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Scotto
01-12-2007, 05:49 PM
I have been primarily a smoker of full English blends since the start of my pipe smoking career, many moons ago. For years I smoked primarily Esoterica blends after chugging through endless tins of Dunhill and many others.

About a year or more ago, our own esteemed Ouch got me started on GL Pease blends. Greg is a talented blender, no doubt. I like Abingdon, Charing Cross, Blackpoint (despite the Perique) and others. But...

I hadn't opened a tin of Margate, my preferred English blend, in quite some time, so I popped one the other day, and let me tell you, the gents in Jersey (England, not NJ :wink:) have a thing or two to show Mr. Pease. In my opinion, nothing holds a candle to Margate. Penzance is nice enough, but it drys out faster than Robert Downey Jr. in rehab. The quality and treatment of the latakia is the best out there. It is up front in its smoky, briny goodness. In the Pease blends it is too integrated in the structure of the blend, IMO, and its unique flavor is lost among the other elements. Not so in Margate. It is a powerful, rich, smooth, smoky masterpiece. A perfect blend for outside. If you haven't tried it, you are missing something special.

Any other thoughts from other pipe smokers?

ouch
01-12-2007, 06:32 PM
Margate is, without question, one of the great late night English style blends. It's very full, with incredible depth of flavor. Esoterica has a huge portfolio, and produces some unique, legendary, and indispensible blends.

If I were forced at gunpoint to choose a single supplier of weed, it would be Esoterica.:thumbup:

PalmettoB
01-12-2007, 07:44 PM
Any other thoughts from other pipe smokers?

Yeah...I think I'm gonna run out and try to find some. Tomorrow! I usually smoke Virginia blends, but that sounds excellent!

HlSheppard
01-13-2007, 04:01 AM
"Exotique" from Smoker's Haven is sublime! I have about 5 pounds of it aging, IIRC....

Margate is excellent (Penzance as well), but I also like many of the heavier latakia Pease blends. It really just boils down to what I'm in the mood for at that point.

The newer Frogmorton "Across the Pond" is the best in the series, methinks.

I have quite a few of the older Pease blends (Rennaissance and Raven's Wing :001_tt1:) that are no longer being made. He lost all of his prized Syrian latakia in that fire in 2004. Sadly those blends have been discontinued indefinitely...

Those tins are starting to bulge from age now... MUST. CONTROL. SELF.

Scotto
01-13-2007, 06:15 AM
"Exotique" from Smoker's Haven is sublime! I have about 5 pounds of it aging, IIRC....

Margate is excellent (Penzance as well), but I also like many of the heavier latakia Pease blends. It really just boils down to what I'm in the mood for at that point.

The newer Frogmorton "Across the Pond" is the best in the series, methinks.

I have quite a few of the older Pease blends (Rennaissance and Raven's Wing :001_tt1:) that are no longer being made. He lost all of his prized Syrian latakia in that fire in 2004. Sadly those blends have been discontinued indefinitely...

Those tins are starting to bulge from age now... MUST. CONTROL. SELF.
I have a tuge tub of this as well, and really enjoy it. It favors the Orientals more than latakia, methinks.

HlSheppard
01-13-2007, 07:07 AM
I have a tuge tub of this as well, and really enjoy it. It favors the Orientals more than latakia, methinks.

True -

However, over time; the Orientals blend in/smooth out more and you're left with a damned fine smoke!

Scotto, I may have asked you this before - but have you ever been to the Chicagoland International Pipe Show??

Scotto
01-13-2007, 07:42 AM
True -

However, over time; the Orientals blend in/smooth out more and you're left with a damned fine smoke!

Scotto, I may have asked you this before - but have you ever been to the Chicagoland International Pipe Show??

Nope. I think that would test my marriage more than I care too. :wink:

ravkesef
01-13-2007, 08:18 AM
Back in the old days I smoked Balkan Sobranie, alas no longer manufactured. Then I switched to Our Best Blend by Smokers Haven. Initially it was the same tobacco, relabeled by Smokers Haven. In fact, a few times it even had the Balkan Sobranie insert inside the can. Today it is blended for Smoker's Haven and it comes fairly close to the original. Isadore Redstone, the original owner/manufacturer of BS, bought the company back after he realized that the purchaser had cheapened the blend, but the resurrection never really got off the ground. Today Smokers Haven Our Best Blend is the closest you can get to this old time classic English blend.

