Replacement for Dunhill #965 My Butt!

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by RTOdhner, Apr 29, 2011.

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  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    There is a dirty little secret in the cigar world: Many of the major manufacturers will market the same cigar blend under several different labels - and Altadis is one of the major culprits. Frinstance, they might take a rather generic blend and market it as a cigar shop's "house bundles," then market it as another two of three different bundled brands, and then again as two or three different box cigar brands - but give them different bands and packaging and charge ever increasing prices based on the packaging alone. Slightly dishonest, maybe, but they sell a lot of cigars and have a wide range of products to offer to people with wide income ranges.

    They now seem to be doing this to pipe tobacco, and I suspect that Sutliff Number Five is one such example. It strongly reminds me of the first English blend I ever tired - some bulk "house blend" that I bought at a shop somewhere near Annapolis, MD, back in 1987. It was called "Lord Limey" or some such silly name. I suspect this is the same blend, only sold in a tin to make it appear "high class." I know I've seen and smelled this blend being sold as a "House Blend" in a cigar shop up in Fort Worth. Altadis is trying to posture this stuff as an equal to Dunhill #965. My butt! I've tried #965, and No. 5 here is no #965!

    That being said, this is not a bad beginner's blend. It's mild, well-behaved, and provides a pipe smoker who is new to English blends with a smoke that is not so rich in Latakia that it sends them repelling in horror. It's actually not a bad smoke - just to bland for my preferences. It is also too expensive for what you get. (I got this for free as a promotional from Altadis, and it will go into my cellar to be used as a fall back if I run out of other English blends).

    Since I suspect that Altadis simply "put lipstick on a pig" with this blend, I think the newby English Smoker would be better served to go with a B&M "House Blend" cuz chances are it will be an Altadis Bulk, probably this blend anyway, at about half the price. I don't think this is a bad blend, but considering that I think it is simply a basic bulk blend that Altadis has canned and doubled-up on the price, I cannot recommend this to anybody.
     


  2. Bahnzo

    Bahnzo Member

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    I got some of this. I've never had #965 so I can't comment on how dissimilar it probably is, but overall I thought it wasn't bad. One thing I noticed is that you have to let it dry out some, it was much to goopy out of the tin. But after letting it dry, I thought it was a nice, mild Lat with a bit of sweetness. I will agree that it's a bit expensive for what it is...if it was sold in bulk and priced like a Stokkebye bulk, then I'd maybe consider it.
     
  3. jhe888

    jhe888 Member

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    I just got a free tin in the mail today. I can't compare it to 965, having never tried any, but I generally agree. It is a good, if not great smoke. It certainly is a mild mannered English blend - not too strongly flavored, but something no liker of English mixes would dislike. I'd say it is a B minus tobacco.
     
  4. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    It's no 965. Not even close. That doesn't make it a bad tobacco, it just makes bad marketing. They won't sell more than 1 tin to 965 lovers.
     
  5. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    Yup, lousy marketing comparisons aside, it's decent. For free it smokes good, but I've seen these tins marked for 10$ at a B&M, and 6$ online! Pass.

    Now, I have stumbled onto a (small) local place that sells the Sutliffe tins for $2.29, so at that price, I'm not beneath grabbing them on impulse, but this is cheaper than PA pouches, so duh!, why not?
     
  6. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I'm always suspect of "substitute" blends, though I've never done a side-by-side comparison of them with the originals. I just think a tobacco should be sold on it's own merits, rather than trying to ride the coattails of an established blend. It's just pure marketing, which in my mind borders on lies, and it bothers me. No matter how good it may be, even Balkan Saseini seems cheapened by the fact that it aspires to be something else, even worse, something that most of us have never tasted and will never experience.
     
  7. ichabod

    ichabod Member

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    $2.29 for sutfliff tins!? They are 10-12 at the one I frequent. They carry quite a bit of sutliff stuff, so when I saw a couple at "half price" I grabbed them, then found them online at regular price for about what I paid, haha

    back on subject though, it seems as though a lot of companies that sell well, whatever it is they sell, may sometimes have a 'higher line' with different packaging at a higher price, when it's really just the same as their lower stuff just not in pretty packaging, it's amazing what people will pay when they think they are getting something better. I know people that actively try to spend the most on something when they make a purchase thinking that more $$$ = better.
     
  8. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    The Altadis "alternative to Dunhill Elizabethan" is kind of like that. I bought many tins of the real Elizabethan over the years, and it was one of my favorite blends. They discontinued it, and I went into mourning. Then I saw that Altadis was marketing this blend as an alternative. It really is not, but it is the same trick that they use to market many of their cigars. Anybody who has smoked the original Elizabethan, and then smokes a bowl or two of this would say "Right, sure it is..." And that's a shame, because their "alternative" isn't bad. It's a decent blend in its own right, but it's being postured as something it is not.

