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Old Edward G.

(37 posts)
  1. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    When I first found this forum, I read through every review I could, because I was still trying to taste smoke and figure out what I liked. Jim's reviews were like gospel to me, so of course I had to pick up some of his image-sake's blend. It was the first blend to ever repulse me, ha ha. My tongue burned from the steam of this overly wet goop, the taste was like all the other aromatics I had tried, and I smoked about half a tin, thinking that it was my fault, "why can't I taste what Jim has described?" All of the rest of my tastes were ringing true with his reviews. So, I disgustedly put a piece of Saran Wrap over the tin, put back on the top, and tossed it in a toolbox in my studio, where I just deleted it from my mind.

    Fast forward three years later... I am building a new studio at my house, and pulling out tool boxes, and I find the tin this morning. "Hmmm, time to give Eddie another shot."

    All of the glue in the tool box has dried, even the grease pencil has dried up to unusualable, but when I popped the tin of EGR, it was still as moist as the day I tossed it in there. So, I nuked a bowl full, and packed one of my aromatic pipes this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee, and fired it up. I can't remember what Jim's review had said at this point, but Upon first light, I get a chocolate flavor with maybe a hint of amaretto . Pleasant, tickle to my nose a bit. By mid bowl I get a smokey stewed fruit-like flavor, sweet on my lips, but the chocolate has stepped back a bit. And, by the bottom of the bowl it has almost become a sweet English blend of sorts. The smoke has a smell that I find familiar in all aromatics. I don't mean that it is aramotic, but that wax candle-like smell when I walk into a room with guys smoking aromatics of any sort. Not a good or bad thing, just a thing. As with all burley blends, I am not fine tuned enough to be able to tell what sort of burley, or a difference in burley, but definitely a burley. Maybe that is the waxy aroma? I don't get that with bolder burleys like Burley Flake #1 or Big and Burley, but anyways...
    it was a delightful smoke, flavorful, hit the nic spots, and accompanied a cup of coffee well as I watched the workers set the footing for my studio. No bite at all, but the only drawback is a coating it left my mouth, like a thin layer of wax. But, I also get that from other aromatics and codger blends. It was a balance of codger Burley and aromatics, and Latakia-ish flavors. I plan on finishing this tin as I oversee construction and deal with my contractors. It'll give me a touch of mob boss to my dealin's with these dirty rats. Ha ha.

    Anyways, some like it moist, some dry, but I think I prefer it aged in a toolbox, ha ha! Maybe it was just the time and place... I know this one has been reviewed to death on here, but, it brought back memories of lurking on this forum, my first timid posts, trying to figure out how to post, and getting to know those of you who were members back then. Even Kashmir, who was the first person to contact me, offer me advice, and make suggestions that have helped me better enjoy this hobby and forum.
    Edward G. Robinson, if at first you don't "get it" put it back for a while, and give it another whirl latter on. It's pretty good stuff.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. voorhees

    voorhees

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    I have some in a jar from last year. I've smoked some and have had various experiences. Some good, some not so good. I do remember smoking it slightly dryer and slowly is best.

    Jason
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. agnosticpipe

    Orley

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    I bought some EGR about a year ago, and pretty much had the same experience as you did Michael. I waited about 6 months and tried again, but dried it out a little first. Much better! I still smoke it from time to time and really do enjoy it.

    I like your bulldog, who made it?

    The pipe smoker formerly know as agnostic pipe
    "Fried food, hard liquor, and tobacco, that's the holy trinity!"- Stacy Keach
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I made the pipe. I made a handful of pipes just to get an idea of how pipemaking works. I am lucky to have Skip Elliot as a friend to help me with the minutia of pipemaking, but I have no aspirations to take it to a professional level. But, I enjoy dabbling.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. agnosticpipe

    Orley

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    Very cool Cosmic, you are indeed a man of many talents!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. jiminks

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    Cosmic: perhaps your smoking technique has changed,too. Your description of your early experience sounds like a man puffing too fast. I never experienced anything like you did with EGR, but then again, I tend to smoke at a moderate pace.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. prairiedruid

