Jim's Sutliff Match Reviews.

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jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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Sutliff Match Blends:

This review thread took six months to complete. Of the 44 match blends I have reviewed, only Middleton’s London Dock Match was not made by the Sutliff Tobacco Company, but I included it because I had the opportunity to do so. In nearly every case, although I was already familiar with many of the originals, I did direct comparisons between the match blends and the originals. I wrote reviews of the originals I had not smoked, and rewrote several reviews of those I had previously smoked. There were three original blends I was unable to access, and I make note of that in those particular reviews. I spent much of my smoking time trying to find differences; otherwise it would have been very difficult to tell one from another in a number of cases. Nearly all of these Matches were created by Sutliff's blender, Carl McAllister. I hope these reviews will be of help to everyone. I thank everyone who was kind enough to trade, or in a couple of cases, gift me the needed tobaccos. You have my greatest appreciation. I could not have done this without you.
Amphora Red Match (Euphoria):

This blend is sold under the both the Euphoria and Amphora Red Match names, and indeed, there is a similarity to the original regarding taste. The fruity topping has the same floralness, orange and berry flavors, though the berry is a shade less pronounced in the Match while the floral notes are a little more obvious. I detect a little more of the burley and Virginia here than I do in AR. The Match is a very comfortable aromatic that burns well, leaving no dottle and no bite. If it’s dry when you get it, I suggest you hydrate it a little for full effect. As with the original, I found this tasted best when sipped, and once it seasons a pipe, the flavor seems to get a little more obvious to the taste buds. The Match can tingle the tongue if pushed hard, and the same is true of the original to a lesser degree. The Match is just a mite less intense in flavor. It's not complex (neither is the original), but it is a good all day work and play smoke.
Argosy Match:

The original was a rather mild, unobtrusive black cavendish with a vanilla and chocolate topping, and a little tobacco taste. This Match is identical in every way, except it’s a little deeper in taste, much smoother with no chemical notes, and doesn’t get harsh at the finish. It may not have the richness of some black cavendish blends like Molto Dulce, but it does well enough for the smoker who wants a mild smoke with mild to medium flavor. A comfortable all day smoke with no bite that makes a good mixer, too.
Balkan Sobranie Match:

This Match is based on the 1970s version, and not the later or current Sobranie productions. This is very similar to the ’70s Sobranie. The main differences are the Orientals are a shade spicier, there's a little less latakia, and a little more creamy sweetness in the Match. It’s also missing the mild unflavored “soda” note from the Yenidje that the original had, though the Macedonia plays the very same background notes. The original was a slightly drier smoke. The yellow Virginia is lightly grassy with a natural sweetness in both and the red Virginia is lightly tangy. The Cyprian latakia has the usual smokey sweet woodsy flavor, and is balanced nicely by the other components. Both were/are an all day smoke for my personal taste. Like the original, it burns perfectly well with few relights, a consistent flavor, and no dottle.
Balkan Sobranie 759 Match:

Sold by Pipes&Cigars and designed by Russ Ouellette, the Match is fairly close to the original with a few exceptions. The Match is a little sweeter and the latakia a little less prominent. The Match has a little black cavendish which the original did not have. The Virginias are about the same, a little grassy with a slight sweetness. The Orientals in both were woody and a little spicy, though there is a little dark fired Kentucky in here to aid in those qualities. The latakia in both was smoky and woody, but in the Match it is a little sweeter, probably because the original used Syrian latakia, whereas the Match uses the Cyprian variety. The yenidje in the original had a floral unflavored “soda” note the Match lacks, but as I have not noticed much in recent blends, I wonder if the strain of yendje has changed in the years since both Balkan Sobranie and the 759 were made. Both versions of 759 burned well and cool with no harsh or weak spots and no dottle.
Barking Dog Match:

The latakia provides a smoky base note to the main star, which is the earthy, nutty white burley. The burley is quality choice as is the lemon Virginia that adds an enjoyable tangy sweetness. The rum topping is mildly applied. Burns perfectly to the very end, and has a multiplicity of flavors that don't crowd each other out. The original was different several ways: the burley wasn’t as sweet, the Virginia was more hay-like and less sweet, and the topping was fainter than the Match. For the most part, the flavors are same in both versions, but they are a little deeper in the Match than they are in the original. It may also be that a little of the flavors have faded from the original, which would result in my observation in the previous sentence. The Match was freshly produced. The cut is the same, and both burn without leaving any dottle, though the original tended to be a little harsher after the half way point, and was a little rougher, less refined smoke. That is not true of the Match.
Bourbon Street Match:

