Wiped out at 25
Nice! We don’t have quite the same access to all those blends. I enjoy Ennerdale myself.
Thanks. They're some of the easiest to find over here, except for Bosun Flake, which is normally sold as plug. We kind of have three levels of availability. Supermarkets, which are pretty much St Bruno and Condor. Newsagents might carry those, plus a range of Gawith loose in the cardboard drums. Then there's the specialist tobacconists which carry everything that's fully paid up in the UK to the EU TPD fiasco (initial registration, and annual fees). Those rules will remain beyond the end of the year, so I don't see us ever getting the likes of C&D, GL Pease, Escudo, and the other usual "go to" tobaccos over there.Nice! We don’t have quite the same access to all those blends. I enjoy Ennerdale myself.
Yes, your drugstores sound like our newsagents in that respect. Except for the pipes. A lot will sell the tobacco, but nothing to smoke it in.With all the thought and planning you put into this, I'd be surprised if you were far off.
I like reading about what's available where in different parts of the world. Here on the US east coast, we have a couple of drug stores which carry some goopy heavily cased Captain Black and one or two dusty cardboard tins of codger burleys (Carter Hall, Prince Albert, and Half and Half are the only ones I've personally seen, although across town I've heard rumors of Velvet existing in the wild). That sounds like your newsagents. You can go, pick up a Grabow and pouch, and be on your way.
We have specialty shops here. But the majority of these are cigar stores with a smaller section of pipe related products. There you'll find a few either Peterson or Savinelli in a glass case going for online prices plus 15%, and that good old basket full of Brand X Italian factory briars. Those are universally a variant of billiard with a couple princes and a quarter to half dozen churchwardens. Also in the case are a few tins of Pease, C&D, Escudo, and one or two others. In the wall behind are jars of Sutliff, C&D, and sometimes a couple Stokkebye bulks. Sometimes perfect, sometimes dry. Also sold at online plus 15%. Sometimes behind the counter will be a kid who likes cigars and jobs where he can sit behind the counter smoking one. (For the record, I wouldn't mind it either if it paid better.) Other times it's an older gentleman who has been enjoying tobacco since Moses was a private. If that man knows anything about pipe tobacco, he knows EVERYTHING about pipe tobacco.
And those are our options for B&M tobacco purchases here. But I do have a question for you. How does online shopping work there? I've never lived outside the States in a time with online shopping so I really don't know. Can you, in the UK, go onto buysometobacco.com and get some of the more ubiquitous American brands the way we can buy yours? I mean, besides getting whacked with shipping and taxes/duties (I'm guessing?). Or are the import fees (however worded) adding a sizeable percentage of the total? I'm seriously curious because I see comments from friends across the pond saying things variants of "I'd order/smoke more of/try [____] if it were available locally."
Perique in that Zulu works brilliantly! Even better than the Bent Bully. Maybe I should lump Virginias and VaPers together?Victorian Mixture! I know the Zulu is supposed to be for straight Virginias, but they're still ageing. I'm sure the occasional Perique in there won't hurt.
For the guys who enjoy perique, I imagine that VA and VaPers usually get lumped together. I consider VaPers in the VA category. So, i don't worry about perique vs straight VA. If you're iffy about perique, then it might be best to separate your pipes accordingly.
Thanks Erik.For the guys who enjoy perique, I imagine that VA and VaPers usually get lumped together. I consider VaPers in the VA category. So, i don't worry about perique vs straight VA. If you're iffy about perique, then it might be best to separate your pipes accordingly.
I’ve never experienced ghosting with Perique. However, I smoke mostly Burley which plays well enough with Periqie. The only VaPer I have is Victoria which I am cellaring for a year. I did keep a bit out for the occasional smoke.
The only non-VA stuff I will smoke in my VA pipes is straight burleys. I love Latakia, but I think I would still be tasting it in the VA pipes for quite a while. I would think that Perique (which I loathe) would be just as bad. It doesn’t take much ghost to overpower a straight VA.
Well, I actually enjoyed VaPers more in the Zulu (which was the Virginia pipe) than I did in the bent bully, which they were originally smoked in. So if the Perique has tainted the bowl, I might need a rethink about how I smoke plain Virginia. Maybe just get a new cob for them. Hopefully any Perique ghosting will "fit" with any straight Virginias I smoke for the time being.The only non-VA stuff I will smoke in my VA pipes is straight burleys. I love Latakia, but I think I would still be tasting it in the VA pipes for quite a while. I would think that Perique (which I loathe) would be just as bad. It doesn’t take much ghost to overpower a straight VA.
Speaking of dry Cavendish. I believe Troost is still made in Netherlands. If available to you, try a pouch. It is primarily Virginia and Virginia Cavendish (in the Dutch style). Very nice sweet Virginia smoke. Somewhat like Orlik Golden but without Periqie.After wading through a fair few of the samples, I'm finding that the robust tasting tobaccos, are something I really need to be in the mood for. My last bowl was Kendal Cream, and even that seemed to heavy for the mood/time.
Virginia led (including VaPers and VaBurs) and the lighter English blends seems to be more where I'm focussed for the bulk of my smoking. That can be cased/topped or uncased, as I don'd mind a hint of something else in there. I think there'll always be room for the likes of Coniston Cut Plug and other heavier blends, but they won't be the mainstay. Thankfully there's only four tins in the draw that my notes have the word "full" against, which is about right, I reckon. No doubt some of those will mellow out too.
Squadron Leader is probably as "full" a tobacco as I want for general smoking. I think I must have been aware of this on some level when I was shopping, and from the descriptions in my notes (mainly from sales blurb, as most of them I haven't tried yet) most of the tins for ageing are ones I'll be happy with during daylight hours. Another factor, is I used to smoke those heartier blends while staring into the flames in the chimenea, accompanied by a potent libation. Medication has since knocked alcohol on the head for me though, and so those tobaccos have less of a role to play.
Dry Cavendish like as found in the old type blends, not the soggy aromatic stuff, has been something that I quite like in moderation. VaPers have been a pleasant discovery for me too. Overall, the samples have been a very worthwhile investment.
I still have 8 or 9 (at a guess) partially consumed 5g samples to polish off, and several 10g-15g pouched samples to wade through. I'll be sticking with one pouch at a time for the most part. Kendal Cream is the current one, and has shown me that it's time specific. That was by sticking to one pouch till it's done. That pouch will now be set aside for a while, and I'll pick something lighter, and just dip back into the Kendal Cream as mood dictates. Gawith's Jamaican Flake has been drawn from the pile to take its place.
It looks like UK tobacconists used to sell it, but it was another casualty of the EU TPD fiasco. With the TPD (tobacco products directive), blenders have to register their products and pay annual fees in every country they want their product sold in. The UK obviously wasn't a big enough market to sign up to and pay fees in. The US being a bigger market, will be a more cost effective area for them to meet any necessary compliance/registration requirements.Speaking of dry Cavendish. I believe Troost is still made in Netherlands. If available to you, try a pouch. It is primarily Virginia and Virginia Cavendish (in the Dutch style). Very nice sweet Virginia smoke. Somewhat like Orlik Golden but without Periqie.