Spanish, Italian, and Russian Pipe Tobacco

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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,929
116
Of course another topic that started at my favorite pipe shop. But, it has intrigued me.
With pipes rooted in Italy, Spain, Russia, and even France, how come there are no pipe tobacco companies in these countries? Or, did my poring over Google just not reveal any hidden gems? With cigars and cigarettes coming out of these areas, why not pipe tobacco?
Hopefully, someone with better research skills will find some evidence of production. Or, maybe someone might have some insight on why there's no French Flakes, Italian plugs, or Russian ready rubs. Evidence, research, and free style accusations welcome.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,350
30
I've had, what I was assured, a Russian tobacco. It was from a pouch so I never saw a brand. In all the places I've purchased cigarettes I never saw pipe blends, domestic or otherwise. All this was in the Russian Far East, Vladivostok being the largest and most cosmopolitan. More Asian than Western in most respects.
For what it's worth Michael I only met a mere handful of pipe smokers in the Russian travels. Pretty much cigarettes only. I always traveled with some tins and a couple of cobs which I smoked in the hotel or field. I never recall pipes and blends being a topic of discussion. Now I kick myself a bit for not broaching the subject. My Russian was pretty limited. I was gifted a pipe, also purported to be of Russian manufacture. An ugly sitter of interesting proportions which smokes fairly well.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
I wish someone would come out with a Crimean mixture,

really go back to the root!

:D
I only have vague answers at the moment, but I've come across various French and Italian pipe tobaccos that'll I'll try to rediscover.
Some countries had state monopolies on tobacco production, I think Italy may have been like that at one time,

similar to Japan:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Tobacco#History
In the meantime,

thanks for the search prompt because right off the bat I got lucky and found a really killer entry which contains interesting text as well as never-seen-before-by-me pictures of pages from the Wills of Bristol label art book!
As well as a specific topic of intense interest...



When the smoke cleared: Tobacco supply and consumption by the British Expeditionary Force, 1914-1918

https://rfcb.revues.org/218
Thanks!

:puffy:
Most of the French stuff was "caporal"...

The Eastern Bloc is something else altogether,

I've been meaning to get a copy of Balkan Smoke,

http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100225010

...but haven't gotten around to it yet.
Does Balkan Sobranie qualify as Russian?
http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/balkan-sobranie-the-people-behind-the-mythic-brand
Quite possibly so,

but not really,

closely associated though!
...anyway,

I'll bounce around a bit and see if I can dig up anything of possible interest.
:idea:

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
...went rooting around in my image archive,

although these don't really explain much as far as reasons why or whatever, it's pretty interesting.
The most plausible reason for many foreign brands not being known outside of their own spheres is that they are mainly catered to local tastes and have no interest in worldwide appeal, but the British brands with the farflung Empire could be found almost everywhere, including Antarctica, and any well-seasoned pipeman regardless of where they live at and with any modicum of taste would surely favor the UK-made stuff, wouldn't they? :)
Anyway,

that's my freestyle shindig. :mrgreen:
Here's some not oft seen stuff...
France














Italy






South America or Spain

(unsure which ???)














Brazil


Argentina




Sweden











Norway







Finland

Bulgaria
Turkey
Japan






...photo spread from a Japanese book






 

lohengrin

Preferred Member
Jun 16, 2015
1,198
0
Italy dismissed tobacco state monopolies at the beginning of this century.

The main company that acquired the pipe and cigar tobaccos production is the Maccaferri group (a company whose main strenght is sugar production). They created MST group(Manifatture Sigaro Toscano) whose main product is the Toscano cigar. The Forte is their more common pipe tobacco made with the same italian kentucky they use for the famous cigars.

Other italian pipe tobaccos are Cellini, Italia, Comune.

 

nachman

Member
Jun 27, 2013
229
1
Having smoked Toscano cigars, Russian papirosi and French cigarettes, I feel it is no great loss that we can't buy their pipe tobaccos. A man of Italian descent once asked me to find him some good Italian cigars. I told him "That is an oxymoron. Good and Italian cigars can not be used in the same sentence."

