OTC tobacco profiles

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This is actually a request for information from the vast experience found here!

As somewhat of a noob to pipes and tobaccos, would it be possible to post up a basic description of the various OTC offerings and pin it to this forum? I ask realizing that it would tend to be somewhat subjective, but my personal request would be for information that would make cross-shopping easier.

Since I have no frame of reference when shopping blends, it means little to me if something is listed as a Burly and I don't know what the OTCs are made from, but I know what Prince Albert (for example) is and that I like what it is, but I don't know why! Understanding what the OTCs are and a quick synopsis would be insanely helpful since I could readily see that brand X is actually made from a particular type of tobacco.

For example:

- Captain Fred's, Purple -
Base: Fine ribbon cut, primarily Virginia based Cavendish with a dash of Burly.
- Overall mild aromatic that tends to be a bit wet on a fresh pouch
- Little tongue bite
- Weak but pleasant room note.
<Links to personal reviews here>

Comparisons within a product line would be very helpful (and welcomed) but perhaps a bit cumbersome. Again, I realize a some of what I am asking is very subjective but that would be helpful.

If folks are willing to share their experience here and don't mind me tweaking their postings (for uniformity once I figure out a useful format) I will edit this thread to consolidate postings. If folks post differing opinions on a particular brand, I will try to consolidate the consensus.



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Hello Allen.
Interesting you bring this up because I'm currently working on a "Classic American Tobacco" (OTC) chart. Believe it or not, I'm a purist so am using pencil and paper :D
If you'd like, I'll type it out here over the next few days.

That would be greatly appreciated!

The tobacco reviews web site is an excellent resource and the link is greatly appreciated. I have no real reason to prefer one site over another but it seems that the information here at PSF is more objective and less cluttered/clouded. I stumbled across the tobacco reviews site some time ago and I can't give a specific reason for my opinion but this site seems more reliable; kinda blows the whole objective idea I guess...



Yeah TR.com is a mixed bag. Good to get a general impression of various tobaccos by reading through the reviews, but take them with a grain of salt.
Also, some of the descriptions of various blends on TR.com are completely wrong and/or outdated.

I'll start working on my OTC list....

Fr Tom

PSF Chaplain
Old Ted Award 2017
Taste by nature is a subjective thing. I find Half and Half to be sour. Others don't. One recommendation might be to find a reviewer whose tastes correspond to yours or whose reviews you like. Pipestud does pretty good reviews that correspond to my reality most of the time. Our own JimInks writes good ones.

Yeah as Fr Tom said, taste (and even aroma), are very subjective.
However we should be able to come up with a list of OTCs and at least organize them by brand, blender, style, cut, tobaccos used, toppings, etc.
I'm working on one now :) And yes, I love these classic American blends...so I'm having fun cataloging them while I puff away on a cob full of SWRA

Here's my preliminary list of American OTCs (some are awesome, some are terrible, but they all have their devotees):
- Carter Hall
- Five Brothers
- Granger
- Half and Half
- Kentucky Club
- Middleton's Cherry Blend
- Mixture No.79
- Paladin
- Prince Albert
PA Soft Vanilla
PA Cherry Vanilla
- Sir Walter Raleigh
SWR Aromatic
- Sugar Barrel
- Velvet
- Walnut

I was hesitant to list the foreign Cavendish style aromatics such as CB (though it's American) and Borkum Rif...plus each has about 15 blends. Of course they could be added if anyone has tried many of them out.
Also blends like Sail and whatever else would obscure the list of Traditional American blends, which is what I'm working on (and smoking :)
But obviously many cavendish aromatics are OTC in the literal sense...


PG- free since '83!
Staff member
For example:

- Captain Fred's, Purple -
Base: Fine ribbon cut, primarily Virginia based Cavendish with a dash of Burly.
- Overall mild aromatic that tends to be a bit wet on a fresh pouch
- Little tongue bite
- Weak but pleasant room note.
<Links to personal reviews here>
Mild is subjective, as are the terms "weak" and "pleasant". Tongue bite tends not to be a product of the tobacco, in my experience, but the smoker and how fast he puffs or if he has some sensitivity to a particular blend.

The only objective thing about such an undertaking would be the components (which are hotly contested in some blends). Pretty much all else is at the whim of the smoker. That's fine, but it makes it hard to rely on the reviews of others when making personal buying/smoking decisions.

Sometimes I read reviews at tr.com and I wonder if the person writing them ever actually set fire to the tobacco. Then again, with different tastebuds, who's to say that what they claim to taste is in error? And therein lies the problem with reviews.

Classic American Burley Blends
(aka: OTC codger smokes, BurVa/VaBur, Burley forward, plain Burley, etc. These blends consist of primarily/mostly Burley tobacco with some Virginia added. Usually cased and topped with a mild, secret sweetener. If you really like one of these blends, there's a good chance you'll like at least some of the others)
-Prince Albert
-Carter Hall
-Sir Walter Raleigh
(The above three are the unofficial "trinity" of Classic American Burley, in my opinion)
-Kentucky Club Mild
-Sugar Barrel
-Five Brothers
-Middleton's Cherry Blend (arguably an aromatic, but not in my humble opinion. In fact, there may not be any cherry in this blend)
-Half and Half

Classic American Aromatic Blends
(Burley forward aromatics, light aromatics, non-Scandinavian style aromatics, etc)
-Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic
-Prince Albert Cherry Vanilla
-Prince Albert Soft Vanilla
-Paladin Black Cherry (Much maligned)
-Middleton's Apple (Arguably belongs in the Classic Burley category?)

Regular Cavendish Aromatic Blends
(Basic aromatics, similar to Borkum Riff. Usually heavily cased and topped Cavendish/Black Cavendish-based blends.)
-Captain Black Regular/White
-CB Cherry
-CB Gold
-CB Round Taste
-CB Royal
-CB Dark
-Lane Bulk Aromatics (Blends such as 1Q, Verry Cherry, etc. Too many to list right now)

Other American Classic Blends
(Old American blends that don't fit into the above categories.)
-Middleton's Walnut (English-style blend)
-Mixture No.79 (Much maligned)
-Half and Half (VaBur)
-Kentucky Club Mixture
-Kentucky Club Continental

I'm sure I've left some blends out. Feel free to correct, praise, and/or criticize my classifications of "OTCs" :)


Ephraim.. I like what you have done. I was planning on putting something like your list together myself. Do you plan on including current match blends like Excursion or Edgeworth Ready Rubbed and to eventually include dead blends?

Thanks Leacha!
Yeah, I was thinking my list could just be a starter that people could add on to.
Classics that are no longer made (like ERR), and modern but imitative blends would be a welcome addition :)

Had a few recent distractions but glad to see the results on this thread!

Ephraim, that is exactly what I was referring to- a "review" sure but more of a beginner's guide!



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