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Blends That Are Becoming Really Hard to Find

(29 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by cigrmaster
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  1. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I remember back in 2012 when many issues regarding the availability of pipe tobacco began to become known to us. I remember being told I had a sky is falling attitude about this and that I was being paranoid. I went on a mission to acquire a 25 year cellar before then end of 2013. I reached my goal in the time I had allotted and I am damn glad I did.

    2 of my favorite blends are discontinued. Rotary Navy Cut and Brigham Klondike Gold are history. Blends like F&T Cut Virginia Plug, Special Brown Flake and Vintage are hard to impossible find. Astleys no 44 and 109 tough to find. Wessex flakes , Gold Virginia, Gold Brick, Brown Virginia Flake. I am sure there are others but you get what I mean.

    Now with the issues at McClelland things are going to get even tougher. Is it a flake thing where popularity is outweighing supply? Or is it mfgs getting ready to shut their doors? What blends that you like have been discontinued or are really hard to get?

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Harris,

    Some of these have been hard to find, off and on, for years. F&T CVP, Wessex Campaign, John Aylesbury Luxury Flake, and many others have been hard to find at one time or another. FVF and SJF were hard to find. You can still find Klondike Gold in Canada, so I've read. Rotary just disappeared without notice. But, a lot of blends are readily available. When CH becomes unobtainium it will be time to surrender.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. alan73

    alan73

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    Clueless on the causes, but it is a good question. Feels like they going away.

    Anything you say is a good Virginia flake will likely sell out. Luckily you don’t like Red Virginia’s .

    I had a large backorder with 27 tins of Wessex and 5 gold bricks cancelled, it was one of those +20% off sales...retailer said they had no expectation of getting any product. Haven’t seen them available since then.

    Add to the hard to find list : Rattrays Old Gowrie, John Aylesbury Luxury Flake.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Aylesbury Luxury Flake just got renamed to Classic Flake. My long lost blend was Mephisto.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    When I see this kind of post I'm grateful that I panicked early and stocked up accordingly. I would say it's a shock, but if you've been paying attention this has just been event foretold.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Yup. Glad my cellar overfloweth.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    lestrout

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    Yo cig

    Not to mention Holger Danske Royal Navy Flake (though it showed in the ads for quite a while). Presbyterian may be undergoing a packaging/labeling change, inspired by the EU - this is what I'm hoping.

    hp
    les

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. alan73

    alan73

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    Embers: was wondering about that. I don’t get why the company would rebrand it from luxury flake to classic flake. I’ll be that guy... the old luxury flake is better than the new classic flake pretending to be luxury flake.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    +1 cigrmaster - I finished up my ideal cellar a few years ago seeing the writing on the wall - hunting my fav blends was fun and also a real PITA years ago - so glad I can kick back now and finally just enjoy...picking up a new blend to try only now and then

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I can't complain. I've more than enough, both in terms of variety and amount. If the ship goes down, I have my own launch.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. brian64

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    For all of you with massive cellars, don't worry...I'm sure you'll be given an amnesty period for voluntarily turning it all in to your local tobacco disposal authority (TDA) before they send in the storm troopers.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. saltedplug

    saltedplug

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    Stop buying pipes. Buy tobacco!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Embers: was wondering about that. I don’t get why the company would rebrand it from luxury flake to classic flake. I’ll be that guy... the old luxury flake is better than the new classic flake pretending to be luxury flake.

    Someone probably got offended by the "luxury" aspect, like back in the '80s when cereals had to replace the word "sugar" with "honey" in their names.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. chasingembers

    Embers

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    For all of you with massive cellars, don't worry...I'm sure you'll be given an amnesty period for voluntarily turning it all in to your local tobacco disposal authority (TDA) before they send in the storm troopers.

    They'll have to find it first. All of my online transactions are done with pseudonyms with a Walmart cash card and sent to a Post Office Box.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. brian64

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    They'll have to find it first. All of my online transactions are done with pseudonyms with a Walmart cash card and sent to a Post Office Box.

