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I Don't Enjoy Aromatics. . . But I Like These

(25 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by rmbittner
  • Latest reply from mikephillips
  1. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    This just doesn't make sense.

    I'm a die-hard non-aromatic smoker: English, Balkans, Virginias, VA/burley flakes. But some months back I got curious about some of the old OTC blends that aren't made anymore. And I discovered that Sutliff was making their own versions of some of them. Not to sound snobbish, but I wouldn't normally smoke a budget brand like Sutliff. But curiosity got the best of me: I tried two. . . and, much to my amazement, really enjoyed them!

    The Great Outdoors and Man's Best Friend (Sutliff's takes on Field & Stream and Barking Dog, respectively) won me over. I can't explain why. After all, Great Outdoors is anise-flavored -- and I don't like anise! (Man's Best Friend is easier to explain, though it sounds ludicrous: It reminds me of my dad's Hai Karate cologne! It sounds crazy to think that would be appealing. Yet the flavor is good and the aroma brings back so many memories...)

    These are honest blends, nothing fancy. But if you're open to something different -- maybe even wildly different -- from what you're smoking now, you might just enjoy these.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. dervis

    dervis

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    I have tried about 50% of the Sutliff blends, liked all but 1. They are a really good smoke. Molto Dolce is one of the handfuls of Aros I do actually enjoy. Needs a WHILE to dry out enough to smoke but fantastic. Glad you enjoyed them as well.

    "You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. "

    John Wayne
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. taerin

    Eric

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    Can't stand Great Outdoors, has the nasty chemical taste that Eileen's Dream by CAO has... and I love aromatics...

    "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 #
  4. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    I think Eric and I belong to that part of the pipe smoking population that, regrettably, can't handle
    whatever it is that makes some aros taste chemical-like and leaves a plastic tasting finish. OTOH, I also
    belong to that set of pipers who, gratefully, don't experience Mac Baren bite. Genetics, I guess.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    .
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. taerin

    Eric

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    I have never met a Mac Baren that hasn't bitten my face off. I tend to steer clear of anything with that brand on it. You may be right about that other thing Cort, I used to think it was all alcohol flavorings that did this, but now I am not so sure as I love Moontrance by CAO.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    Eric:

    Now, we're definitely on the same page regarding MacBaren. I can smoke their HH Vintage Syrian, but every single other MacBaren blend has smoked hot and wet, with a guaranteed bite.

    I am baffled that they've not only managed to stay in business but also built a significant following.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I tried only one Sutliff blend and that was a while ago. It's was an aromatic. I don't remember the name, but is was quite innocuous; the only thing I remember about it was that it had enough chemical humectant/propylene glycol to float the Jaun Valiz. I could watch my beard grow watching it get to proper dryness.

    Not sure all Sutliff blends are like that though.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I have never met a Mac Baren that hasn't bitten my face off. I tend to steer clear of anything with that brand on it.

    I can smoke their HH Vintage Syrian, but every single other MacBaren blend has smoked hot and wet, with a guaranteed bite.

    I only experienced the bite with Mac Baren not long after I started smoking the pipe -- Mac Baren's 100g Virginia #1 was $2.49 back then. VA #1 tasted nice, but I could never seem to get how to smoke it without biting. I ended up blending it in with something else.

    I tried a lot of other of the Mac Baren blends, mostly cuz the tins looked so kewl and classy (I was an impressionable lad). Wow, I liked them all, no bite -- the slow sipping technique I tried without huge success on the Virginia #1 worked. Plumcake, Navy Cut, Golden Extra, London Blend were all terrific.

    I certainly understand that some puffers have a physical/chemical thing going on with certain blends/leaves, so it's not a stretch to think that one Mac Baren blend or some of them, may cause a flare up of this affliction and the bite they experience. But it is a bit hard for me to comprehend how all the Mac Baren blends would do so and has me wondering if, like my Virginia #1 experience, at least some of those who eschew the Mac Baren blends totally may just remember their first tin/ounce, long ago, and in spite of being more seasoned and wiser now, have not given Mac Baren another chance.

    Sad really -- especially so for the slam, bam, no thank you ma'am one-timers.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. taerin

    Eric

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    I am no one timer, while I don't like the bite, I've found Mac Barren blends to taste amazing, Plumcake in particular. I have tried many of their blends and continue to try additional ones, I just expect to trade it most of the time when I do. I am never so closed minded to stay away from a brand entirely, when something gets rave reviews or it is given to me, I try it, however I don't get as many compared to other brands for the bite issue. I reciently tried several Mac Barren blends (from a sample pack) after 3 years of smoking and still got bitten by them a little more than I would like.

    With the term "Mac Barren Bite" being prevelent in pipe smoking forums and reviews, there has got to be some truth to it. Perhaps this would be a good test subject for our taste testing group to address.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    I have to echo Eric here. I've smoked Symphony, Plumcake, Dark Twist, and HH Vintage Syrian. The Syrian was the only one that didn't exhibit the moisture, heat, and bite.

    If three out of four blends exhibit the same unpleasant characteristics, I'm not encouraged to keep going back to that blender.

    On the bright side: That just leaves more MacBaren for all of the folks that enjoy it!

