Esoterica

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misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
esoterica

[es-uh-ter-i-kuh]
plural noun

1. things understood by or meant for a select few; recondite matters or items.
2. curiosa
origin - 1925-30 - New Latin, noun use of neuter plural of Greek esōterikós, by 1807, Modern Latin, from plural of Greek esoterikos "pertaining to those within"
First Known Use: circa 1929
The term derives from the Greek, either from the comparative ἐσώτερος (esôteros), "inner", or from its derived adjective ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos), "pertaining to the innermost," both compounds of ἔσω (esô): "within", thus pertaining to interiority, the initiatic or mysticism, all these terms relating to what lies within a sacred enclosure. Its antonym is "exoteric" or "profane".

 

msandoval858

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2012
954
0
Austin, TX
They make some quality tobacco. I'll buy some of their blends when they are available at the right price. However, I wouldn't go out of my way paying top dollar. Plenty of other good and readily available blends out there that I enjoy.

 

billypm

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2013
302
1
I stocked up last year at my little hole-in-the-wall local B&M, buying Penzance, ASTB, and Pembroke for just under $5 an ounce. I wouldn't pay much more than that, but I'm ecstatic at having such lovely tobacco in jars in my closet for that kind of money. I really enjoy them, especially Penzance.

 

melvinsunsmokedcastello

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2014
325
4
"The psychology of scarcity."
This. About 10 years ago Penzance was a regular in my rotation. It was readily avaliable and was priced normal. I bounced off it thankfully, as the prices it brings now are INSANE. Its good stuff no doubt about it...but nowhere near worth what its going for now. Its ridiculous imo..

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
'The prices it brings now' are $32-40 at most places for an 8oz bag. I've certainly never paid more than that. I've also never made more than two phone calls, and I've got enough Stonehaven to last me well into my 30s.
As for the supposedly new scarcity, I submit the follow post from alt.smokers.pipes from 1997.
Have any of the Penzance lovers in this newsgroup had difficulty

obtaining Penzance? I ordered a pound of bulk Penzance a week ago and

learned after calling the supplier that it is back ordered
What followed included some ambivalence:
If I were you I would continue to be a happy smoker. I bought a tin

last week and after having tried it on four different occasions, have

yet to be impressed. It's nice, but not worth a rave, IMHO
Greg Pease raving about it:
Nothing is like Penzance.
Here's what someone who would know had to say regarding the shortage. And remember, this is 17 years ago:
The demand for Esoterica Tobaccos (especially Penzance) has overwelmed

both Robert Germain (The Manufacturer) and myself. For this we both

Thank all who love these pipe tobaccos. I am assured a delivery soon

which will include a good quantity of Penzance. Your Tobacconists will

receive their orders shortly...Thanks for your patience...
Kindest regards,
Michael A. Butera
I just shake my head at most of the talk here about Esoterica, because almost all of it lacks any historical perspective.
1. They've always had trouble keeping up with demand, though it's gotten especially bad lately with the folks who feel like they have to lay up tobacco for their lifetime and well beyond RIGHT NOW CAN'T WAIT TAXES GOV'T etc, etc. Nevermind that the prices on Esoterica 8oz bags have been priced basically in line with inflation over the last 17 years.
2. Stonehaven and especially Penzance have always been the most popular blends. It's not like someone decided two years ago that these were incredible, and everyone went out and bought it. When you have people like Greg Pease, Paul Szabady, and Irwin Friedman singing the praises of not only Esoterica as a whole, but of one or the other of those two blends in particular in 1997, you can bet it wasn't a fad that hit when the scarcity did.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
Good info escioe.
Those footnotes do put things in perspective.
I actually think the points you bring up would be a great topic of discussion

and is worthy of having its own thread.
But,

this isn't exactly a serious Esoterica thread...


 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
32
Las Vegas, NV
I've always been curious as to why they're always sold out.
Is it because they only produce so many tins/pouches a year?
Is it a question of accessibility of acceptable leaf to make the blends?
Is it some crazy corporate scheme to drive up prices?

 

dread

Preferred Member
Jun 19, 2013
1,619
0
I have recently fallen in love with Margate. It pops up often enough that I have plenty available at my slow pace of smoking. Also, as others have said, there are many great tobaccos out there, no need to lose sleep over not getting a tin before the rush sells them out. I May be one of the few that actually appreciates when a seller puts a tin limit on them, that way I can get what I need at least.

 

mrenglish

Preferred Member
Dec 25, 2010
2,192
2
Columbus, Ohio
@lord Germain is a small operation and not only does the Esoterica line but makes tobaccos for other business as well as having a line of their own tobaccos. They are just not big enough to keep up with demand. Leaf could play a roll in what gets made when, but overall I think they are just a small company with world renown tobaccos.

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
Regarding the slow process, once again, a 1997 explanation from Greg Pease is illustrative:
The "factory" is a tiny affair on Jersey (the Channel Island, not one of the

seven gateways to hell...). The blends are all batched by hand, and

processed in small drums. They simply can not up production if demand

increases too much. Nor will they, as quality is the most important thing

to these folks. They will sell all they can produce, and if demand

increases, that's just too bad. They are truly an old-world sort of

operation.

As aging is an important part of the process, I sincerely doubt that this

would be neglected. Further, Mike Butera is a real fanatic about things

like proper methods and proper aging, so I'm quite sure *he* wouldn't allow

it. I'm sure we don't have to worry about Penzance quality. This has

happened before, and as soon as the tobacco was ready, the stuff arrived

safely and was as delicious as ever.
 

melvinsunsmokedcastello

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2014
325
4
"'The prices it brings now' are $32-40 at most places for an 8oz bag." ----- I only ever see it available on ebay at much higher rates..that said I dont really attempt to find it. Wasnt there just a thread about one of the site sponsors pricing much higher then that anyway??
"1. They've always had trouble keeping up with demand,"---- Not the years I spent with it..it was never on backorder and always in stock..
"2. Stonehaven and especially Penzance have always been the most popular blends"------Yup..
" It's not like someone decided two years ago that these were incredible, and everyone went out and bought it" -----sure seems like it though. FFS if someone posts on here that its in stock somewhere its sold out in an hour..