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A new interpretation of a blend that was a mainstay in the Albany NY area for more than a half-century. This smooth-smoking mixture uses a variety of cube and rough cut Burleys and a splash of natural Cavendish with just enough Latakia to add a slight smoky spice. Enjoy this taste of the past.

Notes: According to Pipes & Cigars Deer Tongue is no longer used.

BrandHearth & Home
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured ByPipes & Cigars
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Latakia
FlavoringAlcohol / Liquor
Packaging1.5oz Tin, 8oz Tin, Bulk
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note

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beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Mild Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

Old Tartan is a fairly solid rendition of an old-timey American-style blend. There’s quite a few variations of this kind of “American English” blend on the market—a Burley base with a smidge of Latakia and other condimental leaf finished with some sort of aromatic agent—so Old Tartan has some competition as it tries to stand out in the crowd.

Old Tartan is much more American than it is English. The Latakia hides in the background—as it should—for most of the bowl. The Burley, with its toasted bread and hazelnut quality, tends to dominate for part of the smoke, but there are times when it plays a losing game of tug-o’-war with the deer tongue. Several reviewers here have complained about how forward the deer tongue is in this blend and I find myself agreeing with them. I like deer tongue but not if it’s used in a proportion that overwhelms the tobacco.

This tobacco does have one virtue: it lasts a long time. I tossed 2 ounces of Old Tartan into a Mason jar in February 2009 and I’m only now—almost 5 years later—approaching the bottom of that jar. Truth is, I find myself eyeing the tobacco cabinet when I’m about halfway through each bowl of this stuff because I’m neither satisfied nor am I ever inclined to smoke two bowls of Old Tartan in a row. It smells pretty good, I guess, but I really don’t care about the room note.

It’s worth mentioning, I suppose, that someone who better appreciates a generous helping of the herbal, vanilla-like deer tongue will probably have a completely different opinion of Old Tartan than I do. So be it. From my perspective, however, there are several more enjoyable tobaccos in this style and I’ll probably stick with them in the future.

Age When Smoked: fresh, aged, really aged (1-5 years)

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Being a Deer Tongue fan I gave this one a go. Its a nice mild blend. The deer tongue takes a background roll in this blend. Mainly it is a nutty burley blend with a nice smokey latakia note. The deer tongue adds a nice background sweetness that compliments the background spice of the perique. Overall a very nice blend. The liquor casing seems a little unnecessary and unfortunately lent the blend to a bit of tongue bite. When smoked slow and relaxed this blend is a nutty, spicy and sweet blend with a slight touch of deer tongue.

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Old Tartan is Rush Ouellette's tribute to an old blend called Black Watch. Having never smoked Black Watch I cannot compare the two, nor would I anyway. What does come through is the successful creation of an old style aromatic from days gone by. I don't find the deer tongue overpowering and unlike some aromatics, the tobacco flavor comes through nicely. Mr. Ouellette's wide range of great blends only serves as more proof the he has earned a seat at the table with America's top blenders. Recommend.

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on about an ounce. Mottled rough cut with the deer tongue coming thru loud and clear in the bag aroma with an undercurrent of toasty burley. Barest whiff of latakia, in the truest tradition of American English blends.

I made a nice discovery with this one. I smoked a bowl of it fresh and found in uninspiring. By accident, I failed to seal the baggie and when I returned to it a few days later, it was bone dry. Undaunted, I fired up a bowl and found it much improved. It burned faster, of course, and I had to be careful with my puffing cadence but the flavor really came forward. The burley was not only nuttier and tastier, but cleaner tasting as well. The deer tongue was still in evidence but subdued. Natural flavorings tend to stay when a tobacco is dried, where the artificial ones used in most goopy aromatics tend to dissipate. The latakia remained in evidence, with just enough of a presence to spice up the proceedings. Good bit of nic here, and even a bit of complexity. Crispy dry, this is an excellent 3.5 star blend. Having not really dried out my burleys (although most VA's get the heavy drying treatment), this blend reminded me to not only play with puffing cadences on new blends, but also varying levels of moisture. These kinds of discoveries are what pipesmoking is all about to me. I'll buy more of this and get it nice and crispy before I smoke it! YMMV of course, and drying out may not work with all blends but it's always worth a shot, especially if you find a blend ho-hum at normal moisture.

2 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a fine, old fashioned blend.

Cubes and rough burley, a little cavenish and latakia, and the star but a small one is the herb Deer Tongue (DT), as the description says.

In days past there were many DT blends -- Edwards Arabian and Jaimaca, Draper's Commander (I think), Country Doctor (don't know if its comeback version has it), and of course, Harkness F and G, to name some. Even cigars had something similar but not herbal, green wrapper claro leaf in days past but few do today --Optimo Admiral is maybe one accessible left). I heard it is too difficult to harvest and cut the herb or no one wants to do it any more but C&D.

The DT adds a slight herbal (not vanilla but more vegetal) quality to the taste and that's the only aromatic leaf, if you call it that, in here. But its all natural!

