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 What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?

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ontariopiper

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Age : 45
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:57 am

I was looking through my cellar today and realized how many unique blends I've got stockpiled. This got me thinking about the search for THE tobacco blend, the one that, once found, diminishes all others by comparison.

Part of the fun of the pipe hobby is sampling different blends, and certainly new pipers need to undertake such a process in order to narrow down their likes and dislikes when it comes to tobacco. Aros or English? Mild or Bold? Latakia? Perique? In what proportions?

There's part of me that cannot foresee having at least a small selection of different blends on hand, but there's another part that says The Blend is out there!

So, have any of you found your Holy Grail? What is it about the blend that makes it The Blend for you? And what did you do with your other tobaccos when you found it?
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:35 am

There is no such thing for me. My tastes are just too varied and changeable. As example, I have just rediscovered aromatics, something I avoided for decades. Bought a tub of Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic and am enjoying hell out of it, among others.

But...there is one tobacco that stands above all in memory. I couldn't believe how good it tasted--and at the time I was deep in the delights of Rattray's, McClelland, Dunhill, Balkan Sobranie White and Black, Bengal Slices, etc. Good as they were, this blend surpassed them all. Naturally, upon my discovering it, it was discontinued without warning. There wasn't an internet back then to sound the alarm. Would love to at least sample some today, just to see if the taste holds up to the memory, if nothing else. I present, for your edification, Craven Mixture:

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Lonecoyote

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Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:09 am

I have MANY blends that I smoke often, also some old blends that are no longer available. I too enjoy smoking different types of blends, so it's difficult to pick out just one Holy Grail. But I can list my top FIVE that I'll never be without:
In no particular order:
 1: John Patton's Storm Front 
 2: Solani ABF
 3: John Patton's Crossroads 
 4: Rattray's Marlin Flake
 5: H&H BlackHouse 

The above five I've mentioned in all honesty, I've accumulated enough in my cellar for a LIFETIME. The three that's no longer available that would be top of my Holy Grail list would be Stonehaven, the original Balkan Sobranie, Strang and of course ALL of the Germain's blends that are either no longer available or hard to find. 

Richard Burley: send Steve Fallen ( Pipestud ) an email asking him to keep his eyes open for Craven Mixture. Hey, you never know!!

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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hobie1dog

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Age : 61
Location : Cornelius, NC
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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:48 am

Penzance, simply because of its unique flavor profile. Same as your favorite drink, food, woman, etc.

There are a few similar tasting blends that I could live with. I still enjoy trying different blends as contentment is destroyed by comparison.
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:27 pm

In all honesty I've been contemplating your question and gave you my top FIVE I really enjoy now and will for the rest of my life!

However, while sitting here slowly puffing away I do wish these TWO blends were still available. Without a doubt MY HOLY GRAIL of tobacco!!

1: Esoterica Stonehaven ( the only Esoterica blend I REALLY enjoyed )
 2: Motzek Strang Curley....ABSOLUTELY a favorite 



KEEP ON PUFFING!!!
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ontariopiper

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Age : 45
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:13 pm

I certainly haven't found my Holy Grail blend yet - which may explain why my cellar has a lot of blends but not much of any one blend Very Happy

And then there's the "mood" effect - sometimes I'm in the mood for something mild, or full, or sweet or nutty or..... Weather impacts my baccy choice as well, as I find some blends are better in cooler or warmer weather.
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:13 pm

Way back when...BS 759, hands down. There were many others (working in a pipe & tobacco store exposed me to a huge inventory of 'baccys!!). Since "those" days, no one "have to have;" just too many good ones to enjoy! In checking over the olde cellar, there are 50+ blends (covering Burley, Ginnyweeds, Va/Pers, Va/Burs, No-Latweed Orientals, plus all my Latweed blends!!). That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!! cheers FTRPLT
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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:39 pm

Tough question Charles. Or maybe not.

Guess for me it depends on what I smoke the most of, and for that it would have to be McC 2015. Being primarily a VA/VaPer kinda guy it runs all the bases for me. Perfect balance of tangy red 'ginnys and sour p-weed. Sweet & sour you might say.