The original had a soapy, floral perfume topping that sublimated the mild bourbon as well as the other components. You could get a little burley taste, a Virginia and black cavendish note, and not much else. It also could be bitey is puffed fast. The bourbon in the Match is similar, but a little deeper in flavor. Barely floral, that disappears rather quickly in the Match, but stays longer in the original. The Virginia and especially the burley are more prominent in the Match. The black cavendish is unsweetened. There are just a few Kentucky notes, and what latakia is there is for smokiness and not flavor. I never noticed the perique in either version so it must be in a very small quantity. The original was cube cut whereas the Match is coarse and cube cut, which makes the latter a cooler, slower smoke which is also slightly sweeter. Both versions leave some dottle.
Briggs Match:

The burley is earthier and nuttier in the Match than the original, and is the star in both versions. The Virginias are naturally sweet with no cased flavors, and creates a solid base for the burleys to play in each blend. I did get a taste of hay and grass -more so in the original - but it's fairly unobtrusive. There is a very slight bourbon topping that doesn't get in the way of the burley and Virginias, and is a tad sweeter than the original. Overall, the original was less sweeter, and more ordinary, though the flavor profile is very similar. The Match burns cooler and doesn’t bite, which is not true of the original, unless you puffed it verrrrry slowly. It's an all day cool smoking mild to medium blend that burns well with a consistent taste, no dottle and no cigarette notes, which the original tended to have near the finish if the bowl was any near hot.
Brindley’s Mixture Match:

The topping in the Match is marshmallow, and it’s similar enough to the original for me to think it’s the same flavor, though there’s talk that the original had some orange in the topping. The burleys are earthy, nutty with a molasses taste and are the stars in both versions, though the Match seems to be deeper in all those respects. The Virginia is a supporting player, mainly acting as a cooling base, offering a slight sweetness and grass in both versions, more of the latter being in the original. The tobacco in both is a mixed cut: cut plug an coarse cut burleys with, small pieces of Virginia. Both are slow and clean burning with no dottle. The granulated latakia is a minor player, doing little more than adding a little smokiness in both versions. I found some harshness at times in the original, mostly toward the finish, but none in the Match. The topping in the original weakens toward the end, but doesn’t in the Match.
Chatham Manor (Carter Hall Match):

The original Carter Hall is fairly nutty with some molasses, and a mild chocolate taste. Chatham Manor, which is a Match for CH, is a slightly more chocolatey, a little less nutty with about the same amount of molasses. I think there’s just a little more red Virginia in the CM. Both have the same toppings: light bourbon and cocoa. Both burn well and even with very few relights. Sometimes, there can be a cigarette note in CH when puffed too fast. That’s not true of the Chatham Manor. Overall, while a close Match, Chatham Manor has a little richer, deeper, more consistent flavor that doesn’t weaken at the finish or leave any dottle. Some times, Carter Hall can lose some flavor near the end, and if puffed very fast, could sport a harsh note or two. That doesn’t happen with this version.
Country Doctor Match:

The latakia and perique are condimental, but they add a nice bass note. Burley is the main star, with the Virginia playing back up. There are very slight fig and prune notes with a hint of a topping I cannot identify. At times, I get a slightly sour tangy taste mixing in with the sweet, and there's a nice earthy Burley taste that gives this some complexity. Because it's a rough coarse cut mixture, I recommend a round bowl rather than a pipe with a narrow chamber so it will burn to the last bit. It burns evenly and coolly, and holds up its flavor to the very end with no dottle. A good regular smoke, and superior to House of Windsor's Country Doctor blend. The major differences are that the Match is a little sweeter and fuller in taste, and doesn’t have the ashy, cigarette finish the original sometimes had. It doesn’t bite either, which could happen with the HoW version.
Crown Achievement Match:

Here is my review for the original: The Virginia is grassy and naturally sweet, and is the base for the other components to play off. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woodsy with a touch of sweetness, and prominent in every puff without drowning out the other tobaccos. It’s well supported by the woody, and slight sweet and sour notes from the Orientals/Turkish, which also provides some body as well as depth to the blend. There’s a very slight sweet note that I can’t identify with the ingredients, which indicates a topping of some sort. The perique is a minor player, with a little plum and only a hint of spice. Burns as a reasonable rate (especially considering how dry the tobacco is) with a consistent medium taste, no harsh or dull spots, and no dottle. Slightly creamy, it produces lots of smoke when you puff, though excessive puffing reduces the nuance of flavors. Darn near an all day English smoke if you so choose.
I could almost write the same review for the Match. The differences are that the Match is a shade sweeter and is creamier with a degree less of the Oriental/Turkish sour woodiness. The Match is a little richer in flavor, but not a stronger English. It took me quite a bit of time to figure out the differences between these two because they are very close to being the same tobacco.
Dunhill Early Morning Pipe Match:

A richly flavorful all day smoke. The latakia is present, but not strong and its smokiness is complemented very nicely by the sweetness of the Virginias. The lemon Va. is citrusy while the pressed Va. is tangy sweet. The Turkish is light, but adds a necessary "oomph" to the mixture. There is an extremely light topping of some kind that mellows the blend, which is aided by a little black cavendish. Burns cool and dry with no harshness.The Match lacks the red Virginia that the original has, and is just slightly sweeter and less grassy. The substitution of lemon for red Va. means the sweet notes are not the same, but it’s still a pleasing mixture.
Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture Match:

I’ve compared this to the original (which once was a regular smoke for me) and I'd say this blend is fairly close, but not an exact match. It’s certainly closer than the current DE production by Dunhill, which I consider to be inferior to both the original and the Sutliff Match. The Murray’s version was a little more complex in taste, and had just a little more bright lemon Virginia. The perique is very peppery in both, slightly more plumy here. The brown Virginia is virtually identical. As much as I liked the Murray’s product, I like this Match very much, and would say it may be as close as you can get. A little more sprinkling of lemon Va., and it’d virtually be the same. Because the new version is different from the Murray’s, which is what the Match attempted to copy, I would not consider them to be similar. The proportion of ingredients in the new version is different and the shag cut is as well.
The Murray’s version of DE was one of the very few blends m'lady openly complained about. When they quit making it, she was very happy. A couple of years back, I tried the Match for the first time. Five minutes after I started smoking it, she came back to the studio and said, "Are you smoking that crap again? I thought they quit making it." Telling me that she recognized the smell after several years just struck me kinda funny. That, besides the taste, amplified my assessment that the Match is close indeed.
Dunhill London Mixture Match:

The latakia does not overwhelm the other components, but possesses the smokey, woodsy qualities you expect it to. The Turkish and Orientals are mild. The Virginias are a little earthy, a little sweet with a light tanginess, and a touch of grass. The differences between this and the original is that the Virginias in the Match has fewer grass notes, and is a little sweeter, and maybe has a pinch less latakia, though the sweetness of the Va. might be mitigating the latakia hit just a mite. Otherwise, it’s a fairly close Match and less expensive, too. Burns well, cool (more so than the original), and dry with consistent flavor.
Dunhill’s My Mixture 965 Match:

In both the Match and the original, the latakia is a minor player, but aids the Oriental/Turkish in regard to the smokey, woodsy quality of the blend. The spice from the Orientals is lightly moderate. The Virginia is sweet and grassy with a touch of earth. The brown cavendish amplifies the sweetness and adds a slight nuttiness. There's a slight mustiness and it has a nice, light creamy taste. The differences are that the Virginia in the original is a little grassier, a shade less sweeter with a touch more spice from the Orientals. The Match burns a little slower and cooler. Both burn clean with very little moisture. It’s hard to tell one from the other unless you are working to decide for which is which.
Dunhill’s Nightcap Match:

The original and the Match have the same grassy Virginia in equal amount, thus having the same effect. That is also true of the Oriental/Turkish and the perique, all of which offer spice, leather, and musty wood notes. In looking at both tobaccos, I can not tell one from the other. The only difference I notice is that the latakia in the original is a little stronger in taste in all ways: Cyprian sweetness, smokiness and wood. At times during a smoke, the Match seemed nearly identical to the original, and other times not so much. The depth of the attributes, not the amount of latakia, is the only variable. Stirring up the tobacco in the Match produced better results for me, but did not completely solve the problem. Both burn clean and well with no harshness or dottle.
Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium Match:

The original can be just a tad hot on your tongue if you are a very fast puffer, but the Match burns a little cooler. The Match is slightly less grassy than the original with the same amount of Virginia sweetness. In both versions, the Oriental/Turkish acts in a supporting role with a light spice note, while the latakia has the usual smokey, woodsy character you'd expect it to. The proportions seem to match the original, though the latter has slightly more latakia. A well balanced blend that burns well with no moisture or harshness. It’s a very close match, and in a blind taste test, it would be difficult to tell the difference.
Edgeworth Ready Rubbed Match:

It packs well, stays lit, and is a very cool, consistent tasting smoke all the way to the bottom - no bite or moisture. Nutty with a molasses flavor and a little cocoa. I can see this being a decent starter burley for someone who has never tried the genre, and I can certainly see it being a regular rotation blend. A really good work and all day play smoke that may not be complex, but will satisfy your wants for OTC burleys.
This Match is very close to the original. The original seemed just a little fuller, deeper in the molasses taste, and that's the only difference I could tell. The cut and look of the tobacco is the same, though perhaps there are more flecks of tobacco and fewer cubes in the Match. In a blind taste test, it would be very hard to tell which was which.
Erinmore Mixture Match:

The tropical citrusy tart toppings in the Match are by far the star flavors - lemon, orange, peach, pear, etc. - possibly with a little pineapple thrown in. I get a heavy sense of plum that reminds me of the topping in Dunhill’s Royal Yacht. It’s like answering the answer of “What would happen if Juicy Fruit chewing gum met Mrs. Plum Tree?” Tangy sweet with a couple sour notes, some sugar, and a little floral, this strong, highly aromatic tobacco could easily ghost a briar. The grassy Virginia is a little noticeable, but not always. The black cavendish adds a small amount of vanilla. There’s a minor hint of anise, too. Burns well and fairly cool with no bite, but with a little dottle followed by an after taste that’s as intense as the smoke itself.
The original seems to have the same toppings, though they aren’t as intense as the Match, which is a little more plumy prominent, too. It’s a shade less floral, and the Virginias in the original are more hay and grass-like than the Match. They say there’s no pineapple in the topping, but something is giving it that tang effect. The black cavendish has the same effect in both versions. I notice a little anise/licorice that is a little stronger in the original. Both have the same sour note. The original burns a little hotter than the Match. Both leave just a little moisture.
Field and Stream Match:

Both the House of Windsor and Philip Morris productions were fairly soapy and even more perfumey with an anise/licorice topping. While all of that lingered to the end, it became a little less intense by the half way point, and a nutty burley became more prominent, though still a bit sublimated. I barely noticed the black and gold cavendish outside of a hint of vanilla. The Virginia notes were few and far between. The Match has a hint of the soap, and much less perfume, and the licorice is slightly less pronounced. It has a little more maple than the original had. In the Match, the burley has a similar nuttiness, and I notice the cavendishes and Virginia a little more. The Match burns cool, well, and even with little moisture, and no bite. The HoW and Philip Morris versions burned faster, rougher, and hotter, though they fell just short of the bite stage.
Flying Dutchman Match:

In the Match, there’s a small amount of black cavendish that imparts a mellow vanilla flavor that compliments a mild licorice topping. In supporting roles are a light honey hit from the gold cavendish, and some hay/grass from the Virginia. The burley is slightly nutty. Because this is a Dutch-style blend, there’s a lightly persistent herbal spice note from start to finish. A sipping blend that may need a little dry time, but provides a consistent taste. In comparing this to the 1970s version, I find the Match to be superior. The original was shag cut and packaged dry, so it tended to burn hot and bite worse than virtually any blend I have ever tried. Not even hydration could stave off the bite, though it did enhance the herbalness. The Match is ribbon cut and not dry, does not bite, has more depth of similar flavors with a sweeter topping, is less spicy and herbal, and a vastly smoother, richer smoke.
Four Seasons Match:

I never smoked the original, though when I compare the reviews at TR.com to the Match I’ve been smoking, they seem to be similar in regard to taste, though not the cut of the tobacco if that description is accurate. The tobacco in the Match is cube cut, short ribbon cut, and coarse broken flake. The cherry birch topping is mild and pleasant. There’s also a little apple topping, too. The Virginia is a little grassy with a touch of citrus. The black cavendish is sweet with a very mild hint of vanilla. The burleys are nutty, molasses sweet with a light sharpness and earth, and offers the most noticeable tobacco taste in this blend, though all the tobaccos here play second fiddle to the toppings. Burns slow, cool and though it will require a few relights, leaves virtually no moisture.
Hines Match:

The black cavendish has a nice vanilla flavor that sublimates the Virginia and burley, though a hint of nuttiness will perk through here and there. The cocoa/coconut topping competes with the vanilla for attention. Burns well, and cooler than your average blend in this genre. It’s fairly similar to the original, though it’s a cooler, smoother smoke, with just a little less coconut. The only drawback is that it requires a little dry time, which is hardly the worst problem to have.
Holiday Match:

I never smoked the original made by Larus, so this review pertains only to the Match. The Virginia is mildly sweet with a slight grass note and provides a good base for the other components. The burley is sweet, and a little nutty. A smattering of black cavendish chips in with a bare essence of vanilla. The perique is hardly noticeable, but the light spice I taste comes from there. The latakia is also a minor player, but it provides a smokey push that makes this an attractive smoke. The topping is sweet and mildly fruity. This is a very pleasant, tasty aromatic American English that you can smoke all day with ease and no bite, and due to the variety of flavors, never get bored with it.
John Rolfe Match:

The smell of the peach bandy flavored tobacco is a little more intense than it is in the smoke. Not much tobacco taste, but that’s not the point of the blend. The same goes for the original, where the peach brandy taste is stronger and a little sharper. The Match burns cool and smooth whereas the original loses a little of the flavor at the finish and is bitey if puffed fast. The Match doesn’t have that problem. I found the peach in the original is slightly chemically with a sour note whereas the Match avoids those characteristics.
Kentucky Club Mild Match:

Just like the original, the Match is an uncomplicated burley blend with a sugar topping. The burley is nutty sweet with a touch of molasses and hay, and a fair amount of sugar, mostly from the topping. No chemical notes to be found. Burns well and cooler than the original and is very similar in taste, though the original is a shade fuller flavored and barely nuttier and sweeter. Some smokers have reported that the original could bite, but I did not experience that in either the original or the Match. Both smoke smooth with no harsh spots or dottle. A very pleasant no-frills all day smoke that’s pretty darn close to the original.
Kentucky Club Mixture Aromatic Match:

The burley is lightly sweet and nutty, and is the star component in regard to tobacco taste. The Perique offers a bare hint of spice. The Oriental/Turkish provides a slight woodiness and is always mildly noticeable. The Virginia is a little grassy and mildly sweet. The topping is a little fruity, and avoids the chemical note of the original, otherwise it’s the same in both. The differences between the original and Match (also sold by P&C as Mid-Town Derby Club Aromatic) is that the original is a little sweeter, the burley is a shade deeper in flavor, while the Match is a little smoother. The look and cut of the tobaccos are the same in both. Some say the original had a tendency to bite, but I did not notice that is either version. The Match burns well, a little slow with very little moisture, and makes a decent all day smoke, as did the original.
Lane’s Blend Eleven Match:

I never smoked the original, so this is a review of the Match only. The burly is slightly nutty, toasty with a minor molasses note. The Virginia is a little grassy with a touch of citrus.The Green River Black Cavendish offers a very mild hit of vanilla. The marshmallow topping is not strong, and there’s a drop or two of whisky as well. The flavors meld well for a cool, smoothly mild easy burning smoke that holds its taste until the finish with no dottle.
Mapleton Match:

The Maple is the star in both versions, though they both have a dash of rum, too. The toppings are deeper and more flavorful in the Match, though like the original, the rum is not as obvious as the maple. The Virginia is very grassy and not sweet in the original, whereas they are less grassy with a touch of sweet in the Match. The white burley in both has a little sharpness, much more so in the original. A minor nut note in both exists. The original burned very warm, tended to bite if pushed much. The Match burns slower, cool with no bite, and the flavor holds up to the finish. None of that was true of the original.
Middleton Cherry Match:

Either I’ve changed or Middleton improved their cherry blend. It’s better than when I smoked it many years back. The cherry flavor is not strong and you can taste the burley some, more so at the finish when cherry flashes off a little. The cherry taste in the Match (also sold by P&C as Mid-Town Cherry) is a little more obvious, and the burley is a shade less noticeable. The cherry does not burn off at the finish as it does in the original. The original has the same fault it has always had, being bitey when puffed beyond a sipping pace. That is only true of the Match if you go at it like a steam engine trying to outrace Superman. The Match burns well, fairly cool, and is a smoother smoke with a more pleasant after taste than the original.
Middleton London Dock Match:

The rum topping tastes nice, though it does sublimate the individual tobaccos in both versions. The perique sports a very mild spice note, nearly undetectable in both versions. The Virginia is grassy sweet and is slightly more obvious in the Match. In both versions, the burley is a little nutty with some molasses and a touch of earth. In the original, the Oriental/Turkish was woody and a little smoky with a sour note or two. All of that is less noticeable in the Match, which doesn’t have a sour spot to be had. The Match is a little sweeter, a little buttery, a little more aromatic than the original was. Both versions are a fairly pleasant all day smoke with consistent flavor requiring few relights, and just a little moisture at the finish. It’s not an exact Match, but it’s in the ballpark. Sold by Milan Tobacconists as “ ‘Our’ London Dock.”
Model Match:

The Virginia has a few earth notes to go along with a little grass and citrus. The burley is very nutty with some chocolate, molasses, and earth. Burns smooth, and even with consistency of taste, and no moisture. The Match avoids the harshness of the original, and unlike the original, which could bite when pushed much, the Match doesn’t grab at your tongue. The flavor is a little deeper in the Match, though it is the same in both. There are a few cigarette notes here and there, but less so than the original. The tobacco in the Match is fairly dry as was the original, so it needs to be puffed as a reasonable rate, unless you hydrate it.
Prince Albert Match:

The Match (also sold by P&C as Mid-Town Prince Andrew) is chocolatey, molasses and nutty, though a little less so than the original in those respects. The cut and look is identical. It burns a little cooler than the original, and while it does not have the syrupy flavor (and occasional chemical note) of PA, there’s a slight alcohol feel in the topping in a few spots. The level of mildness is the same, and the flavor is consistent to the finish. Burns at the same rate as the original and leaves a similar, lighter aftertaste. The original tends to be a little cigarettish at times, a little more so near the end. That’s not true of the Match version. If the chocolate, molasses and nut flavors were a little stronger, it’d be hard to tell the difference between the two, chemical hits of the original not withstanding.
Revelation Match:

The HoW version left me with a bad impression all the way around, from the dullness of the burley to the relative lack of sweetness, depth, and flavor of the Virginia and the burley. In the Match, the medium brown Virginia has a mildly natural sweetness while the burley sports some earthy points, plus a light tangy nuttiness from the burley. The perique is very lightly added for a hint of spice, hardly noticed in the HoW. The latakia brings very mild smokey, woody bass notes to give this mixture a slight flavor push. There’s a mild fruity topping that tastes better than the one HoW used, and slightly more obvious, too. The HoW version tended to have a cardboard taste that turned bitter near the finish, and smoked hot unless you sipped it. None of these qualities are true of the Match. This is more well rounded, smoother with no bite, and the components work together with greater consistency than the original.
Comparing the Match to the old Philip Morris version that Albert Einstein smoked, I’d say the Match is a shade sweeter and a shade less nuttier, and just a little less earthy, drier smoke. The topping is the same in all three versions, though the amount and depth of flavor varies. The Virginia in the Philip Morris version seems to be a little grassier than in the Match. The flavor of latakia is about the same in all three versions. The spice from the perique is just a little more obvious in the Philip Morris version. When I get to the finish of the PM Revelation, it gets a little of the same cardboard harshness that I experienced in the HoW production. The PM version I smoked for this comparison was over fifty years old, and it is hard to say what changes happened during that time, but I would rate it as being closer to the Match than the HoW, but it has some similarities to both.
Royal Comfort Match:

The Virginia is a minor player. It’s a little grassy while the gold and black cavendishes offer a little honey and vanilla. The other flavors include maple, rum, and molasses, all of which are rather mild, though vanilla seems to stand out the most. Burns cool and smooth. The original is a shade less milder, and a little deeper in taste, though I notice an alcohol base that I hardly get in the Match, and it’s never very strong anyway. The tobacco taste is more sublimated in the original than in the Match, but there’s not much of it in the Match either. There’s a little difference in the sweet flavors between the two, and there’s one flavor note in the original that is undefinable to my taste buds. It’s not a perfect Match, but it is a pleasant smoke.
Rum and Maple Match:

The rum and maple are a little more pronounced here than in the Lane version, thought the maple is a little more obvious than the rum. The Virginia and burley are a little more sublimated by the toppings than the original was, but you do get a little Virginia grassy notes and slightly burley nuttiness. It’s fairly sweet, but you won’t be overpowered by a super strong maple/rum flavor, though it is richer than the original. The original was kind of bitey, and the tobacco was dryer, and burned faster than this version. The room note is very pleasant. I prefer this to the original. Sold in a pouch under the Tobacco Galleria name, as well as in bulk.
Sail Green Match:

The topping in the Match lacks some of the anise of the original, but it has the same - but milder - light fruitiness with fewer cocoa notes. It also sublimates the tobacco flavor a little just as the original does. Like the original, I get a slight sense of the Oriental/Turkish, and virtually none of the latakia, which is probably about one percent of the mixture. The cavendish is slightly more prominent in the Match, and the Virginia is about the same. The cut is the same, as is the burn rate. I noticed inconsistency of flavor in the original. Sometimes, it was bland and sometimes not, from pouch to pouch. This match is fairly close to Sail Green at its best with a little less strength to the topping.
Sail Yellow Match:

The burleys, cavendish, and Virginias in the original well melded into a blend that’s a little nutty, slightly grassy, with honey and bread notes. The Oriental/Turkish is lightly woodsy with a light spice. The Match is very similar in all respects, though it has a milder spice hit. There’s a minor difference in the sweet topping, but I can’t determine why, except to say that the topping is a mite more noticeable in the Match. Overall, they are pretty similar, even if the Match is just a little lighter in flavor and nicotine. The cut of the tobacco is the same, though the Match burns cooler and slightly smoother.
Sugar Barrel Match:

The Pipes&Cigars Match version (also sold in tubs as Mid-Town Sweet Cask) is a little closer to the original than the Match sold by Milan Tobacconists. Both are a thicker plug cut burley than the original with a slightly brighter Virginia small flake cut. The Virginia in the Matches has the same minor grass and sweet notes as the original. The P&C Match is slightly cinnamon spicier than the original. The Milan version has less cinnamon spice than the other two. The original is a shade more brown sugary and buttery than either Match, though the P&C is slightly deeper in its sweetness than is the Milan, which is a little rougher edged in flavor. All three have about the same amount of nuttiness and molasses. Both Match versions burn a little slower than the original and all keep a consistent flavor to the finish with no bite and hardly any moisture, though the burley in the original tended to be just a little less obvious at the end. The P&C Match holds its flavor longer than the original, burns cleaner with a little more flavor.
Troost Aromatic Match:

