Someone bring me up to speed on Ken Byron Ventures

millarddj

Perpetual whippersnapper
Patron
#1
Good morning folks,

I've been seeing a handful of people here post about purchases from Ken Byron Ventures (https://kbven.com/?v=7516fd43adaa), and the little info on the site says that he's basically a home blender that wanted to take things full-time and get licensed. Can anyone give me any more info? I think it's funny that his "antimodernism" has resulted in about the most lightweight, sleek, enigmatic, and, well..."modern" pipe/tobacco storefront I've seen online. But what do I know? I'm just a millenial. :whistling:

His blends are interesting to downright WEIRD. I see a few people buying them, but there's virtually no reviews of his stuff here or elsewhere online. Anyone care to weigh in with any opinions or info?

I picked up 2oz of Sakura because it looked like about the only thing he blends that might be in my wheelhouse.
 

Dquisenberry

Well-known member
#3
Smart chap. Blends are all on the far edge of standard. He doesn’t do any mailing list. You have to watch his Instagram page to get an idea when something is coming up. Most blends sell out very quickly. I’ve tried 4-5 different things. He also carries standard blends and no longer available blends as well.
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
#6
Thanks for this thread @millarddj! I’ve been browsing his site off and on ever since seeing @K Williams post a pickup and @Dquisenberry post in WAYS about smoking Pork Chops and Applesauce (VaPer). @Hiram2011 was kind enough to offer to send me some samples but I had to respectfully decline as I’ve been the victim of far too much generosity on these forums. I’m planning on picking up some of whatever he cooks up next!
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#7
I just posted a review of his Exhumed Virginia a few minutes ago at TR, but I'll post it here since the subject has come up. Yes, he uses tobaccos from other companies such as Esoterica and Gawith & Hoggarth, but he also uses blending tobaccos as well.

The various sourced matured, stoved, and dark African Virginias provide a lot of citrus, tangy dark fruit, some fermented stewed fruit, a lot of earth and wood, some hay, grass and sugar along with light floral and apricot notes. The sweet, lightly leathery and dirty, mildly peppery, cedary, tea-like, grassy and floral vegetative candela is in a secondary role, rising above the percentage used in this blend. The spicy, raisiny, plumy, figgy perique is also in a secondary position, though it’s a rung or two behind the candela. The strength is medium, while the nic-hit is a step behind that mark. The taste just passes the medium level. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a light rough edge. Burns clean and fairly cool at a moderate rate with a mostly consistent sweet and savory flavor from first puff to last. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering sweet, slightly sour camp fire after taste. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three and a half stars out of four.
 

blackmouth210

Friendly Misanthrope
Patron
#8
I just posted a review of his Exhumed Virginia a few minutes ago at TR, but I'll post it here since the subject has come up. Yes, he uses tobaccos from other companies such as Esoterica and Gawith & Hoggarth, but he also uses blending tobaccos as well.

The various sourced matured, stoved, and dark African Virginias provide a lot of citrus, tangy dark fruit, some fermented stewed fruit, a lot of earth and wood, some hay, grass and sugar along with light floral and apricot notes. The sweet, lightly leathery and dirty, mildly peppery, cedary, tea-like, grassy and floral vegetative candela is in a secondary role, rising above the percentage used in this blend. The spicy, raisiny, plumy, figgy perique is also in a secondary position, though it’s a rung or two behind the candela. The strength is medium, while the nic-hit is a step behind that mark. The taste just passes the medium level. Won’t bite or get harsh, but it does have a light rough edge. Burns clean and fairly cool at a moderate rate with a mostly consistent sweet and savory flavor from first puff to last. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering sweet, slightly sour camp fire after taste. Not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three and a half stars out of four.
Thanks for sharing that @JimInks

I have not tried any of these blends but have been following his feed on IG for a long time now.
He has a good following and seems very passionate about the product.
I will likely purchase some of his blends as he seems like somebody in the pipe community worth supporting.
 

JimInks

Well-known member
Old Ted Award Winner
#9
Thanks for sharing that @JimInks

I have not tried any of these blends but have been following his feed on IG for a long time now.
He has a good following and seems very passionate about the product.
I will likely purchase some of his blends as he seems like somebody in the pipe community worth supporting.
I met Ken at the CORPS show a few weeks back. He seemed like a very nice man who is passionate about what he does. And he's setting up at the West Coast Pipe Show, too.
 
#15
I am still building up my stock of things I know I like since I lean towards a doomsday prepper view of continued internet availability/pricing of those, but he is definitely knowledgeable, passionate and those who have tried his blends universally attest to the quality of his ingredients. Trying new things just isn’t a priority right now.
 

blackmouth210

Friendly Misanthrope
Patron
#20
I followed the link in the first post, and there are some very interesting tobaccos, and pipes on his site. This is the first I ever visited his site. Very interesting to say the least.
He does almost all of his marketing and customer communicating via Instagram.
I have a feeling he's going to get every busy if customers start publicizing their positive reviews outside of the IG pipe community.