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 "An Evening With Charles Rattray"

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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:46 pm

--as originally posted by Greg Pease, 2/18/05.

http://glpease.com/BriarAndLeaf/?p=27

Yet another good read, not entirely or specifically about pipes or tobacco, but life themed with it. It's accounts like these that I enjoy reading, relating to, and looking forward to having more of in the coming years. These are our stories, the ones our kids and grandkids need to read eventually. I'm glad they're being documented.

Best quote of the article:

"I find myself wondering that a few ephemeral wisps of my pipe tobacco can be found SO offensive by so many, while the lingering, headache inducing odor of cheap perfume can be inflicted with impunity."

I'm thinking about changing my signature line here. Laughing

Cool

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Ossian

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Age : 28
Location : Stockholm
Registration date : 2011-06-01

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:39 pm

Wow thank's for a fantastic read!
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dshpipes

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Age : 33
Location : Durham, NC
Registration date : 2011-03-06

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:26 pm

That's a great article! It's always a pleasure to read Greg's writing. That man is a storyteller born.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:58 pm

Greg brings up a point about blends which I think was FAR more insightfull than the very pleasant tale of smoking that tin of Black Mallory. He spoke of the subtleness of ALL the elements in the blend and THAT is what I have found MISSING in so many of the Danish/German blended English/Balkan style blends offered today. I realize "tastes" differ generation to generation and we are in a period of "full frontal nudity" so to speak in blends. It is/is not a "... Lat Bomb", "... not enough Perique", ".... the Virginias were to sweet" and on and on. Having smoked many of these older blends back when they were blended by the original firms I can say that there was WAAAAY more subtlety in the taste and smoking of many of these blends at that time. Given that Virginia's were the base tobaccos in so many of these blends, the sweet, tangy attributes of this tobacco was allowed to be a major part of the blends character back then. I smoked ALOT of Red Rapparree, Black Mallory, 965, London Mixture, Nightcap, Sobranie 759 back in the late 60s thru the 70s and this subtle blending of the various tobaccos in today's version is what I find missing.
I have not yet smoked any of Mr. Pease's blends yet, but this subtlety of tobaccos is what I have found so appealing to McClellands blends and I'm finding more as I have started to branch into more of their various Virginia blends. I'm not one who needs to get hit over the head so to speak with just one taste or feel in my smoke, rather I'm liking the nuances of how a "heavy" leaf such as Latakia or Perique can be blended to be a part of multiple types of leaf and yet still have it's own distinctive "feel". This trait is whatI would have to say was why these older"Heritage" type of blends were so well remembered and known for. I've had the "taste" and these days I'm looking for the "subtlety's" in my smoke ! Razz Just some thoughts .
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:52 pm

monbla256 wrote:
Greg brings up a point about blends which I think was FAR more insightfull than the very pleasant tale of smoking that tin of Black Mallory. He spoke of the subtleness of ALL the elements in the blend and THAT is what I have found MISSING in so many of the Danish/German blended English/Balkan style blends offered today. I realize "tastes" differ generation to generation and we are in a period of "full frontal nudity" so to speak in blends. It is/is not a "... Lat Bomb", "... not enough Perique", ".... the Virginias were to sweet" and on and on. Having smoked many of these older blends back when they were blended by the original firms I can say that there was WAAAAY more subtlety in the taste and smoking of many of these blends at that time. Given that Virginia's were the base tobaccos in so many of these blends, the sweet, tangy attributes of this tobacco was allowed to be a major part of the blends character back then. I smoked ALOT of Red Rapparree, Black Mallory, 965, London Mixture, Nightcap, Sobranie 759 back in the late 60s thru the 70s and this subtle blending of the various tobaccos in today's version is what I find missing.
I have not yet smoked any of Mr. Pease's blends yet, but this subtlety of tobaccos is what I have found so appealing to McClellands blends and I'm finding more as I have started to branch into more of their various Virginia blends. I'm not one who needs to get hit over the head so to speak with just one taste or feel in my smoke, rather I'm liking the nuances of how a "heavy" leaf such as Latakia or Perique can be blended to be a part of multiple types of leaf and yet still have it's own distinctive "feel". This trait is whatI would have to say was why these older"Heritage" type of blends were so well remembered and known for. I've had the "taste" and these days I'm looking for the "subtlety's" in my smoke ! Razz Just some thoughts .

Interesting introspective. Though, if I had a dollar for every time someone compared "how blends used to be" to how they are now...

...there is plenty of subtlety in Greg's blends, and other blends, for that matter--but it's true, folks have gone for "extreme" in what I believe to be a false search for "basic roots" of tobacco. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it doesn't.

