These three blends were made by Ken Byron Ventures for the Merchant Service folks, and will be released very soon.

Ken Byron Ventures Carry On (Merchant Service Pipes):
The various matured red Virginias provide plenty of fermented tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, some vegetation, mild floralness, sugar, tart and tangy citrus, grass, and a few pinches of spice as the lead components. The European style fire cured Kentucky offers a lot of earth, wood, smokiness, some floralness, herbs, spice, sourness, vegetation and nuts is a supporting player. The effect of the spicy, very plumy, earthy, woody, mildly raisiny perique is just below the Kentucky. The earthy, woody, sugary, nutty Yana-2 blackened burley is a condiment. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the medium mark. The taste is in the center of medium to full. There’s no chance of bite or harshness. There are a few small rough notes. Well balanced and complex, it burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a deeply rich, very consistent, filling, sweet and spicy, floral, nutty, smoky flavor. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a little stronger. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Four stars.

Ken Byron Ventures Keep Calm (Merchant Service Pipes):
The fermented matured bright Virginia offers plenty of tart and tangy citrus, grass, vegetation, some floralness, sugar, sour lemon, mild spice, and a touch of acidity. It is the lead component. The fragrant basma and yenidje provide a lot of earth, wood, vegetation, herbs, floralness, moderate spice, dry sourness, and mild buttery sweetness in a support role. The spicy, earthy, woody, extra plumy, mildly raisiny perique is a secondary supporting player, and its spiciness intermingles with the Orientals to elevate the content of that aspect. The earthy, woody, sugary, mildly nutty, lightly chocolatey Yana-2 blackened burley is a condiment. The continuous undercurrent of chocolate helps tame some rough edges as it helps harmonize the experience. The strength and nic-hit are in the center of medium to strong. The taste is a step past that mark. Won’t bite or get harsh, but there are a few small rough notes. Well balanced and complex. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent sweet and sour, fruity, floral, rather spicy, zesty rich flavor. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is a little stronger. Not an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Four stars.

Ken Byron Ventures Mind the Gap (Merchant Service Pipes):
The smoky, woody, earthy, musty, floral, incense-like and mildly sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component. The matured Virginias provide plenty of fermented tart and tangy citrus, vegetation, bread, some sugar, floralness, grass, sour lemon, mild earth, wood, tangy dark fruit, spice, and a touch of acidity as supporting players. The fragrant basma and yenidje offer a fair amount of earth, wood, floralness, herbs, vegetation, mild spiciness, some dry sourness, and light buttery sweetness. They are a couple of steps behind the Virginia most of the time. The earthy, woody, lightly nutty, sugary Yana-2 blackened burley is a condiment at best. The apricot and absinthe toppings very mildly accent the proceedings though they slightly weaken near the finish. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a slot below that. Won’t bite or get harsh. Has a few minute rough notes that are typical of blends in this genre. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a deeply rich and mostly consistent tangy sweet and sour, floral, mildly spicy campfire flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is tolerable. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. May be an all day smoke for the veteran piper, and is repeatable for the less experienced. Three and a half stars.