I love shag-cut blends... where'd they all go?

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S

ScienceSmoker

Guest
There are basically no shag-cut English blends in existence anymore... and it's a shame.

Manufacturers have moved to cut flake or coarse cut tobacco. Even just ribbon cut English blends are starting to become more rare. I guess shag is more difficult to produce... but IMO, it provides a much better smoke.

Of course, there's Margate and Pembroke... both Esoterica blends, but they're impossible to find with any regularity. Same with Germain's King Charles, another fantastic shag-cut English... but again, you can never get your hands on it.
But it's not just English blends. It's hard to find *any* type of shag-cut tobacco anymore. GL Pease's Penny Farthing is a new-ish va/per that calls itself a "shag cut", and using the technical definition, I guess it is. But it's just a flake that's been cut finely. So they're these fine, but hard, slivers of tobacco. Shag cut should really be finely cut *ribbon* tobacco (I still really like Penny Farthing though... it's a fantastic blend).

The only true shag cut tobaccos that I can get with any consistency are Gawith & Hoggarth's various Kendal blends... like Kendal Kentucky, Kendal #7, Kendal Gold, etc. There's just something about a shag-cut tobacco... it loads better, smokes better, tastes better... at least in my opinion.

What do you guys think?
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
2,766
6,741
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
What shag cuts English blends have there been in the past? I assume you mean latakia blends and not made in England blends. The only ones I've know of are the ones you mentioned, all made by Germain's. For non-latakia blends, there's D&R Three Sails (which I believe is a clone of Three Castles, a tobacco that was much better smoked in a RYO than in a pipe), McConnell Special London Fine Cut, and Tabac Manil Le Petit Robin.
 
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S

ScienceSmoker

Guest
What shag cuts English blends have there been in the past? I assume you mean latakia blends and not made in England blends. The only ones I've know of are the ones you mentioned, all made by Germain's. For non-latakia blends, there's D&R Three Sails (which I believe is a clone of Three Castles, a tobacco that was much better smoked in a RYO than in a pipe), McConnell Special London Fine Cut, and Tabac Manil Le Petit Robin.
Shag-cut was the norm originally (late 19th/early 20th century)... and even in the 1950s, everything was fine ribbon cut or shag-cut.
 

WVOldFart

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 1, 2021
801
2,339
Romney, WV
You're one of the few that like it and you didn't buy enough to justify making more. Simple economics. I'm not being a smart ass, just answering your question.
Shag cut to me is the epitome of frustration. It falls all over the place, sticks together and is hard to pack sufficiently. I have to rip the shit out of it until it is in small pieces before I use it.
 

Jaylotw

Part of the Furniture Now
Mar 13, 2020
869
3,517
NE Ohio
I love shag cuts like Dark Birdseye and D&R Ryback. I don't really care too much if there's a matted up ball of shag, I just shove it in there and burn it. I like shag cuts precisely because they arent so finicky in regards to how you load them, they'll burn just fine no matter what, and they light up with just a passing flame. Consequently I smoke them early in the morning when my brain function is low, and while out on the boat fishing.

I remember reading that shag tobacco historically was regarded as cheap and for the less sophisticated among us.
 

cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
18,955
47,060
64
Sarasota Florida
I have no shag cuts in my cellar and plan on never having any. They burn hot and fast and compared to a nice flake they are crap to my tastes. I only smoke flakes, plugs and a rope for many reasons. If you love your shags then by all means smoke them and enjoy them. We all have different tastes in cuts and none of us will all like the same things. That is a good thing.
 
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