Pipe Tobacco Availability Frustration

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frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,170
396
In my opinion the closing of Dunhill and McClelland signalled the beginning of the end (Or for fans of some blends that really would be “The End”).

We’re currently falling off a cliff into a valley that will take decades, if not centuries to climb out of (No More Latakia? It’s impossible to guess what it would take to get that started again).

Not that pipes and tobacco will ever die off entirely (especially in less regulated countries), but if enough markets shrink due to regulation then the modern economy of supply and distribution could be on its way to collapse.
Maybe I shouldn’t scream “The Sky Is Falling” quite so loudly though, people are right it’s not hard to keep a positive outlook.

There is still more variety than you’ll ever try, and the nature of each primary category of tobacco isn’t going to change just because of a few brand names disappearing.

 

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bent1

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2015
462
553
60
WV
Try Mac Baren HH line, lots of fine blends. HH Pure Virginia is a tasty blend http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/10062/mac-baren-hh-pure-virginia.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
6,284
2,914
But I know people hoard the “gold standard” type blends, and if you want to get them you have to buy every tin you can afford and be Johnny on the goddamn spot when they post online, because they sell out quick. It’s frustrating and induces a level of anxiety which seems to run counter to what pipe smoking should be.
People are cellaring all kinds of blends...not just the ones that are typically out of stock.
And in the near future, some of the blends that are now readily available will likely no longer be so easily obtainable...and then those blends will be perceived as being gold standard unicorns.
So, imo, the best thing you can do is identify a few readily available blends that you really enjoy and start accumulating as much of them as you can reasonably afford and don't worry about the unicorns...if you catch one of them every now and then it's just a bonus.

 

jeff540

Senior Member
Jan 25, 2016
414
454
Southwest Virginia
Perfect advice, ID those blends you enjoy and keep funds set aside when they cross your path. Since McClelland's closing last year I've managed to set aside literal pounds of my favorites Esoterica blends (Brighton and Kingsbridge) and expanded into many other blends that I didn't try before (enjoying some MacBaren HH Latakia Flake at present).

 

celticbrewer

Junior Member
Sep 16, 2018
99
10
Feel you as a newer smoker. Those non attainable blends feel more desirable. Relax and explore your palate with the thousands of great blends and then narrow it down to what's worth your time and money

 

hiplainsdrifter

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2012
983
6
Picky people gotta pay more. With anything, tobacco included. If you just HAVE to see what Frog Cellar tastes like, it is going to cost you a lot. When the box pass was still active on this forum I had the opportunity to try a lot of blends that were or are now unobtanium. This served to teach me to narrow my focus. Find a few blends I really like and stock up on those. Buy up a few unicorns when available to sell to newbs who can't live without em. :twisted:

 

cfreud

Member
Feb 1, 2014
168
13
I've been on a GL Pease Virginia-Kentucky, Virginia-Kentucky-perique binge recently. Blends like Jack Knife Plug, Triple Play, Sixpence and Navigator are just horrible. Don't order them. :rofl:

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,825
4,654
Here's a little perspective from a relatively long time pipe smoker, going on 47 years. There are a hell of a lot more blends available today, even with the loss of McClelland and "Dunhill", than were available when I began. McClelland didn't even exist when I started enjoying the pipe. A lot of blends that I used to smoke are long gone, showing up at stratospheric prices when they resurface.

I don't waste any time bemoaning what's not available or what's no longer produced. I've seen a lot of blends disappear.

I came late to the cellaring game and I made the effort to put away tins of what I liked because experience told me that they wouldn't always be around. And, I also discovered new blends to enjoy. So what if I can't walk into a neighborhood tobacconist and pick up a tin of Sobranie made Balkan Sobranie or 759. So what if State Express London Mixture isn't available. There are literally thousands of blends of every description on the market.

I don't waste time hunting unobtainium online. I've found other sources and cellared what I could buy from them. There are a few generous souls, like cohibajoe, who find the drops and share that with members here, but all that means is that there's a wealth of it in the wild because the online stores are still a small part of the overall picture.

You're beginning the voyage and there are far more ports of call than you realize.

 
May 22, 2018
263
0
Where there is demand there will be a supply. Just remember when reading any advice here is that your perspective is different, many people here are hardcore smokers for decades. You are probably not even sure if you will smoke next year. I can tell it to you straight that panic buying is encouraged here to keep the sinking tobacco industry afloat because (read this carefully) if there was an actual shortage no one would say a word.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,059
14,349
I can tell it to you straight that panic buying is encouraged here to keep the sinking tobacco industry afloat
Where and when did you read anything like that here? Please provide links to the threads.
if there was an actual shortage no one would say a word.
Do you even read any of the threads on here? Many of us guessed the closing of McClelland and Dunhill for over a year before it happened, and pipestud even has a blog on his website about the possible loss of Cyprian Latakia that was discussed here.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,989
2,175
Detroit
Some tobacco companies are rather small concerns. Others are quite large.You may have trouble picking up SG or Esoterica, but will have no trouble with MacBaren. That does not mean Esoterica is better - just a smaller company.

 

pipehunter

Member
Dec 20, 2016
212
3
For people new to pipes, I can both understand the frustration and suggest it's really not a big deal. Sure, it's lamentable to see fine blends (and blenders) disappear. Certainly, I miss greatly Troost Slices (Van Rossem's) and Frog Morton (original). I haven't found something to replace either one, exactly, but I keep looking for blends I like as much with similar profiles, which is part of the fun of exploring.
As has probably been pointed out many times before, though, there are still available some of the finest blends ever made (in my opinion)...and they are largely always in stock, can be easily ordered off the internet. While I'm no expert, I've been sampling widely for almost 30 years and early on tried many great tins from the 50s-70s, as they were more curiosities then than collectibles and priced accordingly.
Just a few examples of some blends still available that may rank among the legends of old (to my own taste):
Peretti blends -there are quite a few (and I think the company offers samplers). Tashkent maybe my favorite oriental ever
RO Perique Sereis - GP-11 is particularly nice but they are all worth trying to find one you like
Robert Lewis - for the English blends. Production on these must be pretty low, as they go out of stock relatively quickly, but nothing like Esoterica or others. Orcilla Mixture is a good one to try.
Watch City Cigar - Ernie has a some great blends, there was a cavendished oriental that is no longer around, but he makes some amazing slices
HU Tobacco - I've tried most and like all of them, at least half a dozen are among the finest tobaccos I've had (has to be ordered from Europe, so shipping can be a pain)
Even more widely available, I like:
SPC Plum Pudding

Ashton Artisan's Blend

Savinelli Doblone d'Oro

HH Aniversary Kake

Magnum Opus

Pease Samarra, Quiet Nights, Union Square, Westminster (really quite a few)
SG Skiff blend is a little harder to find but not unobtainable. Definitely worth it, in my opinion.
There are so many really. There was a thread recently about Cabbie's Mixture, which I hadn't tried in a while but cellared a few years back. I forgot how good that one is. It's probably available now, too.
Cheers and Good Luck!

 

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