And the myth lives on...

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Rusty
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And the myth lives on...

Post by Rusty » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:14 pm

Have any of you see GL Pease's current 'Ask GL Pease' column on pipes magazine?

http://pipesmagazine.com/blog/ask-g-l-p ... volume-12/

He's telling an old myth. It's a very tenacious myth. The myth says that the reason the Brits used naturally aromatic tobaccos like Orientals and Latakia is because they were forbidden from using flavourings. So he says:
GL Pease wrote:The old English purity laws forbade blenders from using artificial flavorings and adulterants in tobaccos in large measure. There was a list of approved additives, which had to be dissolved in alcohol or water, and could only be applied at small percentages. This left the blenders, who relied primarily on Virginia-type tobaccos, Orientals and condiment leaf, like Latakia and Perique, with the exciting task of using the tobaccos themselves, along with different processing techniques, such as stoving, toasting, panning, steaming, pressing and so on, to create mixtures that would stand out from their peers....
He's actually mixing two different eras. Before 1986 additives were restricted ie subject to approval by the Gov authorities. After 1986 they adopted an approved additive list. I've talked about all this before on CPS and provided references...
http://christianpipesmokers.net/modules ... c&start=15

I think the actual history is more interesting than the myth. I'm a bit surprised that he too propagates this myth. I'm debating whether I should say anything. Maybe an email.
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Post by coco » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:25 pm

If you email him and he responds, please let us know what he said.
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:55 pm

coco wrote:If you email him and he responds, please let us know what he said.
Yes.
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Post by Rusty » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:35 pm

He replied saying the sentence (the first one I quoted above) wasn't quite as inaccurate as it seemed to me. Then he criticized his own quote as being unclear because he used the word 'forbade', which suggests no exceptions, and then the 'largely' word which suggests there were exceptions.

He left me with the impression that he will probably edit that part of the article. In any case we'll have to wait and see.

The term 'forbidden' (forbade etc) together with the idea of purity laws is misleading IMO. Manufacturers were restricted in terms of additives and the Gov ensured that they had a critical role in deciding what additives were permissible on a case by case basis. So there was a lot of dialogue and it's typically British.

This is quite different than the story that suggests because additives were prohibited/forbidden etc manufacturers used more natural leaf and natural process to achieve appeal in the product. Both flavourings and the processes in the article were used in fact. It wasn't as if flavoured tobaccos were rare. The manufacturers had a well understood process to negotiate the use of flavourings and there is plenty of evidence of it. This is not to suggest that manufacturers uniformly got their own way as if the process rubber stamped their own plans. That wasn't true either. For example there is evidence that Wills wanted to increase the proportion of flavourings on Capstan to improve its competitive stance vs. Erinmore and they were told no. But none of this means that flavouring was rare nor a last resort. They did this a lot.
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Post by Hovannes » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:06 am

Interesting stuff! Skullduggery in the briar bowl (or tin!) I can't wait for the movie to come out :wink:
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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:00 am

Yeah, but aromatics are still the best tobacco for building up a good heel-cake.
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Post by dasmokeryaget » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:08 pm

Del wrote:Yeah, but aromatics are still the best tobacco for building up a good heel-cake.
why?

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Post by dasmokeryaget » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:17 pm

When I started smoking a pipe the first time back in 1981 0r 82, this tobacconist in KY was trying to tell me the difference betweeen English tobaccos and American aromatics.

BAsic same thing. He said it was against the law in England for them to add casings of any kind. He said it would always be against the law there as long as Queen Elizabeth reigned. He was bullshyttin me about this part of course. :D

....so anyway, the English therefore had to rely on natural leaf, orientals, etc for such.

I didnt have any reason no to believe him.

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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:55 pm

dasmokeryaget wrote:
Del wrote:Yeah, but aromatics are still the best tobacco for building up a good heel-cake.
why?
Because of the burley content, which is the best tobacco for building cake.. Also, the delicious toppings let you smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl easier. And the extra propylene glycol aids in steaming the cake mix so that it cooks better.
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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:59 pm

dasmokeryaget wrote:When I started smoking a pipe the first time back in 1981 0r 82, this tobacconist in KY was trying to tell me the difference betweeen English tobaccos and American aromatics.

BAsic same thing. He said it was against the law in England for them to add casings of any kind. He said it would always be against the law there as long as Queen Elizabeth reigned. He was bullshyttin me about this part of course. :D

....so anyway, the English therefore had to rely on natural leaf, orientals, etc for such.

I didnt have any reason not to believe him.
Soooo....

How would he explain the difference between English blends (like Westminster) and British blends (like Condor)?
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Post by Rusty » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:33 pm

Del wrote:Soooo....

How would he explain the difference between English blends (like Westminster) and British blends (like Condor)?

You picked an Irish one (Condor) but it's a fortunate choice because that is illustrative of the problem too.

It's not too hard to distinguish a mixture from a flake. Anybody that has had them can certainly explain it. But what if we instead choose the ready rub version of the flake. Does that change anything?

To pick up your Condor example... what is the difference between something like Condor and Capstan or St Bruno?
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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Rusty wrote:
Del wrote:Soooo....

