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 Identifying older Rattray's tins

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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:11 pm

All

I have a few older tins of Rattray's that I'd like to get a handle on. I've a few that I bought back around '01 or so. And then there are a few that I acquired in a trade around '11. None of these have any date info written on them. So is there a way to identify the age of these?

Some of them have a sticker on the bottom that reads "James B. Russell Inc" US Distributor. Made in Germany.

Some say "US Distributor: XYZ Direct Ltd, Atlanta, GA"

Seems to me the "James B. Russell" are the older ones, and are the tins I got back around '01 or so. Is this correct?

TIA!  Very Happy


Cheers,

RR
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:29 pm

When Rattray closed its doors in 1980 McConnell took over the blending of all the Rattray labeled tobacco, but did not change the labeling, thus after 1980 some McConnell blended tins were labeled 'Made for Rattray' while others also blended by McConnell were nonetheless labeled 'Made by Rattray'. McConnell blended in England through the 1980s but shifted production to Germany (and later elsewhere) beginning in about 1990 without any change in the labels, thus continuing the now meaningless 'Made by Rattray' and 'Made for Rattray' duality. Further, the country of origin for the German made Rattray was not included on the label (in the US only it was on a removable tab on the bottom of the tin).
Thus for Rattray tobaccos it is impossible to determine from the label alone who was the blender or when or where the tin was blended.
But if you largely disregard the label and look at the tin top and bottom you will do just fine:
if the 'pop top' tin top is plain, the tin dates to the 1990's and was blended on the Continent;
'if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made for Rattray" label Robert McConnell of England was the blender and the tin dates to the 1970's -1880s;
if the 'pop top' tin top has text only opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray label it dates to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray of Scotland; and
if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray" label the tin dates either to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray in Scotland, if it has a silver tinted bottom, or to the 1980's and was blended by McConnell in England, if the tin has a gold tinted bottom.

J.B. Russel handled the line from 1990-2004. If the bottom labels says XYZ Direct Ltd., then the tin is between 2005-2010. Then Arango took over.

That's the best I could come up with..
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:08 am

Fantastic! Thanks so much Ozzie.

cheers


Cheers,

RR
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Fight'n Hampsters

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Age : 39
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:53 am

Ozark Wizard wrote:
When Rattray closed its doors in 1980 McConnell took over the blending of all the Rattray labeled tobacco, but did not change the labeling, thus after 1980 some McConnell blended tins were labeled 'Made for Rattray' while others also blended by McConnell were nonetheless labeled 'Made by Rattray'. McConnell blended in England through the 1980s but shifted production to Germany (and later elsewhere) beginning in about 1990 without any change in the labels, thus continuing the now meaningless 'Made by Rattray' and 'Made for Rattray' duality. Further, the country of origin for the German made Rattray was not included on the label (in the US only it was on a removable tab on the bottom of the tin).
Thus for Rattray tobaccos it is impossible to determine from the label alone who was the blender or when or where the tin was blended.
But if you largely disregard the label and look at the tin top and bottom you will do just fine:
if the 'pop top' tin top is plain, the tin dates to the 1990's and was blended on the Continent;
'if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made for Rattray" label Robert McConnell of England was the blender and the tin dates to the 1970's -1880s;
if the 'pop top' tin top has text only opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray label it dates to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray of Scotland; and
if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray" label the tin dates either to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray in Scotland, if it has a silver tinted bottom, or to the 1980's and was blended by McConnell in England, if the tin has a gold tinted bottom.

J.B. Russel handled the line from 1990-2004. If the bottom labels says XYZ Direct Ltd., then the tin is between 2005-2010. Then Arango took over.

That's the best I could come up with..

Very impressive!

