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Stonehaven Alternatives

(38 posts)
  1. fitzy

    fitzy

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    I've been interested in trying Stonehaven for quite some time to see what all the hubbub is about. However I am much too slow when I do get the in stock notice to actually buy some before they are long gone.

    So I was thinking of asking you good folks what comparable alternatives you would recommend.(You can skip FVF from that list as I've got some and will by trying it shortly)

    Thanks in advance. Sorry if there is already another post similar to this out there. I did a search and I have put together a list of Virginia's I'd like to try but thought I'd try to get other alternatives. I'm still working on learning to like Virginia's.


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    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. cigrmaster

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    In my opinion the closest blend to Stonehaven is Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired. They are both va/burley flakes and are both very tasty. When I am in the mood for a va/burley and I want something a little stronger and smokier and I will reach for the ODF. I think it is the closest thing on the market to SH. It is also readily available and priced very nicely.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Harris I just saw earlier that the Wessex Gold Brick Virginia has become available and I know your a fan of that. Is it worth trying that, or ODH or one of the Solani blends like the 660 or 663? Or Hal O' the Wynd?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Hehe Fitzy, those you mention are all very good. I enjoy all, except one, the 633, which I haven't tried yet. I did do a review on the Silver Flake though, here and on TR.

    The Gold Brick is a plug, so it's a PITA to prepare, unless you, like some of us, enjoy playing with your tobacco. It sounds expensive but it's 100g, not 50g; it comes very tightly pressed so a very sharp knife and significantly smaller cubes are de rigueur for maximum effectiveness.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. fitzy

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    As far as plugs go I've only tried Peterson's 3P's and I sort of found it hard to find any flavor however that was also when I was just starting to begin my Virginia experimentation's.

    I'm curious about several Virginia's including that Gold Brick, the Silver Flake and a bunch of others.

    I'm ok with cutting slices off the plug and then cub cutting it. I'm just not sure which to try first.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    If I were to pick just one of those you listed, it would be the Solani Silver Flake. Great stuff, just be sure to jar it or throw a coin in the cello right away; the presentation in those Solani 100g tins is gorgeous, but they are not vacuum sealed, just wrapped in cellophane and tinned. Check out my review for more info.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. cigrmaster

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    fitzy, the Gold Brick is nothing like the SH, it is good but not similar. The only other flake besides the ODF is the Solani Silver Flake because of the Kentucky in it, but it does not taste like SH. ODF and SH could be like brother and sister, I would definitely go for that first. I love Silver Flake and am smoking it as I type, it is a great blend as roth mentioned above.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. rmbittner

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    fitzy:

    Hal o' the Wynd is not quite in this category, IMO. It smokes much more like a straight Virginia; even though the manufacturer claims it contains burley and perique, I think they are almost unnoticeable in the smoke. (I do enjoy it, but to truly experience its rich sweetness, you need to smoke it VERY slowly.)

    I'm only just beginning to explore this kind of flake, but one of the things that sets Stonehaven apart for me is the fact that the burley is wedded to the Virginia in such a way that it never really comes to the forefront -- and neither does the Virginia. That's why you won't get the nicotine hit -- and harshness -- that you'll find in an all-burley blend or a blend that's more burley-forward. For me, the balance is perfect. It's also worth noting that Stonehaven's flakes are extremely thin, about the thickness of four sheets of paper; all of the other flakes I've tried have been significantly thicker.

    Apart from Navy Flakes, which typically include a rum component in addition to Virginia and burley, I've only tried SG's Brown Flake (which is very good, but more burley-forward) and Solani's Aged Burley Flake (which is an all-burley flake that I found a bit rough around the edges).

    In another thread -- something like "Straight Virginias Get a Bad Rap" -- Cigrmaster posted this very helpful list:

    ==================================================
    Mike, here is my list of Va and Vaper Flakes that have no bite for me. I cannot smoke much if any red Virginia's due to a body chemistry thing so all of my favorites have little or none. The TR next to the name designates ready to smoke out of the tin with no drying time. I smoke all of these on a regular basis and never have to deal with tongue bite.

