At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

THREE OAKS

When I came home last night I discovered that Savage Kitten had prepared one of my favourite dishes: fatty meat chunks steamed with shredded ginger and fish sauce. She had experimented by adding a few new ingredients, and the results were delicious!

[Yes, the meat was not kosher. But let’s pretend that it was. And no, I’m not telling you what the new ingredients were, that’s her proprietary knowledge. But one of them, just one, was a hot sauce that I made - special recipe. Again, proprietary knowledge.
Did I already mention that the result was delicious? Mmmmmmmmmmm!]

After enjoying the steamed "fatty let’s pretend that it may have been kosher pink stuff" with rice, and more hot sauce, I went into the kitchen to clean my plates and smoke. She came padding in to keep me company. We both had some tea.

I believe I was moaning with delight because the tobacco was so good.
A wonderful follow-up to a splendid meal. I offered her a puff, and warned her not to drag too deeply, just sip from the stem. Yes, that good.

And really, an adorable Cantonese-American woman, wearing pajamas, with an oversize two-tone Peterson bent bulldog in her mouth, is quite the sexiest and most delightful sight imaginable. She looked absolutely darling. So cute, so cute.

On the other hand, I am an atrocious human being, a meanie, and a cad! She understands now why people keep their children out of sight when I am around, truly I am depraved, a very horrible man indeed! A sadist! And a beast. Utterly!

I had, in my enjoyment of this new pipe tobacco, entirely overlooked the fact that non-smokers may not see things from the same perspective as pipe-aficionados. She coughed and hacked, trying to get the horrid taste out of her mouth. Then she rinsed her mouth repeatedly, in between punching me and choking.


Nevertheless, darn good tobacco. Fabulous.


THREE OAKS -- ENGLISH BLEND
Pipe Tobacco With Syrian Latakia
Formulated by Ted Gage
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company in Kansas City, Missouri.


Gosh darn it, this is nice stuff. A lovely reek when opening the tin, and a smooth full taste on the tongue. Like almost all tinned tobaccos, it needs a bit of drying before it can be smoked, but, quite unlike most McClelland products, it does not subtly remind one of ketchup, malt vinegar, or barbecue sauce. Dang this is good.
I think I may order a few dozen tins of it.

Good Latakia supported by Virginias, with Orientals slightly in the background. A medium strength blend, not a Latakia dump. Reduces to a fine pale ash. It is, to my mind, perfectly balanced. A glorious bit of blending.
This is precisely what all winsome Cantonese girls should smoke; then life would be perfect.


The original Three Oaks was compounded by Ted Gage (a well-known name among pipe-smokers) for Bufflehead Smoke Shop in the Kansas City area (Shawnee Mission), Kansas. In 2005 or 2006 changes in the laws for out of state mail order sabotaged what was apparently a thriving business, and the store closed down. The blend’s fans were bereft.

In 2009 McClelland started manufacturing it according to the original recipe. Hot diggity! Three Oaks Syrian Pipe Tobacco Blend is a luxurious taste of home for the exile, and a perfect desert island mixture.



MCLELLAND’S

At present there are two other McClelland pipe tobaccos on my desk: Virginia Woods and Orient 996. Both are ribbon cuts, and behave very similarly – there is a delightful aged red Virginia sweetness that comes through if they are smoked slow. Neither is dominated by the notorious McClelland pickle factory funkum. They resemble each other, but are in fact quite different products. And yes, I recommend both – though if you like Virginia Woods, you will probably detest Orient 996, and vice versa.
Remember, smoke slow. And do not pack too firmly.



ADDENDUM

Several times over the past few years I have mentioned Dunhills becoming Carreras, Carreras becoming Rothmans, and Rothmans being digested by British American Tobacco. The mixtures moved from London, to Belfast, to somewhere in darkest Denmark.

If you wish to know more about the Dunhill shape-shifting, read here:
http://www.mindless.ca/pipe-smoking/two-dunhills.html
[Reports from the field: There are two Dunhills! By Restingpipes]

This article also sheds some light:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080304002955/http:/pipelore.net/index.php?id=123
[Dunhill Tobacco Odyssey By Lars Wiberg and Corneel Vermeulen]


A lot has been written about Dunhill. And a lot of what has been written treats Murrays like a minor deity, Orlik like a scion of the dark side.
Back in 1981, however, when Dunhill tobacco production shifted to Murrays' plant in Belfast, it was considered the end of civilization, and Murrays was, clearly, in league with the devil. Certainly the tins of Dunhill tobacco I made the mistake of purchasing in the eighties and early nineties bore out that theory. Nasty, twiggy, and well-nigh unsmokeable, the very definition of expensive crap. It just was not the same as what I had puffed with so much pleasure in the seventies.

I remember throwing out several tins of Dunhill throughout the eighties and nineties. One tin contained more refuse than tobacco.

I didn't buy Dunhill tobaccos again till the two thousands, well after Orlik had taken over manufacture. I was very pleasantly surprised. I can only think well of Orlik in consequence.
I am not particularly interested in what B.A.T. intends to do with their intellectual property since they pissed on Orlik in 2006. It may be good, but more likely not.
I have socked away over five hundred tins from the Orlik years. Only two tins from the Murray era. That is enough Dunhill for one man.




TOBACCO INDEX


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