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Beware of the Carter Hall Hype!

(53 posts)
  1. hfearly

    hfearly

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    Hi Folks,

    I'll probably be pretty unpopular after this post, but someone has to say it: Carter Hall is hyped way too much in this forums Due to the constant raving about this tobacco from some here I added a tub of it to a recent order on p&c.

    Had my second smoke of it today and I can't help but give it a big thumbs down. Tastes like cardboard that has been flavored after a cheap cigar. While it doesn't burn hot or bit, it still leaves my throat feeling like I caught a fungus on top of Mono... Verdict: not for me.

    On the positive side, the order contained Black House, which is absolutely fantastic That one well deserves the big hype around it, that's for sure.

    Suffering from a serious case of "EPARD", also known as the Estate Pipe Acquisition and Restoration Disorder.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Hey hfearly - you aren't the only one. I added 2 oz to my recent order and I won't be ordering more. It sure wasn't the worst thing I ever smoked but I didn't particularly enjoy it either. Mehhh, to each his own I guess. Sure glad I didn't order a tub lol

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. hfearly

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    It's a beautiful plastic tub though, lol! After I dump out the contents my pipe cleaners and filters will be happy in there

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Hfearly, it's sad you don't care for Carter Hall. But hey, don't fret, not many here will hate you for not loving CH.

    There are many people here who appreciate Carter Hall for what it is, and thus enjoy smoking it straight up, blended with something else, or both.

    We all can't like the same blends.

    Happy to hear you do appreciate Black House

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. ghost

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    Thirded. I added a pouch to a recent order and it's just meh so far. I'm going to blend it going forward to see if I can get any magic combos going.

    Matt.
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    bogglor

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    I am not sure it's really been hyped per se, rather I think many are surprised that an OTC can be anything other than complete crap, I too tried it yesterday for the first time and although it didn't blow me away or anything it was definitely as advertised. Mild, very easy smoking with zero bite, and I can see it being a good blending agent for other stronger tobaccos or really to add "burley body" to something.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    After I dump out the contents

    If you decide tho dispose of it, please consider trading it or giving it away. I apologize if this is your plan already, but when I saw the word "dump," and with so many in tough straights financially, I felt compelled to post this.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    hfearly - try some stormfront if you get a chance. The reason some like CH is because it's a pretty easy blend to smoke when your doing chores around the house (like mowing the lawn - as if we need to worry about that now) primarily because its a pretty maintenance free smoke. For me, stormfront serves that purpose. It's not overly complex, but it lights right away and has a very pleasant taste for my pallet.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    The most talk about CH is that it’s a good base for blending. Being a Burley it’s light and will absorb flavors easily. Check out any of the blending forums and you’ll see many are 50% CH and some different aromatics and/or strong English. Stuffing it in a jar for a month. I’d say 75% of blenders use CH. Being VA/VApers guy, have no interest in blending aromatics, or wasting VA.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. judcole

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    The old codger burleys are nice, mild, smoke 'em all day and don't pay much attention to 'em blends. They are not, however, made with high quality tobaccos. I have tried a lot of them, over the past few years, since I never did when I first started smoking - CH, PA, PA Choice, Granger, KC Mild, Walnut. Walnut was the only one I found at all interesting.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. hfearly

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    After I dump out the contents
    If you decide tho dispose of it, please consider trading it or giving it away. I apologize if this is your plan already, but when I saw the word "dump," and with so many in tough straights financially, I felt compelled to post this.

    That was my first intention, too, alas tobacco trades have been severely discouraged here so I didn't offer ... and no, I won't bother using briarbid.

    The most talk about CH is that it’s a good base for blending. Being a Burley it’s light and will absorb flavors easily. Check out any of the blending forums and you’ll see many are 50% CH and some different aromatics and/or strong English. Stuffing it in a jar for a month. I’d say 75% of blenders use CH. Being VA/VApers guy, have no interest in blending aromatics, or wasting VA.

