Dunhill Blends to Return? - Hearsay

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ebnash

New member
Jun 5, 2019
44
0
Los Gatos, CA
I was in my local pipe shop yesterday afternoon, poking around to see what he had in tins. I was pretty shocked to find 2 tins of Royal Yacht and a few other Dunhill tobacs. He was not previously a Dunhill shop so I asked about the tins, which were priced at standard retail.
He mentioned that one of his regular distributors had located a boondoggle of a Dunhill stock a couple weeks ago and was offering it to shops at regular pricing. We got to talking about the demise of Dunhill pipe tobac and cigarettes and I asked what would come of all the Intellectual Property, such as blends and sources of materials.
He, (my local tobacconist) has been told that the Dunhill name in pipe tobacco will not transfer, but all the IP has already been purchased by a tobacco manufacturer and they will be made available again in the future. Apparently, there is some legal stipulation that says they have to endure a waiting period before they can resume production and sales.
I think this is good news, if you already haven’t heard it, but my concern is whether or not the new maker will stick to the recipe, so to speak. I’m sure there will be a lot of naysayers, but I’m curious to see how this plays out. I really missed the boat on stocking up on Dunhill Flake when the ship was sinking.
My tobacconist did mention that since he was not a Dunhill dealer, he didn’t purchase much to put on the shelves and had not enquirered about “Flake”. He is supposed to call his distributor today to see if he has any Flake left and will order me a roll of 5 tins if it’s there. 5 tins will last me a lifetime.
Hopefully this is good news for the future of a legendary tobacco brand.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,602
3,536
I have jabbered, without any substantiating information, that I thought this might happen, because as a matter of business, I can't imagine leaving this established brand and customer base on the table. But I haven't heard or seen anything to substantiate my suspicion. Also, I agree that when major blends change hands, it would be rare to end up with exactly the same product. It is difficult for the same blender to be able to sustain characteristics from one year's tobacco crop to the next. It takes a lot of work, and it doesn't always work. But if this happened, I'd claim some bragging rights for being a sort of half-past business guru.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,648
696
I've got a bridge for sale. Any interest? Heck of a price!

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,212
2,174
Dunhill hasn't manufactured tobacco blends since the early 1980's, so in a very real sense, that ship sailed a long time ago. The blending was outsourced to Murray's, and possibly some to McConnell, and some of the more involved recipes were simplified. Then production went to Orlik and to Scandinavian Tobacco Group where the blends changed again. So what went away last year were clones of clones of the Dunhill blends.
Since BAT decided to discontinue production of the Dunhill branded blends - they weren't really big sellers and Dunhill wanted to separate its name from any further association with something as vile as pipesmoking - the clones of the clones of the clones have been cloned by several companies.

The first announced was by K&K under its Robert McConnell Heritage Label, and these are available in Germany, but not the US. Another clone of the clone of the clone of the clone is being produced under the Charatan label and is also not available in the US. And most recently, Wellnauer has begun producing the clone of a clone of a clone under it's own name, while retaining the Dunhill label designs and names, which might be ordered from Synjeco, but not in the US.
There are match blends available in the US that are probably as good, or better, than the clones of clones of clones of...

Well, you get the idea. Sutliff's Elizabethan Match is based on the Murray's version, so those who only know the later clones think it's not correct, but it's more correct than the Dunhill branded tin they're clutching.
Regardless, there's plenty of good stuff available, so don't fret about the loss of Dunhill tobaccos that are Dunhill in name only.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,602
3,536
Aw, sable, what a downer. I was getting business cards printed as a consultant, the next great Peter Drucker. I'll cancel my card order.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
146
1
I really hope this is true.
I wonder though (assuming it is true)--when the new FDA deeming rules come into effect, would the rebranded tobacco be considered a "new product" subject to the new regulations (since it no longer allowed to be called by its old name) or would it be grandfathered in (since the recipe is way older than the deeming date)?

 

ebnash

New member
Jun 5, 2019
44
0
Los Gatos, CA
I really hope this is true.
I wonder though (assuming it is true)--when the new FDA deeming rules come into effect, would the rebranded tobacco be considered a "new product" subject to the new regulations (since it no longer allowed to be called by its old name) or would it be grandfathered in (since the recipe is way older than the deeming date)?
Great point. Probably one of the reasons that the European dealers aren't shipping tobacco here anymore. Too much red tape and it's too easy to screw something up and break a ridiculous regulation.
Based on Sables post above, it looks like the loss is most likely to US customers since there are already clones being reproduced and shipped across the pond, where our FDA has no power.
I'm hoping to get those tins of Dunhill Flake because I know I love it and it's standard pricing. However, if they aren't there, I'll still wake up tomorrow and carry on...