 

jvnshr

Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2015
3,972
0
Baku, Azerbaijan
Using my Russian language and google search skills, here is what I found.
Pipe Tobacco From Pogar (Табак Трубочный из Погара): It has several mixtures (aro, non-aro, cigar aro, etc), the price is around $3.5 for a 40 gram (1.4 OZ) pouch.

Corsar of the Queen: It has different blends, uses different types of tobacco from all around the world, the price is $3.5 for a 40 gram (1.4 OZ) pouch.

Vintage: Premium pipe tobacco, the price is $8.5 for a 100 gram (3.5 OZ).

There are also other brands such as Stevenson, The Bristol, Ruthenberg (А. Г. Рутенбергъ), Royal Pipe Club, Mackintosh.

 

lohengrin

Preferred Member
Jun 16, 2015
1,198
0
Tastes are tastes.

You cannot say that something is bad just because you or someone else don't like it.

In europe, for example, many people despise corncobs, in U.S.A. as many love them.

Toscano cigars are not half way: you can just love or hate them.

Unfortunately too many people believe to own the one truth.

 

stvalentine

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2015
808
1
Northern Germany
In Spain there are still many little tobacco shops that sell cigarettes and cigars. Even the small ones are well stocked in cigars (at least in Andalucia). What I have never seen there is a pipe smoker or pipe tobacco. :?

 

dustmite

Member
Mar 5, 2015
263
0
Interesting subject, Cosmic. I watched an episode of "Expedition Unknown" about the search for Genghis Khan's grave, and one scene showed a few Mongolians lighting their pipes. My thoughts immediately went to what tobacco was in them...

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,929
116
I was overwhelmed with the research mlc. Excellent.

Yes, this was sparked by something similar, Dustmite. Looking at pictures in pipe history books, the Crimean War with Russians all huddled around their campfires with their pipes full of, what, Balkan Sobranie? Ha ha, maybe.

Then there was discussion of Italian cigars, which (to me) are not the best, but there are many brands, blends. Then, I knew there was a Spanish pipe company of sorts, as I occasionally see "made in Spain" pipes hit eBay. They never look all that great, but they had pipes nonetheless. So why not pipe tobacco?
So, you guys pulled together quite a bit of proof that there is more out there, quality of the tobacco aside, it had (or does) live. Semois a Belgian pipe tobacco had flown under the international radar until that (Times?) news article set it loose on us. So, there may be more tastes yet unfound. Maybe aged blends by a French or Italian old codger who had a box of tobaccos, that may one day hit eBay or some other means.
Those ads are great. I may have to get these printed and framed for my pipe room.
Thanks guys, keep them coming. Maybe we can one day get a barricade runner to deliver us a taste of some of these other countries, at least for educational purposes. :puffy:

 

prairiedruid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2015
1,676
3
From what I've read the pipe tobaccos of that era from Russia were based on a native rustica so had a high nicotine level (7% compared to say a virginia at 1-2%) and weren't blended with other tobaccos; sounds kind of harsh. Later in the Soviet era they had access to Balkan tobaccos as well as Cuban cigar tobaccos.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
I was overwhelmed with the research mlc.
The "research" was actually just a lazy browse ! haha :eek:

...through an old thread I posted back before I knew how to organize and present stuff I deposited a massive disparate image stream with almost everything under the sun, I really went whole hog in looking for the various baccies.
I just picked a few examples that were relevant for this thread,

thanks for starting an interesting topic!
Here's that old thread:

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/a-few-cool-vintage-ads
:
A couple more of Russian stuff...




And this,

Russia is home to the best pipesmokers webzine that I have ever seen!

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/russian-pipe-magazine
:
Another RY sidenote,

it is well known to be Georges Simenon favorite baccy - he's the French writer of Maigret.
Here's a display at Tabac Besson in Lausanne,

where he was a regular customer: