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Smoking Some 65 Year Old Scottish Flake --- A Group Review

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  • Started 5 years ago by misterlowercase
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  1. misterlowercase

    misterlowercase

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    Here's to the king of glen and crag!


    Scotland used to be a powerhouse in the tobacco business, going way back to the pre-independence days of the USA, doing much trade with the baccy farmers over here.

    Scotland has given us the most legendary blend outside of Balkan Sobranie,
    and that's Three Nuns, originally conceived by J&F Bell's of Glasgow.

    A major league of heavy-hitters proudly wearing that Scottish thistle emblem have blessed this Earth with their masterful talents of tobacco blending:

    Charles Rattray
    John Cotton
    George Dobie
    Robert McConnell
    Stephen Mitchell
    John McKinnell
    F & J Smith
    ...probably more of I know not,

    and of course,
    Thomson & Porteous,
    makers of the baccy which is the subject of our study.

    This thread will be a group review of one of their offerings, albeit with just a wee bit of age on her.

    Thomson & Porteous seem to be quite obscure, with nary a hair of info online, so sadly (for me), I won't go waffling on about all the historical aspects of the company and bore you to tears in glazed eyeballs of intricate lacework involving their founding and evolution, as I am so wont to do with these olde UK tobacco houses (lucky for you).

    About the only substantive bits showing up is this great old picture of some workers circa 1907:
    http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/0_g/0_groups_and_outings_thomson_and_porteous_1907_yerbury.htm

    ...and this site record for Leith Street:
    http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/84042/drawings/edinburgh+leith+street+general/?&sort_typ=archnum&sort_ord=desc

    Not even many tins are floating around out there.

    Their most famous blend, gauged by the amount of advertising surrounding it, was Luntin Mixture.






    A couple of their other blends had great names, like Celebrated Half Dark Nail Rod Plug and Two Hours Mixture.







    But what we're gonna talk about is Scots Cake, and there just ain't much known about it as far as I could find.

    I did cast a net though and was lucky enough to get a response from a very knowledgeable gent in Edinburgh.

    I reached out to Alan Myerthall of The Pipe Shop in Scotland to see if he could shed any light on the subject.

    He graciously replied and explained that Scots Cake was still on the market in 1972 when he started up in the business, but discontinued shortly thereafter. He said that he thought that the factory in Leith was already closed by that time because he would get it from Benson & Hedges.

    So, we do know that it had a fairly good long run in the marketplace.

    Thank you for that info Alan.

    And btw, anyone reading this that may interested in getting a nice new pipe,
    The Pipe Shop has an excellent selection of well-priced Northern Briars by Ian Walker,

    ...and also quite a few nice looking Parker pipes at a super bargain price.

    The late production Scots Cake came inna tin that looked like this:

    ...and in this old thread you can see towards the end when I actually got my mitts on my old 1949 knife-lid tin:
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/antique-cutter-top-knife-lid-tobacco-tin-survey-and-excavation-image-heavy

    That was three months ago.

    I finally opened it last week.

    It only cost me $25, I gotta great deal I reckon, and there weren't no guarantee that the stuff would even be smokeable, one tiny rust pinhole and it would've been mummy dust.

    I did have high hopes.

    And those hopes were somewhat satisfied when I finally opened it up, the erotic twisting of a cutter-top adding deeper pleasure to the whole experience, and once pierced it expelled a nectareous aroma of plummy raisin.

    Eagerly, I lifted the lid to inspect the bounties within and gauge their state of grace - I was taken aback at how well-preserved this sixty-five year old baccy was!

    A cutter-top tin is the perfect vessel, and a flake is the perfect content.

    It had survived, and had the promise of providing a grand smoke.

    Here are my first impressions on the initial bowlfull:

    ...I suspected it may be a VaPer due to its Scottish heritage, and I think it actually may be, but I'm very inexperienced with VaPers, barely having smoked much at all, but this stuff after one sample bowl, distinctly reminded me of Esoterica Dorchester, mainly due to the predominantly intense raisin note and flavors, and Dorchester is one of the few VaPers that I've smoked which displays a sort of fruitiness.

    I opened the tin just today, not knowing really what to expect but hoping against all odds it would at least be well-preserved. My hopes came true. In glorious outdoor sunlight, I snapped a few pix of it still in its unmolested state, then, I anxiously molested it.

    A forceful puncture with the knife-lid produced a rather long swoosh of air, a good 5 or 7 seconds, and along with that escaping air wafted the most intense aroma of raisins, a saturated incense which enchanted my senses and promised delight within - and indeed, softly lifting the now cut lid and then the slightly yellowed paper top cover, revealed that these flakes were in prime condition - my spirit soared!

    In the sunlight I could see crystallizations, but not until examining it indoors did I see the full cosmic sparkle of its sugary dust coating the whole flake like dewdrops glistening at daybreak.

    I immediately had to sample it and see if it'd be worthy of my plans to distribute it amongst some PipeMag briarbrothers - I chose a very clean Stanwell 19 reserved for Va's.

    Char-light revealed the flavor to be a match of the intense raisin smell it initially displayed. Then true-light and the evaluation was under way. It seemed to have a rather light body, quite mellow, not a very dense smoke, almost airy, yet somehow robust with that characteristic raisin profile, and continued somewhat soft 'n subtle in that manner, not exactly a heavy palate hitter, yet giving a distinct satisfaction - by midbowl a very muted spiciness showed up, along with a slight increase in overall body, as well as a deeper richness - and it continued like that right on down to the heel, leaving no dottle and burning effortlessly as most well-aged tobaccos seem to do.

    On my second bowl, the initial intensity had seemed to have faded a bit, perhaps my lighting technique was at fault, or perhaps a bit of the magic had already gone to the angels, but after a few puffs it started regaining those plummy raisin notes, and like before, it gained momentum in the middle and retained a nice profile until the end.

    There was an instance, however, that it tasted almost harsh, like an unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarette, losing its sweetness and gentle bouquet - because I was overpuffing.

    This stuff needs to be sipped and smoked with thoughtfulness.

    I also thought that perhaps that fruitiness I was tasting was actually a Whisky casing, or some other alcohol, and not actually perique at all, just because the flavor seemed so accentuated, sort of heightened.

    I dunno if that's from the aging, perhaps perique, or maybe a casing - I'm simply too inexperienced to accurately gauge what it actually is.

    Not to mention my emotional bias due to the patina of the tin, the act of opening a virgin knife-lid, and my overly romantic enthusiasm for olde UK tobacco in general --- which may have tainted my observations.

    And that's one reason why I decided to send out samples to a diverse clutch of my PipeMag brothers - to help me decipher it, to give their objective impressions, to write whatever they wished about it however they wished to write it.

    All with blunt honesty I reminded them, please be frank.

    If it's flat, say it's flat.

    If it's past it's prime, say it's past it's prime.

    Indeed, I did detect a sort of flat element, kind of like a funky staleness around the edges, but overall it was quite flavorsome I thought.

    This will be an educational process for me, I think I'll learn something here, and I thank all the participants for taking the time to share your thoughts about this olde flaked baccie.

    I think nearly everyone in North America has their samples, but it'll be maybe another week before the baccy reaches friends over in Scotland, Ireland, and The Netherlands - for that I apologize, perhaps I should have planned this out all better, but I was excited after opening it up and went into a sort of frenzy, wanting to get the baccy sent out as soon as possible before it started fading.

    So, hopefully this post will keep growing as everyone comes to chime in --- on their own time and in their own way.

    It should be interesting to see the different interpretations of this olde Scots Cake, and I'm greatly looking forward to reading it all!

    Thanks everyone.

    (...and apologies for such a long rambling post.)

    The stuff itself:











    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. papipeguy

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    Excellent, Troy. Let the game begin. This should be most interesting and educational.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. pitchfork

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    Troy, many thanks indeed for sending me a sample of this rare and glorious flake.

    My first impressions, after just the one bowl:

    I detected nothing "flat" whatsoever. The smell of plummy raisin in the unlit tobacco is INTENSE. The smoke, for me, from first light, was deeply fruity. Dark, stewed fruits, that is -- nothing bright like pineapple or strawberries. The deep, sweet VAs only grew more deep and flavorful as I progressed through the bowl. There was a touch of throat-scratchy something in there, but overall I found it to be a smooth, cool-smoking flake in the British tradition. In a way, it reminded me of Bulwark flake -- not the exact flavor profile of Bulwark's Lakeland-lite topping, but the rich, deep, smooth, mellowness of VAs and perhaps some burley as well. Stonehaven comes to mind here, but Scots Cake has more VAs than anything else as far as I can tell. If there is any Perique in this flake, I couldn't detect it distinctly. The dark-fruit bass notes remind me more of typical British flakes made of VAs and burley (with no Perique). And there may be an alcoholic casing involved. At this point, the fermentation of the tobaccos probably gives this sense as much as anything else. And although I'm most struck by the deep, dark, mellow notes in the flavor, the VAs have more than enough "legs" to support it all. I'm still wondering if there isn't some kind of typically British casing involved -- perhaps a bit of Tonquin/Coumarin as it has a very slight affinity with St. Bruno.

    Thanks again, Troy, for the opportunity to try this.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I would first off like to thank misterlowercase for giving me this opportunity. I've only been piping around 2 1/2 years and it's only in the last six or so months that I've been investigating VaPers. This will be a review about the tobacco and experience. I won't be comparing it to any tobacco's I currently have or haven't smoked.

    On to the baccy. I knew via PM that I would be receiving some so I prepped my birth year (63) Dunhill via salt and alcohol to make the pipe as clean as possible.

    When I opened the foil and smelled the flake I got a good smell of raisins and maybe fig. I also smelled some sort of Whisky, maybe a light Highland. When I went to prepared the flake (there were four) it dried out sufficiently in about ten minutes and then it was fold and stuff. I used a match for the false light and then the true. The smoke was very mild and the whisky still came through. Not in an overpowering way but in a drinking buddy kind of thing. The smoke was very cool, dry and the room note was very mild. It smoked all the way through with just one more light and left just ash at the end. It was a very enjoyable smoke.

    Later that night, I smoked my Barling Londoner with another flake and this time I paired the flake with some Macallan 12 sherry cask and the flavor of both went through the roof. Easily one of the best smoking experiences.

    The next day was flake # 3's day to shine. I smoked it in a SMA custom Spitfire bent billiard that is my go to flake pipe. The raisin and fig were definitely still there but the light whiskey was just as "cute" (couldn't help myself) and it just keep my taste buds alive. It burned all the way to ash and was a welcome easy cool smoke.

    Last night was the final flake. For this pairing I chose a Balvenie 25 year old Single Cask and I again used my birth year Dunhill. This time it didn't need any additional drying and then I folded and stuffed. The whisky I detected in the baccy combined with the Balvenie almost finished me off. It was just flat out delicious. It almost had a mild fruity taste that I couldn't put my finger on.

    I realized something I hadn't thought about before. I took up the pipe to remember my grandfather, but more and more moments like these are about building my own piping experiences.

    Again I am honored and humbled that I was invited to give this review and I hope I didn't screw it up.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. misterlowercase

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    Awesome Wes!

    What a great write-up, now that you mention it, I do detect those affinities you speak of!

    The smoke, for me, from first light, was deeply fruity. Dark, stewed fruits, that is -- nothing bright like pineapple or strawberries. The deep, sweet VAs only grew more deep and flavorful as I progressed through the bowl.

    That's an on-point summary, and that's what I experienced too.

    There was a touch of throat-scratchy something in there, but overall I found it to be a smooth, cool-smoking flake in the British tradition. In a way, it reminded me of Bulwark flake -- not the exact flavor profile of Bulwark's Lakeland-lite topping, but the rich, deep, smooth, mellowness of VAs and perhaps some burley as well.

    Wow, that's a dimension that I didn't pick up on, at least not at the forefront, but I agree with your opinion on this, I very much appreciate you bringing this aspect into light.

    Stonehaven comes to mind here, but Scots Cake has more VAs than anything else as far as I can tell.

    Again, I missed this element of Stonehavenesque qualities, but dammit if you ain't got somethin' there - the darkness, the depth, the smoothness, all share common ground.

    If there is any Perique in this flake, I couldn't detect it distinctly.

    This is where my lack of experience and preconceptions came in and caused me to falter to a default perique presence, I'm just not familiar enough with perique, and I ain't familiar enough with well-aged baccie either, to gauge whether or not it played a role --- I admit I have a long way to go as far as developing my palate and dissecting what's what --- and that's one of the great charms with pipesmoking, the daily growth and ever-enhancing new experiences!

    The dark-fruit bass notes remind me more of typical British flakes made of VAs and burley (with no Perique). And there may be an alcoholic casing involved. At this point, the fermentation of the tobaccos probably gives this sense as much as anything else. And although I'm most struck by the deep, dark, mellow notes in the flavor, the VAs have more than enough "legs" to support it all. I'm still wondering if there isn't some kind of typically British casing involved -- perhaps a bit of Tonquin/Coumarin as it has a very slight affinity with St. Bruno.

    No doubt brother.
    Well done my friend.
    I very much appreciate your perspective and your ability to describe it all.

    First review and I've already gained new perspectives!

    Most excellent!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. misterlowercase

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    Timothy -

    No way man, ya didn't screw nuthin' up brother, I'm glad you got 4 bowls out of it and was able to describe the experiences so well.

    And thanks for the pic too, very cool to see how it arrived on your end, and the honor of it being smoked in your birth-year Dunhill!

    When I opened the foil and smelled the flake I got a good smell of raisins and maybe fig. I also smelled some sort of Whisky, maybe a light Highland

    Same here, the aroma was intense --- but I didn't immediately pick up on the possible Whisky, I cain't drink the brown stuff, vodka is my poison, so I ain't too familiar with Whisky scents or flavors.

    I appreciate your input on this quality.

    The smoke was very mild and the whisky still came through. Not in an overpowering way but in a drinking buddy kind of thing. The smoke was very cool, dry and the room note was very mild. It smoked all the way through with just one more light and left just ash at the end. It was a very enjoyable smoke.

    Awesome.
    Diggit.

    Later that night, I smoked my Barling Londoner with another flake and this time I paired the flake with some Macallan 12 sherry cask and the flavor of both went through the roof. Easily one of the best smoking experiences.

    I love how you chose to pair it and your description of the experience is a thrill to me that you enjoyed it so much, great stuff!

    The next day was flake # 3's day to shine. I smoked it in a SMA custom Spitfire bent billiard that is my go to flake pipe. The raisin and fig were definitely still there but the light whiskey was just as "cute" (couldn't help myself) and it just keep my taste buds alive. It burned all the way to ash and was a welcome easy cool smoke.

    Cute indeed!
    LOL
    Is the SMA a meer?

    Last night was the final flake. For this pairing I chose a Balvenie 25 year old Single Cask and I again used my birth year Dunhill. This time it didn't need any additional drying and then I folded and stuffed. The whisky I detected in the baccy combined with the Balvenie almost finished me off. It was just flat out delicious. It almost had a mild fruity taste that I couldn't put my finger on.

    Again, how you chose to pair this is so cool, and I'm with you on detecting that fruity element I couldn't put a finger on.

    Well done mate!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to evaluate this stuff.

    I can already tell by just 2 reports that this exercise will provide a rich educational experience!

    Cheers!

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I'm so jealous at the opportunity to try something of this rarity. You are a great member here mrlowercase. Cheers to you and all who got to participate. Sounds like quite an experience!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. voorhees

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    I was interested in this when you asked the members here, but did not join in as I don't think I could do the review justice. Nice to hear a few that can.

