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Loose cube cut burley and Virginias.

BrandDavid P. Ehrlich Company
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
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12 reviews
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Dave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dave (15)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

As the previous reviewer said, Ehrlichs was an absolutely fascinating place back when I started going to it in the early 70's. It was like going back in time: the mahogany counters; sales people in blue or red smocks smoking their pipes; "the man in the window" making or repairing pipes and an absolutely fantastic selection of pipes and tobaccos. They, and the other store owned by them, Leavitt and Pierce in Harvard Square in Cambridge have a rich history as tobacconists and were/are an institution in the Boston area. Sadly, as has been noted, Ehrlichs has deemphasized its line of pipes and tobaccos, presumably due to the declining number of pipe smokers and has gotten into other lines such as cigars (which they always had but have increased the emphasis thereon), exotic beers and wines and other products. My absolute favorite tobacco of all time was a Danish blend called Pemberton, which I understand was made for them by MacBarens, and was nearly identical to the old Golden Extra when it was a combination of Burley and Virgina, but that too was discontinued some years ago. But Ehrlichs has not closed. They have moved from 32 Tremont St. in Boston to 40 North St. near Faneuil Hall and are a much smaller operation. Leavitt and Pierce still remains in Harvard Square. I was in there today and they told me that the pipe business has picked up somewhat. Hope it continues.

Ehrlichs and L&P's flagship blend is DPE and is still available unchanged from when I first tried it in 1970. I will never forget their slogan about it: "Our highest selling blend. We sell tons and tons of it each year." I have heard its been around since the 1880's. I don't know about that but do know that they have sold it since at least the 1940's, probably earlier. DPE is a blend of seven different Virginia, Burley and Latakia tobaccos, aged 3 years and cut into small to medium sized cubes. It is easy packing and lighting. It has a very nutty primary flavor with a sweet undertone. The Latakia is almost unnoticeable. It is rather mild, tongue bite is almost nonexistent, yet it delivers a strong flavor relative to its overall mildness. It is to me an excellent all day smoke. When I first tried it I was somewhat frustrated as the first few puffs were extremely flavorful but this appeared to become lost after a few minutes. I figured out that the secret was not to overlight, and to smoke very slow and not draw too heavily. When I do this, the flavor remains consistent. The other plus on this tobacco is that it is less expensive than many other premium blends. Not cheap, but less expensive. It is an outstanding value in my humble opinion.

Update 4/17/13: I am now smoking my first bowl of DPE since it changed. It does somewhat resemble the original. Lost is the primary nutty flavor I described above; the primary flavor now seems to be a tangy, almost citrus like flavor. There does not appear to be as much latakia in the mixture and the whole mixture is much lighter in color than the original. Maybe just a tad more latakia would help. Overall not bad but not as good as the original. Wish they could bring that back.

3 people found this review helpful.

SkipperJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SkipperJim (1)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

As some of the other reviewers have said, I, too, have been an Ehrlich customer since college days in Boston back in the late 1960s. In the 1970s I would make long-distance pilgrimages to the Tremont Street store to pick up a pipe or two and a couple of pounds of DPE (yes, they were pound packages in bulk at that time). Except for rare (temporary) experimentation with a couple of other brands, and thanks to mail orders, DPE has been my steady pipe for more than 35 years.

But my fondness for and loyalty to this smoke are being tested. The blend is not at all as good as it used to be. The "original" was characterized by a rich, pure tang of latakia--an "autumn-leaves-burning" richness that I could smoke all day without a bite or any harshness whatsoever. A colleague whom I introduced to the blend told me that he had never smoked anything like DPE, adding, "It's addictive." And so it has been for me. But the current blend completely misses that mark and substitutes a new flavor that I find almost sweet. It's mild, but disappointing.

