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.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Imagine that you are surrounded by pipe-smoking gentlemen having a very restrained aesthetic orgy. Meaning that they are politely but intensely admiring each other's shiny pieces of wood. Or rugged rusticated wood. Veins, wood grains, and nicely rounded shapes.

Yes, the recent meeting of the local pipe club. Which is something that most non-pipesmoking persons might find a daunting prospect.
Peculiar objects, and odd smells.

One of the most berserk mixtures stuffed into a pipe last night was Peterson's Connoisseur's Choice, which is a revolting, pungent and unbearably fruity blend of Black Cavendish, Golden and Red Virginia, mixed with luxury broken flake. The putrid combo of Tropical fruit, Vanilla & Rum make this blend ......


And 'eep!'

The gentleman indulging in this perversion informed me that at his local tobacconist, one of the owners has banned Latakia mixtures, because of unresolved childhood issues from when she was still married to a lizard. Whose Latakia odour infected the storeroom, bathroom, and sheets. At least I think he explained it that way, I was too busy gagging at the smell and shuddering at the heresy of banning Latakia to listen attentively.

I spent a large part of the evening defending more restrained aromatics, like Erinmore Flake or Samuel Gawith's 1792 Flake. Normally I have few good words to say about the perfumed tarts of the tobacco world, but flavoured tobacco is the largest category of pipe-weed sold, and even so severe a puritan as Gregory Pease has guiltily dabbled in them.
No, I have not smoked his latest creation: Virginia Cream.
Not planning to either. He should feel unclean now.
Erinmore and 1792 are all you really need.
Still, I am rather curious.
I hear it's good.


The topic of discussion for the evening did not excite me, that being the humble pipe tamper, of which there are innumerable varieties that all serve the same purpose: tamping down the crown of fire at the top of the bowl as the smoke progresses, so that it will burn evenly and continue doing so all the way down.

One person made the mistake of criticising the Czech Tool.

Gentlemen, the Czech Tool is absolutely the greatest thing to ever come out of Eastern Europe, the one product or invention that puts the Slavic bog on the map. It is the ONLY reason the Czech Republic was admitted to the United Nations and the European Union. With their military armed primarily with this simple and functional object, they are capable of resisting vast invasions by Russians, Huns, and Turks. And it is an elegant object! Even James Bond uses it. The reason why you don't remember him doing so is because it is subtle and understated. It is a stealth accoutrement par excellence.

That air of intellectual superiority that geniuses such as Bertrand Russel, Georges Simenon, Whatsisbucket Tolkien, and Franz Kafka exude?
It is the Czech Tool.

Simply possessing a Czech Tool marks one as a man of the world, capable of taking on any contingency, and a darn sexy beast.

I have three dozen of them.

More or less.

[New Zealand was also briefly discussed. The consensus is that we should visit before the hobbit is hunted to extinction, and eat one before that is banned.]

Wine was drunk. And tea, lots of tea. Salami, cheese, French bread, and one tomato were consumed. Several nice pipe tobaccos were smoked.

Three of us repaired to a cigar bar afterwards, where we calmly and thoughtfully smoked some more. We were quite unlike the cigar-huffing cretins surrounding us, whose giddy excitement and girlish middle-aged men squeals made it hard to hear oneself think at times.

Purely a matter of gravitas.

Germain & Son Perique Mixture. MacBarens Dark Twist from 2008. Dunhill Ready Rubbed. McClelland Balkan Blue.


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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.



  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger Phillip Minden said…

    And not a stupid fancy Czech tool with a twist, but the plain ones, of course.

  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Wowbagger said…

    Lately I've been finding some Hongkong ripp-offs to the Czech tool here in the Netherlands, made from aluminium. Utter rubish, as you can't open a tin of tobacco without breaking the thing.
    How did you like the Ready Rubbed? I've bought a tin of it recently on a whim, not realy knowing what was inside. Haven't opened it yet.

  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    I've heard that the factory that makes the Czech tool is closing / has closed.
    Which is a disaster.

    The Dunhill Ready Rubbed is good go-to tobacco, being a predominantly blonde broken flake that's easy to smoke, smooth, and while not remarkable, so easy to like that at the end of the tin you will likely buy another.

    I refrained from purchasing a third tin because the pipe store I patronize will be out if I do. Going to give other pipe smokers a chance for a week or two. But if it's still there at the end of the month, it's mine.

  • At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Wowbagger said…

    Thank you for the information. Better go in search of a few more czechs while there stil are some left. Three dozen like yourself will be something to aspire.
    Sounds like the ready rubbed will fit nicely somewhere next summer.


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