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Should I Smoke It Or Sell It?

(37 posts)
  1. piperl12

    piperl12

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    I have a tin of early 90's Bengal Slices unopened should I open it and smoke it or should I put it online and sell it? Any idea's as to the value if it was sold? Tin made by james B russel.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I would open that bitch up and have at it.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. rigmedic1

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    I am not sure what it is worth, but I bet a 20-30 year old tobacco is going to be an awesome experience. I would keep it and smoke it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. 05venturer

    05venturer

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    I would open that bitch up and have at it.

    +1 Harris
    couldnt have said it any better

    Kent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    That is a legendary smoke. Don't open it yet. Go immediately to PC and buy a tin of fusiliers ration - Russ was trying to emulate how bengal flakes when he came up with that blend. You need to try both side by side (not even sure Russ has done that).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. captainsousie

    captainsousie

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    You should trade me for a pipe!

    If it were me, I'd open it, smoke it and never look back.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Depends.

    The latakia in that blend, being about 20 years old, has mellowed, but certainly not so much as, say a tin from the 70's. The virginias and cavendish will be in top form. Also important to note is that the Russell blend came after the original from A.C. Peterson version.

    It should be really good now, if you like your English along those lines, if you keep and smoke it.

    I'm guessing you might be able to get $25-$30 or so for it at auction, maybe more with some OCD bidder.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. crpntr1

    Chris

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    +1 Harris

    The most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen...not necessarily in that order

    You may all go to hell, I'll go to Texas-Davy Crockett
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. gray4lines

    Gray

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    You should open it and take pictures!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. zonomo

    zonomo

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    easy decision. to me, that's like have a 50 year old bottle of wine. Money isn't important. Experiences are.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. rmbittner

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    I'd encourage you to try it. It's a classic older blend and we don't often have the opportunity to sample such things. On eBay I'm guessing it might go for $40.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. judcole

    Jud

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    I'd encourage you to try it. It's a classic older blend and we don't often have the opportunity to sample such things.

    Amen.

    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 #
  13. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Given the price of tobacco in Canada I think I will smoke it. Good idea about the fusiliers ration I'll have to try that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. cezario

    cezario

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    + with Zonomo. Open the BS tin and enjoy !

    Cezario
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mustanggt

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    Harris, you're my hero.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. lonestar

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    I would open that bitch up and have at it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. batdemon

    batdemon

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    Open it, smoke it & post up a report on the experience.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    Ok: Several things you need to so.

    First, go buy a bottle of that Bushmills you have in lieu of your face...no, strike that, make that 3 bottles.

    Second: Pick a weekend date, at least a few weeks in the future, and clear the entire 24 hour period starting at 0800.

    Third: Call and invite at least 4 other pipe smokers and members of this forum (and make sure I'm the first one you call) over to your house on that date and make sure you have suitable sleeping arrangements.

    When the date arrives, crack open the tin and share it with me...I mean us. But most importantly, share those 3 bottles of Bushmills with me...I mean us...no, I really mean me on that. The tobacco is probably nice and I might enjoy a bowl, but I'm really coming for the whiskey and the company, you guys can enjoy those Bengel slices just fine while I'm slugging Bushmills and getting chatty/silly.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. morton

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    I'm coming along and I'll bring the whiskey! Hey, I just invited myself, I'd better at least make it worthwhile to earn my keep!

    Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    I just read this thread over again, and I suddenly realized that what he's asking is sort of like asking a bunch of beer lovers what he should do with a 6 pack of premium beer..."DRINK IT!!!". Duh.

    Geez, what kind of answer could he expect to get amongst a pack of pipe smokers?

    Sorry buddy, you should probably ask some people with a slightly less biased opinion.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. bobpnm

    bobpnm

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    What Harris said! - bp

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. sothron

    Perique

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    Open. Smoke. Tell us about it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. puffy

    puffy

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    Pipe smoking is about pleasure..SMOKE IT

    Life's most valuable treasure is..Love
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. joshwolftree

    joshwolftree

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    Ok: Several things you need to so.