Over the past decade or so, there have been occasional DPE supply problems. It turns out that since sometime in the 1990s, the "original" blender went out of business, and Ehrlich's had House of Windsor producing DPE. Once I recall phoning Ehrlich's, asking if my order had been confused with another blend, or if the blend had changed (I noticed a difference in flavor). Their response was an unexpected replacement of the order, with the traditional flavor intact again. Then in the summer of 2006, I was told that DPE was out of stock, but my order would be filled when the supply was renewed. The shipment came in November, but it was not "real" DPE. An April 2007 visit to Churchill's (the new home of Ehrlich's) confirmed my worst fears: House of Windsor was no longer doing DPE; the new supplier is Altadis. They have been given the formula, but have not yet matched the blend. I have read that other tobacco blends, such as Lane's Nightcap, have experienced similar problems. Recently, I tried an order of Nightcap, in the absence of DPE, and found the flavor not to be up to the standard I remember.

I understand that other customers have expressed their disappointment to Ehrlich's and that the company is working with Altadis to try to correct the problem. It may have something to do with the curing of the tobacco rather than the formula itself. I maintain that DPE is still a good, moderately priced blend. For newer customers, it may even be a favorite. But I will have to content myself with the small "stash" of 2005 vintage kept at my summer cottage to capture the flavor of the original.

UPDATE: As of the new year, House of Windsor is again supplying Ehrlich's with DPE. I placed an order in late fall after being frustrated in trying to find a good replacement tobacco, and was pleased to hear that while there would be a delay, at least the "second generation" DPE (HoW) would be shipped. I have now begun smoking the shipment, and am pleased to report that DPE is more like its old self.

2 people found this review helpful.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (24)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A recent purchase of a couple pounds of DPE brought back a lot of memories of this tobacco and the days when DPE was a popular New England blend.

The one thing thats missing with todays DPE is the rugged lever top can. DPE now comes in bulk in zip lock bags. All in all, to me it hasn't changed enough over the years for me to notice any significant change in the blend. The cube cut and tin aroma is about the same as the old, to me it smells a little like rasins. I like this tobacco in a large bowl, with its cube cut a gravity fill works best for me. Leave some room at the top as this tobacco expands a good bit on lightup. Tamp, relight and enjoy. I smoke a lot of English and personally I don't notice any Latakia. This blend has a unique flavor, I knew several gents back in the 70's who would smoke this all day long and never even try another blend. DPE had a dedicated following. It is a tobacco that is easy to enjoy, simple, robust flavor, a pleasurable hit of nicotine, there is no bite.

The old Ehrlichs shop was a wonderland of pipes and tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

BertOlton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BertOlton (1)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This was my first pipe tobacco. Back in 1968, while living in Rhode Island, my Dad took me to the Ehrlich's shop on Tremont Street in Boston. At that time, they had pipes and pipe tobaccos all over the place...the display cases were worlds of wonder, with not a cigar in sight. Behind one counter, a wall of the shop was glassed in and behind the glass was a pipe making shop, where one of the Ehrlich's pipemakers would be at work fashioning one of the Ehrlich pipes. Might be brier, might be was an incredible place. They published a color catalog back then and we got ourselves onto the mailing list. Every couple of months a new sales catalog would show up with the latest store specials along with enumerations of stock offerings.

The nutty, woodsy taste of their house blend, DPE, is a classic of American cube cut burley with some latakia and other elements. Dry, mild and delicious, it is closely recognized in Greg Pease's "Barbary Coast".

Sadly, the Ehrlich's shop closed down some years ago. As noted in prior reviews, DPE, or a version of DPE is still available through other sources, but it's not quite the same.

1 person found this review helpful.

Somerled Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Somerled (1)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

A pale reflection from what the earlier version was. I began going to Ehrlichs back when they were on Washington Street - at that time they had several great store blends. My favorite was Boston Common which they discontinued. Does anyone know where I could find the same or similar blend?

The store today is but a shadow of its former self

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Harpua0077 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Harpua0077 (31)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I am not sure what it is about DPE that I like so much. My Father was introduced to by a college professor he knew back in the sixties. Then in 2007 he decided to buy himself a pipe and searched until he found DPE again. He says he wont smoke much else. So to him it is an everyday smoke.