    Jason
    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. condorlover1

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    I am amazed by these reviews. I could have purchased a bunch of tins like this in the 1980s and didn't - what an idiot was I for not doing so!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. peckinpahhombre

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    This is a great thread. Thanks guys.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. igloo

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    Great reviews and wonderful generosity .

    “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 5 years ago #
  12. misterlowercase

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    Yeah,
    this is fun.

    I forgot to mention - it's a fairly monochromatic smoke, not really complex, but I found it enjoyable how the flavor profile seemed to keep intensifying as the bowl progressed.

    And, I was a little surprised at how "stemmy" it was, it seems to me to have more stem content than modern flakes?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. stbruno70

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    Amazing thread and great photos.

    Mason,Vice President
    Golden Gate Pipe Club
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I haven't read any of this thread yet, which I'll go back and do after this post. I wanted to be uninfluenced in giving my impressions. I only have a vague idea about this tobacco, that we may or may not know it to be a VaPer, or a cased mild Va. That's about it. I wanted to open my sample and let my senses fill in the gaps with no prior expectations.

    Opening my sample of this tobacco it's consistent with the other well preserved, very old tobaccos I've smoked. Not so much dry as ancient but still pliable, a wonderful aroma, and a milky haze on the tobacco.

    The overwhelming aroma coming off this tobacco is dried fruit. Raisin-y. Prune-y. It's a fantastic scent to get from a Va mixture or flake, and my anticipation really swelled after opening this tonight.

    I had quite a small sample, four small flakes. It looked to me like two flake that were halved. I broke a pair up to see how much I'd get from the sample, and decided that I could get two group 3 billiard bowls out of my sample. I called my oldest son down and asked him if he'd like to join me in smoking some very old tobacco, to which he enthusiastically responded. I decided to gift him an Orlik Corona shape 17 billiard I bought as NOS in November. The vintage of the pipe is approx. early to mid 60s. I bought this pipe unsmoked, and only smoked a few bowls of Burley in it to get it ready for flakes, and since then my focus has sharpened and I've decided to dedicate the remaining slots I have to fill to a different maker. This Orlik is a nice little pipe, but I already have several group 3 billiards I like better, and my son didn't have a proper flake pipe.

    For myself I chose a Loewe Centurion Redcar billiard, a group 3 of almost identical proportions to the Orlik I gave my son tonight. This pipe was made between 1955 and 1964, and I also bought it unsmoked in November. I've broken it in on Burley, and since break-in it's seen maybe two bowls of FVF.

    Both pipes used tonight should be very neutral.

    The first third of the bowl was very strong in the dried fruit flavors of the sample aroma. Very excellent. Stonehaven wished it nailed that fruit thing as well as this Scots Cake tonight has it down. I'm undecided whether the fruitiness was part of the casing or naturally occurring. I lean toward the former, although certainly various fruit tastes occur in pipe tobacco and cigars, so it could be natural. I guess I wouldn't be willing to wager on it, but in either case it's a delight.

    I do not know if this tobacco indeed contained Perique or not. No idea what so long aging would do to the Perique. I got no black pepper, but I did get faint pepper notes, and the smoke was lively on the tongue throughout. Not bite-y, but it did have a tingle to it.

    The bowl settled into a mild Virginia with subtle fruit tones and a perfume that reminds me of the pomanders my grandmother kept in her dresser drawers. This definitely has a perfume to it, but not of a Gawith Hoggarth magnitude. It was pleasant and complimented the mild tobacco and fruit notes. Scented talc is perhaps not far off, and while I don't think it will linger, I will probably taste it for the next couple bowls out of this pipe.

    In terms of Virginia sugar, this didn't show as much as some other aged Va's I've smoked, and I feel that the tobacco smoked tonight was not too far off the original with the exception of the smoothing the years have worked on it and a mellowing of the casing element.

    The last third of the bowl focused mainly on the scented talc and not quite pepper notes that gave the tongue a tingle. My son and I both got about 1 hour 40 minutes out of our small bowls, which is pretty consistent with what a flake this dense would usually provide. The tobacco burned well and my wife said this had the most pleasant room note of anything I've ever smoked.

    I think a comparison to St Bruno is appropriate. I also think that, reading a list of ingredients used in casing the original Capstan, that this Scots Cake would have been a similar mixture.

    In any event you don't get to smoke something like this very often, and you have my thanks and the thanks of my boy, who really enjoyed it. I think if you had the opportunity to smoke nothing but aged tobacco you wouldn't miss fresh, and if I could buy this Scots Cake as I smoked it tonight, I would put some away. A very good smoke. Mild, tasty, a little something extra without being obnoxious about it, and not like any tobacco that's readily available to American pipe smokers. A rare treat. If it is indeed a VaPer, I like what the years did to the Perique. Lively on the tongue, but not sharp, and the fruit notes both unburned and burning are the best I've had in a pipe tobacco.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. misterlowercase

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    Michael - very well done, a joy to read.

    Adding to the cool factor is you and your son both together for the smoke, and how you chose to gift him with the Orlik billiard ---
    totally awesome!

    btw
    It was reading what you've written about straight billiards which indeed opened my eyes, a revision of my aesthetic vision, and nudged me toward them. I used to think the shape was too traditional and quite boring, but now I love them, they're my favorite shape. What I find ironic is that it seems a bit difficult to find a really good straight billiard, one that has the proper proportions, just a hair off and they look clumsy, or just wrong somehow. It's easier with the old British estates of course, but then we're talking condition and scarcity - with contemporary pipemakers, either they can make one or they can't, I mean one that looks right, and the ones that look right always seem to sell very quickly.

    Anyway,
    back to the baccie...

    The first third of the bowl was very strong in the dried fruit flavors of the sample aroma. Very excellent. Stonehaven wished it nailed that fruit thing as well as this Scots Cake tonight has it down.

    Excellent quote.

    I'm undecided whether the fruitiness was part of the casing or naturally occurring. I lean toward the former, although certainly various fruit tastes occur in pipe tobacco and cigars, so it could be natural. I guess I wouldn't be willing to wager on it, but in either case it's a delight.

    Indeed, it's difficult for me to gauge exactly what it is as well, but whatever it is, you're correct - I found it delightful!

    I do not know if this tobacco indeed contained Perique or not. No idea what so long aging would do to the Perique. I got no black pepper, but I did get faint pepper notes, and the smoke was lively on the tongue throughout. Not bite-y, but it did have a tingle to it.

    I should have never said anything about perique, I think I misidentified it as containing some, but really I have no idea. I'm hoping someone may be able to definitively say yay or nay, but otherwise, it's a good kind of mystery to live with, that distinct flavor profile.

    The bowl settled into a mild Virginia with subtle fruit tones and a perfume that reminds me of the pomanders my grandmother kept in her dresser drawers. This definitely has a perfume to it, but not of a Gawith Hoggarth magnitude. It was pleasant and complimented the mild tobacco and fruit notes. Scented talc is perhaps not far off, and while I don't think it will linger, I will probably taste it for the next couple bowls out of this pipe.

    Interesting.

    In terms of Virginia sugar, this didn't show as much as some other aged Va's I've smoked, and I feel that the tobacco smoked tonight was not too far off the original with the exception of the smoothing the years have worked on it and a mellowing of the casing element.

    Nice, I like how you brought that aspect into play, not too far off the original with the exception of the smoothing the years, I hadn't considered it but you may just be right -- it speaks to the talent of the blenders, and reaffirms my belief that the old cutter-top tins are superior to any other form of packaging.

    The tobacco burned well and my wife said this had the most pleasant room note of anything I've ever smoked.

    Great stuff, that's pretty incredible, glad to hear it.

    I think a comparison to St Bruno is appropriate. I also think that, reading a list of ingredients used in casing the original Capstan, that this Scots Cake would have been a similar mixture.

    The olde UK tobacco houses knew how to do it right.

    A very good smoke. Mild, tasty, a little something extra without being obnoxious about it, and not like any tobacco that's readily available to American pipe smokers.

    True that.

    ...and the fruit notes both unburned and burning are the best I've had in a pipe tobacco

    I think I'd have to agree.
    I've never tasted anything else with such a robust deep fruit note the way that Scots Cake carried it.

    Thank you for taking the time, it was a pleasure to read.

    . . . . . .

    We now have 3 reports that seem to intersect in the same sweet spot, 4 including mine.

    There are 8 more people who will be adding their thoughts here.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this rounds out,
    and how the finalized tally will look.

    Surely we can't have a unified consensus could we?
    That's fairly difficult to do amongst a dozen different pipesmokers!

    Dissent!
    Dissent!

    Can't wait to see what comes next.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. pruss

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    The only dissent I'm experiencing right now is with Canada Post!

    *scuffs foot*

    Stupid no weekend delivery!

    **kicks can**

    Every day I go to the mailbox as SOON as I get home... every day more IKEA fliers and NO aged tobacco.

    ***grumble***

    -- Pat

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. misterlowercase

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    Damn Pat.

    My apologies,
    I feel kinda bad, perhaps I started the thread too early, I'm hoping your envelope is in the mailbox today.

    And,
    just for reference,
    regarding the pipe that cakeanddottle used,
    here's what a Loewé & Co. Redcar 137 looks like:

    That image is from the incredible Loewe Pipe Packet put out by Gary B. Schrier and his Briarbooks Press:
    http://www.briarbooks.com/The_Loewe_Pipe_Packet_FHDM.html
    ...the facsimile catalogues he's been publishing are a true gift.

    I'm not usually into the earlier stuff because I favor sandblasts, but these early catalogs can be highly educational in regard to understanding shapes and their subtleties.

    I would have never gotten this if it weren't for seeing it available at $10 on the P&C garage sale page, and I'm so glad I did get it. I would have missed out on much.

    It is definitely worth getting.

    It is lavish.

    Luxurious.

    It will transport you.

    What really astounds me are the numerous billiard variants Loewe offered and how each one carries itself most distinctly as its own, I reckon since Emil was a Frenchman this great ability carried over much like how it did with Comoy.

    Just looking through the 1910 catalogue is a jawdropper,
    I'd love to have one of their Allbriars.

    Never had I seen either, how exactingly perfect the Liverpool shape could be, they nailed it.

    I wish they weren't so difficult to come by.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. pruss

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    Don't worry Troy. The reviews above won't spoil my analysis. I stopped eating onions and using hot sauce this week to make sure the taste-buds were in good working order.

    -- Pat

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. misterlowercase

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. cortezattic

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    I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Troy for generously according me the privilege and rare opportunity to sample a flake tobacco that's been aging for 65 yrs. Now, on to a description of the experience. For the record, I had enough tobacco for smokes in 3 squat bulldogs (my favorite shape): Savinelli, Butz-Choquin, Sebastian Beo.

    The flakes were 2¼" x ¾" x ~ 1mm; at what I consider the optimum moisture level for immediate use; and coated in spots with that silvery, glistening harbinger of delight we often find on aged, pressed tobaccos. (While I'm thinking about that frosty residue, I should mention that I don't recall ever seeing it on any flakes produced outside of the U.K. I'll have to look for it on some locally produced blends.)

    The bouquet was fairly strong, and reminiscent of dried dark fruit, but with a musty, woody edge -- and it carried into to smoke stream quite faithfully. In fact, "fruity, woody and musty" pretty well describes the smoke's profile. I don't have a clue as to what tobaccos went into this blend, but I can describe what it seems to have been: think red Va., Latakia, some Oriental, and Perique, perhaps with a whisky topping. But go on to imagine how such a blend would change if the Virginias mellowed; the Latakia faded dramatically; and the Oriental and Perique both gained musty aromatic strength, as well as some spiciness.

    Regardless of the original mix of Virginias that went into this blend, it is now devoid of citrous tartness and/or grassy sharpness. The blend is somewhat sweet -- but it doesn't reside at the sweet end of the Va spectrum, it merely leans toward it. The aging process has mellowed and deepened the bread-like qualities that I find in red Va's.

    Throughout the sampling process a woodsy, salty finish kept developing on my palate, with the vague suggestion of smokiness. So it isn't much of an imaginative leap to conclude that the blend originally contained a good dose of Latakia. Apparently, Latakia fades with time -- and that, I think, is what gives this blend its ineffably woodsy/smoky/saline edge without appearing to be an overtly "Full British" blend. What may have been the pungence of a smoky campfire has, with time, become attenuated and indistinct. This faded Latakia taste is unique in my experience, so I might be fooled by some fire cured or stoved leaf -- but I don't think so.

    This sample has a musty edge -- like the pages of an old book. Perhaps that's due to fermentation, but there's something aromatic about it, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it has some Oriental leaf -- maybe Izmir (Smyrna). And the fruity taste? Has to be some Perique there too. There is no peppery tingle, for which Perique is renowned, but there is a gentle spiciness -- not an herbal spice, but rather, the spice found in the sugar coated, jellied candy called Spice Drops.

    Well, I could go on to discuss the usual stuff of tobacco reviews: smoothness, or balance of flavor, body and strength; whole mouth feel, smoke volume, nicotine strength, cool, dry smoke, yada yada. But those things don't matter too much because the real experience here has been to imagine the transformations in the aging process. That's the gift Troy has given to we fortunate few. I'm sure he wishes he had enough to give everyone a taste.

    Now, I said something or other to Troy about this tobacco being almost as old as I am. Frankly, I think I was a bit over the top in making any analogies, so I won't repeat what I wrote to him. But he's free to quote me if he really thinks it is helpful.

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

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    Larry - Most excellent. Top shelf stuff.

    And thanks for giving me permission to quote the quote,
    I found it to be magnificent and incredibly eloquent.

    Here's the quote:

    I've gotta smoke a couple more bowls of Scots Cake, and then I'll start writing it up as a review that I can paste into the thread you start. If I can believe what G L Pease writes, then certainly a 65 yr old tin is at least approaching the end of the road; but frankly, I kinda liked the two bowls I've had so far. Altho its erstwhile exuberance is forever gone, I have to admit that I like it better than many young blends I have purchased in recent years! This tin is kind of a metaphor for me since I am 66 yrs old too! As with the agéd, who have gained wisdom and discernment even as time robs them of vigor, this blend possesses a mix and balance of flavors that transcend what a blender can do, limited as he is by the palette of contemporary leaf -- a blender who can only but wait for Chronos to do his magic.

    Damn near perfection, those words.

    And about the baccie...

    The flakes were 2¼" x ¾" x ~ 1mm; at what I consider the optimum moisture level for immediate use; and coated in spots with that silvery, glistening harbinger of delight we often find on aged, pressed tobaccos.

    Very nice, thank you for being cognizant enough to actually do proper measurements, an aspect I completely ignored.

    You remind me that I need to be more mindful.

    btw,
    I always mix inches with millimeters too!
    When looking at a pipe I prefer to know weight in grams, and chamber diameter in mm, but I must look at length only in inches!

    I once read in an old 50's issue of Road & Track a readers letter stating that the metric system was a communist plot and designed to brainwash Americans into submission LOL but I actually prefer the metric system, it's actually more logical.

    The bouquet was fairly strong, and reminiscent of dried dark fruit, but with a musty, woody edge -- and it carried into to smoke stream quite faithfully. In fact, "fruity, woody and musty" pretty well describes the smoke's profile. I don't have a clue as to what tobaccos went into this blend, but I can describe what it seems to have been: think red Va., Latakia, some Oriental, and Perique, perhaps with a whisky topping. But go on to imagine how such a blend would change if the Virginias mellowed; the Latakia faded dramatically; and the Oriental and Perique both gained musty aromatic strength, as well as some spiciness.

    Wow!
    This strophe is a stunner, a great breakdown, and gives me much to ponder.

