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What's Wrong With Me (I Don't Like Esoterica)

(65 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by elvergun
  • Latest reply from sablebrush52
  1. elvergun

    elvergun

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    I have smoked Stonehaven, Dunbar, And So To Bed, Penzance, and Margate. Based on many reviews, these blends are supposed to be the Holy Grail of pipe smokers. I think these blends are very, very mild – it’s like smoking hot air (ha).

    Okay, so I just don’t like anything from Germain (I also did not like Balkan Sobranie because it is also too mild for my tastes). I usually stay away from milder blends. I like stuff such as Nightcap, Irish Flake and Ten Russians. The thing is, tobaccoreviews classifies the Esoterica blends I’ve tried as Medium to Strong (strength) and Medium to Full (taste). Stonehaven is supposed to be a medium to full blend, but to me it tastes like…err…nothing. Blackwoods Flake and FVF blow Stonehaven out of the water (again, according to my taste buds).

    So what gives? Do I dislike Esoterica because the blends are too mild? But if this is the case, how can people believe that Stonehaven or Penzance are medium to full in strength? How can someone smoke a blend and think that it is mild and someone else perceive it as being strong? The opposite does not happen often – smokers do not say that Nightcap is a mild blend.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. hawky454

    hawky454

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    Nothing wrong with you, apparently you just have bad taste in tobacco!

    Nightcap is actually not as strong as it’s made out to be. I think it’s pretty mild, honestly.

    Stonehaven is more on the medium spectrum than mild, it’s one that took me many years to appreciate. But hey, you like what you like, it’s as simple as that.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. jaytex969

    jaytex969

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    Don't listen to Hawky...

    HE likes LAKELANDS!

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. elvergun

    elvergun

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    Nothing wrong with you, apparently you just have bad taste in tobacco!

    Ha...well that explains things.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. menuhin

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    Hi elvergun,

    Blackwoods Flakes and FVF versus Stonehaven - it sounds like comparing apples to oranges.

    By "strong", you mean the strength as in taste or as in nicotine?
    Can you provide more examples of what you would rate as Full taste and / or Strong strength?

    I have yet to really like a Germain blend, but their tobaccos definitely have some appeal.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    People experience flavors differently. Some have more sensitive palates than others, some can enjoy a wider ranges than others, etc. No right or wrong with it, just how it is.

    Do you dry your tobacco until it's very dry prior to smoking it? Because with Dunbar and Stonehaven, as with most tobaccos, the proper moisture level makes a huge difference between what level of flavor these blends deliver, and Stonehaven is particularly finicky. Are you sipping them slowly? Most Virginias deliver their best when sipped slowly. Did you exhale through your nose? You have more flavor receptors there than in your mouth.

    All that said, I too find many of Germain's tobaccos lighter than I like. But not all of them, and Dunbar is not a light smoke when you know how to smoke it. It's no secret here that I dislike Penzance. But I dislike most English blends. My favorites are Dunbar, Dorchester, and Tilbury. But none of them are going to be flavor powerhouses because they're not those types of blends. You find your flavor powerhouses in the English, Balkan, Oriental camp. Virginias, Va/Pers, Va/Burs, etc are much milder flavor profiles.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. elvergun

    elvergun

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    menuhin,

    I usually prefer strong tasting tobaccos.

    Full taste and strong strength = Dark Bird's Eye, Nightcap, Royal Yacht.
    Full taste and medium strength = Hal O' the Wynd, Plum Pudding
    Medium taste and medium strength = FVF, Blackwoods
    Mild taste and Mild strength = Anything Germain

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. jravenwood

    jravenwood

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    Nothing wrong with you! As sable said everyone is different and has different likes and dislikes, no different than food ynow?

    "It is quite a three pipe problem..."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    I find Stonehaven to a be a full flavored blend that is medium in the nicotine department. How old was the Stonehaven you smoked? Age makes a difference like in most blends. When fresh and with too much moisture, the flavors can be muted. What type of pipe did you use? Does it have a ghost from previous blends? All of these factors can contribute to a less than stellar smoke.

    Esoterica in general is an overrated house as they have 2 blends (stonehaven and penzance) that are carrying their other blends to immortal status when they are just average smokes to my tastes.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. joeman

    joeman

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    I have a couple pals who only smoke Carter Hall...others who simply love Mix 79...and so on. As they say..."like what you smoke"...there's nothing wrong with you.

