Scandinavian Tobacco Breathes New Life into Lane Limited

Kevin Godbee
As you may already know
from previously reading in these pages, Lane Limited, the 122-year old tobacco company, (that may be best known for Captain Black Pipe Tobacco), was sold to Scandinavian Tobacco Group of Denmark, in January of 2011. Reynolds American Inc., finalized the deal to sell the company in March of the same year.

Typically, when pipe tobacco companies or brands take on new ownership, many pipers become skeptical that their favorite pipe tobacco blends will stay the same, or even remain available. There were some concerned reactions earlier this year when the sale was announced. However, it was soon realized that Lane Limited was in much better hands with STG. Scandinavian Tobacco Group was already the largest pipe tobacco company in the world, versus Reynolds American, which put a quite low priority on pipe tobacco. (Lane Limited also produces roll-your-own tobacco and small cigars, but for the purposes of our audience here, we will concentrate on pipe tobacco.)

Now as 2012 dawns, there is an abundance of news from Lane Limited. I spent considerable time on the phone with Lane Limited’s Brand Manager for Pipe and RYO, Leonard Wortzel. Mr. Wortzel, (whose been smoking a pipe since 1995) generously provided insights to several interesting changes, as well as to what is not changing for this legendary tobacco company located in Tucker, Georgia, USA. Perhaps that is a good place to start. All prices will stay the same. There will be no increases. As to the Captain Black and Lane Bulk Portfolios – also, no changes. So pipe smokers can rest easy that the blends will stay the same and remain readily available. All production remains at the Tucker, GA plant.

These lines include; Captain Black Regular (commonly referred to as "White"), along with Captain Black Gold, Royal, Cherry, and Captain Black Round Taste, which contains Orientals. In the Lane bulk tobacco range, the choices are; Lane 1Q, Very Cherry, BCA, Burley Light Without a Bite, Lane HS-3, MV-1000, and Lane RLP-6.

Lane also makes the widely distributed and popular Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobaccos, and these two items will remain status quo as well.

Here’s what’s new for 2012 with Lane Limited –

In 2010, Swedish Matched merged with Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Lane Limited is now taking over distribution for all of the Swedish Match lines, and production of most. Borkum Riff will continue to be made in Denmark. The Borkum Riff line consists of Borkum Riff Regular, Bourbon Whiskey, Black Cavendish, Cherry Cavendish and Borkum Riff Cherry Liquor.

Five Brothers, Granger, Half and Half, Velvet and Paladin were all made by The Pinkerton Tobacco Company, which was bought by Swedish Match in 1985.

Five Brothers, which was being made in Owensboro, Kentucky, will move production to Denmark because of the special shag cut. The pipe tobacco brands Paladin, Velvet, Granger and Half&Half are moving production from KY to Lane in Georgia.

Hal&Half will have a packaging change (shown above). Instead of the old foil pouch in a box, it will now feature an improved foil and seal that will keep the tobacco fresher, longer. Five Brothers will change to a Captain Black style pouch.

Another new & improved product will be the packaging of the Smoker’s Pride line. There will be an update to the Smokers Pride packaging that will keep the tobacco more fresh for a longer period of time.

Mr. Wortzel tells us that; "the benefit to consumers is that there will be wider distribution and it will be easier to obtain their favorite blends."

Watch for more news to come from Lane Limited as we progress into the new year, and stay tuned to Pipes Magazine for when it breaks.


Kevin Godbee is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of Pipes Magazine. Kevin started smoking pipes and cigars in 1998 and started an online cigar magazine & community site in 2005. (The site was acquired in 2008 and no longer exists.) He launched in 2009, and in less than three years the site has become the largest trafficked pipe smoking related site, and the #1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco Information.

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 a Certified Master Tobacconist (CMT) through Tobacconist University, a member of Cigar Rights of America and is a "Media Member" of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. In his spare time he sings, plays guitar, cooks, and enjoys all the wonderful places to go and things to do in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, Florida where he lives in his penthouse bachelor pad. Kevin has been smoking pipes and cigars for 14 years.


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27 Responses

  • Very cool news. Thanks for the update Kevin.
    I’m curious as to why Five Brothers is the only one in a 1.25oz pouch?

  • Good to hear there aren’t any major changes to the line. I can always do with a little 1-Q or SWR Aromatic.