    Regardless of the original mix of Virginias that went into this blend, it is now devoid of citrous tartness and/or grassy sharpness. The blend is somewhat sweet -- but it doesn't reside at the sweet end of the Va spectrum, it merely leans toward it. The aging process has mellowed and deepened the bread-like qualities that I find in red Va's.

    Note to self: investigate red Va's more thoroughly.

    Throughout the sampling process a woodsy, salty finish kept developing on my palate, with the vague suggestion of smokiness. So it isn't much of an imaginative leap to conclude that the blend originally contained a good dose of Latakia. Apparently, Latakia fades with time -- and that, I think, is what gives this blend its ineffably woodsy/smoky/saline edge without appearing to be an overtly "Full British" blend. What may have been the pungence of a smoky campfire has, with time, become attenuated and indistinct. This faded Latakia taste is unique in my experience, so I might be fooled by some fire cured or stoved leaf -- but I don't think so.

    Awesome.
    I did capture some "ghost notes" as you speak of, but latakia was totally off my radar, I've only recently come around to even liking the stuff, and have only tasted the fresh intense variety of Cyprian --- correction, I have smoked some late 60's Balkan Sobranie white, the ghost notes of Lat were there, but the oriental leaf carried such a robust mouth-filling intensity, that I was transfixed like a deer caught in headlights, I'm gonna smoke another pipe of that old BS this weekend and see if I can actually discern better what I'm tasting. Thanks for setting me up and prompting into this little project of comparisons.

    Again, more food for thought

    This sample has a musty edge -- like the pages of an old book. Perhaps that's due to fermentation, but there's something aromatic about it, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it has some Oriental leaf -- maybe Izmir (Smyrna). And the fruity taste? Has to be some Perique there too. There is no peppery tingle, for which Perique is renowned, but there is a gentle spiciness -- not an herbal spice, but rather, the spice found in the sugar coated, jellied candy called Spice Drops.

    I did get that funky mustiness,
    and I love the way you've described it here.

    And you seem to be leaning toward a definite yes on the inclusion of perique,
    interesting.

    Well, I could go on to discuss the usual stuff of tobacco reviews: smoothness, or balance of flavor, body and strength; whole mouth feel, smoke volume, nicotine strength, cool, dry smoke, yada yada. But those things don't matter too much because the real experience here has been to imagine the transformations in the aging process. That's the gift Troy has given to we fortunate few. I'm sure he wishes he had enough to give everyone a taste.

    Well put.
    Spot on.

    And,
    yes - I do wish that I had enough to share with a broader scope of folks, this sort of thing is priceless, getting the feedback and reading about the different experiences, and how each person processes that experience.

    I certainly wish I had more of this stuff!
    LOL
    But really, if I had kept it all for myself inna jar, smoking it all by my lonesome, in the shadows of obscurity
    --- I would have been the poorer for it...

    ...because I am completely enriched by what is going on here.

    For real.

    Seriously.

    This exercise has turned out to be highly rewarding.

    Thank you for your time and for your writing.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. bigboi

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    Very great Thread. I liked this idea with many different experiences of the same tobacco. Nice job fellas

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
    -Albert Einstein, 1950
    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. cortezattic

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    Thanks for the comments. The pleasure was all mine, I assure you.
    Late edit: I also had a half bowl of Scots Cake in a Charatan billiard -- not as good as in the wider bowls.
    I'd like to know about that shiny stuff that appears on aged flake. Has anybody seen it develop on anything other than
    a flake made in the UK?

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Throughout the sampling process a woodsy, salty finish kept developing on my palate, with the vague suggestion of smokiness. So it isn't much of an imaginative leap to conclude that the blend originally contained a good dose of Latakia. Apparently, Latakia fades with time -- and that, I think, is what gives this blend its ineffably woodsy/smoky/saline edge without appearing to be an overtly "Full British" blend. What may have been the pungence of a smoky campfire has, with time, become attenuated and indistinct. This faded Latakia taste is unique in my experience, so I might be fooled by some fire cured or stoved leaf -- but I don't think so.

    I've smoked some very old Lat blends so I have a frame of reference for what time does to latakia. I've also progressed from smoking almost nothing but latakia blends to can't stand more than 4-5 bowls a year now. I am very sensitive to its presence and I generally really dislike it anymore. I would be willing to wager on this having none, and I'm not much for gambling.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. cortezattic

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    Huh?

    Hoo-boy! Let the controversy begin!

    It's hard to imagine a Scottish blend not having Latakia; and for me the age, muted smokiness, and salinity ices it.
    Your experience with aged Latakia provides a valuable frame of reference, but consider that even a 25 yr. old tin is
    still just a puppy compared to this stuff. 40 years more is ample time to erase Latakia's pungent signature, and
    reduce it to a hazy blur. Alas, there is nothing more to offer than a smile to prove the existence of a Cheshire Cat.

    I too am an erstwhile Latakia-phile who suddenly had an epiphany. These days I am very protective of my taste buds,
    and I have become very sensitive to the smoky, oily demon. I cantstannit!

    Hopefully others will weigh in on this, and maybe we can get a consensus. Who knows? Maybe somebody who knows
    the ingredients of Scots Cake can inform us. I've been fooled before -- but that's my 2¢

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. misterlowercase

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    Alright,
    now we're gettin' down to the nitty gritty!

    Let's get Fred Hannafied up in here!
    ( intense dialogue )

    I'm simply too unfamiliar with Lat, especially vintage Lat, to comment on that, although I will state that indeed I tasted those saline qualities, but no sort of soft woodsy smokiness really.

    I can comment on Scottish blends being predominantly inclusive of Latakia though, and I would have to say nay.

    I mean the most famous Scottish blend of all time sure didn't have none...


    ...and of the few other Bell's tins surviving, there ain't much evidence of a Lat blend, although I'm sure they had one I'd reckon.


    I guess the term Scottish as applied to tobacco has always kinda been of an iffy definition, I think for the most part it should be parallel to gauging the British blends, that is, if it says Mixture then it's usually a Lat blend, I think that's pretty much how they made that distinction.

    Of the 6 original Dobie's Four Square, only 2 were Lat mixes.

    And some other Scottish tins show no evidence of being Lat mixtures, it seems up North they liked Golden Bar a lot, and also twists and plugs, and of course, flakes.







    Just my 2d.

    And now for something completely different...

    Catching a ride with Greg Pease's purple giraffe and other astonishing tales of sensorial intrigue

    Last night I smoked a half bowl of the Scots Cake, in the same Stanwell 19.

    I wanted to take a different approach,
    I decided to smoke it heavy like a gruff seaman with full face to the wind.

    I puffed with vigor and it became fully stoked to steady smolder, but did not overheat and kept producing wave after wave of robust smoke --- I detected more of a density than when sipping, at one point I became light-headed, I think when this stuff was younger it displayed a much fuller body, and I'd guess that it also carried its flavor much more intensely.

    I moved the pipe around a lot and at one point I sustained a repeated deep draw with the button about 5mm from the very tip of my tongue - I definitely got that periquey tingle, but none of that mordre faux (false bite) which usually will numb my tongue and obliviate my taste receptors - the fact that I could experience the tingle without that unwanted side effect caused me to continue tongue-tipping it close to button for a good long while, it was like an opium delirium, flavorfully mellow yet earth-shattering.

    Retrohale with massive cloud gave the very distinct sensation of the talc that Michael was talking about, and I think this is an element I could not put my finger on earlier, but after reading about the scented talc it came all together in my neural network and not only pinpointed the aroma, but produced memories associated with that aroma. I don't think I've ever really "tasted" talc in tobacco, and I'm glad to have that footnote in my mental index.

    I also got the flavor of what fresh party balloons smell like, sort of like that soft rubber, and it too triggered pathways of the past as well, it was quite strange actually, and enjoyable.

    Smoking this tobacco puts me into a very relaxed meditative state.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Wow, this is extremely educational. I'm easily a lightweight and teetering on a dolt when it comes to this. This is a great thread.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. misterlowercase

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    Hey man, don't be so hard on youself.

    When you wrote this:

    I realized something I hadn't thought about before. I took up the pipe to remember my grandfather, but more and more moments like these are about building my own piping experiences.

    ...that's what it is all about dude.
    For real.
    By taking up the pipe to honor your grandfather, you initiated good karma cosmic payback, because your intentions were noble and good, the spirits in the smoke know this and our prayers are carried to heaven.

    Don't ever feel intimidated by ten-dollar words or fancy jargon, most all of it is bullshit.

    I never graduated high school, I'm so autodidactic that I mispronounce autodidactic
    LOL
    ...it pushed me to prove myself, to show that formal training is only one piece of the puzzle.

    Forgive me here, I must quote one of my cultural heroes at length,
    Jean Dubuffet:

    It’s a widespread idea that in looking at the artistic production of intellectuals we simultaneously behold the flower of the general production —since intellectuals, born of the common people, can hardly lack all their qualities — as well as those additional qualities acquired by long days spent wearing down their rumps on schoolchairs; not to mention that they think of themselves as quite intelligent by definition, much more intelligent than ordinary people. But is this the case? In fact, we also find many people who have a much less favorable idea of intellectuals.

    Intellectuals appear to them to be directionless, opaque, vitamin deficient, swimmers in troubled waters.
    De-energised. Demagnetised.
    Lacking in clairvoyance.

    It may be that the intellectual’s seated position breaks the circuit.The intellectual functions all too often sitting down : in school, at meetings, during conferences — always seated. Often dozing. Sometimes dead : dead in a chair.

    Intelligence has often long been held in great esteem. When someone used to be described as intelligent, wasn’t that to say everything? But now it’s a different story, we begin to demand something else, and the influence of such intelligence is in marked decline. The preference now is for the effects of vitamins. We perceive that what was called intelligence actually consisted of a feeble savoir-faire in the handling of a certain simplistic, false, trifling algebra, having nothing at all to do with true clairvoyance, but rather with obscurantism.

    We cannot deny that the intellectual hardly shines in the realm of clairvoyance. The imbecile — or the person so designated by the intellectuals — is much more disposed towards that. We might even say that schoolchairs wear down this clairvoyance along with one’s rump.

    Imbecile he might be, but sparks emanate everywhere from him like static electricity from a cat’s fur — unlike Monsieur the Grammar Master, who emits no more sparks than an old wet rag.

    So long live the imbecile! He’s our man!

    What they should have done, our doctors in their little caps, is got their brains curetted. Then they would become good conductors of electricity, and a myriad eyes would sprout from the blood as in a wild man, eyes more useful than the eyeglasses they balance on their noses. These doctors should commit the great intellectual hara-kiri, the great leap into extra-lucid-imbecility — only then would they sprout those myriad eyes.

    Of course there are still people (especially amongst the intellectuals) who have not yet become fully conscious of the illusory aspect of what is called intelligence, people who burst out laughing when someone claims that those deemed intelligent count for very little; while we, in complete lucidity, would rather count on those whom they call imbeciles. They don’t take such an idea at all seriously.

    Intellectuals are infatuated with ideas, are great masticators of ideas, and cannot imagine that there are any types of gums to chew on other than ideas.

    Well, art is precisely the sort of gum that has nothing to do with ideas, a fact often lost from sight. Ideas, and the algebra of ideas, is perhaps one path towards knowledge; but art is yet another means of understanding, whose ways are completely different — such are the paths of clairvoyance. This cares not for scholars and intellectuals, and knows nothing of these domains.

    Knowledge and intelligence are puny flippers alongside clairvoyance.

    What we're doing here is largely an academic exercise, an exercise in eccentricity.
    An obsessive knitpicking.

    In the UK there are plenty of pipemen who went their entire lives and only smoked one tobacco, and they might've been the happier for it. They were in an actuality, in a constant motion, a smooth fluidity, a living life, callused hands, hard times and vulgar language --- smoking to smoke and being content with what they had.

    Usually what they had was something like Condor, a common pedestrian blend available at every cornerstore. Perhaps the sophisticated Londoners would sneer at such a fellow and label him a country rube, but it mattered not to the old pipeman, he was what they call a codger, and a proper codger don't fuck around with taking seriously what such effete nancyboys may utter.

    There is smoke,
    and there is True Smoke.

    Always be true and you'll be okay.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. 12pups

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    Voorhees, you should kick yourself. Lowercase is even letting *me* review this stuff. If I said someone were 10 times the tobacco expert I was, it still wouldn't be a compliment yet, I'm that unworthy of this task. Maybe I should send you a little bit of the sample I received. It's quite unique, I think, and it's a wonderful thing to get to do this.

    My sample came. And I took my mission very, very serious. Here's what I thought of it.

    First thing this morning I opened the box I was sent, undid the wrapping and bubble wrap, unwrapped the red tissue paper and got to the ziplock with the foil wrapped sample.

    I pushed my nose in the baggie, but was surprised: no fragrance. Nothing. But when I opened the foil and lifted the slices to my nose, oh it was fruity! Fruit. Definitely.

    From deep in the bottom of the marshy bog of a brain I have, a memory stirred and shoved and bubbled its way to the surface. All my memory senses are tied to vignettes, images. And this one rolled up to the surface and turned itself right-side up with an image 25 years old, at least: Aunt Pearl's fruit cake. So that's why they call it cake, I thought.

    But senses are mutable and deceivable. I wrapped it back up and took a shower. I came back, unwrapped it, inhaled its fragrance again. Yep, fruit cake. Then I wrapped it up again and set it aside. I was remembering Aunt Pearl's fruit cake, and I was for a little bit satisfied I'd hit it right. But by the time the dogs were let out and back in, and fed... I wasn't so sure anymore.

    I unwrapped it again, and inhaled. No, not fruit cake. Not dense enough. Not heavy enough. Now I was only getting "prunes." Disappointed me a bit, because I was "wrong." I wrapped it up and set it aside. I had coffee and breakfast and started chores. Went to the hardware store. Installed a new bathroom window with a brand new insert I had waited three weeks for.

    Then ... I went to unwrap it and smell it again. No. Not just prunes. There was something else, but I couldn't place it. Not quite leathery. Not fresh leather, anyway. Not sage. What is it? What is it? Couldn't place it. I pulled open random packs and tins of tobacco I have. Nothing like this one to compare it to. Even started opening up spices from the kitchen cupboard. Nope, none of them. Sage was too sweet. But this other smell is... grassy. Not fresh mown grass. Put up grass. Hay.

    And that would become a theme when I lit it.

    I finally chose my Falcon. It's easy to clean and it's easy to compare tobaccos. I would know what was different right away.

    I took up one slice and broke it length-wise twice, rubbing the pieces between my fingers over the baggie. It was not moist but not completely dry. I couldn't pinch it together and make it stick, though. I began filling the bowl, letting it fall in and then lightly tamping it with my thumb to pack the top. Once again I lifted it to my nose: prunes, with that other, tobacco-y/mild leathery scent. And... licorice? Second sniff. Gone. But I thought for a second there was a hint of licorice. Now gone. I smelled my fingertips. Nope, just prunes.

    I tested the draw. This would do, it's not too tight and not loose. It embraced the flame from a Bic lighter right away, dancing with it all around the bowl and wafting up smoke immediately. The char light raised the tobacco and I leveled it down lightly with my Winton spalted-wood tamper. True light, and no problem. It took right away. This tobacco welcomes flame.

    At first, no taste. I drew in a good pull and felt for any bite, nothing. Then I settled in to sip and let the smoke pool in my mouth, bathe my tongue and palate. And wait to see what I would see.

    In the darkness of my favorite little smoking alcove (other people call this a garage), I noticed how voluminous yet thin the smoke was. It's not a dense smoke, though there is ample smoke. From the bowl a constant curl of thin blue smoke. From my lips now and then the gray smoke leaving my mouth, rising before it.