    JoeMan
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    More for me!

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. uperepik

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    I’ll take the leftovers lol, still haven’t even tried Stonehaven

    -
    "A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth."
    C.S Lewis
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. npod

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    Elvergun, I totally here what you are saying. One big comment: the pipe itself has a huge impact on the experience with Penzance/Stonehaven, not as much with the ribbon cuts or other offerings from Esoterica. For example, a Morta or well aged briar will really bring out the nuance of some Esoterica blends, especially the English.

    Early on in my journey I too felt serious let down when smoking Penzance/Stonehaven; those being the "grail" tobaccos so revered on the internet and spoken of in hushed tones and whispers of wisdom. Then I had some and blah, nothing, nada, boring. As a guy who really does his homework and research I couldn't understand what I was missing. Then, I learned a few things along the way that eventually led to a Zen experience. Some thoughts below.

    1. Smoke it inside/indoors
    2. Try it in a Morta pipe!
    3. SLOW Cadence!
    4. Don't overpack the Crumble cake!
    5. If it's not your wheel house then move on.

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    @elvergun, for a couple of decades after it was made available in the US, Esoterica gathered dust on the shelves of the relatively few B&M's that stocked it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. elvergun

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    5. If it's not your wheel house then move on.

    I think this is the solution.

    I tried 2-4 with not so great results...and smoking indoors (1) is not an option. Every time I smoke Stonehaven I think, "I could be smoking FVF instead, rats". Every time I smoke Dunbar I think, "I could be smoking Beacon Extra instead". And when I smoke Margate or Balkan Sobranie I wish I was smoking Nightcap. LOL.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    As everyone else has already said individuals have different tastes. I can certainly understand someone not liking the flavor of Penzance... but if you are not getting any flavor but hot air from it you are either doing something wrong or you have damaged your tastebuds. In my opinion. But then again you DID ask for opinions.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. elvergun

    elvergun

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    but if you are not getting any flavor but hot air from it you are either doing something wrong or you have damaged your tastebuds

    Sure...but then other blends would also taste like nothing to me, no?

    Blends which are supposed to be (taste wise) strong do taste strong to me. Blends which are supposed to be in the medium range do taste medium to me. All the Germain blends which are supposed to be medium to strong taste like hot air to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. johnbarleycorn

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    ^ that is strange. But it’s actually a good thing for you since you can save a lot of time and effort by not chasing those blends. And I agree with you that FVF is very hard to beat.

    On a side note I like the taste of Dunbar but I have an awful reaction to it every time I try to smoke. Sort of like swishing kerosene in my mouth. It’s the only tobacco that I have that reaction to.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. jpmcwjr

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    I don't understand why you feel the need to bash Esotericas.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. elvergun

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    But it’s actually a good thing for you since you can save a lot of time and effort by not chasing those blends.

    Ha...true. And it is indeed a good thing since those blends are not exactly the cheapest to buy or easiest to find. I had already started the chase, but as soon as I have enough posts I'll be putting all my Germain up for sale or trade.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. spartan99

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    If everyone liked scotch and redheads, there wouldn't be enough to go around. We're already at that point with Esoterica, so you're just improving others' odds ever so slightly.

    @elvergun, for a couple of decades after it was made available in the US, Esoterica gathered dust on the shelves of the relatively few B&M's that stocked it.

    That sounds about right. I found three old tins of Germain's Royal Jersey blends at a B&M in Cleveland this summer. They had $10 price tags on them and the tin metal was noticeably different from the current manufacture.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    @spartan99, around 2000, a shop near me went out of business. The owner had 8 ounce bags and a tray (Peacehaven) of ET left with $25 price stickers affixed. We did a deal for several things, principally pipes, but he made me take the ET as part of the deal. I got them for $12.50 each. I quit pipes in 2001. (A long story) In the summer of 2016, I decided to get back into pipes and to clear out some things I didn't want. I sent some pipes that were worth more, I thought, as collectors items than smokers and some Dunhill leather goods to Pipestud. At the last minute, I was rummaging around the storage room in my garage and there was a box with 8 or 10 of the ET bags/tray. They still, miraculously, felt pliable, so I threw them in. No Penzance or Stonehaven. Things like Woodbridge, Cardiff, etc. I think I netted more from the cheapest single bag Steve sold than all of the bags cost me back then. And the bags had been on a shelf in that store for at least two years.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. tschiraldi

