Saturday, February 15, 2020


Friday was a day for lazily putzing about, Saturday was work. Both days were marked by pipesmoking. This evening I referred to my notes regarding some tobaccos I have enjoyed over the past decade from Sutliff, a venerable company founded in San Francisco over a century ago, back in the day and age when everybody smoked, fought over gold rush claims, sent their dirty laundry to Hawaii, and died like flies. Those various things are NOT related to each other, despite what you might have heard.

Some Sutliff tobacco is shite. Some of it is quite excellent.
Unlike many other companies, it's a crapshoot.

Many of their aromatics are listed in this post: Representative Samples but Skewed. And oof that was an "experience".

BALKAN LUXURY BLEND [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Black Cavendish, Turkish, Perique.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

Latakia forward Balkan blend, which can perform very nicely. Of moderate smoking strength, soft, with a sweet slightly rough edge. The aroma will likely trigger every vegan twat in Berkeley and San Francisco, whose children, apparently, you are killing by smoking this. Quite a decent tobacco. The Perique is not noticeable. The label art may remind you of Balkan Sobranie 759 in the black tin. Worth smoking.


BERKSHIRE [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Turkish, Virginia, Perique
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

A medium English blend, the Latakia, though definitely present, is not the first thing one notices when opening the tin. Very good, edging on delightful.
One of Sutliff's better blends. Complex.
Worth smoking.


BOSPHORUS CRUISE [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Turkish, Virginia.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

Top notch Balkan, rich, creamy, incense-like, resinous, complex, and thus completely offensive to vegan non-smokers, whom you should avoid like the plague, because their company can be toxic. This is altogether a damned good medium full blend. Rich tasting.
Well worth smoking.

Highly recommended.

BRECKINRIDGE [Sutliff Private Stock]
Burley, Kentucky.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

If you like some of the old-fashioned Burley mixtures that your grandpa smoked, you will almost certainly like this one, and I should recommend it to Nick T in Montana, who has probably already discovered it. Nutty, earthy, cool smoking, with that faint hint of cocao that good Burley often has.
Not overly strong. Worth smoking.

COURT OF ST. JAMES [Sutliff Private Stock]
Virginia and Perique; broken flake.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

It's a laudable product, but there is far too much Perique for my taste. An enjoyable wet-weather smoke. But no more than one bowl a day.
Peppery, mildly sweet.

CD BLEND [Sutliff Private Stock]
Burley, Virginia, Latakia, Perique.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

An American mixture like the local tobacconist would sell, years ago, if he knew what he was doing. Interesting, and may appeal to older gentlemen, but not my cup of tea. I do have some of it stashed away, but I never did finish the second tin. It bit. Similar to Epiphany and others of that ilk.

FIELD MASTER [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Burley, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

Medium-mild English, with perhaps too much Burley. Sort of American. This is well-behaved, and quite satisfying once in a while, but it is not a blend that I personally would stockpile. Slightly sweet, slightly smoky, slightly chocolaty from the inclusion of air-cured leaf. High quality, and it sings in a corncob.

GOLDEN AGE [Sutliff Private Stock]
Virginia and Perique.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

The Virginias are hay-like, herbal, sweet, the Perique is a little subdued, one would almost say well-behaved. A fine cut ribbony blend that pleases if not smoked fast, suited to the VaPer smoker, reminiscent somewhat of Dunbar and Dorchester. Possibly an all-day smoke. Worth smoking.


MAN'S BEST FRIEND BLEND [Sutliff Private Stock]
Burley, Latakia, Virginia.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

A modest American blend, which will have fans, also enemies. I'm on the fence about this one. It's in imitation of the old Barking Dog Mixture, but frankly too academic. Best in small bowls.
A yippy little terrier.

R. BLEND [Sutliff Private Stock] 
Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia.
Slightly topped with fruit extractives.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

A balanced old-fashioned American blend based on Revelation (House of Windsor), and quite enjoyable if you are on a roll. Complex, slightly sweet, mildly earthy, faintly spicy. Can be a good all day smoke, and the room note induces reveries. Dust motes suspended in the sun beams, the high quality alloys of old style drafting tools, the sound of the Victrola having finished playing a record, with the needle skipping softly at the centre.
I liked it. But many people will not.
[Several years ago I smoked this when we were counter-protesting a demonstration by people on the wrong side. It traumatised and pained them. So I had several bowls-full. "Excuse me, can you go smoke that somewhere else?!?" "No, I can't. I'm here, and I'm not moving."
Horrible of me. It was very enjoyable.]

Worth smoking.

SUNRISE SMOKE [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Turkish, Virginia.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

An excellent mild English-Balkan, imitative of Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe, but it doesn't hit the target, and is nowhere near the bullseye. If anything, this recalls Dunhill's Durbar, with a little more character. Light and dark ribbons. It's a pleasant product with sweetness and a slight Turkish edge, and exceptionally well behaved. What your maiden aunt might smoke.
Well worth smoking.

Highly recommended.

WESTMINSTER [Sutliff Private Stock]
Latakia, Turkish, Virginia.
Compounded by Carl McAllister.

Medium English in style. Latakia forward, noticable Virginia, subdued Turk. Unremarkable, but satisfying enough. If you like it, you like it. If not, not.
I would smoke it again. Worth smoking.

An interesting journey, and I do feel that Sutliff is unjustly sneered at. Carl McAllister is an old-school master blender, and has produced some very interesting stuff.

It's probably a good thing that the company left San Francisco over sixty years ago. This city has lost its balls, and has been taken over by severely disapproving types. That's why there are no tobacconists of any note here, and half the people are alcoholics or dope fiends.

By the way: on the way home I smelled marijuana.
Those people are loathsome.
Big time.


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