OTC Score this afternoon!

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by ZuluSafari, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    While enroute to see a client this morning, I noticed a seemingly well aged tobacco B&M in a little strip mall. I stopped by on my way out of town, and found the usual cigarette discounts, rolling materials, large bags of rolling tobacco labeled as pipe tobacco, etc. Then I found their "real" pipe tobacco shelves in the back, and my heart jumped! There on the shelf were several boxes of Kentucky Club Mild! This was my favorite OTC tobacco years ago, but no shops I have stopped at for the last several years carry it. I can order a tub online, but usually choose something else, leaving the tubs to others. I bought all 5 boxes they had!

    They also had Middleton's Apple -- I have never seen this pouch in tobacco stores throughout the midwest before, though I have read about it as a common OTC staple aromatic, recommended for years to beginners but generally disregarded by the more "experienced" crowd. As I had never tried it before, I bought a pouch.

    They also had 16oz containers of MacBaren blends for reasonable prices, so I picked up some Club Blend, Vanilla Cream, & HH Mature Virginia. I have seen the HH for sale for lots more at my local (Des Moines) shop, so I jumped at the opportunity.

    All in all, I am pretty stoked! I already burned through a nice bowl of Kentucky Club in my favorite OTC cob, and tried some Apple in a meer lined Dr. Grabow I use for new fruity blends. The Apple tasted quite a bit like a Peter Stokkebye Black Currant I have in my cellar, reminiscent of the Green Apple Jolly Ranchers. The Apple isn't as refined -- rougher flavor, less tobacco flavor beneath the casing, but a pleasant smoke just the same! Sort of like the difference between Maple Street by Sutliff vs. Town Topic by McClelland -- both have good maple flavor, but the Town Topic has the quality tobacco flavor PLUS the maple top notes. (And I like both of these, too.)

    I will likely cellar the MacBarens, though I am dying to try the Vanilla Cream, after reading how many folks here like it. :cheers:
     
  2. ruffinogold

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

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    Damn ... what a blast ! You got hit by the impulse bolt and rightly so . I love it when that happens . I havent had Kentucky Club in some time . Thats a good score man ! Dude , pop the MB Vanilla .. just do it . Lol
     
  3. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    The Kentucky Club was at the perfect moisture level, tasted great, and took me back to long drives in my old truck on summer days...

    I love how our pipes and the tobacco we smoke in them have a direct olfactory pipeline to our treasured memories -- either of loved ones we have lost, or good times we re-live. I am really moved tonight. I took an old route, and found myself driving through the town I lived in back then, saw my old house, and drove the backroads to my old haunts. All the while, smooth burley flavor and classic pipe smoking aroma filled the car.
     
  4. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi all,

    Smells indeed can take you right back, particularly when its a well loved or rememebered tobacco. Gald you found those treasure at the back of the shop - have a pack of Kentucky Club still to try once I work my way through the stock of PA I have and am looking forward to it.

    Those old OTCs still have a lot to offer and perhaps should be better termed "Classics."

    Happy smoking

    Gerry
     
  5. nobler son

    nobler son Member

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    Hear, hear.

    Zulu, that sounds like a fantastic haul. Color me jealous.
     
  6. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I'll second that Hear Hear. I've built a nice little stash of "premium" tobies in the past couple of weeks. I enjoy them very much and they really are worth every penny, but on a probation officer's salary I can't really buy them in mass quantity or smoke them on a regular basis. They are special treats to be savored when I have a little time to myself to just sit and taste.

    Now OTC's like Granger, Sir Walter, Carter Hall, Kentucky Club (I used to really like the Kentucky Club Continental), and Prince Albert are another story. These are classic blends that have withstood the test of time because they're damn good blends. I can smoke these several times a day, and buy in quantity. (I currently have three cans of Prince Albert in reserve). These are my everyday tobies.

    I've met very few pipe tobaccos that I don't like, and I've come to the conclusion that premium and OTC tobies are not mutually exclusive. Premiums are for those rare moments when I have time to myself that I don't have to share with others, and OTC's are for all those other times. I feel sorry for the baccy snobs that won't touch an OTC, or dismiss them out of hand because they really are missing out on a bowl full of contentment.

    So, enjoy that haul of OTC's and know that others are envious.
     
  7. nobler son

    nobler son Member

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    Hear, hear! :cheers:
     
  8. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    I feel the same way as you -- I think there are many pipesmokers who have been mislead away from the classic blends and brands by the boutique blends and higher class ideals of specialty brands. I enjoy all types of pipe tobacco, and truly feel all of it is worth smoking. I sincerely want to try all of the different blends produced - but don't have either the time or the money to do it! I am happy to say that the amount and price of the OTC's I am acquiring will last me for many years, if the tobacco police crack down or over tax us to death. I can't say I could ever procure enough of the "high brow" tobacco to last me, nor do I suppose that some of my favorite high brows will age well for extended periods like the classic OTC burleys seem to. I can't fathom my favorite Aromatics tasting as well 10 years for now, like my old pouches of PA, CH, and Mixture 79. Some Baker's Street Outdoorsman I found the other day is so bland, since the flavors have changed. Nice tobacco, but not close to the blend I initially bought.