HlSheppard
01-13-2007, 08:31 AM
Nope. I think that would test my marriage more than I care too. :wink:

The key is - bring your wife and kids. If actually a pretty family friendly atmosphere. Plenty of "off-site" shopping and such, too.

Frankly - I didn't go the last two years because my wife and kids couldn't come. I don't have any desire to be away from them for that long...:bored:

HlSheppard
01-13-2007, 08:31 AM
Back in the old days I smoked Balkan Sobranie, alas no longer manufactured. Then I switched to Our Best Blend by Smokers Haven. Initially it was the same tobacco, relabeled by Smokers Haven. In fact, a few times it even had the Balkan Sobranie insert inside the can. Today it is blended for Smoker's Haven and it comes fairly close to the original. Isadore Redstone, the original owner/manufacturer of BS, bought the company back after he realized that the purchaser had cheapened the blend, but the resurrection never really got off the ground. Today Smokers Haven Our Best Blend is the closest you can get to this old time classic English blend.

+1 EXCELLENT point!!

chef8489
01-13-2007, 09:12 AM
I have yet to try many that were mentioned as of yet. On of my favorite english blends would have to be Squadron Leader. The older Dunhill blends are great and I enjoy the McClellands. Lately I have been enjoying the cajun blends. I really enjoy how they smoke the Perique like they do Latakia. If you enjoy englished you should give them a try.

L. Martino
01-13-2007, 10:46 AM
Hi All,
First of all, I hope I'm not hijacking this thread by posting my subject. I've been reading a bit about how hard core pipe 'hobbyists' talk about their 'hobbies'.........types of tobacco....aging it........that sort of thing. These guys are INTO it! It makes me smile, thinking of how many pipe smoking forums are out there....gotta be a lot of em.
I tried pipes many years ago and it wasn't for me at the time. I'm guessing a lot of the reason was the lack of knowledge, combined with the lack of funds. That's a double whammy right there. I Do have a tobacco related quirk though......I've been rolling my own smokes for over thirty years now. I can certainly identify with members posting about which tobacco and pipes that work best for them. Same thing with cigarettes, as you might imagine. So very many tobacco types to sort through, all tasting differently, different 'strengths' as well. Personal preferences changing over the years,an evolution of sorts. I've always smoked various shags though, always that style, (as a reference). No Tops or Bugle Boy, if that helps. Takes me ten seconds to make a "Lucky Strike".....heh.
Well, let me just post my personal favorite du jour: Best papers I've found has been Mascotte papers (green package), with my new 'favorite' tobacco.
The last couple or three years, I've been smoking something called "Amsterdam Shag", produced by the Peter Stokkebye Company (Denmark).
That's it........all done. I just wanted to add a little something and didn't wanna start a new thread. Hope I wasn't intruding.
Martin

Oh, btw: I also learned never to twist the ends and lick the cigarrette all over when finished rolling it. Some people get the wrong idea.....heh.

Phog Allen
01-13-2007, 11:04 AM
Scotto, are you saying this in jest or are you really trying to start a fistfight? I am mostly a Virginia smoker, therefore EVERYONE knows we lovers of the Hobbit Weed are above such petty discussions as to which blend is better than another. I know how Latakia fiends really are. A most intemperant lot. Given to verbal accusations of fellow pipers of not having the good sense to know that ONE blender of English style tobaccos is superior to all others. Now, just which one that might be depends on just how ignorant you really are. Don't believe me guys? Just ask a Latakia fiend yourself! Seriously, while the Virginias are the sirens that call loudly in my dreams, I do myself enjoy the Cyprian and Syrian leaf on occasion. I would agree with you that Esotrerica is hard to beat. These people KNOW what they are doing. I have a few Pease blends like Renaissance, Samarra, and some others. While they are good tobaccos, I like the English interpretation better.