    I shall look into home blending !

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. 05venturer

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    I am not sure it's really been hyped per se, rather I think many are surprised that an OTC can be anything other than complete crap,

    +1
    my thoughts also, and I am a big fan of CH BTW

    Kent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. dragonslayer

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    This site doesn't deal a lot with blending, have to go to the other site...Don't want to get in trouble. But yeah Jud Walnut is one of the most mentioned, and favored.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. sparroa

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    Most gentlemen who praise Carter Hall smoke 5-10-15 bowls a day and they love its mildness, gentle sweetness, consistency, and burning properties. Their endorsements should be viewed through that kind of lens.

    As soon as I smoked Prince Albert, I understood exactly why I was wrong to expect some kind of taste revelation. These codger burleys are not for flavour junkies looking for a roller coaster ride - they are simple and very predictable. If you smoke one or two bowls a day, these are probably not the tobaccos for you...

    These blends are more notable for their longevity and for their undemanding nature than for setting any standards of excellence.

    (By the way, 4noggins sells 2oz samples of the main drugstore blends - it's a good way to save yourself the hassle of having a giant tub of something you aren't fond of)

    I have seen a few guys on other forums who smoke nothing but CH, so it really depends on what you want from your tobacco.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. nsfisher

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    @hfearly.

    Hey mate, sorry you don't care for CH, but that won't make you unpopular mate. It is not for everyone. Everybody has likes and dislikes and not in tobacco alone. Glad to have your opinion, whether it is good of bad. I like CH, but that is just my preference. Many premium baccys, I find I can take or leave, and am glad I found a Baccy that is easily found, ordered, and packaged. Whatever ones' preference is, smoke it and enjoy it.

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. sothron

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    I too was curious to try CH (as well as Sugar Barrel and Walnut) as a result of several threads on this forum. I've found them ok. Just ok. Haven't tried the Wal-Hall yet but it's on my to-do list. CH isn't terrible and it isn't great. I find Angler's Dream a much, much better blend. But that's the great thing about our hobby - so much variety, something for every taste.

    Of them all,my personal opinion is that Walnut is the most interesting, if only for the surprising Latakia aroma - very different than any other OTC.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. yohanan

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    Hey hfearly, sorry you didnt like CH, I didnt really care for it when I first tried it, and preferred PA at the time. The more I smoked it, the better I liked it. It certainly is not the best I have smoked, and is far from the worse I have smoked, all that being said, your still ok in my book.


    Smoke What You Like, And Like What You Smoke...Regardless Of What Anyone Else Thinks...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. wildcat

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    Most gentlemen who praise Carter Hall smoke 5-10-15 bowls a day and they love its mildness, gentle sweetness, consistency, and burning properties.
    Bingo.

    For whereas men of an older school, like myself, smoke for the pleasure of smoking...
    A.A. Milne
    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. taerin

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    That's the problem with buying baccy from someone else's opinion, it won't always be right for you! On the otherside, without them, your flying blind. Either way you can trade whatever you buy using briarbid, just discuss what you would like to trade it for and put it up there. Saying a baccy doesn't deserve its hype because you don't like it is a little overboard though, but you don't seem like a bad person, so it is all good

    "The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
    Mark Twain
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. gwtwdbss

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    @hfearly

    Understood. It is not my favorite but a stable for me. I love to break in a new pipe with it. To me the more I smoke it the more I crave it. I really like the Nutty Walcut blending that fisher suggested. To me that is just a basic but delicious smoke that is great for walks or doing stuff while smoking.

    I don't think ya bashed it too badly and everyone has different tastes. My tastes change a lot. Some months I am hard and heavy on Latakia, others, its a VA or VaPer. Lately with breaking in some new pipes I recently acquired it's Burley. Nutty Walcut was also my go to blend when I got over a nasty cold that lasted for about ten days. I am sure you can trade your tub off to someone that will appreciate it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. hfearly

    hfearly

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    Most gentlemen who praise Carter Hall smoke 5-10-15 bowls a day and they love its mildness, gentle sweetness, consistency, and burning properties. Their endorsements should be viewed through that kind of lens.

