If for some reason Father Christmas didn't do the decent thing and leave a box of shiny Blackwings under your tree, you might just be interested in the nearest thing; Palomino's humble but clever Forest Choice. Like the Blackwing, it's made of Californian cedar from carefully-managed woodlands, with proper replanting processes and good recycling (the shavings from pencil manufacture are even pressed into Duraflame logs for the hearth, which probably smell terrific). Also like the Blackwing, it's enormously long, which suggests good value for impulsive scribblers too. Unlike the Blackwing, you can buy them in singles, at the moment for a Quid!
So, is it any good as a pencil? Actually, it's really rather nice. The graphite is not quite up there with the silky-smooth wonder of the Japanese leads that the Blackwing pencils use, but then again that's part of what makes for the substantial price differential. I'd say it's a good HB, with pleasantly aromatic wood, a classy appearance and enough length to keep writing until Easter. Should those costly glossy offerings put you off, it's worth giving one of these a go instead.