    First, go buy a bottle of that Bushmills you have in lieu of your face...no, strike that, make that 3 bottles.

    Second: Pick a weekend date, at least a few weeks in the future, and clear the entire 24 hour period starting at 0800.

    Third: Call and invite at least 4 other pipe smokers and members of this forum (and make sure I'm the first one you call) over to your house on that date and make sure you have suitable sleeping arrangements.

    When the date arrives, crack open the tin and share it with me...I mean us. But most importantly, share those 3 bottles of Bushmills with me...I mean us...no, I really mean me on that. The tobacco is probably nice and I might enjoy a bowl, but I'm really coming for the whiskey and the company, you guys can enjoy those Bengel slices just fine while I'm slugging Bushmills and getting chatty/silly.

    +1
    I can bring meade or you know make some hor's de vors or somthin

    The true measure of a mans worth is how he chooses to chance his mortality
    Junior Member of the Black Bloods
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. sparroa

    simenon

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    I will add to the chorus of voices calling for you to smoke it!

    As you are well aware you probably won't be getting another one. Even if it is over the hill, the experience alone will be worth the small amount that you'd get from a sale...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    +1 Harris, smoke it, with the money you would just buy new tobacco, and wonder what it would have tasted like...Forever.

    Craig

    “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 #
  27. piperl12

    piperl12

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    I have to say for the record guys that if there was a way to get everyone together to enjoy a few bottles of Bushmills, and a pipe full of Bengal Slices I would do it in a heart beat. In fact it makes me wonder if I should save the tobacco and see if we can arrange a meet up at one of the pipe shows. Now wouldn't that be a cool experiance? It's too bad science hasn't invented a transporter yet so we could just transport over. Anyway thanks for all the feedback. I agree with all the comments. Experiances are more important than money. Too bad we just all couldn't enjoy this one together. That would make it really memorable!

    Rob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Dragonslayer is right! I was in a similar dilemma not long ago. I got an unopened tin of a rare, discontinued tobacco. For just a moment, I thought, "Man, this is worth some money. Hhhmmm." But then I thought,"I always wanted to smoke this and if I sell it, I won't ever know if I liked it." I immediately opened it, filled up a bowl and never looked back. And, oh by the way, it was great! I would have missed out on a wonderful experience.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Well, after many opinions in favour of smoking the tin of Bengal Slices I poured three fingers of Blackbush my favorite whiskey with a dash of water and an ice cube, sat by the fire downstairs in my chair and popped open the nearly 20 year old tin. I have to admit it was hard to pop that seal knowing that I would never get to do this again. I selected a never before smoked John Calich 4E that was gifted to me by John the year before he passed away. I was planning on saving that pipe and never smoking it to give to my oldest son since he has started to express an interest in my pipes. Well you know what they say special tobacco calls for a special pipe. I selected two flakes and relished the aroma in the tin. Slightly leather, slightly sweet with just a hint of smoke from the latakia. The flake was too small to fold so I decided to just rub it out. The tobacco was moist but not too moist compared to some flakes I have smoked. I carefully packed the pipe noting how oily the tobacco felt in my hands. Turned a little Sinatra on the stereo and put flame to tobacco. The first thing I noticed was I was smoking an amazing pipe. The draw was incredible, the felt amazing in my hand and the bit was slightly tapered at the bit. Something I have not seen before in one of Johns pipes. The first couple of puffs were sweeter than I expected. You can tell this is a Virginia/Latakia cross over, but there was something more, a casing flavour that I could not put my finger on. The smoke was thick and white and hung in the air. I initially found the tobacco a bit hard to stay lit. Quite an oily consistancy may have made it better to dry this tobacco out for an hour before smoking... no matter I took another draw and exhaled through my nose. The Latakia was not as pronounced as I expected. The virginia really took over on the sweetness side. Not earth shattering but a pleasant smoke. Was I a little disappointed, well maybe just a little. It had so much hype I am sure it could never had fully stood up to my expectations after 20 some odd years. I suspect the Latakia has mellowed in the tin and would have been much more to my liking when it was a new tin. I found the whiskey to be a bit sweet and somewhat dulled my palate to the taste of the tobacco so I focused on my smoke and finished my whiskey after I was done. The taste didn't change too much through the bowl, a few times it would get a little bitter but quickly moved back into the sweetness again. There was no bite and no tongue burn. I was left with an oily smooth finish and a white ash with a few dark pieces at the end of the bowl. All in all I am glad I got to experiance this legendary tin but honestly would not think it could stand up to some of today's C&D blends or Mclellend blends I have tried. There are so many good tobacco's out there that this one would be relegated to legendary reputation but no legendary smoke. Sorry to disappoint those who have never tried it and expected something more. My advice is spend your money on two tins of Penzance and you will be further ahead. I think I will finish the tin though and see if drying the tobacco next time will help bold the flavour some more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. sparroa

