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Recent OTC Blend Experiences

(34 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by reverendsasquatch
  • Latest reply from hawky454
  1. reverendsasquatch

    reverendsasquatch

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    This past Sunday, on a much-needed family vacation, I was taking my daughters out fishing for a few hours. I left my tobaccy back at the cabin, unfortunately, so I decided to make a stop at a little mountain grocery store and buy some OTC blends. They had all the big names. CH, PA, CB, H&H. I haven't had Prince Albert in well over a decade, so I decided to try that, and some CH, which, to my knowledge, I never smoked.

    Now...I hope this doesn't step on anyones toes, but the Prince Albert had like, NO flavor whatsoever. Maybe my taste-buds are shot from VA-Pers or Lat blends, but I couldn't detect anything. It was a cool smoke, but flavorless across the board. Anyone else find this to be true w/ this classic blend? I expected to at least taste some casing.

    Now the CH, I could taste at least the casing, which is at least something. The PA? Nothing. Not even cheap tobacco taste!

    Edited by jvnshr: Title capitalization.

    “I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”-C.S. Lewis
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. indianafrank

    indianafrank

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    CH is now my main smoke. I've been mixing it with butternut burly also.

    I don't know where I'm going...but sooner or later I'll get there.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    What's CH?

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. mso489

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    Try some of PC's Midtown tub tobaccos blended by Russ O., which are OTC matches. They step up the quality but not the prices. I like the non-aro in the series, Chestnut, after the discontinued Walnut. I think they're all pretty good. I also recently discovered Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic which adds Virginias to the burley and flavors it with three liqueurs, nice.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. ray47

    ray47

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    Maybe your taste buds are fried from all the Va/Per & English blends. Don't give up on Prince Albert it will come around for you. By the way "olkofri" CH is short for Carter Hall.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. reverendsasquatch

    reverendsasquatch

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    I'm keeping the Prince Albert in my fly fishing pack, which means whenever I fish, it'll get smoked. We'll see what happens! I know it's lasted as long as it has for a reason.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. spartan99

    spartan99

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    I haven't smoked PA itself, but I have smoked several ounces of P&C Midtown's Prince Andrew, and it's far from flavorless. As mso489 says, I figured Russ would use better tobacco and charge less. PA isn't supposed to be a strong tobacco by any means, but it shouldn't be flavorless.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. theloniousmonkfish

    theloniousmonkfish

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    Try adding Perique to them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Interesting. Prince Albert has suffered many a sling and arrow, but I don't think "flavorless" is one I've heard before.

    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 1 year ago #
  10. jiminks

    JimInks

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    If you are used to smoking strong blends, many OTCs just aren't going to satisfy a smoker. I know a few people who smoke a lot of lat-blends who can hardly taste any other type of blend. Latakia can dull the tongue.

    I know somebody who has severe sinus problems, and can't taste any blend unless it's a lat-bomb or a highly charged aromatic. It's either what you are used to, or body chemistry or physical impairment that often dictates what blend works for you as much as personal preference.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. hawky454

    hawky454

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    In my opinion Latakia does not dull the tongue... at least for me and I hope that others would agree with me. Now I'm speaking for myself here but Latakia, if smoked just before another blend will truly help me taste amazing subtleties of other blends I would have not otherwise tasted, it helps prime my palate and awakens my senses. I think it's a bit harsh to say that Latakia dulls the tongue as we are all so truly different.

    As others have suggested. Give the PA a bit more time, try it on another occasion and you could be surprised to find that you pick up on the flavor next time, you may not like the flavor you get but I'm betting you'll eventually taste it. Your palate isn't ruined, you haven't burnt any precious olfactory nerves out by smoking Latakia or other stronger blends.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Hawky: You are entitled to your opinion, but I have seen time and again people make the same observation that I have through their own experiences, and that can't ignored. It's one main reason I change genres from one smoke to another so my palate is always fresh. I'm happy for you that have a different experience.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    This is an interesting anecdote, it's nice that the store had pipe tobacco. the prob with otc's is that there is no nic-hit, and it bites too much before you can smoke enough to get your fill.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    hawky, he said latakia can dull the senses

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. hawky454

    hawky454

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    hawky, he said latakia can dull the senses

    Uh.... no... he didn’t. He said it can dull the tongue, to which I have already responded but thanks for always trying to interject.