It is amazing how much pipe and tobacco knowledge and experience we have access to on this board!
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Old Nate
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Age : 34
Location : Western PA
Registration date : 2014-08-27

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:24 pm

Impressive, Bob!
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:19 pm

Fight'n Hampsters wrote:
Ozark Wizard wrote:
When Rattray closed its doors in 1980 McConnell took over the blending of all the Rattray labeled tobacco, but did not change the labeling, thus after 1980 some McConnell blended tins were labeled 'Made for Rattray' while others also blended by McConnell were nonetheless labeled 'Made by Rattray'. McConnell blended in England through the 1980s but shifted production to Germany (and later elsewhere) beginning in about 1990 without any change in the labels, thus continuing the now meaningless 'Made by Rattray' and 'Made for Rattray' duality. Further, the country of origin for the German made Rattray was not included on the label (in the US only it was on a removable tab on the bottom of the tin).
Thus for Rattray tobaccos it is impossible to determine from the label alone who was the blender or when or where the tin was blended.
But if you largely disregard the label and look at the tin top and bottom you will do just fine:
if the 'pop top' tin top is plain, the tin dates to the 1990's and was blended on the Continent;
'if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made for Rattray" label Robert McConnell of England was the blender and the tin dates to the 1970's -1880s;
if the 'pop top' tin top has text only opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray label it dates to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray of Scotland; and
if the 'pop top' tin top has pictorial opening instructions and there is a "Made by Rattray" label the tin dates either to the 1970's and was blended by Rattray in Scotland, if it has a silver tinted bottom, or to the 1980's and was blended by McConnell in England, if the tin has a gold tinted bottom.

J.B. Russel handled the line from 1990-2004. If the bottom labels says XYZ Direct Ltd., then the tin is between 2005-2010. Then Arango took over.

That's the best I could come up with..

Very impressive!

It is amazing how much pipe and tobacco knowledge and experience we have access to on this board!

Indeed. That info should be made part of a sticky somewhere on dating tins.


Cheers,

RR
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 pm

It may be impressive knowledge but the words are my late friend and well known student of pipes John Loring. I know John would be happy people are using his years of research but please give him the credit on the cut and paste. Shocked
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:05 pm

daveinlax wrote:
It may be impressive knowledge but the words are my late friend and well known student of pipes John Loring. I know John would be happy people are using his years of research but please give him the credit on the cut and paste. Shocked

I wasn't sure who originally wrote the bulk of this, I did some digging and found bits and pieces around the web. Like I said, it was the best I could come up with... Granted, the bulk of the preamble was pasted, albeit not relevant to the dates in question.
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:21 pm

http://loringpage.com/PipeArticles/tobdatepaper.html
Here it is word for word plus a whole lot more. All of Loring's pipe writing was originally published in TPSE (my avatar). Loring is the first stop for those in the hobby for questions like this. Shocked
RIP John.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:30 pm

daveinlax wrote:
http://loringpage.com/PipeArticles/tobdatepaper.html
Here it is word for word plus a whole lot more. All of Loring's pipe writing was originally published in TPSE (my avatar). Loring is the first stop for those in the hobby for questions like this. Shocked
RIP John.

Good to know! I got the first bit from Pipestud, and figured as he is well known for tobacco antiquities he was a good source. Also, referenced another gentleman, Mike Hagley. Others contributed as well, but their names are not known to me, just their user names. Took a bit of digging. I will have to look further into John Loring's work....Very Happy
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monbla256

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Age : 71
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:45 pm

Back when I smoked Red Rapparee which was around 1970 or so it only came in tall 4 oz. tins with the cutter tops. I still have two here in the house and they both say "... made by" on the label so must have been made in Perth BY Rattray's. That was my experience with Ratray's. Twisted Evil
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:01 pm

So, the other day I opened a tin of HOTW that had James B. Russell Inc. on a sticker on the bottom of the tin. Think I got this back around '01/'02 and had not started dating my tins back then. Figured that 15/16 years was plenty enough age!

