Lane Limited Ready-Rubbed: Return of a Legend

E. Roberts
Hungry-Man dinners, really?
I couldn’t believe it—or rather, I could believe it, all too easily on second thought. The celebrity host of a popular fashion-themed show frequents the same supermarket as a colleague, who sees him in there a couple times a week stocking up on the packaged meals. On the one hand, it was contradictory—here was a fashionista of the first order, someone who probably spent more on a tie than I do on an entire suit, the spokesperson for a lifestyle that demanded egregiously expensive self-branding in order to be de rigueur; a scion of taste, a taste-maker, in fact. On the other, I could easily understand that the guy’s professional schedule likely dwarfed mine by the same margin as his ties in terms of being hectic. Perhaps his lunches were all of the power variety, spent at the city’s finest five-stars, and when he was finally home from a long day all he wanted was a sodium-laden box of comfort food. I get it, I really do, and this confirms to me the value of not being a snob when it comes to taste—that even if it’s demanded in one’s professional life, it needn’t be in one’s personal life.

Which brings us to a most delightful package dropped off by the mail carrier the other day, courtesy Lane Limited: an advance screener of a certain classic burley in ready-rubbed format. That’s correct: Leonard Wortzel and company have heard the pleas of the common-man cognoscenti and revived the legacy of one of the all-time greats of OTC burleys with their answer to the fabled Edgeworth ready-rubbed. It doesn’t carry the name of its antecedent due to the legal disincentive of pursuing copyright and trademark, but it is the same recipe and it certainly embodies the spirit of that erstwhile blend. That it carries the moniker of Lane Limited Ready-Rubbed should be no discouragement, and perhaps be a better thing in the grander scheme for establishing its own legacy in time.

Perhaps the comparison of LLRR to a TV dinner is a bit of a stretch, but bear with me. First of all, it is without question firmly in the comfortable and economical camp of tobaccos, much like a packaged dinner replete with meat, vegetable and dessert is comfort food and a cheap square meal. When you get right down to brass tacks, though, this is a tobacco that can hold its own amongst the more precious boutique-variety specialty tins (composed of only the finest exotic tobaccos from far-away lands, of course) and due to its comparative economy, it can go a fair bit further when running that race. The bottom line is that it’s a damn good smoke, regardless the price or presentation, and it is on that quality which it shall be judged.

It certainly retains that earlier blend’s ease of packing, lighting, and puffing. One of the most effortless smokes I’ve had, to be frank; it takes to a match and rarely requires more than a second touch-up to find the heel. The taste is solid, uncomplicated, and satisfying. With a mildness that recommends it as a benchmark in the all-day smoke category, it’s easy to like. Not quite as nutty as Half and Half, milder and purer than Sir Walter, and less tart than Carter Hall, it is its own creature altogether in the pantheon of great OTCs. The cut is classic burley cube-chunk all the way. In the smoke, it’s in more of a woody, graham-crackery vein, with just a hint of cocoa, while the room note displays a bit more of the characteristic burley roasted nut aroma. It certainly evinces a “classic” vibe, as commented on by some friends I was taste-testing near over a few rounds of drinks in the backyard. If I had a nickel for every young lady who said I reminded her of her grandfather in these situations, I’d be a wealthy man. As it is, I simply invite them to sit on my lap for the full effect. No matter what pipe or chamber size you choose it smokes with equanimity, though it certainly gains a little something extra from the sweetness of a fresh Missouri Meerschaum. I tend to prefer smaller bowls, finding it perfect for my vintage Medicos. Thankfully, it tends to burn through to ash with very little moisture or residue, so eschewing the filter is an easy choice.

Sometimes, you’re just in the mood for a smoke, not an experience. Driving, doing the yard work, doing the Sunday crossword, lounging on the beach or just kicking back with a cold one—this is that kind of smoke. Appreciate it for what it is, and you’ll find yourself returning to it often. It’s comfort smoke, the memory of what your grandfather or uncle enjoyed, simple, relaxed, easy as a spring afternoon; and most of all, memorable for being all of that.

Lane Limited Ready-Rubbed is Available from Here

13 Responses

  • Great review. Would love to try it. For those who live outside the US and can’t order from P&C, does anyone know when SP or 4noggins will have this in?

  • If I recall correctly, P&C has a 2 month exclusive for online only. B&Ms can get it now.

  • I’ve been on a Burley quest lately so the timing is right!
    Love the chunky cut … will try this one for sure.
    Peck, I’d be happy to send you a sample when mine arrives.

  • Another fantastic review Mr. Roberts, and as always you are enabling the pipe community at large with your prose. I don’t know why Edgeworth was ever discontinued in the first place, but I am glad that it is back. Being a smoker that enjoys almost all blends at one time or another, this is a blend that stands the test of time despite the fact that some regard it as an inexpensive drug store blend. Many old timers (myself included) are smiling ear to ear upon the resurrection of Edgeworth now labeled as Lane Limited RR.

