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A robust spicy flake of smoky Kentucky fire cured, and burley leaf. Rich and smooth with an earthy sweet flavor.

BrandWatch City Cigar
Blended ByErnie Q
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Virginia
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium to Full
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3004)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

The Virginia is grassy, tart and tangy citrusy, lightly tangy dark fruity, bready, mildly floral with a little earth and wood. It mainly acts as the base for the burleys, being more of a minor ingredient. The dark fired Kentucky is spicy, earthy, floral, herbal, vegetative, woody, nutty sweet and is obvious in every puff without grabbing your tongue. The various burleys are very earthy and woody, a little nutty, very slightly sharp, with a nice molasses and cocoa sweetness, and constantly stand out as the lead component. I think a light cocoa topping is present, too, and that cocoa reminds me of the one used in H&H Classic Burley Kake. There is a dark rum topping that acts as a team player, and doesn't tone down the tobaccos much at all. The strength is medium, while the taste is a couple of steps past that mark. The nic-hit is a slot behind the strength level. Won’t bite or get harsh. This is a thick broken crumble cake that breaks apart very easily, but needs to be worked with a little. If you are smoking it in a narrow chamber pipe, the pieces ought to be smaller than if you use a wide bowl, or you’ll have trouble keeping it lit. I recommend a wide bowl to save yourself the trouble, and you’ll get more of the range of flavors easier, too. Well balanced, it burns very slow, requires relights, but has a rich, deep sweet, mildly spicy, savory, complex taste with a little creaminess. The flavor remains consistent to the very end. It’s hard to smoke it to the last ember, so you may have to stir up the tobacco when you approach the bottom to get it all smoked, which is another reason to use a wide bowl. Not an all day smoke, but it can be repeatable.


29 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Picked up a 2 oz sample of this mottled crumb cake that I quickly parlayed into a pound purchase. Aroma was of excellent burley with a hint of cocoa. Nice rich earthy aroma. But that was nothing compared to the taste.

Ernie Q has to be considered in the top echelon of U.S blenders (I have a bunch more WC blends to finish) and yet his blends seem to be mostly unknown outside the northeast. This blend merges burley with Kentucky and the results are sublime beyond my imagination, sublime being a descriptor I don't normally associate with those components. The flavor is rich and bold but not heavy. I wouldn't exactly call it a nutty flavor - more earthy and simply "tobacco-y". It's hugely flavorful but not intrusive, and probably the best all-day smoke I can imagine for the burley fanatic. It's my new reference. From a guy few people have heard of. Who would have thought? The respect for the leaf Ernie appears to have is almost peerless (Uhle would be the closest IMHO). This is one of the few blends that caused me to smoke multiple consecutive bowls - it's addictive! If you live and breathe for the taste of burley, you owe it to yourself to get some of this. The finest burley I've ever smoked. The direction I'm going is that with this and Watch City's "Deluxe Crumb Cut", I just may eschew all other burleys. Yeah, this guy is good!

24 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (241)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I purchased 4 ounces of Watch City Slices based on the previous reviews. I am a Burley smoker 99% of the time. My daily favorites are Aged Burley Flake, Irish Flake, Wessex Burley Slice.

I would say that WCS is more of a crumble cake and not a true slice, and that's perfectly fine by me. The tobacco was on the lighter side of medium brown and had a delightful smell of dark rum and what smelled like the burnt edges of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies emanating from each of the two 2 ounce baggies. It was very soft to the touch and not moist in a wet way. Crumbling up some pieces for my pipe was very easy to accomplish as was loading and lighting. As a Burley smoker, WCS is much milder than my three previously mentioned favorites. It reminded me of Sutliff's Breckinridge in this regard, although Breckinridge has no rum casing. WCS smoked evenly, dry, and without moisture, goop, or bite (even with fast puffing) to the end of the bowl. There was no appreciable nicotine presence as with my three favs. The rum presence while smoking was never overbearing, and along with the slight taste of burnt cookies provided a nice background sweetness throughout. If that burnt smell/taste was from the Kentucky, it was unlike any Kentucky I ever smoked and a big bravo to that trick! The room note was of sweet smelling tobacco in the tradition of the best in Codger Burleys; an older version of Granger coming to mind (1970s). As a matter of fact, and I know I have said this about Breckinridge, WCS is what a good Codger Burley should be like.

