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.

Saturday, October 01, 2016


What with tobacco aficionados going massively berserk and depleting stock from retailers on the internet, before it all disappears and we're left with diddly except for 1-Q and Captain Black, it seems to me that a short list of the smoking mixtures you need in your nuclear fall-out shelter is in order.

[Clarification for people who have not learned to smoke yet: In 2009 our president and the congress handed the tobacco portfolio to the FDA, which like all parasitical infections happily jumped all over a new victim. They finally published their deeming regulations in May of this year, going into effect in August. Products introduced since 2007 (a grandfather date) have to be compliant by January of 2017, everything else by February of 2018, which is only a year and half away. There is flexibility for sell-through of existing stock.
When the implications finally sunk in, pipe smokers panicked, and started a massive buying spree. Because, as you will understand, very few manufacturers can afford to pay a more-than-quarter-of-a-million dollar filing fee for each product, given that there are sometimes hundreds of blends in their stock, many of which appeal solely to a clientele of devious bearded men in duck blinds out in the upper peninsula. Which means that eighty percent of what is worth smoking will be gone forever in about a year or so.
Do-gooders and healthnuts did this to you.
Never invite the bastards over for tea anymore, and chase their horrid kids off your lawn.]

Yes, I am sure that all right-smoking women and timorous lady pipe virgins have already considered stockpiling Syrian Three Oaks, Wilderness, and Legends, by McClelland. These represent some of the finest Latakia blends available at present, and McClelland is a mighty fine company.
If you're going to be a female pipe smoker, you must take precautions.
A can of pepper spray, a piercing dogwhistle, and Latakia.
Avoid football players and fraternity boys.

Men too. All of this also holds for men.
One difference: handbag collectors.
They won't understand pipes.

A wall of tobacco tins makes good insulation for your library, and a marvelous backdrop for a little teaparty among friends. Just you, two or three agreeable souls, and fine porcelain receptacles filled with Assam, Ceylon, or Lapsang Souchong. Maybe some sherry later.

Please avoid all drinkers of herbal muck like chamomile, zinger, rooibos, and decaffeinated organic pomegranate chai. Remember the previous mention of do-gooders and healthnuts? Yep. Those people.

Anyhow, there are three Pease tobaccos which represent the paradigm.

In no particular order: Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington.

Bear in mind that though I am always right, this is just an opinion. Just like that bit about Assam, Ceylon, and Lapsang Souchong was an opinion.
Feel free to hold differently. I am concerned about your mental health.
And will not invite you over for tea.

Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington.

You will note that two out of three are in the English blend category, while Navigator is the only one likely to appeal to a VaPer man (or woman). And instead of Navigator, Union Square would also be an splendid choice, as it is a superlative layering of quality flue-cureds that matures very well indeed. Telegraph Hill (Virginia and Perique, complex and a bit subtle) would also be excellent.

But go for the Latakia stockpile anyway. This is because the people who most need to stockpile are the ones who like Latakia, which the bastards at the FDA will probably ban; sooty smoke-cured tobacco is beyond their comprehension. Latakia is a leaf that they can only loathe, and with all that non-tobacco addition (terpeneols), it is far more offensive than anything else. Trust me. I've been kicked out of places for lighting that stuff up, back when you could still smoke in restaurants and tea parlours.
There are disapproving shmucks everywhere.
Do-gooders and healthnuts.

Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington.

Many of Greg's blends are excellent smokes, and all of them are winsome and appealing to some segment. I myself have what I call 'The Wall Of Pease', which I started back in 2004 when Marty Pulvers retired. Over half of it is several years old now, and I plan on letting it all mature a bit more before I breach it. One of these years it will look very comforting in a real library or den, in bookshelves alternating with Proust, Camus, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein, Heidegger ..... actually mostly Nabokov, reference books, and manga, because I don't really enjoy weighty literature, it's so pretentious ...

Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington.