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. uberam3rica

    Uberam3rica

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    I'm not an aro smoker either, though there are a few I like. Great Outdoors sounds pretty good, I love anise.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    With the term "Mac Baren Bite" being prevalent in pipe smoking forums and reviews, there has got to be some truth to it. Perhaps this would be a good test subject for our taste testing group to address.

    I still think much of the truth is from some people's initial experience with a Mac Baren blend, most of which, from what I find, is based on a virginia blend, which does bite anyone if not smoked slowly. Thus the rumor has spread, as it were and in my view, somewhat unfairly.

    Thank goodness I didn't buy all the hate mail on the McClelland virginia blend "ketchup taste," if so I'd have missed out on what I consider to be some of the best virginia blends anywhere.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. matchstickman

    Pipe Novelist

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    I used to be a pretty hardcore aromatic smoker, but they are hit and miss with me these days. I really like the old OTC classics like Captain Black, Carter Hall, and Middletons Apple, and the MacBaren 7 Seas line is really good as well, but there are a lot of all Black Cavendish blends that I cant stand, and Eileens Dream was a big let down for me. If these two are anything like old OTC Classics, I may have to give them a try. Thanks for the heads up!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. taerin

    Eric

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    Yeah the "ketchup taste" is something that comes from a lot of English's I hear it has something to do with some people's taste buds. Personally I get that smell from many English's (It usually means they will taste great) but not that flavor from them.

    My favorite blends are all VA flakes and I finally got to the point where I am packing correctly (very light) so I get where your comming from rothnh. I gave away all my Mac Barrens to a friend (except Plumcake, that's an aging experiment) and he absolutely loves them so they are for some people for sure. I am a little jelous because I always loved the flavor. I always enjoy reading your posts and welcome the criticism rothnh, I just wish your name was a little easier to remember/spell! Where did you come up with it, what does it stand for? I am curious.

    @Pipe Novelist Try Moontrance! Eileen's Dream was a big let down but Moontrance is the best aro I have ever tried and right now it is the only straight aro I smoke at the moment pretty much. I do also like Captain Black (just got a free sample) as I am a big fan of black cavendish, but many aromatics I fear give black cavendish a bad name with their lack of flavor and big smell.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    instymp

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    +1 Dervis, Molto

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    I've only had Sutliff's Molto Dolce and Maple Street and both of them were pretty good.

    As for the Mac Baren Bite I've never experienced it personally and I have had a lot of Mac Baren blends (Chocolate and Honey, all of the 7 Seas line, Plumcake, Cherry Ambrosia, Black Ambrosia).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. flyguy

    flyguy

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    I agree with Roth with regard to McClelland Virginias; smells like ketchup but ranks among the most flavorful (no ketchup taste). I also agree that the "hate mail" has kept the stuff available for us McClelland lovers!
    The only MacBaren tobacco that bit me was Dark Twist roll cake. Their Navy Flake and HH Old Dark Fired are virtually biteless. Love Old Dark Fired!

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. igloo

    igloo

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    McCelland uses vinegar in the toppings . To hell with those fermentation/aging process theorys . I have a tin of Beacon that needs its own superfund project . And yes I will bitch about until the day I die .

    “There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    @flyguy +1 on McClelland 2015 VA/PR Flake.

    “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 #
  20. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    I've got several tins of the Sutliffe blends, Great outdoors is one of them. I don't get an anise smell, I open the tin and it smells like a bucket of chocolate. I'm not an aromatic smoker, but I apparently did smoke at least some of it at one point, as there is some missing, but can't recall what I thought of it...that probably says as much about it as anything else I could tell you.

    Navigator blend and Academy (same blender) weren't that bad as far as aromatics go, though they're both so mild in flavor and strength I really don't care to ever bother with them again. This is pretty common with aromatics.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    I mostly smoke VA and VA/Pers but sometimes I enjoy mixing it up a bit. The Sutliffs I've liked where Tabac Noir, and Moulin Rouge. The others I have are FMOT, PS EOS, 1Q, Dansk Black and pestacchio lols, some times you feel like a nut!

    Craig

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. madmurdoc

    madmurdoc

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    Love 1Q, my only gripe with is is that I only picked up 4 oz. DANG

    “The same hand that can write a beautiful poem, can knock you out with one punch—that's Poetic Justice.”
    ― "Irish" Wayne Kelly
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    @madmurdoc Yeah 1Q is about the most universally liked smoke. I've never seen anyone say "I can't stand that 1Q it has too much..." I bought 4oz of it a couple months ago, and I smoke a bowl of it once or twice a week.

    If you really like 1Q you should try PS Dansk Black and PS pestacchio, laugh but sometimes it is exactly the right smoke. haha.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. mlyvers

    mlyvers

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    iam not big macbaren fan. i do get an acidic flavor i just do not care for. i feel macbaren tobacs are of good quality, i think the issue is with me, not macbarens tobaccos. i may sutliffs tobac someday.

    mike.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    Yeah 1Q is about the most universally liked smoke. I've never seen anyone say "I can't stand that 1Q it has too much..." I bought 4oz of it a couple months ago, and I smoke a bowl of it once or twice a week.

    If you really like 1Q you should try PS Dansk Black and PS pestacchio, laugh but sometimes it is exactly the right smoke. haha.

    Really? You must've never seen anybody ask my opinion of the vile stuff.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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