Just my humble opinion.

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by MAINE CODGER, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. MAINE CODGER

    MAINE CODGER Member

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    It is really unfortunate that the majority of contemporary pipe smokers were not puffin' when the
    original Classics (O.T.C., Drug Store Blends, or Codger Brands ) were readily available. I believe that
    most of the present day renditions of the few old Classics that are around today do not come close
    to the appeal of the original version. There was a lot of competition at the general store for your
    tobacco dollar; an competition makes for a better product. Over the years, mergers, acquisitions, and
    other power/money driven factors have taken their toll on the Classics. In my opinion, Velvet and
    Granger would be good examples. Both were originally manufactured by Liggett & Myers --- great
    blends and popular. Pinkerton later assumed ownership and everything ( including the packaging )
    was reduced to a barely acceptable product. Half & Half has a similar history. Current attempts by
    Lane to resurrect these brands, I hope, is not too little--- to late. As much as I hate to see the Classics
    trashed by some present day smokers, many of the complaints are valid on current Classic offerings.
    The original versions were truly great!----- Thanks, R.F.P.
     
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  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I would love to sample some of the really old classic OTC's such as Gridiron Club, Blue Boar, Rose & Crown Tavern and other long gone blends. Would also love to have tried the original Granger, since I think the current product is pretty darn good. Half & Half by Lane is considerably improved over the last iteration. But many of the old OTC's are just crap these days. So it goes.
     
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  3. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    We will never be able to get tobacco that tastes like it did 40 years ago unless the blending houses quit using glycol which is not likely.
     
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  4. RevSmoke

    RevSmoke Member

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    How long did you have to be puffing to know the classics? I have been smoking since 1980, and it might be said that I am not old enough to know the classics. Let me say that when I started, I started on those tobaccos - Granger, Velvet, Captian Black, Carter Hall, Half & Half, and a few of the Tinder Box blends. It was these that almost made me quit as I was just getting started.

    I would get an occasional decent bowl and that would get my hopes up, but the flavors didn't intrigue me much. There were a few TB blends that kept me going. And then I found Escudo and the Lakeland tobaccos. I finally tried an English blend. Wow!!

    But that's what is so great about this. Each of us should smoke what we like.

    I have a guy who won't smoke anything but Half & Half. He always insists that I try a bowl with him. He won't try mine, but every once in a while I'll load up some H&H. I just don't get burley. He and I will sit and talk though, about the pleasures of the pipe - that we agree on.
     
  5. kb7get

    kb7get Member

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    Keep your eye out for them. I picked up a tub of Half&Half from the late 70's or early 80's this summer. Also, 7 tubs of Velvet from around 71. One is a Velvet Sterling blend that I can't seem to find anything out about it. I started smoking with blends like these in the 60-70's and sure is a blast to have some of them again.
     
  6. MAINE CODGER

    MAINE CODGER Member

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    @ Arkie---- You are right on the PG---- even reducing the amount used should give a better smoke ----but,as you say not likely. I never, ever had to "dry out " any of my classics of choice---- in fact, the concern was always to buy it and keep it "fresh". R.F.P.
     
  7. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    PG was commercialized in 1931 . It's been in use on tobacco longer than many of us have been alive . I'm curious as to which blends have so much more PG today than back in the day ? .. whatever day that happens to be . For me , I started the pipe in 79 .


    The 1971 Velvet is fantastic :th1:
     
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  8. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I didn't start smoking a pipe until 4 years ago, but the way I see it, we have our own current classics. Peter Stokkebye and Mac Baren both make really good quality, tasty smokes that are inexpensive to purchase and easy to come by. Between the two, the variety is huge.

    I don't crave the ability to go to Rite Aid or CVS and buy OTC tobacco, as I do the ability to go pick up a tin or a pound of a blend I like from a local tobacconist, at a reasonable price. The closest place has nothing but a few mediocre bulk blends. The other places within driving distance have less inventory than I do in my cellar and their prices are exhorbitant. I don't mind buying on-line, but it would be nice to have a place to go and buy something on the spot and have another pipe smoker or two to chat with in the process.
     
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  9. MAINE CODGER

    MAINE CODGER Member

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    Perspective is certainly affected by age. For example, in my age "group"( 70 plus ), the only classic codger brands that I recall or relate to would be:BOND STREET, BRIGGS, DILLS BEST, EDGEWORTH, GEO.
    WASHINGTON, GRANGER, H&H, HOLIDAY, KY. CLUB, MODEL, OLD BRIAR, P.A., REVELATION,S.W.R., UNION LEADER, & VELVET. Pipe smokers today who may be 40-50ish plus would also add brands like CARTER HALL, CHERRY BLEND, S.W.R.A., etc. to the list.
    Given the information on PG from Ruffingold (#7 above), and keeping in mind that the early O.T.C's were more prone to dryness than wetness, you would wonder; a) was the amount of PG, if used, was at a very low
    level?--b) was it added to the tobacco at a different of production ( drying, cutting, packaging, etc.) or, ---c)
    did the improvements in packaging and distribution cause the same level of additive to now become noticeable ?
    I really don't know the answer, and would hate to speculate. Later,--- thanks. R.F.P.
     
