North Star Medium By Kendal Tobaccos

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Falconeer, Apr 21, 2010.

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  1. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    “North Star, Medium” by Kendal Tobacco.

    I can think of a whole lot of reasons why I shouldn't have liked this tobacco – for one it's made by Kendal, renowned in the UK for its evil smelling, El Cheapo RYO tobacco, for another its a ribbon cut that looks like cigarette tobacco, and when I opened the pack there was little immediate “nose” - but then I smoked a pipe a pipe of it and everything changed.

    How did I come to try it in the first place? The usual; I'd gone round the town to pay some bills, hand in library books and deal with some business and discovered I had my pipe, I had my Zippo but I'd left my tobacco on the desk at home.

    I wandered into the local newsagents cum pipe shop, chatted to the owner and asked her what she'd got in 1oz packs that wasn't peach, cherry or toffee flavoured and she'd pointed me at “North Star” saying she'd sold a great deal of it recently and was getting good reports back on it, particularly from the Older Boys.

    Got outside, opened the pack and was initially disappointed. A second sniff gave me a clue however – I recognised that particularly sharp smell from the light Virginia mix – the same aroma you got when you opened a tin of Players Medium or Capstan Medium; two old British classics now only to be found with great difficulty in the UK, though easy enough to source on Spanish Territory.

    Sure enough when lit up it behaved and tasted the same – a deceptively mild initial taste with a drier flavour on the back of the mouth and throat. A straight undoctored slightly moist straight Virginia that needs technique to get the best out of, but is worth the effort in my opinion.

    This type of tobacco used always to be recommended for the beginner to pipes. Possibly the worst advice ever given to newbies as it caused many never to persevere with pipe smoking as if attacked too aggressively tongue bite is guaranteed with such a mildly flavoured tobacco.

    Sipped slowly like a Speyside whisky with water and appreciated however, such a tobacco can offer a surprisingly satisfying smoke as it is stronger than it tastes, can be got to smoke cool and can be got to burn cleanly to the last shred despite its slightly moist presentation.

    On a day when I'd written “Falcon Memories” it just seemed perfect that I'd got to revisit such an old friend, albeit in disguise!

    Gerry
     
  2. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    It's always a treat to read your reviews and memories, Gerry. While probably not available over here across the pond, that North Star Medium seems one to keep an eye open for.

    Bri2k
     
  3. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Actually I think you in particular would take to it - Orlik took over a lot of traditional British recipes when Imperial delisted many of their brands. I'm pretty certain the Orlik you list as a favourite is actually Orlik's take on the original Wills' Cut Golden Bar, which was pretty simialar to Players' Medium which was pretty similar to Capstan Medium which in turn North Star resembles.

    In those more class conscious days when "correct behaviour" was expected, these were all tobaccos which could be smoked in "mixed company" ( ie with women present ) without causing offence,

    Gerry
     
  4. craig

    craig Active Member

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    hello gerry.
    i totally agree with your thoughts on North star.
    Im a young pipe smoker, and after five months im still finding my feet i do have some favourites but theres still a hell of a lot more to be discovered, i go this on a whim and when i opened it up i did have some dread as i tried Bayside mixed blend which was possibly the worst tobacco i have ever smoked and i have smoked so god awful cigarettes and RYO mixes, but this was a breath of fresh air i loved the straight uncomplicated flavours albeit subtle flavours, it is well worth the effort to smoke.
     
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