The nutty, tasty burley has a slight molasses note, and plays an important backup to the cavendish style Virginia, which offers a little grass, bread, citrus and honey. The unsweetened black cavendish provides a little smooth brown sugar. The mild vanilla topping does sublimate the tobaccos without overpowering them. Has very little nicotine. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a fairly consistent flavor, though the vanilla slightly weakens in the last quarter of the experience. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. An all day smoke.
The Gatlinburlier Smoke Shop in Tennessee got a lot of play in the 90s in the old Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris as a go to shop for terrific tobacco. I remember calling in and placing an order for a half dozen of their house blends after reading about some of them. Frank's Blend looked somewhat like Prince Albert with its crimp cut Burley but was much darker in color and the flavoring (Vanilla maybe?) left a tasty ever after on the palate once the pipe was out. Not nearly strong enough to make me come back for more, but a pleasant overall experience with a moderately cased burley cavendish.
Frank's Blend is an excellent choice for aromatic lovers that want a little burley to stiffen up the blend. Gatlin-burlier's aromatic blends are exceptional in the way they smoke cool and dry. The first flavor I tasted when I lit the bowl was a very pleasant vanilla. It has a sweet and smooth character. This blend has some Burley to give it more body and to round out the flavor. The Burley stays in the background and does not nose in on the lead actors, the Cavendish and Black Cavendish. There is a good balance of flavors: mildly sweet vanilla and real Burley tobacco flavor. It is amazing to me how good the Gatlin-Burlier's blends are; they must have a secret or two. This is not a particularly complex or strong (nicotine) blend. The best part of the bowl is the first third, but the remainder of the bowl is every bit as good, just not as exhilarating. I smoked it in a Savinelli Punto Oro 906 bent stacked billiard and in a Missouri Meerschaum. Every pipe smoker should visit the Gatlin-Burlier when in Gatlinburg. It is a fairly small store but big in character; the staff are friendly and accommodating, spending ample time with each customer.
Pipe Used: Savinell Punto Oro billiard, Missouri Meerschaum
Franks Blend is a mix of Cades Cove Cavendish and Newfound blends. The sweetness of CCC mixed with the nutty flavor of Newfound is really nice. It isnt often I can distinguish flavors in aromatics but this one here is the exception. Really good stuff !
Like a lot of people who visit Gatlinburg, I wandered into Gatlin-Burlier on a whim. I visit here 2-3 times a year and Richard seems to remember everyone. This is a great place to sit, talk, smoke, and relax. It is the highpoint of my trips. I always buy one of his house pipes (The recent Cristiano Christmas Pipes are awesome). Their house pipes are excellent smokers, outdoing many more expensive pipes. For about $45 you get a pipe, cleaners, tool, matches, bag and three 2 oz. bags of tobacco.
Now..onto the blend...
Frank's Blend is an old friend. A wonderful first time blend. It smokes cool and tasty. It stronger than what you might think for a first timer, but it is full of flavor.
It does go out from time to time, but does not leave a mess in your pipe. This is an excellent morning smoke, or evening coffee smoke.
Great Smooth Good Morning pipe. Gets in my rotation a few times a year. You can mail order, but definately worth a visiit to the Gatlin Burlier. Richard, the pipe manager, is the repository for all information, tobacco and otherwise. Mike's knowledge of cigars is expansive. Great old fashioned tobaccos and great company.
This is my first review. Admittedly I am a pipe newbie. I have switched to pipes after a 15 year romance with cigars. Having gone through the pipe learning curve which included vicious tongue bite I am now ready to review. Let me say one thing about the switch from cigars to pipes. I used to enjoy the most powerful Cubans, Hondurans, Niguraguans, ets.. I enjoy medium pipe tobacco. Please read my first review with that in mind.
I really like the folks at the Gatlin-Burlier. They are courteous, spend time, and answer questions. OK let's get to Frank's Blend. This blend is smooth, burns great, doesn't smoke wet, and has a delicious flavor. I believe it is a mix of Cavendish and Spice-Fired. I like burleys, virginias, and cavendish. English and latkias not to my liking.. yet.
I enjoy this blend very much. As I said it may be geared to newbies but of the 15-20 blends I have tried so far it is amung my favorites. It is medium, but not bland. It burns beautifull and despite the casing burns cool and dry.
I hope many in the community will give this one a try.
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