This can be smoked as a "set it and forget it" smoke while puttering around the house, reading a good book, or watching a movie. A very comforting smoke. I would recommend this to those who find Burley too harsh or sour tasting. It was not nut-like to my tastes, and although its tobacco tasting presence was milder than what I am used too, and enjoy in a good Burley, I found the smoking experience quite enjoyable. I believe this to be a good starter for those wanting to try a Burley based tobacco but are put off by many of the nasty attributes of a poorly produced Burley. Good price point too, 2 ounces less expensive than 1 3/4 oz (50gms) of any of my three favs. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Peterson Rusticated Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: fresh from bag

Purchased From: Watch City Cigars

Similar Blends: Sutliff Breckinridge, Granger (not the newer, harsh and chemical version, but what was produced in the 1970s).

8 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (304)
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

I have been looking for a replacement for Wilke's Nut Brown Burley which has been discontinued by Pipeworks and Wilke so I am on the holy grail burley quest. Uhle's blend #44 is the closest I have found so far but I am so happy I found Watch City and its great Slices blend. Burley, Dark Fired and Virginia pressed together into a thick flake that when rubbed out acts like a Crumble Cake from C&D. The pouch aroma is Dark Rum and that lovely Oatmeal aroma that the finest Burleys have. This is super similar to Hearth and Home's Classic Burley Cake with added Dark Rum topping. Man I think the three best Burleys offered in our generation are (in no specific order) Uhle's , Watch City Cigar and L . J Peretti's. Pipeworks and Wilke had my favorite bulk Burley but alas Carole discontinued that age old blend of mine. I am SO surprised more Burleyphiles like myself haven't tried this companies Burley... Their only one of a handful of small pipe shops that still hand make their flakes... Fantastic!!!

Pipe Used: Cobs , no name Italian briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

Similar Blends: Hearth & Home - Classic Burley Kake (Signature Series), Edgeworth - Edgeworth Sliced, Solani - 656: Aged Burley Flake.

8 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Watch City Slices is a mix of Burley and Dark Fired and Virgina. The flakes are thick and for me too thick to fold and stuff. I rubbed out the flake and let it dry for a few minutes. The Dark Fired is what distinguishes this flake for me. It gives WCS a unique flavor. Off the top of my head, the other flake that I smoke with dark fired it Solani Silver Flake, but unlike WCS, that is topped and mutes the dark fired unlike this blend. I get a slight sweetness from WCS, but not as much nutty Burley flavor as I had expected, as it is more earthy than nutty. The Virginia for me is in the background. The nic hit is about medium. This tobacco combination reminds me a little bit of some of the Gawith Hoggarth blends although not as strong as GH. I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite of the many great blends made by Watch City, but regular Burley smokers (of which I am not) may think differently. I think that this flake will benefit from some additional aging, bringing up the Virginias a little and for my personal taste on that basis, I would recommend WCS.

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

8 people found this review helpful.

TwoOneFive Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TwoOneFive (3)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

A fantastic blend that any Burley and Virginia fan should try. They come in very large, thick slices that break apart easily. These will darken with some time in a jar which will intensify and smooth out the flavor. Watch City might be the most underrated blending shop in the country right now. I can not recommend Slices, as well as the full lineup of their blends, high enough.

Pipe Used: Stubby nose warmer poker.

Age When Smoked: One year

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

Similar Blends: What I imagine would happen to many of the C&D blends if they are aged for a year or two..

4 people found this review helpful.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (84)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

WC Slices presents Burley, dark-fired Kentucky and Virginia in a thick flake about 3/16" that is nonetheless easy, easy to rub out between your fingertips (too thick to fold). Smells like some figgy Perique in the bag to me, but it's just the natural high quality of the tobaccos used, and of the course the DFK in the blend. Moisture is just right. I don't think top flavoring has been added to this blend, though it probably is cased (what isn't?).

The natural sweetness of the Virginia comes sailing through, but WCS is maybe a little more earthy than nutty, yet more figgy than either of those, with a hint of natural cocoa from the Burley. This is not a codger burley; it is way better than that and yields up a rich Burley taste that (for me) no burley blend has surpassed. Disclosure: I am a burley guy. It's dark and rich but not that strong in the nic department, though it has plenty; you can smoke it all day, and I do.

