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July TOTM

Each month we'll have some focused reviews on a particular blend.

TOTM July 2013

Dunhill Early Morning Pipe
5
23%
SG Commonwealth Mixture
0
No votes
Dunhill Royal Yacht
4
18%
Dunhill My Mixture 965
1
5%
Rattray's Marlin Flake
6
27%
Gawith Hoggarth Best Brown #2
0
No votes
Rattray's Old Gowrie
1
5%
Rattray's Red Raparee
4
18%
Other - Let us know what your other is please!
1
5%
 
Total votes : 22

Re: July TOTM

Postby bearded1 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:11 pm

I popped my tin a few days ago to give it some air time. Had a few bowls already...

This is going to turn into a wonderful smoke! A taste profile similar to other Rattrays Virginia offerings, but with a creamier, thicker smoke which I truly enjoy.
-Paul
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Re: July TOTM

Postby jwh891 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:43 pm

Just got my tin in today with the rest of last month's TAD. I am going to give it a smoke here in the next couple of days. .
John

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Re: July TOTM

Postby Taff » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:51 pm

Well I've just had a bowl of this Marlin Flake...

...I love HOTW, am fond of Old Gowrie, so I was expecting to at least enjoy this stuff. Sadly, no! Ok, I'm not writing it off, but I can definitely say I didn't enjoy that first bowl.

I smoked it in a corncob to give it the best chance of showing its true colours and I just wasn't impressed with it. I got a slight (very slight) hint of Perique in it about halfway down but to be honest by the time it kicked in I was fed up with it! It was overly sweet for my taste as well (even though I do occassionally enjoy Aros) but the virginia sweetness seemed forced in it somehow, almost artificial. There was quite a strong nic hit to it as well, stronger I would say than HOTW.

The quality of the flake was good. I'm sure our American friends here will be drying it out first, but I smoked it straight out the tin, like I do with everything (stand fast SG flakes). I rubbed mine out and filled the pipe up and I got a good long slow burn out of it which was good. It doesn't bite, thankfully, and I got no other adverse physilogical effects from it.

I'll plod on with the tin but unless I see a drastic improvement I won't be rushing out to buy it again!
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Re: July TOTM

Postby Dodger » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:03 pm

My order is arriving tomorrow ,I also ordered a tin of Red Raparee as the description on tobacco reviews seemed interesting.
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Re: July TOTM

Postby bearded1 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:58 pm

Taff wrote:Well I've just had a bowl of this Marlin Flake...

...I love HOTW, am fond of Old Gowrie, so I was expecting to at least enjoy this stuff. Sadly, no! Ok, I'm not writing it off, but I can definitely say I didn't enjoy that first bowl.

I smoked it in a corncob to give it the best chance of showing its true colours and I just wasn't impressed with it. I got a slight (very slight) hint of Perique in it about halfway down but to be honest by the time it kicked in I was fed up with it! It was overly sweet for my taste as well (even though I do occassionally enjoy Aros) but the virginia sweetness seemed forced in it somehow, almost artificial. There was quite a strong nic hit to it as well, stronger I would say than HOTW.

The quality of the flake was good. I'm sure our American friends here will be drying it out first, but I smoked it straight out the tin, like I do with everything (stand fast SG flakes). I rubbed mine out and filled the pipe up and I got a good long slow burn out of it which was good. It doesn't bite, thankfully, and I got no other adverse physilogical effects from it.

I'll plod on with the tin but unless I see a drastic improvement I won't be rushing out to buy it again!


I've been smoking it right from the tin rubbed out well and it stays lit just beautifully. With any freshly popped tin, I know from my own experience that the tobacco needs a week or so to "come alive" in the taste department. Give it a few days and see how it improves in clarity of taste. I have had 3 bowls so far and my Falcon seems to adore this tobacco. I'm thinking I may like it more than Hal O' the Wynd (it's been far too long since I've had any Old Gowrie to judge that though).
-Paul
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Re: July TOTM

Postby jwh891 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:18 am

Well, I've smoked two bowls so far. I uploaded a video with some first thoughts on my YT channel. I smoked both in Cobs, right after I opened the tins (and yes being the red-blooded American boy that I am, I dried it out :D ).

