes.com Our winter issue reviews conjure up thoughts of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There is the Ghost of Christmas Past: a lovingly re-created grouping of tobaccos celebrating the blends from one of the greatest shops ever, Drucquer & Sons of London, and after 1928, Berkeley, California. […]

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The pipe stem

The pipe stem

Your pipe’s quiet giant by Tad Gage Briar, morta, cob, calabash, clay, meerschaum. Metal, ceramic, cherry, olive, stone, strawberry wood. Straight-grain, crosscut, bird’s-eye, ring grain, flame grain, no grain. Smooth, blasted, carved, chunked, stained, painted, chopped. Billiards, bulldogs, Bing, bent. No matter the pipe, the finish, the shape, size or material, what is a pipe […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Bobby Fabian We’re reviewing exciting newer blends this round, including entries from Cult (Scandinavian Tobacco Group), the reintroduction of the classic Bengal Slices, new 4th Generation offerings from Erik Stokkebye and a jewel of a red Virginia from Cornell & Diehl. With all the talk about what Food and Drug Administration […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Bobby Fabian In this round of reviews and tastings, we take on the first new tobaccos in quite a while from the venerable Samuel Gawith (and it seems they’ve made nice with Gawith Hoggarth, but I still don’t understand the relationship). A dram-worthy Hobbit-y Middle Earth quintet from Just For Him […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Bobby Fabian What is an aromatic tobacco? Today, we usually consider it a cased or flavor- topped blend. Often, the topping over- powers the base tobacco, or has been used to mask bland or inferior base tobacco. But reading the labels on the tobaccos of old, we find that “aromatic” was […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Joe Harb It is our sad duty to announce that this issue contains the last “Trial by Fire” reviews from contributor Joe Harb. For the past 10 years, Harb has written insightful and entertaining reviews for this magazine, often smoking late into the night to provide descriptions and determine the nuances […]

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Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire

by Tad Gage and Joe Harb It has been a long-standing tradition for pipemakers to create tobacco mixtures to complement their pipes. Dunhill, Davidoff, Ashton, Castello and Larsen are examples of pipe companies that made the pipe/tobacco connection early in their histories and are still going strong with pipes and tobacco blends. Today we have […]

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Trial by fire

Trial by fire

by Tad Gage and Joe Harb There’s no shortage of pipe tobacco introductions these days (lucky for all of us)—both new blends and seemingly regular reintroductions of classics. We decided to review some of the new and a pinch of the new/old. Cornell & Diehl collaborated with artisan Danish pipemaker Tom Eltang, who has been […]

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Trial by fire

Trial by fire

by Tad Gage and Joe Harb We travel around the tobacco world with our tasting, sampling some newer and familiar house blends from the always-creative Boston-area tobacconist Watch City Cigar Co. (www.watchcitycigar.com); new offerings from IMP, a meerschaum pipe importer that has introduced Turkish-style blends with the meer in mind; and two Semois (pronounced sem-wah) […]

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