    I buy it because it makes for a good daily smoke. It's an inexpensive and enjoyable Va/Per, and like their Buttered Rum I think of it as "comfort food" for my pipe. It's like a good bowl of mac & cheese, while the original Dunhill Elizabethan or something like Escudo is prime rib. I just wish they'd stop trying to convince the uninformed that the mac & cheese is just as good as the prime rib, cuz it aint.

    I hope this does not become a trend that is common among all producers, who might lose sight of quality and attempt to foist inferior products upon us in the hope that they can fool us and in doing so boost their profit margins.
     
  9. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    I received a "Free" can of #5 and it was ok. It's jar'd. It does have some of the same flavors of 965 but you're right, it isn't 965! If there were no other toby around, and I had an empty pipe, I'd smoke some! Some other tobys, I'd probably just wait until other toby came along. I know, picky, picky, picky! NASPC last year, there was a table full of Sutliff's blends (tins, stacked!) and they were "FREE" for the taking! Not just one or two or a sample, there were pipers loading up on 3-6 cans and one guy snagged 12! Free toby is Free toby! But, just because it's free, I'm not gonna force myself to smoke it. I snagged a tin of French Quarter and Maple Street, gave the Maple Street away to an attendee who didn't get any. Share the wealth! ;)

    I don't know how Altadis can go on doing this "Free" thing.............they must make their moolah from other products I guess.

    :wiz:
    Ed
    Puff
     
  10. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I have mixed feelings about the blending houses making knockoffs of discontinued blends. I understand your frustration but if I can't get the original blend that was either my personal favorite or a legendary blend that I never got a chance to try, I'm willing to try a reproduction. In order to avoid disappointment, when I buy a knockoff blend I keep in mind that it is highly unlikely the blender was able to exactly duplicate the original.
     
  11. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    You do know Dunhill is back in the states again, right?
     
  12. ichabod

    ichabod Member

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    I see dunhill 965 for sale online at quite a few places. Is it different? I mean, has it been changed at all? I see the sutliff #5 for sale also at a couple dollars less than the dunhill 965.

    This makes me think of the store brand cola vs coca cola. I tried to do store brand to save some money at one time but...sorry, for the little bit extra it is worth it to me to have the "real deal" instead of an imitation/substitute.
     
  13. trainpipeman

    trainpipeman Member

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    I tried a tin of newly-released Dunhill 965 several months ago. The taste, from first light, was quite ashy. I think that I will be skipping further tins. Too bad, as this was my favorite blend before being discontinued several years back.
     
  14. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I have not purchased a tine of Dunhill's 965 in a couple of years, so when I said "replacement my butt" I was making that statement without having recently tried any 965. However, I'm not a big believer in coincidence. I found it interesting that Dunhill pipe brands had just been "reintroduced" to the U.S. and not too much later Altadis (via their own bulks and their Sutliff lines) were marketing brands as "alternatives" to Dunhill brands. I also found it interesting that a company like Dunhill would not have iniaited legal brew ha ha over Altadis using their storied name in their advertising.

    So, I did so research. It seems that Imperial Tobacco, an international tobacco conglomerate based in England, owns Dunhill. It then purchased a controlling interest in Altadis in 2008. It is entirely possible that Imperial made a business decision to cheapen the formulas on some of it's Dunhill lines in order to boost profit margin, and then use the same cheapened recipe in some of it's other "boutique" brands like Sutliff to make even more profit. So, it's entirely possible the Sutliff No. 5 is an alternative to Dunhill 965, because they might just have cheapened the recipe on the 965, and then used that same recipe for No. 5.

    I don't know whether to fault them on this or not. Tobacco companies do a brisk bidnis in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the South Americas because of a relaxed attitude toward smoking. However, they take it in the shorts in North America and Western Europe because of the general hostility toward smoking in those areas - but the market is still too big to pass up. Thus, they need to be able to spread the profits around in order to continue to do business in North America and Western Europe. If we want to continue to smoke our pipes, we might need to accept this business model. I dunno, my area of expertise is in corrections and community supervision, not marketing, international business, or tobacco distribution.
     
  15. Marc

    Marc Active Member

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    In my opinion, no replacement tobacco can ever replace an original recipe and process, therefore when a blender or a blend goes away, for example, Dunhill Light Flake and the original Rattray Virginia’s, I move on to something new, it’s made my pipe smoking much simpler.
     
  16. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    I'll second what Marc said....when it's gone, it's gone. I move on.
     
  17. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Yeah. What I had in mind was Balkan Sasieni as a substitute for Sobrainie and C & D's 3 Friars substitute for 3 Nuns, etc (pardon my spelling.)
     
  18. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    Ah....nevermind then. :)
     
  19. ZuluSafari

    ZuluSafari Member

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    I found Blend No. 5 OK, but nothing special. I didn't think it was good enough for my taste to cellar a bunch, as the local B&M has other bulks at better prices with more flavor.

    I don't like replacement blends much -- mostly cause they aren't truly replacements! When I get a "designer imposter" fragrance, it smells almost exactly like the cologne or perfume it is imitating. I have yet to have that happen with ANY replacement tobacco.
     
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