I've got to say from what I've had so far I really enjoy this stuff. It isn't complicated.

Out of the tin, it smells great. A lot like fresh brewed Sweet Iced Tea. A tiny after note of hay.

The presentation of the flake was beautiful, I had no idea it would be such a long flake. The flake is quite beautiful, dark with tiny streams and eddys of lighter Virgina. I rubbed it out into a nice ribbon.

From char light till finish it smokes super easy. And the sweetness stays with throughout. I agree that it is very sweet (I don't smoke Aros so one of the sweetest I've smoked) but it didn't taste artificial. If I was puffing at the right cadence, it tasted a lot like sweet tea. Would probably go great with a glass. I did puff a little too hot towards the end of the first bowl and the taste quickly disappeared into a hot mess, but it didn't bite.

I really enjoyed this tobacco. It's not complex and it is kind of "one note" in the flavor department, but it sure tastes great on a hot summer day, in a cob, with a tall glass of sweet iced tea by your side. Makes you want to trick your friends into white washing your fence. I will stock up some more on this to get some age on it and I'm interested in seeing how the flavor develops once it's aired out.
John

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Re: July TOTM

Postby Dodger » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:45 pm

Smoking my 2nd bowl of it at the moment ,and it is as good as I remembered .This is a new tin (3 from April in my cellar) and I shall have to order some more .
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Re: July TOTM

Postby ScotsJim » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:46 pm

Marlin flake can be accused of being a one note tobacco when it comes to the flavour department, but what a beautiful sweet flavour ! I like how it intensifies in sweetness as you get further down the bowl, and the spiciness of the perique creeps in towards the latter stages of the smoke and makes itself known.

This is one tobacco that simply has to be sipped, as any kind of over enthusiastic smoking results in it burning hot. I've tried this blend in different pipes and find it smokes best in my Peterson 303 system pipe. I didn't rate it in my Falcons, cobs, or my meers, as it had a tendency to burn hot in these pipes :?

Along with Hal O' the Wynd and Old Gowrie, I rate this blend most highly indeed.
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Re: July TOTM

Postby jwh891 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:52 am

This tobacco has definitely taught me to slow down if I want to enjoy it. But it's quickly becoming one of my favorites!
John

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Re: July TOTM

Postby Anthorn » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:03 pm

Better late than never: I went with the one I've never smoked but always mean to try some day because I think i'll probably like it - Rattray Marlin Flake.
Favourite tobacco: Gawith Hoggarth Sliced Kendal Brown Twist (Sliced Brown Bogie), Gawith Hoggarth Rum Flake, Dunhill My Mixture 965, Ashton Artisan's Blend, Peterson Irish Flake. Most disiked tobacco: Peterson Sunset Breeze, Samuel Gawith Perfection.
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Re: July TOTM

Postby bearded1 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:36 am

This tobacco is really growing on me. I love the long flake, being able to just rip a chunk off to rub out. It's similar to Hal O' the Wynd, but creamier. Subdued sweetness, not too much, just enough. Thick smoke to roll around, blow smoke rings, whatever. Caught myself really immersed in the smoke tonight sitting on the deck listening to the crows have turf wars.

This is also Medium strength enough for me to load in my meer at least, but probably not my CustomBilt Oom Paul.
-Paul
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Re: July TOTM

Postby Anthorn » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:08 pm

Mine arrived this morning but haven't opened it yet. Doing it tomorrow.
Favourite tobacco: Gawith Hoggarth Sliced Kendal Brown Twist (Sliced Brown Bogie), Gawith Hoggarth Rum Flake, Dunhill My Mixture 965, Ashton Artisan's Blend, Peterson Irish Flake. Most disiked tobacco: Peterson Sunset Breeze, Samuel Gawith Perfection.
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Re: July TOTM

Postby ratatosk » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:22 pm

I've had Marlin Flake around for 6 months or so and smoke it on occasion. Nice medium blend and the presentation is interesting, but I am not sure what happened to mine after sitting in a jar so long, more like broken flake now.