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    Good timing for the thread; I just picked up a tin of this in my last order. It is a little damp from the tin but smokeable at a slow cadence for me. I pick up some wine notes as I enjoy a cob full and sometimes I reach for it because it is just a little different flavor profile, kind of scratches an itch if you know what I mean.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. mso489

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    I enjoyed Edward G. at a pipe show and bought a tin which is as yet unopened, but I'm looking forward to it again. I have so much worthy tobacco, opened and unopened, it is an embarrassment of riches.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Jim, I may be a little sensitive to steam in my pipe. It may have been novice technique along with steam. I seem to enjoy my pipe more now with almost all of my tobaccos pretty dry. Whatever it is, I've been enjoying it now. I'm really glad I put that Saran Wrap over the top though.

    MSO and prairiedruid, I hope you guys enjoy your EGR.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    I wasn't repulsed by the flavor or topping of EGR but I thought it was done with cheap tobacco. There was a harshness and a flat/dullness to it that screamed OTC. I finished my tin by adding about 10% by volume of Nightcap, and really liked the result. For some reason my gut instinct is the EGR EGR himself smoked back in the day may have been done with higher-quality leaf. He's been dead over 40 years so it's not like he's sampling production every so often and threatening to fill the blender full of holes if it doesn't live up to his liking

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. jiminks

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    I would argue against that very strongly. It's not cheap tobacco. Generally, OTC's are made with the same quality tobaccos as the premium blends. It's a myth to think other wise. The quality of tobaccos in EGR are the same as the Hearth & Home and other companies like Watch City blends, etc., and I don't see anybody calling them cheap. You may not like how they are processed, and that's a fair criticism for any tobacco that somebody doesn't like. But, even then, it doesn't mean the tobacco is cheap. It just means you don't like the blend.

    One thing most people don't realize is that the least expensive part of packing is the tobacco itself. That goes especially for cigarettes, but also for pipe tobacco. What's done with the tobaccos is the difference.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    "Quality" may just be a confusing term. Virginias to Burley is like apples to oranges, IMO. And, strains of burleys to others is just as different. There is a blend called Burley Light Without Bite (I can't remember the company) that also gives me a waxy taste. Maybe it's just the leaf selection. I kind of like BLWB on a hot summer day. But, it's been a while since I've had any.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. jiminks

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    BLWB is made by Lane.

    It's true some people like some strains of burleys and Virginias better than other strains. And some like or don't like them when processed in the cavendish style. To each his own, as always.

    Wish I had proof read my last comment. What I meant to say in the second paragraph was, "One thing most people don't realize is that the least expensive part of packaging is the tobacco itself. That goes especially for cigarettes, but also for pipe tobacco. What's done with the tobaccos is the difference.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    I agree what's done with the tobaccos makes the biggest difference. But anyone with actual knowledge of tobacco will corroborate that there are different grades of leaf within each type of leaf. I wasn't implying EGR is made from the factory's floor sweepings like CH, PA, and M79 (the latter being from the restroom floor). It (EGR) isn't bad, it just doesn't taste like top-shelf leaf to me.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Knew that one was coming, just didn't know when. I defended your honor to a troll last night, Shutterbugg. You would have loved it!

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    unclescot

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    Is EGR still produced, and where can I get it?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. jiminks

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    Shutterbug: there may be different grades of leaf, but I know from personal experience that Sutliff is consistent with the quality of grades of tobaccos they use in the blends they make under their own banner, and in those they manufacture for other companies. The same quality and grades of tobaccos in EGR is the same used in Hearth & Home, Watch City, Iwan Reis, Peretti's, etc. And that happens to include Mixture #79 as well, whose tobacco base is very similar to Heine's Blend, btw. I've been at the Sutliff plant several times and seen how things are done. I've talked with the folks there (including their now retired blender, Carl McAllister, who is a friend of mine) about how the tobaccos are graded and used, and have watched production on the assembly line more than once. So, I'll stand by what I know, and what I have seen.