    I like watching the smoke. Have since I was a kid.

    I think for the first time, I enjoyed the smoke from the bowl as much as from the bit. I should have used a shorter pipe. Would be a wonderful nose-warmer tobacco. The light fragrance coming up from the bowl, moving it slowly back and forth beneath my nostrils, delicate. Could not place it. Not cigarette smoke. Definitely not a cigar. Mild, subtly distinct. Its own.

    Such a delicate taste, too. There was no nicotine hit from this, and I didn't miss it at all. I've had tobaccos that "didn't do anything." But even though nothing dramatic was happening, this was pleasant. Subtle. Fragile. I think if I ate or drank anything, it would overpower this tobacco. And I also started thinking, this is the tobacco I would like to start my uncle on. I would like this to be his first experience with a pipe tobacco.

    A quarter bowl in, I was searching for the taste. The tip of my tongue had just enough contact now to know I was smoking a pipe, hint of tingle, but not enough to "place" the taste. So I pushed the tip of my tongue up against the back of my incisors and searched for the taste. That concentrated it quickly. Got it! Now searching my gums, the top of my palate, then pulling it away from my teeth. There it is -- a light, light sweetness. My teeth, after I've pulled my motorcycle gloves on with them. Just a hint of that taste.

    I live on the tall grass prairie of upper Midwest. The heavy snow we just got is already melting away in the heat of this first warm day. As it leaves, it leaves behind a dust coating on the grass. The warm sun on the grass, the fine dust, the warming ground, the grass "remembering" what it is, though not yet greening. On the edge of something.

    That's this tobacco to me. A prairie just waking up from winter. Long packed away. The morning of a Spring.

    I didn't need my tamper much. This tobacco didn't expand as it burned down. But I did turn it over and let the ash layers sprinkle out. Three quarters of a bowl down I lost my light. Other tobaccos, I might not get a good smoke from this point on. But when I lightly tamped this one and relit it, it leapt to full light immediately and again teased my mouth with the subtle pleasantness. Soft, barely sweet, delicate taste just on the edge of being sweat and leather -- but not enough to call it sweat and leather.

    When I lost my light the second time, I judged I didn't have enough worth lighting again. But when I knocked it out against my thigh, I felt a sense of loss to see the dottle. I wanted it all; I didn't like losing even a few shreds of this Cake.

    I twisted off the bowl to study the humidome and was surprised to see a bit of moisture. This had been the coolest, driest smoke in my Falcon to date. The dottle had been dry. I had anticipated seeing my first completely dry humidome, so to see even this hint of moisture surprised me.

    I set the pipe aside and left. The smoke left me craving coffee, and a rich cup of coffee was the perfect complement. Then I went back to the closed up garage, my nose now "fresh" to detect the room note. But... just as the taste had been mild and delicate, so was the room note. I could tell someone had smoked a pipe there. But sniff as much as I could, I could not name the scent. Pleasant, but so delicate.

    There have been times when a woman passes by me in a hallway that my mind is "interrupted" by a light fragrance it can't place. My head jerks and my nostrils flare as I, distracted, try to sort it out. This tobacco is that way. It's enough to notice -- then it eludes me. And I can't get enough to judge it, place it, or memorize it.

    Even now as I write this, that soft, delicate flavor is in my mouth, though it's been an hour since the smoke. And my coffee has been long gone.

    Whatever it is, I like it. And the best part of getting to smoke a bowl of it is knowing that in that ziploc baggie, there's still some more.

    A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. -- Carl Jung
    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. 12pups

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    Each of the kids here nodded after sniffing the tobacco in the foil and I suggested, "Hay?"

    Yes. They said "raisins" first, but then the overtone -- yes yes -- it's sweet hay.

    The lingering taste in my mouth, though, still just the hint of motorcycle gloves, as if I had just bit the cuffs to pull them on.

    Now I'll go read the others.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. misterlowercase

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    Joe - awesome stuff. There are many different approaches to take when doing a tobacco review, and I really enjoyed your version of things, it put me there with you, almost like reading a short story. Well done!

    I liked the way how you kept smelling it at intermittent points throughout the day, and how your interpretation may have a subtle shift, or evoke certain memories, or set your visual innersphere off to conjure images.

    But senses are mutable and deceivable.

    Ain't that the truth?
    And nature is in the habit of concealing herself, presenting one outward appearance, but hiding some of the true character, and shifting like sands on an infinite beach along an ever-amorphous ocean.

    Even started opening up spices from the kitchen cupboard.

    That was a smart thing to do, and a good strategy. Something I hadn't thought of. Something I will experiment with in the future. Thanks.

    I took up one slice and broke it length-wise twice, rubbing the pieces between my fingers over the baggie. It was not moist but not completely dry. I couldn't pinch it together and make it stick, though. I began filling the bowl, letting it fall in and then lightly tamping it with my thumb to pack the top. Once again I lifted it to my nose: prunes, with that other, tobacco-y/mild leathery scent. And... licorice? Second sniff. Gone. But I thought for a second there was a hint of licorice. Now gone. I smelled my fingertips. Nope, just prunes.

    I got those fleeting ephemeral qualities too.

    In the darkness of my favorite little smoking alcove (other people call this a garage)...

    LOL good stuff!

    ... I noticed how voluminous yet thin the smoke was. It's not a dense smoke, though there is ample smoke. From the bowl a constant curl of thin blue smoke. From my lips now and then the gray smoke leaving my mouth, rising before it.

    I like watching the smoke. Have since I was a kid.

    I think for the first time, I enjoyed the smoke from the bowl as much as from the bit. I should have used a shorter pipe. Would be a wonderful nose-warmer tobacco. The light fragrance coming up from the bowl, moving it slowly back and forth beneath my nostrils, delicate. Could not place it.

    I very much enjoyed that smoke as well, a delicate velvet, hovering smoke rings in a still room finally reaching the wall and expanding outward into dissipating oblivion --- I was mesmerized.

    Such a delicate taste, too. There was no nicotine hit from this, and I didn't miss it at all. I've had tobaccos that "didn't do anything." But even though nothing dramatic was happening, this was pleasant. Subtle. Fragile.

    For me too, delicate, subtle, yet oddly robust somehow - that it was perplexes me.

    A quarter bowl in, I was searching for the taste. The tip of my tongue had just enough contact now to know I was smoking a pipe, hint of tingle, but not enough to "place" the taste. So I pushed the tip of my tongue up against the back of my incisors and searched for the taste. That concentrated it quickly. Got it! Now searching my gums, the top of my palate, then pulling it away from my teeth. There it is -- a light, light sweetness. My teeth, after I've pulled my motorcycle gloves on with them. Just a hint of that taste.

    Excellent imagery and I love the bit about the motorcycle gloves, cool.

    I live on the tall grass prairie of upper Midwest. The heavy snow we just got is already melting away in the heat of this first warm day. As it leaves, it leaves behind a dust coating on the grass. The warm sun on the grass, the fine dust, the warming ground, the grass "remembering" what it is, though not yet greening. On the edge of something.

    That's this tobacco to me. A prairie just waking up from winter. Long packed away. The morning of a Spring.

    Beautiful.
    That description carries alotta weight, I like it.

    But when I lightly tamped this one and relit it, it leapt to full light immediately and again teased my mouth with the subtle pleasantness. Soft, barely sweet, delicate taste just on the edge of being sweat and leather -- but not enough to call it sweat and leather.

    This tobacco burns effortlessly, it seems to me.

    I twisted off the bowl to study the humidome and was surprised to see a bit of moisture. This had been the coolest, driest smoke in my Falcon to date. The dottle had been dry. I had anticipated seeing my first completely dry humidome, so to see even this hint of moisture surprised me.

    Wow, the coolest and driest of all time?
    Neat.

    I set the pipe aside and left. The smoke left me craving coffee, and a rich cup of coffee was the perfect complement. Then I went back to the closed up garage, my nose now "fresh" to detect the room note. But... just as the taste had been mild and delicate, so was the room note. I could tell someone had smoked a pipe there. But sniff as much as I could, I could not name the scent. Pleasant, but so delicate.

    There have been times when a woman passes by me in a hallway that my mind is "interrupted" by a light fragrance it can't place. My head jerks and my nostrils flare as I, distracted, try to sort it out. This tobacco is that way. It's enough to notice -- then it eludes me. And I can't get enough to judge it, place it, or memorize it.

    Even now as I write this, that soft, delicate flavor is in my mouth, though it's been an hour since the smoke. And my coffee has been long gone.

    Yet again, another most excellent description, and now that you mention it, the baccie does seem to exhibit some feminine traits, the softness and somehow an intense warmth, a mysterious sweet tone, lovely stuff.

    Thanks for taking the time Joe, and for writing so well about your experience.

    Reading it made a visceral impact and I very much enjoyed it all.

    Enjoy the rest of it in happiness and good health!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. cortezattic

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    Joe! What a great review! You captured a whole other dimension in the experience this blend creates. What insight!
    And like Troy, I was drawn into the experience by your writing -- re-living my encounter, and relating fully to yours.

    The warm sun on the grass, the fine dust, the warming ground, the grass "remembering" what it is...
    'Thought I was reading Faulkner, there for a second!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. 12pups

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    They should change the name after a certain decade of aging from "Cake" to "Resurrection." What a great smoke for Easter.

    This is tobacco that has woken in a new century, stretches itself out, and with hazy eyes, starts to take in the new world, alive again but moving slow and deliberate.

    Maturity.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. misterlowercase

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    No doubt Joe.

    Well put.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. cortezattic

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    A Rip Van Winkle tin that slept through a lot of historical events since it was sealed.

    It's fun to recall any one of the events of my life,
    Any given day that I can still see in my mind's eye,
    And consider that this tin was then sitting somewhere,
    Waiting patiently for the day I was to smoke it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. papipeguy

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    First of all, I want to thank Troy for the wonderful opportunity to participate in this project. To experience a pipe tobacco older than I am (by 3 years) is an extraordinary thing.
    I intend this to be Part I of my review. I'll explain more later.
    I received the flakes last week and took the package with me to the B&M. My good friend and owner of Tobacco Village in Whitehall, Pa is Ron Kern. Ron is a very experienced pipe man and between the two of us we have 88 years of pipe smoking.
    Before loading our pipes we spent about 30 minutes examining the flake and discussing our initial impressions and what we thought we knew about pipe tobacco production in Scotland at the time. So here we go.
    First Impressions
    The flakes were in very good condition and were pliable.
    We both detected an overall fruit nose akin to raisins and/or figs
    Ron thought he picked up a bit of latakia
    We both thought we also sensed some perique as well as possibly some Orientals and/or Turkish

    We discussed what we thought Scottish blenders used 60 years ago in the make-up of Scots cake. Virginias for sure and many tended to use Cavendish. British tobacco laws were very specific about what could be used to flavor blends and we doubted that any artificial toppings were used. From reading the label on the tins pictured by Troy it said that this blend was enjoyed by mariners the world over. This prompted us to consider whether or not rum may have been used. Ron said it was not unusual for producers to store tobacco in rum barrels for aging. It seemed to us that whenever seamen are mentioned rum is never far away but it was just us tossing ideas around.

    The Pipes and Smoking
    We were fairly parsimonious with loading our pipes using only 2 flakes each. I had my Jarl Ribbon, which has a small bowl, and Ron had a James Upshall bent Dublin.
    It's hard to imagine how many iterations this went through in the tin over 65 years but we are sure that what we smoked was very different from what a fresh tin was at the time.
    Ron still insisted that he got a wisp of latakia. I did not. We both did detect a sweetness that went beyond the usual attributed to just the Virginias.
    Curiously, we both smelled the bowls of our pipes and were pliantly surprised to smell something sweet and akin to baby powder.
    What would give this effect? We talked about it for some time and wracked our brains then it came to me- Tonquin Bean. When I got home I sniffed the jar that I have some SG 1792 and I'm reasonably convinced that it what I picked up. Tonquin is used today as a vanilla substute so that could account for the sweetness.
    The overall smoking experience was quite enjoyable and we savored every moment.

    Part II
    As I mentioned earlier I want to add one more step to this experience. Our pipe club meets the 4th Monday of every month. Often one of the attendees is a famous blender known to everyone on the forum. Additionally, another member is an iconic member of the Morley's Pipe Club and knows more about blends than anyone I know. If they are at the next meeting I will ask them to sample and comment on Scots Cake. I'll include their analysis after that meeting.

    Saying this is a fun undertaking is an understatement. It is a blast and an honor to be included. Thanks again, Troy.

    More later in the month.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. misterlowercase

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    John - wow! I really really like the approach you took, very nice.

    My good friend and owner of Tobacco Village in Whitehall, Pa is Ron Kern. Ron is a very experienced pipe man and between the two of us we have 88 years of pipe smoking.
    Before loading our pipes we spent about 30 minutes examining the flake and discussing our initial impressions and what we thought we knew about pipe tobacco production in Scotland at the time.

    That's a lot of time and experience right there, the kind of knowledge that can only be gained with hardwon firsthand experience. I like how y'all took the time visually inspecting and discussing the flakes too, that's awesome.

    First Impressions
    The flakes were in very good condition and were pliable.
    We both detected an overall fruit nose akin to raisins and/or figs
    Ron thought he picked up a bit of latakia
    We both thought we also sensed some perique as well as possibly some Orientals and/or Turkish

    Okay,
    Larry has another vote for Latakia, the plot thickens.
    And also perique, it's really tricky to tell, but it sure seems like its in there to me.

    From reading the label on the tins pictured by Troy it said that this blend was enjoyed by mariners the world over. This prompted us to consider whether or not rum may have been used. Ron said it was not unusual for producers to store tobacco in rum barrels for aging. It seemed to us that whenever seamen are mentioned rum is never far away but it was just us tossing ideas around.

    Yeah, it does seem that they were marketing it as a sort of Navy Flake, and that would suggest rum or something similar, I have absolutely no experience with an aged alcohol topped tobacco, so I can have no definitive answer.

    Curiously, we both smelled the bowls of our pipes and were pliantly surprised to smell something sweet and akin to baby powder.
    What would give this effect? We talked about it for some time and wracked our brains then it came to me- Tonquin Bean. When I got home I sniffed the jar that I have some SG 1792 and I'm reasonably convinced that it what I picked up. Tonquin is used today as a vanilla substute so that could account for the sweetness.

    A great observation, Wes suggested this also, and Micheal suggested talc, so it all comes together.
    We're getting closer.

    As I mentioned earlier I want to add one more step to this experience. Our pipe club meets the 4th Monday of every month. Often one of the attendees is a famous blender known to everyone on the forum. Additionally, another member is an iconic member of the Morley's Pipe Club and knows more about blends than anyone I know. If they are at the next meeting I will ask them to sample and comment on Scots Cake. I'll include their analysis after that meeting.

    Now this will be downright incredible!!!!!
    Thank you so much John for showing a selfless enthusiasm.
    I'm really eager to hear what a master blender would say, just wowzers.

    My many thanks to you for taking the time and approaching this in the manner that you chose.
    I find it all highly interesting, and your tasting notes help us get closer to a rough idea of what exactly went in this stuff, it may forever remain a mystery in the end, but it sure is fun reading about all the different perceptions involved!

    Cheers!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. papipeguy

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    I smoked another 2 flakes in my Pioneer black bent meer and it just confirmed my earlier impressions. This has been a very cool experience.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. misterlowercase

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    So,
    that's 7 people myself included that have had good experiences with it.

    5 more to go.

