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  1. rmbittner

    My Ongoing Penzance Project

    Penzance is also my favorite tobacco—and has been since I first tried a bowl around 2004. I believe Germain’s Special Latakia Flake is actually Penzance under the Germain name. (They’re the ones who make Penzance under the Esoterica brand name.) Unfortunately—and not coincidentally, I...
  2. rmbittner

    Quadruple Radio Show Interviews from the Trade Show - July 23, 2019

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these interview segments. Thanks, Brian! One question, though: I kept hoping Erik Stokkebye would say something about his line of tobaccos that disappeared with the demise of McClelland. I rarely smoke aromatics, but one that I loved was Labrador, which carried the...
  3. rmbittner

    *** What Are You Smoking?*** (May 2018)

    Recently finished a fantastic tin of 7-year-old Pease Lagonda. This stuff ages beautifully. I'm now enjoying an 8-year-old tin of Rattray's Jocks Mixture, which is one of my favorite blends — and one that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention.
  4. rmbittner

    Over the Years, Have Your Bowls per Day Increased or Decreased?

    I used to smoke 3-4 bowls a day, maybe getting up to six. These days, I'm up to 10-12.
  5. rmbittner

    My New Novel Highlights Pipe Smoking

    Crash: Sorry, no current plans to expand beyond Kindle. Bob
  6. rmbittner

    My New Novel Highlights Pipe Smoking

    Wow, Cajun, thanks again! Would have been pleased just to know you'd finished it! The kind appraisal is icing on the cake! Bob
  7. rmbittner

    My New Novel Highlights Pipe Smoking

    Thanks so much, Cajun! I hope you'll enjoy it. If not, just remember that writers have fragile egos. :) Bob
  8. rmbittner

    My New Novel Highlights Pipe Smoking

    First, I hope this post doesn't break any forum rules... Just realized that I've neglected to mention the recent publication of my latest book -- and my first published novel -- called "Lost Time." It's relevant here, I hope, because a major part of the main character's growth is triggered by...
  9. rmbittner

    Latakia versus Oriental.

    I'm going to disagree slightly with aldecaker: Some blenders DO use the word "orientals" on their labels as a way to include latakia.
  10. rmbittner

    Latakia versus Oriental.

    Well, latakia is made from oriental leaf. But it's cured over soecific burning woods that give it its distinctive smokey/campfire taste and aroma. Non-latakia orientals don't have that same flavor profile. But there are lots of different orientals. They can be bitter, pungent, sweet, strong, and...
  11. rmbittner


    I'm not sure how anyone could classify Odyssey as anything but full. It is the most latakia-forward blend that GLP makes, and the other flavors provide strong support. However, it is not strong in nicotine, so perhaps some reviewers base their assessment on nicotine levels rather than, say...
  12. rmbittner

    Yenidje Highlander?

    Thomas, I can't help thinking you're missing something. Did you try at least three bowls in the same pipe? For me, the orientals do come through clearly. (Also, don't forget that latakia itself is made from oriental leaf.) In fact, Yenidje Highlander is, for my palate, a Balkan blend in which...
  13. rmbittner

    President of L.J. Peretti, Stephen Willett on Radio Show of 4/12/2016

    Can't help wondering if some of the comments about the character of the shop are the result of not understanding the New England personality of the place. I haven't visited, so I can't comment personally. But New Englanders do have a reputation of being reserved with strangers and not outwardly...
  14. rmbittner

    President of L.J. Peretti, Stephen Willett on Radio Show of 4/12/2016

    What a joy to hear this interview! I have wonderful memories of buying pipes and tobaccos from Peretti back in my earliest smoking days. But I'd forgotten about the company. Thanks to your reminder, Brian, I just placed my first order with them in about 30 years!
  15. rmbittner

    New Member

    Chris: Welcome! My participation here ebbs and flows, but I most enjoy the Tobacco Discussion area, since I love trying a variety of blends. I'm also a big fan of the Radio Show podcast. If you haven't started listening to it, you're in for a real treat. The podcast features interviews with...
  16. rmbittner

    Looking For Something Similar.

    Anniversary is a wonderful blend. This might be too far afield from your tastes, but you might enjoy Samual Gawith's Navy Flake, which is mostly a VA/burley flake but with a tiny bit of latakia in it. I also believe that Gawith and Hoggarth's Bob's Chocolate Flake has a latakia element as well...
  17. rmbittner

    RMBittner on Radio Show of Feb 23, 2016

    Thanks so much for having me on the show. It was pure pleasure!
  18. rmbittner

    Balkan Sobranie

    I love Balkans. I've said this a lot here, so forgive the repetition, but for me McClelland's Yenidje Highlander has strong echoes of the original Balkan Sobranie that I smoked in the '80s. (If I'm remembering correctly, Yenidje was the dominant oriental in the original BS.) I'm not a fan of the...
  19. rmbittner

    Where'd the FVF go?

    I'm always surprised when folks call FVF strong; I don't care for heavier tobaccos or nicotine-forward blends, and I find FVF very smooth and mild. Although I've got a good supply, I also alternate with Dunhill Flake, which doesn't have quite the flavor that FVF does but is a wonderful smoke...
  20. rmbittner

    Sally, "The Pipe Tart" on Radio Show of Oct. 13, 2015

    Thanks for the song comment, Al! Bob