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Let's Talk OTC Tobaccos/Best Of



  • I like quite a few OTC's . Half and half , velvet ,carter hall to name a few.
  • I've tried Captain Black Gold and the Cherry. The Cherry really bit me and has turned me away from aromatics. I presently have a pouch of Prince Albert it's ok. I'm going to try some Velvet and Carter Hall. Not a fan of Captain Black tobaccos.
  • I am a big fan of Carter Hall. I enjoy high end tobaccos, but if every other blend in the world disappeared and all we had was CH I'd be ok.
  • piperdavepiperdave Connoisseur
    @judandhispipe I can still get Kentucky Club locally around here (Cincinnati) they still carry it in all the local smoke shops along with the standard carter hall and captain black. Do you know if they have stopped producing Kentucky Club completely and maybe these are the remnants or "left overs"?
  • @piperdave, I only know for that, according to the information I have, Kentucky Club Mild is no longer in production, although some of the other KC varietys still are.
  • piperdavepiperdave Connoisseur
    @judandhispipe The local places don't have the 14 oz containers just the small rectangular 1.5 oz boxes. It must be what is just left on the shelf. Well I might just grab what's left since it's no longer produced. Thanks for the info.
  • @piperdave, you're welcome. I posted the pic of the 14oz since I found it quickly, to clarify which KC I meant. 
  • I used to smoke Kentucky Club til it went away. Carter Hall probably now! Have been smoking Lane 1-Q recently.  I still miss the old Flying Dutchman! It was great, as long as you smoked it SLOW! I hear it is still available in Europe. Wish it was still available here!

  • Carter Hall for me, Borkum Riff Bourbon second.
    It's funny, when you do the math the OTCs are as much or more than what a lot would call "high end" tobacco. I agree that they are ubiquitous for a reason, they are good and have stood the test of time. I like a good IPA but also enjoy a Pabst or Miller High Life. Variety is indeed the spice of life.
  • As a bit of a change, I enjoy a bowl of Half & Half, also as many have said, Captain Black is a very consistent smoke, always available in most smoke shops. A bit of Sir Walter Releigh is a refreshing break.  Mention was made of Kentucky Club, have not seen that for years. 
  • Carter Hall is my favorite OTC brand but I also like Velvet and Half and Half.
  • My granddad was a long time pipe smoker. When we were cleaning out his house after he died, I was going through his pipe/liquor cabnet and found an almost full tub of sugar barrel. So I have been working on that once in a while. But as far as my fav. otc, its Captain Black Royal.

