What's new

The Codger Cabin

From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-11.2.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-11.3.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-11.4.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-12-3.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-12-10.2.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):




45-12-10.3.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):


Model drops in for a cameo ...



45-12-17.jpg




... and for those interested, that long-planned review of our last dodo blend, Peper's Pouch, will be coming soon. Sometimes, life just gets in the way.
 
A Codger Review of Peper’s Pouch (hopefully not too long)


As promised, here’s a review of a recently acquired dodo blend, Christian Peper’s Pouch Mixture. I recently stumbled across 7 oz of this extinct mix. The best estimate on its production date is sometime in the 1950s (and no later than the early 1960s). I guess I’m posting the review for history’s sake, as the mixture has been long defunct and I doubt we will ever see it again (and certainly not as originally done). But it offers a glimpse at one of the better recipes of the golden codger era.

As mentioned in the previous Peper’s post, its history goes back at least to the early 20th Century. It was acquired by Bloch Bros. sometime in the early 1950s, and was sold under the Kentucky Club brand sometime thereafter. It appears to have been available into the 1960s. It was a higher grade pipe offering, comparable with Middleton’s Walnut.

In assessing any blend, I try to sample at least several bowls, in a fairly neutral (or at least well-known) pipe, before drawing any conclusions. So over the past couple weeks, I snuck a few bowls in, and some double fills just to be sure. The accompanying beverage every time was a simple cup of coffee.

Opening and Tin Notes: As noted in the prior post, opening the inner bag revealed a very nice Latakia aroma … and a more enduring scent of what just might be … Cardamom. Unfortunately, the interior bag was a barely-aluminized paper affair that didn’t hold a seal too well. And the alumina spray was on the outside. So the white inner bag lining had browned, evidencing some oil migration. I won’t be smoking the bag to tell you what was lost. Feeling inside, some drying out had occurred over the decades. But fortunately not too much, possibly due to the tight-fitting tin lid. It had the same feel as some drier Englishes left in an opened tin for a few months. Not quite supple anymore (a firm finger milling would break things up a bit). But still quite smokable. And immediately so.



PP Rev 1.jpg





PP Rev 2.jpeg




Loading and Lighting: All fills were from the center of the bag, where the tobacco oils presumably remained best. Loading and lighting were a breeze with this one. The cut and consistency are of a nice variety of mixed ribbon and some cube-like cuts. Very little tamping was required; this mix packs itself.

A little finger milling of some top kindling, a flick of the Corona, and she was underway.

Room Note: This one falls into the category of those lampooned in those early 1930s Sir Walter Raleigh ads. Not exactly the smell of burning rubber or something that kills fish and deer, but certainly not one to win you friends and admirers. Mrs. Columbo couldn’t stand it — at all. And she has a very tolerant nose, generally welcoming of all my pipe tobaccos (even English ones). Her description was a cross between smoldering paper and a furniture cushion on fire. I took her word for it, as I blissfully puffed along.

Taste Notes: This is the part that matters. In a word, sublime. Perhaps too sublime from the long cellaring. And decently interesting … even complicated if one pays enough attention. There was an easygoing grassy smoothness from the brights, a ‘relaxed heartiness’ from the darker Virginia, and a calming, sweet black bread goodness from the Burley. But all the decades had rounded off the edges of the Latakia and Perique, creating a misty vagueness of the usual tight notes one associates with them. They were there, and tasted like high quality, but that much age had clearly receded them a little out of balance from the original recipe. Still very good leaf, but almost too smooth. And the balance of this recipe leaned more heavily towards the Virginias and Burley to begin with. Whatever ‘spiciness’ was there (and this was not a spicy smoke by any measure) was coming from what appears to be Cardamom, or something in that vicinity. And an extra fruit note hung in the background, different (and sweeter) than the citrus that accompanies some Virginias. And there was also just the slightest hint of something sweet after the exhale, not unlike a perfect bowl of SWR. Not exactly molasses, but not exactly sugary sweet, either. In any event, the whole package still came together quite nicely. A super-relaxed assortment of flavors, delivering an easy, carefree, hazy, magic carpet ride … or a deeper journey across a more nuanced landscape. This one accommodates either mood or type of pipe traveler.

As suggested by Mrs. Columbo’s nearby revulsion, there was absolutely no topping on this one. This was a gentleman’s mixture, not a carnival smoke or lady attractant.

It puffed easily. And if puffed judiciously, it didn’t want to overheat or bite, and ran a solid 35 minutes with little attention. I’m sure the slight dryness helped. Vitamin N was in line with (slightly stronger than) the popular codger blends; it shouldn’t sicken a novice if binged upon.

After Notes: After-smoke mouth feel and taste was generally neutral, with the slightest aftertaste of citrus (a decidedly crisp, clean taste), and without any tongue or throat weariness. It was also after the smoke that I could savor some lingering Latakia and Perique artifacts … and in a very good way. I really enjoyed mouthing on the stem after the smokes ended on this one — and for a very long time — which is the mark of a particularly high quality pipe experience.

Overall, this was a very relaxing smoke. I could see how this would make a reliable higher grade daily back in the day for those willing to pay a little more. I imagine a fresh sample would have had a little more zip and definition to it, but still been easy to smoke all day. Despite the age and relative dryness, all the leaf was first rate, and there was still plenty of flavor going on, from beginning to end. No ashiness or cigarette impersonations in the late innings. To hijack a coffee slogan, it was always good to the last puff.

Emptying was similarly carefree, leaving a perfectly dry chamber (as expected with a drier load), very little dottle, and a mixed grey/white ash. One pipe could have handled this blend all day long through many bowls with no trouble at all (an all-day piper paradise).

Closing Thoughts: The best way to describe this six decades old Peper’s Pouch, using classic American references, would be as a cross between Revelation (75%), and Half and Half (25%), and with the slightest extra dash of a fruit thrown in (… Orange). But IMO, much better than both Revelation and H&H, and I suspect a very worthy competitor to vintage Walnut. And I think it holds its own well against quite a few $16 small batch 50g tins sold today. Interesting, yet relaxing. I didn’t need to pay much attention to it, and it easily satisfied as just a background sidekick. But one could also dive deep into its many different subtle flavor currents if they wanted. A very versatile smoke, indeed. It reminded me of a first-tier blended Scotch in that regard.

Chomping on the stem for another 20 minutes after the smoke ended was the biggest tell. It takes pretty good stuff to get me to do that.

The codger dinosaurs had it good with this one. If trapped on a desert island with this old blue tin, I would be happy (until it ran out). A shame that it is no longer available. I imagine a fresher sample, more in balance with the original recipe, would be an eye opener.

I will probably smoke my little archeological find as I do H&H, occasionally working it in as a change-up from my usual fare. Until it all smokes away, completely into history.

Just don’t smoke it indoors if anyone’s nearby.

Happy Puffs!



PP Rev 3.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-12-24.3.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):



45-12-24.4.jpg
 
From The Cabin Coffee Table — An occasional look back at what the old Codgers saw and smoked (with a little detour and frolic, here and there):


The man who named Plymouth. One of the smarter car men of the era ...


45-12-31.jpg
 
Morning pipe: Sir Walter Raleigh in a new-to-me Keyser billiard. I've found that SWR is always a good bet when you're trying out a new pipe. The leaf is consistent and consistently good, so that you can concentrate on how the pipe smokes.
 
Top Bottom