Esoterica question

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dkaye201

Member
Jun 13, 2016
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For the past year or so I've tried to buy any of the esoterica blends. I don't check the countless sites that offer these blends everyday, so when they do become available, I'm the odd man out. Since I've never tried them, are they really that,good, or are they just something that everyone needs to have in their possession?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,944
132
Which ones were you looking for? In all honesty, they are good, but there are lots of very good blends out there that are easier to find. It is nice to smoke one, when you get a chance, but they are so hard to find that no one gets to actually make them a permanent part of their rotation.

 

dkaye201

Member
Jun 13, 2016
183
0
Michael,

If given the chance, I would have bought one of each blend. I'm not being greedy, just inquisitive. Of course Penzance, Stonehaven, Margate, and Dunbar are at the top of the list. Do you have an idea as to which blends out there are close?

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,563
191
Monterey Peninsula
Agreed, though really rich and diligent smokers can manage it.
One word of warning: When you do grab some, dry the hell out of it. It is packed around 90% RH! (I just opened a bag of Margate that comes in at 89% RH @ 70º.)

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,944
132
Well, it's not about close, IMO. Margate and Dunbar is usually in stock at The Briary, but may not be by the time you read this. The forum reaches thousands that don't post. But, as a VaPer and Virginia lover, I found Dunbar to be sub-par, IMO. There are many better VaPers. Penzance, eh, it is a very incense-like balkan. You'll just have to explore balkans. I have a few favorites, but others may have even better suggestions. But, none will come close or exact.

Stonehaven, a lightly flavored burley blend, with treacle or caramel. I do like Stonehaven, but the flavor is definitely not very forward. SG Brown Sugar Flake comes close, but even that has gotten hard to find. You may just have to find a lightly aromatic burley.

If I had any of these open, I would send you some, but I hadn't been planning on opening any more of these for a few years.

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
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Where do these fit in the overrated v underrated scheme of things?
Well that is a good question, Ash. I don't see them as being under-rated. I see a marketing formula. They are good, but there is a trend: give a line a catchy name that implies "exotic," charge a lot of money for it and produce it in small batches. Now it is exotic and hard to get. That automatically creates a demand for it just to try it and to say you have some.
And what do people do? They announce it when they get a few bags like it is a big trophy! You don't see anyone announce getting a few pounds of BCA do you?
It's always out of stock which simply makes it all the more elusive and appealing to many more. It is good stuff so when you do get it, you sit on it, you're afraid you'll smoke it and when you do, it seems all the better for having it!

 

bluegrassbrian

Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
1,912
148
Just like every label, there are some good to very good blends, and some stinkers.

Which ones fall into those categories is up to the individual of course.
There are 2 Esoterica's that I feel are unique and exceptional. Another couple are decent but not worth the hunt.

I can't comment on their English blends because I don't smoke them.

 

lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,635
1
Chester County, PA
Yo dka

I brought some Margate for JohnF to try at the Lehigh Valley PC, but I guess you didn't see it as it went down the table. There is quite a range across all the Esotericas, and many come only in 8 oz bags, which may thwart a "getting one of each" strategy. Even Stonehaven, till very recently, was only bagged. I do have pretty much all of these guys around - I have actively Cellared a handful. As you do your research, let me know what you want to try, and I'll bring them to Lehigh Valley (not next week, though - I'm visiting g'kidz).
hp

les

 

rigmedic1

Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
3,893
3
Margate is really good, I think I like it better than Penzance. I am in the camp that believes the tinned is better than the bagged, btw. I have some bagged Penzance that was never as good as what I have had in tins. The missus got me a tin of Tilbury, but I found it plain, mixed some Perique with it to bring out some flavor. Personally, I like the Dunbar, but have been looking to snag a tin of Dorchester. The Briary has been about the only place I have ever been able to get any Esoterica blends.

 

didache

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2017
481
0
London, England
Now here's a thing. I have four tins of Penzance, all of which were sent to me around 8 or 9 years ago. They have been kept in a nice dry and cool place and, as far as I know, should be absolutely fine.
But, here's the dilemma: because of the rarity and the fact that I may never get my hands on it ever again, I am reluctant to open one of them. It is because I know I will smoke it over a week or two, and then I will only have three tins.
The problem is that I could pop my clogs, and be pushing up daisies, and my mourning wife will find the unopened tins and throw them out.
Rarity, it seems, can stupidly prevent you from doing what you are meant to do, which is to smoke it and enjoy it!
However, I have resolved to open a tin on my birthday in August. (anyone who happens to be in the neighbourhood ...)

 

kanse

Preferred Member
Jul 9, 2016
543
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I never chase hard to get blends.

My limit is about 5$ per oz for blends I smoke, and I could get Stonehaven and Penzance at that rate, I'd smoke more of those for sure.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,187
117
30
WI
My local b&m has stonehaven in stock.
By b&m I mean cig/vape shop. And by Stonehaven I really mean Carter Hall. But thats in, it's my favorite :). :puffpipe:
I take what I can get. Actually time to order another tub this Thursday...

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
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Moody, AL
I may never get my hands on it ever again
I ran on this philosophy for a very long time. Have lots of tobacco as well as a lg humidor full of high end Cubans that I'll likely never be able to afford again. It's seriously cliched advice, but I was haunted by the image of dying followed by the image of my family tossing all my tobacco in the garbage... all of my "special occasion" tobacco never seeing an occasion special enough. Go smoke your Penzance. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
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Moody, AL
For $250 shipped, you could have an 8oz bag of each of those four blends. If my math is correct, and it likely isn't, that comes to under $8/oz. Not too bad for satisfying the curiosity itch ;)

 

didache

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2017
481
0
London, England
Nate - you are absolutely right of course. I will keep one tin for the special occasion which may or may not come, but I will smoke the other three. I retire next year (end January) - so there's another excuse!

 

kanse

Preferred Member
Jul 9, 2016
543
0
I've found Peretti Cuban to be far closer to Stonehaven than ODF, or even Jackknife plug, which shares no similarity at all.