    Still more to come.

    Additional fine reading ahead.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. papipeguy

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    Geez, Al; you gave away half of the surprise.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  41. ssjones

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    Yikes, sorry John & deleted!

    Al

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. papipeguy

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    No big deal, Al. I was just kidding. Les is a natural choice in this case.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  43. flakyjakey

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    “Smelly Old Jock”

    Troy, I am deeply grateful to you for including me in your illustrious band of tasters. This sample is four years older than me, and it is interesting to note that in 1949 my dad was still at sea working as a marine engineer for Cunard. He was a pipe smoker and I know that his favourite blends were St Bruno, Ogden’s Walnut Flake, Irish Slices and Bulwark, flakes I cut my teeth on when I started smoking the pipe on his death, fourteen years ago.

    As you know I have lived in ‘Auld Reekie’ most of my life, and Edinburgh’s Port of Leith is only five miles from where I now sit. So it is especially poignant that a sample of tobacco from this defunct company has winged its way back here in the strangest of fashions! So I hope you don’t mind me giving it this affectionate nickname? It is just the sort of baccy an old Edinburgh ‘Jakey’ might smoke.

    ‘Porteous’ is a famous and distinguished Edinburgh family name, shared by my one of my eminent colleagues who is an internationally-renowned geneticist.

    Before reviewing this ancient blend I decided, for fun, that I would not read or be influenced by any of the other reviews. I tasted it ‘blind’.

    As is my habit I decided to smoke it first in a new clay pipe, which neither adds nor subtracts from the inherent flavours, but which brings out the ‘high’ notes rather than the ‘bass’ notes – clays are not kind, but they are impartial. Out of our friendship I was also determined to be objective, not ‘kind’.

    I decided that the second smoke would be in a 50’s Charatan “Selected” straight billiard that I reserve for Vas and Va blends, a pipe about the same age as the tin.

    THE TOBACCO:

    It came after its long journey wrapped in tin foil in a plastic ‘baggie’ which was not sealed. The flakes were a dark grey/brown and had a white surface sediment that did not seem crystalline or granular. I was not sure it was ‘bloom’, as I know it. The Flakes were VERY dry, but I resisted the temptation artificially to rehydrate them knowing that the H2O of combustion would moisten them during the smoke.

    I smelled the tobacco (as I would normally do) after rubbing it out. I immediately thought “Bulwark”, “St Bruno” – certainly an old-fashioned British blend!! There was also a musty smell; almost, but not quite, mouldy.

    IN THE CLAY:

    The tobacco took easily to the flame and burned uniformly throughout the bowl. At first the smoke was a little flat, but then the Va kicked in – dry and a bit sweet – very like Bulwark! But there was still a background mustiness which did not remove the pleasure, but perhaps reduced it a little. From my wine tasting hobby the analogy might be a wine that is not ‘corked’ but which has the faintest cork ‘taint’. In the second half of the smoke the Va became richer, and the ‘taint’ less. I am unsure what other tobaccos may have been in this blend – their influences could have waned with age or with travel across the pond. I could well believe that there may have at one time have been some Perique, or even the slight residual smokiness of Latakia, but what remains IMO is the taste of the most old-fashioned of old British Va blends. Whatever, and again very like Bulwark, it is VERY slow burning – I can’t remember a smoke in one of my clays lasting as long!

    IN THE BRIAR:

    As soon as I lit it the blend screamed “Bulwark”, “Irish Slices”, “Ogden’s Walnut Flake”. The seasoned briar seemed to have damped down the musty note, and I settled in to a lovely old-fashioned smoke. There wer hints of your favourite “St Bruno” – with even some fruity notes creeping in. But had you told me that it was a sample of a very old Bulwark I would have believed you to the hilt. The final third was a lovely smoke in a pipe that could have been made just for it!!

    Troy, thank you for a wonderful tobacco-tasting experience; for many reasons it will live long in the memory.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  44. misterlowercase

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    Chris!

    I'm so glad this stuff was able to find its way back to ‘Auld Reekie’!

    Your input is invaluable, and has proven to be of great interest.

    “Smelly Old Jock”

    So I hope you don’t mind me giving it this affectionate nickname? It is just the sort of baccy an old Edinburgh ‘Jakey’ might smoke.

    LOL
    That's a grand moniker!

    This sample is four years older than me, and it is interesting to note that in 1949 my dad was still at sea working as a marine engineer for Cunard. He was a pipe smoker and I know that his favourite blends were St Bruno, Ogden’s Walnut Flake, Irish Slices and Bulwark, flakes I cut my teeth on when I started smoking the pipe on his death, fourteen years ago.

    Perhaps your dad picked up a tin of this stuff at one time? It must've been around there. I knew you were well familiar with stuff like this and would be able to nail it.

    As you know I have lived in ‘Auld Reekie’ most of my life, and Edinburgh’s Port of Leith is only five miles from where I now sit. So it is especially poignant that a sample of tobacco from this defunct company has winged its way back here in the strangest of fashions!

    No doubt, I am so glad to have the honor of 'sending it inna bottle' back to its home port.

    ‘Porteous’ is a famous and distinguished Edinburgh family name, shared by my one of my eminent colleagues who is an internationally-renowned geneticist.

    Interesting, and what of poor 'ol Thomson?

    As is my habit I decided to smoke it first in a new clay pipe, which neither adds nor subtracts from the inherent flavours, but which brings out the ‘high’ notes rather than the ‘bass’ notes – clays are not kind, but they are impartial. Out of our friendship I was also determined to be objective, not ‘kind’.

    I very much appreciate that, and I like how you first used a clay to sample it, somehow it seems like a proper fit, that.

    It came after its long journey wrapped in tin foil in a plastic ‘baggie’ which was not sealed. The flakes were a dark grey/brown and had a white surface sediment that did not seem crystalline or granular. I was not sure it was ‘bloom’, as I know it. The Flakes were VERY dry, but I resisted the temptation artificially to rehydrate them knowing that the H2O of combustion would moisten them during the smoke.

    Dammit man, my apologies, I should have double bagged it or something, I wish it had arrived still in its slightly pliable state --- and what, no electron microscope???? We need to see the bloom magg'd 250X !!!

    I smelled the tobacco (as I would normally do) after rubbing it out. I immediately thought “Bulwark”, “St Bruno” – certainly an old-fashioned British blend!! There was also a musty smell; almost, but not quite, mouldy.

    Great to hear that it conjured those comparisons, I missed those familial elements on the first go round.

    The tobacco took easily to the flame and burned uniformly throughout the bowl. At first the smoke was a little flat, but then the Va kicked in – dry and a bit sweet – very like Bulwark!

    Wes said that too!

    But there was still a background mustiness which did not remove the pleasure, but perhaps reduced it a little. From my wine tasting hobby the analogy might be a wine that is not ‘corked’ but which has the faintest cork ‘taint’.

    That makes sense to me, thanks for sharing that aspect and analogy.

    I am unsure what other tobaccos may have been in this blend – their influences could have waned with age or with travel across the pond. I could well believe that there may have at one time have been some Perique, or even the slight residual smokiness of Latakia, but what remains IMO is the taste of the most old-fashioned of old British Va blends.

    That's the 3rd vote for Lat inclusion, and yep, it is hard to pinpoint precise profiles, everything seems pretty well seamlessly melded together at this point --- I wish the now-fashioned was more old-fashioned, there doesn't seem to be much choice on the market that come close to the olde flavored Va UK stuff.

    Whatever, and again very like Bulwark, it is VERY slow burning – I can’t remember a smoke in one of my clays lasting as long!

    Same here, a nice long slow smoke.

    As soon as I lit it the blend screamed “Bulwark”, “Irish Slices”, “Ogden’s Walnut Flake”.

    Bless the briars!
    Wow, it made an impressive impact there!

    The seasoned briar seemed to have damped down the musty note, and I settled in to a lovely old-fashioned smoke. There wer hints of your favourite “St Bruno” – with even some fruity notes creeping in.

    I agree with the St. Bruno dark-fruitiness hints, but I ain't never tasted anything with the depths of fruit from that old stuff, really makes me wish we hadn't lost these blenders to the ages, they knew so much, especially about preparing complex casings and perfectly matching fine leaf with it.

    But had you told me that it was a sample of a very old Bulwark I would have believed you to the hilt.

    Wow!
    How different was Wills's Bulwark of old as compared to the current Danish stuff, is the new stuff fairly accurate at emulating the way it used to taste?

    The final third was a lovely smoke in a pipe that could have been made just for it!!

    Charatan magic!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it,
    and thank you so much for your time and thoughtfulness on contemplating this Smelly Old Jock and writing so well about it, you've filled in some crucial gaps for sure.

    Your firsthand experience with traditional UK baccie is priceless, and your abilities to discern pipe tobacco in general is keenly refined,
    I appreciate it all so much!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  45. misterlowercase

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    Here's an old advert from a Jan. 1950 copy of The Cigar & Tobacco World,
    it pretty much has the same text copy as the paper tin insert seen earlier in the thread
    with the exception of mentioning the new Scruvac tins...

    The 1935 Tobacco World Retail Prices lists Thomson & Porteous as having only 4 available pipe tobaccos,
    Mound Mixture
    Luntin Mixture
    Two Hours Mixture
    Drifter Flake

    I wonder when Scots Cake came onto the scene?

    T&P must have been a fairly small concern,
    but they seemed to have lasted a good long while.

    Judging by this old stuff,
    they knew what they were doing.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  46. flakyjakey

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    Troy, sorry you got that wrong - it is I who am in YOUR debt. As I said, it was one of the most special tobacco-tasting experiences, not least for personal reasons.

    I have since read the reviews you have received so far, and valuable they are! There are some common opinions - The old "English" taste, hints of St Bruno, the difficulty in a tobacco of this age of knowing what other ingredients might have been in the original blend etc.

    Please forgive me for using another wine analogy (but it is all about 'taste'):- With VERY old bottles, particularly of red Burgundy, it is advised not to decant but to drink the wine immediately after pulling the cork. Otherwise the subtle nuances of what might be a very expensive wine can dissipate very quickly.

    I suspect this might to a degree have happened in my case. The flakes were very dry indeed, and in the clay especially it took half a bowl (with presumably the water vapour from combustion moistening the blend) to produce any flavour. If you accept this hypothesis it means that YOU, and YOU ALONE got the "real" taste of this ancient tobacco - you lucky ducky!!

    PS I know my late dad would have loved this blend, perhaps he may even have smoked it?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  47. misterlowercase

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    Lucky ducky me is!
    The first bowl was quite intense.

    The aroma is still lingering in the tin,
    I've lifted the lid off a couple of times and become entranced by its smell.

    So, when are you going to offer your talents to a good blender for a tribute baccy made to your spec and come up with something like this for us all to enjoy right off the shelf, in plug form of course...

    ...who could pass up an oppo to try some of Flaky Jakey's Smelly Olde Scots Jock ?!?!?!?!?
    LOL

    I would hoard it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  48. jimbo44

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    It's interesting that you and others thought there might be a touch of Latakia - which was indeed used in condimental quantities in some old time British Virginia flakes - but perhaps more likely to be Fire cured Va. (or other non-oriental baccy) as used by Ogdens in St. Bruno and Walnut and Wills in the old Bulwark?

    I was fortunate to score a cutter top tin of similar aged (or a bit older) St Bruno a few years ago that was in perfect condition and tasted mellow and sublime - probably the best tobacco I've ever smoked.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  49. pitchfork

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    Interesting theory, Jim. I have a flake and a half left -- I'll have to see if I can detect anything that's reminiscent of any kind of dark fired leaf.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  50. misterlowercase

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    Jimbo!

    So very good to see you here and weighing in!

    Thank you.

    You are the kind man who set me off on this journey of digging into history, giving me one of my first Oh My God moments when you sent over the St. Bruno - I was still fairly early into my piping, and tasting many different baccies looking for that deep satisfaction everyone raves about, but had found only a few that had did the trick...

    ...I remember asking something like "what is St. Bruno and how does it taste?" and later you sent me a pm asking if I'd like to try some, I was like how? Through the mail? LOL You were my first baccy bomb and not only did you flip my lid with the Bruno, but also sent along some Murray's Warrior Plug which to this day remains my favorite tobacco...

    ...I couldn't believe what I was tasting, it was somewhat alien, strange, but hit me deep in the soul with a satisfaction I can't really describe - and there's nothing else much like those trad Brit codger blends, even if they are made in Denmark now, they stand in a class unto themselves and I find them to be of the highest class in terms of delivering a full flavorbomb of contentment...

    ...I can only imagine what the real stuff was like when fresh off the shelf, but at least I've gotten lucky enough to scrounge a few true experiences with some of the old stuff, and even after all the years, they most notably denote and highlight the fact, in my opinion, that UK-made tobacco achieved a pinnacle of excellence in blending that may remain forever unmatched - call me overly romantic, but the old UK stuff has the magic in more ways than one...

    ...of course, we're lucky today too, we have a wide spectrum of quality options and there's some tremendously great baccy being made right now, and I appreciate it too, but the days of cutter-top tins carrying robust flavorful stout manly tobacco is something that can never be recreated or reinterpreted - it is a pure joy when fortune shines and allows me to sample an example from the glory days.

    I give you my heartfelt appreciation for your generosity Jim.

    It seems like it has been a long journey, but it has only been a short while, after my OMG moment I set off to uncover the secrets unknown to me, how could the industry collapse when they made stuff so good? How do they get these flavors? Why are many of them high nicotine? And other questions. I started seeing the old adverts, reading old review reports, seeing many varied old tins - I was hooked!

    At this point my mind is so saturated with the residue of this stuff that I can identify most old UK tins on sight and they feel so familiar, even if I've never actually experienced them, yet they live strangely in my brain - like noticing Sherlock is holding a tin of Godfrey Phillips Grand Cut, LOL

    Thank you Jim.

    Thank you.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  51. jimbo44

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    Well Troy - a bit Mr Spock "You were, are, and always will be, my friend"

    After the intro' to St Bruno, didn't you do some research as to the components; it'd be good to know if the Fire cured component was Va, (or Kentucky)?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  52. jimbo44

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    Different site - different technology; managed to post that twice!

    So what else are you doing Troy?

    Have a look in at PipeSmokerUnlimited (won't mention the other place) - Chris is there as well (note to Kevin - not poaching - just sharing!).

    Posted 5 years ago #
  53. misterlowercase

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    After the intro' to St Bruno, didn't you do some research as to the components; it'd be good to know if the Fire cured component was Va, (or Kentucky)?

    These were the components circa the late 60's - early 70's:

    35.0% semi-bright, medium-heavy bodied, flue-cured, USA
    27.5% semi-bright, heavy bodied, flue-cured, USA
    15.0% dark-fired Virginia
    15.0% heavy-bodied, dark-fired, Malawi
    7.5% heavy-bodied, flue-cured, Canada
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    30% Dark Fired!
    Maybe the Malawi was burley?

    (also,
    pm sent.)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  54. arno665

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    30% Dark Fired!
    Maybe the Malawi was burley?

    Yes, the Malawi is burley

    Posted 5 years ago #
  55. arno665

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    I was fortunate to score a cutter top tin of similar aged (or a bit older) St Bruno a few years ago that was in perfect condition and tasted mellow and sublime - probably the best tobacco I've ever smoked.

    I once send most of the contents of my old knife cutter tin St. Bruno to a British member of SmokersForums before that crashed. I think his name was Kirk (not his nickname there, can't remember that one..). But Kirk send the St. Bruno to some other members in England. Did he also send some to you Jimbo?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  56. jimbo44

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    It was Briar Spirit Arno - and, yes he did thanks. That was younger thn the very old tin I mentioned above and the degree of mellowing between those and modern was about pro-rata.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  57. misterlowercase

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    Porteous family tartan

    Attempted to look up and compile diverse opinions on what exactly a Scottish blend is,
    I didn't get too far...

