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 Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend

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oldmansmokingpipe

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Age : 63
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Registration date : 2016-05-25

PostSubject: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:50 pm

Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend

I started smoking a pipe in 1968 and I was very lucky to have found latakia within about a month or so of starting.  Within a week of finding latakia, I found Balkan Sobranie white label.  after about 2 weeks or so I found the magical Balkan Sobranie No. 759 black label.  That was it ! That is all I smoked in addition to Bengal Slices.  Since that time I have had a hiatus from pipe smoking 2 separate times.  the last time when I started back I discovered - WHAT?  NO Balkan Sobranie 759? and NO Bengal Slices?  Not even the white label BS?  Damn!!!  so I tried so many different 'English' and 'Balkan' blends - all touted to be recreations of the famous stuff I used to smoke; but guess what? - they all sucked and all - and I mean all were a disappointment and a waste of $ as well as my taste buds.  I found GL Pease tobaccos.  I think maybe Greg had suggested that I try lagonda, and then he suggested Odyssey.  Lagonda not my cup of tea.  Odyssey - nice but not quite there as to what I wanted and like.  Then I found Abingdon.  Wow!  I smoked that until Gaslight came out and since then it has been all Gaslight - all 18 plus pounds as of this writing.  Anyway - thought at the time and still believe that this is the finest Balkan blend out there.  and this is definitely the closest thing to Balkan Sobranie stuff.  I realize that his is not a 'recreation' but as an impressionistic expression of what those things meant to the old die-hards amongst us. Gaslight is still the most special of tobaccos.  It is deep, dark, smooth and luscious and most profound!  So I guess that aroma and taste was still with me after all of these years I decided to give Abingdon another try.

The tin I opened was a 2 yr. old tin so the Latakia has softened more than I would have liked.  I smoked 2 bowls today in my old man smoking pipe/Dunhill man meer.  Smaller bowl and a very nice smoking pipe.  The taste was very nice, spicy but lacking in the depth of the latakia that I was hoping for.  Nice complexity and the spiciness pops more than the smoothness of Gaslight so the intensity appears to be more than Gaslight.  This makes it less smooth to me in comparison; however not bad in any manner regard that subtle lack of smoothness and the tangy spice character.  I did enjoy it - and probably a bit more than the last pound of it I had many years ago.  But as stated before - the depth of the latakia was lacking for my likes and needs.  This is still profound and the pinnacle of what Balkan Blends are and should be.  The Virginia's were interesting as well - though I am not a VA dude.  Abingdon is a wondrous blend and I am glad I tasted it again after all of these years.  For a break from my intense Gaslight adventures, Abingdon is a fine complement.  How much it will be in my cellar, I am not sure.  But I do believe that there is a place.  That is saying a lot for my love of Gaslight.  According to Greg - this has the highest level of latakia of all of the blends of the Classic Series, so Latakia lovers can key in on this blend.  Abingdon is worthy of any pipe and time of day or season.  Give it a try!  You'll be glad you did! Nice work Greg!


Last edited by oldmansmokingpipe on Sun Jul 03, 2016 6:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:14 pm

Nice review.  I have been meaning to give Abingdon a whirl.

Have you ever experimented with combining vintages of blends? I was smoking a tin of Pease's Odyssey from 2006 and I thought the Latakia had mellowed out just a bit more than I prefer, so I mixed it in with equal amounts of a more current vintage and what I got was a nice balance of Virginia and orientals that had sweetened & deepened in flavor with the sprite spiciness of a fresher tin. Might be worth a try. Obviously this works only with blends that are currently in production.
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:25 pm

thanks - good idea. I have mixed a blend or two in the past to add more lat to it as such but not of the same blend.

I only had 2 tins of the 2 yr old - nothing else other than gaslight.