    Again, if you don't like a blend, you don't like it. But that doesn't mean inferior leaf was used.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. jiminks

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    Unclescot: Smoking Pipes, 4Noggins, Iwan Reis, among at least a couple other companies that I can't think of at the moment.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Just to reiterate Jim's point... pipe tobacco makes up a teaspoons worth of tobaccos compared to cigarette's truckload. Why would any pipe tobacco company buy inferior grade when theres plenty of top notch? But, then I'm only guessing. I don't think anyone knows 100% but the buyer and the owner. I was thinking the same as you Shutterbug, about another tobacco a while back, but it just makes good sence to think that if there is plnty of the best grade availible, that a pipe company would use it, especially since it is the least costly part of the product.
    I'm not sure I would know what inferior grade would taste like. But, there are blends that I just don't like. But, some are worth giving a second chance, like I gave EGR, which I'm glad I did. I mean, this isn't going to be my new go-to blend, but I only have a handful of go-tos. I think I'm fairly picky and snobby.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. jiminks

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    Cosmic: Yes, it is true that pipe tobacco companies don't buy inferior leaf. Some, like Mike McNeil of McClelland and Mark Ryan of Daughters & Ryan go to great lengths to secure the best tobaccos that they can. Greg Pease is also watchful of what is used in the blends he creates. Sutliff and Cornell & Diehl pay strict attention to the quality of the tobaccos they use. I could go on and on with this, but you get the picture. There's been a long standing theory that companies use inferior tobaccos for OTC's, and that simply isn't true. Equating the price of a blend for its quality of tobaccos used is a fallacy that keeps being perpetuated.

    I suppose it's okay to say this now, but a while back, Sutliff (as well as a couple other companies) had approached me about designing blends for them, which, thanks in part to the FDA, won't happen. I was given pounds and pounds of every single tobacco varietal they use in the blends they make for themselves and others. I'm sure you have seen me post when I am smoking my home made blends. I'm using that tobacco. After smoking and blending all their varietals the past two years in great quantity, there's no question as to their quality in my mind, and I think by now, I have a good gauge on what is good tobacco and what is not. I've also used many C&D base tobaccos as well with the same results as the Sutliff tobaccos. And some McClelland and D&R for that matter. Any time I have had questions, I have gotten answers with no restrictions, and have discussed tobaccos in depth with most of the well known blenders in the field. It's an on going learning process.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. cosmicfolklore

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    Cool Jim, you should review components, like different burleys, etc... I could see guys interested in those.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. prairiedruid

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    Cool Jim, you should review components, like different burleys, etc... I could see guys interested in those.

    I would love a review on different burleys.....great idea Cosmic! It would be a great resource for those of us thinking about dipping a toe into the world of home blending.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    unclescot

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    SHHHHH!!! Nix it!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. hawky454

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    I add just a pinch more Latakia to it and let it sit for a month, it helped smooth out the blend for me and I swear at times, in mid bowl, it slightly reminds me of Revor Plug... Weird I know. I liked it so much I bought the large tub and it should last the rest of my days. I'm glad I don't have to worry about drying it out.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I really like this blend. I've never known it to be goopy and don't really think of it as an aromatic, just a very flavorful blend.

    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 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    There's been a long standing theory that companies use inferior tobaccos for OTC's, and that simply isn't true.

    Assuming that's factual, is it because these are legacy names purchased by their current manufacturers, and more economical for them to use the same leaf as goes into their good-quality blends than buy up small quantities of low-quality leaf as those blends originally contained? I'm trying to understand why these companies take the same quality leaf they use for their top-quality blends, then obliterate all the flavor nuances by saturating it with the plethora of horrid chemical flavoring agents needed to replicate the OTC blends? (Not speaking of EGR in particular here. With a pinch of Lat bomb, as someone else also noted, it's a rather flavorful blend. I often wonder if the Lat-content was toned down from Eddie's personal taste, to appeal more to the mass-market.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Same reason someone sold a guy named Willem de Kooning some quality oil paint, only to let him scribble like a four year old. ha ha. Someone sold the drummers for deathmetal bands ten thousand dollar drum setts to let them pound on them like monkeys. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Who is to say that the original had low quality tobacco? Any tobacco that is worth having the middle rib pulled out of each leaf by hand is worth investing a few pennies in, wouldn't you think? Even the tobacco in Carter Hall has had someone set and wrap each leaf around their wrist as they de-stemmed them. The labor to do that far exceeds the cost of the tobacco.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. jiminks

