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mythrenegade
09-20-2007, 21:39
I am a strong flavors guy. I have never met a cigar that was too strong for me. I have eaten habenero peppers straight. I drink bourbon neat or on the rocks, and prefer higher proof stuff like Old Grand Dad 114 and Booker's if they are available. I order thai food as spicy as they can possibly make it and I drink big bold red wines. Like I said, I'm a strong flavors guy.

Recently I got into pipe smoking, with a lot of help from Dave on these forums. I ordered a selection of tobaccos, and was most excited about one called "Old Lodge" that is sold by pipesandcigars.com. It is too strong.

You read that right. I didn't like it. It overpowered a glass of Old Grand Dad 114. When a smoke overpowers a high proof bourbon, it's simply too strong. It is not an enjoyable experience to smoke the stuff, so I won't smoke it anymore. I hate to let it go to waste, but I can't imagine what else to do with it.

Weird. I've met my match, and it's a tobacco blend called Old Lodge.

Joel

MurphyDawg
09-20-2007, 22:46
Wow, to overpower Old Gramdad 114 that must be some STRONG stuff.

I am impressed.

TomC

bluesbassdad
09-21-2007, 01:00
Dang! You have me so curious I'm wondering where my few remaining pipes are.

Are you sure you weren't having an off-day, toughnesswise? :grin:

If this (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=O&TID=2587)is the blend in question, then the reviews, combined with your experience, suggest that you will want to avoid blends that contain a large percentage of Latakia.

This reminds me that Steve Gold of the Lassen Pipe Shop in Wichita, KS, circa 1966, sold his own custom blend that contained about 75% Latakia. I tried to like it, but I couldn't do it.

Assuming that you enjoy Latakia at some smaller concentration, then it should be easy to find a rich but bland tobacco that you enjoy and cut the Old Lodge with it. I suggest doing it in small amounts. No point in wasting the bland blend if no amount of dilution will render Old Lodge enjoyable for you.

Possible candidates based on long-ago memories are Brown Clunee (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=B&TID=951), Jock's Mixture (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=J&TID=957), Old Gowrie (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=O&TID=959) and Professional Mixture (http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=P&TID=960).

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

TBoner
09-21-2007, 06:08
Latakia can overwhelm any bourbon by sheer force of flavor, not nicotine strength. It's a bit like drinking Laphroaig, Ardbeg, etc. Even at lower proofs than many bourbons, the peat and iodine are so potent that the first experience is often unpleasant. Similarly, latakia blends have such a distinctive, earthy, smoky character that other flavors, especially sweet ones, fail to come through as easily or cleanly. Many people recommend Islay scotches as a good pairing for blends containing latakia, and I can't disagree. The two complement each other and allow you to pick out their respective sweet, spicy, and rich flavors.

mythrenegade
09-21-2007, 09:47
Latakia can overwhelm any bourbon by sheer force of flavor, not nicotine strength. It's a bit like drinking Laphroaig, Ardbeg, etc. Even at lower proofs than many bourbons, the peat and iodine are so potent that the first experience is often unpleasant. Similarly, latakia blends have such a distinctive, earthy, smoky character that other flavors, especially sweet ones, fail to come through as easily or cleanly. Many people recommend Islay scotches as a good pairing for blends containing latakia, and I can't disagree. The two complement each other and allow you to pick out their respective sweet, spicy, and rich flavors.

That's a great suggestion. A couple of notes from the site Dave listed that I particularly resonate with:

Images evoked include burning legions marching across a scorched wasteland newly-conquered - stopping to loot and drink with relieved infernal merriment.

and the one that best relfects my personal experience::

The pouch aroma is like that of a dying campfire.

I like Islay scotches, so I guess I will have to buy a bottle of Laophraig (finished the last one) to try with this stuff. Oh darn :slappin:

Dave, if my experience is tempting you to smoke, please let me know and I will stop sharing it. I'd hate to be the one who drags you back into smoking. If you can't smoke without doing it every day, don't do it. We'd rather have you around. I'm totally serious about this. I've really appreciated your help, but if it's creating a problem, I'd rather just talk bourbon with you.

Cheers,

Joel

bluesbassdad
09-21-2007, 13:18
My urge to smoke is in the same category as any urge I may or may not have had over the years to cheat on my wife. I know that acting on it would be fatal, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it -- or not.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

MurphyDawg
09-21-2007, 15:05
My urge to smoke is in the same category as any urge I may or may not have had over the years to cheat on my wife. I know that acting on it would be fatal, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it -- or not.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

that might be the best way I have ever heard that phrased. classic!

TomC

mgilbertva
09-22-2007, 10:54
In spite of my preference for strong flavors, I'm one of those a little-Latakia-goes-a-long-way types. And I am also in hearty agreement with the need for a peaty Islay pairing.

I wonder if the grassiness of a big Rye would work here. Has anyone tried a Rye whiskey with Latakias, or for that matter, Perique?

TBoner
09-23-2007, 13:45
In spite of my preference for strong flavors, I'm one of those a little-Latakia-goes-a-long-way types. And I am also in hearty agreement with the need for a peaty Islay pairing.

I wonder if the grassiness of a big Rye would work here. Has anyone tried a Rye whiskey with Latakias, or for that matter, Perique?

I tried rye with Latakia. Umm...not good. It was a clash of the Titans in terms of big flavors (WT Rye and a 10% Latakia blend), but they didn't meld; they did battle. Now, a Perique, with the spicy note it lends, might do nicely up against WT Rye or Saz (Jr. or Sr.).

mythrenegade
12-07-2007, 17:23
Well, last night we were roasting coffee and it was COLD and rainy outside. The building we roast in is not insulated, and I decided to fire up the Old Lodge again. It was wonderful for cold weather, which I thought it would be.

And then I realized it was going well with my drink. Rather than bourbon, which I usually drink while roasting, I was drinking a Lost Abbey Avant Garde Ale. Both tasted fantastic together. Then we had Samuel Smiths Winter Welcome Ale. It was also good, although not as good with the Old Lodge as the Lost Abbey had been. Next we opened Anchor Steam Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Oops, not good. I love the beer, it is fantastic. But the flavors are too similar to the Old Lodge, and they clash.

That, in a nutshell, is why this stuff doesn't work with bourbon. There are simply too many strong flavors competing, and the nuances of everything are simply lost. But with a nice clean Ale like the lost abbey, or even the winter welcome ale, they complemented each other well.

The Old Lodge is fantastic tobacco, I'm pleased to have found a way to drink it.

Joel