    As soon as I smoked Prince Albert, I understood exactly why I was wrong to expect some kind of taste revelation. These codger burleys are not for flavour junkies looking for a roller coaster ride - they are simple and very predictable. If you smoke one or two bowls a day, these are probably not the tobaccos for you...

    +1. I'm a "taste" smoker, not a "nic" smoker. Max 1 bowl a day, but that better be some good stuff =) Wrt. to Burleys, I'll take 4th Generate 1931, Solani's ABF and MB Burley London over CH. I also found a really nice pipe tobacco that tastes like a premium Maduro cigar: Vooroogst from the Netherlands is entirely blended from Indonesian and Java cigar wrapper leaf, very delicious!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. coalsmoke

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    There are other tobaccos that receive a lot of praise that I just didn't care for myself. I bought a tin of Penzance and didn't care for it much. I also bought 4 tins of Squadron Leader, smoked one tin, then traded the other 3. On the other hand, I smoked a lot of CH as my only 'bacco last year when I was unemployed and broke and really liked it...go figure. When I come across a baccer that I don't care for I just make a note of it and move on. I don't think there's any hype involved with anything that we smoke, just personal likes and dislikes.

    Russ
    Smoking a pipe is true relaxation...everything else is too much like work.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. rigmedic1

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    For a good all day smoke, I like Altadis's Edgeworth Ready Rubbed match. It is a simple burley with a light molasses casing, barely noticeable, and mild on the vitamin N. I have never tried CH, but I remember the scorched tongue I got in my early piping days from Borkum Riff and Middleton's, which put me off on the drug store classics early. The only way to know what you like is to sample as much as you can, lol.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. brdavidson

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    +1 Rigmedic

    I just got some of the Edgeworth and am loving that right now, I have 8oz on route.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. chispa

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    Let us know how you like the Black House. If you don't love it THEN we boot you from the forum.

    If you mix it 50/50 with the CH and like that then you can stick around.

    <<insert witty signature here>>
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. colorduke

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    If you don't care for Carter Hall,thats just more for me to smoke.

    I will give up my pipe when they pry my cold dead fingers off of it!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. docwatson

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    Like someone said previously, if you smoke 4, 5 or more bowls a day it's a great smoke. Nothing wrong with OTC blends IMO. If you are a burley smoker you'll probably agree, if not a burley smoker you're missing out!!! LOL
    Different smokes for different folks.

    It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling---Mark Twain
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    There are other tobaccos that receive a lot of praise that I just didn't care for myself. I bought a tin of Penzance and didn't care for it much. I also bought 4 tins of Squadron Leader, smoked one tin, then traded the other 3. On the other hand, I smoked a lot of CH as my only 'bacco last year when I was unemployed and broke and really liked it...go figure. When I come across a baccer that I don't care for I just make a note of it and move on. I don't think there's any hype involved with anything that we smoke, just personal likes and dislikes.

    Mine is almost exactly coalsmoke's experience quoted here, right down to the same two utterly disappointing blends I'd also have used to illustrate the same point: Penzance and Squadron Leader.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. sparroa

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    hfearly,

    I am the same as you. If you only smoke once, the tobacco has to be impressive in and of itself. As I often say, Wessex Burley Slices are my favourite but it isn't necessarily a show stopping blend either - but it is miles away from the drugstore burleys...

