I have been at this for a short time, but in my short time I have tried a lions share of tobacco. Let me tell you, the choices and options out there can prove to be a minefield for a newbie, and to find likes and sort out the dislikes could easily be a full time job. I, like many, started out with aromatics, until I was schooled in the ways of good tobacco and turned on to Virginia’s, and English/Balkan/Oriental blends. I have been very lucky both with a good local B&M and many, many online resources, mainly MPC and #Pipes Chat. I have met and made many friends in both of these places, and look forward to continuing and growing these friendships.
During this time, I have had the good fortune to receive many good suggestions for tobacco as well as samples from some of my friends. One such occasion was a package from my friend Colonel Mike Davis. I was treated to a small treasure trove of quality tobaccos which I have enjoyed thoroughly and also developed a few favorites from among the samples. One of these samples was PCCA Orient 996. I decided when it arrived that I would jar it, as I was not sure when I would actually get to try it, and did not want it to dry up on me. The Colonel also gave me some background on the tobacco and the blending, so I figured more time would only do it good. Time passed and the good fellas in #pipes kept asking me if I had cracked my jar of 996 yet. I of course said no and that I would get to it eventually. This of course was always good natured ribbing and I simply ignored the prods to open the jar….
I eventually gave in, recently actually, and opened the jar and dipped into my sample of PCCA Orient 996. Well, there are only a few things that I can say about it, as words do not do justice. Let me back up for a moment here and remind you of some about the ribbing I was receiving in the chat room. One of my “ribbers” happened to be Bob Hamlin, who also happens to be the owner and creator of PCCA and the PCCA tobacco blends.
Well let me tell you, Bob has every right to promote, push and encourage people to try and buy these blends. The wait was worth it, however; I was missing out on one of the most top notch, absolute best tobaccos I have had to date. For those of you that appreciate small batch blending, using very high quality tobacco, this is your stuff. If you like to cellar and age your tobaccos, these were designed for that. I will not even attempt to explain the process, or why (on the technical side) these blends are so amazing. I encourage you to take a gander at Bob’s site: Pipe Collectors Club of America. You will find an extensive stock of high quality pipes and among those, the PCCA Tobacco Blends. You can also find the background on the PCCA small batch tobaccos here toward the bottom of the page: PCCA Tobacco Background. I encourage each and every one of you to take a look at the site, and if you are attending CPCC this year, search for Bob, try the blends and stock up. It is in my humble and inexperienced opinion that Bob Hamlin and his PCCA blends are truly “A Diamond in the Rough”
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