    ...but I did find this old post,
    I didn't know Sinister Topiary was a member.
    He's a great tobacco reviewer.

    Way back when, he asked "what the hell is a Scottish blend?"

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/scottish-blends-what-the-hell-is-it

    And for those who didn't grok the GLP purple giraffe thing,
    well here's some good reading and it's on topic:
    http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/put-that-in-your-pipe/dont-think-of-a-purple-giraffe/

    Posted 5 years ago #
  58. sothron

    Perique

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    First, a big thank you to Troy for the opportunity to sample this tobacco. 

    Second, my apologies for being late on my review.  Between working out of town and getting a cold, I was pushed back a bit.  But I wanted to really experience this tobacco and take my time with it.  Hopefully I have produced a review justifying the delay.

    I am very sensitive to ghosts.  So to do this blend justice, I smoked it in four different pipes. My tasting notes follow below, beginning with my general impressions.  I have not read this thread, prior to posting this.  So hopefully these impressions are without bias.  On to the review:

    What immediately struck me about this blend was the tin note (or, in this case, the envelope note). An overt, grassy sweetness that was backed by a subtle cigar aroma. I didn't get the deep, stewed fruit Perique style scents from this flake. I would classify this as a Haylage aroma: freshly cut hay with alfalfa, with a cigarish backbone. 

    The flake was on the dry side and took a match readily.  Throughout my tastings, there was no bite of any kind, not even a hint.  This tobacco produced copious amounts of smoke, and was extremely smooth-smoking, if a bit dry. In all cases this blend left the pipe bone dry, not a hint of goop or mess. 

    On to the actual tastings.  What follows are my tasting notes as I experienced them:

    Pipe 1: rubbed out in a Prince used for VaPers and VaBurs.  Lately used mainly for McClelland VaPers. 

    First Third:
    Initial light produced a brief hit of sweetness on the tip of the tongue.  Some soggy flavor followed - like tangyness gone off.  There is a mustiness to this blend.  There is also an ashiness to the flavor.  As the smoke progresses, the predominant impression is a damp, leafy flavor.  (possibly past-its-prime Latakia?)

    Middle Third:
    The sugars really shine through by mid-bowl.  That damp leafiness is still there, now with a hint of raisin in the background.  I can't discern if it's very old Syrian Latakia or very old Kentucky I'm tasting.

    Final Third:
    Some harmony of flavor begins to come together.  The mustiness is still there: damp leaves, an almost mushroomy flavor.  Some raisin/date flavor in the background.  And a hint of saltiness.  Lowercast has asked if this tobacco might be past its prime.  It's a difficult question to answer.  Probably.  But it provides an amazing flavor profile for the pipe aficionado.   Alec Baldwin, when interviewed for Cigar Aficionado magazine, described the flavor profile of a cigar as 'the perfect combination of chocolate and horse shit.'  I'm getting some of that here.

    Pipe 2: rubbed out in a Dublin used mainly for Rattray's Marlin Flake, and the occasional VA flake.

    First Third:
    I get that same initial sweet note on the charring light. I expected the Dublin shape to concentrate the sweet notes, but it didn't highlight sweet as much as it reduced mustiness. That damp leafiness is still in the background. 

    Middle Third:
    Similar to my last tasting: sugars buried in the background. Ashiness prevails. Framed in that same damp mustiness. I didn't taste Perique.  It could be that Perique doesn't age well past a certain point prior to losing flavor?

    Final Third:
    No significant changes in flavor profile in the bottom third of the bowl.

    Pipe 3: rubbed out in a hybrid (Scandinavian) Pot, used almost exclusively for Escudo

    First Third:
    I didn't get the same initial hint of sweetness at the charring light (perhaps it dissipated a bit in the pot shape?).  Some mustiness is still there. Exceptionally smooth without a hint of bite. Some ashiness towards the back of my throat. 

    Middle Third:
     Lots of smoke, big puffy clouds. A good, rich mouthfeel. Mustiness seems subdued compared to my previous tastings.  A hint of raisiny/datey sweetness, felt near the back, rather than tip, of tongue. Towards the end of mid-bowl that saltiness reemerges. 

    Final Third:
    A little sweet begins to break through. Date and fig. Really glorious. Might just be my anticipation fooling my taste buds, but I'm liking it. Still some ashiness, and some saltiness. But that sweet date flavor, even though it's subtle, is divine. This tobacco rations out its sweet like a bad mistress. 

    Perhaps it's the Kentucky mellowed and flattened a bit by extreme age, but the flavor profile is really unique: dates and salt and maybe the faintest hint of dark chocolate. Whatever Virginias are in here are smooth as silk, but have lost their more overt sweetness with time. You have to really sip this softly to get at the flavors. Longer draws bring an ashiness that overtakes the nuances. There's something about the color and texture of the smoke that makes me think "cigar". 

    Pipe 4: fold-and-stuff in an MM Cob used for (non-aromatic) burleys and VaBurs

    First Third: 
    Nice tang on the initial light that makes me think Kentucky. That initial sweetness is there as well. That mustiness is also there but buried deeper in the background. 

    Middle Third:
    This blend is really coming alive for me in a cob. The sweet of the Virginias and the tang of what must be Kentucky are interplaying nicely. Smokes very dry.  There's some saltiness that I associate with African Virginias. The cob seems to soak up the mustiness and leave an even dryer smoke. Again, produces copious amounts of smoke and, despite some ashiness, tastes very smooth. You can really puff on this with zero tongue bite. A mellow, dried fruit sweetness behind the mellow tang of aged Kentucky. 

    Final Third:
    Little change in flavor profile in final third of the bowl

    Conclusion: This blend worked best for me in a wider, flatter briar bowl.  And it really came alive for some reason in a cob.  Narrower bowls seemed to emphasize the mustiness, counterintuitively, rather than the sweetness.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to try this blend - how often does one get to smoke 65 year old tobacco?  And I'm eternally grateful to Troy.  My overall conclusion is that this may be past its prime, but nonetheless offers an amazing flavor profile for any tobacco lover.  A blend like this gives us great insight into how different tobaccos age, how flavors develop over time, and - to me, at least - illustrates the commonalities of wine and tobacco collecting.  The infinite variables and complexities of constituent, varietal tobaccos are so fascinating to us, as pipe and tobacco hobbyists,  and I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to sample this blend.

    -Perique

    Posted 5 years ago #
  59. misterlowercase

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    Perique - you delivered a professional grade review here, no need to apologize at all, this is aged tobacco after all, we ain't inna sprint to the finish is we?

    I'm glad you got over your cold, that can wreak havoc on tastings and I'm glad you didn't rush it or feel obligated to force yourself before you were actually in top performance mode.

    I have not read this thread, prior to posting this. So hopefully these impressions are without bias.

    I've read your review and I think you have met this goal, I really appreciate your gravitas and the seriousness with which you approached this sampling.

    What immediately struck me about this blend was the tin note (or, in this case, the envelope note). An overt, grassy sweetness that was backed by a subtle cigar aroma. I didn't get the deep, stewed fruit Perique style scents from this flake. I would classify this as a Haylage aroma: freshly cut hay with alfalfa, with a cigarish backbone.

    This is a bit different from many of the reports, but Joe spoke of hay as well, it really is striking how diverse our opinions can be when talking about stuff like this, yet one more reason to admire the great blenders of today, for their job is exceedingly difficult, to broaden the spectrum as far as possible so that a wide swath of folks may enjoy it, I'm sure it may take innumerous little tweaks of perhaps tiny proportions, but those subtle hints seem to go a long way in our determining what something tastes like, oftentimes it's those fleeting traces that capture our full attention and we home in on that flavor desiring to savor it as deeply as possible --- sorry, got offtrack there...

    The flake was on the dry side and took a match readily. Throughout my tastings, there was no bite of any kind, not even a hint. This tobacco produced copious amounts of smoke, and was extremely smooth-smoking, if a bit dry. In all cases this blend left the pipe bone dry, not a hint of goop or mess.

    Same here, no bite whatsoever, even with vigorous puffing, and readily to the flame indeed, effortless.
    The smoke produced by this stuff is enough to make one take up poetry!
    Smooth as silk, butter, or any baby's bottom!

    I like the way you used multiple pipes with differing chamber geometry, it really is amazing what distinct differences it can all have, well, I guess it ain't really amazing, but it is something that can be used to ones advantage when one is mindful of such things.

    Pipe 1: rubbed out in a Prince used for VaPers and VaBurs. Lately used mainly for McClelland VaPers.

    First Third:
    Initial light produced a brief hit of sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Some soggy flavor followed - like tangyness gone off. There is a mustiness to this blend. There is also an ashiness to the flavor. As the smoke progresses, the predominant impression is a damp, leafy flavor. (possibly past-its-prime Latakia?)

    Funny you mention tip of the tongue, I was getting a pretty intense reaction from the tip of my tongue as well, it seemed to concentrate itself full force in that area most intensely, as compared to mid or rear tongue - it was an effect that so enchanted me that I smoked abnormally than I usually do in attempt to heighten the effect.

    Mustiness yes, and ashiness as well, I got that too. It produced some of the finest ash I've ever had in fact, that is, like a very fine powder.

    And Latakia?
    That's now 4 votes, must be something there?
    Syrian is something I know absolutely nothing of, so I'm in the dark. pun intended

    Middle Third:
    The sugars really shine through by mid-bowl. That damp leafiness is still there, now with a hint of raisin in the background. I can't discern if it's very old Syrian Latakia or very old Kentucky I'm tasting.

    No doubt, shiny shugar! Again, I was amazed how the baccy progressed from initial char and kept building this slow growing profile like a huge swell carrying me off into a sea of total forgetfulness, it swept me away.

    My opinion is in favor of dark-fired or Kentucky, but as I said, I ain't got no chops for distinguishing that old Syrian dark leaf.

    Final Third:
    Some harmony of flavor begins to come together. The mustiness is still there: damp leaves, an almost mushroomy flavor. Some raisin/date flavor in the background. And a hint of saltiness. Lowercast has asked if this tobacco might be past its prime. It's a difficult question to answer. Probably. But it provides an amazing flavor profile for the pipe aficionado. Alec Baldwin, when interviewed for Cigar Aficionado magazine, described the flavor profile of a cigar as 'the perfect combination of chocolate and horse shit.' I'm getting some of that here.

    The melding was quite notable.
    Here I think of The Harmony of the Spheres, also referred to in Esoteric Christianity as the place where the state of consciousness known as the "Second Heaven" occurs, and to play on that I'd say perhaps the leaf has delivered a nicotiana universalis, because in a way, it was divine.

    I'm glad the raisin showed up, this to me was its driving force on my palate.
    And thanks for your honesty about it being past its prime, bluntness is often too rare a trait, but something I highly value. In fact, one of the reasons I needed help determining if it was past its prime is because it gave such a wonderful smoking experience yet it felt almost as if it was at half strength, hinting at a lost potential of incredible deep fullness, and it perplexed me as how to gauge it.

    LOL
    I got a little horse shit too!
    ...but maybe it was actually camel dung? Considering a possible Lat presence.

    Pipe 2: rubbed out in a Dublin used mainly for Rattray's Marlin Flake, and the occasional VA flake.

    First Third:
    I get that same initial sweet note on the charring light. I expected the Dublin shape to concentrate the sweet notes, but it didn't highlight sweet as much as it reduced mustiness. That damp leafiness is still in the background.

    The Stanwell 19 I used is a dublin, it served me well. I would like to try it in other chambers though, but ultimately I'm glad I chose a reliable carrier.

    Middle Third:
    Similar to my last tasting: sugars buried in the background. Ashiness prevails. Framed in that same damp mustiness. I didn't taste Perique. It could be that Perique doesn't age well past a certain point prior to losing flavor?

    I was hoping you'd weigh in on this and give your opinion, after all, your namesake is perique and you seem to be an invigorated VaPer enthusiast. I think I'd have to listen to your verdict because you're so well familiar with such stuff, and I'm easy to fool once I step off into the wrong stream - unless you are correct about the possible perique having a diminished intensity, at this point I don't think there was any perique, at most it'd be a miniscule percentage if at all.

    Pipe 3

    Middle Third:
    Lots of smoke, big puffy clouds. A good, rich mouthfeel. Mustiness seems subdued compared to my previous tastings. A hint of raisiny/datey sweetness, felt near the back, rather than tip, of tongue. Towards the end of mid-bowl that saltiness reemerges.

    Yessir, big puffy clouds! I'm reminded here of an old Orb track, "little fluffy clouds", I've never been much into the techno stuff, but an old friend used to always play this song and I really really duggit.
    http://youtu.be/FHixChYgGRI

    More up my real alley would be something like Yume Bitsu,
    a soft expansiveness, yet intense,
    this tobacco reminds me of them.
    http://youtu.be/pSYaHIiAaAM

    Final Third:
    A little sweet begins to break through. Date and fig. Really glorious. Might just be my anticipation fooling my taste buds, but I'm liking it. Still some ashiness, and some saltiness. But that sweet date flavor, even though it's subtle, is divine. This tobacco rations out its sweet like a bad mistress.

    Love that bad mistress quote!
    Really glorious indeed I'd say, it makes me only want to smoke vintage stuff dammit! Too bad so many other people with deeper pockets feel that way too LOL

    Perhaps it's the Kentucky mellowed and flattened a bit by extreme age, but the flavor profile is really unique: dates and salt and maybe the faintest hint of dark chocolate. Whatever Virginias are in here are smooth as silk, but have lost their more overt sweetness with time. You have to really sip this softly to get at the flavors. Longer draws bring an ashiness that overtakes the nuances. There's something about the color and texture of the smoke that makes me think "cigar".

    Really unique to say the least, would something that matched be possible off the shelf new? Is this a unique profile that can only be achieved with longterm aging?

    Pipe 4: fold-and-stuff in an MM Cob used for (non-aromatic) burleys and VaBurs

    First Third:
    Nice tang on the initial light that makes me think Kentucky. That initial sweetness is there as well. That mustiness is also there but buried deeper in the background.

    Awesome call on the cob!
    So glad you did this, and a revelation it turned out to be!

    Middle Third:
    This blend is really coming alive for me in a cob. The sweet of the Virginias and the tang of what must be Kentucky are interplaying nicely. Smokes very dry. There's some saltiness that I associate with African Virginias. The cob seems to soak up the mustiness and leave an even dryer smoke. Again, produces copious amounts of smoke and, despite some ashiness, tastes very smooth. You can really puff on this with zero tongue bite. A mellow, dried fruit sweetness behind the mellow tang of aged Kentucky.

    You're the first one to mention African Virginias specifically I think, and you're probably right, this stuff was made in the heyday of Empire Leaf, so it's very very possible that that is one of the elusive elements.

    I really dig this descrip:
    A mellow, dried fruit sweetness behind the mellow tang of aged Kentucky.
    Good stuff.

    My overall conclusion is that this may be past its prime, but nonetheless offers an amazing flavor profile for any tobacco lover. A blend like this gives us great insight into how different tobaccos age, how flavors develop over time, and - to me, at least - illustrates the commonalities of wine and tobacco collecting. The infinite variables and complexities of constituent, varietal tobaccos are so fascinating to us, as pipe and tobacco hobbyists...

    A most excellent summary and very well put, sir.

    I heartily thank you for giving us these impressions and critical analysis - and for being patient and taking the necessary time to do it justice.

