This is velvet?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by RTOdhner, Nov 2, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    This week has been pretty good. I got my two Generals and two pouches of Granger in the mail on Monday, and today one of the "tobacco shops" here in Cleburne called to advise that they were able to order Granger and Velvet (classic old OTC's) and that they had already gotten it in. I headed out of the office like a Coon Hound on a trail!

    I've been smoking the Granger ever since Monday, and it still has the flavor and burn quality that I remember. It burns slower than Carter Hall and has a flavor that reminds me of roasted peanuts (the ones that are still in the shell). Good stuff, and still my favorite OTC. The Velvet, the subject of this post, is a very different story.

    I went to the smoke shop over lunch, and sure enough there were multiple packages of Granger and Velvet out on the shelf. This smoke shop is only charging $3.99 a pouch for it, as-well-as for Carter Hall, Prince Albert, and half and Half. This is about a buck cheaper than anywhere else around here, and only fifty cents more per pouch than what Mars Cigars (on-line vendor) charges. So, it makes sense for me to start buying these locally. I bought two pouches of Granger and two pouches of Velvet while I was there.

    Anyhoo, I couldn't wait to try the Velvet so I opened a pouch and had my first inkling of disappointment - it smells like Prince Albert. The Velvet I remember had an aroma that was similar to good old PA, in my opinion, but softer and it had a leathery quality to it. This just smells like PA. Not a bad thing, since I like PA, but it's not the Velvet that I remember. Then I filled the DR G. that I keep at the office and fired it up. Not the taste I remember, either. The taste of this "new" Velvet seems to fall sometwhere between Half and Half and Granger. The last time I smoked it, about three or four years ago, it had a very unique taste that I have yet to find the words to describe other than it tasted like.. well.. Velvet pipe tobacco. (A very mellow, nutty taste with a prune-like note - I can't do any better than that). This stuff is not the Velvet that I remember.

    I'm going to try it again in a cob when I get home tonight, and I sure hope it's just the pipe. However, H&H and PA still tasted like H&H and PA in this particular pipe, so I'm not too confident that a cob is going to make much of a difference but hope springs eternal with me. I'm really not ready to write up a proper review on it yet, but right now my impression is not too favorable. I hope it's just the pipe, becase it would be a real shame for a tobacco that I used to like so much could have fallen so far from grace. (YMMV).
     
    Mark w4mms likes this.


  2. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,774
    I'm working my way through the old school OTC's, and received samples of Sugar Barrel and Walnut from a friend and found both to be excellent smokes. I've yet to try Velvet, so I wouldn't know if it has changed or not. If you've never checked them out, WV Smokeshop has some really good prices on all the classic drug store blends. Here is the link: http://wvsmokeshop.com/pipestandsamericanmade.aspx
     
    voodoo101 likes this.
  3. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    Gloom despair and agony on me. deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me. (Hee Haw, eh).

    I'm pretty bummed about the Velvet. Four bowls in two different pipes later, and it's still disappointing. Maybe it's current incarnation is not all that bad, but it's a pale comparison to it's former goodness (IMHO). YMMV, but for me it's time to cross it off the list and chalk-up another loss of a good tobby to "progress." Too bad, because it used to be one of my favorites.
     
    mtsgsd likes this.
  4. Jayson H Bucy

    Jayson H Bucy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    752
    Your're a nut
     
  5. ATXPipe

    ATXPipe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    352
    Man I hate to hear that.
     
  6. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    I'm not totally ready to give up on it. It might just have been that one pouch, so I'm willing to give it another try if I can find it at another tobacco shop.
     
    Mark w4mms likes this.
  7. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,774
  8. colorduke

    colorduke Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,939
    I think you got a bad pouch,i have been smoking velvet for a few years now and enjoy it in the pouch and the can,wv does have the best prices and great service.
     
    Mark w4mms likes this.
  9. TedVig

    TedVig total pipeflake

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,608
    Boy, I had some last night. Velvet is now the last word I'd use to describe my tongue today. That being said I love the flavor.
     
