I've Rediscovered an Old Favorite.

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by RTOdhner, Oct 1, 2011.

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  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Years ago, back when I was stationed in the Philippines (1986 - 1989), my parents sent me a Christmas present that consisted of several tins of pipe tobacco. I smoked them all, and thought that most of them were mediocre at best. One, however, knocked my socks off. Unfortunately, I did not keep the tins, and I could not remember the name of the one I particularly enjoyed. It had a lightly sweet, kind of citrus-like flavor. I could only kind of faintly member that the label was blue and yellow and that the manufacturer's name was affixed to a red banner. I thought the label depicted two castle towers, a bridge, and some mountains. I've searched for years for this blend, based on my vague memory of that label, but in vain.

    I've finally found it, but it's not what I thought it was. I received a tin of SG Grousemoor in the mail today, a gift from a most kindly soul here at PSF. When I opened it, the tin note made me instantly recall that wonderful blend that I have been searching for all these many years. I tried it first in a briar Pot, and got a hint of that flavor - but not quite it. Then I smoked another bowl in a MM bent Egg, and I realized that this is indeed that long searched for blend.

    The SG banner is red. The colors on the tin art are blue and yellow, and there are mountains in the background. There are no towers or a bridge, but there is a a bunch of flowers atop of a rock and two dogs - one is sitting up and the other is laying down. Near as I can guess, my memory of that one distinctive blend had become clouded over the years, and the castles and bridge that I recalled must have actually been the flowers and two dogs. Maybe there were castles and a bridge on some of the other labels, but in my memory these had all morphed into one label. Funny how a memory can become distorted over time.

    Anyway, SG Grousemoor is a fantastic blend. The tobacco is a very light, golden-tan color, and it has a lightly sweet, hay-like quality that one expects from a good Virginia, but with a distinctive citrus-like note - then add a mossy like quality on top of that. Actually, it makes me think of a meadow in spring, when the flowers are just beginning to bloom. This is a Lakeland-type tobak, but that essence is very light like a floral whisp. This is a nuanced blend that I can actually appreciate. It is very moist right out of the tin, so it really benefits from some drying time. I let mine sit out for about 30 minutes before smoking it, and it was still just a little moist for my likes. I think 45 minutes worth would be about perfect, but I just couldn't wait that long. When dried, it lights easily and stays lighted. It has no bite.

    While I'm really a newb when it comes to Lakeland tobies, it seems to me that SG takes a very different approach to Lakeland essence than does GH. SG uses it far more sparingly, it seems to me, but they do so in a quite masterful way. I certainly don't think it is enough to ghost a pipe like a GH Lakeland will, but it will certain whisper that it is there. Not all Lakelands are the same, but from what I can tell they are all quite good. I can see where one of us Yanks might accuse a GH blend of tasting like a Yardley bath soap, but that certainly does not apply to an SG blend - at least not in the two that I have tried (Squadron Leader and Grousemoor).

    This is a blend that I would highly recommend, since even after only a mere two bowls (after a gap of 20 years) I can already detect the brilliance of this blend. It's no wonder that this blend has been around for 200 years, and I'm really looking forward
     
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  2. ruffinogoldswife

    ruffinogoldswife The Mayor's Wife

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    Very interesting and well thought out review, nice job. :)
     
  3. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    Nice review! Glad you rediscovered your old favorite.
     
  4. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Or is it? I was chatting with Ruff, and he was under the impression that SG wasn't imported to the States until the 90's. So, either I got that present later than I thought, or this is not the blend I thought it was. Trying to fill-in a 20 year old memory is a tough chore. So, this still leaves me trying to figure out what that elusive blend might have been.

    But Grousemoor is a fantastic blend, whether or not it is that elusive tobak from 20 (or so) years ago. I have a feeling it's only gonna get mo betta as it ages and dries, and I have more time to smoke it and really give it the consideration that it's due. Still, my initial impression is that this is a monster smoke.
     
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  5. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I'm not sure if your memory is playing tricks on you or not, Roy, but I got to thinking about the towers and wondered if it might be possible that you also received a tin of Commonwealth, as that tin depicts castle ruins on a hill. Maybe the two things got mixed up in your mind?

    I'm not sure when Gawith blends came over here, but I first tried some in the late Nineties, I think.
     
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  6. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    I've heard a lot of good things about Grousemoor, I guess I'm going to have to try some myself.
     
  7. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it was Commonwealth, since it didn't have Latakia in it. I think I'll just enjoy Grousemoor for it's own many merits, and let that long ago tobacco go.
     
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  8. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I guess I was thinking that might have been one of the other tins you received at the time, not necessarily the one you liked.
     
  9. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Plus, I'm sure the labels have changed slightly
    from 20 some-odd years ago as well. No
    matter! Enjoy the new found love of Grousemoor!
     
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