Friday, September 25, 2009


A correspondent who is newly posted to the barbaric hinterlands sent a plea that speaks volumes of the primitive hickville swamp-burg where he is in exile.

Well, actually, that is not quite correct.
It really indicates that he is seriously buckling down and working, rather than off gallivanting around town with the hot hot hot shiksas.
Oh, those zesty native girls. A hardship.

He asked "how does one order a 50g tin of Dunhill London Mixture via the intertubes?"

The question establishes three things.
He is spending much time at his desk with the books.
He is running out of stuff to smoke.
He has good taste.

"How does one order a 50g tin of Dunhill London Mixture via the intertubes?"

With an excess of faith.
That's how one orders London Mixture.
Seriously, good luck. It may no longer be available.

There are several stores that do business over the internet.
I have dealt with these two:

Cup O` Joes:


In lieu of Dunhill London Mixture, you might like Cornell & Diehl's Red Odessa. It has less Turkish, but is a profoundly old-fashioned style English blend.
Of course there's also the GLPease stuff - Westminster comes to mind - but that may not be what you are looking for.
[I say this because I know that you have been exposed to much of the Dark Lord's domain. If it satisfied you, you would not need to consult me.]

Other good medium-range English mixtures with a Turkish overtone are Peterson's Old Dublin, Esoterica (actually Germain's) Margate, and J. F. Germain & Sons Latakia Mixture or King Charles Mixture.
All are deliciously degenerate.

There's also Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader - a perfect Balkan style blend, very old fashioned, nicely reeky. Bit of a broad cut, which makes it a little hard to get used to, but once you've got the rhythm of it, delightful.


In regards to "read-testing" a blend before you buy it, tobacco reviews dot com ( is a good resource, and can be very amusing, as a pipe smoker who realizes he just spent fifteen dollars on a tin of boggy sphagnum he would never touch again, even if it were the last tobacco on earth, becomes a very angry, very venomous, very eloquently foaming at the mouth critic. Such a man's review will spill out in lyric sputtering rage exactly how he feels about the heart-wrenching loss of fifteen bucks. The heavens will tremble, the earth will shake, and all the world will know of his agony, despair, and righteous indignation, by gum. He has been robbed, and he seeks justice!

Many of such reviews are seriously good reading.
You will really feel for the bereaved cheapskate.
Or resolve to rib him without mercy if ever you meet him.


On a different note, I think I have succeeded in blending Arcadia. Arcadia is properly called the Craven A Mixture, which was formerly produced by Carrerras, and has long been unavailable.


The writer J. M. Barrie was a customer of Carrerras at Wardour Street during the 1890s. His book 'My Lady Nicotine' mentions the Arcadia Mixture, which he later admitted was actually Craven A. With Barrie's approval Carrerras featured this in his advertising, thus cementing the association of Craven A with Arcadia - which Arthur Conan Doyle subsequently drove home in 'The Crooked Man': "Hum! You still smoke the Arcadia mixture of your bachelor days, then!" (Holmes to Watson upon entering the latter's bachelor digs).
From 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes', by Arthur Conan Doyle, published in 1894.]

Arcadia was heavier on the Orientals than a regular English blend, though lighter on Latakia than you would assume. It had a range of Virginias for several different notes of flavour, and a touch of Kentucky ("Toasted Cavendish") to accentuate the Turkish.

Drucquer & Sons had a blend called Arcadia when I worked there in the seventies and eighties. It was quite good - very Oriental, though with a smidge too much Kentucky.
McClelland acquired a decades-old tin of the Craven A Mixture in the late nineties or early two-thousands, and analyzed it meticulously, eventually producing 'Arcadia' as part of their Sherlock Holmes series. It is decent, but it has that well-known McClelland characteristic, and to my mind far too heavy a Virginia taste.
Craig Tarler of Cornell & Diehl avers that his Yale Mixture is in fact the nearest approximation of the famous blend. I will gladly admit that I am fond of it, and will attest that it is a very fine product indeed.

But personally, I think they're all wrong. Of course.
What I have comes closest to Arcadia.

Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener.
Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener.
Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener.
Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener.
Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener. Neener neener neener.


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


e-kvetcher said...


The back of the hill said...

Cleese at his finest.

Telmac said...

This is where you find a 50g tin of london mixture via the intertubes.

Spiros said...

It is not actually your fault that I read the phrase "bereaved cheapskate" as "beavered cheesecake".
Also, I'm pretty sure that Cleese corpses at 4:28 of kvetcher's link.

The back of the hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The back of the hill said...

"beavered cheesecake"

I'm not at all sure what that is. But I am keen to find out.
Please explicate, even if only speculatively.

It sounds either delicious, or depraved. Either suits me.

Anonymous said...

Is it a wombat?

Amalgamated Owl Stretchers said...


Amalgamated Owl Stretchers said...


Ahmed TMT said...


Why, Jesus?

Why, why, why?

Why is there a wombat in my soup?

I did not order wombat.

I have no wish for wombat.

Bring me the holy hand grenade!

Spiros said...

Why Jesus?

Steffy said...

beavered cheesecake

So, what magazines do you read?

The back of the hill said...

Readers may contact me directly:
Correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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