    Anything can dull the tongue if used in excess. Profanity dulls the tongue but that doesn’t seem to stop you from using it, pipeman7.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. rigmedic1

    rigmedic1

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    Idk. Had some 40 year old George Washington the other night, and the nutty Burley had me craving my old favorites. Those old OTC blends are great on a fresh, clean palate. Try CH in a cob. It’s great.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. mackeson

    mackeson

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    I find Carter Hall best in a cob when fishing. I don't enjoy smoking it in a briar when sitting and relaxing at home, but that may just be my preferences. I'm spoiled by variety, choices, and great quality tobaccos

    "Once you go down the Lakeland path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
    -Apologies to Master Yoda
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    That's what I meant, tongue not senses. But he said Latakia can dull the tongue. and then you said:

    I think it's a bit harsh to say that Latakia dulls the tongue as we are all so truly different

    haha

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Latakia does render other tobaccos flavorless for me for a few days which is why I only smoke blends now with very little percentage of it. If the concentration is much above ten percent, all blends with that much or more taste exactly the same to me. Too many years smoking lat heavy blends when I started.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
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    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. deathmetal

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    the prob with otc's is that there is no nic-hit, and it bites too much before you can smoke enough to get your fill.

    I have noticed something similar. But, often fun for a break, sort of like how Prince Albert goes well with random wandering.


    Now I'm speaking for myself here but Latakia, if smoked just before another blend will truly help me taste amazing subtleties of other blends I would have not otherwise tasted, it helps prime my palate and awakens my senses. I think it's a bit harsh to say that Latakia dulls the tongue as we are all so truly different.

    It probably does vary with personal biology. I have found that the more strong tastes -- including dark fired -- are used, the less the subtleties come out. So now I just smoke straight Burley every few days to reset my counter.

    I enjoyed making "microblends" which were 85% or so Burley, with very small amounts of the condimental tobaccos, as this sharpened my palate...

    "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 #
  21. pipestud

    pipestud

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    I've been enjoying reading this thread. Everyone's chemical makeup is so different that it is really hard to nail down what Latakia and OTC blends do as they do different things to different people. There are, for example, a lot of OTC blends that deliver nic hits to me - Prince Albert is one of them although the vitamin "N" in that one is not overpowering. Five Brothers, on the other hand, can whack me with a sledgehammer. I have a friend (a member of this forum, in fact), who says that Five Brothers tastes soft and buttery and he loves it straight.

    Latakia is another weed that has a variety of opinions about whether it overwhelms the senses (and it does mine whenever I smoke a blend with a large dose of it). But, I have friends who smoke nothing but Latakia and say the taste is refreshing and a real palate pleaser with no bite, no harshness and doesn't affect their taste buds in the least.

    Jiminks can smoke a variety of blends, switching types with each bowl and taste the subtle nuances of all of them. As for me, after back to back bowls of anything, everything I smoke starts tasting the same as my tongue and palate feel plastered.

    So, my supposition is that no one is wrong or right when it comes to discussing what various blends do to them personally.

    Pipestud
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. quint

    quint

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    Now...I hope this doesn't step on anyones toes, but the Prince Albert had like, NO flavor whatsoever. Maybe my taste-buds are shot from VA-Pers or Lat blends, but I couldn't detect anything. It was a cool smoke, but flavorless across the board. Anyone else find this to be true w/ this classic blend? I expected to at least taste some casing.

    Now the CH, I could taste at least the casing, which is at least something. The PA? Nothing. Not even cheap tobacco taste!

    You are correct. You have probably burned out your taste buds on lat blends. Latakia tends to dull the one's sense of taste- especially if smoked all the time. Wet blends with lots of PG also tend to dull the sense of taste.

    Try not to misunderstand Prince Albert or Carter Hall by expecting an explosion of added flavors from these two blends. They have practically no topping or casing added, and that's why they smoke so cool and smooth. They can be smoked all day long without irritating the mouth or overloading the taste buds. And that is why they are so popular and are considered timeless classics. Blends very lightly-topped with flavors that balance perfectly with the natural burleys are a joy to smoke.

    Don't get me wrong. I still smoke English blends from time to time, but I have fallen in love with PA and CH, and they have become my main everyday blends. The more I smoke them, the more I appreciate them. They are like trusted friends that never let me down.

    Try laying off latakia blends and wet blends soaked with PG for a while and focus on smoking PA and CH exclusively for a few weeks. You will soon be able to detect their mild flavors and learn to appreciate their wonderful smoking characteristics I'm sure.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. reverendsasquatch

    reverendsasquatch

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    I want to like them because 1-they're old school and 2-I really appreciate the fact that I can go to the local grocery store and find them there!