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    Uperepik, PM me and I'll send you some, if you like.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    I've never understood the obsession with any blend, whether it be Esoterica's Penzance or Stonehaven, Germain's Balkan Sobrainie, F&T Cut Virginia Plug, or whatever. I keep coming back to the Psychology Of Scarcity (proclaimed with an echo effect). When something is hard to find it becomes imbued with legendary qualities and consequently becomes the object of obsessive desire. This in turn results in hoarding, some of which is caused by a fear of not having it when one wants it, or speculative stockpiling to cash in on the obsession.
    There's nothing magical about Germain's, or any other brand. The all have blends that are wildly popular and blends that aren't. BTW, Esoterica is licensed for manufacture by Germain's, but is not a Germain's blend. They're made for the American market

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. virginialover

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    Personally, I don't like Esoterica at all but I haven't smoked a Germain's I didn't like. J. F. Germain & Son - Royal Jersey Perique Mixture is great, it has enough strength and flavor. Germain's Special Latakia Flake is a classy smoke and King Charles Smoking Mixture represents the classic English mixture for me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. renfield

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    Everyone’s tastes are different. Most people’s tastes and preferences change over time. There is nothing magical about Esoterica’s blends and if they were readily available they’d probably not be as highly rated, just my opinion. They’re good but there are many good blends available. Don’t sweat the fact that they didn’t blow you away.

    If you’d like something vaguely Penzance-like but stronger give GL Pease Gaslight a whirl. Nice full mouthfeel and complex and robust.

    If someone enjoys the thrill of the hunt that can be part of the fun and can make the tobacco taste better to them. It’s all good.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. jravenwood

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    So there you to Elvergun! People said it but also just read these opinions and you’ll see what I and others already said - everyone has different tastes. Sable says nothing special about Germaine’s and Virginialover says he likes ALL of the Germains. I dislike the Germains but love Dunbar, Penzance, and so to Bed and Stonehaven. I have some peacehaven on the way and I’m looking forward to it. And no one is wrong!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    BTW, Esoterica is licensed for manufacture by Germain's, but is not a Germain's blend. They're made for the American market

    My understanding was that Steve Richman, who had been a Drucquers customer and started a shop called The Piedmont Tobacconist in Oakland, approached Germain through the British Consulate in San Francisco and asked their trade person to help provide samples of blends that Germain could make available on a white label (generic) basis. They did so, and Steve and other area pipe tobacco afficianados sampled the blends, chose which ones to make part of the line, came up with the names, and developed the style of the tin art/labeling. (I believe Greg Pease did the art.) These were blends from Germains catalog, and their was nothing done, based on what Steve told me at the time, to modify or change these blends in any respect for the American market. My memory is that there were other blends available that Steve chose not to take, but I can't recall him specifically telling me that, so I could be wrong. I am uncertain as to how these are not "Germain blends." The names are not Germains property, the recipes are.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. chasingembers

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    I like Pembroke, and And So To Bed, but ASTB is a near match for Mac Baren's Plumcake which is much less expensive. I'm not a huge fan of their "top" names either.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
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    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    My understanding was that Steve Richman, who had been a Drucquers customer and started a shop called The Piedmont Tobacconist in Oakland, approached Germain through the British Consulate in San Francisco and asked their trade person to help provide samples of blends that Germain could make available on a white label (generic) basis. They did so, and Steve and other area pipe tobacco afficianados sampled the blends, chose which ones to make part of the line, came up with the names, and developed the style of the tin art/labeling. (I believe Greg Pease did the art.) These were blends from Germains catalog, and their was nothing done, based on what Steve told me at the time, to modify or change these blends in any respect for the American market. My memory is that there were other blends available that Steve chose not to take, but I can't recall him specifically telling me that, so I could be wrong. I am uncertain as to how these are not "Germain blends." The names are not Germains property, the recipes are.