  • Boy oh boy- the layers of irony AND marketing! As an elitist by nature due to the ongoing onslaught of mass culture, and a populist by way of economy, I herald this with a certain glee which has everything to do with a reverse snobbery into retro-values. Bottom line is the price, and I’ve yet to focus on that through the spaces between the fingers clutched over my eyes. Ultimately, will I pull the wool?
    I’ll tell you this. I’m fascinated by the new Hearth & Home Mid-Town series, and I plan to purchase a canister shortly. Like cobguy above/below, I too have been on a bit of a burley quest lately. A purchase of my first pouch of Half & Half has not been at all a foray into a world of unsmokable and ancient drug store blends.
    I spent nearly a decade working in a B&M smoke shop. During that time I concentrated more on cigars, finally finding that quality and price are not at all directly proportional always by any means.
    I think we are seeing an emerging form of tobacco revisionism, and my suspicions are that those whose reflexively spend the most they can on tobacco will be left with egg on their faces. That is if they can ever bring themselves to try some of these newly-revised blends which they ordinarily would have seen as beneath them.
    Just imagine packing a bowl of something without thinking about it too much and just smoking it; it’s nearly unimaginable.

  • For the record, our new brand manager Lasse Randbøll Petersen was the real force behind bring RR back.

  • Great review Bill – thanks! I had never really thought about trying any of the American OTCs, mainly because they’re not readily available in England and what I’d heard about those you list didn’t encourage me to work out ways of sourcing them. However, I enjoy burley and your review makes the Lane RR sound like a winner, so I’ll definitely give it a go (as soon as I can work out how to get a tub!). If this is as good as I suspect, then the Pipe Club of London members will have to set up a supply line….

  • I am new to pipe smoking and have only smoked aromatics so far can someone give me a comparison ?

  • Moejoe, it’s a little difficult to describe the taste of an orange to anyone, let alone someone who’s never had any citrus fruit at all. Let’s just say there’s a flavor spectrum, and that aromatics are on the sweet side of things. The non-aromatic side is more savory, say, but in all truth there is a little sugar/flavoring in prectically every blend, it’s just those things are less-pronounced. I’m a big fan of latakia blends (Balkan, English Oriental etc) and with those you often get more natural flavors like pine, camphor, and different varieties of smokiness. I also smoke a blend I’ve created myself, with Virginias, Perique, dark-fired Kentucky and also Black Cavendish, and the latter is what gives it aromatic qualities, but its not sweet like most aro-smokers like. That’s my very generalized explanation.

  • Once upon a time there was a Georgian, a guy named Josif Dzhugashvili. His boss, a guy named Ulyanov, didn’t think he had leadership abilities. Still, Mr. Dzhugashvili did all right, the bad evals from his boss notwithstanding. Of course, Dzugashvili was Stalin who was from what became the Soviet Republic of Georgia and Ulyanov was Lenin. Now, Josif was a pipe smoker, a real pipe smoker. He was often photographed puffing away. Back in 1958, one of my high school teachers, a naval intelligence officer in WWII, told me Stalin preferred and smoked Edgeworth. As for me, I’ll be entering my 73rd year of this life in a couple weeks. I began smoking a pipe when I was 12 years old. I’ve been puffing away on a pipe all 61 years since then. I confess I purchased the odd pouch of Edgeworth back in the day. Although I most certainly find Mr. Roberts review laudable from a literary standpoint, I’m not so sure about one point. He makes reference to Mr. Wortzel hearing and responding to “the pleas of the common-man”. My supplier, Pipes and Cigars, offers Lane Limited RR for $35.99 for a 14 oz. can. No super math whiz, I believe that comes out to $2.57 per oz. Being one of those common men retired on a fixed income, I think the pricing is pretty steep for what was once an inexpensive OTC tobacco. That price is considerably higher than Half and Half, Raleigh, Granger and Carter Hall, all of which were OTC tobaccos. Anyhow, if Mr.Dzhugashvili, definitely not a common man and an Edgeworth smoker, encountered his beloved Edgeworth at this price, I think he would’ve screamed, “This is a capitalist plot!” I just think it’s too pricey, but what do I know?

  • @ Skipdetour,
    I recall seeing an old illustrated diagram of Stalin’s pipe, along with FDR’s cigarette plus holder and Churchill’s cigar. The message was that these three added together would defeat Hitler, a nonsmoker. Funny how the symbolism plays out- where Stalin’s habit (something we of course see as the least harmful)is in contrast to the greatest murderer out of all of them.
    “Being one of those common men retired on a fixed income, I think the pricing is pretty steep for what was once an inexpensive OTC tobacco. That price is considerably higher than Half and Half, Raleigh, Granger and Carter Hall, all of which were OTC tobacco”. And that precisely is the crux of the biscuit and part of my point as well. You might try one of Hearth & Home’s revised classics in the rather new Midtown Series. I can say right now that the Walnut is okay, and the Derby Club Classic is even better. These are on sale right now at $20 for a 14. oz. tub. How’s that for savings?

  • @moejoe – Taste is so subjective that it’s hard to define, yet there are commonalities strong enough to hold true for the larger percentage of the populace. In this regard, your best bet is to visit a local shop and start sampling pipe tobaccos in small quantities to discover what appeals to *you*. See this article ( ) for a good primer on keeping track of your experiments.
    @skip – Uhm… Alternatively, instead of being bullied by the companies that produce the goods you wish to consume, you could grow your own!
    @Leonard – Thank you, and Lasse Randbøll Petersen, for making this happen.