The gold cavendish has citrus and honey bread notes with a touch of grass. The topping is mild butterscotch and caramel sweet, and mildly fruity. As cavendish tends to burn hot if puffed fast, you may consider sipping it, though it really doesn’t need to be babied much. The original has a little deeper flavor, but it’s bitey if you puff very fast, and can lose just a little of its flavor when that happens. The latter two observations are not true of the Match, which is much smoother, will not bite, and is fairly close in taste to the original. The flavor doesn't weaken near the finish or if you puff beyond a moderate pace, which can happen to the original, especially if the tobacco is dry. The course cut of the tobacco is the same. This is an all day, mild product that burns well and even with hardly any moisture at the bottom.
Union Leader Match:

The burley is lightly sweet, nutty, toasty and a little earthy, and is the main component. The Virginia is a little grassy with a touch of citrus. There’s a very mild spice note present, which I suppose comes from the burley. The topping seems to be honey, though it’s very lightly applied. Burns well with few relights and no moisture. The House of Windsor version is the very same, though it would bite if pushed hard, and would get a little cigarettish at times once past the half way point. The Match can tingle just a little if puffed like a steam engine; then again, many burleys will. The HoW was less sweet than the Match, which isn’t overly so anyway. Produces a lot of smoke, and also sports a slight cigarette note in the same places the original does, but it’s much less noticeable in the Match.
Comparing the Match to the 1970s Lorillard version, there are a few differences. The 70s version is a little less sweeter, but a little spicier (which could be caused by age) and is bitey if pushed beyond a moderate smoking pace. The Virginia is a little duller, too, and it has the same cigarette notes as the HoW production. It tastes better than the HoW, but is less smooth, and has just a little less depth of flavor than the Match.
VIP Match:

The birch taste is not nearly as pronounced or as chemical-like as it was in the original, where it overtakes the tobacco rather strongly. The vanilla is slightly more obvious in the Match. The burley is lightly nutty and earthy, and provides a little molasses hit, all of which were basically missing from the original. Overall, it’s a little milder and much smoother ribbon cut, and doesn’t bite (another failing of its predecessor). Burns well with a consistency of flavor that doesn’t vanish at the finish. No dottle. A pleasant all day smoke.
Walnut Match:

Both the original and the Match (also sold by P&C as Mid-Town Chestnut) are comprised of many different varieties of tobaccos. Both have a light taste of Kentucky, grassy Virginia, some nuttiness and molasses from the burley, a touch of honey from the cavendish, a slight woody note from the Oriental/Turkish. The latakia is a minor addition, but gives a very mild smokey, woody push to the other components. I know Maryland is in both versions, but I can’t taste it. The topping is mildly sweet and the same in both. Overall, both sport a nice subtlety of flavors that meld well together for a mild to medium smoke. Burns well, cool and dry to the finish. What are the differences between the Match and the original? The original had a little chemical taste from the topping that I noticed a couple of times which the Match does not have. The original can get a slightly bitter near the end if you puff beyond a moderate rate. The original is a shade sweeter, and a tiny bit nuttier, while the Match has just a smidgen more latakia. Otherwise, I can’t tell the one from the other, and if I wasn’t working so hard to find differences, I doubt I’d notice them.
Wine Berry Match:

In both the original and the Match, the deeply rich raspberry, red wine and Strawberry (?) flavors dominates the tobacco. It reminds me of Amphora Red, a little more so in the original than the Match. There a definite floralness in the topping of the original that reminds me of the floral note in Amphora Red, but it's a little stronger here, and isn’t present in the Match. Some burley peeks out from the topping every so often (especially after the mid-point). There's a slight suggestion of vanilla from the black cavendish in both. Can’t really say I notice the Virginia much in either production, except for a little grassiness. In the Match, the tobacco is a little more obvious toward the finish, but the toppings make it to the last puff without a hint of chemicals. The original does have a light chemical, syrupy taste that shows up occasionally. Both burn cool (the Match a little more so) with very little moisture, few relights, and a very pleasant after taste.

 

buroak

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Jul 29, 2014
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This is valuable information. I second Trailboss's nomination of this thread for "sticky" status. You have saved me considerable money that would have been spent chasing down sealed vintage tins.

 

ravkesef

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Aug 10, 2010
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Jim, you hit the nail right on the head --again and again. I can read any of your reviews, and begin to taste the tobacco. I know exactly what it will be like when I get the actual tobacco in my pie, and more to the point I know exactly which tobaccos will suit my taste, so I don't end up buying a few pounds of tobacco that I'll never like. You are that we are individual with the ability to taste a tobacco, and put that taste precisely into words. Now, pray tell, who is selling all these blends? And I agree with Trailboss that it should be a sticky.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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Thank you for the kind words, Rav. Pipes&Cigars sells most all of them. Milan sells a few, including the London Dock and Kentucky Club Mild which are not sold by P&C. I do not know who sells the Erinmore Match, but since Sutliff makes it, I included it.
I thank TrailBoss, BillyPM, and Buroak for their compliments. It took so much time to do this, between getting the tobaccos, smoking and reviewing them and the originals, plus hours posting them on the forums and TR.com, which took me forever it seemed. But it's all done now, and I'm having a celebratory smoke!

