A tour of drug store blends, stop one: John Middleton’s Carter Hall
John Middleton Co. – Carter Hall
For those looking for a tin description they won’t find one here, at least not on the pouch. I guess people just buy this one on its reputation, and for those doubting the reputation there are smokers “accolades” printed on the front of the package to help you decide. The front reads: What smokers like about Carter Hall pipe tobacco… “Taste, Aroma, Moistness, Freshness, Mildness, No Bite, Even Burning, Good Price”. So I set out to test those accolades…
In The Tin/Pouch The aroma I get from this tobacco is raisins. This is not a strong robust smell, and certainly not the strength of a heavy aromatic blend, but a light almost delicate scent. Inside is a light brown This is a light brown, soft, ribbon cut tobacco. I found the moisture level to be perfect straight out of the pouch, and the stuff just begs to be smoked.
The Burn It was very easy to fill the pipe with this tobacco, and it lit up very well. I only needed to light this once, not including a charring light, and it burned evenly and cleanly with no relights necessary. Once lit this stuff just goes, in fact, it goes fast and before I knew it the bowl was almost halfway done. This tobacco burns faster than other tobaccos I have had, in fact I found it burned about twice as fast as other tobaccos, but nevertheless it does burn cool. I smoked this in both briars and cobs and I didn’t notice any difference in the smoking experience. This tobacco burned cool and dry all the way to the end with no gurgle.
The Smoke This is a mild flavored silky smoke. The flavor is a little sweet and reminds me a little of cloves, but the flavor is mild. This cool and full smoke does not bite, although I suppose it could if the tobacco was abused. I didn’t find that this was an incredibility deep or complex smoke, but it was still a pleasant, and enjoyable one.
The Aroma I only smoked this outside, and best I can tell is that this tobacco gives a pleasant smoke aroma, it is a little musty, but not in your face. Not the best aroma but still pleasant.
The Bottom Line It appears that the so-called accolades printed on the front of the package were correct, but I guess they should be as this tobacco has been around for a while, and If they weren’t true I suppose this tobacco would have gone the way of the dodo bird. For me the theme with this tobacco is mild, not that that’s a bad thing. It is a pleasant, straight forward, mindless smoke that is not fussy. One downside to this tobacco is that is that it burns fast, but that is not enough of an issue to discourage me from smoking it. Overall I like this tobacco and for an inexpensive blend I am pleased with this tobacco so far, but as I am trying several drug store blends this may change.
Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop one: John Middleton’s Carter Hall
Thanks Tommy, I know what you mean about them being intriguing... they have stood the test of time while so many tobaccos have disappeared, yet they don’t always get the same amount of respect as those tobaccos that have disappeared...