    simenon

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    Piper, I think you were still better off to smoke the tin yourself and to build up your own experiences rather than to sell it.

    I personally would not accompany it with any whiskey because it is probably far too mellow in its old age.

    I find latakia blends to be too mellow after 1-2 years so I can see what you mean after 20 years have elapsed.

    Still, Bengal Slices is a legend so I wish I was able to taste it both now and in its prime. Perhaps it would've been your favourite tobacco of all time when it was fresh and in full glory...

    I think this is a sobering reminder to a lot of us who expect aging to deliver transcendental smokes. The aging process is ultimately the controlled decay of the tobaccco and it is a period of mellowing and maturation for the most part - especially for English blends who lose their firepower with every passing year.

    Dare I say it, perhaps you should also spend a few days where you smoke nothing but Bengal Slices so that way you can tune in a bit better to the milder tastes it has to offer. If you smoke a fresh Cyprian latakia bomb on the same day, any nuances from the weaker blend won't taste like anything at all...

    All the same, my friend, it sounds like you had a good little experience in the scheme of things and you christened a new and treasured pipe with a touchstone tobacco in the comfort of your own home with good music in the background. It sounds like a decent night to me!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. rmbittner

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    Piper:

    Your experience echoes mine. Here are my notes from smoking a 15-year-old tin back in 2010:

    "Originally, Bengal Slices was the flake form of Balkan Sobranie, but that changed as time passed and the blend changed hands. Today, it wouldn't suggest Balkan Sobranie to anyone. But it does echo both Penzance and Germain's Special Latakia Flake. It is very smooth, without the oriental tang I so enjoy, and easily could be an all-day smoke. Time has softened the latakia."

    I don't know when the blend changed from being a flaked BS, but it's possible, though maybe unlikely, that your 20-year-old tin would have been part of that particular batch.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Sounds like you've got all the lucky my friend. Any chance you can take a picture or 2?


    Midwest Wood Creations
    Be sure to check out Gecko13's handiwork when in the market for any of your pipe accessory needs such as tampers, cabinets, pipe racks etc.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Sure Fitzy I will take a couple of pics tomorrow before I leave for work.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    brassonly

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    Sounds like you had a good experience smoking that 20 year old tin. I'm really glad you decided to smoke it instead of selling it. Thanks for sharing that moment here with us.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. cigrmaster

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    You might want to smoke it in a well broken in pipe that has been dedicated to English blends to see if you like it better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. lordnoble

    lordnoble

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    Actually, that blend is horrible with that much age on it. Send it to me for proper disposal.

    -Jason

    P.S.- Moved to Pipe Tobacco Discussions forum

    The preceding statement is not to be construed as fact, but merely conjecture.

    Proud member of the BlackBlood Society
    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. bentmike

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    Interesting post piper. Thanks for sharing your experience. Like the others say I too would smoke a few more bowls over the following days to get a better feel for it.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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