Shortcut To Mushrooms / Frog Morton's Cellar Sub: Fusilier's Ration

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SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
576
1,685
NE Wisconsin
Shortcut To Mushrooms (JFH), Frog Morton's Cellar (McC), and Northwoods (Boswell), formed a certain trinity for those of us who loved them.

It's not that they were identical.
But, somehow, if you loved one, you'd wind up loving the others. Those who loved them almost invariably wound up classifying these three together.

What exactly was the point of commonality was difficult to nail down. All contained a mild but discernible proportion of latakia, and all were topped with something mildly sweet and somehow "musty." Two had cavendish, and although FMC didn't, there was an almost cavendish-ish layer to its feel.

But they were different:
Northwoods has a faintly exotic church incense note to it, along with perhaps a whisper of vanilla sweetness, over a smoky latakia cavendish.
Frog Morton's Cellar achieved a somewhat similar result, partly by means of a bourbon topping.
Shortcut to Mushrooms emphasized the "mustiness" more -- a mustiness definitely present in the others, but highlighted in STM.

In any case, they were a triad of sweet earthiness.

STM and FMC have fallen into shadow, so to speak.
Northwoods continues, and is the most commonly recommended substitute for the other two. If anybody says, "I miss STM," or, "I miss FMC," somebody will ask, "Have you tried Northwoods?"

And Northwoods is a great recommendation for that.

But I've found another as well:
Fusilier's Ration.

I'm not saying that it's identical to any of the other three. I'm saying that whatever held those three together, is true of Fusilier's too.

In my books, the triad has become a quartet.

Interestingly, Fusilier's Ration would theoretically be classified with Bengal Slices, since both are attempts to match the same tobacco... but I can't imagine anybody's palate classifying them together. Fusilier's Ration fits the kind of profile I described above, whereas Bengal Slices tastes like BBQ sauce. Bengal Slices is sweet-smoky-tangy-bbq sauce. Fusilier's Ration is nothing like that.

(And FWIW, Bengals Slices White is altogether different as well -- one of the most perfectly clean, perfectly balanced, perfectly natural, high Oriental Englishes ever made. But radically distinct from any of the others under discussion.)

All of this is just to say:
If you miss either STM or FMC, try not only Northwoods, but also Fusilier's Ration. I've never heard anybody else classify it with those others, but halfway through my first bowl I was certain of it.
 

Effortlessdepths

Part of the Furniture Now
Feb 7, 2020
504
1,054
Micanopy, FL
Shortcut To Mushrooms (JFH), Frog Morton's Cellar (McC), and Northwoods (Boswell), formed a certain trinity for those of us who loved them.

It's not that they were identical.
But, somehow, if you loved one, you'd wind up loving the others. Those who loved them almost invariably wound up classifying these three together.

What exactly was the point of commonality was difficult to nail down. All contained a mild but discernible proportion of latakia, and all were topped with something mildly sweet and somehow "musty." Two had cavendish, and although FMC didn't, there was an almost cavendish-ish layer to its feel.

But they were different:
Northwoods has a faintly exotic church incense note to it, along with perhaps a whisper of vanilla sweetness, over a smoky latakia cavendish.
Frog Morton's Cellar achieved a somewhat similar result, partly by means of a bourbon topping.
Shortcut to Mushrooms emphasized the "mustiness" more -- a mustiness definitely present in the others, but highlighted in STM.

In any case, they were a triad of sweet earthiness.

STM and FMC have fallen into shadow, so to speak.
Northwoods continues, and is the most commonly recommended substitute for the other two. If anybody says, "I miss STM," or, "I miss FMC," somebody will ask, "Have you tried Northwoods?"

And Northwoods is a great recommendation for that.

But I've found another as well:
Fusilier's Ration.

I'm not saying that it's identical to any of the other three. I'm saying that whatever held those three together, is true of Fusilier's too.

In my books, the triad has become a quartet.

Interestingly, Fusilier's Ration would theoretically be classified with Bengal Slices, since both are attempts to match the same tobacco... but I can't imagine anybody's palate classifying them together. Fusilier's Ration fits the kind of profile I described above, whereas Bengal Slices tastes like BBQ sauce. Bengal Slices is sweet-smoky-tangy-bbq sauce. Fusilier's Ration is nothing like that.

(And FWIW, Bengals Slices White is altogether different as well -- one of the most perfectly clean, perfectly balanced, perfectly natural, high Oriental Englishes ever made. But radically distinct from any of the others under discussion.)

All of this is just to say:
If you miss either STM or FMC, try not only Northwoods, but also Fusilier's Ration. I've never heard anybody else classify it with those others, but halfway through my first bowl I was certain of it.
I like the way you think, and analyze and abstract things down and process them. It seems like the same way I process as well. I have tried none of these blends, but I think I will remedy that. Just liked your thought process.
 

SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
576
1,685
NE Wisconsin
I like the way you think, and analyze and abstract things down and process them. It seems like the same way I process as well. I have tried none of these blends, but I think I will remedy that. Just liked your thought process.

Thanks for your kind words, Effortlessdepths!
I'd enjoy knowing you better. Feel free to PM any time, about anything.

I wish that I could guarantee that you'd love both Northwoods and Fusilier's Ration (the other two are history, sadly), but of course different people like different things. For instance, I dislike the objectively greatest burleys on earth for the simple reason that I dislike burleys. But, if you like savory and sweet together -- the former from some latakia and the latter from slight vanilla/incense/spice/whiskey type toppings -- then you may love these Aro-Englishes as much as some of us do.

If you try them, let me know what you think!

And again, reach out any time, Friend!
 

hauntedmyst

Lifer
Feb 1, 2010
3,957
20,398
Chicago
What's nice is that the Fusiler's Ration Special Reserve is actually cheaper than the standard tin version. It's only a buck or two but nice to know you can buy it bulk and get, in theory, a better version.
 
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Peter Turbo

Can't Leave
Oct 18, 2021
345
2,563
CT, USA
i believe whiskey biscuit gravy from the same blender as shortcut (justforhim.com) is pretty close to shortcut and its still in production. fusiliers doesnt really remind me of FMC it just tastes like a sweeter current production bengal slices to me.

i got a sample of McCranies Highland Mixture recently and it reminds me of Frog Morton Original a little bit. just a light, slightly sweet, easy going english.
 
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