To my delight, the 'baccy was not dried out and was at a perfect moisture content right out of the tin. Just how I like it - a bit on the dryer side of moist. And the cut is pretty much as I remembered it from way back - broken flake (looks more like ribbon to me), and the tin had a delightful aroma of figs.

I hadn't smoked any HOTW in I don't know how long. Only that I remember liking it. So loaded up my trusty Tinsky '15 BoB POTY and went to town.

Wow - the first bowl was pretty flat in terms of flavour. Like not much going on except a slight sweetness. Quite mild to almost bland, even! Certainly not like I thought I remembered it! scratch

OK, so maybe my taster was off that day or something. Or, maybe this needs to react with the air for a little while to breathe. So into a jar it went since I also didn't want it to dry out any more.

I've been hitting it every day since then and the flavour has improved. I've noticed this in other freshly opened tins, in that after a few days/week after being opened it seems to improve overall. But it's still very much on the mild side of things, NTTAWWT.

Perhaps my memory of HOTW isn't as good as I thought. I've since read the reviews on the review site, paying special attention to reviewers such as Jim, D&B, pipestud, DK, and a few others whose judgement I value. Guess I'll see how we go from here, but right now I'm underwhelmed! And yes of course I need to try it in other pipes. Sometimes that makes all the difference.  Wink

Guess I thought it would be much more forward in all respects. Can't think that the ageing would have made it less complex, including and especially since it's primarily a 'ginny blend with flue cured Kentucky, plus p-weed!  Exclamation  Question

I also have another older Rattray's tin from the same era - 7 Reserve. And that's an English blend with Lat-weed that I got when I was into Lat blends. Since that's no longer the case I'll probably be listing this in the trade forum soon.


Cheers,

RR
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Lonecoyote

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Age : 66
Location : State of Confusion
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:41 pm

Rande,
I have a number of older Rattray's blends in the original 4 oz. size. I too find the tobacco perfect and not dried out when I pop one open. What I've learned when popping a tin/can of well aged blends I first empty the tobacco into a glass bowl and gently fold ( put your ears close to the bowl and you'll hear the baccy say " ahh fresh air " ) with a wood spoon. Makes a big difference from the very first bowl you smoke, evenly distributed tobacco's creates a more complex flavor. Then store roughly 2/3 into a Mason jar and the rest back into the Rattray tin/can for everyday smoking pleasure.
HOTW is simply an outstanding Tobacco with over 8 to 10 years of aging, a 20 plus year aged HOTW will blow your MIND!!



KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:49 pm

Lonecoyote wrote:
Rande,
 I have a number of older Rattray's blends in the original 4 oz. size. I too find the tobacco perfect and not dried out when I pop one open. What I've learned when popping a tin/can of well aged blends I first empty the tobacco into a glass bowl and gently fold ( put your ears close to the bowl and you'll hear the baccy say " ahh fresh air " ) with a wood spoon. Makes a big difference from the very first bowl you smoke, evenly distributed tobacco's creates a more complex flavor.  Then store roughly 2/3 into a Mason jar and the rest back into the Rattray tin/can for everyday smoking pleasure.
HOTW is simply an outstanding Tobacco with over 8 to 10 years of aging, a 20 plus year aged HOTW will blow your MIND!!



KEEP ON PUFFING!!!

Ted, I'll try out your method and see what it produces.

Thanks for the tip bro!



Cheers,

RR
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Identifying older Rattray's tins   Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:45 pm

I've been enjoying the aged Rattray's HOTW lately('01/'02 vintage) in my Tinsky '15 BoB POTY. This 'baccy has opened up since it hit the light of day (so to speak) and is now coming into it's own.

Ted, I used your technique and at first it didn't seem to make a difference. Poured it all into a mixing bowl and tossed it like a salad several times over an hr or so. Then jarred it up again.

Have to say that a week later or so there's a difference I can notice. It's still very mild, but there's more complexity. Nuttin wrong with a mild blend for me. In fact I generally prefer them as the first pipe of the day.


Cheers,

RR
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