Anyone Tried the New Murray's Blends?

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kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
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Has any one tried the new Murray's blends being offered by P&C? Looks like four English style blends. I know that Murray made Dunhill's blends back in the day. It sounds like they closed down and are now back in business. I would be interested to know if it's the same outfit, same people, or a new entity with an old brand name. It is nice to see new pipe tobacco on the market considering all the doom and gloom around the FDA and other anti-tobacco mischief.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
For some reason (and I could well be wrong), I thought they were brought back by Standard Tobacco of Penn., the same guys who brought out the new John Cotton's and Warhorse versions.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
I just checked Tobaccoreviews.com, and they are listed under SToP, along with the new iterations of Dobie's.

 

tennsmoker

Preferred Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,159
0
I have tried the Murray’s 1921 Cunningham VaPer flake.
I did not get the opportunity to smoke previous Murray's blends, though I have been smoking pipes a very long time. Now, it could be that I smoked them (Dunhill) and just didn't realize or care to look at all that fluff when I was a young pipe smoker, doncha know.
This Murray's is excellent from my point of view. Cunningham is lighter than some VaPer flakes I have smoked, but will give you enough punch to know that you are in Virginia and Perique land.
The Virginias are grassy, but lend a sweet note to the blend. The Perique is quite good and won’t knock your socks off. The perique is of top quality and provides a raisiny subnote.
I folded and stuffed, then folded and pinched off pieces to try two different styles of filling the bowl. Either way, 1921 was a coolish smoke. No harsh spots. No bite and left a clean white ash.
I smoked this in a Ferndown Canadian. The bowl is sort of wedge shaped inside, which I'm told makes the flake smoke better. Check out Maxim at pipes2smoke.com on this. I did what he said and Maxim is right!
All in all, a good smoke and not too expensive. I will be ordering more, if I can get over my English blend sweet tooth!

 

kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
0
Thank you for enlightening me, aldecaker.

That does seem to be the case.
Thank you, tennsmoker. Good to hear that.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,881
391
I have reviewed all but the three latest Murray's and Dobie's recreations at TR.com under the Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania if anyone wants to check them out. http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/brand/944/standard-tobacco-company-of-pennsylvania

 

kane

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2014
429
0
Very nice, JimInks. I looked before under Murray and only found the old Murray's. This was before I learned that it is the Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania.

Thank you for ALL of your great reviews. They really help!

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,881
391
I thank you for the kind words, Kane. I'm glad my reviews are helpful.

 

daveinlax

Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
1,054
0
WISCONSIN
When I saw these I figured that it's another one of Russ' match blends in a tin with a "borrowed" or lapsed trademark.
Speaking of Russ' match blends I really agreed with this weeks Pipes2smoke update. Max did put out his own line of excellent tobacco mixtures under a historic (one nobody had ever heard of) name but he reportedly bought the recipe book (not that makes much of a difference) but I found this missive to be on the money. 8O
" We are now seeing various tobaccos being reintroduced under their previous well-regarded names, Dobie’s Four Squares, Bengal Slices, Capstan, Murrays, John Cotton’s, etc. These are marketing ploys as different companies make the tobaccos in the EU or the USA. They are what I call fake tobaccos. The equivalent of the Chinese Cherry Car Company making a car and calling it Hispano Suiza, nobody would accept it as remotely as the original. It would be regarded as a joke.
Famous old UK made tobaccos were made using skills that have long died, equipment that often no longer exists and water totally different than in the countries where now made.
Considering these facts, why would anybody even assume that these reintroductions – are similar to the originals? The only one that is the same - excepting for ageing - is Balkan Sobranie because it uses similar water, the original recipe and people with the same skill set.
Interestingly McClelland’s and Gawith have always made their own mixtures & flakes and never tried to trade off a former great name. Both are superb tobacco makers. Various companies that never achieved renown or fame from their own creations make all these reintroduced blends. They now try to jump to the fore with pale imitations of the originals. This is the most telling point as to their blending skills or lack thereof.
Many of the younger pipe smokers have never had the opportunity to try the originals, understandably. I see that in the tobacco reviews sites, where one review is of the original 30 plus years old and another is the reintroduced version. The reviews are completely different. Simply, because the two same named tobaccos have little if any similarity.
Many of these reintroduced tobaccos are decent but beyond that it’s just marketing. It would at least be honest to say based on the idea of X.


 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,780
0
My thoughts as well, I could be wrong but don't recall hearing of the attempts to duplicate them.I haven't tried any and probably won't. I looked forward to the reintroduction of Warhorse and enjoyed reading of all the investigation and work that went into it but sadly I don't think that it's for me. I'll try it again after it sits for a bit longer. I may pick up a tin of these if they are on sale but the regular price is a no-go for me, many very good blends that I cellar for far less money.

I can't see this thread ending well if I recall a similar opinion going sideways and ending badly.

