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Excellent cube-cut Burley, chosen for its deep, nutty flavors, forms a robust foundation for this sophisticated blend. Rich, red Virginia tobaccos are added for their subtle sweetness and complexity, while the unique spice of perique provides added dimension. A delicate kiss of brandy polishes the blend to a perfect finish. Barbary Coast is delightfully satisfying, with hints of black walnut, dark chocolate, and dried fruits. The perfect "all-day" smoke.

The name, Barbary Coast, came from my good friend Toren Smiith, in one of the most mind-stunning stream of consciousness, free association, brain dump emails I've ever received. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect name. Thanks, Toren, and everyone else who sent great suggestions! The prize? You're lookin' at it, buddy! Fame, but no fortune.

Barbary Coast was introducd in March, 2001

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Cairo is a wonderfully complex mixture of red, orange and bright Virginia tobaccos, exotic oriental leaf, and just a whisper of perique. The flavor is naturally sweet, slightly nutty, delicately spicy and rich. Subtle citrus-like notes harmoniously support the more robust flavors of the darker Virginias. Cairo is a medium bodied but very satisfying tobacco with a delicate aroma that will be enjoyed by Virginia lovers and the connoisseur of oriental mixtures alike.

Cairo is one of my favorite cities in the near-East, perhaps even the world. When I was there, the energy of the place inspired me in ways I'd never imagined. This tobacco has a distinctly oriental character, reminiscent of the spice markets in the bazaar. What else could I call it?.

Cairo was introduced in March, 2000

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Caravan was a long time in the making, and I'm really excited about it. For years, I've wanted to produce a nice, medium Balkan style blend with lots of wonderful Orientals, rich with Latakia, and just enough Virginia to give everything else something to hang on to. After a lot of almost right prototypes, I found the missing piece to the puzzle in some magnificent Oriental leaf that had been right under my nose all along. After a little tuning, Caravan was born.

A lovely spice up front mingles with all those delightfully exotic Oriental flavors. The smoke/leathery notes of Cyprian Latakia weave their way through the smoke assertively, but never in an overbearing manner. A zesty, but delicate sweetness punctuates the statements made by the rest of the tobaccos. The finish is lingering, but won't overstay its welcome. Caravan is full and exotic; rich and spicy. A classic Balkan style blend with our own special touch.

Caravan was introduced in May, 2001

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Early in 2002, we were offered some really special leaf. (Read on. I'll reveal its secret identity soon enough.) Samples arrived, and I was immediately absorbed with its the richness, the depth of its smoke, and its beautiful, deep color. After experimenting with it for weeks, I finally had the recipe for Cumberland.

"We'll take it all!" I could barely contain my enthusiasm. When this is gone, there won't be any more. Fortunately, there was a lot of it, and won't run out any time soon. I'll be able to produce about 60,000 tins of this blend before the special leaf is nothing but ash and memories. However, I'm very encouraged by recent crops. At some point, I'll have to refomulate the blend a little, but I'm confident I'll be able to retain its character.

Ripe, red Virginia tobaccos create the frame in which some truly special Kentucky dark-fired leaf is exhibited. This leaf has a depth and richness that is rarely seen in tobaccos of its type. A measure of stoved and matured flue-cured is added to provide a gentle sweetness and solidify the foundation. A little Louisiana perique provides a piquant spice, and a subtle fruitiness. The flavor may be somewhat reminiscent of some of the classic English tobaccos of the past, but this is truly a unique blend. It's at once bold and demure, making a delightfully profound first impression, then gradually revealing its more subtle charms over a few bowls' courtship. It's sophisticated personality will be appreciated by those around the smoker as well.

July, 2012 UPDATE: Just now, I responded to an email from a chap wanting to know when the aged Kentucky would likely run out. I'm a little embarrassed to say we actually ran out of it some time ago. I didn't even know until some months after the fact, and then, I completely forgot about updating the site and the labels, and there you have it. I've since smoked the new KY alongside some of the aged stuff I have in the library, and am hard pressed to tell much difference, straight, and when blended, they're almost totally indistinguishable to my palate, so we can all stop worrying about when Cumberland will go out of production. As long as we can get dark-fired KY leaf of this quality, we can keep producing it.

The new stuff has been in use for long enough that I can safely say that if anyone was going to notice, myself included, it would have happened, so there it is. I'll change the labels for the next print run, and scrape the egg off my face.

Cumberland was introducd in April, 2002

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This is a stout blend consisting of several grades of Virginia tobaccos with a generous measure of long-cut perique. Unflavored Green River black Cavendish and a little air-cured white burley ribbon provide fullness, body, and a bit of extra strength. Finally, an exclusive process darkens and marries the mixture, and gives the blend a subtle tin aroma of cocoa and dried fruit. The flavor is full on the palate, earthy, slightly sweet and intriguingly piquant, with overtones of figs and raisins. A wonderful and unprecedented blend for the true perique lover!

Haddo's, more than any other blend in the range, has developed an almost cult-like following. It has inspired music, written and recorded by Apalachian dulcimer performer Chris Carlisle, and even poetry!