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    I agree with Cosmic. As for Shutterbug's question, it's all a matter of personal taste. Every blend is somebody's favorite, and every blend is disliked by somebody. Same is true for food, music, art, etc. Some people like heavily charged aromatics, and if those toppings sublimate to the tobaccos, they don't care about the quality of the tobacco. They're happy with what they smoke, and it's hard to argue against anybody's personal taste as we all have a right to our own individuality. What seems cheap to you might not to somebody else, and vice-versa. And as the manufacturers are already using quality tobaccos, why change that? Why take a chance of making a customer unhappy? It's not worth the small difference in savings. The companies provide a product to customers to make money, and as aromatics are around 90% of the market, you just have to expect them to go where the money is. That's what companies is all industries do most of the time. Diversifying for small groups of smokers who prefer other genres is just extra money in the pot.

    As there is a lot of variety in individual genres in the pipe tobacco world, it's up to us to decide what we like and why we like it. I don't look askance at what people smoke. As long as they are happy, nothing else really matters.

    Btw, when a company buys the rights (or ownership) to a blend, most, but not all as we have seen several times, will try to replicate it as best they can in order not to lose the customer base they inherited. That's why they bought the blends in the first place. I can't blame any company for wanting to keep their customers happy. And continuing to use good tobacco helps insure that. That's just smart business sense.

    In regard to EGR, I was told Sutliff uses the original formula which they purchased from the former owner, and I was also told they have not changed the blend at any time.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    As a side note on quality... I saw one of those food shows on the food channel talking about Spam. I had no idea that the folks from that company source the best pork shoulders to process into that meat jelly, ha ha. So, just because a company uses the best ingredients, doesn't mean they can't turn it into something that disgusts many of us. But someone has got to love that stuff, because the grocery store is constantly restocking it on their shelves.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. pappymac

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    Shutterbug may be on to something. OTC blends really suck and that's why the are so hard to find and will never last in the pipe tobacco market. I mean, who really smokes Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Borkum Riff and Captain Black these days? They are all terrible OTCs.

    I bought two tins of EGR about a year ago. Opened the first tin and threw the second tin into the bottom of my cellar. I enjoyed the first tin and found that I liked it more after it started drying out some. Decided to let the second tin rest for a year or so and haven't opened it yet.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    You forgot to use the sarcasm italics, ha ha.
    But yeh, how much longer can Prince Albert
    keep trying to sell us that swill? -- sarcastic pipe smoking emiticon

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Shutterbugg may well be on something.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. pappymac

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    @cosmic it's like the myth that brand named canned groceries are better than the store brands because the buy higher quality ingredients. The reality is that the name brand producers also sale to companies that put the store brand labels on the cans.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    Some people like heavily charged aromatics, and if those toppings sublimate to the tobaccos, they don't care about the quality of the tobacco.

    I agree completely. Which is exactly why it surprises me they don't source cheap tobacco, given that in the corporate world those kinds of decisions are often made by suits who don't even use the product, basing those decisions on boosting the bottom-line even if it's only pennies. I mean, Mixture 79 would taste pretty much the same regardless of what combustible vegetation was used as the base.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  35. cosmicfolklore

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    Cheap tobaccos probably gets grabbed up by the makers of Kool and Vantage Green.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  36. tmb152

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    JimInks, I just want to say that it is always a pleasure to read you on any topic. Your posts always have very solid content and great substance!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. jiminks

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    Thank you, TMB152.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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