At any rate, loads, lights and smokes easy enough, very pleasant. But I just can't get excited about this or any of Rattray's stuff for some reason. Old Gowrie and HOTW are also good, but I guess that I just tend more towards the Samuel Gawith or Robt McConnell ends of things.

Anyway, I would certainly recommend Marlin Flake to anyone who has not tried it and it is available in bulk if you like it so affordability is relatively good. But I don't foresee buying it again any time soon, I've already got tons of stuff that I prefer on hand.
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Re: July TOTM

Postby Dodger » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:49 pm

ratatosk wrote:
At any rate, loads, lights and smokes easy enough, very pleasant. But I just can't get excited about this or any of Rattray's stuff for some reason. Old Gowrie and HOTW are also good, but I guess that I just tend more towards the Samuel Gawith or Robt McConnell ends of things.

Anyway, I would certainly recommend Marlin Flake to anyone who has not tried it .

While I also prefer SG & McConnell ,I do like to have some Rattrays to hand ,as an alternative smoke .
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Re: July TOTM

Postby drl » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:31 pm

I only have the chance to check in here once in a while and missed the voting and discussion but love seeing Marlin Flake getting some attention. So, thought I'd join the party in the "love the Marlin" contingency. I smoke this blend regularly and, well, love it. It has a lot going for it - from simple bits like a beautiful tin presentation and lovely tin aroma, to easy smokeability and fluffy mouthfeel, and (to me) a great flavor that isn't complex or strong, but is satisfying (flavor and nic) and interesting. It is sweet with the cavendish VA but I also find it very deep, dark... definitely on the other end of the spectrum from things like Dunhil Flake, Orlik Golden, Golden Glow, or Solani 633 that has more of a bright/grassy VA flavor. That said, I do pick up some hay/grass-like notes here, but mostly that deep earthy creaminess that I personally favor in a VA. To me the perique is just the perfect condiment - detectable but so soft and just enough to add a bit of depth but not really give it much "perique blend" character like you might find in something like Escudo (which I also am passionate about!).

Also I tried a home stoving experiment with this stuff some months back and that sweetened it up even more and changed it considerably. If you like sweet VAs you might want to try that - just google baking pipe tobacco and I'm sure you'll find info on baking tobacco at like 190-225 (F) for 4-5 hours - you can do it in a tin or a mason jar topped with foil. If you don't like what you have and will struggle to smoke it all, it might be a worthwhile way to try to improve it to your tastes - especially if you bought a 100g tin and want to experiment with 40-50g in a mason jar/oven scenario.

The other thing I wanted to add is that for those of you guys trying it for the first time and liking it/planning to buy more - this is one that DEFINITELY improves dramatically with age to my tastes. I admit that in a relatively short pipe smoking career, I've tried a lot of aged tobaccos - and yes, most of the VA-based ones get better, but this is truly a standout with a few years of rest. I've smoked 2-4 year old, 8 year old, and 10 year old - honestly the 8 was best experience (smoked a 100g tin in the autumn, my fave smoking season) but the 4 was so much better than a fresh tin (which I like just fine) so it is worth noting. I'm not a tobacco snob but this is one I don't really smoke anymore with less than 2 years now because I invested in buying a bunch of aged stuff to go with the cans of fresh stuff I already had on hand which is now just chilling in my closet. (And, to be honest, I probably have more of this blend squirreled away than anything else.)

It is just no nonsense, tasty, easy to smoke, and lovely. YMMV of course, but I am obviously pretty enchanted by this blend. Cheers guys!
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Re: July TOTM

Postby 4nogginsmike » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:39 pm

I've not smoked a Dunhill blend that I didn't like, and some of them, Royal Yacht and Nightcap, I live very much. But I hate paying for tins. I don't like the price nor the small amount in the tin. Just when I get in a groove with the tobacco, it's gone.

As an aside I've found a number of these blends available in bulk, but not Royal Yacht.
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