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Alternative to Margate?

(38 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by odobenus
  • Latest reply from odobenus
  1. odobenus

    odobenus

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    Friends, I could use some advice. For years I exclusively smoked English/Scottish blends with Cavendish, and because of this I didn't know about my love for Esoterica Margate until too late. Now I know. It's just such a perfect, well-rounded blend. I love everything about it. I've since accumulated about 24 oz. of the stuff, which is all well and good, except that one day it will run out. Do you have suggestions for comparable (existent) blends?
    In seeking out Va/Lat/Oriental (Balkan?) blends, I've acquired, but have yet to try, SPC Rainier Levant and Seattle Evening, and GL Pease Westminster. Also Gaslight of course, which is beautiful but something else entirely.
    I guess I should note that I did try the most recent incarnation of Dunhill London Mixture and found it pretty uninviting.
    Any wisdom would be much appreciated.

    Non Serviam
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. mikefu

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    It’s been a long time since I had Margate, and I don’t want to crack the one tin I have left in my cellar, so I’m not able to give an educated answer. BUT I will say that I believe Westminster to be among the top 3 English blends in production, and would recommend it wholeheartedly. Also Seattle Nights is good, but not very similar to Margate if memory serves. I’d probably recommend Tashkent from Peretti as the best alternative, if my recollection is accurate.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. spartacus

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    I know it limited in production but why will it run out? I have acquired a pound in the last month.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. dmcmtk

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    A couple of easily available, quality blends worth trying, WhiteKnight and BlackHouse.

    https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/hearth-home-marquee-whiteknight-pipe-tobacco/1480052/#p-151333

    https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/hearth-home-marquee-blackhouse-pipe-tobacco/1472922/

    From Greg Pease Charing Cross is one of my faves,

    https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/gl-pease-charing-cross-pipe-tobacco/1472779/

    There are a lot of great tobaccos out there still...

    Dave
    Duke Street Irregular
    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. haparnold

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    BUT I will say that I believe Westminster to be among the top 3 English blends in production, and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

    THIS.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. josephcross

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    except that one day it will run out

    Margate is still in production so chances of you getting more while you are smoking from your stash is highly probable. As far as unicorn farts go its not that hard to get.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. dmcmtk

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    PM sent.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. 3rdguy

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    Probably the easiest of all Esoterica to obtain so I would sign up on the websites if it is your blend. I like it but letting it cellar and without much effort or cost I have 4lbs in the last year or so through notifications.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. ben88

    ben88

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    John Aylesbury Finest British

    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. odobenus

    odobenus

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    Thanks everyone. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't know Esoterica was still in (limited) production. I guess I was hoarding unnecessarily. But still, good to have a few working alternatives. Westminster is already on deck -- I'll check out Charing Cross and WhiteKnight too.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. odobenus

    odobenus

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    How about Ashbury? Abingdon?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. haparnold

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    Abingdon is good, fuller than Westminster, but far less balanced, in my opinion. I consider Westminster a desert-island blend; Abingdon is good, but I wouldn't necessarily miss it if it went away.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. odobenus

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    This is great. There must be a thread, or many, for desert-island blends. And another just for desert-island Balkans.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. haparnold

    Hap

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    Absolutely. But for me it's really just the one. I'm really into Burley, then VA and VA/Per, then Latakia Mixtures. But even with these preferences, Westminster is an easy top 5. For me, it's the epitome of the English/Balkan blend.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. craiginthecorn

    craiginthecorn

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    For Esoterica blends, your best bet is to find a local shop that carries the brand. The shops in my area haven't been immediately selling out of Esoterica blends in the first week or so, except for Penzance, Stonehaven, and Peacehaven. The shop I was at tonight has a few Margate tins right now that have been in stock since the last drop a few weeks ago. The online sources often sell out in minutes. It's just too much effort to buy them online.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. lazar

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    Squadron Leader

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. haparnold

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    Squadron Leader

    True, but is SL any easier to get than Margate these days? Not in my neck of the woods.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. odobenus

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    No local shops around these parts. Not unless you're more into vaping than VaPering.

    I'll keep an eye out for Squadron Leader. Is Skiff Mixture also worthy?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. chasingembers

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    If you call the B&Ms listed at the top of the page, you can find all of the Esotericas easier than hoping to find them online.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. hawky454

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    There’s nothing really out there that is quite like it. The VA’s in it are totally unique to Germain. The best bet is getting something else by Germain but that’s not gonna be of much help. I could tell you about other blends that I enjoy just as much or more but that won’t help much either. Keep hunting for Margate.

    Edit* since you already mentioned it... Skiff Mixture is the best English/Balkan blend on the market (IMO, of course).

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. hoosierpipeguy

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    There's someone here selling it right now.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    foursidedtriangle

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    Esoterica is impossible to find so just forget it. Most GLP Englishes are a close match.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. hoosierpipeguy

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    [/quote]Esoterica is impossible to find so just forget it. Most GLP Englishes are a close match.[quote]

    The link below has 5 tins of Margate available now. Two weeks ago, there were 2 pounds and 10 tins available. I was in 2 shops and know of at least 2 others I called and ordered from that had quite a bit of Esoterica on hand.

