The Decline of Prince Albert and Carter Hall

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Road To Pines

Might Stick Around
Sep 2, 2020
89
164
Ontario, Canada
I'm peeved we can't get those wonderful foil packets any more. Nothing better for toting tobacco in your jacket pocket when you're out for a lunt.

Besides the tub of Prince Albert that I'm halfway through, I have one final packet that's about five years old now; I display it in its box on the cabinet shelf next to my pipes. Not sure if I'll ever open it.
 

Skippy B. Coyote

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2023
381
4,821
St. Paul, MN
I lack the perspective of older pipe smokers, having only been smoking my pipes daily for about 2 years now, so I never got to try the original US made Carter Hall. However, I can say that after trying 80 or so different blends the current version of Carter Hall is definitely in my top 4 favorites (alongside Orlik Golden Sliced, Cornell & Diehl Pegasus, and Peterson Early Morning Pipe) and is an everyday smoke for me. No matter what season it is or the time of day or night, Carter Hall always sounds good and it tends to be what I smoke the most of overall.

I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse that I never got to try the original, but I am extremely fond of the current version and can only hope that it's never discontinued (especially since I haven't started deep cellaring it yet).
 

towhee89

Might Stick Around
Sep 28, 2021
81
97
Morganton, North Carolina
The US made PA had a chemical taste unless I smoked ridiculously light....was hard to enjoy to be honest. Maybe the tubs were better. Didn't have that issue with CH. I have smoked half a tub of the new DR Prince and I've enjoyed it a lot more honestly. Want to get a new tub of CH next. Could smoke both blends all day. I hope the CH Dominican stuff is good. And the cans look really cool with no warning labels. Ingles grocer has both for $30 or $31. Just my 2 cents....
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
5,501
28,082
Florida - Space Coast
Ah jeez. No tobacco tastes like it used to, according to you experts.
Anybody still smoking?
Oh wait, I know what comes next, you’ve all got 700 pounds of whatever it is you thought was good. Right.
I'm actually glad i started smoking pipes later, granted if i was smoking them 30 yrs ago i might have a lot more of a cellar, but i won't know the feeling of a favorite changing because they have already changed and the i don't know nuffin about the past. Load up on what i like now and I'm all set.
 

seanv

Lifer
Mar 22, 2018
3,043
10,866
Canada
I'm actually glad i started smoking pipes later, granted if i was smoking them 30 yrs ago i might have a lot more of a cellar, but i won't know the feeling of a favorite changing because they have already changed and the i don't know nuffin about the past. Load up on what i like now and I'm all set.
Yep. I'm glad I bought what I did, when I did.
 

woodsroad

Lifer
Oct 10, 2013
12,125
17,817
SE PA USA
A lot of crazy history went down at Chatham Manor in Fredericksberg, Virginia. First as the site of a famous slave rebellion where slaves overtook, chained, and whipped their slavemaster. Then as a Union Army hospital during the Civil War where surgeons operated on thousands of wounded soldiers following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Fredericksberg. Poet Walt Whitman once described seeing a large heap of amputated legs, arms, hands, feet, etc. under a tree in front of the house when he went there looking for his wounded brother. I wonder what exactly it was that inspired the name of the blend?
I don’t know, either, but they really went out on a limb.
 

Kingsley

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 16, 2020
284
1,904
25
PA
When John Middleton Co. decided to move operations to the Dominican Republic they did a massive injustice to their tobacco blends; Prince Albert and Carter Hall. For many years I have enjoyed my Dark Roast coffee with a pipe of Prince Albert. They just went together so well with the smokey goodness of the tobacco with the richness of the coffee. Since the move to the Dominican Republic both blends have changed in flavor. Neither bring much to the table anymore. I find that lately my morning coffee is with Match VIP or Match Edgeworth Ready Rubbed and sometimes Sir Walter Raleigh. This morning I put both blends, PA and CH on the back shelf, only to be visited occasionally instead of daily. I know I am a tired, old fart, but my taste buds aren't gone yet and there are other blends that are just better than my two old friends. I have tried Sutliff Match Prince Albert and Chatham Manor, but neither match what I'm used to. I won't bemoan this matter too long since there are thousands of other blends to choose from. I smoke many different blends during the day, but Prince Albert was my morning regular. I know that change is something you can depend on, but this change was not for the best.
I couldn’t agree more.
It was my favourite, for years all I had smoked was Prince Albert from the pouch. When they began the switch and stopped production, I had maybe half a pouch left, so when it popped back up, I eagerly ordered a tub the very day it was re-released, and when I got it and ripped into it, man, what a complete bummer. The previously rich flavor seemed to have been killed off entirely. Practically the whole of the taste seemed different.
I could have easily smoked nothing but that pre-switcheroo PA for the whole of my life.
I would have liked that.
 