    Oh Grasshopper...you underestimate the Eye of Sauron.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. chasingembers

    Embers

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    For fun I Googled my birth name. Only result was someone who died back in '64. I'm a ghost!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    That's just Google's public database.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Well, I will throw in my bitch about the absence of Burlington Arcade Blend- Harry S Tint and Sons, Philly. Been extinct some 30 years, but I recall it fondly. Only one person here has responded he knew the blend, and even had an unopened tin of it.

    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 year ago #
  19. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    The final irony will come when pot growers carve out the center section to grow tobacco........

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. hawky454

    hawky454

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    The two blends that I still mourn; Velvan Plug & Erinmore Plug.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    The final irony will come when pot growers carve out the center section to grow tobacco........

    I was considering investing in pot industry related companies. Glad I didn't. Prices and profits are going to tank.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    I just did a check on Rattray's blends at SP and PC and they barely have any with no flakes at all available. This was one house along with Pease,C&D and McClelland that always had good amounts available. The only Rattray blend I cellar is their Wallace Flake. I grabbed a bunch of tins a while ago so I am all set.

    Do you think there are more people smoking flakes now than say 3-4 years ago?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. renfield

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    We may be seeing a bit of a perfect storm scenario at the moment. End of year inventory reductions at the vendors, a couple of years of people getting more serious about laying in a cellar overtaking the production of some of the blenders, a handful of people getting out of the business for various reasons. Combine this with a small but active bunch of forums centered on the hobby either fanning the flames a bit or creating self fulfilling prophesies. Shortages result, either enduring or not. Not long ago FVF was rare as hen’s teeth and people were getting nervous. Premium pipe tobacco is far more of a niche market than we’d like to admit.

    Sadly, shortages of various blends are not likely to go away as things play out.

    As always the best advice is to cellar deep on the things you know you really like. Tobacco will never get cheaper or more easily available.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. mso489

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    I'm probably good for five years tobacco-wise, or more if I take more days off. When some of the old standbys begin to be difficult to buy, I'll know it's time to hoard. Chasing OTC blends across the landscape and internet will be the tip off. The hunt for Prince Albert, the quest for Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic. The one-hundred dollar tub.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    renfield, I remember when SG FVF was allegedly hard to find. It was the summer of 2012 in July when I called around to some small mom and pops with little to no internet presence. I found a guy willing to sell me as much FVF as I wanted. I began buying in 5 pound lots and ended up with around 13 pounds if memory serves. The guy was so happy to take my credit card number as he didn't have people walking in buying 5 pounds of anything at a time. I think he thought I was a bit of a nut.

    When I first got into pipes back in 1997 cellaring was something I never thought of as I was just learning what I liked. It took years before I finally figured what my favorites were. There also never seemed to be shortages on stuff. I was smoking Penzance back then and it was readily available at all the shops I did business with. Forums like this are definitely one of the reasons for the shortages, we talk up a blend and then bam, it is hard to get.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. renfield

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    I’ve been in some of those little shops and I can easily imagine them giddily dancing around their shop after you called. For some reason whenever I read about your cellar I keep thinking of Smaug the dragon laying on top of his pile of gold.

    It’s been said before but there’s no time like the present to cellar even just a couple of favorites. A cellar need not be large and extremely expensive to ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy the hobby for a long time no matter what happens.

    The simple pleasure of a favorite blend in a favorite pipe is worth too much to allow ourselves to be deprived of through inaction or the actions of others. We’re still in a Golden Age of tobaccos. Take advantage of it while we can.

    Ren

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Ren, I have hundreds of tins under my bed in these huge plastic containers. I feel like Smaug every time I lie down.

    After seeing how the good Three Nuns went the way of the DoDo, I vowed to not get caught like that again. I had a feeling blends like Rotary Navy Cut ( discontinued) F&T Cut Virginia Plug ( no where to be seen for a while) and a few others were going to be discontinued or be impossible to find so I stocked up while the getting was good. It is going to be interesting to see how many more blends become discontinued.

    With Dunhill closing up, all of their blends are going on that list.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. pianopuffer

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    Yep, I just stocked up on my Dunhill favorites, especially EMP and Aperitif.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I predict that 20 years from now tins of Nightcap are going to be selling for at least 200 a tin. You heard it here first. Now do I have the balls to buy 1000 tins of it?

    Posted 1 year ago #

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