I ordered a couple of tins of Kramer’s Blend for Cary Grant from Smokingpipes.com after they announced it. I’d never heard of Kramer’s, and was pleasantly surprised to find such an iconic business alive and well, in California of all places. Allen Kramer personally blended his tobaccos to suit his clients, including the aforementioned Blend for Cary Grant. This appealed to me because it was a blend created for Grant personally, and not a large tobacco company blend that had slapped his name on the label.
Kramer’s Blend for Cary Grant is a blend of black Cavendish, Latakia, Orientals, and Virginia with, as Kramer’s says, a bit of Irish aromatic layered in.
Upon opening a fresh tin I immediately smell hints of both sweetness and Latakia, as well as the Orientals. The tobacco is ready to smoke right out of the tin and requires no further drying time. It’s neither too moist nor too dry and takes to the match easily.
I enjoy English and Latakia blends immensely, but the added touch of sweetness was something I found to be intriguing. This turns out to be a lighter English aromatic blend, but it’s nothing like the aromatics I’ve experienced. There’s no over-sweetness and the smoke is cool and dry on the palate. I found there to be no tongue bite and the tobacco did well at a fast pace as well as a slow f. However, fing slowly and coolly will bring out more of the flavors and nuances found in this blend.
I would say the blend is a bit more Oriental forward, but with a full roundness that is pleasing to my entire palate. The sweetness is there just on the tip of the tongue and the Latakia plays the bass note, creating a nice, round fullness to the blend. There is enjoyment in every f, with different flavors popping up and surprising you here and there in a delightful way. I smoked this fresh from the tin; some time may lead to flavors melding more together although Kramer’s claims to use tobaccos that are already aged. It does, indeed, seem that some healthy aging has already taken place.
The tin note tended to be one that reminded me somewhat of Golden Days of Yore, although the two taste nothing alike, and perhaps that of GL Pease Ashbury. The flavors tend to lean somewhat toward a tin of Ashbury that has been aged in a jar for a good six months or so, but with a roundness of a bit more Latakia and the sweeter notes added. As an English aromatic, this could be seen as a crossover blend much like Frog Morton Across the Pond. ATP was my first English blend and brings back a lot of fond memories for me. Kramer’s has Cyprian Latakia, however, whereas the Frog has Syrian, so there is a noticeable difference there.
I have read that the room note on this blend is quite appreciable, and found that to be true as I smoked my first bowl outside of the local music store in our downtown one evening. A patron exited the building stopping to say my pipe smelled great and reminded her of her late father. She thanked me for the memories.
As stated, I enjoy heavier Latakia blends immensely. I will be trying Kramer’s Father Dempsey when I can get my hands on some. I also enjoy VaPers to a great degree, especially nearer to springtime. But I find Kramer’s Blend for Cary Grant to be a lovely blend that I would like to keep in my permanent rotation. It’s great for anytime of the day, or as an all day smoke if one prefers. I especially see this as great blend to put in my cob and sip on as I go fishing this season.