After a month of speculation and rumors run rampant in pipe forums, it was officially announced today that Capstan and Three Nuns pipe tobaccos would change production houses … and the bigger, more exciting news for Americans is that they will be made available in the USA for the first time in roughly 18-years.
The Capstan and Three Nuns trademarks are owned by Imperial Tobacco, and had formerly been produced by the Orlik / STG factory in Assens Denmark. Although they were in current production, these tobaccos haven’t been commercially available in the U.S.A. for almost two decades.
Mac Baren Tobacco Company has already made the first production run, which, at press time, is just waiting to clear U.S. customs. There will be four versions of Capstan, plus the Three Nuns blend. All of them will be in 50 gram (1.75 ounce) tins.
The five tobaccos are:
Imperial Tobacco, as previously stated, owns the rights to the Capstan and Three Nuns pipe tobacco blends. They are also the owner of Altadis USA. Mac Baren recently acquired the Altadis Pipe Tobacco Division from Imperial and reverted the company’s name back to its original roots—Sutliff Tobacco Company. Mac Baren negotiated this as part of the deal as well, and Sutliff will be the importer / distributor of Capstan and Three Nuns in the U.S. Exact retail prices were not available at press time, but it is expected that they will be just a small amount higher than a Mac Baren branded 50 gram tin.
"We’re excited to have these brands back on the US market after so many years. It’s a great thing for American pipe smokers and for the pipe tobacco market in the U.S." — Paul Creasy, President, Sutliff Tobacco Co.
The four Capstan blends (Yellow and Blue, each in Flake and Ready Rubbed) and Three Nuns will all be available from Smokingpipes.com starting on or about June 10th. They will initially be exclusive to Smokingpipes.com for three months, then will be distributed more widely in the United States.
It’s not clear why the blends were not imported into the US market for so long. However, during their time away from the American marketplace, they were still sold (and were very popular) in Europe; especially Germany, Denmark and elsewhere in northern Europe.
"Capstan and Three Nuns are iconic. They came off of the U.S. market sometime right before I became involved in the tobacco industry in the late 1990s, but they’re the sort of legendary tobaccos that people just don’t forget. I’ve had hundreds of conversations over the years about these celebrated blends. And I’ve carried more than a few tins of both Capstan and Three Nuns back in hand luggage from Denmark and Germany for my own consumption over the years. To say that I’m excited that these are coming back on the market would be a remarkable understatement. Smokingpipes.com will be the launch customer for these blends in the US before they’re more widely distributed. As the head of Smokingpipes.com, I’m really excited about that. But, as a pipe smoker finally able to get these in the US, I’m positively giddy." — F. Sykes Wilford, President, Smokingpipes.com
We here at PipesMagazine.com are quite excited as well.