Dr. Grabow Belvedere Refurb

I received this pipe in a large lot that I purchased online. It turned out really beautiful and I hope that it finds a loving home. Check out the before pictures!

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So here is what I did to make it all pretty again!

Stem
I wet-sanded the stem with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. This process removes any grime and the oxidation off of the stem. Use an LED light and/or a magnifying glass to make sure you get rid of all of the brown (which is oxidation) on the stem. I then used steel wool to clean the metal tenon. The inside of the stem is cleaned with pipe cleaners and a high proof vodka.

Bowl
Oh man! This bowl had some major cake. I started cleaning the cake off by scraping it with a specially designed knife I have. After that I used a pipe reamer to remove the rest of the cake and carbon build up. The bowl was then sanitized with q-tips and vodka. The shank was cleaned with q-tips and vodka. The metal fitting in the shank was cleaned with steel wool.

Here is the finished product!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the finish product!

LHS Superfine Pipe Refurb

LHS Pipes were never an expensive line of pipes but they have a pretty cool history. You can check out the info here: Piped

Here are the “before” pictures!

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Here is what I did to spiffy this pipe back up!

Stem
As per my usual, I wet-sanded the stem with 500 grit, 1000 grit, then 1200 grit. This sanding removes grime and oxidation. It also shined up the stem logo. The steel tenon got a scrub down with steel wool. The inside of the stem is then cleaned and sanitized with high proof vodka. The stem is then buffed with red tripoli and a finishing buff of carnauba wax.

Bowl
The lacquer/stain had started to wear off a couple parts of the bowl, so I decided to strip it down to bare wood. I used the same sanding process that I used on the stem. I then reamed the carbon/charcoal out of the bowl. I left a thin layer of carbon, so the smoker wouldn’t have to start with bare wood on the inside. The bowl was then sanitized and cleaned with q-tips and vodka. The cleaning/sanitizing included the shank. The metal insert at the end of the shank also received some quick steel wool to shine it up. The bowl is finished with the same buffing process as the stem.

Here is the finished product!

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I hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions!

CLE Corojo 11/18 Cigar Review

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I have indulged previously in a couple of CLE cigars but this blend was a brand new one for me. It has been in my humidor for at least a few months. I forgot to put my label on it so I don’t know the exact time when I put this in my humidor. With all that being said, I was excited to get into this new-to-me blend!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran
Country of Origin: Honduras
Vitola: 11/18 6×50

Appearance & Smell
The wrapper was much smoother than most cigars I have smoked. Not very many veins, only one really noticeable one. There was no toothiness to the wrapper by eyesight or to the touch. The wrapper has a very medium brown appearance. I really dig the gold and silver label they put on this one! The smell was very earthy and rich with a little bit of a creamy undertone.

Smoke Preparation
I used my favored Xikar Xi1 cutter to put a flat cut on the cap. Pre-light cold draw gave me the same earthiness that I picked up on the smell of the wrapper. I lit this cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch.

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Burn & Draw
WHOA! The rich earthiness can definitely be tasted immediately upon lighting. This cigar had a fantastic velvety smoke to it. Thick smoke that just rolls of the tongue. The first third presented a bit of spice that played nicely with some undertones of creaminess. The draw was great! Not too tight, not too loose, but the smoke time was amazing. It was an easy hour and a half smoke and I wasn’t trying to go slow. It started to burn slightly crooked but it corrected itself without a touch-up.

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Strength & Body
This smoke is definitely a medium to full. It’s not overwhelming by any means, but that corojo wrapper packs a bit of a punch. I wouldn’t really categorize this as a complex smoke. It had very pleasant aromas and flavors but it didn’t change a great deal throughout the cigar.

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Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this smoke! If you are into really earthy cigars with some creaminess and a tiny bit of spice, then this might be the cigar for you! If you tend to look for complexity or constantly changing flavors, you might want to skip this one. I personally tend to love corojo wrapped cigars, so for me, this is one I would pick up again. I enjoyed the rich earthiness with creaminess and spice! As you can tell, I smoked it right down to the nub and I enjoyed every bit of it!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: CLE Cigars

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Kaywoodie Regent 04 Refurb (PC)

This is a Kaywoodie Regent that I was able to trade for. I’m currently working on trying to collect every shape that Kaywoodie made in the Regent line. They are the only Kaywoodie pipes to ever carry a cumberland stem and I love ’em! This wasn’t too big of a refurb job. I left a little bit of blackening on the rim because I didn’t want to shorten the bowl too much.

Check out the “before” and “after” pics!

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If you ever get a lead on any Kaywoodie Regents, please let me know! Thanks!

La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro Robusto

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La Palina has really started to make some waves in the cigar industry! More shops are picking up their blends than ever before. I have had the La Palina Nicaragua Oscuro sitting in my humidor for a few months and decided it was time to give them a little space on the blog. Check out the review and let me know what you thought of the cigar!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto, 5×52

Appearance & Smell
The wrapper is a beautiful mocha color! The wrapper feels good to the touch with a little bit of oil but not too much. There are noticeable veins but nothing too big. The wrapper seems to be well rolled and the seams are not noticeable at all. The pre-light smell gave me some notes of dark cocoa, earthiness, and brown sugar.