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,648
696
Everyone should keep in mind "sable" is using the term "clone" very loosely. Very few, if any, blends, say forty years old, have the original taste profile. Rather than pining for discontinued blends one should be looking for satisfying blends available today. What's past is past, younger smokers won't get a 60's taste from a blend any more than a fifty year smoker can. There are a lot of really great blends being made today ... move on.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,602
3,536
It's true what warren says. I have some tins of McClelland and Dunhill, and I will enjoy them, but I have some currently produced blends that are just as good, in some cases better, to me. I can't pick out any Virginia blends that exceed McC just yet, but English, Balkan, and especially burley blends, compared to discontinued brands, quite a few.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,482
197
+1 warren
sablebrush52, I am sure that this has been mentioned before, but because there was so much chit chat about the subject I may have missed it: why did scandinavian discontinue the clone of the clone of the clone line if there is such a high demand for the product? I always thought there might have been some issue with using the actual name: "Dunhill", but some how I doubt that - surely gold could have melted all legal copyright barriers. I mean .. they are a strong company, and could have easily afforded the manufacture of a product that I suspect outmatched sales of many other brand names. Where I partially understand the rational of the McCleland argument - because they can no longer obtain the right raw material tobacco that meets their quality standard they choose to discontinue (or maybe the two remaining members of the family simply got tired of the business), I don't believe I have read a full out argument for the Dunhill discontinuation, or I may have, but can't remember it right now.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,602
3,536
Some of the narratives of these blending companies are more complicated than the history of European monarchies.

 

ebnash

New member
Jun 5, 2019
44
0
Los Gatos, CA
Everyone should keep in mind "sable" is using the term "clone" very loosely. Very few, if any, blends, say forty years old, have the original taste profile. Rather than pining for discontinued blends one should be looking for satisfying blends available today. What's past is past, younger smokers won't get a 60's taste from a blend any more than a fifty year smoker can. There are a lot of really great blends being made today ... move on.
Warren, this is a very clear and true point. Of course, since I starting smoking a pipe 2 years ago, I’m pining for the 3rd/4th generation clone, not the original. I could care less what name was on the tin. Dunhill Flake was just one of those tobaccos for me that when I opened my 1st tin and got that bright blast and found the same pleasure in the smoke, I hoped to smoke it for a very long time. But, as they say, “nothing lasts forever”
Hopefully I can get that 5 roll of tins and put it to bed for myself.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
146
1
since I starting smoking a pipe 2 years ago, I’m pining for the 3rd/4th generation clone, not the original. I could care less what name was on the tin. Dunhill Flake was just one of those tobaccos for me that . . . I hoped to smoke it for a very long time.
Just so. I don't particularly care about the brand (It is, of course, sad to see a name like Dunhill leave the business, but that isn't what is causing me angst.) What I fell in love with, what I now miss, what I have yet to find a good substitute for, is the most recent incarnation, not the original version. The original may have been just fantastic, but I have no attachment to it because I never had it.
I have found some other great Virginias, and I'm always exploring more, but nothing that quite does what DF does.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
15,131
4,176
Monterey Peninsula
I can understand nostalgia for one's first good blend. For me it's Burlington Arcade, long since discontinued.
But Dunhill, as far as top tobaccos go, screwed the pooch decades ago. With a couple of exceptions, better blends of each type they had are available, and from American outfits.
Good luck in your search!

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,212
2,174
I am sure that this has been mentioned before, but because there was so much chit chat about the subject I may have missed it: why did scandinavian discontinue the clone of the clone of the clone line if there is such a high demand for the product?
This business history of Dunhill is more convoluted than the marriage practices of the Hapsburgs. But here's the gist of it. The tobacco end of the business is handled by BAT. 2+ years ago they announced that they were discontinuing production of the Dunhill pipe tobaccos within a 12 to 18 month horizon. There were several reasons for this, but it boils down to money. The pipe tobaccos just didn't generate enough of it to warrant their being continued. Certainly the more complicated regulatory environment played a role in it, as did the desire on the part of Dunhill to separate itself from smoking products. Interestingly, Dunhill branded cigarettes are still being made.

Scuttlebut has it that BAT was approached by STG and a couple of other entities to sell the rights to manufacture the blends and BAT turned them down like a bedspread. So clearly the Dunhill interests had no interest in continuing these blends. It's always possible that will change, but given the FDA Deeming Regs, it's unlikely that any will ever again be offered in the US.

 

daniel7

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2018
305
2
They stopped to produce with the worst timing. Number of pipe smokers is constantly growing and number of cigarette smokers is constantly decreasing. Yet they decided to stick to the cigarette business. Not the best decision investment-wise in my opinion.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
18,228
5,987
Emberland
Number of pipe smokers is constantly growing
With the looming desires of the FDA and the WHO along with the threat of abolishing online sales, that will likely cease in the next couple of years.

 

daniel7

Senior Member
Sep 11, 2018
305
2
With the looming desires of the FDA and the WHO along with the threat of abolishing online sales, that will likely cease in the next couple of years.
Asia and Europe combined is a huge market without American-type FDA. I'm more optimistic about it than you.