Hope that all are having a great Labor Day holiday, or Monday, wherever you are! I was really looking forward to a lovely rainy day here in Houston, but unfortunately the rain hasn’t arrived yet and it’s just hot and humid. Oh well, any time is a good time for a pipe, and today I want to share with you my impressions of two good dogs - John Bull Royal English and Junkyard Dawg.
Cornell & Diehl’s Junkyard Dawg is C&D’s take on the American classic Barking Dog. The blend is made up of burley, latakia, and virginia and omits Barking Dog’s touch of perique. The mournful boxer on Barking Dog’s label has been replaced with a snarling, cigar chomping bulldog. Don’t let him frighten you off, though!
Upon opening the tin you’re greeted with a lovely coarse leaf in various shades of brown. The tin note leans heavily towards the smokey brisket scent of latakia, and no hint, at least to me, of a topping or any kind of flavoring. The Mrs. gave it a whiff and immediately declared it to be an outside blend. This tobacco loads, lights, and burns with no issues at all. Junkyard Dawg is quality tobacco all the way, and has a very rich American English flavor. This dawg plays a bit rougher than Barking Dog, and can get a little bitey if you’re not careful with your cadence. It’s also a strong one, both in potency and aroma. If you’re not used to a good dose of nicotine, rolling with the dawg will leave your head swimming! The room note and aroma linger, so everyone you encounter will definitely know you’ve been in the doghouse!
The other dog in this fight is STG/Lane Ltd.’s John Bull Royal English, represented by a very Churchillian bulldog on the pouch. This blend contains virginia, burley, black cavendish, and latakia tobaccos. The pouch note is, like Junkyard Dawg, tobacco forward with no detectable flavorings or toppings. The smokiness is dialed down a notch though and there is a hint of sweetness from the black cavendish. The Mrs. also deemed John Bull to be an outside blend, but said that it’s not as offensive to her nose as Junkyard Dawg. Pulling a sample out of the pouch, the cut is finer and there are flecks of black cavendish among the various shades of brown. Like its competitor, John Bull loads and lights easily and burns with no problems at all, only requiring a couple of relights. This is a very smooth smoking tobacco and is thoroughly pleasant. The various varieties of leaf play well together and the black cavendish adds a bit of sweetness while smoothing out the experience without making the blend bland. The latakia stays with you until the end keeping up its part in the flavor spectrum. The nicotine strength is quite a bit lower than Junkyard Dawg’s and the room note is much more tolerable to passers-by!
This was a fun matchup as we have two similar blends that differ mainly in the proportions of the component tobaccos and the inclusion of black cavendish in John Bull. Between the two I have to give the nod to John Bull in this matchup. STG/Lane’s bulldog is just a bit more polite that C&D’s Junkyard Dawg, and in my opinion beats the Dawg in the flavor department. However, if you’re looking for an American English blend that is strong , headstrong, and pulling at the leash, then definitely give Junkyard Dawg a home in your cellar!
Bonus: Along with the Junkyard Dawg, I ordered a tin of C&D’s Epiphany from the good folks at www.smokingpipes.com . The basic ingredients are the same as Junkyard Dawg, though the proportions are different and a bit of perique is added. This is a much more well-behaved blend. Like its stablemate it loads and lights easily and only requires a couple of relights. It’s quite strong, to be sure, but it’s full of flavor with the perique popping in and out to give you nips of Louisiana pepper. I’ve never had the pleasure of trying the original Revelation, but I can see why this blend would be favored by a particular well-known physicist! Highly recommended!
Until Next Time,