Wednesday, December 09, 2020


In one of the pipe groups somebody forwarded a recipe called "Ghost of Frog Morton". With a lovely illustration, which was the only reason I looked at it. What with not being one of the aficionados of that blend of pipe tobacco, and having a mild affection for McClelland tobaccos at best (except for the Syrian Three Oaks, which they made according to the recipe by Tad Gage, which was truly one of the best darn tobaccos out there, and is sorely missed).
Illustration by Jean-Baptiste Monge

Ghost of FM recipe: Equal parts Lane HGL and Stokkebye No. 17 English Luxury.

Jean-Baptiste Monge (born June 11, 1971 in Nantes) is a brilliant French fantasy author and illustrator living in Quebec.

Lane HGL: "Toasted cavendish is laced with mountain Latakia, then blended with white burley and golden Virginia to produce a sweet, fuller-bodied smoke, yet cool and slow burning. The Lat is used as a condiment, not to build a Lat-bomb."
[Source: Tobacco Reviews]
Mild on the Latakia side, notes of caramel and raisins. Leathery, with the faintest whiff of vanilla, which may or may not be an additive.

Stokkeby No. 17 English Luxury: "A characteristic English mixture, developed from mellow Georgian Virginias, black cavendish, Mexican burleys and Cyprian Latakia, a classic. Mild to medium strength."
[Source: Tobacco Reviews]
A mild-medium English, slightly sweet. The Burley is noticeable.

Frog Morton by McClellands was a mild-medium English, pronounced Latakia nose. Woodsy, but mild and sweet enough that it appealled to many people. Syrian Three Oaks (Tad Gage) was full Latakia, profoundly old-fashioned, a mixture of great depth. It added clarity and brilliance to life. I still have over a dozen tins of it, boruch Hashem.

When your favourite tobacco disappears from the marketplace, it leaves a hole in the universe. Almost three years after McClelland decided to hang up their spurs people still grieve over their passing, and try to recapture the magic effect that they felt for so long. It's rather like the classic Coke versus new Coke situation, or that HK Chinese woman who lamented the disappearance of a favourite brand of golden treacle which was necessary for her family's traditional recipe of Christmas pudding.

In every life there will be substitutions.

'The flies today don't taste the same, ribbit, and their fuzz is less than it used to be.Things have changed, ribbit. And not for the better. Ribbit. Tell ya what.
You tadpoles nowadays! Ribbit.

Presently engaged on a second cup of coffee, with some lovely golden flake in a briar pipe that is older than me, and putzing around the apartment. Yesterday I threw out a whole garbage bag full of empty tobacco tins, there will be more of them today. Souvenirs in a way, but unnecessary clutter.


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