    Esoterica Margate Tins For Sale Link

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. hawky454

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    ^^^ it’s always available at my local B&M as well. It’s one of the only ones in the line that they consistently have.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. odobenus

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    Yes, I have procured a good deal of Margate from the kindly gentleman known here as Bostoneo.

    Hawky, if you feel comfortable telling me the name of your local B&M (here or in a PM), I would be much obliged.

    Other blends I'm wondering about in this regard: Star of the East, Stratfordshire, Odyssey, Meridian, Samarra, Kensington, Ashbury. Any quick impressions?
    I ordered some Abingdon, White Knight and Charing Cross last night. I'll open the Westminster tomorrow, with high hopes.
    Thanks folks.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. hoosierpipeguy

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    Margate is rather unique due to the topping. There are countless other English/Balkan blends that have some similarities. What's similar to you is unlikely to be similar for other people as it is personal taste. Point is, if you love Margate, then why not simply buy all you can when it is available? Had I wanted to, I could have easily accumulated 5 to 10 pound of Margate in the past 8 weeks and if I wanted to put in some effort, I am confident I could have accumulated 10 to 20 lb. I personally think it is okay but not great, however, that's just to my tastes. But why look for an alternative when there seems to be plenty of the Margate available if you really want it?

    If what you really meant to say is that you want to step out and try some other "somewhat similar" blends, that's a different story. There's been over a dozen mentioned that are good blends on their own and in many cases, better than Margate IMHO. You could buy a tin of each for less than $150. Step out and try some other things, you might surprise yourself.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. craiginthecorn

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    I’m sure Pipestud.com will have some very soon. A friend just sent him several bags of Margate to sell.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

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    Margate is rather unique due to the topping. There are countless other English/Balkan blends that have some similarities. What's similar to you is unlikely to be similar for other people as it is personal taste. Point is, if you love Margate, then why not simply buy all you can when it is available?

    I've gotten a few pounds of Margate over the last six weeks, thanks to members here and a local B+M. And while it's my favorite at the moment, there are tons of other excellent English blends, many by American Blenders. But what is the topping? I am surprised to hear that it's topped at all.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. odobenus

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    I'm surprised too. I thought it had no topping.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. odobenus

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    Just tried Westminster for the first time in an Old England Haslemere. Very different from Margate, I think, but really, really nice. I'll definitely be buying a big tub of that one.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  31. hawky454

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    I don’t taste any topping on Margate, however there may be, I just don’t personally pick it up... It also may be the casing? Pembroke, that’s Margate topped with a Cognac but every pipe smoked knows that.

    I was pleasantly surprised by Arango Balkan Supreme, it’s by far the best of its kind that I’ve tried in bulk. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by Father Dempsey, a very nice, sweet English mixture. None of these are very similar to Margate but they make me just as happy. Actually, I used to love Margate but the latest bag that I opened just tastes flat, it doesn’t have that creamy, unique sweetness that I grew so fond of. I’m slowly smoking my way through it and it lets me down every time I smoke. I’ll stick with Skiff and the two I mentioned above for my English/Balkan needs. Well I do have a tin of Brebbia Balkan on the way so we’ll see how I like that one.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  32. hoosierpipeguy

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    I taste a sweet note from Margate that does not seem to come from the tobacco. Casing, topping - all the same to me if it results in a flavor in the tobacco.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  33. kola

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    It could be cognac topped. Whatever is in Margate it makes me cough terribly. And sadly I have pounds of it in mason jars. At first I liked it - so I hoarded a bunch, only to develop a nasty cough every time I smoked the ET weed. Some other blends do the same to me as well.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  34. jpmcwjr

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    Pembroke is basically Margate with a cognac topping, and I finished off my Pembroke by airing it out plenty to get rid of that scent.

    I don't get a non-tobacco taste with Margate, either from its casing or topping. For me, it's smooth as a stick of butter. Gaslight, otoh, sets me down.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  35. kola

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    I'm wrong yes, it's Pembroke with the cognac topper. Sorry bout' that. And it's Margate that makes me hack.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  36. hoosierpipeguy

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    Pembroke is basically Margate with a cognac topping, and I finished off my Pembroke by airing it out plenty to get rid of that scent.

    Why not just purchase Margate instead?

    I had a guy working at a tobacco store insist that Blackpool was Stonehaven with a topping. Nice theories, unless I see that explicitly posted by the manufacturer, not buying it.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  37. jpmcwjr

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    I do. I tried a bag of Pembroke and didn't care for it, but off gassing the topping made it better for me.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  38. odobenus

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    Tried a few alternatives in the last few days, incl. Westminster and Star of the East (holy Lat bomb! but in a good way). Then smoked some Margate in my Northern Briars today, and man, I just love that stuff. I haven't encountered many blends that smell & taste as good (to me) two hours later as they did when I smoked them.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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