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Gourmet versus Comfort Food blends

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Brunello

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With most blends one bowl is enough and I'll move on to something else. But like comfort food - my weakness being a big bowl of spaghetti that I wonder how it all fits in my stomach - well, there are two blends where I just have to have another bowl. The weird thing is that neither are among my absolute favorites, my 4-star wow blends which satisfy with one bowl. But they are solid 3-star performers that just happen to have that comfort food quality that demands a second helping. Something almost addictive about them! They are

Edward G. Robinson blend and McClelland Coyote.


What are your comfort food blends (or guilty pleasures) that aren't even really your top favorites? Feel free to take this thread in any direction you like. Just striking up a conversation here. :lol:
 

DrT999

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For me, it would be St Bruno Flake; there are blends I like more, but it's the one I keep coming back to, it's usually available, and would likely miss the most.
 

D.L.Ruth

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I think mine would be Country Squires Rivendell. As for comfort food, without a doubt spaghetti or Chinese food (not counting anything Mom makes of course)
 

Brewdude

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McC 5100 without a doubt. Sweet and satisfying.

:geek:


Cheers,

RR
 

Blackhorse

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Well now, years ago I used to date this little brown haired girl named Theresa and when...


What? Ohhhhh. Tobacco.

Never mind.
 

ftrplt

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I have three of these that I sip on. I'm not a huge Burley fan, but I do like/enjoy (some) of the stuff on an infrequent basis.
First is my closely rationed pre-1974 (way before 1974!!) Larus Bros. Edgeworth Sliced. Damn, do I love smoking this stuff!!
Second is Watch City Slice! Boy oh boy, is this 'baccy good!!
Third is non other than good ol' Carter Hall!! Nice, sweet, smooth smoke!
FWIW :cheers: FTRPLT
 

Brunello

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DrT999":si25aiae said:
For me, it would be St Bruno Flake; there are blends I like more, but it's the one I keep coming back to, it's usually available, and would likely miss the most.
Bought a tin in 2016 and have had exactly four bowls. Not my cup of tea. But with your strong endorsement I suppose I should give it another go. Certainly an interesting and somewhat sophisticated choice for comfort food. It's the diversity of this group that keeps things interesting! :)
 

DrT999

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Brunello":4lxm7th7 said:
DrT999":4lxm7th7 said:
For me, it would be St Bruno Flake; there are blends I like more, but it's the one I keep coming back to, it's usually available, and would likely miss the most.
Bought a tin in 2016 and have had exactly four bowls. Not my cup of tea. But with your strong endorsement I suppose I should give it another go. Certainly an interesting and somewhat sophisticated choice for comfort food. It's the diversity of this group that keeps things interesting! :)
well, these days, I like dark flakes/Kentucky blends. If they don't appeal, you might not car for it. Also, some people get a Lakeland-like taste with it that I don't notice
 

Brunello

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ftrplt":v688tsvg said:
I have three of these that I sip on. I'm not a huge Burley fan, but I do like/enjoy (some) of the stuff on an infrequent basis.
First is my closely rationed pre-1974 (way before 1974!!) Larus Bros. Edgeworth Sliced. Damn, do I love smoking this stuff!!
Second is Watch City Slice! Boy oh boy, is this 'baccy good!!
Third is non other than good ol' Carter Hall!! Nice, sweet, smooth smoke!
FWIW :cheers: FTRPLT
Every version I've had of Edgeworth I've thoroughly enjoyed. Not so sure about CH; for me it's so smooth it's kind of boring (I used mine up as a blender to tone down some ruff n' ready blend with a lot of dark-fired). Never tried the Watch City but that's another I should probably add to my TAD list. Better keep that stash of Larus Bros under lock and key! :lol:
 

