A Match for Capstan Blue?

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simong

Lifer
Oct 13, 2015
2,712
16,212
UK
The short answer is, no. Capstan's topping is what makes it distinctive, not the tobaccos. Find someone who has cracked Capstan's century + old topping and you'll find a match. It's available in 450G bulk packages at Esterval's, though currently sold out, however, the 50G tins are available for a LOT less than $20. The only risk is the occasional misfire with their shipping companies, DHL, or UPS. If that happens, you're going to get cornholed. Otherwise everything will be smooth sailing
You referring to 'Kriswill Blue?'
That contains a small percentage of perique & is nothing like the original Wills's Capstan. (imo).
I saw that macbarens make a bespoke blend for a German tobacconist, they were given an old cutter top tin and asked to match it, that one's called' Bloemfontein'. How close they came, I'd love to know. I asked a forum member here who had a tin but didn't get a reply. Probably too busy taking selfies of himself on the golf course. Yes, @hoosierpipeguy I'm calling you out! Lol
As far as 'clones' to the original capstan go, there aren't any. That ship sailed many years ago. There are plenty of excellent modern day Virginia's though. Gawith's FVP & Mac Baren's HH Pure Virginia are up there with the best of them, only my opinion of course.
 

Terry Lennox

Can't Leave
Aug 11, 2021
418
2,312
Southern California
The original Capstan used an ingredient called coumarin. It imparts a particular flavor that is hard to describe and the chemical has been banned in certain countries for use in food. Imperial Tobacco used a code word for coumarin many years ago but it was discovered in litigation documents.

More recent versions of Capstan, first from STG and now from Mac Baren do not use coumarin. To my taste the current version has what I believe is a tiny bit of cinnamon. I detect it in the background flavor. I could be wrong but they are definitely using something.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,137
46,667
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
You referring to 'Kriswill Blue?'
That contains a small percentage of perique & is nothing like the original Wills's Capstan. (imo).
I saw that macbarens make a bespoke blend for a German tobacconist, they were given an old cutter top tin and asked to match it, that one's called' Bloemfontein'. How close they came, I'd love to know. I asked a forum member here who had a tin but didn't get a reply. Probably too busy taking selfies of himself on the golf course. Yes, @hoosierpipeguy I'm calling you out! Lol
As far as 'clones' to the original capstan go, there aren't any. That ship sailed many years ago. There are plenty of excellent modern day Virginia's though. Gawith's FVP & Mac Baren's HH Pure Virginia are up there with the best of them, only my opinion of course.
Simon,
My stance on these matters is well known, "Scandinavia is the place where British blends go to die."
 

jbfrady

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 27, 2023
553
2,006
South Carolina
I feel I should also add in case it answers the potential money question that, as a Capstan fan, if I woke up broke tomorrow, my stash of VA tins having mysteriously vanished, then supposing I had a craving for VA tobaccos which put the smallest strain on the budget... an 8oz tin of C&D Opening Night would do in a pinch. And were C&D to acquire the ability to hot press tobaccos, I'd wager that this would be a damn fine smoke. But until that glorious moment occurs, it's designated in my mind as Dollar Tree Capstan.
 

MichaelMP5

Lurker
Dec 20, 2023
10
54
i love Capstan Blue flake. After my last tin, I cracked open a tin of Mac Baren Navy Flake that I’ve had for years and I’m really liking it. While not the same as Capstan, it has similar flavors to my palate. Im liking it so much I just received 2 16oz boxes from wvsmomeshop That I plan to age.

good to know about the 450g boxes as well. I have 20 tins of the 50g in the cellar.

I’ve been working my way through a tin of FVF…im having a hard time understanding why it’s so beloved….ive tried it in different pipes both rubbed out and stuffed. I’ll keep trying.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,137
46,667
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I’ve been working my way through a tin of FVF…im having a hard time understanding why it’s so beloved….ive tried it in different pipes both rubbed out and stuffed. I’ll keep trying.
FVF requires a long dry time to get the flavors to come out. Otherwise it doesn’t deliver much flavor.
It also benefits from a few years of aging.
 

MichaelMP5

Lurker
Dec 20, 2023
10
54
FVF requires a long dry time to get the flavors to come out. Otherwise it doesn’t deliver much flavor.
It also benefits from a few years of aging.
Thanks. I was able to score a tin a couple months ago from pipesandcigars and opened it immediately. I actually video'd myself opening and was going to post it, but I had nothing positive to say after rubbing it out and smoking it. I put it in a jar, I guess I'll just put it in the back and come back to it next year.

I also found 2 tins of the Brown Sugar Flake...leave them in a jar for a couple years too?
 
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pantsBoots

Lifer
Jul 21, 2020
2,201
7,889
Terra Firma
Now i have to start stalking Esterval's for the 450 boxes. I wish more people sold those.

I emailed Esterval's about 2 years ago asking after them and was told those 450g boxes have been discontinued because they didn't sell well. Maybe that's changed?
 
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AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
5,436
27,860
Florida - Space Coast
I emailed Esterval's about 2 years ago asking after them and was told those 450g boxes have been discontinued because they didn't sell well. Maybe that's changed?
Would explain why no one else sells them. Seems like it would be a good change.org thing to get a petition going, never know if you could get enough interested in it miracles can happen, Look at Jim and that horrible Edward G Robinson tobacco lol
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
20,137
46,667
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I also found 2 tins of the Brown Sugar Flake...leave them in a jar for a couple years too?
As long as you don't leave them in the tin. I recently opened one of the Brown Sugar Flake tins that I bought a couple of years ago and it was nearly dried out.

Aging is a guarantee of nothing. Some blends I like better fresh than aged. Some I like better with a few or more years on them. Others really don't change all that much.

The thing to keep in mind is that aging doesn't "improve" blends. Blends change, more or less, with aging. Whether that change constitutes an "improvement" is up to the individual smoker to decide.
 
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