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Two Dunhill Reviews

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Kapnismologist

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Colleagues,

Two Dunhill reviews I just posted on TR today:

1) Dunhill Early Morning Pipe (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=E&TID=453):

A beautiful short ribbon of mixed colors with an occasional olive strand. Packs and burns very well, with but a little time needed to dry before smoking.

Among oriental-forward English blends EMP stands out as mild with a tangy and sometimes earthy core of musty orientals supported, although not consistently, by understated virginias. The finish, while tending towards the alkaline, is short and crisp. Blindly tasted, beyond the expected effects of tin age this reviewer noted no discernible difference between the recent Danish production (Orlik) and the older Irish production (Murray's).

EMP is a standard oriental-forward English which is dependable, predictable, and nothing special - this being, perhaps, its most charming quality.

2) Dunhill My Mixture 965 (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=M&TID=458):

Short mixed ribbon of brown, tan, and black. Packs and burn very well, with only minimal drying time needed.

While the cheap and often ill-placed tin label is nothing short of an abomination compared to the wonderful old Murray's painted tins (and while Orlik has the terrible habit of gluing the interior envelope to the tin bottom), the venerable Danish blender has done a superb job in recreating this most classic of English (read: Scottish) blends. Creamy and rich, with hints of vanilla, leather, and coffee over a solid core of toast and nuts.

In my experience, 965 has always been a blend best smoked young, as its can tend towards flatness after a time, and in that sense let us hope that the good folks at Orlik - who are leagues more consistent with their products than Murray Sons & Co. ever were - continue to furnish us with a goodly supply of this old standby.
 

Bent Stem

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Good reviews. Of the two, I've only as-of-yet smoked 965 but I have a fairly good stock of both in Murray's tins.

That said, the 965 I've opened is a tin of is 1999 vintage, and far, far away from what I would describe as being anywhere near "flat". If that's flat, then the new stuff surely must about knock you off your feet with flavor! By my limited standards, I would say 965 was a good candidate for cellering beyond 20 years!

:pipe:
 

Kapnismologist

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Bent Stem":s1f9e0x5 said:
That said, the 965 I've opened is a tin of is 1999 vintage, and far, far away from what I would describe as being anywhere near "flat". If that's flat, then the new stuff surely must about knock you off your feet with flavor! By my limited standards, I would say 965 was a good candidate for cellering beyond 20 years!

:pipe:
Hmm ... I would not think limited at all! The few tins of vintage 965 I have had (flat bottom Murray's painted tins with the old rectangular lane dist. sticker) - and I've never had the bulk, just the tins - have always seemed a bit 'muddy' to me. Perhaps that would be more accurate an adjective than 'flat'. I only noticed this when I began smoking the new Danish production where the top note really stands out. To my palate this is a desirable characteristic, both in this blend and many others in the same genre (i.e., English blends with cav.).

That said, I would not hesitate to cellar this blend, both old and new because for me at least tastes change, sometimes a lot. Last year I was simply in love with Escudo, but now can barely stand it and have switched to McConnell Scottish Cake as my go-to VA/PER. I do, however, have 10 tins of Escudo waiting in the cellar should I tire of this ... and so it goes on...and on..and on...

In any event, I am planning on doing a review of Standard Mixture Medium and then London Mixture in the near future (once I crack the tins, one new and one old). So we will see what happens with those.
 

Bent Stem

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"Muddled" or even better yet, "melded" I think is what you meant (???). That would make sense to me of aged 965. By "flat", in my mind at least, I percieved "bland" or flavor-less.

Look forward to your other reviews. Have old SMM put back too!
 

Kapnismologist

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Bent Stem":q98xmww5 said:
"Muddled" or even better yet, "melded" I think is what you meant (???). That would make sense to me of aged 965. By "flat", in my mind at least, I percieved "bland" or flavor-less.

Look forward to your other reviews. Have old SMM put back too!
Well, perhaps not muddled inasmuch as 965 is nothing if not sure of itself, but 'melded', yes. I would think that hits it very nicely! I still find the newer Danish production more to my liking, but that is neither here nor there (more of the Murray's production for you!).

Perhaps next week over the Thanksgiving holiday I will have the time to crack the new/old tins of SMM (which I am going to do before the London Mix. I think), and we'll see how it goes. Who knows?

Thanks for the responses. Cheers!
 

the macdonald

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I have read that Latakia blends don’t necessarily benefit from aging. The differences are subtle at best, mainly being more marrying of the various components. I recently smoked a 20year old Nightcap. My initial thought was a surprise of who monotone the light was. Of course there is no accurate way to compare the memories of Nightcap to the present, but I remember lighting a bowl of Nightcap being like walking into a the climax of the 1812 Overture (with the drums, horns and cannons) from a dark and quiet room. The NC with 20 years on it took some time to build up the decibels. A quarter or less into the bowl it was everything I recognized as Nightcap, but painted with a wider brush. The edges were not as defined between the latakia, perique and VA’s as I remembered. Still the experience of smoking a now fabled and legendary blend is something I'd never pass up.

965, which I haven’t smoked in any form in at least a year, is a little softer than NC to begin with, so I think its possible that a tin with years of aging on it might not live up to the expectation of the smoker. That being said I would not hesitate to take any aged tins off anyones' hands if their disapointment was unbearable. :D
 

Kapnismologist

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the macdonald":06eu70b3 said:
I have read that Latakia blends don’t necessarily benefit from aging.
Nicely put, and very interesting indeed. It seems that there is certainly something to be said when a 20-year old tin of Nightcap emerges in the bowl like that. I have never enjoyed it in such a vintage (that I know of) but would of course jump at the chance to do so should it ever come along. Certainly, the general wisdom does seem to be that latakia-dominant blends don’t always age well (as say, a sugar-laden virginia), but then again I suppose it all depends on what you are looking for. I for one enjoy the edges of a young 965 and, in the case of Nightcap, the spice which always seems to float atop its famously robust and complex melodies (to continue with the music simile). It sounds like that is lost after a time (which is, of course, not all that bad - just different). Cheers.
 
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