OK, next on my OTC experience, the ever popular Carter Hall.
It is a pretty straight forward Burley/VA OTC blend. For the past couple years I've been really enjoying SWR, PA and CH. When in the right mood, these can be among my favorite tobaccos, there are times they just hit the spot. CH may be the best of the bunch.
Open the pouch and you will be greeted by a nice burley chocolate and roasted nut aroma. It also has a bit of a fig or raisin aroma. The combination kind of reminds me of chocolate covered fruit or some baked goods. The color is mostly a medium to light brown from the burley with some darker and lighter specks mixed in. It is a fairly fine cut ribbon which is very short, it seems like it was diced since they were cut down in length. The cut makes it very easy to pack into a pipe.
This is one of my go to blends as I smoke it when I can't decide what to smoke, when I'm in the mood for a smoke but not necessarily in the mood for a particular tobacco, when I'm in the mood for a simple tobacco, as well as when I'm simply in the mood for CH in particular. CH, PA, and SWR are all among the tobaccos on this list. So, I have been smoking a lot of this lately. It has been smoked in pretty much all of my pipes since it is a good neutral tobacco which won't ghost a pipe. It gets smoked in my Latakia pipes, my aromatic pipes, as well as the pipes I have set aside for more neutral tobaccos such as this and VAs/VaPers. My current smoke is out of one of my Mario Grandi pipes, one dedicated to neutral tobaccos such as this and VA/VaPer tobaccos.
Comparing SWR, PA and CH, Carter Hall, they all provide a very similar smoking experience. They are pretty mellow but with plenty of flavor, they have a good basic tobacco flavor, they tend not to bite easily, and they all have a decent smell to them. All can taste a bit ashy if you aren't careful in smoking them, though CH resists that the most (PA being next and SWR being the most likely to have a bit of a harsh ash flavor at times). In fact, you really have to be showing poor form to get any ashy flavor off of the CH. The trade off is a bit less overall flavor, but it isn't weak in flavor and it tastes good. The flavor can be a little cigarette-like at times, though usually it is a lot better than that. The smell off the pipe is good, but the stale smell an hour or so later is a bit too cigarette-like.
You can definitely see why these are often recommended as beginners tobaccos, and why many people continue smoking them as experienced pipe smokers. All of them provide decent flavor, they are easy to load into your pipe, and they don't easily bite. Out of the three, Carter Hall probably best shows all of the positives with the fewest negatives. Being so good, so inexpensive, and so easy to get (even drug stores and grocery stores usually carry it, and some gas stations may as well), it will always be in my cellar.