However I could see it as an everyday smoke I actually have one already which is Dad's Smoke shop's Morgan's Mix. Dad's is located in Cleveland Ohio. I do enjoy DPE imensly but so does my wife. I guess you could say DPE is the family smoke.

I have to say it lights well, burns well, tastes good, not very bity, any weather or tempreture it is good. I'd give this a try if you can get it. My Personal rating 10.0 and I don't have many I give a perfect to.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Papillon6 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Papillon6 (24)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

Well first off my first pipe was an Ehrlich and back when they produced them they were sometimes called, 'the poor man's Dunhill' because of their quality. They are long since gone but their couple tobacco lines remain. This is a respectable tobacco blend that is mildly surprising. It builds in flavour. Almost to a point of a smoked ribeye in my opinion. It's a natural smoke and tastes like a quality burley/virginia to me. If you smoke it slowly it is quite refreshing on the palette and doesn't bite. A good quality natural tobacco that is somewhat hard to find. Give it a try if you pass their store some time. I got mine online from a friend who i was researching my pipes through. The brand has been around for decades and was a corner stone in Boston.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

It seems that those who have reviewed this blend have some nostalgia attached to it. I do not, I was given a few ounces by a friend who used to work at Ehrlich's shop some years ago. My impressions are that this blend has a lot going for it, from the sweetness toward the top of the bowl to the light white ashes that are left after the bowl is finished. The tobacco lights well, and really burns cool. What I did not like so well was the bitterness that I experienced near the bottom. I am convinced that there is some deer tongue in this blend. This would also explain the vanilla like sweetness that is present at the top. Over all this blend is nice but I would not go to the ends of the earth to find more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

It might be different from the original, I don't know. I've only smoked its current iteration. It's still pretty darn good. It moves in waves... starting with the burley - first bowl of this I'm thinking, man, the latakia barely comes through. Then maybe a third of the way through the latakia comes out, and it's nice and smooth and smokey. Then nearer to the bottom the VAs start to sing. You're always aware of the other tobaccos, but at different levels in the bowl they all come out in different increments. It's quite a nice smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

05/21/2006 Very well balanced, easy smoking American-English blend. Has more Latakia than I am smoking these days but a good one when I want a mild dose of it. Give it a try if you want a full flavored blend without being over-the-top with any one component. Update 11/06/2006: Four stars for Latakia fans, two and one-half if not.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rhinofixer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rhinofixer (1)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

I too was a frequent visitor to the old shop on Tremont St. when I was in college in the late 60's. What a wonderful way to be introduced into the world of pipe smoking. DPE became my standard and no matter where I travelled I was able to have a tin shipped to me. Eventually the company was unable to provide DPE on a regular basis as they were having trouble finding blenders to produce the product so I was told. So, I became a fan of the other neighborhood shop, L J Peretti. I was in Boston recently and shocked to find Ehrlich's had moved. When I found the new store I was even more shocked and disappointed. They have pretty much given up on their heritage of pipes in favor of cigars and the DPE jar was empty. However, all was not lost as their other store, Leavitt and Pierce, in Harvard Square was still much the same as it was in the 60's. Oh joy they had plenty of DPE! I bought a pound and headed home with great anticipation of enjoying once again my beloved tobacco. Unfortunately like so many other great smokes, DPE is a mere shadow of what it used to be. That wonderful pouch aroma is gone as is the satisfying full taste. Changing blenders has had a disasterous IMHO effect. DPE live in my memory but probably not in my humidor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alpedhuez55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alpedhuez55 (4)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is available at Churhill's Cigar Bar in Boston and Leavitt & Pierce in Cambridge.

Very nice cool smoking blend. It fills the room with a sweet smelling smoke. It stays sweet to the tounge throughout the whole bowl. Not a lot of bite or nicotine in this one.

Ehrlich's Balken Blend #2 alow is highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.