    You may be correct. My understanding was that there was some back and forth between Richman and Germain's in the making of these blends and that these were not Germain's catalog blends. Pease would probably know.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. chasingembers

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    Here's an interesting passage from misterlowercase.

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/esoterica-tobacciana-a-history

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. lasttango

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    I've never understood the obsession with any blend

    I agree because I keep finding too many blends that I do like or that I want to try. There are only a couple tobaccos I've tried so far that I'd really miss if they became unattainable. These include the Semois tobaccos and perfumed lakelands because they are kind of unique.

    If push came to shove, I could smoke one-dimensional burley blends all day and enjoy my pipe.

    A man that hoards up riches and enjoys them not, is like an ass that carries gold and eats thistles.
    -Richard Burton
    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    I like variety in pipes and tobaccos, that being said, I could smoke only Margate and be a happy puffer till the end of my days.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. admiral

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    Slightly off topic - the best way to make a blend "legendary" is either to stop it or to make it randomly available and in limited quantities
    Woody Allen famously said (quoting loosely): "The only reason I am still not part from the pantheon of classical authors/artists is because I am still alive"

    Have a look at reviews over Renaissance, Bohemian Scandal, Penzance from 15 years ago when still largely available

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. cortezattic

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    Amazingly, G.L. Pease could weigh-in here, as I recall him contrasting the husky tobaccos of the northern UK with those of the "effete" south. Here's an informative link:
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/esoterica-tobacciana-a-history#post-373028

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    The misterlowercase article is informative but wrong in its equation of SH blends with later ET blends. Penzance is not equivalent to Krumble Kake. All Steve ever claimed to me was that it was similar. I do not recall that we ever discussed Margate, Pembroke, etc., but I imagine the answer would have been the same.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. hawky454

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    If it's not your wheel house then move on.

    But don’t write them off for good! I don’t think I would have been too fond of Dunbar when I first started out smoking a pipe but now everytime I retrohale it, my eyes roll back into my head in total euphoria.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. jpmcwjr

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    Everyone’s tastes are different. Most people’s tastes and preferences change over time. There is nothing magical about Esoterica’s blends and if they were readily available they’d probably not be as highly rated, just my opinion. They’re good but there are many good blends available.

    Right for sure on the last point, one I hope those pissing and moaning over the potential disappearance of Dunhill tobaccos will take to heart. Lots of great American blends out there, many better than anything Dunhill puts out currently. But there's nothing I've had that's quite the taste of Margate or Penzance.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. kola

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    ET blends? The only one I like is Penzance. Stovehaven is foul tasting to me (in fact I still have a bunch still jarred and aging from years ago). And all the other ET blends seem just bland. Years ago I bought a bunch of Margate thinking I'd like it. Nope, I dislike it very much just like all the other ones. Except Penzy.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. sablebrush52

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    So I emailed Greg, who was a taster on the Esoterica project and his response confirms oldgeezersmoker's post. The blends were made by Germain's. But the assertion that the Esoterica blends bear no relationship to the Smoker's Haven Blends isn't a fact either.

    Greg writes:

    "The Esoterica line was created, as far as I know, from mostly dormant blends in the Germain range, though some of them are a little sketchy in my head - Penzance, for instance. There were two versions offered, one with a higher percentage of Latakia, the other was more than likely the same as Krumble Kake. Steve chose the heavier one. With some of the others, I'm not convinced they're not the same as blends from the Germain line, or Smoker's Haven blends, for that matter."

    Greg was a taster, along with others, trying out the various samples and providing notes, and Steve made the choices based on his own notes as well as Greg's and the other tasters.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. mso489

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    Don't assume not liking a blend means you will never like it. Jar it and try again in a year. Age may improve it, or your taste.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    My understanding from Steve was that the SH Krumble Kake recipe was not available to him. While the SH blend was "dormant" SH was not dead and Germain still felt they had an obligation to them, particularly in that Joe Zieve at SH had detailed involvement in developing the recipe, either as originally produced or when he switched production to Germain from Sobranie. That is, as I said, the only specific blend that we ever had a conversation about this particular issue, but Joe Zieve perhaps had some proprietary rights to some of the other recipes that remained SH property.