Brunello

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DrT999":kx8p25uv said:
Brunello":kx8p25uv said:
DrT999":kx8p25uv said:
For me, it would be St Bruno Flake; there are blends I like more, but it's the one I keep coming back to, it's usually available, and would likely miss the most.
Bought a tin in 2016 and have had exactly four bowls. Not my cup of tea. But with your strong endorsement I suppose I should give it another go. Certainly an interesting and somewhat sophisticated choice for comfort food. It's the diversity of this group that keeps things interesting! :)
well, these days, I like dark flakes/Kentucky blends.  If they don't appeal, you might not car for it.  Also, some people get a Lakeland-like taste with it that I don't notice
I like Orlik and Mac Baren dark-fired blends but it's the Lakeland essence I don't care for. I looked at my old notes and found I like the basic nutty undertones of St. Bruno, somewhat like blanched almond, but it was the bitter floral taste that I found off-putting. It's been since March 2017 since I last tried it, maybe some of that has toned down by now. Only one way to find out ... if you never hear from me again you'll know that it did me in! :lol:
 

Brunello

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Okay, just finished a bowl of St. Bruno, and guess what? I liked it! It has been more than three years since I last opened that jar and the seal was very tight, had to use both thumbs to pry it off. In the meantime it has changed. No more bitter floral Lakeland at all, now the first part of the bowl was some kind of cereal grain and a faint suggestion of fennel seed. A respectable detente at this point. But getting further down in the bowl it developed more spice on the snork, and a wonderful, slightly sweet sarsaparilla flavor. This just proves why it is prudent to hang on to blends (rather than throw them out) and see if they develop.

I also want to clarify that I don't mean to challenge anybody's choices here - if you like apples and I like oranges that is only to be expected. But I'm glad I didn't leave my opinion of St. Bruno as "not my cup of tea." I also remember some good exchanges with Preben but he has disappeared from these pages, and I wonder if maybe my joke about Gaslight turned him away? This is my first time on a forum so I'm still learning the subtleties of it all. Anyhow, my day ended well with some St. Bruno enjoyed as I gazed upon the night sky.
 

DrT999

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Brunello":2l0pb9lu said:
This just proves why it is prudent to hang on to blends (rather than throw them out) and see if they develop.
True, tobacco, and sometimes even our tastes, change over time/
 

DrumsAndBeer

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Sticking with blends that are more readily available, here are a few that kind of strike that "comfort food" kind of appeal with me - C&D Sansepolcro, GLP Jack Knife Plug, New Minster 403 Superior Round Slices, Arango Balkan Supreme, Mac Baren Dark Twist Roll Cake, F&K Lancer's Slices..
 

Segovia

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Dunhill Royal Yacht and Elizabethan Mixture have always worked for me as comfort food, I'm expecting the Peterson versions to be pretty much the same once they have a little age on. But I am also fine with a bowl of Half & Half or one of the other American Geezer Blends.

If we want to look at gourmet (these days), then I would point to the various UK plugs which are mostly no longer in production AFAIK: Velvan, Warrior, Mick McQuaid, Erinmore, Yachtsman (this one is still available from James Fox in Ireland). All of them are wonderful examples of just how good pipe tobacco can be.

I've found that the trick with plugs is not to slice them into flakes, else you might as well have just bought a flake. You take a sharp knife and start at one end chipping bits from the corners across the grain/layers and wind up with some amazing flavors.
 

Brunello

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Looking at the range of responses it is clear that we all have different definitions of what comfort food means. This was brought to the fore when DrumsandBeer starts his list with C&D Sansepolcro, a blend I very much enjoy, but would put in my gourmet category.

I suppose for me comfort food means something simple and maybe even one-dimensional, but with a flavor that I really enjoy, like Mac n' Cheese, or a Wendy's frosty. Gourmet for me, means more complexity, more layers of flavor and texture. That's just how I think of it. Some gourmet dishes may in fact be one-dimensional, like a finely-made lobster bisque, but in general I think in terms of simplicity versus complexity.

An example of a gourmet tobacco for me would be Brebbia Latakia Flake because (looking at my last notes) I taste six distinct flavors as the bowl progresses: wood spice, roasted chestnuts, peppered beef jerky, bitter baker's chocolate, toasted pumpernickel, and "grill drippings." This is a savory and complex array of flavors that holds my attention rather than letting my mind wander onto other things.

Other's may think in terms of how well an idea is executed, or whether the blend is immediately approachable versus challenging. I also realize that although many of the codger blends fit my definition of "simple and one-dimensional" comfort food, there is just something missing for me, so I end up using them for blending.