    Virginia Flakes:
    Fribourg&Treyer Cut Virginia Plug
    Fribourg and Treyer Vintage
    Wessex Campaign Brigade Dark Flake
    Wessex Brown Virginia Flake TR
    Wessex Gold Virginia Flake TR
    Wessex Gold Brick
    Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake
    Samuel Gawith full Virginia Flake
    Hamborger Veermaster
    Dunhill Flake TR
    Astley’s no. 44 Dark Flake TR
    Solani Silver Flake TR
    John Aylesbury Luxury Flake TR
    Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired
    Esoterica Stonehaven
    Rotary Navy Cut
    Petersons Irish Flake
    GL Pease Navigator

    Virginia/Perique Flakes
    Escudo
    Solani 633 TR
    Samuel Gawith St James Flake
    Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls
    ======================================

    I'm using this list as my field guide for exploring this style in more depth.

    Finally: I think Esoterica's blends are truly unique, even when compared with other blends from the Germain line. I don't think you'll have any success finding an exact match. But I think you'll discover a wide range of blends that you might thoroughly enjoy.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    You guys might want to add Dorchester and Limerick to your list. The Dorchester is particularly pleasant and the Limerick is high quality but does require aging; of course, the Dorchester will age well too but is also very good fresh.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. fitzy

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    Thanks for the help everyone.

    I'll start with ofd and that solani. I've been waiting for that brigade campaign to come in stock on smokingpipes also.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Now try finding ODF. It too seems to be sold out at the major online retailers.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. fitzy

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    Thanks rothnh I'll add those 2 to my list

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. fitzy

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    I've got ODF setup to alert me as well when it comes in stock

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    I've been waiting for that brigade campaign to come in stock on smokingpipes also.

    You and at least 8 puffers I know, as well as myself

    Now try finding ODF. It too seems to be sold out at the major online retailers.

    Not at all surprising. ODF U.S. inventory sold out in a flash after being introduced at one of the major pipe shows last year, so Mac Baren redirected all or most of their entire stock that was going to go to Europe back to the USA. Because of the rather involved process and special tobacco leaves in ODF, they cautioned everyone that once this batch is gone, no new stock of ODF can be expected on US shelves until the end of 2013.

    That is one reason why guys like Foggymountain have a large number of tins in the cellar. At last count, Foggy's stash of ODF tins was more than 50.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. peckinpahhombre

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    That is one reason why guys like Foggymountain have a large number of tins in the cellar. At last count, Foggy's stash of ODF tins was more than 50.

    Wow, I have 27 and I thought I was doing well.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. chakaraka

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    Oh I think you are doing just fine, peckinpahombre. Considering you are heading the TAD's Most Wanted List lately... My "cellar" (to use the term loosely) is still at the sub-one-pound level.

    Mike.
    - - - - - -
    Rookie, but learning.
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    My "cellar" (to use the term loosely) is still at the sub-one-pound level.

    To quote the old adage, the important thing is not the size, it's how you use it.

    As long as you're happy with what you have in that cellar, and how you're progressing (given budget and other circumstances personal to you), that's really all that matters. I don't think there's that many puffers here or any I know that are comfy throwing more than $500 at one time on one blend, even if they have the funds to do so.

    Personally, I'm happy just plugging along, a few tins and 8 ounces here, a pound and a couple tins there, works. Anyone can add a tin and/or 4 ounces to an order "for the cellar" -- I think that's a good way to progress -- doing that every month, after a year, looks pretty impressive, IMO.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. mikephillips

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    That is one reason why guys like Foggymountain have a large number of tins in the cellar. At last count, Foggy's stash of ODF tins was more than 50.

    That cracks me up Well, guys like Foggy will be the only ones with good pipe tobacco left when civilization falls. Nothing wrong with being prepared.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. nsfisher

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    I am not so sure HH Dark Fired is in quite the same category as Stone Haven but......... It definitly is a pretty good substitue for sure. I find, they each have their own unique qualities.

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. fitzy

    fitzy

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    Does anyone have any other alternatives that are more available besides ODF?
    I should have bought some ODF back on January 14th when I got the in stock notice.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. cigrmaster

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    I just did an inventory a couple of weeks ago and found out that I have 65 tins of ODF in stock. I really thought I only had maybe 35-40 but I had been ordering at such a clip I really wasn't paying close attention. That equals 14 pounds so you guys don't have to worry about me anymore. I just checked around and it is out of stock at my usual haunts. Over the summer and up until January it was readily available. Not once did I see an out of stock notice on it when I was ordering.