Softer, fuller and more voluptuous than a Boticelli.
Flavor and finesse surpassing a '29 Lafite
Complexity that would shame a Mozart sonata.
Haddo's, before thy diaphanous cloud, I fall prostrate!!
-Bear Graves

If you haven't, yet, and love perique, give it a try. But, be careful, as you, too, might fall victim to its charms and begin composing sonnetts.

Haddo's Delght was introduced in August, 2000

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Ever since I started smoking a pipe, I've been in love with the rich fragrance of fine Cyprian Latakia. There's something warm and comforting about it; the deep blackish brown colour, the fascinating texture of the leaf, the wonderful smells of campfires and leather. It's an assertive leaf that can be, and often is, easily overdone. If the supporting tobaccos are bold enough, though, and have enough character, something BIG can be produced that still has refinement, elegance, and balance.

Odyssey is big. There's no doubt it's loaded with Latakia, but that's much more to it. Exotic oriental tobaccos abound, and wonderful matured red and jet-black stoved Virginias provide a perfect balance, both in the tin aroma and in the flavour of the dense smoke. I worked on this for months, tuning the proportions carefully until it was exactly the blend I was after

The first match yields big puffy clouds of beautiful smoke. The flavour is bold and assertive, but still refined. The Latakia's spice is balanced by the sweetness of the Virginias, and they have a marvelous conversation, while the oriental tobaccos play Baroque quartets in the background. Or, is it belly-dancing music? If you're a Latakia lover, Odyssey will surely enthrall you.

The high percentage of dark tobaccos dictate a delicate hand when packing for best smoking.

Odyssey was introduced in January, 2002

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For years, I've been intrigued by the idea of cigar leaf blends, but with one notable exception, nothing has really hit the mark for me, and the one that did, the celebrated Sobranie Virginia #10, has long been out of production. In mid-2000, I began flirting with different ideas, experimenting with different leaf, concocting prototypes, and quickly tiring of them, until, finally, I was shown samples of some exquisite maduro wrapper leaf that stimulated a new interest in finding my perfect cigar leaf blend. After months' worth of experimental recipes, I zeroed in on the blend I'd been searching for, and Robusto was finally born.

The cigar leaf would make an overly bold statement if blended with a heavy hand, but in just the right amounts, it provides an alluring spice, a suggestion of the richness of a great cigar, and a creamy texture to the smoke. Cyprian Latakia rounds out the flavors, and smoothes the edges. Ripe, red Virginias provides a modest sweetness while giving the blend structure. Oriental tobaccos fill in the gaps, and make Robusto a complex, full flavored and spicy mixture that is still gentle on the tongue. It's perfect with the afternoon coffee, as a delicious finish to a wonderful meal, or as a stout companion throughout the day.

And, it ages beautifully!

Robusto was introduced in November, 2002

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Samarra, along with Cairo, Mephisto and Renaissance, was one of the first blends to be offered under the G. L. Pease brand. In a sense, it is a refinement of Sublime Porte, a blend I produced years ago for Drucquer & Sons while working there, so it reflects a much longer history than the other blends in the line.

Despite a significant percentage of Cyprus Latakia, Samarra is not a Latakia powerhouse. It is rich and complex, relying as much upon the delicate sweetness and structure of matured red Virginias, and the exotic, fragrant nature of fine oriental leaf as it does on the smoky opulence of the Cyprian “King of Flavor.” The blend is finished with a hint of zesty lemon Virginia, adding a hint of brightness to the smoke, and a touch of perique, providing its own unique spice.

An extremely complex blend...The flavors migrate from one pleasant place to another, with none acheiving excessivee dominance...Excellent!" -P&T Magazine

Samarra is an excellent introduction to the “English Mixture” for those seeking to explore the genre, a wonderful daily smoke for those who like their Latakia in moderation, or a delightfully intriguing aperitif before dining.

Samarra was introduced March, 2000

Note:

In November, 2004, a warehouse fire consumed our supply of the exquisite vintage Syrian Latakia that was used in Renaissance, Raven's Wing and Mephisto, as well as Bohemian Scandal from the Heirloom Series. These blends have been discontinued indefinitely. If we are able to locate a new supply of Syrian leaf of sufficiently high quality, they will be reintroduced.

The Collection

These are the earliest blends in the range, some of them going back to the beginnig of the company in early 2000. Some have become quite famous, or perhaps infamous, inspiring almost cult-like behaviour, song, poetry and possibly even a wild, frenetic dance or two.

My Thoughts

There's quite a range of flavors and aromas to be experienced in these blends. Anything from rich Balkan mixtures to delicate blends of Virginia and oriental leaf can be found here, including a wonderful cigar leaf blend. Pick and choose, or try them all. There's bound to be something to appeal!

The Future

Most of these have been around long enough to give me a really good indication of their aging potential. Intially, I had small expectations for Barbary Coast and Haddo's Delight, but time has demonstrated that, if carefully constructed, even a blend that relies on signficant amounts of burley can transform into pure ambrosia with a few years behind it. Stock up, and lay some down for the future, while also enjoying them in their youth. In a few short years, you'll be glad you took my advice. -glp