    Sorry for the rambling reply here, and don't read too deeply into it as a cut at those who enjoy the better tobaccos!! I just hope they all find the same delight in a great OTC blend, when found!!
     
  9. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    I always get a chuckle when some "connoisseur" dismisses OTCs. True they may not be as fancy or complex as some boutique blends, but every one I've tried has provided a very satisfying smoke with little bother. My only regret about OTCs is not trying them sooner!

    That's a nice bit of TAD, Zulu! I'm stocking up on PA & CH myself and I'll be grabbing a tub of each tomorrow!
     
  10. telltime

    telltime Active Member

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    Congratz on the score! Enjoy them all...
     
  11. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I'm not enough of a toby expert to know just how well the high-end aromatics will store for 10 years or more. But I do know the stand-by OTC blends seem to store indefinitely. Most helpful, as it lets me build baccy stockpile in case the anti-smoking fascists win out - and if my paranoid delusions don't come to pass then I'll have baccy on hand for years.

    I got to thinking about many a baccy snob I've met - I'm not sure how many of them would be able to actually tell if they were smoking something like Prince Albert or Granger if it was given to them in a plain zip lock bag and the person giving it to them told them it was a new C&D blend called Kentucky Moon or Bilbo's Favorite - or some such name. Most of those old time OTC favorites have unbelievably sweet and earthy aromas if allowed to air-out some before placing them in your baccy jar. Very advanced smokers could tell the difference, I'm sure, but I'm not sure too many others could.

    All this OTC talk is making me hungry for other OTC's. I'm going to have to buy some other great blends to stow in my cellar.
     
  12. nobler son

    nobler son Member

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    One of the advantages of living in a area with plenty of OTC blends and no boutique blends (and a certain amount of distrust for e-shopping...) is that the OTCs were the first blends I really became acquainted with. I'm rather thankful for that at times. Carter Hall feels like a friend that I come back to from time to time.
     
  13. whitebriar

    whitebriar Member

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    OTCs are my mainstay--always have been, and likely always will be (even if i win the lottery)

    like the man said, they are always sweet and dependable---just about the only OTC i haven't tried is Walnut--i need to remedy that--
     
  14. OldSchool

    OldSchool Member

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    Nothing beats a good OTC for convenience and reliability. I've never been the type to make a special trip to a special shop anytime I need to stock up. Just throw a tub of PA or a bag of Smoker's Pride on top of the groceries and I'm happy.

    Congratulations on finding a decent shop, though. It's getting harder to do these days, as pipe smokers are getting short shrift at many tobacconists and the "smoker's discount" stores are a crapshoot more likely to offer a certain kind of glass pipe, if you know what I mean.
     
  15. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    Try it! I didn't think I would like Walnut, but I sent off for the Walnut 2oz. size from 4Noggins -- Wow! I immediately went back and ordered a ful tub. It is a very good American Latakia blend (in my categorizing, anyway) and there is good reason it is a long-time classic. It reminded me of a slightly thinner, but just as satisfying, Blakan Sasieni, and at a bargain price! I like it much better than Spillam Mixture as well.
     
  16. whitebriar

    whitebriar Member

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    that is a good idea--i would rather try a bit before i bought the entire lot--

    the light amount latakia sounds very good to me--i will sometimes mix a bit of latakia in my OTC just for a bit of change--usually it turns out really nice--
     
  17. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I bought a pouch of it years ago, and thought it was very good. I've since tried "premium" light English blends, and I do think they are better - but I'm not sure if they're "better enough" to warrant the extra price. I don't think that Walnut compares to some of the heavier English blends that I've smoked, but my wife won't let me smoke them in the house either. Thus, they don't do me much good if I can only smoke them outside.

    I think that I'm going to order a can or two of Walnut the next time I get ready to make a tobacco purchase - if I can find it. While I'm at it, I'm going to see if I can find some Kentucky Club. People forget that at one time, the old classics like Walnut, or Kentucky Club, or Carter Hall were high-end tobaccos. I think they can still hold their own against the premium blends, and I'd still be willing to be a $20 that the average tobacco snob who dismisses OTC's out of hand would think they were awesome blends if you didn't tell him what he was really smoking and you lead him to believe it was a new "premium" blend put out by Dunhill, McClelland, C&D, or the likes.
     
  18. CornCobAvery

    CornCobAvery Member

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    I have a tub of Walnut. I've smoked it several times with enjoyment. However, I find that it bites a little for me - even in my cob. Have any of you who have tried it have the same experience?
     
  19. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    No, I didn't get Walnut to bite me, but I might just have different chemistry. I have smoked lots of blends that others claim are brought forth from the very fires of hell without any trouble, yet get bit from seemingly harmless blends other find ice cold.

    The hardest that ever bit me was CBW years ago, but I think it had much more to do with my poor technique than anything. I still get more tingle and a raw palate from smoking a couple bowls of it though, so I still avoid it unless there isn't anything else.
     
  20. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Flying Dutchman and Borkum Riff. Wonderful flavor and aroma, but for me these released the very fires from hell of which you speak. While I don't dislike either of them, the tongue bite issue sure keeps them of my list of favorites. How do these sit w/your tongue?
     
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