My Two Pennies on Rattray's Hal O' the Wynd

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madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,501
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This one has an interesting name to it ... I am wondering how they came up with it. I am sure that a native english speaker can bring further light to this. Any road, quite an appreciated blend it seems, and while it is unlikely that I am going to make a dent in the public opinion I am still offering my two pennies, in hope that I can share with the forum enthusiasts of what otherwise is quite and excellent blend.
Now I don't know what's up with tobaccoreviews.com as of late, as some blends that were listed as being a certain type have been changed recently over and over - the present blend being the case, Irish Oak being another example that readily comes to mind. Non the less, to me this is more of a Va Per than Virginia based, as the perique is present and persistent through out the smoke, even if it doesn't confer the pregnant peppery taste that a VaPer lover may expect from a blend. The perique, in my opinion, is the discrete ingredient that makes this blend what it is. The nose of the blend is earthy and offers a hint of dry fruit, that is very welcoming. Once lit, the forefront seems citrussy and slightly reminds one of bergamot - but not as much as an Earl Gray tea, since as soon as you puff the taste is suited by a sweetness, associated with the dry fruit - raisin mostly, and a hint of honey. The perique is a key element, adding just a hint of spiciness - pepperyness, while the Kentucky brings robustness in the equation. Overall it is an above medium nicotine content blend, that discourages back to back bowls, but may be a day to day blend should the mood presents itself. I have added another couple of tins to the cellar, just to have in handy. An almost 4/4 for me.

 

briarbuck

Preferred Member
Nov 24, 2015
950
747
"Hal o' the Wynd is an alternative name for Henry Gow (Gow is the Gaelic equivalent of Smith) in “The Fair Maid of Perth.” He was a squat but powerfully built, prosperous blacksmith in Perth who was “known to Highland and Lowland as the best armourer that ever made sword and the truest soldier that ever drew one.” "
Wynd is also another name for Street I believe
Lovely stuff.

 

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jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
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Folanator is correct in the origins of the name as far as my knowledge goes.
Wynd is also another name for Street I believe
Actually, it's more of a narrow lane or meandering path. So it's 'Hal of the Lane' or something close. It's also pronounced like kind or find. I constantly hear people say it like wind.
I just wanted to clear that up but I'm also a fan of this tobacco.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,761
2,471
I notice the Virginia and Kentucky more than the Perique with this blend although the Perique is a very nice condiment. Excellent blend regardless.

 
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jfred

Member
Apr 30, 2018
118
1
Thanks for that nice review. Inspired me to have an evening bowl of HOTW, that I'm enjoying right now.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,813
324
Very good blend indeed. IMO it's very much a va/per until the last third or so of the bowl when the ky becomes more pronounced, adding a darker flavor and some strength.

 
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judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,817
685
Detroit
Non the less, to me this is more of a Va Per than Virginia based, as the perique is present and persistent through out the smoke
Comments like this leave me bemused. Ten years ago, before K&K started blending this, it was labelled as a straight Virginia. When Pipestud reviewed it at Tobacco Reviews in 2002, he said
it was smooth as silk from top to bottom and as refined as any straight Virginia I've ever smoked
. (Gotta scroll down.)

I always appreciated it as fine Virginia - still do. Perique and I are not friends. Orlik GS is thought of by VA/Per fans as being light on perique. I can't smoke it.
Now K&K is labeling it differently, and everybody who never smoked it ten years ago is talking about all the perique and Kentucky. I did a thread here awhile back asking when they changed the blend, in light of all of this. The best reply I saw was something to the effect of "don't believe everything you read on labels". :puffy:

 
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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
19,631
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Outer Space
I am just now finishing up a five year old jar of this, and before that I had a tin of it fresh. I didn't notice any perique, but it's definitely not a straight Virginia either. The aged jar has a definite faint smoked sausage tin note that translates into a fruity flavor with a hint of a vinegar-like smell, and fresh the dark fire is more pronounced. If it has any perique, which I doubt, it has to be very little of it.

 
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ron44

New member
Apr 20, 2019
5
0
This really is one of the fine Kentucky/Virginia tobacco's in the market, although there are many good one's to to chose from.

Interesting to hear how many slightly different perspectives on flavors that each smoker takes away from a bowl. Bottom line is enjoyable is enjoyable.

 

cachimbero

Member
Apr 9, 2019
146
3
I have unopened tins which are almost 20 years old. The one I am smoking now is from 2006. I don´t think it has changed very much although, obviously a side by side comparison of a new vs a ten or more years old tin will always be biased since tobacco, especially virginias, changes with age. I believe K&K is doing a good job with Rattray.

 
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Sonorisis

Member
Dec 24, 2019
241
412
Good discussion! I don't sense strong perique in this blend either. This is a nicely balanced blend. Good smoke!
 

brooklynpiper

Senior Member
May 8, 2018
321
143
I had a very weird reaction to the Marlin Flake/Hal O the Wynd/Old Gowrie series. Almost like it was changing the texture of my saliva into a paste. Not burning, I don't really get tongue bit from anything. A fine flavor, but I could not stand the texture it left in my mouth. Had to put them down for a nap in the jar.
 

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