  • Rshey1Rshey1 Apprentice
    The only otc Ive tried, is Captain Black and I've tried all Captain black flavors except for the grape .I decided to try some because I forgot to bring a tin and a pipe along on a road trip,and I really wanted to smoke a pipe. ( I was listening to country Square radio which really boost the cravings) so I picked up a second cob and a pouch of the original,and I was pleasantly surprised. I still smoke it occasionally. I now have a pipe and a pouch in the truck at all times.
  • Smoked a boat load of Velvet back when it was in the pocket tin. Still smoke it on occasion. Every once in a while I get on the codger binge with Carter Hall, SWR regular and aro, PA, Granger, and Half and Half. I think they are all good smokes but my Go to OTC is Middleton Apple.
  • drac2485drac2485 Enthusiast
    I finally have broken down and gotten my hands on some OTC.  I enjoyed Prince Albert, not great but good especially when I am not paying that much attention to the smoke.  I found Carter Hall not that bad and couldn't get it to bite me no matter how hard I tried, I'd rather grab PA.  I just got a tin of Lane Ready Rubbed in the mail and can't wait to try it.  There is a reason these common OTC blends have been around as long as they have.
  • I really hope @ Country Squireradio does a OTC episode, I'd love to know what's worth giving a shot & what's worth leaving in the past
  • Carter Hall is my go to Codger, Borkum Riff Orange & Honey is a new OTC That I found to be good.
  • "I enjoyed Prince Albert, not great but good especially when I am
    not paying that much attention to the smoke."
    That's what these old time blends are - something to stick in your pipe and smoke all day. I'm with you on the PA over CH.
  • Carter Hall, SWR, and Captain Black Royal. I have smoked these and they have a place in the history of Pipe Smoking. This last year I discovered Velvet and it hits me in the right places. Smells and tastes like sweet bread but does not take away from the sun rip-pend  burly. The sweetness from the topping is a compliment and does not smack you in the face like a CB Royal. Just good solid quality tobacco. I bought a tub and when you open it up and smell the tobacco and run your fingers through it you can sense the quality.I have Penzance, Escudo, MacBarens Golden Extra, G.L. Pease Quiet Nights and G.L. Pease Gaslight,  Frog Morton, Squadron Leader and many other high end tobaccos but I get a real pleasure from lighting up a bowl of Velvet and thinking back on my East Tennessee roots. Growing up in the Smoky Mountains and sitting around with my uncle Rex talking about hunting and fishing. I will never be without an OTC in my arsenal. Especially Velvet.   
  • My Father in Law started on SWR. My Grandpa smoked CH. I have a cupboard full of "higher grade" pipe tobaccos, but I've always been a burley and an English guy and SWR and CH are always a great smoke! I need to give Lane Ready Rubbed a try. I wish I could buy a couple ounces before I invest in a tub of it. Anyone know who sells it by the ounce? Thanks!
  • I smoke around 5 pipes a day, and usually at least three of those are codger blends (unless it is wicked cold, when that happens I go for Lat and Perique blends).  I enjoy latakia and hearty C&D or Dunhill blends but most of the time I am just more in the mood for a simple blend that I can sit back and enjoy.  PA and Granger are probably my top two blends but I like Velvet a few times a week, SWR usually shows up a couple times a week as well.  To my tastes the Dunhill/upscale tobacco blends are like espresso-while I do like it most of the time I pour chock full o' nuts or dunkin' coffee and save the espresso for when the mood strikes me!  I am curious about Sail tobacco, never tried it or even heard of it until recently but it appears to be in the OTC category. 
  • @DrDetroit, I wanted to do the same thing, try some LL Ready Rubbed so when I placed an order at P&C I asked if I could get a sample and they said no, it's not available in bulk, you have to order the 14oz. tin, don't want to invest in it and not like it.
  • @pipeman83, LRR is now available in 1.5 oz pouches. P&C carries it,although it is currently out of stock.
  • I thought John Rolfe Peach Brandy the best OTC, back in the day. It was notable for being a great smelling smoke that was not Cherry Blend. The organist/choirmaster smoked it when I was a teen, and when I got to 18 it was the very first tobacco I bought. 
  • @judandhispipe, thanks for the info, that's good to know, hopefully they will have it soon.
  • I started nearly 50 years ago with Middleton's Cherry Blend and moved on to John Rolfe Peach Brandy - don't think vanilla or chocolate blends were being manufactured back then ... at least not like they are now. My first experience with a vanilla blend was the Captain Black series. I recently ordered a MATCH Blend of John Rolfe from Pipes And Cigars for a nostalgic trip back in time but wasn't all that pleased with the experience. Not sure if the match is inferior to the original blend - or if it wasn't really that great tasting a blend back in the day either. When I first started smoking a pipe I was way too young and not aware of the nuances of proper pipe smoking and puffed like a chimney, and the experience left me with perpetual case of tongue bite. It's a wonder I continued smoking through it all.

    But of all the OTC blends currently available I tend to gravitate toward the Captain Black blends - primarily Original, Gold, and Royal. I love the Dark and Grape but can't really call them an OTC blend because I never see anything but Original, Black, and Gold offered at local drug or grocery stores. If I want a Captain Black blend like Dark, Round, Copper, Grape, or Cherry I have to order them on-line.

    Also enjoy the occasional bowl of Carter Hall and Velvet when I'm looking for an OTC blend that's not too sweet.   

  • Carter Hall hands down, it's mild, nutty burley with a light cocoa note. And the "aluminum foil" type pouch it's in keeps in fresh for months, I wish all OTC had this packaging.
  • I like Captain Black but favor the cherry, my dad always smoked Prince Albert and I can still smell it:) but I have yet to try it. Just picked up a can of Sir Walter Riley and after reading all of the comments I am looking forward to puffing on a bowl.
  • I never got the chance to try either Walnut or Sugar Barrel but I have ordered up the Hearth and Home versions titled Chestnut and Sweet Cast to try them out.  Has anybody else tried the mid-town series from H&H?  I was interested in the version of kentucky club aromatic that they have but I have heard and read that coconut was the flavoring there and I am allergic so that one will have to remain a mystery.  I saw on tobacco reviews though that quite a few people said the chatham manor was actually better than carter hall and was a richer smoke with less chemical taste (I happen to think carter hall is ok the way it is but I may try the chatham someday anyway)
    @drac2485 what is the verdict on the lane ready rubbed?  I plan on ordering a tub myself one of these days, perhaps on next month's order.

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