Kingfisher Substitutes?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by nesta, Dec 10, 2011.

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  1. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    So there are plenty of threads asking about substitute or stand-in blends for Penzance, Full Virginia Flake, probably the Dunhills (from when they were out of production for a time) and so on...but I can't find much on a substitute for Kingfisher.

    Now I've got about 1/3 of an open tin of the stuff, and while I don't smoke it often it is a favored blend of mine. I've also got a well-aged sealed tin which I hope to hang on to for a few years before opening.

    What I know is that this is a rich but dry (as in, not very sweet) blend of burley, Virginia, and perique. I'm not a perique lover and only smoke a few blends which use it, but from what I can tell there isn't a substantial quantity in this blend as it is not particularly spicy. I find it to be burley-dominated, or if there is a heftier portion of VA in it than I suspect, that VA leaf is not nearly as sweet as some. The flavor, to me, is primarily cocoa, earth, a little nuttiness, and just a hint of spice.

    I know there are plenty of mixtures of burley, Virginia, and perique out there, but I know they all have their own unique taste and are frequently designed to bring the VA to the front and often have a sweet topping to them (as with Exhausted Rooster, another favorite of mine which is VA dominant and quite sweet, bordering on being an aromatic)

    What blends are out there that you find come closest to the flavor of Kingfisher? I'm not necessarily looking for something which is a dead ringer, but hoping to find something with some decent similarities in both flavor and strength. I enjoy Kingfisher's crumble cake presentation, but the cut is unimportant to me.

    Well? :puffy:
     
  2. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    I haven't smoked one yet...I guess that's why it's off the shelf so fast.

    Ed
    Puff
     
  3. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    IMHO, there is no sub for Kingfisher.
     
  4. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Aha! I can actually be of some use here.

    Kingfisher is a Virginia/Burley/Perique. Not too many of those around. "Grey Havens" from McCllelland would be, but you have to get by the sort of lilac/bergamot topping on that one.

    But Mac Baren's "Roll Cake" hits a lot of the same earthy/woody tones that Kingfisher does. It's not identical, but I can't see liking one and not the other.

    Totally unlike Kingfisher is the Burley Flake series from C+D. This stuff is death-level nic-bomb make-your-knees-shake-with-one-puff sorta stuff.

    And as far as I can tell, that's the only Va/Per/Burs on the market.

    But try a tin of Roll Cake. It's noms.
     
  5. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Reiner LGF is another bur-Va-per but tastes nothing like KF.

    MacB RollCake has Syrian lat in it....don't believe KF has any lat...

    Ed
    Puff
     
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Roll Cake has no Syrian in it. No way.

    Stockton does.


    I think the recipe for Roll Cake has changed - it was formerly called royal twist, and contained perique proper. It now only contains the mac baren "pseudoperique" cavendish. Current tin declares: Whole Viringia leaves...... touch of burely..... blah blah blah. Nothing about latakia of any kind, and I taste none.

    You're wrong, you crazy old bastard. :moon:
     
  7. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Yup, my mistake.....you're correct. No lat in RollCake.

    Ed
    Puff
     
  8. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    Nesta, don't dog me for recommending a house blend- Just for Him's Old Toby. I wouldn't mention it, but I love it enough to by it by the pound. It has matured red Virginia, burleys, and a little perique, but not a lot. It's is a tad dry in flavor, soft, just the slightest bit sweet, a little wood and earth flavor and a hint of spice.

    I've never had Kingfisher, but was surprised at your description. Old Toby sound close, though I doubt it is right on.
     
  9. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I'm fine with house blends as long as they're legitimate house blends and not just Stokkebye or McClelland or Lane or something renamed. JFH is decent - enjoyed Shortcut to Mushrooms, so I'd be willing to try Old Toby at some point.

    Thanks for the idea for Roll Cake, Sas. Also I'll have to try that Grey Havens. Lilac/bergamot? Sounds great to me, even if that's not like Kingfisher!

    And to the naysayers, keep in mind I'm looking for a substitute for a good quality VA/bur/per with a somewhat similar taste - something I'll enjoy when I can't or won't smoke my Kingfisher....not looking for something identical :)

    Also, I've been meaning to try the C&D Burley Flakes, I love burley and honestly I generally prefer stronger smokes most of the time.
     
  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Well, if you can handle them, they are four star rankers - I just can't handle them. I tried BF#3 and couldn't even take 2 puffs. It was like immediate nicotine death for me.
     
  11. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I love burley too, and can handle medium strength nicotene. C & D BF #2 has a great flavor, but I have to cut it by 1/3 or more to be able to handle the nicotene. I've smoked maybe 2 bowls straight before. One I couldn't finish my head was so swimmy and the other I had to put down and come back to it. That stuff is stout!
     
  12. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I often smoke Old Joe Krantz, Irish Flake, or GH Dark Flake before breakfast. I smoked some really strong twist chewing tobacco last night which, in the past, has floored me with the nicotine, and didn't bat an eye...between smoking higher strength blends lately and using snus regularly I've got a pretty high nicotine tolerance these days.

    I'm glad I can handle the nicotine of these great, stronger tobaccos - because I really love them. I also feel a little cheated because I wish I would be satisfied by milder smokes, which make up the vast majority of pipe blends. For the most part I currently rarely find myself satisfied by a smoke if it's less than medium strength.
     
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