    That Dutch blend sounds quite nice.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. foggymountain

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    I had the same reaction to 1Q. Guess we all have different tastes.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. ejames

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    Yep,CH and PA and SWR and Half and Half and all the other OTC tobaccos have been "Hyped". Some for close to 100 years.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. flintlockjohn

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    I think "hype" is rather a poor choice of words. I was surprised by how much better it was than I expected. Is it my favorite tobacco of all time? Hardly, but I will probably keep some around to smoke when the mood strikes me. When I go to sample a new tobacco, I usually try to buy as small a quantity as I can, in case I do not like it. The one time I went away from that was to purchase a pound of 1Q before trying it. It is OK, but to me, not that great. Do I blame the people who really enjoyed it and posted that here for my buying a pound of it? No, it was my choice and my decision. I will just chalk it up as a lesson learned, and keep the 1Q for the occasional smoke, to trade or give away as opportunity presents itself. I guess my point is not to blame others for the consequences of your decisions.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. mikephillips

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    The main problem with OTC blends, at least as I see it, is that they're made for the masses, rather than a targeted group, and as such try to please as many as possible while offending as few as possible (just like politicians). And because of this, you end up with blends that are weak, boring, largely without flavor, that are all hype and marketing and "smell-goody" on the surface, with absolutely zero substance underneath (EXACTLY like politicians).

    I think we should all try and decide what OTC blends are like which politicians, and name them accordingly.

    No, this post isn't discussing politics, it's poking gentle fun at OTC blends...and politicians. Well, maybe not so gently at the latter

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. wildcat

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    Like someone said previously, if you smoke 4, 5 or more bowls a day it's a great smoke. Nothing wrong with OTC blends IMO. If you are a burley smoker you'll probably agree, if not a burley smoker you're missing out!!!
    +1
    Yep,CH and PA and SWR and Half and Half and all the other OTC tobaccos have been "Hyped". Some for close to 100 years.
    They stand the test of time I guess.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. dochudson

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    when I'm sitting on the mower for 3hrs a week, walking the dog a couple of hours back in the woods or fishing the local ponds I don't want 'to get' or contemplate the tobacco I just enjoy the smoke and CH, PA, SB, etc.. pretty much takes care of itself.

    I Enjoy Aromatics
    I Enjoy Peterson Pipes
    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. 05venturer

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    Carter Hall is a straightforward, uncomplicated smoke. And that's why I love it. Pipe smoking is not a hobby to me. I smoke a pipe because I like tobacco! And Carter Hall tastes like tobacco! Shock!!! I don't smoke a pipe so I can reflect on the meaning of life or ponder the origins of the universe or contemplate what women really want or any other GREAT mystery. I smoke a pipe because I like tobacco! And Carter Hall satisfies! It's as simple as that.

    My thoughts exactly

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. nsfisher

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    Exactly right!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. rcstan

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    Smoke what you like, like what you smoke !

    Haven't smoked CH but I smoked PA, as a matter of fact I bought a pouch at the grocer out of curiosity. I would definitely not buy a whole tub of it. It has it's time and place in my rotation.

    Personally, for the price ( $7 for a 50g pouch of PA ) I could pick up the same quantity of something that's more up my alley at the B&M .

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    okiebriar

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    Crap. I just ordered a tub [b]to try. Maybe it will be okay to smoke at work. I work outside and smoke several bowls a day.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. peckinpahhombre

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    okiebriar - You know, it is by no means horrible. And I do understand why people use it to break pipes in - it did seem to burn fairly cool and left a fairly thick ash.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. sothron

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    Okie, it's actually pretty good for smoking outside at work as it's fast-burning and you won't need to tamp or relight.

    (Though again, I recommend trying the Angler's Dream!)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. mikephillips

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    Crap. I just ordered a tub [b]to try. Maybe it will be okay to smoke at work. I work outside and smoke several bowls a day.

    Hey, where do you live in Oklahoma, Okiebriar (assuming that's what it means)? I'm across the state line in Missouri, if you're in NW Ok I'm not far away.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  43. hfearly

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    Let us know how you like the Black House. If you don't love it THEN we boot you from the forum.
    If you mix it 50/50 with the CH and like that then you can stick around.