About blender Ernie Q: agreed, he is in the top echelon of U.S. blenders. Watch City Slices is addictive if you like Burley or Dark-Fired Kentucky. This one blend could alone make Ernie's reputation, though he has many other astonishing blends, too.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

Kingdom Danimalia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kingdom Danimalia (13)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I find there are some similarities to H&H Classic Burley Kake. In fact, when rubbed out, this feels very similar to how HHCBK feels when rubbed out. I think the topping is a bit more measured in this one. I think it's excellent. It's nutty, a littly chocolate and earth, maybe some coffee with a but of sweet cream. If you like Lane Ready-Rubbed, the H&H Classic Burley Kake, Solani ABF, MacBaren HH Burley Flake...I suspect you will like this one as well. Maybe a touch lighter in body and nicotine than the Solani and MacBaren, but no less enjoyble. Very "wholesome" and comforting smoke. I wouldn't mind a bit more nicotine, but I am a degenerate.

I went in expecting to like these Watch City blends based on the recommendations and feedback from people I respect, but I've been taken aback by how good they all are. I do tend to look for the good in any blend, but these have all been exemplary.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from vendor

Similar Blends: Solani - 656: Aged Burley Flake, Mac Baren - HH Burley Flake, Hearth & Home - Classic Burley Kake (Signature Series), Lane Limited - Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed.

3 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

So, DK pretty-well nailed it when it comes to his summation of Watch City Slices (and, Watch City blends in general). JimInks, as always, is calm, composed, impartial, and as coolly detached as a forensics clinician – objective, without prejudice, fair-minded – and spot-on in his examination of Watch City Slices. Me? I’m totally hyper-manic about this blend. I cannot really add anything to what has already been said about Watch City Slices – and whatever anxieties I previously harbored about posting such rave reviews for these Watch City blends – those anxieties have been neutralized by my procurement of (what I believe to be) a lifetime supply of the stuff (at a little over 10¢-per-gram, which works out to something like 30-35¢-per-bowl). So go ahead and hoard all you want – I’m good. If you love Burley, then these Watch City Slices are not to be missed. Highly recommended. 4-stars.

Postscript: Until I ordered from Watch City, I was unaware that it is illegal for tobacco products to be ordered or purchased by telephone, mail order -- or ordered through the Internet -- to be shipped directly to consumers in the state of Washington. For the past five years, I've been scouring Zillow, looking for a place the missus and I could retire in Washington state. Not anymore. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Washington State Attorney General.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar & Pipe

3 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Thick flakes of gold and dark brown that look a little like tree bark.

Sweet Virginias seem prevalent in the pouch aroma, though that could also be the high-pitched sweetness from the rum. Kentucky is noticeable in the background.

The burley becomes apparent once it's lit. Nice-smoking, buttery blend of what seem like quality tobaccos. Very nice room note. The Kentucky balanced out the burley here and there, but not perfectly, imo; little bit of a tug of war.

This type of blend isn't my cup of tea (came as part of Watch City's flake sampler), but if you like burley with dark fired and a rum dressing, you can't go wrong with this. Might age well too.

3 people found this review helpful.

craig61a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
craig61a (22)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I received 8 ounces of this in error on a WCC order. They corrected the error immediately and told me not to bother returning the WCS they sent in error. I had seen WCS on their website, but it never drew my attention.

I smoked a bowl or two, then set the order aside for nearly a year.

I had a Peterson 80s amber stem smooth that I hadn't smoked since I received it new several years ago. I choose to smoke WCS in it for it's first smoke. Never had a WCC blend I didn't like.

Rum/Navy blends appeal to me, I like the flavor that the rum imparts on the tobacco.

The light honey sweetness of the light Virginia, mild smokiness of the fire cured and the nuttiness of the burley combine with rum topping to present a well balanced, enjoyable smoke. I let the tobacco sit out for a while before packing the bowl to dry somewhat. Fewer relights. Burns easily to a fine white ash.

This the pinnacle of rum topped tobaccos. The flavor of the component tobaccos comes through and is enhanced by the rum. The balance makes for a wonderful smoke. This the top of the heap.

Pipe Used: Peterson 80s

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: WCC

Similar Blends: C&D Speakeasy.

2 people found this review helpful.