BTW, before anyone tries to disagree, forget it. Hobbit Weed was/is/always will be VIRGINIA tobacco. The wonderful little people from Tolkien's works simply didn't know the proper name for their sublime weed so they named it after themselves. How sensible when you culitvate the best than to name it after your own kind? That's what our rough footed little friends did. Now what we know as English and Balkan blends would have been more along the line of wizards and such. Wise people but not to be trusted entirely you know.

Regards, Todd(getting ready to catch pure hell)

chef8489
01-13-2007, 11:13 AM
Scotto, are you saying this in jest or are you really trying to start a fistfight? I am mostly a Virginia smoker, therefore EVERYONE knows we lovers of the Hobbit Weed are above such petty discussions as to which blend is better than another. I know how Latakia fiends really are. A most intemperant lot. Given to verbal accusations of fellow pipers of not having the good sense to know that ONE blender of English style tobaccos is superior to all others. Now, just which one that might be depends on just how ignorant you really are. Don't believe me guys? Just ask a Latakia fiend yourself! Seriously, while the Virginias are the sirens that call loudly in my dreams, I do myself enjoy the Cyprian and Syrian leaf on occasion. I would agree with you that Esotrerica is hard to beat. These people KNOW what they are doing. I have a few Pease blends like Renaissance, Samarra, and some others. While they are good tobaccos, I like the English interpretation better.

BTW, before anyone tries to disagree, forget it. Hobbit Weed was/is/always will be VIRGINIA tobacco. The wonderful little people from Tolkien's works simply didn't know the proper name for their sublime weed so they named it after themselves. How sensible when you culitvate the best than to name it after your own kind? That's what our rough footed little friends did. Now what we know as English and Balkan blends would have been more along the line of wizards and such. Wise people but not to be trusted entirely you know.

Regards, Todd(getting ready to catch pure hell)

That is only because Hobbits are content with being mediocre. They in general do not strive for anything. Englishes are far too complex for them and would take too much time to make.

Scotto
01-13-2007, 11:33 AM
Note that the thread was entitled the best English blend, not best tobacco :wink: . I love a good straight aged Viriginia, and when they are done well (which, alas, they often aren't) they are a sublime pleasure indeed. I'll always have a tin of Marlin Flake or Samuel Gawith around, as well as the unbelievable Stonehaven from Esoterica.

chef8489
01-13-2007, 11:36 AM
I have always wanted to like Va's but they have always bit hard. I can stand grey havens and deep hollow. VA woods bites me at times and all other straight va's I have tried were quite uncomfortable.

Scotto
01-13-2007, 11:43 AM
I have always wanted to like Va's but they have always bit hard. I can stand grey havens and deep hollow. VA woods bites me at times and all other straight va's I have tried were quite uncomfortable.

McClellands stuff will bite you something awful if you aren't careful. Get some Marlin Flake, Stonehaven, Astleys 109, or some Samuel Gawith and you will be rewarded. Which pipe you smoke them in will also make a significant difference - use a high-quality, dense, thick-walled (preferably well- caked) pipe to keep down the hotness, and smoke them slowly.

Phog Allen
01-13-2007, 12:13 PM
No no Chef. You see, the one thing the Hobbits do have that is prized beyond all others is their precious Hobbit Weed. Agree with Scotto. A poor Virginia is a poor tobacco indeed. I'm also happy that I can huff away at most with zero tongue bite. Like toiletries, there is no real "best" tobacco out there. Tastebuds are just too fickle.

Regards, Todd

rikrdo
01-13-2007, 12:15 PM
McClellands stuff will bite you something awful if you aren't careful. Get some Marlin Flake, Stonehaven, Astleys 109, or some Samuel Gawith and you will be rewarded. Which pipe you smoke them in will also make a significant difference - use a high-quality, dense, thick-walled (preferably well- caked) pipe to keep down the hotness, and smoke them slowly.

