Rattrays blends?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by woodbutcher, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    I like to support the local B&M. When I stopped in this weekend, I decided to splurge on a couple of blends I'd been reading about and hadn't tried yet. I bought a tin of Red Rapparee and one of Black Mallory. I looked, but, they were out of Old Gowrie and HOTW.
    I haven't cracked the Black Mallory yet, but, tore into the RR as soon as I got home.
    Tin moisture was about right and the smell was very interesting. It is described on reviews as being a broken flake, but, it looks more to me what most blenders call a ribbon cut. Long fine-cut strings.
    It loads good (using a light touch like I do with ribbon). It lit evenly and tastes real good. I went through four bowls, one after the other, and enjoyed each one. Even the wife said the room note was something she could live with (high praise for her).

    There is only one thing that will keep me from adding this as a "regular". Both blends came in 50 gm tins. The price was $2 per tin higher than the 100 gm tins of any MacBaren blend and only $1 less than a 100 gm tin of any Frog Morton series blend.
    Yes it is good quality tobacco and I have no problem smoking it. I just don't see where it is twice as good as others that I have tried. If I pay double for something...it had better knock my socks off.

    Am I missing something that makes this worth the difference?

    I'll be breaking into the Black Mallory later this week. Since it is listed as a ribbon cut, I wonder what it will really be. Maybe it will be the one to change my financial hesitations.
    Are there any other Rattrays that you've found to be "worth twice any other blends"?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     


  2. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    Same here Dan. Alot more money for blends that don't work that well for me doesn't make sense. I'll splurge on some Comptons once in a while, but that's a different league altogether.
     
  3. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Value is kind of a personal thing. Since I haven't found anything that compares to Red Rap and a few other Rattray blends, I don't mind paying extra for them. Are they "twice as good" as other blends I smoke? Certainly not, but they are unique enough that if I want to smoke them, I'll have to pay.

    I'm not sure how much you're paying for the Mac Baren and other blends but www.jrcigar.com sells 100 gram Rattray tins for $12. That's about $3.50 per oz. Not too shabby. They sell most of the Mac Baren's for $10.95 which is not that much cheaper, although some Mac B's go for $7.95. Depends on which ones you smoke.

    At any rate, there's a possible new etailer for you to check out to see if they can level the playing field a bit.
     
  4. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    When I went in and bought them, I was just looking to try some un-familiar blends. I had not done my research about the "going rate" and got burned in the process.
    After reading the above reply, I checked out the on-line sources and found that Rattrays blend prices are VERY comparable to the other blenders.
    It looks like one of the cigar-smoking employees of the B&M I went to stuck 100 gm price tags on 50 gm tins and I was too stupid to question it. :growl:

    At least this puts the tobacco back i the realm of something I can enjoy and afford (anywhere else).

    Now that the main problem is settled...what are some other Rattrays I should check out?
    Dan
     
  5. fuerte91

    fuerte91 Member

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    That would suck if that's the case, but most of the B&M's in my area are all about $2 or $3 over the price of online competitors. Probably a reason they're having a hard time competing
     
  6. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

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    Well, I am smoking Brown Clunee as I am typing this and it's pretty good stuff!
     
  7. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Dan, if that's the extent of your "tough education" with pipes and tobaccos, you're miles ahead of me! :groucho:

    If you like Red Rap and Black Mal, you should also try Jock's and Highland Targe. I think they are the sleepers of the brand. Lighter in body and loads of complexity, as well as being very smooth.

    If you enjoy virginias, Hal O' The Wynd is one to try. I believe all of these can be purchased by the ounce at www.pipesandcigars.com. That way you can sample without buying large amounts until you find the best ones for you.

    Rattrays comprised about 80% of my tobacco rotation in the late 1980's. The five I mentioned above were almost all I smoked. I still enjoy them, even though they've changed somewhat when blending moved to Germany.
     
  8. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    First VA I ever smoked and holds a special place in my heart for that reason. :thumbsu:
     
  9. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    What he said about JR cigar: http://www.jrcigars....cfm?page=pipes2

    I buy Rattray's x 100g tins at JR stores, cash and carry, for $3.45 per ounce - sort of a bargain; I am equally fond of the Red Rapparee and the Marlin Flake. After that Hal O' The Wynd and Old Gowrie are close behind. I like Brown Clunnee, too, but it lacks the clear definition of the other virginias mentioned; I usually smoke half a can of it and then start tossing in McC 5100 and/or stoved virginia to keep myself engaged. JR usually has all Rattray blends in stock. They dropped the $2.50 freight-per-tin policy in favor of shipment by UPS or USPS at $8.95/flat rate; they ought to be a good choice for purchasing these products.

    If you buy bulk Rattray's at smokingpipes.com the price is $4.10/ounce; with a gross order over $100 shipping is free.
     
  10. AndyLowry

    AndyLowry Member

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    I used to live on Accountant's Mixture, but that was before Kolhase started doing the blending, so I don't know what it's like nowadays. No food, just Accountant's Mixture. Maybe an occasional beer.
     
  11. Smoker99

    Smoker99 Active Member

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    I smoke most of the Rattray's lineup and like them. I started smoking them in the seventies, and mostly found them to be hot and bitey. They take some experience, and getting used to. Black Mallory is the parent of Red Rap, and 7 Reserve in descending order of strength, but of the same tobaccos, just in different proportions. All are ribbon cut. I also like Professional, Accountants, HOTW, and Marlin Flake. From online sellers, prices are just a little higher than most other blends. A good deal higher quality tobaccos in the Rattray's than in others such as McB. If price is the sole criteria, you may not want to smoke them.
     
  12. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm fond of a good aromatic so long as the tobacco upon which they're based is sound, good and of at least medium strength. If your tastes are similar I'd heartily recommend Bagpiper's Dream - it really worked for me,

    Happy smoking

    Gerry
     
  13. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm still watching for HOTW and OG and have added 3 more to look for from all the ideas given here.
    I'll definitely be looking closer at the tin price the next time. I'm going to make the trip back to the B&M tomorrow. I think I'll ask them to verify the price they've got on these tins and see what happens.
    If that doesn't work...the internet is open 24/7.
    Popped open the Black Mallory yesterday. I found the same good luck with lighting, burning, and tasting as I did with the RR. I like it even though the wife says that it is a blend that needs to stay in my shop.

    So far this has been a good new branch to check out.
    Dan
     
  14. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Yep, Rattrays is a venerable blending house and, although the blends have changed since the "olden days", most of them are still viable. Some of the VA's purportedly have perique added to them now by the new blenders Kolhase & Kopp, ostensibly to give them the same spice Charles Rattray used to be able to get from just virginias. But they are all worth trying. I like some more than others (but haven't tried any of their aromatics) but they're all worthy blends.
     
  15. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    I have two tins of "OLD" Black Mallory from Scotland...pop top and all. Love Red Rap and today's iteration of B/M, so am looking forward to opening one of these sometime in the near future.....
     
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