How would he explain the difference between English blends (like Westminster) and British blends (like Condor)?

You picked an Irish one (Condor) but it's a fortunate choice because that is illustrative of the problem too.

It's not too hard to distinguish a mixture from a flake. Anybody that has had them can certainly explain it. But what if we instead choose the ready rub version of the flake. Does that change anything?

To pick up your Condor example... what is the difference between something like Condor and Capstan or St Bruno?
I didn't know that Condor was Irish. :oops:

Here's how I figured it:

English blends (like Westminster) are made in America.

British blends (like 1792, Ennerdale or something similarly over-the-top in topping) is made in Britain.

The "British tobacco purity law" is a lie; it is believable only because there really is a "German beer purity law."
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Post by Rusty » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:53 pm

Del wrote:
Rusty wrote:
Del wrote:Soooo....

How would he explain the difference between English blends (like Westminster) and British blends (like Condor)?

You picked an Irish one (Condor) but it's a fortunate choice because that is illustrative of the problem too.

It's not too hard to distinguish a mixture from a flake. Anybody that has had them can certainly explain it. But what if we instead choose the ready rub version of the flake. Does that change anything?

To pick up your Condor example... what is the difference between something like Condor and Capstan or St Bruno?
I didn't know that Condor was Irish. :oops:
You've said that before. Gallaher's Condor?

Image

Gallaher doesn't sound Irish?
Del wrote:Here's how I figured it:

English blends (like Westminster) are made in America.

British blends (like 1792, Ennerdale or something similarly over-the-top in topping) is made in Britain.
But Westminster does sound like Westminster London and it is a blend inspired by London Mix. You're not making it very clear,

Over the top tended to be more Irish and that was the point of the last question. But it's ok. I know they don't label them with Gallaher anymore but I had hoped you'd remember. It's not a big deal. Think Irish... Gallaher.... CONDOR! Not difficult.
Last edited by Rusty on Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by 4thmedbn » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:56 pm

Rheinheitsgebot. Otherwise, all your talk made my brain hurt.

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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:15 pm

Rusty wrote: Over the top tended to be more Irish and that was the point of the last question. But it's ok. I know they don't label them with Gallaher anymore but I had hoped you'd remember. It's not a big deal. Think Irish... Gallaher.... CONDOR! Not difficult.
I've never heard of Gallaher. My only souvenir pouch of CONDOR looks like this:
Image

My point is that Lake District blends are topped with many unnatural substances, and have been since at least 1792. So the "British purity law" myth is pretty hard to swallow.
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Post by Rusty » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:57 pm

Del wrote:
Rusty wrote: Over the top tended to be more Irish and that was the point of the last question. But it's ok. I know they don't label them with Gallaher anymore but I had hoped you'd remember. It's not a big deal. Think Irish... Gallaher.... CONDOR! Not difficult.
I've never heard of Gallaher. My only souvenir pouch of CONDOR looks like this:
Image

My point is that Lake District blends are topped with many unnatural substances, and have been since at least 1792. So the "British purity law" myth is pretty hard to swallow.
It's probably easier for me to make sense of it. The brand names that are familiar are signature of the era. They were all still on shelves when I got to know them so the brands are as familiar to me as the current Lake District brand names are to you. I had never heard of any Gawith until the late 90's. It wasn't a familiar name at all. But so many others now gone were familiar.

Del, after all the acquisitions Big Tobacco in the UK boiled down to just three big tobacco companies. Imperial Tobacco, BAT, and Gallaher. OTOH there are also just three tiny pipe tobacco manufacturing companies in Britain that have remained private and out of Big Tobaccos clutches. But almost no N. American pipe smoker had ever heard the last three privates because they were too small to provide enough production for it to be imported... until Big Tobacco mostly exited the biz. The tiny companies became relevant & imported at that point.

Here is a quick snapshot of Gallaher, their history, & their pipe tobacco assets:
http://christianpipesmokers.net/modules ... ic&t=24081
Last edited by Rusty on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Del » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:44 pm

Aha! so noobs like me don't know squat about RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris!

(Which is true. I don't know squat.)

So it's kinda like the resurgence of craft breweries.... new companies Cornell & Diehl and McClelland can finally enter a market where just a few small, traditional companies have also managed to survive.
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Re: And the myth lives on...

Post by gypsylea » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:24 pm

There is a link in the initial post in this thread that no longer works to an earlier post by the late Rusty on the history of the English Tobacco Purity Laws. Can anyone make it work? Thank you.

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Re: And the myth lives on...

Post by hugodrax » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:47 pm

gypsylea wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:24 pm
There is a link in the initial post in this thread that no longer works to an earlier post by the late Rusty on the history of the English Tobacco Purity Laws. Can anyone make it work? Thank you.
How about a bio?
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Re: And the myth lives on...

Post by Hovannes » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:33 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:47 pm
gypsylea wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:24 pm
There is a link in the initial post in this thread that no longer works to an earlier post by the late Rusty on the history of the English Tobacco Purity Laws. Can anyone make it work? Thank you.
How about a bio?
Yes, a bio! And don't forget to give us your opinion on bacon!
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