    An interesting note, at an Indiana Briar Friars show in the early 80's a gentleman came up to my table and offered two sleeves of Krumble Kake- 5 tins each. He had been a weekend employee of SH and claimed that the tins came from Joe's basement where they had been stored because they were from the first shipment of the Germain version, which at least some customers didn't like because it contained too much Latakia. I took the deal for $100, walked across the room and sold one sleeve to John Loring and got my money out of it, and smoked every shred of the rest. It had aged beautifully.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  43. sablebrush52

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    Well, who knows? I wasn't there, neither were you. I'm just relaying Greg's memories on the topic.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  44. jravenwood

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    I Live about 20 minutes away from the Piedmont tobacconist and I stop in occasionally and Share a smoke with Steve. From our conversations what was written above is correct, the recipes existed however Steve tweaked some of them , not all of them, a little bit here and there. On my last trip over in December he gave me an original Esoterica tobacco pamphlet with all the blends and descriptions in it. It’s a pretty darn cool keepsake; Steve is a heck of a nice guy.

    One of the neat stories he has told me was regarding the verbiage on the front of the Astb tins. (Go read the tin if you have one) He was referring to his own golden retriever, long passed now but he has two Golden’s currently that are in the shop with him every day. Also how the title “And so to Bed” is a tip of the hat to a favorite author of his, Samuel Pepys.

    I do find it a little funny that he no longer sells the Esoterica line of tobaccos in his store... they mostly focus on cigars and bulk tobacco. Cigars being his bread and butter I think.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Glad to hear Steve is doing well. A fine man. What does he think of the mania over these blends? And ASTB is the only one I would really miss if ET disappeared. Steve brought samples of most if not all of the line to a pipe show from the first shipment, bags only as I recall, and it stood out to me then as something quite different from anything else out there, as it still does. I only have a pound jarred, I think I need to add some more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  46. jravenwood

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    From what I can tell, he is rather unaware of the reality regarding Esoterica demand and craziness. He hasn’t really asked and I haven’t brought it up. I did however bring him a tin of current Penzance as well ias Astb and shared a smoke. He is a good conversationalist!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  47. lazar

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    So, if
    Our Best Blend = Margate
    Cognac = Pembroke
    20th Anniversary = ...And so to bed
    Krumble Kake = Penzance

    What does Exotique = ?

    Also, why does the ale in ASTB taste like apricot? I don't get ale in that blend at all.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  48. chasingembers

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    What ale?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  49. admiral

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    Pale of course

    Posted 1 year ago #
  50. jravenwood

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    Apricot?? I get sweet and light smokey latakia myself.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  51. badbeard

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    Just thought I'd throw my 2 pennies in here - I am also not a fan of Esoterica blends, but I openly admit that it's mostly my fault. In my experience, I've found that Esoterica and Germain's blends tend to have a really narrow "goldilocks zone" of ideal humidity and burn temp to get the best flavor. I've tried Penzance, Stonehaven, Dorchester, ASTB, Germain's Special Latakia Flake, and Balkan Sobranie. I have had amazing, rich, and nuanced smokes from all of them, but also a fair number of bowls that were frustrating, tasteless, and I just wanted to dump. Of the blends, Penzance and Stonehaven(particularly Stonehaven) seem to be the most temperamental to various smoking variables. Call me impatient..tell me I have bad technique.. Despite knowing what rich complexity I can extract from Stonehaven if the stars align, the relative humidity is perfect, the chamber diameter is just right, and can manage to sip infinitesimally slow - I guess I'd rather have less complex full flavor that is easily and consistently repeatable.
    I think of Esoterica blends like I do a fine exotic sports car - when everything is running just right, it is an amazing experience. When you stop pampering the garage queen for even a moment, it will leave you stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  52. sablebrush52

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    I've found that Esoterica and Germain's blends tend to have a really narrow "goldilocks zone" of ideal humidity and burn temp to get the best flavor...
    I have had amazing, rich, and nuanced smokes from all of them, but also a fair number of bowls that were frustrating, tasteless, and I just wanted to dump. Of the blends, Penzance and Stonehaven(particularly Stonehaven) seem to be the most temperamental to various smoking variables.

    BINGO! All tobaccos have a moisture range where they offer up better flavor, but Germain's seem to me, especially Stonehaven, to require a very tight tolerance where moisture is concerned, if you're going to get what these blends can deliver. Otherwise they perform like "pretty good" to "WTF??".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  53. lazar

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    Apricot?? I get sweet and light smokey latakia myself.

