There are certain pipe tobacco blends that have been around for decades, and a few for over a century. Several of us pipe smokers might consider these tobaccos to be famous. Some examples that come to mind are; Escudo, Dunhill My Mixture 965, Balkan Sobranie, and many others - (feel free to add your favorites in the comments below). Bell’s Three Nuns has a history of approximately 123 years. It is definitely one of the famous tobaccos that is still brought up in current conversations today. Previously unavailable in the U.S.A. for the last 18-years, as reported here, Three Nuns has arrived on our shores once again just this past June.
Don’t hate me because I smoked 50+ year old Escudo.
It was awesome.
It all started when finally, at the last minute, I convinced E. Roberts (a.k.a. "RomeoWood") to come to the Chicago pipe show. He’s a connoisseur of many fine things and has written several articles for this publication. We hung out together for most of the show. He brought with him a tin of Cope’s Escudo that he thinks is from the 1950s or 1960s, so it’s somewhere between 50 and 60 years old. Part of the plan was to crack this open on Saturday night and smoke it with Brian (Levine) and I.
Saturday night started with Bombay Sapphire Martinis, jambalaya, and mini-burgers, and ended with the depletion of a huge bottle of Woodford Reserve and several bowls of different vintage tobaccos. We had a great time hanging out with the Guss brothers, and then moved on to Bob Swanson’s room … and the next thing I remember is having quite a challenging time getting out of bed on Sunday morning.
Yesterday my phone rang. I looked at the caller id and saw a long number that started with the country code 44. Intrigued, I picked up on the 2nd ring and was greeted by a gentleman’s voice with a pleasant English Channel Island’s accent. He introduced himself as Robert Germain of J.F. Germain & Son Ltd. This was unexpected, but a nice surprise to get a call not only from the other side of the Atlantic, but from the producer of one of my favorite legendary tobaccos—Penzance.
I’ve interviewed several people over the past years and decades in many different roles and endeavors, but nobody has ever interviewed me … until now. Olie Sylvestor is an artist, graphic designer, pipe maker, father, husband, and all around really cool guy. He also has been producing the OomPaul Podcast for several years, and I was honored that he asked me to do an interview.
We mostly talk about the PipesMagazine.com business, and there are several background, behind-the-scenes stories that have never been told, which you may find interesting. At the end of the interview, Olie asked me some personal questions, and the answers may surprise you.
Take a listen and let me know what you think. The following link is the intro to the interview. After the brief intro, there is a link to the MP3 file with my interview, along with two other links; The NPR show I was on, and my interview with Mad Men actor Michael Gladis.
Gabrielle is smoking 2002 G.L. Pease Haddo’s Delight that was just opened for this shoot. Her pipe is a Willmer AAA straight grain. We decided to have fun with her hair and make-up doing a retro-pin-up style. The shoot was done at McNulty Lofts in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida by Steven Kovich.
We really enjoy being creative here at PipesMagazine.com. Chelsea came up with the idea of doing a shoot with a Film Noir look to it. She did a great job on hair, make-up and wardrobe. The photographer for the shoot was Joshua Ford, and he did an excellent job with the set and lighting to create a great Film Noir style.
We hope you enjoy viewing the photos as much as we did producing them.
This photo shoot is sponsored by Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane.
Gabrielle is looking chic and metropolitan in this shoot done in a downtown luxury condo in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is smoking a half-bent freehand Poul Winslow C-grade Pipe with silver band. Her tobacco of choice is Hamborger Veermaster.
Chelsea is smoking Captain Black Round Taste. This is the new name for what used to be known as Captain Black Light. The word "Light" has been restricted in world markets as a descriptor for tobacco, so all brands are discontinuing the use of Light in their names. It is still the same great pipe tobacco. Lane Limited describes Captain Black Round Taste as "A mellower variant of Captain Black that results in a smooth, mellow and bite-free smoke." It is a loose cut consisting of "Golden Virginias with a touch of mellow Burleys and a hint of Oriental tobaccos."
Chelsea is smoking Captain Black Round Taste in a Full Bent Apple Meerschaum Pipe from her personal collection.
Gabrielle makes her debut as a "Pipe Babe" smoking 11-year old original Bell’s Three Nuns. She is looking pretty and sophisticated with her hair pulled back with a smart and fashionable ensemble of a red skirt, white top, and black boots. She is enjoying her tobacco in a Ferndown 3 Bark Paneled Dublin with Silver band and saddle bit.
Just when I thought I’d heard it all, I see a headline from one of my favorite business news organizations, Bloomberg: Smokers In U.S. Switch To Pipes, Cigars From Cigarettes. It’s Déjà Vu all over again … and again, and again, and again! The CDC and the mainstream media keep reporting on the same thing over and over again, like it’s new news, and continually drone on and on with the same mantra of half-truths and outright falsehoods like they were inscribed on two stone tablets and brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses.
Smoking cigarettes is bad for you. We get it. No argument there. (Fascist Nanny States and the Falsehoods of second-hand smoke are beyond the scope of this editorial however.) But before I go on, let me clarify that I am writing from the perspective of what some industry people would refer to as "luxury tobacco" consumption, and the inappropriate and inaccurate misdeeds of lumping it in with all other tobaccos.
Luxury Tobacco as defined by Tobacconist University is: - Tobacco products which are created by master craftsmen utilizing premium quality tobacco and intended to be enjoyed while savoring your time. Luxury tobacco is never homogenized, commoditized, or used out of habit or addiction.