May have to get a new batch but the tins i got were recent - so they must have been sitting around for a while and i had no control over that.

years ago i had 1 7 yr old and 1 8 yr old 8 oz tins of abingdon - the 8 yr old was nice though mellowed and the 7 was so bad i tossed it - cannot explain why...a mystery.
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Old Nate
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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:11 am

I almost bought a tin of Abingdon the other day at my smoke shop but opted for a year old tin of Fillmore instead.

Your description of the nuances of the tobacco and how it behaves and your experiences with it, is always enjoyable, Norman. You almost made me regret my decision the other day.... almost. Wink
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:22 am

Hey Nate - if you never had it - give it a try. Enjoy!
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daveinlax

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:53 am

I've really tried to like Abingdon and I have a 8 or so '90's vintage tins aging but every time I smoke it I love it until I get to about halfway through the bowl and I get a nasty harsh ashy flavor. Shocked
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:09 pm

weird. Never got that. Interesting...
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:57 pm

My memory is a little hazy at the moment, but I tried Blackpoint and Abingdon in the same week.  I can't remember which one I liked better, but I did like one better than the other.  Neither blew my doors off.  Just found these quotes, which is probably why I picked them both up at the same time.  BIG, BIG fan of 759.  Smoked more of it than any other tobacco.

GL Pease - on Blackpoint and Abingdon

"When I was developing the Classic Collection, I was visiting a friend's shop. He opened an ancient tin of 759, and I was seriously smitten. I'd smoked quite a few tins of that wondrous weed in the past, but never a tin that old. When I stuck my nose in it, I was treated to an amazing aroma. The VAs had fermented beautifully, and presented an almost perique-like character, though no perique was present in the original blend.

When I went home that night, I started working on what was to become Blackpoint. It captured my impressions of that tin quite well, and has become one of my personal faves."

"Abingdon, on the other hand, was more an attempt to capture some of the truer essence of later examples of the 759 that I sampled. I don't know which one will, over time, deliver a closer approximation to the original, but they're both really nice blends, and satisfy my own cravings when I want something reminiscent of those beautiful black and gold tins."
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:19 pm

Nice quotes - Thanks a lot!!!!!
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:11 pm

What I ended up doing is nixing in a 2 oz brick of the Gaslight with the abingdon. This should be very interesting. will try a nice bowl or two tomorrow AM with a pot of coffee.
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:43 pm

oldmansmokingpipe wrote:
What I ended up doing is nixing in a 2 oz brick of the Gaslight with the abingdon.  This should be very interesting.  will try a nice bowl or two tomorrow AM with a pot of coffee.  

I really enjoy mixing different blends together and have had some great successes and I also had a few foul tasting failures. I'm waiting to hear how your mixture turned out. I've got a tin of Abingdon from April 2015 sitting open beside my chair. I opened it a couple of weeks ago and normally I would have finished it within a week but I got my shipment of Zulu in and to me it's so much better than Abingdon that I've kind of let it just sit. Maybe mixing it with some Gaslight will be an inducement for me to hurry and finish the tin. Smile

AJ
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:46 pm

turned out nice! did too decent sized bowls this AM. just finished my 2nd in a root Celius! Go for it!
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:14 pm

oldmansmokingpipe wrote:
turned out nice! did too decent sized bowls this AM.  just finished my 2nd in a root Celius!  Go for it!

Was that a 50/50 mix? Smile

AJ
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:19 pm

pretty much - sorry - i did have a bowl or three of abingdon and then did most of a 2 oz bar of gaslight - yes the last 8 oz tin had 1 giant bar which i liked alot vs, the bits and pieces you sometimes get
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:22 pm

oldmansmokingpipe wrote:
pretty much - sorry - i did have a bowl or three of abingdon and then did most of a 2 oz bar of gaslight - yes the last 8 oz tin had 1 giant bar which i liked alot vs, the bits and pieces you sometimes get

Gotcha! Thanks I'm going to give it a try. Smile

AJ
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oldmansmokingpipe

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PostSubject: Re: Abingdon - Revisiting a Old Friend   Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:27 pm

more gaslight than less will not hurt at all! but I love gaslight.
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