    I am sure Mac Baren will get supplies back in the stores quickly, they know they have a winner and they are capable of producing quantity unlike Germain and Gawith.

    fitzy, I would give GL Pease JackKnife Plug a whirl. It is a strong smokey kind of blend that is in it's own way similar to ODF but not as sweet. Also as mentioned above the Solani Silver Flake is just a great blend on it's own.

    Also if you are looking for something strong with a lot of flavor, Petersons Irish Flake is always a good choice.

    roth, another way of putting it is, " it is not the size but the ferociousness of the attack "

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. fitzy

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    Harris that explains why I can't find any. You bought them all.

    I'll have to give the JackKnife Plug and Irish Flake a shot. I have some 3P's plug but I wasn't quite sold on it.

    I wish they had 50g tins of the Silver Flake like they do of the Virginia Flake on smokingpipes.com.

    I also wish I had a PO box in Connecticut so I can order tax free from pipesandcigars.com as well as cupojoes.com

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. cigrmaster

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    fitzy, it ain't my fault, my last order on the stuff was 1/9/2013 from P&C and they had plenty left. It was foggy who bought all of it after me. lol

    I just got a tin of 3ps in a few days ago, haven't tried it yet. What about it that is not intriguing you?

    If you try the Silver Flake and don't like it, I will trade you out of it, I am that sure you will like it. It will be a while though as I am not able to trade for probably a month or so.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. fitzy

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    Sure Harris that's what they all say.

    Unfortunately I'm severely limited as to where I can order as I live in NY and refuse to pay 75% tax. lol

    With the 3P's I found it sort of bland but I think it maybe more my tastebuds. I figured out sometime after I tried it that my buds weren't up to snuff and took a break. I'll have to try it again and see how it is.

    I put in an order for the Silver Flake plus some Bright Cr from Gawith and some of the LBF.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    You'll love the Silver Flake.

    I love the G&H Bright CR Flake too, but it is, as it name states, bright leaf forward (actually, I'd be really surprised if there's anything else in the blend except for maybe a little white burley), which means it's mild, tart/citrusy, and it's other nuances are quite delicate. That said, I have more than a pound of Bright CR Flake jarred and aging.

    I think it compares closest to Orlik Golden Slices (I have 5 100g tins of OGS in the cellar as well), but it's still quite unique and will certainly age very well, I'm certain of it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. cigrmaster

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    Have you ever tried Solani 633? It is one of my favorite vapers. I am sure you are going to really dig the Silver Flake, it is one of the finest blends out there in my opinion and it comes the prefect humidity. Make sure you have a jar because they do not come vacuum sealed even though the tin looks like it would.

    I am still on the fence with JackKnife Plug, I put it away a few months ago and tried it the other night. My taste buds were off so I did not get a true representation of it's potential. I do have hopes for it though. If you have not tried GL pease Navigator that is another great blend. I forgot to mention that one, it has Dark Fired Kentucky in it which makes it a pretty strong one. If you can you might want to add it to your order. I would smoke that over LBF any day.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. fitzy

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    I can't wait to try all of these. I don't have enough time to try the number of blends I have so I've been gradually weeding out the ones I won't reorder.

    I have almost bought Orlik golden sliced like 5 times now. I had it and the 633 but pulled both out of the basket. Hopefully next time I will get them and ODF.

    Harris I've got a tin of Navigator and Haddos delight at home. I tried both when my taste was off. I need to smoke them again.

    I throw all my stuff into smallish sized mason jars just big enough to fit the tobacco. I've got 1/2 pint wide, pint wide and quart wide ball jars. The only time I don't jar it is if the tin is vacuum sealed and won't be opened. I've got a few vanilla flakes unopened but most of my stuff is in jars.

    I label all the jars with the blend and date jarred then put them In a big rubber maid but I'm going to need another tub soon. Hehe

    I also document it in a spreadsheet.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    It's important to note that all our tastes vary. For example, I don't care for Veermaster; Harris loves it. I'm not a huge fan of ODF; Foggy has 50+ tins in his cellar. I really like OGS, particularly aged; Harris not so much -- Gray just got like 6-8 tins of OGS and he loves the stuff fresh AND aged.