DavyCrockettwashere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DavyCrockettwashere (33)
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Burley fans, this is the one we’ve been looking for since this odyssey began. Rich, rich, burley, with a whisper of dark rum. Dark fired leaf weaves through and takes the rum burley to that precisely perfect spot of bliss. The aroma is warm and cozy. Ahhhhhh. This tobacco blend arrives in the perfect form, and ready to smoke. The tobacco is crumble cake, which is easy to break apart. Falls apart quite easily. Loads easily, and stays lit better than most. If there is Virginia leaf in the blend, it’s there to help the burning quality, much like Maryland is used for. Watch city slices is one of the best burley blends out there.

Pipe Used: Ashton Old Church Canadian

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: WCC

2 people found this review helpful.

REO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
REO (11)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I am a Virginia and Vaper fan. All of the Watch City Virgina offerings are excellent--the best in my opinion. I have tried the popular burley blends and have yet to find one that worked for me. I ordered Slices not realizing it was a burley based so when my order arrived I put the Slices aside and focused on the Virginias. My best pipe is my first pipe of the day and I decided to load some Slices. This is the most delicious tobacco I have smoked! Smooth and very flavorful. I can pick up some coco from time to time but the overall flavor is rich and creamy. I had back to back bowls and now want another. Nic is medium to me and quite satisfying. I noticed WCC has a flake sampler for a very reasonable price with 6 of their blends including Slices. Based on my experience with Slices I am ordering the sampler to branch out into their other custom blends. Excellent tobacco.

Pipe Used: Sav 673

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: Watch City Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

dixondavid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixondavid (9)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Deep, rich nuanced burley flavor without hitting you on the head with nicotine. The toppings are masterfully subtle and serve to underline the natural flavor of the tobacco. I don't have much to add other than my enthusiasm for this terrific blend. Truly exceptional. I like it better than Solani.

Pipe Used: Simple briars, wonderful cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Watch City Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Salvatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Salvatore (5)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Watch City Slices... I've got to say, I love me some Watch City Slices. It was by chance, or fate I suppose, that I recieved them. I placed my first order online from the good fellers over at Watch City based on reviews from here. I didn't notice that some blends, like 556, had been revamped to different blends, like 558. I asked Ernie to send me whatever he recommends since I had paid for it anyway. Watch City Slices surprised me as my favorite of that shipment, and I had passed on it thinking it sounded similar to many blends I had already tried and didn't care that much for. Beautiful slices, thick and easily broken apart, as much or as little as preferred. Burns like a champ, though if too broken up can get a touch warm. But the flavor is where this blend shines. A sweet, slightly Caribbean tasting tobacco with dark dried Kentucky showing off the whole time. The best descriptive words for this blend are fresh and crisp, it is a joy to smoke. I have a Savinelli Porto Cervo dedicated to this blend, and every time I pick it up and draw on it, the most wonderful tasting air greets my palate. It's almost mouth watering. I've of course ordered more since then, and it has been a bit more moist, and a bit more flavorful. That leads me to think I should have hydrated my first batch a wee bit, something I was tempted to do but never got around to.... I smoked it up too fast! Highly recommended, like most of the blends Ernie gets his hands into!

Pipe Used: Savinelli Porto Cervo

Purchased From: Watch City Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I should say off of the bat that I am not a huge fan of Burley blends. I go in phases where I really enjoy them but they quickly bore me and I also feel if I smoke them too often my palate changes toward them. Rotated in every few months I enjoy them, then back on the shelf for awhile. I love the fact that Watch City makes their own "flakes", I have not had one yet that meets my definition of a flake, they are all crumble cakes in my opinion (of the several I have tried), but I love the presentation and I do believe this pressing concentrates and/or fuses the flavors in a blend. Tin note on this is quite pleasant, if you are a fan of rum, The "jar" note is all rum to my nose, maybe some VA's coming through as well. The smoke is very interesting. I would call it to the left of medium in flavor, the rum top note is almost non detectable in the smoke, it is briefly present at first light but quickly fades into Burley territory. Earthy, spicy, woody, nutty and slightly sour at times are the best descriptors I can thing of for this blend. At the midway point I picked up some bready flavors from the VA's, which are background flavors in this blend. This is a very nice blend, I found if pushed too hard it gets ashy and harsh, like many burley blends when keep it slow and steady. The unique blending of DFK with other Burley's and VA's as a base works very well and is a stand out in its genre. Only 3 stars for me, that is the best Burley can do in my opinion, with one exception (Germain's Rich Dark Flake is in a class by itself).