    I get the lat, too, but to me it's like an apricot-English aro.

    What ale?

    That's the flavoring in ASTB according to the link you posted.

    BINGO! All tobaccos have a moisture range where they offer up better flavor, but Germain's seem to me, especially Stonehaven, to require a very tight tolerance where moisture is concerned, if you're going to get what these blends can deliver. Otherwise they perform like "pretty good" to "WTF??".

    I agree when it comes to the few bowls of Stonehaven and Tilbury I've tried, and Penzance. But the ribbon cut blends - like Margate and Pembroke - are easy and consistently good.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  54. hawky454

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    Exotique = Balkan Sobranie 759

    Posted 1 year ago #
  55. chasingembers

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    That's the flavoring in ASTB according to the link you posted.

    Then suddenly Esoterica appears. And guess what....an Ale, a cognac, a sliced
    cake and a great English appeared on the scene.

    Our Best Blend = Margate
    Cognac = Pembroke
    20th Anniversary = ...And so to bed
    Krumble Kake = Penzance

    Still don't see it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  56. chasingembers

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    ASTB lists even show no flavoring added, as does 20th Anniversary's description.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldtoby

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    According to my jaded palate, I find that the "ale" flavouring in And So To Bed is much like SH 20th Anniversary Mixture.

    SH Cognac Mixture is a lot like Pembroke, while Krumble Kake was supposedly like Balkan Sobranie white label,in compressed form.

    Pembroke is supposedly Margate, sans the cognac topping. SH Exotique is in a class all it's own, along with the
    IN-B-TWEEN Mixture, imo.

    I can't verify it, but I have heard or read somewhere that SH Our Best Blend was a take on BS 759.

    Tastes are very subjective, but I have a bit of each of these blends in the cellar. May be time to dig a few out to sample.

    On a side note, I traded a guy for a very old 8oz bag of Margate once. Can't recall the date on the bag but it was one of the old white bags with not much on it but the name and number of the blend. The moisture level was perfect but it hadn't aged well at all. Tasted nothing like Margate. The Latakia was completely gone.

    Smoking can't be bad for you. It cures Salmon.

    -Unknown-
    Posted 1 year ago #
  58. jpmcwjr

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    Just a note for those sampling any of the Esotericas that I have tried, (Margate, Penzance, Pembroke, Tillbury), they all come in very moist. For me, unsmokably wet. (Over 90% RH @70º)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    @jpmcwjr, I agree for the most part, 100% for the bags. Every now and then I find a tin that has been around a while and seems to be better.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  60. hawky454

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    I can't verify it, but I have heard or read somewhere that SH Our Best Blend was a take on BS 759.

    OBB = Balkan Sobranie = (Margate)
    Exotique = Balkan Sobranie 759 = (There is no current blend for this in the Esoterica line).

    Just something I heard, can't remember where so I have no proof to back it up but it makes sense to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  61. jpmcwjr

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    OBB = Balkan Sobranie = (Margate)

    I don't find Margate like either the old or new Balkan Sobranie.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  62. sablebrush52

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    Margate = Balkan Sobranie Original Smoking Mixture
    Exotique = Sobranie 759

    Having smoked all of them I'm confident they're different blends. But the Germain's products may have been created as matches, though not very successful matches. Or, all that "equivalency" stuff is just another story from the big city. From what Greg shared, these were blends that Germain's had created that were either "dormant" or for their private label business.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  63. hawky454

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    Pardon the confusion. When I use the "=" sign I mean it more as, it was their answer to those blends rather than it was a copy of those blends.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  64. virginialover

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    I had a bag of And So to Bed, it tasted like Juicy Fruit chewing gum with some Latakia. I gave it to a fellow pipe smoker and he said the same thing.

    An aged tin of Penzance that was overwhelmed by the casing/topping with a menthol taste and an horrible feeling of heaviness.

    A bag of Margate that started very nice but then a lighter menthol flavor showed up, months after I started smoking it, with a lighter cloying heaviness than Penzance.

    Margate is nothing like Balkan Sobranie Original Smoking Mixture.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  65. sablebrush52

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    Exotique is a very good blend, but 759 it is not.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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