For some time now we here at Carey’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop have been considering whether or not to freshen up our Private Blend Tobacco offering – after all we have produced the same 14 blends for many years and although we hope we continue to provide something to suit everyone, tastes and trends are constantly evolving. Surely there was room in our selection for a few more alternatives, we asked ourselves?
And so opened a large can of worms!
The simple fact of tobacco is that as with other flavour based products, it is entirely down to personal taste. I recently contributed to a forum which was discussing the merits of St Bruno tobacco and the many clones there are in existence, one of which is produced for us (Carey’s Bruno Special) by the same blenders that produce the original. Everyone on the forum had a differing view as to which were true reproductions and which were poor imitations (I am pleased to say ours favoured well in these discussions) but even when the conversation turned towards comparisons of the genuine, original article, it seemed no one could agree on its flavour! I would go a step further… if you gathered 10 pipe smokers together in a room and asked them to name their favourite tobacco (I think that’s still allowed isn’t it?) I honestly believe you would come away with 10 different answers, and possibly even a week later the same people would give different answers again. Like a good wine or whiskey each palate will take its own pleasure or otherwise from different characteristics of the flavour, albeit usually with a few constants running through which can be easily agreed upon (smokey, fruity, sweet, etc).
Which brings me back to our in house considerations. How does one decide what blends to add to our existing range in order to cater for everyone’s tastes, when everyone seems to have different tastes anyway?!
So the answer we came up with was simple – ask someone else to do it! We have commissioned a well known tobacco maker to review our existing selection and identify for us whether there are any existing trends or tastes that we do not currently cater for. Maybe we should offer a twist tobacco, or focus more on American flavours? Is plug popular? Are fruity undertones the talk of the town now, or are the liqueur flavourings in the ascendancy? These are some of the questions we hope to answer over the next few weeks but of course the most important opinions come from our customers and potential customers. So if you have a view, as with anything else we do, please let us know as we are here to service your pipe smoking needs…