    Well done!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  60. misterlowercase

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    Just moments ago I finished my maiden voyage with a newly acquired estate pipe, an old Savinelli 101 De Luxe sandblast, I've been wanting one of these lovely chubbies for a while and finally found the right one for me. I smoked some of my fave Robt. McConnell Latakia Flake and the pipe delivered in spades - I love it so much when an old estate shines so brightly, especially on its first voyage, as my experience with estates have been that only around 2 out of 5 are true keepers. A large part of my enjoyment with pipesmoking has been seeking out good pipes, evaluating what I happen to end up with, then passing it along if it doesn't meet my standards - it's that romantic grail searching that adds a detective element that I so enjoy, but I try my damnd'st to not let "acquistion fever" get a hold of me where I forget about the truly important things. Indeed, it is crucial to have some focus on the vessel, but the voyage is where the real fun and revelation lay.

    Anyway, while smoking I thought it a good and proper occasion to read, once yet again, Fred Hanna's most supremely titled essay called "Tasting Pipe Tobacco: The Sublime and the Ambiguous" - I've read it so many times that I should know its refrains by heart, yet reading and rereading it somehow always puts me inna sweet spot of heightened awarenesses.

    So I decided to use the tobacco rating form that he had developed and here it is,
    with 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Brand of Tobacco - Thomson & Porteous Scots Cake
    Blend and Type - unknown
    Date/Age of Blend - circa 1949
    No. of Days Opened - 1 to 7

    Power or Body - 3
    Depth - 5
    Complexity - 2
    Balance of Flavors - 5
    Strength (Nicotine) - 2
    Smoothness - 5
    Finesse - 5
    Richness - 4
    Sweetness - 3
    Pleasant Fruit - 5
    Pleasant Spice - 1
    Pleasant Tang - 0

    Tin Aroma - the most delightful I've yet to experience

    Overall Rating as a Tobacco - 4
    Overall Personal Rating - 5

    Pipe Brand or Maker - Stanwell
    Grade or Model - Rustico 19
    Shape - Dublin
    Shape of Chamber - semi-conical
    Height of Bowl - around 48mm
    Chamber Diameter - around 21mm
    Wall Thickness - around 13mm
    Cake Composition - paper thin
    Engineering/Draw - excellent

    Comments - see various points in thread discussion above

    Posted 5 years ago #
  61. voorhees

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    I'm a little late to the show, but I did not intend on reviewing this tobacco as I was unsure I could do a review for this tobacco any justice. I did express how lucky those were that did.

    I read the reviews and gathered from them what I could and that was that.

    In comes 12pups. Seeing my earlier post contacted me if I was interested in getting a sample of his small stash. An honorable gesture to say the least. I thanked him and said I would do my best to review it when it came in and I got a chance to smoke it.
    So, yesterday I received the tobacco. Enough for one bowl. I took a sniff and got mostly the same experience as others. Dried fruit, figgy and almost a bit musty. I gently rubbed out the flake, which was seemingly dry and somewhat brittle.
    I used my Falcon with the new meer bowl for this testing and wanted the purest flavor from the tobacco.
    I lightly toasted(key word here)the tobacco on initial char. Putting as little heat to it as possible. The longer pieces stood up in the bowl, so I used my finger to gently nudge them back in.
    Second light cause even more rise in the tobacco, almost trying to leave the bowl. Common throughout smoke.

    1st third bowl impressions.
    I had never had anything like this, only thing close was maybe some GL Pease Sextant or Navigator. Although much more muted in flavor profile. I also did some early through the nose exhaling and I got some intense spiciness to the point my eyes watered a bit. I let the bowl settle a bit before doing it again.
    I smoked this bowlful outside as I was unsure how the wife would react, her only comment was it seemed "strong".
    Not very helpful, but she has limited descriptions of my tobaccos (either pleasant or strong).
    I picked up on a toasted bread like quality during the 1st third,

    2nd third bowl.

    The "toast" continued mid way through and was welcome. I almost want to say a "sourdough" toast quality. However, quite unexpectedly I got some "ammonia" like aroma at this point. I may have been smoking it too hot, so I gave it a rest and it disappeared.

    Last 3rd.
    Ashy/Bitterness started to prevail and gently tamping resulted in fine grey ash. I also had 3 relights during this time, probably due to my slowed cadence to keep the "ammonia" at bay. I also had the scratchy throat several noted and drank tap water(no ice) during this trial. There was a bit of moisture in the humidome, so the tobacco was still moisture even now.
    Overall I got the raisin/dried apricot notes, although musty and muted. The bread like quality was nice, but one dimensional. I did however become sad as I would like to have had more time with it.

    I'd like to thank Troy who brought this party together. His kind gesture to the members with this is immeasurable. And again to 12pups for allowing me to get in on the action.

    -Jason

    Posted 5 years ago #
  62. arno665

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    I am also a little late to the show! Busy working and finishing a blogpost.. Troy, thank you very much for the sample!!!

    Package: An envelope from the US of A with inside a piece of tin foil which held several intact, thinly cut flakes. Nice to see a bit of crystals on them. I expected the tobacco to have a darker colour because of the age. I immediately and carefully transferred the contents to a small sample bag.

    Smell from the package: When I unfolded the tin foil and saw the pristine flakes I smelled something that I can best describe as raisins drenched in some liquor (whisky?) mingled with a bit of hay. After a day in the sample bag I also smelled a tiny bit of chocolate.

    Composition: Nooo idea. No latakia, that is for sure. Lots of good ol' Virginias and perhaps a bit of perique. Although pretty muted.

    Taste: The first two flakes (I smoked 1 flake per bowl) were horrible.. I did not know what to think of it.. I smoked it in 2 different pipes and got mixed results. Then I loaded up a 1979 Dunhill zulu and *tadaaa*, I had a good smoke in which I could actually taste some nuances! So I kept that pipe for this tobacco. Personally I think the level of perique (if it was being used at all) is very low. Although my nose prickled sometimes. To me it tasted like a straight Virginia with a pretty noticeable topping. About that topping, I think whisky was used. I already told the smell was raisins-drenched-in-liquor like. I once smoked a blend with a heavy whisky topping (can't remember the name.. Arghh..) and somehow I had to think about that one while smoking the Scottish Flake. Throughout the bowl I tasted (softly) roasted bread with hints of hay and sweetness. Indeed a bit raisin, apricot like. I did not detect bitterness at the end of the bowl. All by all it is not a spectacular tobacco, for me it has no "wowww" factor. It is more like a tempting snake which curls itself more and more around your taste buds with every time you smoke it. I was sad when the last flake was gone..

    Combustibility: No problemo whatsoever. Because of the long journey the flakes were a bit dry but nothing a little blowing through the bowl just before smoking couldn't fix.

    Room-note: I got no complaints from my girlfriend. Definitely no latakia was used.

    Miscellaneous: My throat also became a bit dry during smoking. I made the mistake of drinking coffee during one smoke which polluted my taste-buds.. Whoops.. In the nicotine department the flakes were precisely enough for me. Any more and it would have been uncomfortable.

    Price: Priceless

    Conclusion: At first was a bit appalled when I smelled the flakes because of the topping. Remember that whisky-blend it made me think of? I did not like that one.. But I am glad I persevered because in the end I was rewarded with some very nice smokes. I think that back in the days this was not a spectacular blend, an all day smoker. But the thing is with all day smokers, they have something that want you to come back to it every time. Troy, thank you for the experience!!!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  63. klause

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    Where to begin?

    First off, let me just say I have avoided this thread like it was a medieval citadel infected with the plague. As mush as I have wanted to explore the wonder contained within, I did not want it's delights to infect my thoughts, colour my thinking or create expectations. In a little while I will wander through this thread and see what I see, read what is held within.

    I received a large envelope from the postman over a week ago and was very excited, as I knew it was a gift from Troy. But, I was a little nonplused as it was a large a4 envelope. These must be some massive flakes! On picking it up off the floor by the front door I noticed an aroma, kind of musty, coming from it. What the heck was this? Upon opening it I found a wonderful gift of a magazine which contained an article about Svend Axel Celius, and a Celius pipe sock.

    Troy, you already know my thoughts on this, but publicly, I just want to thank you for the kindness and the most thoughtful gift I have received in many a moon. I learnt more from that article than I had from many years of fruitless searching. Thank you. You made my day. It was a treasure to receive, and the thought behind it was priceless.

    Also, in the envelope was a zip-lock Baggie, in which were 2 neatly wrapped tin foil packets. It was from this sealed Baggie that the aroma was emanating. At first I was at a loss. It smelt a little musty, but as I paid attention to it and breathed deeply it reminded me of something; something I had not remembered in a long time. So I opened the Baggie and stuck my m'nose right in.

    Oh! What an aroma. This was a sweet dense scent. If it had a consistency it was like treacle. It did not smell like treacle, but that aroma positively oozed out of the bag, it clung and filled my nasal senses. It was sweet, and complex. It promised flavours and good times. I struggled for a moment and then thought of Clan pipe tobacco. That's exactly what it reminded me off. That beautiful smell, a smell I could breath in for hours on end.

    I put it away. This was to be savoured, at the right time. But there were things to do, and considerations to be addressed. Mainly, what pipe do I smoke an exceedingly rare 65 year old tobacco in? I read the article on Celius. I sat. I thought. I was filled with the enthusiasm of the author for Celius pipes. I remembered the Celius Fantasy I got from Dave Neeb. I had yet to smoke it, as the occasion had yet to arrive. Well, today it did. I hadn't planned this. I had planned to work on filling the log shed, but, as it walked my dogs this morning I realised that I was going to take time to be with this pipe and this tobacco, and all else in the world could wait. It was a beautiful, bright, sunny, warm morning and I had the day to myself........

    I took down my Celius (stunning example of the artists craft) and retrieved the Scots Kake. I opened the packet and was hit by a more subdued aroma, but beheld beautiful flakes. Shorter than modern flakes I'm used to and deeper, like stretched squares, or slightly truncated oblongs. I sniffed deeply, and there was my long past recollection of Erinmore flake. I sniffed again. Yes! This was Erinmore, not Clan. Ah! How I love Erinmore. This boded well.

    I rubbed out 2 flakes, roughly, and loaded the pipe, packing loosely as is my preferred method, and trotted off to the greenhouse. No tea, or coffee, as I wanted to concentrate on the tobacco, and didn't want anything competing with its tastes and flavours.

    Charring light! Hmm! Bugger! Nothing. Just hot smoke. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. But, perseverance is the key - sometimes! I didn't let it get me down. Hey! It could have been the loose pack. I tamped the expanded tobacco back down. Second light. Nothing. Flipping heck.

    Tamped it down and decided to go for it. Strong light. Deep draws. Thin, wispy, hot, flavourless smoke!!!! Damn and blast! Where were the flavours promised by the aromas emanating from the Baggie? Ok, ok......settle down. Go easy and relax. I was going at it like the proverbial bull in the china shop.

    As I settle in I start to get a sweetness that gently fizzes on my tongue, that lovely virginia sweetness. It comes and goes. It's burning hot and perhaps a little acrid. I slow, I let the ember settle down and draw gently on the pipe - the sweetness is getting more and more consistent. It's not a high pitched sweetness like some Virginias - it's almost muted. I settle some more. Thin strands of smoke and it starts to develop. But it's hot and moist, almost steamy. Maybe the humid heat of the greenhouse is affecting the smoke. So I move outside to the bench and sit on the lawn. The sun is bright, there's a gentle breeze and the birds are going mental in the early summer morning. The world is alive with joyous activity. And, suddenly, as though enlivened by all the joy around about, the tobacco starts to gently sing. The sweetness is deep and mellow. The more gentle the smoke the more beautiful the flavour.

    This reminds me of Players Navy Flake. At first I'm thinking it's a simple one dimensional smoke, as I first thought of Players, but, like Players, as I pay it attention I notice nuances of flavour - nothing spectacular, but there none the less. I slip into the smoke, and as I progress down the bowl (a couple or relights), I'm reminded of Richmond Navy Flake after about 1/2 hours smoking any of the sharp sweetness has gone, and it's settled into a beautiful mellow, with a subtle flavour, a tang that just sits on the tongue, and brushes over my nasal passages.

    The harshness of the smoke on the exhale has gone. I'm literally smoking so slowly and gently that I'm getting almost no smoke, but oh! lord! That flavour. Push it, and up the tempo, or deepen the draw, push the ember, and it's gone - it turns mean and rough. Let it settle on the edge of extinction and it revels in life.

    At this stage I'm oblivious to all the riot of life around me. I'm thinking of how this smoke caresses me. I'm thinking of the finger tips of long ago brushing the back of my hand, and the electricity than ran through me. The merest touch of lips on my cheek from the first admission of affection, from a summer of my youth. How the slightest touch made me soar higher than I had ever thought it was possible for a human to achieve while his feet were still planted on the ground. As the smoke slips through my lips I am lost in the past, my lips are not touching sweet, sweet smoke, they are touching the softest of skin, sweeter than............

    And, soon the ember dies, and I am left sitting in my reverie, looking at the fish in the pond, basking in the heat of the sun. The birds singing works it's way back into my consciousness. I am surrounded by light and joyous sounds. They never disappeared, they simply provided the base notes for a sublime moment in which I was transported by a superlative tobacco into a time I had long since tucked into the depths of my being.

    This is what a pipe and tobacco is for me. This is what THIS tobacco is for me. It is heaven. It has taken it's 65 years of maturity and shown me how beautifully something can age, how it can be appreciated, how it should be. It does not need to be brash, to be handled unthinkingly, to be taken for granted. It needs gentle, total attention, an appreciative understanding to see what is held within, what it has to offer, what it will share, will give freely, if only you know how to ask, and are prepared to accept it for what it is. It will surrender it's hidden secrets, open it's depths to you.

    This is a moment I will never forget. This is a moment that has left me a little shaken. This is an experience I never expected to get from a smoke. It is a gift I am so grateful for, and I really do not know quite how to thank those who gave it to me......that blenders of this tobacco.....the person who bought it and stashed it away.......the eBay seller who put it out there.......but, most of all, Troy. Your beneficence is quite astounding. You got a tin of the rarest of the rare, and, instead of enjoying it all to yourself, you shared it. It is quite astounding to me. I am so grateful, I cannot adequately express it. Not just that I got to taste such a blend, a blend our grandfathers would have smoked and loved, or a 65 year old rarity, that few will ever get to try, but that it created a moment for me that was quite literally sublime.

    I've used that word many times in the past, but then I'm easily pleased, but I think only now does it do justice to the tobacco I have tasted, the experience I have just had - from a piece of wood, and some old vegetative matter.

    What am I going to do with the remaining flakes? They are going into a jar, where they will be nurtured, and, in a few years time, when the sun is bright, and the birds are in full voice I will take it and let it lull me into sweet, sweet reverie.

    Troy, thank you.

    Ars longa, vita brevis.
    _____________________________________
    Posted 5 years ago #
  64. klause

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    Ok - read through this a couple of times now, and I'm completely blown away by what's here. What a fantastic thread. There is so much in this, great experiences, vast knowledge and deep appreciation. Amazing- utterly superb.

    I don't know where to begin with all the reviews and insights - what's to say? All rang a bell with me. But this one made me laugh out loud, because it articulates something I've felt for a very long time:

    In the UK there are plenty of pipemen who went their entire lives and only smoked one tobacco, and they might've been the happier for it. They were in an actuality, in a constant motion, a smooth fluidity, a living life, callused hands, hard times and vulgar language --- smoking to smoke and being content with what they had.

