- May 31, 2012
Whitehall Tobacco Works
1A Linfield Road
Murray, Sons and Company Ltd was founded in 1810.
Murray's will always be known and associated with their most famous tobacco, Erinmore.
In 1953, Murray's was bought out by Carreras, who later in turn would morph into Rothmans International (thus the Dunhill blends being made at Murray), and in 1999 R.I. was bought out by British American Tobacco.
Finally, late in the Fall of 2004, BAT announced that Murray's would be closed:
Sad news it was.
Here's a pic from better times,
four girls with "The Pipe of Peace', part of the float parade made by Murrays for the Lord Mayor's Show in 1966.
The quote below was salvaged from an old Murray site on the wayback machine...
Now,The company reached a milestone in 1862 when it introduced Murrays Mellow Smoking Mixture. It was the first branded, packaged tobacco product to emerge from Ireland and is a product that the Murray's factory still produces today, although in limited quantities. Murrays managing director Brian Mallen describes the Mixture as 'a bit like drinking Guiness; you've got to try it a few times before you get to like it.'
While the recipe for the wonderfully alliterative Murray's Mellow Mixture has no doubt gradually changed over the years, its longevity is symbolic of the staying power of Murrays business. Despite world wars, economic depressions, a number of owners and bitter local conflicts, Murrays has been firmly ensconced in its current location at the Whitehall Tobacco Works since the turn of the century - and it remains a resilient business.
Out of this resilience was born one of the world's most notable pipe tobaccos, Erinmore. 'The modern-day business was founded on the Erinmores' explains Mallen. 'They were originally put together in the 1920's by a number of individuals, including the company chemist 'Daddy' Burns. Erinmore is now our flagship brand and Erinmore fans inside and outside the UK are equally passionate about their favorite smoke.'
The secrets behind the search for that 'best possible taste' are closely guarded. The recipe for Erinmore is known to only one living person. 'Daddy' Burns handed it on to one individual, and it has come down through each generation until it now rests within the head of Brian Mallen: 'Lots of people in the factory are involved in making the Erinmore flavour, but they're not making it up from containers with full chemical names on them,' he explains. 'All the products are brought under code names from a number of manufacturers, so no one manufacturer is making all the elements for Erinmore. The key to those codes I have. But there has to be a back-up, so in a locked vault in a bank in Belfast there are a number of files covering the manufacture of that particular unique flavour - if I walk under a bus someone can have access to it.'
With every tobacco company hungry for the secrets of its rivals, it's not surprising that successful recipes are closely guarded. With all the companies buying similar tobaccos from similar areas, it's the expertise of the blender and the composition of the top flavour that form the challenge to create a really different and unique tobacco: 'It's like the perfume industry,' says Mallen, 'there's a lot of that type of mystique and technology involved.'
While Erinmore is Murrays flagship brand, it is only half the story. Murrays now produces a host of tobacco brands - some famous international names, other smaller local favourites, like Yachtsman, Warrior, Punchebowl and Barneys.
on to the picture show...