I also like to dry out the VA's quite a bit.
I'm sure it's just me but it is the only way I can enjoy them.
Stonehaven has to be cut into cubes and then dried b4 I can keep it lit for more than a minute.
==================================
To those who say:
"I only like ______ tobaccos"
I say:
"You're missing out"
....similar to those who say.....
"I only like ______ wines" - insert Red or White.

Sometimes a VA is just right...sometimes an English fills the bill.
I am not a big Latakia fiend....but I have some on hand when I need a fix.
Bottom line....like I tell my Daughter.....
"You have to at least try it to know if you dont like it" !!

chef8489
01-13-2007, 12:26 PM
Anyone want to send me some small samples of va's other than what i have tried that you feel there is no toung bite?:wink2: :wink::wink1:

chef8489
01-13-2007, 12:28 PM
I also like to dry out the VA's quite a bit.
I'm sure it's just me but it is the only way I can enjoy them.
Stonehaven has to be cut into cubes and then dried b4 I can keep it lit for more than a minute.
==================================
To those who say:
"I only like ______ tobaccos"
I say:
"You're missing out"
....similar to those who say.....
"I only like ______ wines" - insert Red or White.

Sometimes a VA is just right...sometimes an English fills the bill.
I am not a big Latakia fiend....but I have some on hand when I need a fix.
Bottom line....like I tell my Daughter.....
"You have to at least try it to know if you dont like it" !!

I have tried many baccys and have found in general that burleys taste like dirt to me, va's tend to bite, and I love englishes and cajuns. I stay away from aromatics and flavors.

rikrdo
01-13-2007, 03:24 PM
Anyone want to send me some small samples of va's other than what i have tried that you feel there is no toung bite?:wink2: :wink::wink1:

Hey Chef...
Buy that Dunhill from me and I'll send PLENTY 'o samples !! :cool:

HlSheppard
01-13-2007, 03:44 PM
That is only because Hobbits are content with being mediocre. They in general do not strive for anything. Englishes are far too complex for them and would take too much time to make.

NOT TRUE - they're really good at smoke rings! :cool:

galopede
01-13-2007, 04:02 PM
I'll second Sam Gawith's Squadron Leader as my top English blend, though I've just got hold of some Russ Oulette's Larry's Blend and I'd say that comes a close second.

My favourites are the Virginias and the Virginia/Perique blends though and a bit St Bruno doesn't go amiss on occasion!

Gareth

chef8489
01-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Hey Chef...
Buy that Dunhill from me and I'll send PLENTY 'o samples !! :cool:

Man you really want me to buy that pipe.. Wish it was a bulldog.

rikrdo
01-15-2007, 10:55 PM
Man you really want me to buy that pipe.. Wish it was a bulldog.

Man...if you want a bulldog...
I'll send you a pic of my JM Boswell that is Sooooo big
it'll handle a 50g tin in one sitting !!
It is THE biggest pipe I have ever seen.
....(just funnin' with you re: the Dunhill...BTW :wink: )

Ben
01-16-2007, 05:07 AM
Back in the old days I smoked Balkan Sobranie, alas no longer manufactured. Then I switched to Our Best Blend by Smokers Haven. Initially it was the same tobacco, relabeled by Smokers Haven. In fact, a few times it even had the Balkan Sobranie insert inside the can. Today it is blended for Smoker's Haven and it comes fairly close to the original. Isadore Redstone, the original owner/manufacturer of BS, bought the company back after he realized that the purchaser had cheapened the blend, but the resurrection never really got off the ground. Today Smokers Haven Our Best Blend is the closest you can get to this old time classic English blend.

That's true, and J.F. Germain & Son makes the import blends for Smoker's Haven -- as well as the Esoterica tobaccos.

kozulich
01-16-2007, 06:05 AM
McClellands stuff will bite you something awful if you aren't careful.

+1

Patrick D
01-30-2007, 08:02 PM
I'm one of the show officers in Chicago folks, so any questions you might have,,,,,,,,,,,,,,?

Graham
02-01-2007, 03:16 PM
For over 20 years I only smoked Dunhill Royal Yacht, then I found out a few years back that Dunhill had taken over Escudo and repackaged it as 'DELUXE NAVY ROLLS', now it is a real favourite.