For Segovia, the definition of gourmet would seem to be something that requires the master chef's sharp knife and fine-honed technique.

So plenty of room for interpretation depending on what works best for each individual. :king:
 

DrT999

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Brunello":0umpd71z said:
Looking at the range of responses it is clear that we all have different definitions of what comfort food means. This was brought to the fore when DrumsandBeer starts his list with C&D Sansepolcro, a blend I very much enjoy, but would put in my gourmet category.

I suppose for me comfort food means something simple and maybe even one-dimensional, but with a flavor that I really enjoy, like Mac n' Cheese, or a Wendy's frosty. Gourmet for me, means more complexity, more layers of flavor and texture.
 
All true, and there is also an issue of availability. Caviar is not overly complex, but would be considered 'gourmet' by many. Many common layered dishes might be complex, but are not gourmet (lasagna, parfaits, etc.). That is also why I picked St Bruno -- while not an OTC here, it is in Britain, and now quite common in the US.
 

Big G

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For me the comfort food equivalents in pipe tobaccos are blends like McClelland 5100, MacBaren Symphony, Lane LL-7 & RLP-6, and pipesandcigars.com Trout Stream. Not necessarily my top favorites (I have way too many of those!) but always seem to satisfy..
 

Brunello

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DrT999":99ukuo38 said:
Brunello":99ukuo38 said:
Looking at the range of responses it is clear that we all have different definitions of what comfort food means. This was brought to the fore when DrumsandBeer starts his list with C&D Sansepolcro, a blend I very much enjoy, but would put in my gourmet category.

I suppose for me comfort food means something simple and maybe even one-dimensional, but with a flavor that I really enjoy, like Mac n' Cheese, or a Wendy's frosty. Gourmet for me, means more complexity, more layers of flavor and texture.
 
All true, and there is also an issue of availability.  Caviar is not overly complex, but would be considered 'gourmet' by many.  Many common layered dishes might be complex, but are not gourmet (lasagna, parfaits, etc.).  That is also why I picked St Bruno -- while not an OTC here, it is in Britain, and now quite common in the US.
Between what I was already thinking about simple vs. complex plus your further persuasions I've had to make a semantic course correction. Too many contradictions in my original definition, though we've had some good discussion along the way!

My original idea was the difference in pleasure derived between simple blends that we like versus more complex blends that beguile and entertain the senses. I wasn't thinking scarcity or price point. The idea of simple layering versus complex layering is also an apt observation. I believe that has to do with how melded the different components become as they fuse into a singular taste (like my spaghetti marinara which has numerous ingredients that fuse into one taste sensation). I suppose the real question is what divides the good simple from the boring simple, a Wendy's frosty versus a plain yogurt, or a juicy prime rib versus a slice of bologna. That is what I believe will be a different answer for each individual.

 

Brunello

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Big G":i9uln893 said:
For me the comfort food equivalents in pipe tobaccos are blends like McClelland 5100, MacBaren Symphony, Lane LL-7 & RLP-6, and pipesandcigars.com Trout Stream.  Not necessarily my top favorites (I have way too many of those!) but always seem to satisfy..
This is what I had in mind when I used the analogy of comfort food. All solid picks you have there. Mac Baren Symphony was my go to comfort food in the 90s. Haven't had in any a couple years because I have a a tin just waiting to be cracked on its 10-year mark this coming October. Somebody told me it ages surprisingly well, so I hope I'm not disappointed!

Since we agree on the spectrum of "comfort food" blends, I'd be interested to know what it is that would make a top favorite for you. I always assumed it would be complexity, but maybe it's depth, or balance, or something that can't even be defined.
 

Brunello

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Segovia":jf8cqs31 said:
Dunhill Royal Yacht and Elizabethan Mixture have always worked for me as comfort food, I'm expecting the Peterson versions to be pretty much the same once they have a little age on.
Royal Yacht was my go to comfort food in the 80s, but when production switched it was never the same for me. I agree with Jim Inks that the original had more depth and creaminess on the palate. However, I've only tried newer productions with maybe 1-3 years on the tin. I'm wondering if you have any experience with tins having more age on them. I don't expect they will ever taste the same as the 80s version, but do they develop more depth and fullness on the palate?
 
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