 

lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,635
1
Chester County, PA
Some broad sweeping statements there! Here I thought Capstan(s) had a better provenance than what Max said. I do love his Compton's of Galashiels blends and hoard the stashes of same that I have stumbled across. So I respect his level of knowledge. Regarding the Capstans, I had nabbed stray tins of various vintages of the Blue and Gold tins, and when the stuff got reintroduced, promptly set up vertical tastings. In one case, one of the controls was over 50 YO. Like Dunhill (Light) Flake, which enjoyed a similar regimen, I was quite pleased to find the new products close, or at least, close enough to their predecessors to ensconce them into the Top200 Cellar. Admittedly these 3 flakes have relatively few ingredients, and the vagarities of vintage and crop variation would overwhelm even the specific water. (We are not making Scotch whiskey here). Also the manifold 'lost' skills with toasting, stoving, steaming etc. are lesser factors with these 3. I would think, like cheese, wine and maybe bread and beer, the ambient flora/fauna in the production facilities would have large influence, especially with time as the blends ferment. The funny thing is with the cited blend, Balkan Sobranie in the white tin, most of the controllable factors (water, recipe, skill sets), to me it is notably unsuccessful in duplicating the original - to my memory.
Having the same recipe puts the reproduction in the ballpark, but variability in the ingredients is where artistry enters the picture. Great cooks may use recipes - or not -, but they make constant adjustments in spices, salt, water, oils and application of heat to account for the natural variations in the meat, vegetables, and such.
I'm not speaking for every single one of the reintroduced marques, but let it be known that the due diligence for War Horse in particular, as well as the Bengal Slices and John Cottons No.1 Nos. 1 & 2, and Smyrna each probably engaged more people and more resources and maybe more time - but certainly man/people-hours expended, than any (I mean ANY) blend that I've ever come across in my readings and conversations with blenders. A high tech (and cost) laboratory was even used in the genesis of the Horse. I know for a fact that this laboratory possesses generations more advanced technologies than the famous UCal biology labs that were pressed to the cause decades ago.
As with so many things with our hobby, it looks like the damnably Deeming FDA forced the hand of many blenders, who had to rush whatever future thoughts they had into the market before August 2016 or live with never letting the new blends see the light of day.
hp

les

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,598
86
What, this load of guano yet again? With all due respect, Maxim is full of it. And if Capstan, Bengal Slices, Warhorse, and the John Cottons are "fake tobaccos", than so are the Comptons blends. Such as shame, I like the Comption's blends.
What's iritating about this ignorant screed is that it's well known and well documented how much dilligence SToP went through to bring back their initial releases, the Cottons, Bengal Slices, and Warhorse. So your "facts" are opinion and nothing more. BTW, how much effort went into the Comptons? Recipes are nice, but not nearly enough. More on that below.
As for Capstan, having smoked Capstan from the 1930's,'40's, 50's and so on, I can say that the present product is spot on. Having smoked a crapload of Balkan Sobranie back when Sobranie made it, and having smoked the present version, it's clear that having the recipe (which must have been left out in the rain so the ink smeared), the skillset and the water didn't help. The result is a misfire. Go buy WhiteKnight. It's not perfect, but it's closer in flavor.
See, not only equipment and water changes (the skillset claim being debatable) but so do tobacco crops, soil, weather, topping ingredients, and pretty much everything else. Let production of any blend lapse for a few years and it's a reintroduction and "fake tobacco" as well. Stupid.
It takes a palate.
Let me repeat this.
It takes a palate.
Let me repeat this again for the slow learners. Watch me say it and follow along.
IT TAKES A PALATE.
That's the fact. You want to know the ESSENTIAL element for recreating a blend? A palate.
WhiteKnight doesn't have the formula, the water, or any of that other crap. Unlike the Sobranie of old, it doesn't burn to a fine white ash because it's a different formula based on currently available materials. What it HAS is the flavor, or close to it. Why the hell else would I smoke anything but for the flavor? Why would you? The tin? Tins don't smoke well.
BTW, I smoked the SToP Bengal Slices against the old product and it seems spot on, as much as one can tell against a 30 year old sample, since tobaccos change constantly as they age and Latakia croaks out. Our pipe club did comparison, including the gentleman who provided the samples, and all agreed that it was a good match.
Russ is special. Russ has that palate. Very, very few do.
About the newer SToP releases, I can't say. I haven't tried them.
So I can't say that I think the article was on the money. More like it isn't worth a cent.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,244
1
Thank you, Les
The blends sold under the Murray's and Dobie's banners have never been promoted as reproductions of original blends. We had planned to move forward from the John Cotton's project to Murray's and Dobie's, but the FDA deeming regulations put an abrupt end to that. Under the FDA decree, no new blends will be introduced to the US market after 8-8-16. Sure, the is a "pathway to approval" provided, but the cost of approval is estimated to be far in excess of potential profits from any given new product. So we had to move quickly to secure the names in the marketplace, in hopes that a new administration might revisit the regulations at some time in the future, and allow us to develop these brands as we had originally planned.

 

oldreddog

Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2014
923
0
I have not tried the dobbies or murrays, just John Cottons,Bengal Slices and the Warhorses. I did read Maxim's missive and felt he was being unfair, after all fake presupposes an intent to mislead, which I very much doubt was the case with SToP.
I did not smoke any of these blends first time round but to my mind it's rather like doing a cover version.

Johnny Cash didn't write hurt,nor did John Cale write Hallelujah. Both were sincere and honest reproductions.

 

plugugly

Member
Mar 9, 2015
258
0
I think that what woodsroad, rus and their pals did with these blends was nothing short of amazing and a testament to their extraordinary commitment to this hobby. They put their money where their mouth is and undertook a heck of an entrepreneurial gamble

mostly, as I see it, to improve our collective enjoyment and recapture some by-gone heritage for present day smokers. Balls the size of grapefruit they have! and my hat's off to them. Good on you fellows! Keep up the good work!

 

balkisobrains

Preferred Member
Jun 27, 2016
1,505
0
kane

It is nice to see new pipe tobacco on the market considering all the doom and gloom around the FDA and other anti-tobacco mischief.
This is mainly why we saw so many new/re-introduced names in the market. :puffy:

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,493
3
the ambient flora/fauna in the production facilities
THIS is why I was concerned when the big mould issue arose here about a line of red va.

We're all still learning. Some of us are upperclassmen, some, like myself, not so much.