 

easterntraveler

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Dec 29, 2012
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Fantastic. I recently read your review of the Edgeworth Ready Rubbed Match. Edgeworth being the tobacco my Great Grand Father smoked, I wanted to try it but I had my reserves. Thanks to your review I got some. Now I am not sure if it tastes the same but the rest of your review is spot on. I ordered 4 pounds of it last week. Definitely will check out some others because of your hard work.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,494
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I've been waiting to read reviews of the Mid Town series.

Thanks so much for your investigation and sharing of your talents.

My take away was that the series offered some quality pipe tobacco that may have been more pure in the sense of their additives than the originals. Slight variations in taste, but certainly reminiscent of their models.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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I thank you fellas for all the kind compliments. Hope the reviews are of help to you. I enjoy a number of the match blends myself.

 

sothron

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Sep 20, 2011
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I saw these on TR and really enjoyed them. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on these.
(And thanks for taking the time to smoke all that tobacco - it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it ;)

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,820
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Your coverage of the match blends fills a gap in the review literature that will benefit countless people for a long time to come. Thanks.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
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JimInks,

I enjoy a number of the match blends myself.
I'd love to know which of the Mid Town Series (if any) you find most interesting and tasty.

Thanks,
mike

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
17,323
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Due to the positve notes of these reviews, I ordered a tub each of Chatham Manor, Prince Andrew, and Sweet Cask. Thanks Jim, been on the fence about these for a while. :worship:

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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Newbroom: I'm usually reluctant to give too much opinion about blends I've reviewed on my own thread because I try to keep it objective and let people make up their own mind. On the other hand, you did ask for my opinion, so I'll tell you. I think they are worth the money and a good bargain whether you are a long time fan of OTCs or not. I like Carter Hall. I think it's a good OTC. But I prefer the Chatham Manor to it, and would smoke that before I'd smoke Carter Hall. CM is my favorite of the Mid-Town series, though the Walnut match is second.
The only way I could tell any sort of difference between Walnut and the match was by searching like they did in old Coasters song. That took me smoking 14 bowls of each version. They are virtually the same blend. If you like Walnut, you will enjoy the match just as much. I rated the Cherry match low only because I think the original was not a very good blend. The match is superior. It's hard to give a high rating to a match blend when the original wasn't something I thought much of. And if the ratings between the match and the original have much of a distance between them, then you could argue the match isn't really a match after all. The matches are good depending upon how you felt about the originals.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,452
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Hat's definitely off to you Jim. Other than Sobranie and the Dunhills they'd have to pay me handsomely to smoke a bowl of any those others :)

 

ravkesef

Preferred Member
Aug 10, 2010
2,531
14
Cheshire, CT
Jim, we all appreciate the immense amount of time you spend smoking and testing the various tobaccos. Not only does it take time but a great deal of skill and a sensitive palette to pick out all the taste in the tobacco. I'd like to propose that Jim be given it a title on this forum such as "Tobacco Taster Extraordinaire."

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
34,292
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I got some of the original Holiday and the Match is very close to it. Here's my updated review of Sutliff's Holiday Mixture Match:
The Virginia is mildly sweet with a slight grass note and provides a good base for the other components. The burley is sweet, and a little nutty and is a major player in the proceedings. A smattering of black cavendish chips in with a bare essence of vanilla. The perique is hardly noticeable, but the light spice I taste comes from there. The latakia is also a minor player, but it provides a smokey, woody push that makes this an attractive smoke. The topping is sweet and mildly fruity. This is a very pleasant, tasty aromatic American English that you can smoke all day with ease and no bite, and due to the variety of flavors, never get bored with it. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl.
Comparing it to the earlier version, I'd say it is virtually identical. The only real difference I noted is that the Match is slightly less sweeter, and has a shade less latakia. I gave three stars to the original, and as this is so close, it gets the same rating. However, as a Match, it is a four star blend.

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
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I've always wanted to try Sugar Barrel and your match description had me salivating a bit. Me thinks the time has come. I like the thought of a good, hot weather, simple all day blend.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
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I'm bumping up this thread because I've been asked about my Match reviews. This will make it easier to find for those interested.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
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I'm bumping up this thread for those who haven't seen it as the subject of Match blends has been revived in another thread. I have updated a number of them since, so if you or anybody else is interested in a particular product, you may also want to check out TR.com to see my latest edits on them.

 
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