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  10. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Sad to say, I avoided the old OTCs when I started smoking pipes in the early 1970's because I thought they were primarily roll-your-own ciggy tobacco. Back then, Amphora Full Aromatic (red label), Borkum Riff and Flying Dutchman were about the only blends I smoked. None of the blends you have listed were readily available except PA and I had never seen anyone smoke it except as RYO ciggys. I did try Edgeworth because I did realize it was pipe tobacco but it was available only once. Looking back, I wish I had tried them.
     
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  11. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    As I am reading these posts a few thoughts have come to mind.

    First, all my uncle ever smoked was CB white. I love the pouch aroma and room note of that tobacco for the simple reason that it reminds me of my uncle.

    I have tried many times to like it and although I am not even close to disliking it, I just cant get into the goop that I know is in it and it bites my tongue no matter how slowly I smoke it.

    I wonder if the reason for the increase in PG is the decline in pipe smokers over the years. The decline would cause pouches of tobacco to sit on store shelves longer than they did "in the day" and therefore have a greater chance of drying out before purchase. Back then, tobacco left the shelves much sooner as use was more common and demand higher and therefore less of a need for the increase PG. It may have been a simple reason of economics.

    Maybe thats also the reason pouch vs. tub makes a difference in some of the OTC blends. For example Carter Hall in a tub is different from CH in a pouch so I am told. I have always bought the pouches so I cannot confirm but will buy a tub soon to compare.
     
  12. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    I am afraid you are talking about a time gone bye.
     
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  13. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    Sadly, I think you are correct.
     
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  14. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    I completely get where youre coming from :th1: I think a good amount of the OTC today , though they may be different compared to the original version , aren't heavy in the PG so much , however some are . CB and SP are for sure and maybe Paladan But the Middletons Otc arent so much . I cant tell any Difference between todays SWR compared to any vintage year I've tried other than the blend had darkened and gotten a bit richer . If I had a time machine , I'd go back and smoke those old blends that are gone ! I bet they rocked being many were plugish type burley blends ... I'd have been in Heaven , I bet !
     
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  15. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    Uh.........Mayor's Time Travel Tamper??????
     
  16. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    Yeah , what was I thinking ! I'll be right back ... not that you'll notice I was gone :rolleyes:
     
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  17. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how it compares to the old stuff, but today's Granger is still awesome. I've occasionally looked for an old sealed tin, but haven't scored one yet. I DID manage to get some super old Half and Half, and it's pretty good. Someone else shared their SWR from the 40s, and it is also really good.....still, I'd like to get my hands on some old Granger or even Kentucky Club
     
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  18. jdto

    jdto Well-Known Member

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    I'm enjoying myself immensely with what I can get these days and I don't feel in the least bit unfortunate. How much of the supposed superiority of the old blends is nostalgia? Are we really living in a time where all pipe blends are inferior to what was available decades ago? How can we even compare such a subjective thing as taste? Human memory often paints rosy pictures of the days we remember fondly while disparaging the modern and current state of affairs. I bet the caveman who first used a flint tip on his spear got stick from the old man who used a fire-hardened tip about using some silly rock on his spear.
     
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  19. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    Things changed when the modern type Cavendish became the rage ... when that was , I'm not sure .... I'd guess the the 60's and maybe late 50's . I'm gonna look up when Lane came out with their Cavendish . I know Argosy was real cool for the time [ 70's ] and it was all black so it had to be before the 70's that pipe smokers were getting turned on to our modern cavendishes . I was born in 66 and didn't take up the pipe till 79 so I was born into the modern deal , though I caught some of the old blends that lingered around till then and a little after
     
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  20. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    It's even more irritating that there's a B&M close by, but he has crap pipes, crap lighters, and a small selection of bulk tobacco. Then the owner complains that he doesn't sell much pipe stuff. :bangin:

    He has a huge walk in humidor for cigars, stocked with a nice selection. I asked him, so, you think if all you had in the big walk in was a bunch of Swisher Sweets rebanded with your own label, and some generic bundled cigars that you'd sell very many? He answered, "No". So, why do you think you can stock your pipes and tobaccos that way and sell many? Curious, confused look for reply ... :confused:

    Six months later, no change in inventory. :doh:
     
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