  • Spartan: For whatever reason, Five Brothers has traditionally come in a 1.25 OZ pouch. When we took over production/distribution, we wanted to do everything we could to keep costs the same for the consumer. Maintaining the prior weight configuration helped us to acheive that goal.
    Leonard Wortzel

  • Good morning, Leonard. Overjoyed to hear any good news within the tobacco industry. I have two questions. Is there any chance of bringing back any of the older Lane blends, specifically Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed, which was one of Lane’s best sellers? The other question is, can we expect the same blend (as produced the last few years) for the Borkum Riff line, specifically the Bourbon Whiskey blend? I wasn’t clear if STG was manufacturing it the last few years or if it was Mac Baren, for Swedish Match. Please clarify any and/or all questions. It’s greatly appreciated. Wishing all a happy and healthy new Year. Sincerely, Joe Greenfield

  • Joe:
    We are exploring the resurrection of some of the old Lane bulk blends. (Although, looking through an old blend list, I don’t see Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed. Perhaps it was renamed by the retailer). Mabye I’ll start a thread on the site for folks to chime in.
    As regards to Borkum Riff, you can expect the exact same blend for all of them. Mac Baren was the former manufacturer and production has moved about 30 miles away to the STG factory in Assens, Denmark.

  • about great customers service…thanks so much for getting back to me so fast. Actually Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed was a tinned and pouch blend..not a bulk blend. I believe it was discontinued ~ 2 years ago. While Sir Walter Raleigh is similar, it’s not the same animaal as Edgeworth. It is missed by many, many smokers out there. I believe it was made under license for House of Edgeworth and/or Larus Bros. So happy to hear from you. When can we expect the new pouch versions of Velvet, H&H and Borkum Riff to hit the shelves?

  • Joe:
    Now that you mention it, I have seen Edgeworth on an old price list. As for when the new pouch versions will hit shelves… We are able to begin shipping to distributors on January 1 (Happy New Year!). After January 1, the next time your local retailer places an order, they will receive the new packaging.

  • Thanks again for your prompt response and info. FWIW, I think resurrecting the famed and dearly departed Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed would prove to be huuuuge positive step for STG and the pipe smoking world in general. Would love to hear any and all updates on that in the future. Happy New Year to you as well…joe G.

  • Leonard will Five Brothers now get a broader distribution? It isn’t available in all areas of the U.S.A. It sure would be nice if I could walk down the street and pick up a pouch when needed!!

  • I remember the brand Edgeworth brand, but not the flavor.
    I had to give up pipes for a bit due to health issues. However.
    Nowadays I can smoke to my hearts content.. If they do start
    Remanufacturing it I can’t wait to refamiliarize it!!

  • Baskerville: Wider distribution is certainly the objective. I know what you mean. I don’t think I’ve seen it at retail anywhere in the Atlanta area either.

  • good news they will keep selling captin black because its the only kind i smoke in the last few months i try borkum riff but its not good as the golden captin black
    but i wonder why the price come up and why its not alot in the market like before ?

  • I’m loving reading about the possibility that my beloved Edgeworth Ready Rubbed may come back to store shelves. Through the years I’ve smoked many different blends and have enjoyed most of them, however, no matter what I smoked I’d always return to ERR as my “go to” tobak. I am truly hopeful the return of Edgworth Ready Rubbed will make a come back. Thank you Kevin, for this article and the accompanying comments.

  • Thanks for keeping on top of the STG takeover and all of the fallout issues. I especially appreciate that you repeatedly seek out personal contact sources. Here, Mr. Wortzel; but in the past, Per Jensen of Mac Baren, Troels Mikkelsen at Orlik, Mark Ryan on the Perique market, and, over the past 3 years, innumerable other personal sources. That, to me, is a track record of credibility in journalism. Kudos for quality reporting, and thanks for the extra effort in posting the product images.

  • Kevin, let them know we need Velvet here in the B’ham…. PULLLLEEEEEZE!
    And a bit more Paladin wouldn’t hurt either!
    Greater availability is wonderful news!

  • Good news that these old blends will remain the same and still be available. I “cut my teeth” on many of these old blends as a young pipester years ago.

  • Good news and thanks for your efforts. I’ve got Captain Black Round Taste today, it seems very good in smoking, totally differ than Light. however, they share the same pouch appearnce.

  • Ive gotta say I am a big fan of the Captain. Happy to hear that no changes are going on. And 1Q sits in a glass tin next to me. I also like RLP-60? (I think that’s the right name). I need to try BCA.
    Just a Lane limited fan. Thought I’d throw out some props.
    happy smoking my friends

  • Renolds America use to have a brand of tabacco called Holiday, the closes I can come to that is Lane RLP 6
    Also I smoked a brand called DPE made by David P Earlic a Boston, Mas Tabacco Co a awsome tabacco, can’t find it any more.
    If any body knows of this brand or its replacement would appreciated return back
    Good Smoking

  • Good afternoon. Altadis came out with “Holiday Excursion” a few years ago. A valient attempt at resurrecting the long-lost blend “Holiday.” I can tell you this. My friend cracked open a 40 year-old tin he got off of ebay. They nailed this recreation of Holiday. I’d be happy to send you a sample if you’d like. Not trying to “showboat,” but you can read my story / review about it here: (you will have to scroll down). Have a great day..Joe G.