OTC burley blends - differences?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Peterson Tobacco Ad

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor



Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor




Junior Member
Dec 26, 2018
Has anyone done a side-by-side comparison test of the main OTC pure Burley blends? (I am referring to PA, SWR, CH, Granger and LL Ready-Rubbed)
Reading individual reviews on TR make them all sound pretty much the same. But I am curious of opinions on their subtle differences; such as which one has the strongest/weakest nic, strongest nutty burley/cocoa flavor, etc.



Mar 26, 2018
I found 5 brothers to be pretty full bodied and nothing at all like Carter Hall (the only one on your list that I've smoked).



Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
Yes, plus the H&H midtown series. Although they are all described similarly, they are completely different. Like discussing an IPA, by reviews all similar but so different when compared to one another. Half and half is a bit chemical in nature but good on a spring day with a lemonade, PA is a bit like cereal and great in the fall. They each have a unique character but compared to a Virginia or English blend, they sound the same.



Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
I've smoked all of those in your list, although not side by side. Lane RR is my favorite, but the differences are pretty subtle.

I'd be most interested in reading the results of a test like that. :puffy:



Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
I did a pretty thorough 'look see' of many codger blends, which are those that are primarily burley based and lightly topped or flavored.

They differ in how they're cut but they share the quality of easy loading and burning.

There are indeed flavor differences and maybe minor nicotine variables. Nothing, as has been mentioned, that is really a great departure from easy smoking sweetened burley, and all with their own character.

Maybe Mixture 79 would be the one that is 'different'.

The one I had the hardest time with was Half and Half.

I buy the tubs so that might make a difference. I hear that pouches might be tagged with polypropylene glycol or something to keep them on the shelf longer?



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
I am referring to PA, SWR, CH, Granger and LL Ready-Rubbed
I get few similarities if any at all between those but I prefer Sutliff's Ready Rubbed over Lane's.



Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
I did a side by side of the main OTC blends and found my personal favorite to be Granger, followed by Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic. Half & Half came in third. YMMV.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Granger is a tobacco-forward aromatic, with (I think) molasses as the flavoring, but subtle. It's rep is from its Kentucky rough cut base leaf, but it is definitely flavored. SWRA is probably my favorite, unless we add Iwan Ries Three Star Blue and Edward G. Robinson to the discussion, which are equally pleasing to me.



Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
MSO: I think Granger has a little more topping since Lane took it over than it did under Pinkerton.
I was thinking it'd be interesting if people would say why they like the OTCs they like, rather than just list them.



Sep 16, 2018
Here are the comparisons of the ones I have tried:
PA: More oat-like, earthier burley blend

CH: Still burley based I get more hints of tea and cocoa from this - possibly from the alcohol topping - some people find the initial charring light off putting

LL RR: Sweeter to me then the other 2, exhibits more of a brown sugar quality/burnt marshmellow taste. Less additive-rich (dries out quicker, I can store the other 2 in pouches without it drying out).
My 2 cents though. Everyone has a different palate. I like RR and PA the most



Senior Member
May 10, 2014
I think SWR and LL Ready Rub have the most pure tobacco taste. SWR has a granola like consistency that is quite interesting.



Jan 25, 2016
My can of SWR is a couple years old, I dip into it when I just am not inspired or forgot to lay out something previously to dry. It's consistent, slight brown sugar sweetness and a little bitter. Never any chemical taste, but can get smokey harsh on the back of the tongue every now and again. Beware, I had some previous cans that exhibited a fairly strong acetone smell and taste when opened. I exchanged them until the current can, which did not have that stench. I mainly keep SWR around just because it was my grandfather's brand.
PA - OK when newer, but rather tasteless after open a few months.
CH - So wanted to like it based on pouch smell, but tastes like a trash fire.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
A few reflections on OTC burley blends: I had a hard time tasting anything with SWR regular, and I am usually favorable toward burley; I say some people can't taste it at all, some dislike it, and others love it. On the other hand, SWR Aromatic -- burley based, with Virginia and flavored with three liqueurs, I like a lot. I like Granger for its earthy substance and vibrance, if you will, though it can be a little harsh. Half-and-Half I found more harsh than flavorful. Carter Hall is pleasant but often just too mild for me, almost bland. PA is a little more substantive, but the flavoring tends to slightly upstage the tobacco. Three Star Blue is nicely balanced and almost always enjoyable, as is Edward G. Robinson. Some of the more nuanced premium burley blends are not just robust burley crowd pleasers but downright refined and nuanced while being quite strong, as is true of many C&D blends, but these are not over-the-counter tobaccos.



Feb 28, 2017
I've only smoked 3 and I'm fairly new to pipe smoking still. Just a bit of a disclaimer.

PA:First one I ever tried. Typically a mild sweet tobacco and slightly nutty taste according to my pallet. Room note had always been favorable to others.

CH: Second blend and I actually have the bag in my pocket as I type this. The coco and molasses hits me right off the bat and settles down to let the mildly sweet tobacco taste Express itself more. People think it smells like raisins/red man gold chewing tobacco in the pouch.

SWR: Very sweet throughout the smoke, the anise topping is unique for me and is extremely pleasant. Kind of a dessert smoke when it comes to burley blends.



Preferred Member
Apr 10, 2015
I’ve smoked PA, CH, SWR, Half &Half, and my first tobacco was CB, which bit like a rabid dog. I now avoid the last three, and ended up regularly smoking a 50/50 mix of PA and CH. I can’t discern distinct flavors well, but this mix tastes better to me than either PA or CH alone. The only time I notice nicotine is after some long smoking cigars.



Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
Personally speaking, my favorite out of the ones mentioned is LL RR. It tastes like a rubbed out Wessex Burley Slice to me.



Preferred Member
Oct 2, 2015
SWR - disappointing, the chemical aftertaste is quite off-putting.

PA - great, raisin flavor on the top.

CH -just like PA but cocoa instead of raisin.

Half and Half - If you don’t like anisette, skip. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good aromatic.