Smoke Preparation
I used my faithful Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the cap. The pre-light cold draw gave me some black pepper, earthiness, and a hint of sweetness. I lit the cigar with my Xikar Enigma double torch.

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Burn & Draw
Oh man! This cigar packs a delicious punch! The burn was pretty even throughout the cigar. I had to re-light once because I got distracted but the taste was perfect even on the re-light. The earthiness really lingers on the tip of the tongue through the entirety of the cigar. In the retrohale there are notes of brown sugar, hay, and black pepper. I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity of notes and flavors I picked up.

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Strength & Body
I would consider this cigar a medium to full, medium-plus. The strength grew as the cigar burned. It was definitely fuller by the end of the smoke. The oscuro really adds to the kick and the strength of this cigar. The earthiness is consistent throughout the smoke. The black pepper comes and goes and transitions with a sweetness that reminded me of brown sugar. This cigar has a fair amount of complexity to it. I am sure that I would pick up some subtle other notes if I were to smoke it again. It’s always fun to find a cigar that has extra to unpack when it comes to extra tastes.

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Final Thoughts
I haven’t smoked a great deal of La Palina cigars, so I came into this smoke without knowing a lot about what their blends are like. This was a great smoke! The robusto had a good draw and burn time. The cigar is produced by A.J. Fernandez and everything he has touched the last two years turns to gold. The average retail price for the robusto is about $8. I would definitely purchase this cigar again!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand information: La Palina History

Peterson Irish Flake Tobacco Review

Time to review the first pipe tobacco for this blog!

Brand: Peterson
Blend Name: Irish Flake
Blend Composition: Burley, Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring: None added
Smoking in: Peterson System Standard
Note: I chose this pipe because I just finished cleaning/refurbing it for my personal collection. It had nothing to do with the fact they were both Peterson products.

Pre-Light
I popped the tin to find the beautiful layers of the beautiful flake. I was immediately greeted with some serious hay smell. It was nicely moist but did not feel overly humidified. The moisture content was pretty much spot on for how I personally prefer my tobacco to be. I started rubbing it out so that i could pack my pack. I used the three-part method to pack.

Lighting & Smoking
I lit the pipe with my Corona pipe lighter. It took a few puffs togged it going well. A light tamping and the bowl was going well enough to kick back and relax. I suspected from the pre-light smell that I would get a great deal of hay but that was’t the case! I did pick up notes of hay but it blended well rather than being overwhelming. I picked up some undertones of cream as well.

I read some comments on this blend before, most saying that it is strong blend. I must agree with that! It certainly does pack a punch! Although it does have some strength to it, there was a slight bit of sweetness to the smell.

About halfway through the bowl went out. A quick tamp and re-light, the bowl was going strong again. I found myself enjoying the blend so much that I had been sipping quickly. That caused my pipe to get a little hot but that is certainly no fault of the blend!

The last quarter of the bowl really brought back the hay taste to the forefront of the tongue. It was a rich and complex blend and it definitely has a maturity to it. Hay, cream, and a tiny but of nuttiness on the back end were the most dominate flavors. If I were to smoke this blend a few more times, I am positive that I would pick up even more notes because of it’s depth.

Final Thoughts
It’s not for the faint of heart! It is indeed strong and would not be a blend I would smoke before breakfast. This is a blend I look forward to smoking again as I unpack the hidden flavors. I would definitely purchase a tin of this again in the future. If you like rich, complex, heavy on the nicotine, and creamy, this would be a good blend for you to put to the test!

Stay Smokey!

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Wellington Pipe Refurb

This pipe came to me from a friend who had purchased it online. He asked that I make it clean and beautiful again. It was a pleasure to work on this one. I did ask his permission to remove the stain because I could tell it had some beautiful grain underneath. Here are the “before” pics:

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Stem
I used my usual method of wet sanding the stem with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. This part of the pipe takes me the most time so I do that first. I was very careful to leave the logo and the “Wellington” name on the top of the stem. I finished by buffing with red tripoli and then carnauba wax.

Bowl
The first thing I tackled was removing the stain from the bowl. This take a little while but I follow the same process that I do for the stem to remove the stain and leave a smooth, silky finish. I topped the bowl with the same sanding grits. Then the bowl was reamed and sanitized with vodka to remove cake and carbon. I also went ahead and cleaned/sanitized the shank at that time. The metal cap on the shank has a couple small hairline cracks which made it loose on the shank. I cleaned the inside of the metal cap and reattached in to the shank. Once the debris was removed from the bowl I used a professional grade bowl coating to take care of a couple of imperfections on the inside. The bowl is finished the same way that the stem is, a buffing with red tripoli and a buffing with carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product:

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Thanks for reading!