Pipe Used: Briar’s and cob’s

2 people found this review helpful.

cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (79)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

UPDATE: After cellaring WCS for ten months, I've smoked it a few more times and I find it somewhat more pleasant pipe tobacco. It is still light on flavor but the flavor it does have, while not spectacular, is pleasant. Based on this, I've increased my rating to Somewhat Recommended. It seems to taste best in a cob or other deep bowled pipe.

I'll make this short and to the point. Watch City Slices is terrible tobacco. It has little taste and the taste it does have is unpleasantly acrid, reminiscent of burning straw. I get no VA flavor or sweetness from it, nor any of the usual burley notes like molasses, nutiness or cocoa, just a bit of spiciness at the beginning (the dark fired, I presume) that burns off eventually leaving nothing to take its place. The room note is also unpleasant, and the tobacco is hard to light and keep lit.

I'm not a fan of burley based tobacco blends, so take that into account when reading this review. But I can usually find something in them that appeals to me. Not so with WCS., and I've tried it in a variety of pipes, hoping forlornly for a different result. I can't for the life of me see what others see in this blend. Maybe I just got a bad batch but, if so, it doesn't speak well of Watch City's quality control.

Pipe Used: Various briars, cob, clay

Age When Smoked: Recently purchased; cellared ten months.

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar & Pipe

2 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (105)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

If this is what Edgeworth Slices was like I can understand the crazy prices sealed tins bring. This is an incredibly good Burley. The consistency is closer to a krumble kake than a flake, and the tobacco prepares beautifully. It's about perfect dryness as is.

For me this is like a really upscale interpretation of an OTC. If you like Prince Albert or Carter Hall I can't imagine not liking this one, the difference being that the tobacco here is much nicer and there are no caveats to go with the praise. I get less an impression of any nut or cocoa notes and more just a straight and excellent tobacco. The Kentucky is applied so as not to take over, and it adds backbone without calling attention to itself.

A fantastic Burley that deserves some room in your cellar. I like this better than Solani ABF. After much contemplation I would still choose John Patton Storm Front over this one, but it's close. A real surprise to me how great this tobacco is and I heartily recommend this and its cousin Flake #558.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (210)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable

Watch City slices - i read a quote recently and I don’t remember who said it . It read ; There are two kinds of pipe smoker , those who love Burley and those who don’t know they love Burley ! It took me about 4-5 years but the Burley bug has got a hold of me . I’m hooked . This is one delicious blend . Soft flakes a la C&D . Easily rubbed into ribbons with 3 fingers . Cocoa Burleys front and center . Dark fired , floral and earthy and a wee spicy . The Virginias fruity and bready . The Rum adding more fruitiness and smoothing out any rough edges which there are hardly any . I am suprised how creamy this blend is . I’m in love . 4 stars

Pipe Used: Pots

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Watch City

Similar Blends: Peretti no 8 slices.

1 person found this review helpful.

Benjamin Meyer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Benjamin Meyer (25)
Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

The cut is quite different to what I'm used to. Those are slices from a cake (pressed ribbon). After rubbing out, I end up with a kind of rough cut quite similar to the old timer burleys such as Carter Hall.

The pouch aroma is delightful: Boozy and nutty, sweet maybe almond something.

Mechanics are easy: A tamped gravity fill is enough, takes the a light and a half to get t going, and burns down with little relights.

The aroma is pretty sweet in the beginning. A kind light caramel with a spicy rum scent. Those dark and spiced rums, Jamaican style maybe. The nutty burley develops and quickly takes the lead. As the bowl progresses, the topping dissipates and you get this full on burley taste with a sweet twist.

If I smoke this too fast, it can turn bitter. I just let it cool down and it's back to its normal delicious self.

A 9mm filter was useful to me as it does produce quite a bit of moisture. There's no bite or burley mouth. Just an easy flavorful smoke.

I've smoked multiple bowls of it in the same day and do not get tired of it. To me, this is a perfect all day blend. Not too much nicotine, easy pack and easy smoke. I regret not getting more of this!

Pipe Used: Meerschaum billiard spigot, 9mm filter, mostly

Age When Smoked: 2 year sample

Purchased From: Sample from a friend

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