The version I've been running for some time has 15% added p-weed, which was put up in '09. Got this from a trade here long ago and my supply is now dwindling. Just opened the last jar this week aamof.

Equally, I've enjoyed straight 2015. And do have some of that on hand, as well as some I blended to the same % as the trade jars.

My Holy Grail? Maybe. But I wouldn't want to smoke it every day for fear of getting burned out on it. So 2-3 times/wk is plenty.

Guess I could say the same with 5100 as I also hit that about equally. But you indicated just one choice, so there it is.

Very Happy



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: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:47 pm

Lonecoyote wrote:
Richard Burley: send Steve Fallen ( Pipestud ) an email asking him to keep his eyes open for Craven Mixture. Hey, you never know!!

KEEP ON PUFFING!!!

I concur. Steve gets this in occasionally. And if you sign up for his notifications you'll get a chance at it. Seems to me he had this in recently. But be prepared to pay $$.....



Cheers,

RR
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old_salt

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Age : 66
Location : California Wine Country
Registration date : 2008-06-09

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:25 pm

If I had to pick one to face the end of the world,


when that runs out, I would have to settle for
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arkansaspiper

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Age : 27
Location : some where in a galaxy far far away
Registration date : 2016-01-22

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:59 pm

dang wish i had a stash of escudo like that
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ontariopiper

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Age : 45
Location : Kitchener, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2015-03-10

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:50 am

old_salt wrote:
If I had to pick one to face the end of the world,


when that runs out, I would have to settle for

Someone has a clear favourite! Very Happy
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:58 pm

This is a difficult question. To choose a tobacco, but also how to define it. I'm not sure of either. I haven't been to an estate or garage sale all summer, but when my mind wanders into dreamy scores, I have to admit that I've imagined running into a stash of Balkan Sobranie 759. I smoked an enormous amount of it when I was a student for a couple reasons. For one, it was as good as the legend implies, AND a tin was anywhere from $.30-.75 cheaper than my other preferences (like Dunhill Nightcap, for instance). That's back when you could work part time, pay tuition, live on a dime, and just get by just fine. So, $.30 was enough to sway a hobby situation. A tin was a full hour's wage.

I wish I could find some Bengal Slices as well...and not pay tens or hundreds of dollars. But I dream of it less.

As for present blends, I wish I could find some McClelland #2015 that had the earthy, grassy notes of even just ten years ago. They've done something to it, and whatever that is, these things have been affected. It's still my go-to blend, but I miss those flavor nuances.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:28 pm

Like several of you here, I to was a devotee of the fabled 759. Smoked it as my primary 'baccy for almost 30 years before it was changed and then finally went away. Oh to have a time machine and go back to 1972 and find a ton of those wonderful Black & Gold cutter top 4 oz tins one would be in heaven Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Lonecoyote

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Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:51 pm

Zeno Marx & monbla256


Have either of you tried Hearth & Home BlackHouse or WhiteKnight? Okay, okay it's not quite the original Balkan Sobranie but both with at least 2 years of aging is an excellent blend. 



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Brewdude

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

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:25 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
As for present blends, I wish I could find some McClelland #2015 that had the earthy, grassy notes of even just ten years ago.  They've done something to it, and whatever that is, these things have been affected.  It's still my go-to blend, but I miss those flavor nuances.

Seem to recall another thread when this was discussed, prolly from you. If so that's a huge shame. I haven't had any of the recent production and am not inclined to get any in right now as I have some older stuff put back.

I guess I also find that kind of surprising, since the folks at McC are some of the most consistent blenders out there. Yes of course there are annual variations in the crops, but with a seasoned and experienced blender they should be able to smooth out these variables. At least that's what I'm led to believe.

That is, unless a particular variety is no longer available that had a distinct stamp and the current replacement is a semi-adequate substitute. Perhaps like the older and much lauded FVF which had a particular variety of African VA which is no longer produced?

In any case could it be down to it being young and needing time to mature and come into it's own? There again I believe you have stated you prefer this young and fresh, correct me if I'm mistaken.

And of course, I've already stated my fondness for 2015 so this got my attention.