Kind of like the pipe discussion we were having with the changing quality of briar being harvested versus craftsmanship, it is going to change. Nothing really stays the same, ever, in life. It's all a matter of perspective on a dynamic that if we're blessed enough to get it at its "peak," we're also cursed to know its downfall.

For us younger folk, speaking for myself, I'm glad I'll never know how "good it was" in that regard. Greg speaks of this change tobacco and blending has undergone as an occasional recurring theme in his writ, and takes a very "judge it for yourself, judge it on its own merit" basis: which is one of the few sensible ways of approaching a frustrating and ever-changing world. That, and seeing if there just might be a new discovery around the bend that will at least give a new, future heirloom blend folks like myself can fuss over "how good it was" when I happen to reach my silver and golden years. I can only hope. Smile

The nicest thing is to have someone like Greg getting this stuff all in a somewhat organized and but still free form--something that stands as a testament to modern pipe smoking, as we are now.

Cool
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:43 pm

Kyle Weiss wrote:
monbla256 wrote:
Greg brings up a point about blends which I think was FAR more insightfull than the very pleasant tale of smoking that tin of Black Mallory. He spoke of the subtleness of ALL the elements in the blend and THAT is what I have found MISSING in so many of the Danish/German blended English/Balkan style blends offered today. I realize "tastes" differ generation to generation and we are in a period of "full frontal nudity" so to speak in blends. It is/is not a "... Lat Bomb", "... not enough Perique", ".... the Virginias were to sweet" and on and on. Having smoked many of these older blends back when they were blended by the original firms I can say that there was WAAAAY more subtlety in the taste and smoking of many of these blends at that time. Given that Virginia's were the base tobaccos in so many of these blends, the sweet, tangy attributes of this tobacco was allowed to be a major part of the blends character back then. I smoked ALOT of Red Rapparree, Black Mallory, 965, London Mixture, Nightcap, Sobranie 759 back in the late 60s thru the 70s and this subtle blending of the various tobaccos in today's version is what I find missing.
I have not yet smoked any of Mr. Pease's blends yet, but this subtlety of tobaccos is what I have found so appealing to McClellands blends and I'm finding more as I have started to branch into more of their various Virginia blends. I'm not one who needs to get hit over the head so to speak with just one taste or feel in my smoke, rather I'm liking the nuances of how a "heavy" leaf such as Latakia or Perique can be blended to be a part of multiple types of leaf and yet still have it's own distinctive "feel". This trait is whatI would have to say was why these older"Heritage" type of blends were so well remembered and known for. I've had the "taste" and these days I'm looking for the "subtlety's" in my smoke ! Razz Just some thoughts .

Interesting introspective. Though, if I had a dollar for every time someone compared "how blends used to be" to how they are now...

...there is plenty of subtlety in Greg's blends, and other blends, for that matter--but it's true, folks have gone for "extreme" in what I believe to be a false search for "basic roots" of tobacco. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes it doesn't.

Kind of like the pipe discussion we were having with the changing quality of briar being harvested versus craftsmanship, it is going to change. Nothing really stays the same, ever, in life. It's all a matter of perspective on a dynamic that if we're blessed enough to get it at its "peak," we're also cursed to know its downfall.

For us younger folk, speaking for myself, I'm glad I'll never know how "good it was" in that regard. Greg speaks of this change tobacco and blending has undergone as an occasional recurring theme in his writ, and takes a very "judge it for yourself, judge it on its own merit" basis: which is one of the few sensible ways of approaching a frustrating and ever-changing world. That, and seeing if there just might be a new discovery around the bend that will at least give a new, future heirloom blend folks like myself can fuss over "how good it was" when I happen to reach my silver and golden years. I can only hope. Smile

The nicest thing is to have someone like Greg getting this stuff all in a somewhat organized and but still free form--something that stands as a testament to modern pipe smoking, as we are now.

Cool

Please don't missunderstand me. I'm not one of those who wish it were "like the good ole days". I live in the current time and smoke there as well. I was merely commenting on how Greg picked up on how the older blend seemed to be put together, as a subtle, nuanced "blend" and that is what I find missing from many of the "newer" types of blends in the English/Balkan school that seem to have such a following these days. As an example, I have sveveral un-opened, still well sealed tins of 759 I was fortunate to buy back around 1976. I put 'em in a box, in a closet and literally forgot about 'em. They moved with me thru two divorces and sat in a closet while I went thru a decade of cigars only smoking and I have finally smoked two tins in this past year. Ageing has made a slight difference from the fresh tin of it 36 years ago, but it is STILL basically the SAME as back then. I bought a tin of McClelland's Blue Mountain and after almost 1/2 of a tin smoked now, I would have to say Mike NAILED it!! It is NOT EXACTLY the same, but it has the appearance, scent and burning characteristics of the original. But more important, it is as NUANCED as the original and for that reason alone I have to say it will be one of my "regulars" to smoke. It's those small, little nuances in the older blends that I feel Greg was refering to and I find I'm appreciating MORE today that I'm really refering to. And since I've found blenders such as McClellands and G. L. Pease ( his Penzance will be on my next order) who are focused on this aspect, I feel that this is "the good ole days" as well Razz
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Boxerbuddy