This blend is a cross between Harkness F and G by San Antonio's Humidor, in my opinion. (One had a lighter base and showcased the DT, the other was made more heavy with Latakia.)

The closest comparison today is C&D's Crooner -- which is all cubed burleys and some DT. A fine example but milder. Not all like the DT thoughis

The blend starts cool and light and showcases the DT. By mid-bowl the little Latakia shows itself more but the DT still shines some. A delightful return to the past.

Recommended for us old timers but it is something truely different nowadays. I smoked my two ounces in an older Dunhill and "new" Huybrecht from pipes2smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

easterngray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
easterngray (11)
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant

Not much to add here except to offer a high recommendation; "Old Tartan" certainly holds a permanent place in my top 5 blends. A very tasty smoke that offers an exceptionally unique and refreshing smoke. Modeled after the old Pat Vottis blend "Black Watch", Old Tartan is a true representation of a very popular upstate NY blend from the golden era of American pipe smoking in the middle of the 20th century. The burleys play the main role in the mixture with the cavendish and Latakia complimenting them perfectly. This blend does leave some moisture, and I've found that a Kirsten pipe lends itself wonderfully to Old Tartan. A great blend.

Pipe Used: Kirsten Mariner

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Nothing else!.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Really unique blend. Tin note is mostly anise/black licorice; there's a nutty banana bread hiding behind them and faint honey-like smell from the deer tongue. (I sometimes stick my nose in the tin for a little pick me up.) Crazy mix of cuts (shag plus cubes??) and nice range of colors.

Packs and lights well. (Another reviewer's suggestion to pack a bowl and leave it for several days is interesting; will have to try that.)

This is one of the few blends I've tried where the smoke smells and tastes a lot like the tin note. The room note is incredible. (But I enjoy smelling of campfires and burning tobacco, so what the hell do I know?)

The burley, cavendish and latakia play in a way that almost tastes like a spicy oriental at first, go figure. That soon gave way to the nicotine-laden burley, with a taste that reminded me of baking bread and hot cocoa.

The deer tongue is dancing on top almost the entire time. Try to imagine standing outside a bakery that's cooking something chocolate while you're chewing on a mouthful of black licorice. The deer tongue adds another dimension to the aftertaste and tongue coating that isn't entirely pleasant. But like everything else about this blend, it's different.

It's not for everybody, and as with any burley-based blend, it can start to go sour the longer it's heated up. But Russ has done a masterful job with this one, imo. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.

3/4/2014 - The more I get to know this blend, the more I like it. Upping to four stars. This is really good stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

BigWhiteWilly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigWhiteWilly (10)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

If you have wished for someone to package the smell of an old tobacco shop, wish no more, here it is! 'Nuff said.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My experience with Old Tartan was akin to an aging, leg-weary prizefighter who loses his punch. Old Tartan lost its punch after the first quarter bowl: the flavor, taste, mellowness and zing that was there in the beginning of the smoke slowly began to dissipate and became a ?hot air,? bland smoke with no flavor or taste as I progressed down the bowl. This happened repeatedly over several weeks in many different pipes. I can?t explain it nor was I ill so my taste buds were in working order. This tobacco does not DGT well, either. I am a big fan of P&C blends but this one just didn?t do it for me.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 6.5 out of 10.

1 person found this review helpful.

OldTallMike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OldTallMike (13)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Just got a sample of this and it will go into the rotation for sure. Smooth blend, good tobacco flavor and then there is that Deer tongue. Great herbal flavor, didn't know what to expect-I had no knowledge of this blend prior to smoking it and when I tasted the Herb I immediately kept looking for it in every draw. Not overpowering, but it has some potency. I recommend this, but only if you like the incense type additives.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

crrbassman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crrbassman (12)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant


I ordered a tin of this on special and from the description was eager to try it, as I like 'anglo-matics'. I like the tin note, and it's really an attractive tobacco.

Loaded up a bowl and lit up, and about a third of the way through the bowl, I began to sense the all-too-familiar feeling of a tobacco that's been sprayed with chemicals. The coating on the roof of my mouth and down the sides of my tongue was very noticeable. I can't recommend a tobacco that has this characteristic, when there are so many excellent others out there.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (76)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

What a wonderful blend.

If you have sat downwind of someone who is smoking a pipe and said to yourself "now that is what a pipe smells like at its best", then this is the aroma you are looking for.

I thought it was high quality vanilla until my pipe mentor pointed out that its deer tongue that the sweet and rich vanilla-esque scent is. Its accompanied by a tiny pinch of lat that I can barely detect even though I know its there, and very good burley to make it earthy and sweet simultaneously.

Rather than just being a vehicle for the deer tongue, its a fine blend in itself with a gratifying oomph from the burley which is dark and rich, and the cav adds an element that I cant describe.

I'm not doing a good job describing this, so let me just say, its smells like an old fashioned pipe blend, with good burley base and on top of that there is a rich creaminess from the little bit of lat, and its topped off with a twist from the deer tongue which gives it almost a crossover English feel.

