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, June 16, 2017


Regular readers know me as a man who severely disapproves of aromatic pipe tobacco and flavoured cigars, and I am pleased that politicians in the great city of San Francisco now finally support my vision of hordes of straight white schoolkids smoking pure unsauced products, like our forerunners the Puritans.

"My colleagues on the Public Safety Neighborhood Services committee just unanimously passed my landmark ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in San Francisco. It was sent to the full Board of Supervisors with a positive recommendation. Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco is a forward-thinking, evidenced based policy. Children and young adults, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and LGBTQ people have been selectively profiled, targeted, and ultimately killed by lethal products for far too long. As we speak, the federal government is abdicating its responsibility to protect public health through its ongoing attempts to roll back health care access. It is the right and the duty of states and localities to ensure that our communities are healthy, solvent, and safe. That is what this legislation achieves. The buck stops here."

------Malia Cohen, 14 June at 14:19.

The three most popular aromatic tobaccos are 1-Q, RLP 6, and BCA.

1-Q [Lane Ltd.]
Cavendishes and Virginias, a Vanilla topping plus some added sugars.

RLP 6 [Lane Ltd.]
Virginias, Burleys, Cavendish, with Vanilla, Caramel, and Chocolate.

BCA [Lane Ltd.]
Green River Burley cooked till black with vanilla and syrup to augment the caramelization of whatever sugars occur in the leaf, this is a product that adds stability and coolness to a huge number of house blends.
Everybody has a version of this, even McClellands.

Together with imitations and knock-offs, these three are by far the largest segment of the market, available almost everywhere between here and Nova Scotia, in hundreds of charming old-fashioned emporia.

Malia Cohen is wise to object.

I likewise disapprove of flavoured tobacco, and while the three products are not "bad" bad, they are a gateway to ever more bizarre blends, even such horrors as something drenched in chocolate covered cherries with cherry liqueur, or peachy pecan brickle. No one should smoke these.
They are available in bulk, many tobacconists carry them.
You can also find them on the internet.

When mayor Edwin Lee signs this legislation, schoolchildren all over the city will have to find other products to smoke.

Excepting marijuana, which is made by little green men in the Amazon Rainforest, who recycle, they may wish to experiment with Quiet Nights (GLPease), Nightcap (Dunhill), Balkan Sasieni (Sasieni London & New York), Frog Morton (McClellands), Westminster (GLPease), Early Morning Pipe (Dunhill), and the gold standard of solid reliable English blends, My Mixture 965 (Dunhill).

All of these go well with a cup of tea and a good book, and college men through the ages have relied on the Dunhill products in particular when swatting for tests. Nicotine famously benefits late night study.

In the Virginia and Virginia-Perique category, many of the products of McClellands, Samuel Gawith, and Germain & Son are extremely rewarding. Tolkien smoked Virginias -- Capstan (by D. & H. O. Wills) was one of his favourites, and is guaranteed to put one in a Gandalfian mood -- as did Sir Bertrand Russel, famous philosopher, social critic, mathematician, author, historian, and life-long shit-disturber.

If you like any of these, you will probably like all of them: Peter Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye, Davidoff Flake Medallions, Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls, Three Nuns, Escudo. Several brands, but the same factory.

Dunhill produces some excellent Virginas too.
Flake, Dark Flake, Ready Rubbed.
Elizabethan, Ye Olde Signe.
Three Year Matured.

Again: tea, book, quiet time, academic success.

We need a tobacconist in the Chinatown-North Beach section of the city. One that sells nothing but quality merchandise. Pure unsullied tobacco, affordable pipes (the best briar that students can afford), and good inexpensive stogies for enjoyment outside bubble tea places with classmates and friends, of an afternoon.
It would be so wholesome!

I am so glad that Malia Cohen and the San Francisco Public Safety Neighborhood Services Committee are agreed on this crucial point.

Of course, shoppers could just take a bus.
Spend their money outside the city.
Buy in volume elsewhere.

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


  • At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where are you getting Germain's? I've never seen it in stock any where.
    I did travel last November and scored some Penzance. That too, is as rare as hen's teeth.

  • At 7:54 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Try Telford's in Mill Valley, but note regarding Penzance and Stonehaven that they have a rule of one unit per customer per month, in store sale only, and further that the last time they had either of those two it sold out within a week.

    They do have a selection of the Esoterica Virginias (8 oz sleeves), and a few tins left at present of the Germain's Latakia. And maybe some Pelican, but I can't be sure of that.

    Call them on Monday or Thursday, when they aren't too busy and have the time to talk tobacco over the phone. And those are days when an actual pipe maven, rather than a cigar fiend, is there.


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