  10. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    After I got over the shock and being pissed-off that Pinkerton has jacked with the formula, I actually took the time to consider this "new" Velvet on its own merits. I think that it's actually pretty good, and it is much like my beloved Granger only sweeter. I think it could be a real tongue scorcher if I pushed it too hard, so I'm going easy on the rate at which I smoke it. I don't think that the "new" Velvet is as good as the Velvet I remember, but it's still pretty good and I'd recommend it to others.
     
    Mark w4mms likes this.
  11. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    3,904
    I picked up a pouch of Velvet today and Granger. Looking forward to revisiting them.
     
  12. TedVig

    TedVig total pipeflake

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,608
    I gotta try Granger. I've been trying various OTC's the last month and a half - PA, CH, SWR, Walnut, Velvet.
     
  13. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    All of the classic OTC's are worth trying. Granger, Velvet, and Prince Albert have been around for about a 100 years. SWR, H&H, Walnut, Sugar Barrel, and Carter Hall have been around for something like 75 years. (I have no idea how long Kentucky Club or Captain Black have been around). These were - and still are - main stays for many smokers. It can be argued that the formulas have changed over the years and that maybe they're not as good as they used to be, but they're still here and obviously still very popular.

    IMHO, none of them are as good as the products offered by Dunhill, Stokkebye, MacB, Pease, or other "luxury" blenders. However, I can't just walk down the street and pick up "luxury" blends either - and I sure couldn't get them for $4- $5 a pouch (or tin, as the case may be). And this is where the classic American OTC's really shine, because they offer an enjoyable smoke at a low price and are easy to find.

    Velvet and Granger are two of the older smokes, and I've seen adds for them that go as far back as 1916 and 1932 (respectively). Prince Albert goes back just as far. I'd have to question the credentials of any American who claims to be a pipe smoker but has not tired at least a pouch of anyone of these blends (or CH or SWR) in a cob.
     
  14. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,774
    I have to agree. I have smoked a lot of blends over the years, but for the money, it's hard to beat CH, SWRA, Sugar Barrel, and Walnut.
     
    RTOdhner likes this.
  15. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    3,904
    Sugar Barrel and Walnut are two I keep on hand in the 12 oz tub.
     
    Mark w4mms likes this.
  16. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    I'm not so fond of Sugar Barrel because it's just a little too sweet for me. But Walnut is a monster smoke. The IRS finally settled-up with us on Thursday and we got the other half of our income tax return, so I think I'm gonna use a little of that and order a couple of tubs of Walnut. I love that English-like quality, and it's one of the few blends that have Latakia that I like in a cob. I think Walnut could be a "desert island" smoke for me.
     
  17. YOJiMBO20

    YOJiMBO20 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    452
    Here are my credentials, sir. Question away.
     
  18. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    You've never smoked a pouch of any American OTC? Not in a cob? Really? It's the quintessential American pipe combination, spanning back at least 100 years. So American that even General Douglas MacArthur was known to smoke whatever tobacco was on sale at the PX in his famous cobs. Never tried it?
     
    zirrow, Elwin and Mark w4mms like this.
  19. voodoo101

    voodoo101 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    342
    Thank you for the link! I could not find Carter Hall, Prince Albert, or Velvet anywhere in town. That is except for a $30 tin of Carter Hall. I wanted single pouches. I called a lot of stores but no luck.
    I wonder what happened? These tobacco brands were everywhere not long ago. Thank goodness I can still get Captain Black.
     
  20. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5,955
    I've found that just about any grocery store or tobacco shop will order old school OTC's if you ask and if one of their regular suppliers carry it. I've always been able to get SRW, PA, CH, and H&H; however, I've also been able to get SRWA, Granger, Velvet, Cherry Blend just by asking for the store to order these. (I have an OTC wing for the cellar under construction, and it's growing nicely).
     
    voodoo101 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.