    Usually what they had was something like Condor, a common pedestrian blend available at every cornerstore. Perhaps the sophisticated Londoners would sneer at such a fellow and label him a country rube, but it mattered not to the old pipeman, he was what they call a codger, and a proper codger don't fuck around with taking seriously what such effete nancyboys may utter.

    There is smoke,
    and there is True Smoke.

    Bravo, Troy. And, the same for everyone who has added to my knowledge, experience and pleasure by putting their thoughts into this thread - this is truly epic.

    Should be a sticky, or something.........

    Posted 5 years ago #
  65. misterlowercase

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    Wow, I've gotten behind on this thread.

    Much good stuff added.

    A sad note,
    it appears that Pat's sample was either lost or destroyed en route to Canada, I could not get an answer from the P.O. and that totally sux.

    On a glad note,
    awesome Joe!
    What a kind and wonderful gesture!

    I read the reviews and gathered from them what I could and that was that.

    In comes 12pups. Seeing my earlier post contacted me if I was interested in getting a sample of his small stash. An honorable gesture to say the least. I thanked him and said I would do my best to review it when it came in and I got a chance to smoke it.

    I'm glad you got to try it Jason.

    I took a sniff and got mostly the same experience as others. Dried fruit, figgy and almost a bit musty.

    That aroma is one that will live in my memory forever.

    The longer pieces stood up in the bowl, so I used my finger to gently nudge them back in.
    Second light cause even more rise in the tobacco, almost trying to leave the bowl. Common throughout smoke.

    I got a lot of that rising also, almost as if it was alive, thriving.

    I had never had anything like this, only thing close was maybe some GL Pease Sextant or Navigator.

    This makes me even more excited about the Sextant I have on deck, yet to be opened, but somehow strangely my mind is made up that I'll love it and end up dedicating a pipe suchwise, so this is great news for me!

    I also did some early through the nose exhaling and I got some intense spiciness to the point my eyes watered a bit. I let the bowl settle a bit before doing it again.

    That spicy element is the biggest riddle to me, I simply cannot define it, but it is there.

    I smoked this bowlful outside as I was unsure how the wife would react, her only comment was it seemed "strong".
    Not very helpful, but she has limited descriptions of my tobaccos (either pleasant or strong).
    I picked up on a toasted bread like quality during the 1st third,

    Strong enough for sailors 'n seamen!
    Although I found the baccy to be somewhat monodimensional on whole, there were little fractions that kept coming through strongly, sometimes a fleeting flavor, but the subtle shifts added some magic for me.

    The "toast" continued mid way through and was welcome. I almost want to say a "sourdough" toast quality. However, quite unexpectedly I got some "ammonia" like aroma at this point. I may have been smoking it too hot, so I gave it a rest and it disappeared.

    I also experienced an astringent element when I had badly overheated a bowl at one point.

    Ashy/Bitterness started to prevail and gently tamping resulted in fine grey ash. I also had 3 relights during this time, probably due to my slowed cadence to keep the "ammonia" at bay. I also had the scratchy throat several noted and drank tap water(no ice) during this trial. There was a bit of moisture in the humidome, so the tobacco was still moisture even now.

    Some of the finest ash I've ever seen, the moisture content when opened astounded me, that it was actually still pliable after all these years.

    Overall I got the raisin/dried apricot notes, although musty and muted. The bread like quality was nice, but one dimensional. I did however become sad as I would like to have had more time with it.

    Yep, those raisin-type notes are what defined it for me.

    Thanks for your input Jason, it is most appreciated.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  66. misterlowercase

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    Arno

    Cool pictures!

    I expected the tobacco to have a darker colour because of the age.

    yeah, it is kinda strange that it wasn't much darker, as often that seems the case.

    When I unfolded the tin foil and saw the pristine flakes I smelled something that I can best describe as raisins drenched in some liquor (whisky?) mingled with a bit of hay. After a day in the sample bag I also smelled a tiny bit of chocolate.

    That incredible smell alone nearly altered my consciousness!

    The first two flakes (I smoked 1 flake per bowl) were horrible.. I did not know what to think of it.. I smoked it in 2 different pipes and got mixed results.

    LOL!
    I appreciate your honesty, a bitter enigma sent by some crazed Yank!

    Then I loaded up a 1979 Dunhill zulu and *tadaaa*, I had a good smoke in which I could actually taste some nuances! So I kept that pipe for this tobacco.

    Most excellent, glad you found a proper mate for the leaf, again underscoring the fact that it's crucial to seek until ye findeth, where the pairing of leaf and bowl is concerned.

    Personally I think the level of perique (if it was being used at all) is very low. Although my nose prickled sometimes. To me it tasted like a straight Virginia with a pretty noticeable topping. About that topping, I think whisky was used. I already told the smell was raisins-drenched-in-liquor like.

    Yep, I was struggling to determine if any perique was involved at all, it seemed to carry an odd element suchwise, but to a quite softened degree. The topping is hard to place as well, but the people here well acquainted with whisky seem to single it out as what was used, incredible that the topping even survived to be detected by us, how strong was it when fresh?

    Throughout the bowl I tasted (softly) roasted bread with hints of hay and sweetness. Indeed a bit raisin, apricot like. I did not detect bitterness at the end of the bowl.

    I find it most interesting how many of us agree on the main flavor thrust.

    All by all it is not a spectacular tobacco, for me it has no "wowww" factor. It is more like a tempting snake which curls itself more and more around your taste buds with every time you smoke it.

    That's a good analogy, I think it was a much more stout entity when fresh.

    No problemo whatsoever. Because of the long journey the flakes were a bit dry but nothing a little blowing through the bowl just before smoking couldn't fix.

    I love how the old stuff burns.

    I got no complaints from my girlfriend. Definitely no latakia was used.

    LOL!
    It sounds like her nose would know!

    My throat also became a bit dry during smoking. I made the mistake of drinking coffee during one smoke which polluted my taste-buds.. Whoops.. In the nicotine department the flakes were precisely enough for me. Any more and it would have been uncomfortable.

    I got a bit of the dry element as well, I experienced more of a nic hit when I decided to puff vigorously, but during normal sipping it was pretty tame, felt in effect but nowhere near overpowering.

    Price: Priceless

    At first was a bit appalled when I smelled the flakes because of the topping. Remember that whisky-blend it made me think of? I did not like that one.. But I am glad I persevered because in the end I was rewarded with some very nice smokes. I think that back in the days this was not a spectacular blend, an all day smoker. But the thing is with all day smokers, they have something that want you to come back to it every time.

    Another interesting aspect how the other baccy which reminded you of the Scots Cake crept into your brain, it would seem that instances such as this happen a good bit, where we color our thoughts with experiences of the past regarding similar flavors and weigh things accordingly.

    I'm glad you persevered too, and got something from it.

    I thank you for taking the time and adding your thoughts.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  67. pitchfork

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    It's interesting to me that some folks got very little flavor from the initial light or even from the first bowl. I was practically bowled over by the deep plumminess of this tobacco. I don't have any idea why that's the case, but there we are.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  68. misterlowercase

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    Jason

    What a fantastic thread. There is so much in this, great experiences, vast knowledge and deep appreciation. Amazing- utterly superb.

    I agree, this has been a great thing.

    And, with your review,
    where to begin?
    indeed, such richness and depths,
    I knew you would pen a poetic vision and your descriptions leap off the page into life itself.

    First off, let me just say I have avoided this thread like it was a medieval citadel infected with the plague.

    LOL!

    Oh! What an aroma. This was a sweet dense scent. If it had a consistency it was like treacle. It did not smell like treacle, but that aroma positively oozed out of the bag, it clung and filled my nasal senses. It was sweet, and complex. It promised flavours and good times. I struggled for a moment and then thought of Clan pipe tobacco. That's exactly what it reminded me off. That beautiful smell, a smell I could breath in for hours on end.

    No doubt, as I've noted again and again, the aroma was simply divine, it played a large role in my overall enjoyment of this stuff.

    But there were things to do, and considerations to be addressed. Mainly, what pipe do I smoke an exceedingly rare 65 year old tobacco in? I read the article on Celius. I sat. I thought. I was filled with the enthusiasm of the author for Celius pipes. I remembered the Celius Fantasy I got from Dave Neeb. I had yet to smoke it, as the occasion had yet to arrive. Well, today it did. I hadn't planned this. I had planned to work on filling the log shed, but, as it walked my dogs this morning I realised that I was going to take time to be with this pipe and this tobacco, and all else in the world could wait. It was a beautiful, bright, sunny, warm morning and I had the day to myself........

    Good stuff here, I like how you shared your thought process about all this, and I'm glad the baccy had the honor of christening a nice old Celius you so admire, and how the day was made, how a moment may open and seem to be an unexpected perfection, how the natural world around us adds to the intensity of the experience.

    Shorter than modern flakes I'm used to and deeper, like stretched squares, or slightly truncated oblongs. I sniffed deeply, and there was my long past recollection of Erinmore flake. I sniffed again. Yes! This was Erinmore, not Clan. Ah! How I love Erinmore. This boded well.

    I like how you described the dimensions here, and wow, Erinmore! I had an very intense experience with an early 70's tin and I couldn't believe how well the scent had been preserved, overall more floral, but fruity undertones indeed.

    Charring light! Hmm! Bugger! Nothing. Just hot smoke. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. But, perseverance is the key - sometimes! I didn't let it get me down. Hey! It could have been the loose pack. I tamped the expanded tobacco back down. Second light. Nothing. Flipping heck.

    I had the odd moment of tastlessness myself, seemed like nothing was there at all, just musty dank smoke, amazing how it did this, how it could seem to conceal itself until a magic moment when it blossomed as a lush grove of growing delights.

    Tamped it down and decided to go for it. Strong light. Deep draws. Thin, wispy, hot, flavourless smoke!!!! Damn and blast! Where were the flavours promised by the aromas emanating from the Baggie? Ok, ok......settle down. Go easy and relax. I was going at it like the proverbial bull in the china shop.

    Another amazing thing to me is how there was an initial flavorless sensation on my first bowl, then it settled into a soft luxury, but when I smoked the second bowl with controlled vigor, it gave a depth yet undetected, the ember was quite bright, but somehow it didn't overheat to the point of oversaturation and delivered a calming intensity, like the eye of a hurricane, I could sense fierce edges, but I was not thrown into the full force of the storm.

    As I settle in I start to get a sweetness that gently fizzes on my tongue, that lovely virginia sweetness. It comes and goes. It's burning hot and perhaps a little acrid. I slow, I let the ember settle down and draw gently on the pipe - the sweetness is getting more and more consistent. It's not a high pitched sweetness like some Virginias - it's almost muted. I settle some more. Thin strands of smoke and it starts to develop. But it's hot and moist, almost steamy. Maybe the humid heat of the greenhouse is affecting the smoke.

    I'm glad to hear the Greenhouse has been rebuilt and you can use it for that special space.

    So I move outside to the bench and sit on the lawn. The sun is bright, there's a gentle breeze and the birds are going mental in the early summer morning. The world is alive with joyous activity.

    Ah, birdsong, how I love it. Like hot freejazz it blows my mind, outside listening I hear strains of Eric Dolphy, of Albert Ayler, of Coltrane, of so many more all inna collective improvisation that hums my skull into a higher pitch of existence.

    The world is alive with joyous activity. And, suddenly, as though enlivened by all the joy around about, the tobacco starts to gently sing. The sweetness is deep and mellow. The more gentle the smoke the more beautiful the flavour.

    Beautiful.

    This reminds me of Players Navy Flake. At first I'm thinking it's a simple one dimensional smoke, as I first thought of Players, but, like Players, as I pay it attention I notice nuances of flavour - nothing spectacular, but there none the less. I slip into the smoke, and as I progress down the bowl (a couple or relights), I'm reminded of Richmond Navy Flake after about 1/2 hours smoking any of the sharp sweetness has gone, and it's settled into a beautiful mellow, with a subtle flavour, a tang that just sits on the tongue, and brushes over my nasal passages.

    I've never had the baccy you note, but I'm glad you mentioned them, giving another reference point.

    Slipping into the smoke, indeed, it pulled me in and I was sailing on that stream too.

    The harshness of the smoke on the exhale has gone. I'm literally smoking so slowly and gently that I'm getting almost no smoke, but oh! lord! That flavour. Push it, and up the tempo, or deepen the draw, push the ember, and it's gone - it turns mean and rough. Let it settle on the edge of extinction and it revels in life.

    Superb.

    At this stage I'm oblivious to all the riot of life around me. I'm thinking of how this smoke caresses me. I'm thinking of the finger tips of long ago brushing the back of my hand, and the electricity than ran through me. The merest touch of lips on my cheek from the first admission of affection, from a summer of my youth. How the slightest touch made me soar higher than I had ever thought it was possible for a human to achieve while his feet were still planted on the ground. As the smoke slips through my lips I am lost in the past, my lips are not touching sweet, sweet smoke, they are touching the softest of skin, sweeter than............

    Incredible stuff here, just incredible.
    I love it.

    And, soon the ember dies, and I am left sitting in my reverie, looking at the fish in the pond, basking in the heat of the sun. The birds singing works it's way back into my consciousness. I am surrounded by light and joyous sounds. They never disappeared, they simply provided the base notes for a sublime moment in which I was transported by a superlative tobacco into a time I had long since tucked into the depths of my being.

    I really respect your ability to transpose such personal intricacy into a written form that we can all read and relate to, you have a great knack for such things.

    This is what a pipe and tobacco is for me. This is what THIS tobacco is for me. It is heaven. It has taken it's 65 years of maturity and shown me how beautifully something can age, how it can be appreciated, how it should be. It does not need to be brash, to be handled unthinkingly, to be taken for granted. It needs gentle, total attention, an appreciative understanding to see what is held within, what it has to offer, what it will share, will give freely, if only you know how to ask, and are prepared to accept it for what it is. It will surrender it's hidden secrets, open it's depths to you.

    No doubt brother.
    Well said.

    This is a moment I will never forget. This is a moment that has left me a little shaken. This is an experience I never expected to get from a smoke. It is a gift I am so grateful for, and I really do not know quite how to thank those who gave it to me......that blenders of this tobacco.....the person who bought it and stashed it away.......the eBay seller who put it out there.......but, most of all, Troy. Your beneficence is quite astounding. You got a tin of the rarest of the rare, and, instead of enjoying it all to yourself, you shared it. It is quite astounding to me. I am so grateful, I cannot adequately express it. Not just that I got to taste such a blend, a blend our grandfathers would have smoked and loved, or a 65 year old rarity, that few will ever get to try, but that it created a moment for me that was quite literally sublime.

    Yes!
    The blenders!
    They were doing it up most correct.

    And the eBay seller,
    glad you mentioned this, indeed I'm ever thankful it was preserved and put up for us all to enjoy.

    And yes,
    sublime.
    Culmination of a prolonged contemplation through an impenetrable thickness, an inaccessible expanse, the unfathomable deeps of a mysterious scape beyond imagination and finally sitting silent agape, in total awe.

    "These unimaginable dimensions coupled with passion elevate human emotions closer to the attainment of the Sublime,
    the overbalance of pleasure."

    Jason,
    Thank you so much for this great write up,
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  69. misterlowercase

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    It's interesting to me that some folks got very little flavor from the initial light or even from the first bowl. I was practically bowled over by the deep plumminess of this tobacco. I don't have any idea why that's the case, but there we are.

    In my case, when I did experience that flavorless thing, I think it may have been my lighting technique, but the intense plumminess came through in fairly short order afterwards.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  70. sothron

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    Just caught up on this thread - one of the best ever. Thanks again, Troy.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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