By Kevin Godbee
The Orlik Tobacco Company in Assens Denmark is one of the largest pipe tobacco factories in the world. Even if you are not a pipe smoker, it is an impressive place to visit, and if you are a pipe smoker, it is truly amazing. I had the opportune pleasure to tour the factory with my friend, the owner of SmokingPipes.com, Sykes Wilford. In our video tour below, you can hear Sykes in some of the conversation, but you don’t get to see him as he volunteered to be the cameraman. Aside from the immensely impressive operation and huge campus, one of my favorite parts of this video is the discussion. You have three guys that love tobacco, talking about tobacco. If you’re a tobacco fan, (and what are you doing on this site if you are not?), then I think you’ll enjoy the dialogue too. You may learn some interesting things, not only about tobacco, but about the tobacco business as well.
Before you watch the video, you may appreciate some background on Orlik. You may have heard of Orlik Golden Sliced, which is a quite popular brand of pipe tobacco with Orlik’s name on it. What you might not know is that the Orlik factory produces over 400 different tobaccos under many famous and popular brand names. Some of the brands include; Escudo Navy De Luxe, Dunhill, CAO Flavours, Peter Stokkebye, W. Ø. Larsen, Balkan Sasieni, Davidoff, Skandinavik, Stanwell, and Erinmore amongst many others.
|Lots of Tobacco Tins Waiting to be Filled with Tobacco
|Tobacco from Kenya
|Tobacco from Malawi
Orlik is owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group. STG is a huge tobacco conglomerate with its’ roots going back more than 200 years. In 1990, STG was converted into a group of companies and its activities were divided up into independent subsidiaries. The Group’s pipe tobacco activities were transferred to the newly-founded Orlik Tobacco Company. In 2005, OTC took over British American Tobacco’s contract production of pipe tobacco in Northern Ireland, including brands such as Erinmore and Dunhill, making it the leading pipe tobacco manufacturer worldwide. In 2007, OTC acquired the pipe tobacco brands Erinmore and Clan from British American Tobacco. (Earlier this year, Scandinavian Tobacco Group acquired Lane Limited, Inc. based in Georgia, USA, which has a leading position in the US market for pipe tobacco and produces brands such as Captain Black, Kite and Bugler.)
|Broken Perique Barrel Showing Charred Insides
|Notice How Small Oriental Tobacco Leaves Are
|A Pinch of This, A Pallet of That
This video factory tour of Orlik would not have been possible without the gracious hospitality of Orlik’s Factory Manager, Mr. Troels Juul Mikkelsen. We send him our immeasurable gratefulness, not only for his time, tobacco samples and wonderful lunch, but also for becoming a valuable contact for other stories. Troels helped us break the news of Dunhill’s return to the U.S. market last year. He helped clear up the mystery of the Orlik Golden Sliced blend contents, and has supplied other valuable information at different times.
Thanks Troels and on with the tour!
(Part I is all about the tobacco. In the upcoming Part II you will see the production.)
Kevin Godbee is the Operating Manager of Right Click Media, LLC, which is the the owner & publisher of PipesMagazine.com. Kevin started smoking pipes and cigars in 1998 and started the online magazine & community site, Cigar-Review.com in 2005. The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists. PipesMagazine.com was launched in 2009.
In the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the hobby and specialty toy business for 16 years in sales, marketing, advertising and product development for three different manufacturers, and with his own company.
Over the last 10 years working in the online business, he has become an expert in Internet Marketing and SEO. Kevin is also a Certified Salesforce Tobacconist (CST) through Tobacconist University. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and takes long walks on the beach. (Seriously, you should see how tan he is right now.)