    At least with virginia blends, we can be reasonably certain that if we don't LOVE a certain blend for any particular reason, we can always jar it and it will improve with age -- sometimes quite dramatically.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. flyguy

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    I would like to try Stonehaven so I would know what to compare it to...

    “Apples for walking, and a pipe for sitting.”
    ― Samwise Gamgee
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. gecko13

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    @flyguy PM sent. I can hook a brother up.

    "To Learn Who Rules You, Find Out Who You Can't Criticize" Voltaire

    "The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected..."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. rmbittner

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    For anyone who is looking for a blend very close to Stonehaven, I've just discovered this one: Germain's Rich Dark Flake. Germain/Esoterica say it is the closest thing to Stonehaven you can find.

    Here's the less-than-good news: It is not sold in the United States. I did find a UK retailer (link below), but there is a note at the bottom of their page stating that, due to credit-card restrictions, they cannot sell tobacco to the U.S. using credit cards. I'm not sure what work-arounds there might be, but they do supply an e-mail address for inquiries. It sounds like they're willing to come up alternative forms of payment.

    However, if you're willing to pay the required costs (which I'm guesstimating comes to about US$17.50 for 50g, plus international shipping charges), it can be ordered, in bulk, here: http://www.mysmokingshop.co.uk/index2.php?mod=mancats&sec=2464&man=325. As far as I can tell, it isn't available tinned at all.

    I realize this isn't like pointing you to a C&D or McClelland blend that is identical. But it's an option, if you're really really motivated to try a near-equivalent.

    UPDATE: I've e-mailed the retailer regarding alternative forms of payment. I'll post back what I hear.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. fitzy

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    Flyguy I too would like to try Stonehaven someday. I was too slow when smokingpipes.com had it in stock so I've been calling around smaller mom and pop shops that's how I found Penzance but no luck with the Stonehaven.

    I also can't wait to try that Silver Flake and eventually the ODF.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. lordwolf

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    I might be new to this forum but I do have a love for stonehaven and I keep at least 3oz bags of the stuff tucked away. What you need to do is go to your local tobacco AND cigarette stores.

    Trust me here. Ask around and see who their suppliers are. You are looking for Arango Cigar Co. They ration the stuff out but if you can get the stores to order some its your best bet.

    I tried for months and months to get a handle on it from tobacconists and friends but once I started hitting up cig stores it just flowed in.

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. ~Irish Proverb
    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. fitzy

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    Thanks Lordwolf. I'll give that a shot. The only downside is that in NY I'll get charged 75% tax. I need to drive to Connecticut and see what I can get.

    I got in my order last night of Solani 660, LBF and Bright CR. They all smell fantastic. I must be crazy though because I would swear that the 660 tin note smells exactly like Escudo even though 660 doesn't have perique. I lit up a bowl of the silver flake and thought it was fantastic. I'll have to smoke a few more bowls before I can give a bit of a description. I rubbed it out and it didn't need to be dried at all. Smoked great right out of the tin.

    I also got in last night in another shipment my bag of Penzance from Payless pipes. I swear I don't smell any latakia in it but can taste it when I smoked a small bowl. This too was fantastic. A complex tasting smoke with a light latakia flavor. It was darker than I expected and very very moist. I had to let it dry out considerably.

    I think both of these blends would go really well with a cup of Early Grey

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. cigrmaster

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    fitzy, glad to hear you enjoyed the Silver Flake, I love the fact it comes ready to smoke. You might want to try cube cutting it, I have found that it is my favorite method for preparing that one. It does have s similar tin not to Escudo in that the fig smell comes through. It may be the Kentucky in it which gives off that scent. Now you have me drooling for a bowl of it, time to light one up.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. tbradsim1

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    Harris you put the Craveing on me, just cubed some Silver Flake, fired a big Paul Perri Pot and lit it up, that stuff is good. The old cajunp

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. fitzy

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    Harris I'm glad to hear that I'm not crazy. My plan is to try it every method I know of to see how it is. So tonight is the cube cut method and tomorrow food and stuff. I can't wait to get home.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. cigrmaster

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    Bradley, I just finished a bowl also in my Butera Apple, it is damn tasty. Glad you enjoyed it.

    fitzy, let us know how you like the cube cut, I hope you enjoy it.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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