This is a product for the lover of classic English blends. More than forty percent Latakia, and like Cornell & Diehl's Red Odessa, it presents a perfect balance and an old-fashioned sensibility. Smoky, leathery, perfect with a glass of sherry. Long on flavour, this will remind you of all the old London mixtures you grew up with. This is dreamy tobacco.

Tweeds, wet weather, and snarling at the dingoes.


Pressed Virginias with a little fire-cured Kentucky, and the merest hint of rum. Don't worry about the rum, it really doesn't signify. A few years ago I smoked several bowls of this in quick succession while sitting on a ledge in Chinatown enjoying the sun. My heavens. They've now put an iron railing on that ledge because of people like me.

Before a cup of Hong Kong Style milk-tea. And after.


Among the early Greg Pease tobaccos I stockpiled. When I opened that first tin it reminded me of my teenage years, when the lads at Parsifal objected to the reek of Latakia blends. Shortly after establishing that pattern my tobaconist ran out of Balkan Sobranie, and for a while I smoked Dunhill 965, Standard Mixture, and Nightcap instead.

Hang Ah Alley late at night. That smell? That's me.

Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington.

Another reason to buy lots of Westminster, Navigator, and Kensington, is that, like the three previously lauded McClelland products (Syrian Three Oaks, Wilderness, and Legends), they are American-made. The skunk-wads at the FDA have no effect on English (Samuel Gawith and Germain & Son) and Scandinavian (HH and Orlik) manufacture, other than making them illegal in the United States. Many of the fine flakes and Virginia-Perique blends you like will still be available elsewhere, and it's up to you to find clever ways of breaking the law and smuggling them in.

Remember, it is illegal in San Fancisco to smoke within a certain distance of bus stops, public parks, schools, hospitals, and retirement homes. But never-the-less very enjoyable, and we've already lost any hope of changing the minds of do-gooders and healthnuts, so go right ahead.

Smoking around Berkeleyites and Vegans is recommended; it freaks the poor bastards out. They'll need medical grade marijuana afterwards.

ALWAYS smoke around anti-vaxxers.
Screw 'em.


Other G. L. Pease tobaccos recommended: Abingdon (full Balkan), Cairo (medium Oriental), Caravan (medium-full Balkan), Charing Cross (Balkan, yowza!), Fillmore (partially broken flake), Haddo's Delight (une mixture Américaine), Jackknife Plug, Key Largo (contains cigar leaf), Lagonda (pressed full English), Laurel Heights (Virginia and Latakia), Quiet Nights (pressed full English), Sextant, Triple Play (plug, mmmm!), Union Square (Virginias), and of course the blends recently released that reproduce the Drucquer & Sons oeuvre.

Other McClelland tobaccos recommended: Blackwoods Flake, Blakeny's Best Latakia Flake, Blakeny's Best Tawny Flake, Dark Star, Dominican Glory (contains cigar leaf), Dominican Glory Maduro, Grand Orientals Smyrna, Navy Cavendish, No. 2010 Virginia (bulk), No. 2015 Virginia and Perique (bulk), Oriental Mixture No. 8, Oriental Mixture No. 12, Oriental Mixture No. 14 , St. James Woods, Virginia No. 24, and Virginia Woods (ribbon cut Virginia and some black).

We are going into dark times.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We all knew it was coming.

    The overpriced and piggish cigar crowd shall be spared, of course.

    God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.

    Working on getting 5 kilograms of McC's British Woods.

    May as well add another 500g of Dark Fired from MacBaren.

    Time to bring in a shipping container of Gawith products, too.

    Dear me.

    This is not correct behavior, by the way.

  • At 6:59 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    There is much about modern society which encourages incorrect behaviour.

    Definitely get more McC's British Woods than five kg. It ages well.

  • At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Por Frente da Favela said…

    the mister gives the bests comentaries on the cigarrs and the tabaco, but still i not understand the postage of the mr. what viajed to manys places of ásia orient. still i am hoping for thes best explications!


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