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ithelouniverse

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2013
513
0
West Texas
So I grabbed 4 oz of this C&D bulk blend based on the description alone, which I found on the C&D website. I had recently purchased a brand new Bings Favorite, and thought it would be cute and clever to smoke Bings blend in Bings pipe. So I've had 5 or 6 bowls now and think its time for a review.
So this is a blend of burley with a fair amount of a herb called deer tongue. It's exceptionally fragrant, and just having it in the room in its bag adds a nice floral smell to the air. The tobacco itself covers the color spectrum of brown, with plenty of oregano sized green flakes mixed in, probably at a 3:1 ratio. Again, this stuff smells amazing and more so when you open the bag. It's dryer than I would have figured, but not overly so. It takes a match well, and needs no charring light. It does blossom a bit, so take care not to pack it all the way to the rim, or your wife will yell at you for get glowing embers all over the goddamn living room floor, I'm not guessing on that.
Room note: incredible. I keep leaving the room and coming back in because it is a top shelf aroma. Manly as all get out. I can imagine old west saloons and frontier cabins often smelled in this manner. Very rustic, pine-like, warm scent on top of the traditional pure burley room note. In addition, the aroma clings to you and I got complements all day, even from my health snob tobacco is evil children who hate all things pipe related. Cannot say enough about the smell. Exceptional.
Taste: It was a disappointment. It's very harsh. A bowl I would smoke in an hour becomes and all afternoon affair because I just couldn't keep going. I needed breaks, and breaks with beverages for sure. The deer tongue will grab your taste buds and not let go. Occasionally the toasty flavors of burley poke through but it is still choked out by the deer tongue. Now the middle third of the bowl brings a yeasty pretzel taste to the mix, but at the price of sacrificing the burley notes. The deer tongue taste absolutely dominates from this point to the finish. It does burn to a very fine gray ash. The nic hit is intense, too, which I enjoyed.
What does deer tongue taste like? A rose bush sprayed with minty vanilla. In a smaller dose, I can see it being a very pleasant addition to different blend. Two fellows from my pipe club enjoy it so I'll run it to our club house and make it community property.
I was told this would leave a ghost in my pipe, but holy shit, I think it left a zombie instead. Not only could I taste it next few bowls, it was ALL I could taste. Not kidding, it bit my usual burley blend, infected it with deer tongue zombie virus, and set it loose on the world.
I figured I would love or hate this, but wanna give deer tongue a fair shake, so I also order Gentleman Caller, also C&D. It's this blend with Va and Per to further dilute the deer tongue. Haven't tried it yet but will review it when I do !
Anyone else try crooner? Thoughts? Was I close with this review?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,929
111
Ha ha, I've heard similar. Did it have a soapy taste?
I'm still setting at the edge of the pool on this one. Might jump in, but... I'm still thinking about it, lol.
The carpet part was my favorite.

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,800
2
Bethlehem, Pa.
I'm a huge fan of Gentleman Caller which is a burley based blend with deer tongue. For anyone who remembers Half & Half from 40 years ago this is very reminiscent of that hallowed mixture. Deer tongue is a wild herb that is used in place of vanilla.

I've not tried Crooner so I can't speak to how heavy the DT is versus GC. Ghosting? You bet, I dedicate a Stanwell Golden Danish billiard to Gentleman Caller.

I'm sure that "back in the day" H&H smokers stuck to just the one blend so ghosting wasn't an issue for them. I never even thought about it 40+ years ago.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,909
520
I tried Crooner for the same reason you did: I'm a Bing Crosby fan. I agree with your assessment of the blend, except that the room note practically blew my friends out of the house when I smoked it. Btw, I don't think this was a regular, "this is my smoke" blend for Bing. I've known a couple of people who saw him smoke other blends back in the '40s and '50s.

 

ithelouniverse

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2013
513
0
West Texas
Jim: I hope it wasn't his go to, if so he was WAY tougher than I...
Cosmic: not soapy so much as earthy... And it's not all together unpleasant, just in this ratio...

 

rmason

Preferred Member
Jan 27, 2013
765
0
If you are hellbent on trying deer tongue try and give Crooner another shot, the reason I say this is because you said it was a brand new pipe, if it was then it needs to be broken in still. I would suggest breaking it in with Carter Hall or Prince Albert then giving it another shot.

~Ron

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,752
0
Topeka, KS
I enjoyed your review very much but have only experienced deer tongue in a generous sample of Gentleman Caller a kindly but long gone forum member sent me.
The taste of deer tongue is a bit odd and, after several bowls of GC, it took a half tin of Nightcap to exorcise the ghost.
Still glad I tried it though. The journey is always the reward.
From now on, before you make a quarter pound investment again in a tobacco that might go belly up on your taste buds, why don't you ask our fellow members for a sample? I've put that request out on numerous occasions and have done my best to make it a more than worthwhile exchange. (I keep Stonehaven and Penzance around for that purpose alone: the latter I find overrated and the former holds no allure for me in any way, shape or form - but they're both excellent trade bait.)
Thanks again for a fun to read review of Crooner. You write in a conversational style that's very engaging.
Fnord

 

numbersix

Preferred Member
Jul 27, 2012
5,452
0
Excellent review - spot on IMO. I also tried some Crooner (being a Bing fan myself) and found it to be as you described. I want to like it, but the Deer Tongue is too much for my tongue.
I've known a couple of people who saw him smoke other blends back in the '40s and '50s.
That's pretty interesting. I know it's a long shot, but do recall what blends by any chance?

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,909
520
numbersix: the people I talked to about it didn't know. One of them ran into Bing in a pipe shop in LA in 1945. What he remembered was Bing bought a factory sealed pouch of tobacco (likely an OTC), opened the package and started smoking. My friend described the smell as sweet and a little strong (he's a non-smoker so all tobacco smell is strong to him). The other person said Bing had his tobacco in a leather pouch, and that the smell was "...sweet, kind of rich smelling." Doesn't sound like Crooner to me.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,096
0
I have only tried Deer Tongue once, in a sampler blend that Rich at 4noggins so graciously bestowed on me called Imagine. I personally have never tasted anything so disgusting and vile in all my life. I would rather smoke goat feces. However, if it floats your boat than go for it!

 

winton

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2010
2,096
1
At last year's Chicago Pipe Show, I loaded a cob with Trinidad, which contains deer tongue and several other ingredients that I know and love. My son started laughing at my facial expression when I lit the pipe. Never have I encountered something that tasted so bad. I might have burned about 1/4" of the pipe, before I dumped the rest. Wow! That was an experience, I will not repeat. FYI, I love C&D blends. But not that one.
Winton

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,883
0
Right from C&D's website

Crooner Bulk

NEW

First the back story. We were contacted a number of years ago by a gentleman who claimed to be a friend of famed pipe smoker Bing Crosby who said he had the recipe for Bing’s private blend. After hearing the recipe it was decided it would make a good blend whether the story was true or not. In 2006 ...
Could be a guy totally BS'ing or he totally got it wrong or forgot what proportions the blend was made of.

 

ithelouniverse

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2013
513
0
West Texas
Fnord: thanks for the compliments about my writing! The reason I always make a bigger purchase for the first time with new tobacco is because if I don't like it I'm more than happy to jar it and leave it at our clubhouse. We all do it that way... Let's all the members try something they might not have ordered for themselves ...