One of my faves.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Reject Billiard

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Houndstooth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Houndstooth (34)
Mild Medium Mild Unnoticeable

I don't think I've had a tobacco I've vacillated on more than this, but it has grown on me consistently over time. Some reviewers have detected perique, but I don't, nor is there any in the manufacturer's description. However, it might make a great addition, as my main complaint is a lack of complexity.

This is an easy smoke, but personally I'd prefer more punch. Recently, I was informed via Pipes & Cigars (I think) that this blend no longer contains deer tongue, but a close substitute, which is perhaps why I've not enjoyed it more. While I've not studied the room note enough, I think it tastes like potpourri should smoke. Finishes in a vacant way with barely any dottle. Two stars.

UPDATE My vacillation continues. Having smoked this several more times I find two stars to be too high. Just not enough notable going on here. One Star.

Pipe Used: various- cobs to Petersons

Age When Smoked: delivered to me new as of late last fall 2013

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: As per Hearth & Home, Daybreak might be the closest thing, but not as sweet as this..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A blend I was very interested in for a while. I was actually suprised how mellow and mild it was. The flavors weren't out of control, but it was still a good complex smoke.

Burns even and another recommended.

Pipe Used: Nording Poker

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This one is rather bland for me. It does not really do much for me personally. It lights easily enough and stays lit. It does produce a decent amount of smoke and burns down to a nice ash at the bottom of the bowl. But just not might cup of tea. I'll finish up the sample I have, but won't be ordering it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

To be brief: this half the amount of deertongue, this would be my favorite burley mixture. Excellent tobaccos, great smoke. Just a bit too overflavored.

Still recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I did not know if i would like this or not, but I wanted something different. And this answered that craving quite well. I really like this blend! In the pouch, it is a mottled brown mix with a little of the latakia darker leaf in small pieces and if you look hard the light green flakes of the deers tongue lightly mixed in. The pouch aroma is very spicy with a sweet twang. Very intriguing. It packed easy with just a touch of too much moisture, so I let the pipe sit an hour before lighting up. On first light, I was rewarded with a nice sweet smooth smoke with a little spice and twang, and the room note has the great aroma of a good burley with the deers tongue making is present known the the sweet tart almost vanilla way it does. It is very tame in it's bite but the perique keeps it alive on the tongue and the latakia kicking in once in awhile adding it's smokey goodness in. It burned all the way down to a medium grey ash with very little dottle in the pipe. I enjoyed this blend a lot. I can see this pouch going fast and me reordering it in bulk to have around. Great with a cup of black tea. I highly recommend this blend if one wants to try something different and tasty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Blue Jazzman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Blue Jazzman (47)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is a masterpiece. I have aged mine for over a year. Upon lighting up I was rewarded with a burst of flavorful tobacco that was nothing short of magnificent. Needs to be smoked correctly to avoid the bite of Mr. Burley but when done so will reward you with a medley of flavorful tobacco which pleases from start to finish. Stays lit and burns to a nice gray ash. Russ O has proven again that he is truly a master blender who only uses the finest of tobacco's and has a knack for blending them consistently for our smoking pleasure. 4 stars and TOP NOTCH!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (56)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

Old Tartan defies description, and is one of my favorites. I'm 32, so I have no nostalgia for old-time blends. Nothing else on the market I've found compares in the slightest.

I like my blends with a little spice, and to me, the latakia and deertongue coupled with the body of a burley base really are great.

The spice is not the latakia campfire, nor the semi-sweet oriental. The closest modern thing it compares to is Chai tea.

The burning qualities of this tobacco are excellent. Don't get too agressive, or you'll get burned. No doubt burley owns the show, but not the taste.

I love the aroma of this blend. The fairer sex seems to hate it. They all say "It smells like old man." To me it smells of aged and oiled wood like an old hand plane, or a rocker seasoned by linseed oil, the fireplace, and several generations. You will find this scent in smaller museums that don't isolate their holdings from the public and antique stores.

Again, nothing else compares!!!! Try it!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am somewhat confused (a natural state of mind for me,) because the pouch of Old Tartan I received came from Altadas, not The components described above and what I smoked were the same... maybe?!?

All I know is that Old Tartan from Altadis is a cube Burley and Latakia combination that was okay, but not impressive. The blend burned well and produced tons of smoke. I can usually detect deertongue, even when lightly applied, but I tasted none of it in my Old Tartan.

The Altadis version is not remarkable in any way, and packed little punch in nicotine or flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

huffnpuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
huffnpuff (53)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I think so far this is the best blend in my review and I will buy a pound of this . At first light I noticed the latakia and then I notice some of the the deer tongue and I was very glad I tryed this smoke. For me this totally different then the aromatics I smoked . I dont even know if it is an aromatic but it is pleasant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (75)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a truly unique blend that is diffucult to compare to anything else. It's spicy and cool and interesting, in contrast to this short review!

Nobody has rated this review yet.