    I liked the Black House. But I didn't love it to death Mostly because out of the fresh opened tin it tastes a bit "spicy" to me. I'll try mixing it 50/50 with CH and see if that takes some of the edge off. Actually if that works out that'd be an amazing use of all that CH!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Actually if that works out that'd be an amazing use of all that CH!

    As good as Black House is and as stellar Carter Hall is as a mixer, I would advise against mixing a whole tub of Carter Hall with one tin of Black House. This would give "English/Balkan in the background" a whole new meaning.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  45. checotah

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    I find CH to be a good, every day, easily available and convenient, very affordable smoke. No, it's not a special blend, but I like it as a solid Burley tobacco, one that usually doesn't bite and think it is a good newbie tobacco. No, it's not an aromatic, a VA/Per, or an English/Balkan, but I would bet that more new pipers would find it to be acceptable compared to the more exotics IN THEIR FIRST FEW PIPES, especially before they have discovered their particular preferences, New pipers have generally not learned to properly dry, pack, light, and smoke their tobaccos, which often causes their less-than-ideal experiences in those first, critical pipesful. I think learning to enjoy the pipe is more important in the beginning than the superb experiences of our favorite blends that come later in our piping lives. Each piper is different in his/her preferences for blends and pipes, but we all have to learn to enjoy the piping experience, and starting with a baseline, albeit less exciting tobacco like CH, SWR, or PA can be a good start.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  46. nsfisher

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    Well put mate!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  47. mlyvers

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    i like carter hall and the other otc tobacs from time to time, just to break things up abit. i think they offer straight up smoking, no trills here. i started smoking a pipe as a kid 13 years old. that was 40 years ago. i had to learn how to smoke a pipe the hard way (no help). my point here is simple. otc tobacs were all i had to go by. it kinda stays with you. i agree that these types of tobaccos are`nt for everyone. i would not suggest these otc tobacs to a newcomer. just my 2 cents here.

    take care.
    mike.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  48. ghost

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    I tried it straight again, and still didn't find it earth shattering. So I tossed a third of my Carter Hall pouch in a jar that had MacB Vanilla and a third of a pouch of CBW. Just fired it up and it's pretty darn good. This joint is going to smell classy all day.

    If I was single and this was 1975, I'd light this up by the fire at a ski chalet and attract a bevy of ladies. That is if the old pipe ads were true...

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    waymon

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    Carter Hall is always within reach. One of my favorite tobaccos.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  50. eazye77

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    I got a sample of this just yesterday. Yes, it is not the best in the world, but I WILL say that this is a very easy smoke and good for when you want to have a "simple" smoke. I think it is a good standby and would keep this on reserve for emergency. Pretty good tobacco to be OTC.

    I think I will try blending some with other tobaccos as others have done. I love adventure!!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  51. juni

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    I smoke Half&Half almost daily. No surprises in it but it is consistently what it is - a pretty good smoke.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  52. bobpnm

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    Beware of the Carter Hall Hype!

    I suppose any of the forum members could make a similar post. Just substitute any of the much talked about tobaccos for Carter Hall. When it comes to pipe tobacco, I like some and I dislike some. Doesn't mean any of them aren't good. Doesn't mean that the hard to find VA flake everyone is talking about is better or worse to me than any other tobacco. It does make for interesting conversation though. Without these conversations how would we share our enjoyment of this great hobby? If everyone liked the same tobacco, we wouldn't have nearly as much fun sharing our experiences. I like Carter Hall. I like Black House. I like 1Q. I like Frog Morton's Cellar. I like this hobby!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  53. hfearly

    hfearly

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    Well put Bob, I couldn't agree more: a healthy discussion stands at the core of this respectful brotherhood of the pipes. As such I felt obliged to produce a counterpoint to the overall resounding praise of Carter Hall that I could not follow. Hence this post.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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