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Location : Boston, Massachusetts
Registration date : 2011-10-06

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:16 pm

Penzance is an Esoterica product not GL Pease.
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monbla256

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

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:30 pm

Boxerbuddy wrote:
Penzance is an Esoterica product not GL Pease.
I stand corrected . I'm new to Greg's blends so will have to spend more time getting to know them! Razz
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:54 pm

I, too, need not be misunderstood: no personal intent was meant referring to those that get sentimental on the "good ole days." It still happens, whether this was your intent or not; older gents gassing on and on about how it "used to be." I mean, cheers to you living in the present: there ain't no other way, well, besides a little healthy reminiscing, that is.

I look forward to your thoughts on GL Pease's blends, I know they suit me very well. Cool
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alfredo_buscatti

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Age : 62
Location : Piedmont, North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:40 pm

Though I have ~7 pounds of GL Pease blends in my cellar, the only blend that I have enjoyed over the years is Cumberland. I smoked it young in 2003 and 2004; and my memory tells me that it was good to very-good. But the form with which I am most familiar is 5-7 y/o, and at that age it is sublime, probably the most complex and flavorful of any I've smoked.
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dougc905

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Age : 54
Location : Brampton, Ontario
Registration date : 2009-01-11

PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:09 pm

I keyed more on the perfume issue. I find that most perfumes, whether for men or women, get up my nose and give me an allergic reaction or a headache.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:39 pm

dougc905 wrote:
I keyed more on the perfume issue. I find that most perfumes, whether for men or women, get up my nose and give me an allergic reaction or a headache.

Same here. It's cruel, domestic chemical warfare as far as I'm concerned. Cool
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Cigar2you

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PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:00 pm

I will be opening a tin of original blended by Charles were Rattray highland targe in the next couple weeks if a couple of brothers would like to try a few bowls and compare notes I would be happy to send some long p.m. me
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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:39 am

Kyle said:

"It's true, folks have gone for "extreme" in what I believe to be a false search for "basic roots" of tobacco."

How did you conclude this? In my reading (Bob circumscribed) I haven't noticed this, nor do I see such characteristics in the hot new blends such as Connecticut Yankee or Blue Mountain. But knowing you there are quite likely reasons why you said this. And what do you mean by the basic roots of tobacco? Roots as embodied by famous blends that are no longer made? Balkan Sobranie or 3 Nuns (yes, it's still made but the current production is lame and nothing like the original production most commonly compared to
GH Curly Cut or the version that I smoked that contained Perique and a scrumptious but unidentified topping, and more than likely different and elevated VAs).
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
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PostSubject: Re: "An Evening With Charles Rattray"   Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:16 pm

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
Kyle said:

"It's true, folks have gone for "extreme" in what I believe to be a false search for "basic roots" of tobacco."

How did you conclude this? In my reading (Bob circumscribed) I haven't noticed this, nor do I see such characteristics in the hot new blends such as Connecticut Yankee or Blue Mountain. But knowing you there are quite likely reasons why you said this. And what do you mean by the basic roots of tobacco? Roots as embodied by famous blends that are no longer made? Balkan Sobranie or 3 Nuns (yes, it's still made but the current production is lame and nothing like the original production most commonly compared to
GH Curly Cut or the version that I smoked that contained Perique and a scrumptious but unidentified topping, and more than likely different and elevated VAs).

I wouldn't put too much stock into that statement, from my standpoint, I've noticed (as with many things, like the hot sauce craze of the early 2000s, alternative sports, etc) there is a need for taking an ingredient of something (anything?) and focusing squarely on it. "This has THE MOST Perique in it!" "This has THE MOST Latakia in it!"

"Oh wow! Hell yeah, bro! INTENSE!"

Which, with tobacco, I see as certain people (likely those with little experience in classic tobacco, but wanting to have something harkening to its style) attempting to think anything that is older is better, and obviously anything older is stronger, coupled with the idea that stronger is also better...

...if you can't make it the same, just make it bold--just a theory.

One that is very open to debate and interpretation. I'll take responsibility for my opinions, but not ownership. Laughing

Cool
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