Blah, blah, blah... I'm feeling wordy at the moment. Funny what a couple of pints of my own ale will do!

cherry



Cheers,

RR
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AJ

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Age : 68
Location : East of the Rocky Mountains
Registration date : 2012-03-18

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:33 pm

Though I've learned to like and appreciate all genres of tobacco and have favorite blends in each there's one blend that I like far more than any of the others.

McClellend's Tudor Castle is everything a tobacco blend should be. At least for my preferences. The sweet stoved and raw red Virgina, real St. James Perique, Yenidje, and other Orientals are masterfully blended to provide a sweet spicy blend that the Orientals compliment in the most intriguing fashion. As I've written many times before this is my celebratory blend. I smoke it on holidays, birthdays, or whenever there is something I want to celebrate. This keeps this blend special like having oyster stew for dinner on Christmas Eve, a tradition in my family for well over 100 years. This exceptional blend with it's extraordinary characteristics makes it the appropriate blend to smoke whenever there's something to celebrate in my life. cheers

AJ
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:03 am

Brewdude wrote:
In any case could it be down to it being young and needing time to mature and come into it's own? There again I believe you have stated you prefer this young and fresh, correct me if I'm mistaken.
You are correct, good sir. In those recent days of yore, even six months of aging would erase those notes. Now, they aren't ever there. I've tried three orders now, two being right after a restock from two different vendors. As much as I can tell, they're gone. Period.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:04 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
In any case could it be down to it being young and needing time to mature and come into it's own? There again I believe you have stated you prefer this young and fresh, correct me if I'm mistaken.
You are correct, good sir.  In those recent days of yore, even six months of aging would erase those notes.  Now, they aren't ever there.  I've tried three orders now, two being right after a restock from two different vendors.  As much as I can tell, they're gone.  Period.

Zeno, have you called up the fine folks at McC and asked them about this? Seems to me that with your extensive knowledge and history of it they would be interested to get your input. If I was in your shoes I certainly would, given that's it's one of your go-to's. I can't think that they'd be disinterested to know of your experience.

And for my part, again I haven't had any of the recent production. I prefer it aged a bit, and you seem to like it fresh. So I cannot comment on anything recent.

It would be a great pity if they indeed did change it for something inferior.



Cheers,

RR
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:25 pm

Holy Grail blend? For me it doesn't exist. Wish it did, but nada, no dice.

Over the years my taste in tobacco has been so varied that I could never pick one blend.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:29 pm

Samuel Gawith Bracken Flake.

But it would be neck and neck with an old 1792 Flake. The version that really did smell like a dead mouse in the tin. You know. Dead mouse laying in a little water in the tray under a very warm refrigerator. And the room has been shut up for a couple days. So strong that you can taste it on the air.

I do love my GL Peace Renaissance. But I have smoked up all my old 1792 Flake and much of my newer stuff. All the Bracken Flake I had is gone. And that last order when I knew it was going, was like 31 tins. And I had a pound from 2005 jarred. All gone.

Something else that does not stay around here long is an open tin of Dunhill Nightcap.

_________________


"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:38 pm

Carlos wrote:
Something else that does not stay around here long is an open tin of Dunhill Nightcap.

Yup, I totally understand how you feel about the tin version of Dunhill Nightcap. Just try and stock up on this fine blend, for soon it may be long gone Sad






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Walkman

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Location : Denver, Colorado
Registration date : 2017-09-23

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:58 pm

old_salt wrote:
If I had to pick one to face the end of the world,


What are those two blends, Old Salt? I can't make them out, but the tins look familiar.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
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PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:27 pm

Walkman wrote:
old_salt wrote:
If I had to pick one to face the end of the world,


What are those two blends, Old Salt?  I can't make them out, but the tins look familiar.

I'm not Old Salt, but believe it's Robert McConnell Scottish Cake and Flake.

http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/983/robert-mcconnell-scottish-cake

http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/984/robert-mcconnell-scottish-flake



Cheers,

RR
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old_salt

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Age : 66
Location : California Wine Country
Registration date : 2008-06-09

PostSubject: Re: What is Your Holy Grail Blend, and Why?    Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:33 pm

Both are Robert McConnell's Scottish Cake. the 100 g. tins
are from an old warehouse score I did around 2008. Only have 5
of the big ones left, still in good shape on the 50's & Escudo.
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