    I will keep puffing them, at least the whole pouch of each. That's a fair shot, I feel. I really posted this to see if others have similar experiences, and also to kinda get my feet wet again on the boards. Been away for several months, and I'm a relatively new member to begin with.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. paulie66scandinavian

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    Jimiks: How would you think if kentucky fired has the same effects as you described with the Latakia?

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Paulie: I have seen a few people say that dark fired Kentucky dulls or wears out their tongue. I think it would depend on how much is present in a blend, and how often and how fast you smoke it. For instance, if you smoked three or four bowls of MacBaren Old Dark Fired in a row without a break in between, I could see the need for a palate refresher. That might even be true for a blend where the dark fired is a condiment, but I think that would depend on your body chemistry, and how much you like dark fired Kentucky.

    Everybody has a varying tolerance level for different tobacco varietals. I've seen a few complaints about burleys and black cavendish tearing up the inside of the mouth. I've already mentioned that latakia can dull your tongue. We used to have a member on this forum (Cigrmaster) who got mouth sores and scorched tongue every time he tried to smoke red Virginia. He said it would start just after a few puffs, which frustrated him to no end as he liked the flavor of red Virginia.

    I've seen people who smoke strong G&H ropes, plugs and twists, who can't taste much of anything in milder blends. If you are daily smoking something strong like Sam Gawith Black Twist XX, there a fair chance you'll find Stonehaven or an OTC blend bland and flavorless by comparison. Again, I think it boils down to what your preferences are, and what your body chemistry, and tolerance levels allow you to enjoy.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    I find the only drug store type tobacco I can smoke is the sutliff blended Iwan Ries blendsfor when you want to smoke inside around other people.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    I'm smoking some Iwan Reis 3 Star Blue in a full bent Comoy Rover. JimInks, do you consider the IRC blends a step up in quality from the drugstore blends?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. jiminks

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    I prefer to think of many of them to one degree or another as varying twists on the aromatic and/or semi-aromatic genre. Some, like several of the Three Star blends and Old Colonial would fit in well in any place that sell OTCs. Essentially, it's a very subjective experience based on a particular smoker's preference. Ultimately it just comes down to what you like best and what your individual wont is in regard to smoking.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    I meant more in terms of tobacco quality. What other IRC blends are aromatic with a strong room note? I have Blue, Old Colonial & King's Oriental. Are the IRC blends like the buttered rum one sold as sutliff bulks under a different name? It seems like they would be

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. mso489

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    jiminks makes a good point (as usual) that you can numb down your taste with an unending diet of full-strength blends of various kinds. I've backed off somewhat from high-test blends, enjoying them intermittently, but weaving in some milder non-aros and some select tobacco forward aromatics too. I find this makes the overall experience much more varied and interesting. A stretch of thrill-seeking with Tambolaka and GH rope is a good journey, but not the whole available menu. Just now and then.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. paulie66scandinavian

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    Thank You for tips Jim,
    still and so far blends with aboundance of brighter and red virginias are causing me some mouth irritation which is never the place with Burleys.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. jiminks

    JimInks

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    You're very welcome, Paul.

    Pipeman: It's been quite a while since I smoked IR Buttered Rum, and it used to be different. I don't believe Sutliff made it then. I don't know about how that blend is now. I haven't tried all the Three Star blends, but of the ones I have tried, the Blue has the strongest topping.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. hawky454

    hawky454

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    So, my supposition is that no one is wrong or right when it comes to discussing what various blends do to them personally.

    Well said.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. hawky454

    hawky454

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    jiminks makes a good point (as usual) that you can numb down your taste with an unending diet of full-strength blends of various kinds.

    I used to think the same thing because it’s so commonly parroted in the forums but I’ve come to always smoke at least two pipes at one time, when one pipe gets warm I switch over to the next pipe and I find that smoking a strong blend in one pipe and a subtle blend in the other pipe really helps the flavors POP and I can taste much more subtleties in the mild blend just after switching pipes. The strangest thing is that VaPer’s and VA’s taste so much better after I’ve imediately smoked a heavy Lat blend like Nightcap. I went months trying to avoid Lat because I always heard it dulled your palate... I just don’t want new pipe smokers thinking they need to stay away from Lat in order to enjoy other blends. In the end, do whatever works for you!

    Posted 1 year ago #

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