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I am very pleased with this Starter Kit. The pipe I received was a Bent Bulldog and is very nice looking. It smokes smooth and comfortable and the tobacco in the kit is a pretty decent selection. The Ashton blend was a somewhat heavier, bolder smoke than the other two with its English style blends and Latakia. The Davidoff and Stanwell Melange are both a good bit lighter and the Davidoff could be smoked all day. This kit was an exceptional value but instead of calling it a "Starter Kit," I would be more inclined to call it a "Pipe Lovers Combo". If you are truly starting out from zero with a pipe, you may want to check out one of the corn cob combos and save a few quid. If you are already in with a pipe and want to try something better than the Captain and a Cob (not knocking it), this has your name all over it!
Dear CI nation! What a pleasant intro to pipe smoking. Stanwell melange is mellow yet likable, the pipe bowl shape actually teaches you to pack a pipe, if you master this bowl then you got pipe smoking pat down. I ordered Davidoff Medallions to acompany this sampler, and what an evening of flavor discovery it was. Baconed my tongue for two days but could not have been happier. And I still got Artisans and Red to get to... thanks ci this one is for the books.
Just a great kit! Very valuable, the stanwell pipe is amasing, and I am about to try the tobacco, but it seems to be just great!
Just got mine in! The pipe is beautiful and the tobacco samplers smell awesome! About to go light it up!
Got a billiard. Not my favorite but adequate. Melange was a strong odor, but very likable and smooth. I have smoked cigars for 40 + years and a pipe was a very different experience. Slower, more relaxed. It was a fuller experience; tastes, smells. The warmth of the pipe in my hand. Where my cigar demanded a martini or a red wine, the pipe asked nicely for a cup of strong coffee. Really a nice 15 minutes. I don't know that I would switch, but I could definitely see smoking a pipe after dinner, camping around a fire or on the porch, at sunset or instead of watching TV.
Calling this a Starter Kit is really underselling what you're getting. A similar pipe at my local tobacco store is $60 in and of itself, let alone the goodies. The Stanwell pipe lives up to it's rep. It feels solid, draws smooth, and doesn't get hot in my hand. I expect to own it forever.
The tool is a big step up from your normal pipe tool, at least in feel. Function is spot-on, but so is every other pipe tool I've ever owned. Still, it looks and feels more impressive.
The cleaners are dills, which are my go-to anyway, and work as expected.
The tobacco tins are full sized, quality blends, and have a variety of styles represented. I cannot say that you'll care for each and every one. I can promise, however, that you will notice the texture quality and consistency.
All-in-all, probably the best value right now in pipes.
What a sweet deal ! Quality pipe and quality tobacco.