ophiuchus

Lifer
Mar 25, 2016
1,628
2,294
Times like this make me glad I’m stupid and gullible. Several years ago, a rumor hit the mill that Prince Albert was being discontinued, and many online outlets were out of stock. I found a retailer that had it, and bought a whole bunch of 14 ounce tubs. The rumor (in part perpetuated within these forums) turned out to be false, possibly a prank. I wasn’t too upset. I figured that I had enough to last to the end of my days.

Sometimes TAD is a good thing.
 

pappymac

Lifer
Feb 26, 2015
3,418
4,690
How is the George Washington compared to PA ?
George Washington hasn't been on the market since the mid-1970s. I bought my tin from pipestud about six years ago. I opened it and jarred it immediately.

After receiving the tin and trying it, I bought a pouch of Prince Albert and Carter Hall and smoked some of both to compare it to George. I don't smoke a lot of burley or codger blends so I didn't have any real expectations. I also was comparing a blend that had been sitting in a tin for about 40 years to blends that were still available.

What I found is I like George Washington better. I get some dark brown sugar/molasses notes and it was closer to Carter Hall than PA in my opinion. That being said, GW is a nicer smoke in my opinion than either of the other two. Of course, I don't know how it would match up against PA and CH that was produced back in the 1970s.

In doing research on George Washington, I came across an interesting anecdote. Apparently back in the mid-1970s, RJ Reynolds was discontinuing some blends and when it came down to Prince Albert or George Washington, it was a coin flip decision and George Washington lost. I don't know if that was true or not but it interesting. After my grandfather couldn't buy George Washington, he did start smoking Carter Hall.
 

MattRVA

Lifer
Feb 6, 2019
4,204
33,021
Richmond Virginia
George Washington hasn't been on the market since the mid-1970s. I bought my tin from pipestud about six years ago. I opened it and jarred it immediately.

After receiving the tin and trying it, I bought a pouch of Prince Albert and Carter Hall and smoked some of both to compare it to George. I don't smoke a lot of burley or codger blends so I didn't have any real expectations. I also was comparing a blend that had been sitting in a tin for about 40 years to blends that were still available.

What I found is I like George Washington better. I get some dark brown sugar/molasses notes and it was closer to Carter Hall than PA in my opinion. That being said, GW is a nicer smoke in my opinion than either of the other two. Of course, I don't know how it would match up against PA and CH that was produced back in the 1970s.

In doing research on George Washington, I came across an interesting anecdote. Apparently back in the mid-1970s, RJ Reynolds was discontinuing some blends and when it came down to Prince Albert or George Washington, it was a coin flip decision and George Washington lost. I don't know if that was true or not but it interesting. After my grandfather couldn't buy George Washington, he did start smoking Carter Hall.
I think my Grandfather also smoked George Washington but switched to Prince Albert in the 70’s around the time I was born. He was a huge fan of GW the man.
 

WVOldFart

Lifer
Sep 1, 2021
2,103
5,138
Eastern panhandle, WV
I couldn’t agree more.
It was my favourite, for years all I had smoked was Prince Albert from the pouch. When they began the switch and stopped production, I had maybe half a pouch left, so when it popped back up, I eagerly ordered a tub the very day it was re-released, and when I got it and ripped into it, man, what a complete bummer. The previously rich flavor seemed to have been killed off entirely. Practically the whole of the taste seemed different.
I could have easily smoked nothing but that pre-switcheroo PA for the whole of my life.
I would have liked that.
My taste buds tell me that there is nothing better than Prince Albert and a good cup of coffee. So when the original went away I started smoking Match V.I.P. or Match Edgeworth Ready Rubbed with my coffee. Since these are blends that I smoke regularly, I enjoyed them with my coffee. Recently I ordered a box of samples from Milan Tobacconist from Roanoke, Va. I ordered their version of Prince Albert. My taste buds tell me that Milan's Our Prince Albert is a very good substitute for the original. I am enjoying my morning coffee with the Prince again. Milan also makes a very good English/Aro, Colonial Pastimes that you may enjoy. If you order some Milan Our Prince Albert, I would be interested in what you think of it.